Elder Scrolls


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Race Nord
Gender Male
Level PCx1 (5-50)
Class Barbarian
Faction Stormcloaks
Rank Captain
Essential Always
Ref ID 0002BF9E
Base ID 0002BF9D
Not to be confused with Halof.

"I think I killed more Imperials than you. I was counting!"

Ralof 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


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.


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.



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.


Quest-related dialogue

The Jagged Crown

Ralof will be found at Korvanjund alonside 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 going 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."


  • "As fearless in death as he was in life."
  • "I don't think Galmar even knows my name. Probably because I'm not the 'Dragonborn'."
  • "Ever wonder if maybe we should call a truce with the Imperials, join forces for a while, and take care of some dragons?"
  • "Have you always been that ugly?"
  • "Empire loves their damn lists."
  • "I hate those damn things. Too many eyes, you know?" (regarding Frostbite Spiders)
  • "I don't know where we're going, but Sovngarde awaits."
  • "Hey, what village are you from, horse thief?"
  • "All right, get that armor on and give that axe a few swings."
  • "It has been an honor, Jarl Ulfric!"
  • "A Nord's last thoughts should be of home."
  • "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. I 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."
  • "Let's go. Shouldn't keep the gods waiting for us."
  • "Face your death with some courage, thief."
  • "Pleasant weather for a war, no?" - During Battle For Whiterun (Stormcloaks)
  • "Do you get that weird taste in your mouth before a battle too? What is that?" - During Battle For Whiterun (Stormcloaks)
  • "Let's go. Shouldn't keep the gods waiting for us."
  • "You're still alive?"
  • "I have to admit, this is more fun than I thought it'd be."
  • "I've heard some things about Ulfric I don't like, but he's right about this war and about Skyrim's future."
  • "I long to be out there, with my brothers, waging war against the Empire."
  • "Who do you think's killed more Imperials? You, or me?"
  • "Glad you're here."
  • "I can't remember the last time I've visited home. Think I've forgotten what a proper bed looks like, let alone feels like."
  • "My pa always told me not to mess with places like this." ―When inside a Nordic tomb.
  • "You made it? I was sure I'd find you face down in the dirt."

Dialogue with Hadvar

If Hadvar and Ralof are near each other they will engage in dialogue. The dialog itself is what each answers when the Dragonborn asks questions before telling them the decision to join their cause.

  • Hadvar: "How'd you end up here?"
  • Ralof: "My cousin disappeared one night. Some say the Thalmor grabbed him. It wasn't long before I found myself under Ulfric's banner."
  • Hadvar: "So why'd you join the Stormcloaks?"
  • Ralof: "I'm a true Nord. Simple as that."
  • Ralof: "So why did you join the Legion?"
  • Hadvar: "My father was a Legionnaire, and his before him. I guess I never considered doing anything else."


  • 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.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Ralof

  • "I used to be sweet on a girl from here"

    14 messages
    • wrote:Probably. I haven't gone through the Civil War Questline yet because honestly the war is stupid. Imperials trying to take o...
    • Skyrim belonged to the Septim Empire, not this aberration of a dynasty called the Mede.
  • Ralof

    3 messages
    • The Sleeping Giant in Riverwood? At least that's where Hadvar stays after the war in my game.
    • Well, if you won the war on the imperial side, Ralof will be disabled from the game. On the other hand, if you won on the stormcloak side, Had...

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