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."
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.
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 Dragonborn 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 one will never be 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.
"What do you want? You have no business being in here!"
- The Dark Brotherhood has come for you. "The what? Why how dare you! I will not be intimidated in my own orphanage! Get out! Get out this instant!"
- Aventus Aretino says hello. "Aretino? Why that little bastard! You tell him I'm coming for him! And when I find him, it will be the beating of his miserable life!"
- (Remain silent) "What are you staring at, you worthless piece of gutter trash? I simply must start locking the doors again..."
Grelod "Those who shirk their duties will get an extra beating. Do I make myself clear?"
Samuel "Yes, Grelod."
Runa "Yes, Grelod."
Hroar "Yes, Grelod."
Francois "Yes, Grelod."
Grelod "And one more thing! I will hear no more talk of adoptions! None of you riff-raff is getting adopted. Nobody needs you, nobody wants you. That, my darlings, is why you're here. Why you'll always be here, until you come of age and get thrown into that wide, horrible world. Now, what do you all say?"
Samuel "We love you, Grelod. Thank you for your kindness."
Runa "We love you, Grelod. Thank you for your kindness."
Hroar "We love you, Grelod. Thank you for your kindness."
Francois "We love you, Grelod. Thank you for your kindness."
Grelod "That's better. Now scurry off, my little guttersnipes."
Constance "Yes, Grelod?"
- Grelod "Samuel is getting to be a problem. Fancies himself something of a 'leader' to the other children. Put an end to the nonsense, or I will."
- Grelod "We haven't had an adoption in months. At this rate, we'll be stuck with these brats forever. We need to get the word out. A sale, if need be."
- Grelod "Hroar's crying is keeping me up at night. I'll give you one chance to talk the tears out of him, or he's getting the belt."
- Grelod "I can't abide Samuel's constant talk of his parents. 'They're coming for me.' 'This is only temporary.' The boy must accept his fate."
- Grelod "Seven septims are missing from my purse. I know it was Runa. You get those coins back, or by Stendarr, I'll see her rot in the dungeon."
- Grelod "This place is filthy. I've a mind to cancel all town privileges unless those brats start pulling their weight."
- Grelod "The stores are running low. We'll need to water down the milk again. Besides, don't want the little darlings getting fat."
Constance "Okay, okay. I'll deal with it." or "Please, just let me deal with it. Its not a problem." or "I'll handle it. No need to blow things out of proportion." or "All right. I'll take care of it."
- "This is an orphanage, not an inn. Begone from here."
- "Riff-raff! That's all you Riften people are!"
- 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.
- 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."
- If the Fury spell is used on Constance Michel, resulting in Constance killing Grelod, it will not complete the objective as it was not the Dragonborn who killed her. This can prevent the Dragonborn from continuing along the Dark Brotherhood quest line.
- If one looks into the right-most room at the end of the children's bedroom, we find shackles in it, showing that Grelod the Kind used to shackel the poor orphans and torture them, thus justifing her assassination.
- During the quest "Innocence Lost", the player can simply walk into the Orphanage, walk up to Grelod during her speech to the children, and kill her in front of everyone. No bounty will be gained, nor will there be any consequences.
This section contains bugs related to Grelod the Kind. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- Performing a power attack on her whilst she is sitting may make her fall through the floor.
- Unrelenting Force Shout, she may fall through the floor, and her corpse may resurface where she was talking to the orphans. If she is caught in a full-power
- Firebolt on Grelod while behind her will send her across to the next room but sometimes Constance Michel (as evidenced by subtitles) will continue to have dialogue such as, "I yield." In the 360 version, this does not seem to affect anything, as it will say that the Dragonborn has killed her and the children rejoice. However, in the PC version, it causes Michel to be in an infinite fleeing loop, and the Dragonborn will have to reload to the auto save created upon entering the building. Using the spell