Elder Scrolls

Hold Guard

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A Whiterun hold guard

For other uses, see City Guards.
"You have committed crimes against Skyrim and her people, what say you in your defense?"
―Hold Guard[src]


Every Hold in Skyrim has its own Guard. These guards protect the capital cities of each hold, and any other settlements within.

All hold guards wear similar armor sets; differences are just the color of the sash and material of the undershirt used, either scaled or quilted. They also wear the same type of helmet, however the colors vary depending on the hold. Hold guards also carry a round wooden shield which varies in color and typically displays the symbol of the hold across the front.

Hold guards can be permanently replaced by either Imperial or Stormcloak soldiers during the Civil War, depending on which side the Dragonborn joins. They will perform the same duties and have the same dialogue (although they may also have additional faction-based dialogue) as regular guards. The victorious faction will keep their guards. However, those that are not loyal will be replaced.

The guards are led by a captain and local Imperial Legate or Stormcloak Commander who reports to the local Jarl. Their duty is to uphold peace and order throughout the city and the hold, as well as ensuring justice is upheld in the event of a crime. Additionally, they are the last line of defense of their city in the event of assault or invasion.

Only Stormcloak-affiliated Holds have female guards.


Hold Guards level with the Dragonborn until level 50. This means that at level 50+, the Hold Guards are rather powerful, and have no problem fighting even a dragon.


Falkreath Hold Guard

Falkreath Guard

A Falkreath Hold guard.

These guards patrol Falkreath and Falkreath Hold.

They wear the indigo version of the guard armor. This armor is a leather scaled vest with a chainmail shirt underneath. In addition, they wear fur boots.

These guards carry a round, blue, wooden shield with a painted motif of a stag's head on it.

During the course of the civil war, the Stormcloaks may occupy Falkreath and replace these guards.

Hjaalmarch Hold Guard

Hjaalmarch Guard

A Hjaalmarch guard.

These guards patrol Hjaalmarch and Morthal

They wear a pale green version of the guard armor. The armor is a quilted vest with a chainmail shirt underneath. In addition, they also wear fur boots.

The guards also carry a round, green and gray wooden shield with a painted spiral motif.

During the course of the civil war, the Stormcloaks may occupy Morthal and replace these guards.

The Reach Guard

The Reach Guard

A Reach guard.

These guards patrol The Reach and Markarth.

They wear the green cloth version of the guard armor. The armor is a quilted vest with a bronze chainmail shirt underneath. In addition, they also wear fur gauntlets and fur boots.

The guards also carry a round, green, wooden shield with a painted motif of a stylized ram's head.

During the course of the civil war, the Stormcloaks may occupy Markarth and replace these guards, although the one guarding Soljund's Sinkhole will remain a Reach Hold Guard.

The Pale Guard

The Pale Guard

A Pale guard.

These guards patrol The Pale and Dawnstar.

They wear a pale, cream cloth version of the guard armor. The armor is a quilted vest with a bronze chainmail shirt underneath. In addition, they also wear fur gauntlets and fur boots.

The guards also carry a round, gray, wooden shield with a painted motif of a four point star.

During the course of the civil war, the Imperial Legion or Stormcloaks may occupy Dawnstar and replace these guards, despite Dawnstar's Jarl Skald siding with the Stormcloaks.

The Rift Guard

The Rift Guard

A Rift guard.

These guards patrol The Rift and Riften.

They wear a purple cloth version of the guard armor. The armor is a scaled vest with a bronze chainmail shirt underneath. In addition, they also wear fur boots.

The guards also carry a round, lavender, wooden shield with a painted motif of two crossed swords.

Ivarstead and Shor's Stone are a part of The Rift, but their guards are slightly different than other rural guards, and are named "Ivarstead Guard" and "Shor's Stone Guard" respectively. The Armor, Helmet and Shield will still be considered as Riften Armor however.

During the course of the civil war, the Imperial Legion may occupy Riften and replace these guards.

Haafingar Guard

Solitude Guard

A Haafingar guard.

These guards patrol Haafingar and Solitude.

They wear a red cloth version of the guard armor. The armor is a scaled vest with a chainmail shirt underneath. Also it should be noted that Haafingar Hold Guards' helmets are dark brown on the crown, rather than the bronze color that is on every other "guard" helmet in the game. In addition, as Solitude is the Capital of Skyrim and under Imperial Legion control, the guards also wear Imperial bracers and Imperial boots.

The guards also carry a round, red, wooden shield with a painted motif of a wolf.

The guards around Castle Dour are Imperial soldiers and wear full Imperial Armor, though they are still named Solitude Guard.

During the course of the civil war, the Stormcloaks may occupy Solitude and replace these guards.

Whiterun Guard

Whiterun Hold Guard Skyrim

A Whiterun guard.

These guards are possibly the most well known hold guards in Skyrim and the first/closest to often be found in the game, they patrol Whiterun Hold and Whiterun. Commander Caius serves as commander of the Whiterun Guard.

They wear a yellow cloth version of the guard armor. The armor is a scaled vest with a chainmail shirt underneath. In addition, they wear fur boots, but most guards wear no gauntlets.

The guards also carry a round, yellow, wooden shield with a painted motif of a horse's head.

During the course of the civil war, the Stormcloaks may occupy Whiterun and replace these guards. Commander Caius will also be removed from his post and replaced with Sinmir. The detachment of guards that was sent to Riverwood during Dragon Rising will remain, unless Battle for Whiterun is completed beforehand.

Eastmarch Hold Guard

Eastmarch Hold Guard Skyrim

An Eastmarch guard.

These guards patrol Eastmarch and Windhelm. They are Stormcloak soldiers and share their speech options.

They wear a blue cloth Stormcloak uniform. The armor is a quilted vest with a chainmail shirt underneath. In addition, they also wear Fur Gauntlets and Fur Boots.

The guards also carry a round, blue, wooden shield with a painted motif of a bear's head.

During the course of the civil war, the Imperial Legion may occupy Windhelm and replace these guards.

Winterhold Guard

Winterhold Guard

A Winterhold guard.

Only two guards patrol the city of Winterhold at any one time, while a third is in the Jarl's Longhouse. Only one additional Winterhold Hold guard can be found elsewhere in the hold at the Whistling Mine, located to the south-east of Winterhold proper. This guard is the holder of the only known Winterhold guard shield.

They wear a white cloth version of the guard armor. The armor is a scaled vest with a chainmail shirt underneath. In addition, they also wear Fur Boots.

During the course of the civil war, the Imperial Legion may occupy Winterhold and replace these guards.

Imperial Guard

TESV ImperialGuard

An Imperial guard.

These guards patrol Holds and Hold capitals that were previously allied to the Stormcloaks. They are Imperial soldiers and share their speech options.

They wear full Imperial light armor, and are the only guards who wear a completely different type of armor than the rest of the guards. They also carry an Imperial shield, which is standard for all Imperial soldiers.

They only appear if the Dragonborn sided with the Empire during the civil war.

Stormcloak Guard

Eastmarch Hold Guard Skyrim

A Stormcloak guard.

These guards patrol Holds and Hold capitals that were previously allied to the Empire. They are Stormcloak soldiers and share their speech options.

They wear a blue cloth Stormcloak uniform. The armor is a quilted vest with a chainmail shirt underneath. In addition, they also wear Fur Gauntlets and Fur Boots.

They also carry a round, blue, wooden shield with a painted motif of a bear's head. This was, and is only prevalent in Eastmarch, as the guards posted at other holds can wield hide, iron or steel shields or use two-handed weaponry.

They only appear as guards outside of Eastmarch if the Dragonborn sided with the Stormcloaks during the civil war.


Main article: Bounty (Skyrim)

Bounties in each hold are treated separately. For example, if the Dragonborn obtains a bounty in Whiterun, guards in neighboring hold Falkreath will not recognize it. If the Dragonborn's bounty reaches a certain level, guards will attack them on sight.

Normally, all guards can be bribed if the Dragonborn is a member of the Thieves Guild (with the exception of the guards of Markarth after the completion of The Forsworn Conspiracy, and No One Escapes Cidhna Mine). These guards will not accept bribes and the Dragonborn has no choice but to fight or go to jail, and after selecting the latter the guard will have dialogue options. Cancel out the conversation and the guard will ignore the Dragonborn.

It is possible to kill guards without gaining a bounty, as long as one is sneaking. Slain guards will respawn three days after their death. They can also be killed if they are hit by an unrelenting force shout and pushed off a cliff, or sometimes even down the stairs. The Dragonborn does not get a bounty unless he/she has shouted at quite a few guards beforehand.

Guard dialogue


  • "I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow in the knee...."
  • "The guards have been talking about you."
  • "Go fiddling with any locks around here and we're going to have a real big problem."
  • "Let me guess, someone stole your sweetroll."
  • "Gotta keep my eyes open. Damn dragons could swoop down at any time."
  • "My cousin is out fighting dragons, and what do I get? Guard duty."
  • "I can handle the occasional drunk or bandit. I don't know about dragons."
  • "Disrespect the law, and you disrespect me."
  • "Watch the skies, traveler."
  • "No lollygaggin'."
  • "They say Ulfric Stormcloak murdered the High King... with his voice! Shouted him apart!"
  • "I'd be a lot warmer and a lot happier with a bellyful of mead."
  • "Got me thinking... maybe I'm the Dragonborn! And I just don't know it yet!"
  • "I have to wonder, what does the Dragonborn do once he's been summoned by the Greybeards? Can the Thu'um be taught, like any skill?"
  • "Seen those warriors from Hammerfell? They've got curved swords. Curved. Swords."
  • "I mostly deal with petty thievery and drunken brawls. Been too long since we've had a good bandit raid."
  • "What is it?"
  • "Trouble?"
  • "What is it? Dragons?"
  • "Fancy yourself an alchemist, hmm?...never could get the hang of that."
  • "Staying safe, I hope."
  • "Fear not. Come dragon or giant, we'll be ready."
  • "Citizen."
  • "Everything all right?"
  • "What do you need?"

Race specific


  • "Stay out of trouble, Argonian."
  • "What is it, Argonian?"
  • "Stay out of trouble, lizard."


  • "Watch it elf."
  • "What is it, Elf?"
  • "What do you want, little elf?"
  • "Stay out of trouble, Elf."


  • "Stay out of trouble, Imperial."
  • "What is it, Imperial?"


  • "What do you want... Cat?"
  • "Stay out of trouble, Khajiit."
  • "What is it, Khajiit?"
  • Fists raised; "Sheathe those claws, Khajiit."


  • "How can I help a brother/sister nord?"
  • "Trouble, kinsman?"
  • "Staying out of trouble, kinsman?"
  • "Kinsman."


  • "What is it, Orc?"
  • "Stay out of trouble, Orc."


  • "What is it, Redguard?"
  • "Stay out of trouble, Redguard"


(Note: This dialogue can only be heard if the Dawnguard add-on isn't installed, causing the guards to be hostile to a stage four vampire)

  • "Die, Vampire!"
  • "You brought this on yourself!"
  • "Foul blood drinker!"
  • "Vampire! Burn it!"
  • "Vampire! To arms!"


  • "Werewolf!"
  • "It's a werewolf! To arms! To arms!"

The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard

  • "They say that if a vampire so much as scratches you, you'll turn into one. That better not be true."
  • "Dragons breathing fire in the sky. Vampires brazenly attacking people on the street. It's the end of the world I tell you."
  • "We need to do something about these vampire attacks."
  • "These vampires are becoming a real menace."
  • As a vampire: "Don't like those eyes you got. They've got a bad hunger to them."
  • "Heard they're reforming the Dawnguard. Vampire hunters or something, in the old fort near Riften. Might consider joining up myself."
  • "They say that vampires attacked the Hall of the Vigilant. Burned it to the ground! Never heard of vampires doing anything like that before."


  • A Dragon slaying is witnessed by a guard; "By the gods, I don't know what to say."
  • When armed with magic near a guard; "Go cast your fancy magic somewhere else."
  • When armed with fire-based magic or enchanted weapons near a guard; "Take care with those flames!" or "Careful with that fire!"
  • Charging a magic spell or shouting near a guard; "Woah, woah, woah, watch the magic!"
  • Approaching a guard with raised fists; "You come up to me, fists raised? You looking for a beating?"
  • Speaking to Stormcloak Guard; " The Imperials think us all lawless beasts. I'm proof of their ignorance." "The Imperials think we need their laws. Pfft."
  • Speaking to Guard while not sleeping for long time; "You look tired, friend. The <Inn name> has beds for rent."
  • If approached with any weapon drawn; "Guard might get nervous, a man/woman approaches with his/her weapon drawn."
  • If first approached outside of Solitude; "You're just in time to say hello to Roggvir."
  • If the Dragonborn is naked; "Gonna get cold tonight. Might want to at least cover your delicates."
  • If approached during nighttime; "Bit late to be wanderin' around, isn't it?"
  • If approached at around 12 am to 4 am; "Just a few more hours and I crawl under some furs..."


  • Alchemy is at a low level; "So you know alchemy? Maybe you could make me some mead."
  • Alchemy is at a high level; "Hey! You mix potions, right? Can you brew me an ale?"
  • Archery is at a low level; "Keep your arrows in their quiver, archer."
  • Archery is at a high level; "Favor the bow eh? I'm a sword man myself."
  • Conjuration is at a low level; "Hail summoner, conjure me up a warm bed, won't you?"
  • Block is at a high level;"Best offense is a good defense, am I right?"
  • Destruction is at a low level; "So you can cast a few spells, am I supposed to be impressed?"
  • Destruction is at a high level; "Destruction magic's fine, just don't go burning down any buildings."
  • Enchanting is at a high level; "Don't suppose you'd enchant my sword? Dull old blade can barely cut butter."
  • Illusion is at a high level; "You're the one who casts those illusions. Impressive."
  • Light Armor is at a low level; "Lightly armored means light on your feet. Smart."
  • Lockpicking is at a high level; "Go fiddling with any locks around here, and we're going to have a real problem."
  • One-Handed is at a high level; "You're like me, eh? Don't fancy those clunky Two-Handed weapons."
    • Note: Guards who wield two-handed weapons can also say this. This is especially true in holds occupied by the Stormcloaks, as Stormcloak guards do not usually carry shields.
  • Pickpocket is at a high level; "I find your hand in my pocket, I'm going to cut it off."
  • Restoration is at a high level; "I've got a lot of respect for the Restoration School. Skyrim could use more healers."
  • Speech is at a low level; "Don't think you can barter with me like I'm one of those damned shopkeepers."
  • Speech is at a high level; "Heard about you and your honeyed words."
  • Sneak is at a high level; "Hands to yourself, sneak thief."
  • Sneak is at a high level; "I know your kind, always sneaking about."
  • Two-Handed is at a high level; "The Gods gave you two hands, and you use them both for your weapon... I can respect that."

As Thane

  • "I hope you're finding the city in proper order, thane."
  • "I trust the day's found you well, thane."
  • "How do you do, thane?"

Quest result

  1. Upon completing the Missing in Action quest; "I wonder what it's like for those Thalmor, now that they've been taken down a notch." "From what I hear, you're the one who gave those Thalmor a black eye. You really know how to pick your enemies."
  2. After completing Unbound"Helgen...destroyed by a dragon. Hard to believe isn't it?" "They say Helgen got hit by a dragon. One of those horrors come here, we'll be ready."
  3. Upon completing Dragon Rising; "You couldn't possibly be the Dragonborn of legend, could you?"
  4. After completing The Way of The Voice"Come to think of it, maybe I'm the Dragonborn. I just didn't know it yet."
  5. After completing A Cornered Rat, if Gissur and the Thalmor Agents are killed; "There was a fight down in the Ratway, but reports are... sketchy. Some say it was Thalmor Agents, others say Thieves Guild. Some say it was both.
  6. After having first turned into werewolf and returning; "Ugh, have you been tending your hounds? You smell like a wet dog."
  7. After becoming werewolf; "I find your wolfish grin... unsettling."
  8. After becoming werewolf; "Is that... fur? Coming out of your ears?"
  9. After becoming werewolf and talk to Whiterun Guard; "I'm telling you I heard it, howling. Those werewolf tales are true."
  10. After joining Companions; "Now I remember... you're that new member of the companions. So you, what... fetch the mead?"
  11. After joining Companions; "Hail, Companion."
  12. After joining Companions, becoming werewolf: " With respect, Companion. I'd ask that you and your friends muzzle that dog of yours. The howling coming from Jorrvaskr has gotten out of hand."
  13. After completing Dragon Rising, in a Hold other than Whiterun; "If those Whiterun guards can take down a dragon, so can we."
  14. If a member of the College of Winterhold; "You're that one from the college. Heard about you."
  15. Upon completing Under Saarthal quest; "What business do college mages have in a place like Saarthal anyway? It's a place for Nord dead... not your weird experiments."
  16. Upon completing Containment quest; "Imagine... blowing up an entire town. Damn college. Winterhold will never be the same."
  17. After completing Under Saarthal; "One of the guards claimed he saw a mage appear out of thin air, said it was one of those Psijjic monks. Man's been hitting the skooma I say."
  18. Upon completing The Fallen quest; "Releasing a captured dragon? I don't think I'll ever understand that one."
  19. Upon completing Innocence Lost, in Riften; "If you ask me I think that those brats in the orphanage are better off now that Grelod is dead."
  20. Upon completing Innocence Lost and meet Riften Guard; "The old lady who ran the orphanage has been murdered. Say, didn't I see you walking out of there?"
  21. During "The Fallen" before releasing Odahviing; "I got a glimpse of that dragon. It's beautiful... in its own way."
  22. If a member of Dark Brotherhood; "Psst... Hey. I know who you are. Hail Sithis."
  23. If a member of the Dark Brotherhood; "Now, I know who you are. And...I know of your business. Just please, these are good folk we got here. Mostly."
  24. If a member of the Dark Brotherhood; "It ain't true what they say about you and...and the Dark Brotherhood. Is it?"
  25. After completing Hail Sithis; "The Emperor of Skyrim. Dead. These are dark times my friend, dark times indeed."
  26. Upon completing Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!; "You know, I could have gone into that Sanctuary, wiped out all those Dark Brotherhood types, but I was... sick that day."
  27. Upon completing Blood's Honor, if all the Glenmoril Witches are dead; "Well if it isn't the slayer of Glenmoril Witches. How can I assist you, Companion?"
  28. After completing Blood's Honor; "Kodlak Whitemane is in a better place now. For is there no better place than Sovngarde?"
  29. If Alduin was killed; "Yes, Dovahkiin? How can I help you?"
  30. If Alduin was killed; "Whatever you need Dragonborn, just say the word."
  31. If Alduin was killed; "You have vanquished a great evil from Skyrim. You saved us all and our very souls."
  32. After completing Dragonslayer; "No matter what else happens, guards will always be grateful for everything you've done."
  33. If Sinding was allowed to live in Ill Met by Moonlight, only said by Falkreath Guards; "I know you had something to do with Sinding's escape, don't deny it."
  34. If a member of the Bards College"What do you need, Bard?"
  35. Upon completing The Taste of Death"Ugh, your breath smells foul! What have you been eating?"
  36. Upon completing A Blade in the Dark; "For a dragon to attack Kynsegrove...Why? Why there? Is no place safe?"


  • Carrying The Black Star; "By Shor, is that... is that Azura's Star? How did you come to possess such a rare treasure?"
  • Carrying Azura's Star; "You wield... Azura's Star? How... how can such a thing be possible?"
  • Carrying Spellbreaker; "That's a fine shield you have there. Dwarven isn't it?"
  • Carrying Spellbreaker; "Ah, now that's a fine shield. And not mere Dwarven, is it?"
  • Wielding Mace of Molag Bal; "That mace... get it away from me! Get it away!"
  • Wielding Mace of Molag Bal; "No! Get that accursed mace away from me!"
  • Wielding Mehrunes' Razor; *whistles* "Who did you have to kill to get that blade?"
  • Wearing Iron Armor; "Iron armor, heh... now that's true Nordic armor."
  • Wearing Banded Iron Armor; "You wear the armor of a mercenary. Now that's the life." 
  • Wearing Dragonbone/Dragonscale Armor; *whistles* "Is your armor...made of dragon bones/scales? By the Gods, what I wouldn't do for a set of that."
  • Wearing Dwarven Armor; "That's some fine armor you have there. Dwarven made, am I right?"
  • Wearing Steel Armor; "Aye, now that some fine armor. Good old-fashioned steel."
  • Wearing Steel Plate Armor; "Ah, steel plate! Now, that's a solid choice of armor."
  • Wearing Orcish Armor; "Orcish armor, huh. Had me a set of that once, ugly and strong like those that forged it."
  • Wearing Wolf Armor; "You wear the garb of a true nord. I salute you."
  • Wearing Ebony Armor; "Ebony armor, By Ysmir, it is a wonderous sight."
  • Wearing Thieves Guild Armor; "I know Thieves' Guild armor when I see it. You're not fooling anyone."
  • Wearing Thieves Guild Armor; "Try to hide it all you want. I know you're in the Thieves' Guild... and so do the other guards."
  • Wearing Ancient Nord Armor; "Ugh, that armor stinks of death. Have you been grave robbing?"
  • Wielding Volendrung; *whistles* "That is one big hammer."
  • Wielding Volendrung; "What do you plan to do with that hammer, knock down a house?"
  • Wielding the Rueful Axe; "'That is a wicked axe you wield there, friend. That blade looks sharp enough to cut through a god."
  • Wielding Aegisbane in Windhelm; "Ah, Aegisbane. Sigil of Clan Shatter-Shield. But didn't that get stolen awhile back? Hmph. Must be rememberin' wrong."
  • Wielding Aegisbane in Windhelm; "That hammer... Why that's Aegisbane, heirloom of Clan Shatter-Shield! Last I heard, it was stolen by a couple of swindlers. Alain and... Muiri. Yeah."
  • Wearing Stormcloak uniform (Imperial guards);
    • "What do you think you're doing, walking around dressed like a damn Stormcloak traitor?"
    • "That Stormcloak armor's getting on my nerves."
  • Wearing Imperial uniform (Stormcloak guards);
    • "You've got a lot of nerve, walking around here dressed like an Imperial Legionnaire."
    • "For your sake, I hope you took that armor from a dead Imperial scout."
    • "You talk to me wearing Imperial armor? You got stew for brains?"
  • Wearing Imperial uniform (Imperial guards);
    • "Judging by your armor, I'd say you're an Imperial scout. If so, well met."
    • "That's some fine Imperial armor you got there."
  • Wearing Stormcloak uniform (Stormcloak guards); "You wear that Stormcloak armor well, friend."
  • Wearing Stormcloak Officer Armor (Stormcloak guards); "You wear the armor of the bear, friend. A fine choice."
  • Wearing Stormcloak Officer Armor (Imperial guards); "You dare strut around here, wearing that filthy Stormcloak hide?"
  • If an Ebony Sword is equipped; "Aye, now that's a beautiful sword, like a sliver of midnight."
  • If an Elven Sword is equipped; "Why the Elven blade? Good old Nord steel not good enough for you?"
  • If an Iron Sword is equipped;
    • "That iron sword looks undependable. You should try steel."
    • "Iron sword, huh? What are you killing, butterflies?"
    • "Pigsticker like that's not going to get you far. Best visit the blacksmith."
  • If a Steel Sword is equipped; "Favor a steel sword, do ya? Good choice for slashing or stabbing."
  • If Scale armor is worn; "That's some fine scale armor you got there. Shiny."
  • If Hide armor is worn; "Some advice, friend. That armor won't offer much protection in a real fight."


  1. If witnessed by a citizen; "You have committed crimes against Skyrim and her people, what say you in your defense?"
  2. If witnessed by guard; "By order of the Jarl, stop right there."
  3. If the bounty was paid off; "Smart man/woman. Now come along with me. We'll take any stolen goods you're carrying and you'll be free to go. After you pay the fine, of course."
  4. If it was chosen to go to jail; "You're going to rot in (closest named jail)."
  5. If arrest was resisted; "Then pay with your blood!"
  6. If of a high enough disposition; "If you have the gold, I will make all your problems disappear."
  7. If a member of the Thieves Guild and bribed; "Done. Now move along, before you get me in trouble."
  8. If with a medium or high bounty and having returned to the hold; "In the name of the Jarl, I order you to hold fast!"
  9. If with a low bounty and having returned to the hold; "Wait... I know you."
  10. If commented that he/she is mistaken; "There's no mistake. You're a wanted man/woman and it's time to pay for your crimes."
  11. If persuaded; "You know what? You're not worth the hassle. Go... be some other guard's problem."
  12. If persuaded; "Well... Your bounty is low... Alright, get out of my sight. But you're known to me now, scum. Remember that."
  13. If a Thane and persuaded; "Oh, forgive me, Thane. I didn't realize it was you. We'll look the other way this time, but even the Jarl's influence has its limits. Be more careful."
  14. If bribed; "I'll look the other way, this time. You still have a bounty, so keep quiet or we'll have to go through this dance again."


  • Shouting near guard;
    • "It is the power of old! The Voice of the Dragonborn!"
    • "The Thu'um, he/she summons the Thu'um."
    • "I need to ask you to stop. That... Shouting... it's making people nervous."
      • Choosing to agree; "Good, glad we straightened that out."
      • Choosing to disagree; "Can't say I've heard any laws against... Whatever it is you're doing. But I'll lock you up if I have to."



  • "Old lady Frida is a grouch, but she sure can whip up a cure for the Rattles fast."
  • "You should talk to Rustleif. Get some proper steel."
  • Before completing Waking Nightmare; "The people here are still plagued with nightmares. It's... unnatural"
  • After completing Waking Nightmare; "No more nightmares. Thank the gods for that."
  • "We won't give up this port to the Imperials without a fight, don't you worry."
  • "Dangerous post, Dawnstar. If the bandits don't get you, the animals will."


  • "I grew up hearing songs about Eyldi the Bear! She wrestled a storm out of the sky!"
  • After completing Ill Met by Moonlight"You... you were talking to that murderous savage. And then he escaped. What are you hiding?"
  • After completing Ill Met by Moonlight; "I know you had some part in Sinding's escape. Don't deny it..."


  • "This is Markarth, traveller. Safest city in the Reach."
  • "By Shor, you're hauling around a lot of junk. Best stop in at the Arnleif and Sons Trading Company, sell it off."
  • "Caught a case of Rockjoint, once. Bothela at The Hag's Cure fixed me right up."
  • "Ah, Vlindrel Hall's a fine home, if you can afford it. The steward in the keep can tell you more."
  • "Can't believe I'm posted here. Even the beds are made of stone."
  • "Outsiders aren't trusted in Markarth. Best keep that in mind."
  • "Let me guess - you need a drink. It's the Silver-Blood Inn you're looking for."
  • "You should see that Orc over in Understone Keep, have him forge you some new armor..."
  • "Break the law in Markarth, and it's off to Cidhna Mine with you."
  • "Gods damn those Forsworn. So many dead..."
  • When under Stormcloak control; "The Empire didn't think we could take the Reach, but here we are."


  • After completing Laid to Rest"Thanks for clearing out that vampire nest. You saved Morthal."


  • "Solitude is as glorious as they said it was. Nothing like Falkreath where I grew up."
  • "You can sell off that junk at Bits and Pieces."
  • "If it's arms or armor you need, see Beirand in Castle Dour. Bloody good blacksmith, that one."
  • "If you need potions, head over to Angeline's Aromatics."
  • "The road to Whiterun's not safe these days. Lots of travelers just... disappear, south of Dragon Bridge. Can't find a trace of them."
  • After completing Bound Until Death"Look, that Vici woman had a bodyguard. I know it's terrible she got murdered at her own wedding, but the city guard is hardly to blame..."
  • After completing "Tending the Flames": "You're the one saved the Fire Festival. I remember."
  • Before purchasing Proudspire Manor"Proudspire Manor, now there's a fine home. Up for sale, too. If you're intrested, talk to the steward, in the keep."
  • "The Winking Skeever's got warm beds and cold mead. You look like you could use both."
  • "I don't abide fancy clothes, but you look like you might. I hear Radiant Raiments has a large selection."


  • "Riften's under my protection. You watch yourself, now."
  • "There's an apothecary in town, yeah. But it's down on the lower walkway, so stay sharp if you go down there."
  • "City's quiet enough now. But when the sun goes down, you best keep on your guard."'
  • "Seeing how Riften is home to the Thieves Guild, maybe we can work something out if you have trouble with the law. For the right price."
  • "You could say the Ratway is the city under the city. Dark, dangerous, and no place for decent folk."
  • "If it's a bed you need, talk to Keerava in The Bee and Barb. She'll set you right."
  • "Need a drink, you go to the Bee and Barb. Stay out of the Ragged Flagon, stay out of the Ratway."
  • "There's fine steel at the Scorched Hammer, if you fancy a new blade."
  • When under Imperial control; "Why we bothered to capture Riften, I'll never understand. Just look at this place."
  • When under Imperial control; "Seems like capturing Riften is turning out to be more of a hassle than a benefit. But what do I know?"
  • When under Imperial control; "Now that the Empire's arrived in Riften we've finally established a launching point into Morrowind... just in case."


  • "You look tired, friend. The Bannered Mare has beds for rent."
  • "Need a blade? You should talk to Adrianne, at the forge."
  • "Need supplies? See Belethor at his store. Sleazy little man, but he has good stock."
  • "If you need potions, you should try Arcadia's Cauldron."
  • After completing Dragon Rising"I worry about the other settlements in the hold. Unwalled, lightly manned - prime targets for those damned dragons."
  • After completing Dragon Rising; "Be glad you're here in the city, and not out in Riverwood. Those poor sods don't even have a wall."
  • After completing Dragon Rising;"Rorikstead's a nice little hamlet, but a boring posting for a guard. If a dragon attacks, well... then it'll be a different story."
  • Before purchasing Breezehome"Thinking of settling in? There's a home for sale - Breezehome. You should talk to the steward up in the keep if you're interested."
  • After purchasing Breezehome; "You're that one lives in Breezehome, right? Fine place. Almost bought it myself."
  • "Stormcloaks, Imperials, Dragons. Ain't matter to me what I kill. Let them come."
  • "Cause trouble in Whiterun, and I'll haul you into the Dragonsreach Dungeon myself."


  • If the Dragonborn has a disease"By the gods, you're diseased. Get yourself to the White Phial and purchase a remedy, before you infect us all."
  • "If you need an apothecary, the White Phial has respectable stock."
  • After completing The White Phial"With Nurelion gone, I suppose Quintus has taken over business in the White Phial."
  • After completing Blood on the Ice; "I was this close to catching that killer. I swear it."
  • "The Dunmer get their drinks at the New Gnisis Cornerclub. Why they can't just call it a tavern is beyond me..."
  • "If it's bed or board you're after, Candlehearth Hall's got both."
  • "You should unload some of that unwanted gear. Head over to Sadri's Used Wares, talk to the Elf."
  • "Stay away from the Aretino Residence. The place is cursed."
  • "My heart goes out to Clan Shatter-Shield....Kin murdered, family warhammer stolen... there's no fairness in that."
  • "We got a nickname for anyone who trifles with us guards here in Windhelm - Suicide."


  • "Hard to believe I ever complained about Riften being cold..."
  • "Winterhold belongs to Skyrim, not the Imperials or the Mages."
  • "Keep clear of the College, and keep yourself out of trouble."
  • "If you're here for sight-seeing, well then you've seen the sights. Might as well head somewhere warmer."
  • "Take care if you're venturing too far from town. That's a bitter wind coming off the Sea of Ghosts."

Provides location

These dialogues are specific to certain areas. The world map will update upon hearing any of these.

  • Dawnstar
    • "Beware of Frostmere Crypt, friend. Heard some bandits are living in the ruins now."
    • "Giants have been spotted up near Red Road Pass. Best to keep away and avoid it entirely."
  • Markarth
  • Riften
  • ​Solitude
    • "Pinemoon Cave is down to the southwest, but it ain't fit for exploring. There are stories... Vampires, some say..."
    • "Off the coast a ways to the east, you'll find the wreck of the Brinehammer. Never know what treasures may still be aboard."
    • "You heard of Ravenscar Hollow? Cave on the island to the west. Place is a roost for those foul Hagravens."
  • Windhelm
    • "Across the river to the northeast lies Yngol Barrow. Steer clear of that foul place, lest the walking dead claim you as their own."
    • "You hear the news? There's a dragon roosting up on Mount Anthor, to the northwest."
    • "Maybe you've seen masts sticking out of the water to the northeast? That would be the wreck of the Winter War. Fine vessel, back in its day."
    • "The Eye of Talos was a fine ship, once. Now it lies wrecked off an island just north of here."
    • "I've no problem with Orcs. But that stronghold they've got in the southeast? Narzulbur? It's an affront to my people."
    • "South of here, and west of the road, lies Cronvangr Cave. Stay away from that cursed place, and the vampires that call it home."
    • "Tell me you've seen them. Those... things. Small and evil, like something out of a nightmare. They come from Stillborn Cave, to the north. I know it."
  • Whiterun
    • ​"Take care if you cross the river to the east. Old Hajvarr Iron-Hand and his briggans are hold up in that cave White River Watch."
    • "Looking to do some hunting? Avoid Brittleshin Pass. Its southeast of here." 
    • "The circle of stones to the southwest? That's Secunda's Kiss. The Giants hold it sacred, so tread carefully."
    • "If you're headed east, steer clear of Hillgrund's Tomb. Thing about those old crypts, the dead having trouble staying that way."
    • "You know, I saw something near Shimmermist Cave to the northeast. Some kind of creature, small and wicked. Never seen its like before."
    • "Yesterday, I saw a dragon fly right over the city. Headed northeast. Towards Shearpoint, by the looks of it. "



  • All guards encountered during the quest No One Escapes Cidhna Mine cannot be bribed, persuaded or intimidated. The chosen option(s) will always fail no matter how high the Dragonborn's Speech skill level is and the only viable course of action is to engage in combat or give in to the arrest.
  • Sometimes if Guards see a dead body and the Dragonborn happens to be next to it, they will ask if they know about it. A bad choice of dialogue options can lead the Guards to throw the Dragonborn in jail if they refuse to co-operate.
  • Guards are not fooled by the invisibility spell when attempting an arrest.
  • Guards are not affected by either Calm, Fury, or Fear spells even if they are master-leveled. They are, however, affected by Courage spells.
  • Guards saying "Let me guess, someone stole your sweetroll" is a reference to several other Bethesda games where the theft of a sweetroll is treated as an ongoing joke.
  • The arrow in the knee quote has become a popular internet meme, often associated with the Whiterun Guards despite it being said by any Guard.


This section contains bugs related to Hold Guard. 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.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Hold Guard

  • Ask a Hold Guard

    24 messages
    • Hey, where is Officer Jenkins?
    • *cough*accidently turns into were wolf an murders every non-essential chareter 
  • Madanach

    3 messages
    • That's interesting. I remember the rebels dying a lot when I sided with them. They may have chased him past the gates - I remember the Marka...
    • Oh no, I meant the smelter inside the city, almost like he came back in just to get killed.

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