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Ralof

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Not to be confused with Halof.
Quotebg
"I think I killed more Imperials than you. I was counting!"
―Ralof[src]

Ralof, or Ralof of Riverwood, is a Nord member of the Stormcloak Rebellion hailing from Riverwood. During the opening sequence in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, he is a prisoner being escorted to his execution along with Ulfric Stormcloak, Lokir, and the Dragonborn

Background

He has a sister named Gerdur who runs the mill with her husband Hod in the village of Riverwood. Together, they own and operate the mill, which is focal to Riverwood's prosperity. Because of this, they are considered the town's leaders.

During the cart ride into Helgen during the opening cut-scene, Ralof mentions "being sweet on a girl" from there in the past, before the Civil War. He also reminisces about Vilod's mead with juniper berry mixed in, which can be found should the Dragonborn return to Helgen at a later date. 

It is likely that Hadvar and Ralof knew each other as children. They are from the same small village and their interactions during Unbound seem to imply they are at least familiar with each other.

Interactions

After the Dragonborn becomes settled in Riverwood, with Hod and Gerdur's house as a temporary place of stay, Ralof can be spoken to, further discussing subjects, such as the dragon that attacked, directions to Whiterun, and the Stormcloaks along with Ulfric Stormcloak. By further discussing the Stormcloaks, the Dragonborn has the option of being convinced to join the Stormcloaks, or considering the subject longer.

Unbound

Unbound

Alduin attacks Helgen.

A group of prisoners are being taken to Helgen. Upon arriving, guards begin calling the names of suspected Stormcloaks with the intent of executing them. However, Alduin attacks Helgen, and Ralof is able to escape. After reaching shelter, Ralof frees the Dragonborn from their bindings and asks for help against the Imperial soldiers. Later, the Dragonborn has the opportunity to rejoin Ralof and escape from Helgen.

Civil War

Joining the Stormcloaks

Joining the Stormcloaks can be obtained by following Ralof during Unbound. Upon entering with Ralof, the quest is automatically received after leaving the keep. The quest also can be activated either by going to Windhelm and talking to Ulfric Stormcloak or by talking to traveling farmers or Stormcloak soldiers.

If the Dragonborn chooses to side with the Stormcloaks during the civil war, Ralof is promoted to the rank of Captain and assists the Dragonborn in various missions for the Stormcloaks. Throughout these missions, Ralof uses a two-handed Steel Warhammer.

The Jagged Crown

The quest is given to the Dragonborn as their first task after joining their chosen faction. Returning to Windhelm or Solitude, the assigning officer directs them to Korvanjund to retrieve the legendary Jagged Crown.

Rescue from Fort Neugrad

Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak sends the Dragonborn to the Falkreath Stormcloak Camp to receive orders from Galmar Stone-Fist. Galmar says that he has learned that some of his men have been imprisoned in the nearby Fort Neugrad and has already sent out scouts to survey the area.

Conversations

Quest-related dialogue

Helgen

Ralof: "Hey, you. You're finally awake. You were trying to cross the border, right? Walked right into that Imperial ambush, same as us, and that thief over there."
Lokir: "Damn you Stormcloaks. Skyrim was fine until you came along. Empire was nice and lazy. If they hadn't been looking for you, I could've stolen that horse and been halfway to Hammerfell. You there... You and me, we shouldn't be here. It's these Stormcloaks the Empire wants."
Ralof: "We're all brothers and sisters in binds now, thief."
Imperial Soldier: "Shut up back there!"
Lokir: "And what's wrong with him, huh?"
Ralof: "Watch your tongue. You're speaking to Ulfric Stormcloak, the true High King."
Lokir: "Ulfric? The Jarl of Windhelm? You're the leader of the rebellion. But if they've captured you... Oh gods, where are they taking us?"
Ralof: "I don't know where we're going, but Sovngarde awaits."
Lokir: "No, this can't be happening. This isn't happening."
Ralof: "Hey, what village are you from, horse thief?"
Lokir: "Why do you care?"
Ralof: "A Nord's last thoughts should be of home."
Lokir: "Rorikstead. I'm... I'm from Rorikstead."
Imperial: "General Tullius, sir! The headsman is waiting!"
Tullius: "Good. Let's get this over with."
Lokir: "Shor, Mara, Dibella, Kynareth, Akatosh. Divines, please help me."
Ralof: "Look at him, General Tullius, the Military Governor. And it looks like the Thalmor are with him. Damn elves. I bet they had something to do with this. This is Helgen. I used to be sweet on a girl from here. Wonder if Vilod is still making that mead with juniper berries mixed in. Funny, when I was a boy, Imperial walls and towers used to make me feel so safe."
Haming: "Who are they, daddy? Where are they going?"
Torolf: "You need to go inside, little cub."
Haming: "Why? I want to watch the soldiers."
Torolf: "Inside the house. Now."
Haming: "Yes, papa."
Imperial: "Whoa!"
Captain: "Get these prisoners out of the carts. Move it!"
Lokir: "Why are we stopping?"
Ralof: "Why do you think? End of the line. Let's go. Shouldn't keep the gods waiting for us."
Lokir: "No! Wait! We're not rebels!"
Ralof: "Face your death with some courage, thief."
Lokir: "You've got to tell them! We weren't with you! This is a mistake!"
Imperial Captain: "Step towards the block when we call your name. One at a time."
Ralof: "Empire loves their damn lists."
Hadvar: "Ulfric Stormcloak. Jarl of Windhelm."
Ralof: "It has been an honor, Jarl Ulfric!"
Hadvar: "Ralof of Riverwood. Lokir of Rorikstead."
Lokir: "No, I'm not a rebel. You can't do this!" [runs]
Captain: "Halt!"
Lokir: "You're not going to kill me!"
Captain: "Archers!" [Lokir is shot dead] "Anyone else feel like running?"
Hadvar: "Wait. You there. Step forward. Who are you?"


Hadvar: "Captain. What should we do? He/She's not on the list."
Captain: "Forget the list. He/She goes to the block."
Hadvar: "By your orders, Captain. Follow the Captain, prisoner."
Tullius: "Ulfric Stormcloak. Some here in Helgen call you a hero. But a hero doesn't use a power like The Voice to murder his king and usurp his throne."
Ulfric: "[muffled grunts]"
Tullius: "You started this war, plunged Skyrim into chaos, and now the Empire is going to put you down, and restore the peace."

At this point Alduin's roars for the first time, but the soldiers think little of it.

Hadvar: "What was that?"
Tullius: "It's nothing. Carry on."
Captain: "Yes, General Tullius. Give them their last rites."
Priestess of Arkay: "As we commend your souls to Aetherius, blessings of the Eight Divines upon you, for you are the salt and earth of Nirn, our beloved..."
Stormcloak Soldier: "For the love of Talos, shut up and let's get this over with."
Priestess of Arkay: "As you wish."
Stormcloak Soldier: "Come on, I haven't got all morning. My ancestors are smiling at me, Imperials. Can you say the same?" [Executed]
Stormcloak: "You Imperial bastards!"
Vilod: "Justice!"
Ingrid: "Death to the Stormcloaks!"
Ralof: "As fearless in death as he was in life."
Captain: "Next, the [player race] in the rags!"

Now, Alduin roars for the second time, unsettling Hadvar, but the Imperial Captain remains unfazed.

Hadvar: "There it is again. Did you hear that?"
Captain: "I said, next prisoner!"
Hadvar: "To the block, prisoner. Nice and easy."

Alduin's third roar occurs, and he makes an appearance atop the tower.

Tullius: "What in Oblivion is that?"
Captain: "Sentries! What do you see?"
Imperial: "It's in the clouds!"
Stormcloak: "Dragon!"
Alduin: [Meteor-shower shout]
Headsman: "Hunh..."
Tullius: "Don't just stand there! Kill that thing! Guards, get the townspeople to safety!"
Ralof: "Hey, [race-dependent comment]. Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!"

Unbound

Quotes during the initial chaos:

Ralof:

  • "This way!"
  • "This way! Come on!"
  • "In here!"
  • "Over here!"

Imperial Soldier:

  • "What in the Eight Divines is this thing?"
  • "Yeagh!" (If hit by a meteor)
  • "Keep your eyes on it!"
  • "How in Oblivion do we kill this thing?"
  • "It's still coming!"
  • "Keep your eyes on it!"
  • "By Ysmir! Nothing kills it!"
  • "Die! For the love of the gods, die!"

Upon entering Helgen Keep, the next set of dialogue begins.

Ralof: "Jarl Ulfric! What is that thing? Could the legends be true?"
Ulfric: "Legends don't burn down villages. We need to move. Now!"
Ralof: "Up through the tower, let's go!"
Stormcloak: "They're hurt, but they'll live. Another second out there with the dragon, and they'd both be dead..."
Ralof: "Let's go! With me, up the tower!"
Stormcloak: "We just need to move some of these rocks to clear the way!"

Alduin bashes through the wall next to the staircase as the Dragonborn is ascending it.

Alduin: "Yol... Toor... Shul!""Fire... Inferno... Sun!"
Ralof: "See the inn on the other side? Jump through the roof and keep going! Go! We'll follow when we can!"
Hadvar: "Haming, you need to get over here. Now! Torolf!" [Torolf dies here] Gods... Everyone get back!"
Alduin: "Yol... Toor... Shul!"
Hadvar: "Still alive, prisoner? Keep close to me if you want to stay that way. Gunnar, take care of the boy. I have to find General Tullius and join their defense."
Gunnar: "Gods guide you, Hadvar."
Hadvar: "Stay close to the wall!"

Alduin will now land on the wall above the Dragonborn.

Alduin: "Yol... Toor... Shul"
Hadvar: "Quickly, follow me!"
Tullius: "Hadvar! Into the keep, soldier, we're leaving!"
Hadvar: "It's you and me, prisoner. Stay close! Ralof! You damned traitor. Out of my way!"
Ralof: "We're escaping, Hadvar. You're not stopping us this time."
Hadvar: "Fine. I hope that dragon takes you all to Sovngarde."
Ralof: "You! Come on, into the keep!"

If Ralof is followed, he will say, "Through here. Let's go!" If Hadvar is followed, he will say, "Quick, I can cut you loose inside the keep." and "Come on! We need to get inside!" The Dragonborn will still be cut loose regardless of who is followed. Just before entering the keep, Alduin will say, "Hin sil fen nahkip bahloki.""Your soul will feed (my) hunger."

Before the Storm

If Ralof is followed out of the dungeons of Helgen Keep and to Riverwood, when entering the village, he walks to the lumber mill and greets his sister, Gerdur:

Ralof "Gerdur!"
Gerdur "Mara's Mercy, its good to see you! But is it safe for you to be here?"
Ralof "Gerdur..."
Gerdur "We had heard that Ulfric had been captured..."
Ralof "Gerdur... I'm fine. At least now I am."
Gerdur "Are you hurt? What's happened? [looks at player] And who's this? One of your comrades?"
Ralof "Not a comrade yet...but a friend. I owe him/her my life, in fact. Is there somewhere we can talk? There's no telling when the news from Helgen will reach the Imperials..."
Gerdur "Helgen? Has something happened...? You're right. Follow me. Hod! Come here a minute. I need your help with something."
Hod "What is it, woman? Sven drunk on the job again?"
Gerdur "Hod. Just come here."
Hod "Ralof! What are you doing here? Ah...I'll be right down!"
Frodnar "Uncle Ralof! Can I see your axe? How many Imperials have you killed? Do you really know Ulfric Stormcloak?"
Gerdur "Hush, Frodnar. This is no time for your games. Go and watch the south road. Find us if you see any Imperial soldiers coming."
Frodnar "Aw, mama, I want to stay and talk with uncle Ralof!"
Ralof "Look at you, almost a grown man! Won't be long before you'll be joining the fight yourself!"
Frodnar "That's right! Don't worry uncle Ralof, I won't let those soldiers sneak up on you!"

Hod the comes down from the mill and enters the conversation:

Hod "Now, Ralof, what's going on? You two look pretty well done in."
Ralof "I can't remember the last time I slept. Where to start? Well, the news you heard about Ulfric was true. The Imperials ambushed us outside Darkwater Crossing. Like they knew exactly where we'd be. That was...two days ago, now. We stopped at Helgen this morning, and I thought it was all over. Had us lined up for the headsman's block and ready to start chopping!"
Gerdur "The cowards!"
Ralof "They wouldn't dare give Ulfric a fair trial. Treason, for fighting for your own people! All of Skyrim would have seen the truth then! But then...out of nowhere...a dragon attacked."
Gerdur "You don't mean a real, live..."
Ralof "I can hardly believe it myself, and I was there! As strange as it sounds, we'd be dead if not for that dragon. In the confusion, we managed to slip away. Are we really the first to make it to Riverwood?"
Gerdur "Nobody has come up the south road today, as far as I know."
Ralof "Good. Maybe we can lay up for a while. I'd hate to put your family in danger, Gerdur, but..."
Gerdur "Nonsense. You and your friend are welcome to stay as long as you need. Let me worry about the Imperials. Any friend of Ralof's is a friend of mine. [to player] Here's the key to the house. Stay as long as you like. There's something you can do for me. For all of us. [gift menu opens] We need to send word to Jarl Balgruuf to send whatever troops he can. Riverwood is defenseless. If you do that for me, I'll be in your debt."
Ralof "Thanks, sister. I knew I could count on you."
Gerdur "I ought to get back to work before I'm missed, but did anyone else escape? Did Ulfric..."
Ralof "Don't worry. I'm sure he made it out. It'll take more than a dragon to stop Ulfric Stormcloak!"
Hod "I'll let them into the house and, you know, show them where everything is."
Gerdur "Hhmm. Help them drink up our mead, you mean. [to Ralof] Good luck, brother. I'll see you later."
Ralof "Don't worry about me. I know how to lay low."

Hod then walks off to his house, and Ralof gets up and follows him.

The Jagged Crown

Ralof will be found at Korvanjund alongside Galmar Stone-Fist and a handful of fellow Stormcloak soldiers planning on retrieving the Jagged Crown from the ancient Nordic tomb. When approached, Ralof will seek out the Dragonborn and the following exchange will occur:

"Ha! I knew you'd join up. Great news. We'll take back Skyrim together, eh? I'm glad I'll have you beside me in there. This place chills my blood, and I don't care who knows it."

What are you talking about? "These old ruins; my father always told me to stay away from them. Good advice, I'd say. Never mind all that; we've got a job to do, and nothing's going to stand in our way!."

When in Korvanjund Crypt, the chamber with Borgas in it, Ralof will find the Jagged Crown and say, "Hey, I found a crown over here on this corpse. Is this the one we're looking for?", to which Galmar will reply, "Ralof! get away from there, fool!" The crypt will erupt with draugr emerging from their ancient slumber, and a fight will ensue almost immediately.

Rescue from Fort Neugrad

Ralof will be the one whom Galmar sent the Dragonborn to meet outside of Fort Neugrad. Upon being encountered there, Ralof will engage in a conversation:

"Well, well. Look who it is! How have you been?"

I'm all right, I guess. How are you? "Good to hear. I need this to go well. This is my first real command since they promoted me after Whiterun. You know, some nights when I close my eyes, I see the battle stretched out before me, like I'm still there... Do the men you've killed haunt you? Mine do..."

Only a beast kills without feeling. "I suppose you're right. They say it gets easier. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. But never mind all that. We've got a job to do."
What's the plan? "We found a cave under the lake. With luck, it'll lead into the prison. I need you to sneak in there, and free our men, killing anyone inside as you go. Once you've rescued the prisoners, head out to the courtyard. We'll stand guard out here and rush in as soon as we hear fighting. Should be fun."
I'm on it. "You should wait until night fall before you try to sneak in. Talos preserve you."Or, if it is already night, simply: "Talos preserve you."
I'm not much for sneaking. "I have faith in you. But, if you find more trouble than you can handle, run out to the courtyard. We'll come as soon as we hear fighting."
If you hadn't killed them, they would have killed you. "That's what I keep telling myself. But never mind all that. We've got a job to do. Don't we?"
So what's the plan? "Straight to business with you, huh? Well, it just so happens I have the perfect mission for you. We found a cave under the lake... [...]"

I've been better. And you? "These are dark days. But at least we know we're doing our part to make things better, eh? I guess I'm doing all right. I need this to go well... [...]"

So what's the plan? "Straight to business with you, huh?... [...]"

Note: Ralof, in addition to his unique response to the Dragonborn's answer, will always speak about the men he has killed haunting him, no matter what dialogue option is chosen. Additionally, the dialogue option, "What's the plan?" (or a similarly-worded question) and the choices sprouting from it will always be available after giving one's opinion on Ralof's experiences. Repeated text is indicated by "[...]".

If spoken to after that, he will say, "Break our men out and head to the courtyard. We'll meet you there." While clearing the fort he will say, "There's got to be more of them around here." When the Fort is completely cleared, he will thank the Dragonborn with, "Great work! Get back and report our success. I'll stay here and clean up the mess. Glad you were here. Couldn't have done it without you!"

Compelling Tribute

Southeast of Broken Tower Redoubt, Ralof will be found hiding in the brush with two other soldiers. When spoken to, the following dialogue will occur:

"Hey there! I was wondering if I'd run into you out here. The Reach is a beautiful but dangerous place, eh? One false step and you fall to your death, that is if those Forsworn don't get you first. Have you seen those Briarheart men? That's some evil magic right there. What brings you? You have the look of purpose in your eyes."

There's an enemy wagon loaded with coin and weapons. We need to capture it. "Really? It just so happens we've been tracking a wagon! For about a day now. So that's what's in there? Coins and weapons? How do you known that?"

I blackmailed Raerek for the information. "That was crafty. I'm sure having a steward in the pocket will come in handy. Lucky for us, that the wagon recently had a little accident. They're stranded now. Just up the road! We're outnumbered, but I have a plan. You got here just in time."
What's the plan? "First, we're going to take out their sentry, then we'll situate ourselves overlooking the camp. Next, you'll infiltrate their position and get their attention while we hit them with a barrage of arrows. With a bit of luck, we'll catch them completely off guard and even the odds a little."
I have a better plan. You wait here. and I'll take care of it. "All right, if you insist. But we'll come running if it sounds like things have gotten out of hand."
Let's wait a little longer. "Let me know when you're ready."
Ready. Let's go. "Good."
It doesn't matter. "Oh, fine. Keep your secrets. I see how it is. That wagon recently had a little accident. They're stranded now, just up the road. We're outnumbered, but I have a plan. You got here just in time."
What's the plan? "First, we're going to take out their sentry... [...]"

If either the options, "I have a better plan..." or "Let's wait a little longer." are chosen, Ralof will exit dialogue. However, if spoken to again, the following options will become available?

"Ready to do this?"

What's the plan? "First we're going to take out their sentry... [...]"

I have a better plan. You wait here, and I'll take care of it. "All right, if you insist... [...]"

Let's wait a little longer. "Let me know when you're ready."

Ready. Let's go. "Good"

When the Dragonborn chooses the option, "Ready," Ralof will whisper to his soldiers, "There's a sentry patrolling the hill. We'll go in quiet and drop him with a combined arrow barrage. Keep low, fire on my word." His signal is, "Fire!" After that, he will say to the Dragonbotn, "All right. You infiltrate their camp, we'll cover you from the ridge. Good luck!"

After killing the soldiers, when the Dragonborn reports to Ralof of their success, he will say to the Dragonborn, "We make quite a team, eh? I'll stay here and guard the shipment. You get back to camp with news. Have them send some men - with a new wagon. This one isn't going anywhere."

Quotes

Quote Audio
"As fearless in death as he was in life."
Ralof 1
"I don't think Galmar even knows my name. Probably because I'm not "The Dragonborn.'"
Ralof 2
"Ever wonder if maybe we should a call a truce with the Imperials and join forces for just a little while take care of some of these dragons?"
Ralof 3
"Have you always been that ugly?"
Ralof 4
"Empire loves their damn lists."
Ralof 5
"I hate those damn things. Too many eyes, you know?"
Ralof 6
"I don't know where we're going, but Sovngarde awaits."
Ralof 7
"Hey, what village are you from horse thief?"
Ralof 8
"All right, get that armor on and give that axe a few swings."
Ralof 9
"It has been an honor, Jarl Ulfric!"
Ralof 10
"A Nord's last thoughts should be of home."
Ralof 11
"Look at him, General Tullius the Military Governor."
Ralof 12
"This is Helgen. I used to be sweet on a girl from here. Wonder if Vilod is still making that mead with juniper berries mixed in."
Ralof 13
"Funny, when I was a boy, Imperial walls and towers used to make me feel so safe."
Ralof 14
"Let's go. Shouldn't keep the gods waiting for us."
Ralof 15
"Face your death with some courage, thief."
Ralof 16
"Pleasant weather for a war, no?"
Ralof 17
"So, do you get that weird taste in your mouth before battle, too? What is that?"
Ralof 18
"You're still alive?"
Ralof 19
"I have to admit. This is more fun that I thought it'd be."
Ralof 20
"I've heard some things about Ulfric I don't like, but he's right about this war and about Skyrim's future."
Ralof 21
"I long to be out there, with my brothers, waging war against the Empire."
Ralof 22
"Who do you think's killed more Imperials? You? Or me?"
Ralof 23
"Glad you're here."
Ralof 24
"I can't remember the last time I visited home. Think I've forgotten what a proper bed looks like, let alone feels like."
Ralof 25
"My pa always warned me not to mess with places like this."
Ralof 26
"You made it? I was sure I'd find you face down in the dirt."
Ralof 27

Trivia

  • Ralof is the first character in the game to speak to the Dragonborn. He could also be considered to be the first character seen in-game, if the back of the head of the Legion soldier that drives the carriage is not counted.
  • After the completion of the main quest, Ralof can be found at the Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood. He carries an Iron Warhammer.
  • Because Ralof is flagged as essential during "Unbound", skills can be practiced on him without him turning hostile or attacking. This makes him great for fast leveling.
  • As with Hadvar and Solitude, it is impossible for the Dragonborn to get to Windhelm after Ralof.
  • Ralof was voiced by Michael Gough.
  • When escaping from Helgen, he dual wields iron war axes.
  • Ralof appears to be more tolerant of mages than most Nords in Skyrim, because if the player treks to Riverwood with Ralof, he will point out various landmarks around the area, one of them being the Guardian Stones. If the Mage Stone is chosen, he will say, "Mage, eh? To each his own. I'm not going to judge."

Appearances

Start a Discussion Discussions about Ralof

  • Ralof and Alvor Fight

    12 messages
    • It happened to me once but instead Gerdurr helped Ralof fight the Whiterun Guards. Alvor didn't do anything.
    • The thing is, one time I atacked Gerdur and Ralof didn't get pissed off. When the others from Riverwood started fighting me, Ralof fought back.
  • Ralof/Hadvar Post-Civil War

    3 messages
    • I agree, it would be fun to continue with these two in some way.  Maybe some more backstory to their relationship from when they were youn...
    • I honestly agree with this; both of them have alot of respect in the community, well from what I see, and it feels a bit bitter to just have t...

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