The title of Thane is an honor gifted by a city's Jarl to the Dragonborn. It is only granted if the Dragonborn completes tasks for people of the hold, and personally assists the Jarl in official or unofficial business, depending on the city. Rarely, if the Dragonborn has enough Septims, the title of Thane may be given. The Thane is someone recognized by a Jarl, his guards, and the people, as a person of great importance in a particular city, often a hero.
Benefits and requisitesEdit
The guards of the Hold excuse the Dragonborn from crimes if they mention they are the Thane in a dialogue option when confronted, but this only works once. After being proclaimed Thane in a city, the Dragonborn can purchase houses from the Jarls' stewards. In a few rare cases, purchasing a home within a Hold is a prerequisite for becoming a Thane of said Hold, such as the Rift. Newly titled Thanes receive housecarls, who protect the Thane, their spouses, and their property.
- Erikur serves as Thane to Elisif, Jarl of Solitude. Melaran, an Altmer alterer, serves as Erikur's housecarl, If Erikur dies, Melaran will replace him as thane.
- Bryling serves as Thane to Elisif, Jarl of Solitude. Irnskar Ironhand serves as Bryling's housecarl. If Bryling dies, Irnskar will replace her as thane.
- Dengeir of Stuhn, Former Jarl of Falkreath Hold now serves his nephew, Jarl Siddgeir, as Thane.
The Thanes (Thegns) were the minor nobility of Anglo-Saxon England and Viking Scandinavia -- the word literally means a retainer to a king or high-ranking official. This, however, has been observed to have been an honorary task and title in many early medieval Scandinavian cultures.
Many runestones in Sweden and Denmark honor dead men as good thanes.