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Hold Guard (Skyrim)

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"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 controlled Holds have female guards.

Level

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.

Guards

Falkreath Hold Guard

Falkreath Guard

A Falkreath Hold guard.

These guards patrol Falkreath and Falkreath Hold.

They wear the dark blue 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 scaled 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 and are named "Ivarstead Guard". 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.

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

ImperialLightArmor NPC

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 then 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.

Bounties

Main article: Bounty (Skyrim)

Bounties in each hold are treated separately. For example, if 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

Gallery

Trivia

  • 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.

Bugs

Appearances

Start a Discussion Discussions about Hold Guard (Skyrim)

  • False wiki

    2 messages
    • The Story about not being affected by fear, fury, or calm is total bull. I have the skills that increase illusion power an fury works just fi...
    • Correct it, then.
  • Favorite Hold Guard Quotes?

    264 messages
    • 2.217.27.164 wrote:Rukathesoldier wrote:2.217.27.164 wrote:Watch the skies travellerI originaly thought it was just about the dragons, but I ...
    • BlackDragon666 wrote:"Why the Elven blade, is Nord steel not good enough for you"  this is amusing if your playing one of the elven races "C...

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