Elder Scrolls

Grelod the Kind

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"The headmistress is an evil, cruel woman. They call her Grelod the Kind. But she's not kind. She's terrible! To all of us!"
Aventus Aretino[src]

Grelod the Kind is an elderly Nord woman and the headmistress of the Honorhall Orphanage in Riften. Contrary to her name she has a reputation for being an utterly cruel and heartless woman. One of her charges in particular, Aventus Aretino, managed to escape the orphanage and later employed a member of the Dark Brotherhood to have a murder contract against her satisfied.


Grelod is frequently cruel and abusive towards the children in her care. Not only does she beat them and refuse to allow their adoption, but she berates them verbally as well. Listening to Grelod's conversation with the orphans reveals she has 'extra beatings' planned for any who 'shirk their duties'. She also states that they will never be adopted because nobody wants them, and openly calls them "riff-raff" to their faces.

The children are not the only ones in the orphanage who suffer from Grelod's cruelty. She also yells at her assistant, Constance Michel, from time to time, issuing mean-spirited complaints about the children and orders to deal with them. According to Constance, the people of Riften are well aware of Grelod's cruel nature; they call her "Grelod the Kind" out of irony.


Grelod generally wants nothing to do with the Dragonborn. Any attempts to speak to her will be roundly refused, as she is hostile to everyone.

Spread the LoveEdit

If the Dragonborn tries to give Grelod one of Dinya Balu's The Warmth of Mara pamphlets after completing The Book of Love, Grelod will flatly turn him or her down. "Unless Mara wishes to come down and help me with these urchins, I don't really give a damn about her blessings."

Innocence LostEdit

The Dragonborn is asked to assassinate Grelod the Kind by Aventus Aretino after being mistaken for a member of the Dark Brotherhood in the quest "Innocence Lost". If the Dragonborn does so, either to fulfill Aventus' contract or just because they feel that the hateful woman deserves it, the children of the orphanage cheer and do not alert the Riften Guard.

Indeed, Grelod can generally be cut down right in front of all of the children with no repercussions. If the Dragonborn lingers around too long the guards may eventually come inside - likely called by Constance Michel, who is the only person to show anything but happiness at Grelod's death by running around screaming. Once Grelod is gone, interactions with the children indicate that their lives have improved considerably: Constance is now in charge of the orphanage, and she treats her charges far more kindly than Grelod did.

It is generally not possible to speak to Grelod, though it can be done if she is confronted after receiving the contract from Aventus; the Dragonborn can even claim to be a member of the Dark Brotherhood, even though they have not been recruited yet. However, Grelod will not be intimidated no matter what is said.

The Elder Scrolls V: HearthfireEdit

Even when Hearthfire is installed, it is not possible to adopt children from the orphanage while Grelod the Kind lives. The Dragonborn may adopt children from elsewhere in Skyrim. Constance will remain agitated until the Dragonborn completes Innocence Lost by talking to Aventus. In order to adopt from Honorhall one is required to begin the Dark Brotherhood series of quests, regardless of whether the Dragonborn joins the Brotherhood or decides to destroy it instead.

Combat and posthumous eventsEdit

While it is possible to assassinate her without being detected, the children enter the room and celebrate regardless. Constance will panic, even if the assassin is undetected, or even if (through the use of a Fury spell) she did the deed herself. No bounty is gained, however. Constance will remain agitated and demand that the Dragonborn leave immediately. After the player reports back to Aretino, guards all over Skyrim will comment about it. Guards in the Rift and Riften will mention that they saw the Dragonborn coming out of there, though he/she is never charged with the crime.

After Grelod is killed, the children in the orphanage all express respect for the Dark Brotherhood, as well as admiration for Aventus Aretino, for carrying out his promise. After Grelod's death, a coffin labeled "Grelod The Kind's Coffin" appears in Riften's Hall of the Dead.

Notable lootEdit


  • Under the influence of the Fear spell, Grelod may on occasion flee outside through either door of the orphanage. If Edda, the beggar sitting at the market, happens to witness this, she will come to kill Grelod. If necessary, she will even path-find through the orphanage into the walled-off yard to do the deed.
  • It is rumored by one of the children, Francois Beaufort, that she is part Hagraven, though this may be due more to her cruelty than anything else.
  • After berating and threatening the children, she says: "Now what do you say?" The children are required to answer: "We love you Grelod, thank you for your kindness." This is an homage to Miss Hannigan, the cruel headmistress of the orphanage in the musical "Annie."
  • Because Grelod has two health points, it is possible to kill her with Telekinesis and an item.
  • There is a room beside the beds that has three pairs of shackles in the walls.
  • Guards in any hold except the Rift will comment that "those poor children must be heartbroken." Guards in the Rift will, however, state that the children are "better off."


This section contains bugs related to Grelod the Kind. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person-anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  PC   360   PS3  Performing a power attack on her whilst she is sitting may make her fall through the floor.
  •  PC   If she is caught in a full-power Unrelenting Force Shout, she may fall through the floor, and her corpse may resurface where she was talking to the orphans.
  •  360   Using the spell Firebolt on Grelod while behind her will send her across to the next room but sometimes she will continue to have dialog like "I yield!" This doesn't seem to affect anything as it will say that you killed her and the children rejoice. Has only been tested on 360.



Start a Discussion Discussions about Grelod the Kind

  • epic Grelod the kind kill

    99 messages
    • All these creative methods for killing her! I just punched her in the back of the head.  Literally, I just walked into the orphanage, saw ...
    • Have you guys heard of the Deadly Mutilation mod? If you haven't, you should get it. I had the mod installed, and I used the fire storm spell...
  • Grelod the kind kill

    3 messages
    • Grelod has so little health pretty much anything can kill her a blow with a mace is almost overkill.
    • On my Nord mage, I killed her with Telekinesis and a dirty wood bowl. For my Altmer mage, I think I'll leave Calder outside and have my D...

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