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Whiterun Skyrim

Whiterun, one of nine holds to become thane of.

"Then by my right as Jarl, I name you Thane of Hold. Congratulations. I grant you this weapon from the armory to serve as your Badge of Office. I'll also notify the Guards of your new title, wouldn't want them to think you're part of the common rabble now."
―Jarl Balgruuf The Greater[src]

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. The title is given to someone who has contributed to a Hold significant deeds that have helped the Jarl of the Hold and its people. Newly-titled Thanes receive housecarls, sworn bodyguards who protect the Thane, their spouses, and their property.


The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimEdit

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 GoldIcon, the title of Thane may be given.

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, alongside various improvements and furniture for said house. 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.

The Elder Scrolls OnlineEdit

During the Second Era, Thanes are prevalent throughout Skyrim, each having contributed deeds and acts of heroism for their Holds. The Vestige meets and helps out most of the Thanes with dealing with the Stormfist Brigade as part of the royal retinue of King Jorunn going around Eastmarch. Though it isn't specified to which holds most of the thanes belong to, they are all part of the royal council of the King as he meets with the other leaders of the Ebonheart Pact in Skyrim.

Other ThanesEdit

The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimEdit

The Elder Scrolls OnlineEdit

  • Mera Stormcloak serves Windhelm, member of the ancient Stormcloak Clan of Windhelm and oversees the city's protection.
  • Harvald is one of King Jorunn's closest advisors and a veteran of war.
  • Oda Wolf-Sister accompanies the High King throughout the Pact's council. Jaema is Oda's housecarl, often having a hard time trying to find her Thane as Oda prefers the company of wolves.
  • Jeggi Gap-Tooth is a bear of a man and has impressed Pact delegates for his immense drinking skill and is often seen drunk. He accompanies the Pact council throughout Eastmarch.
  • Fjora is a tough Thane serving Riften and presides over the village of Nimalten.


  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the title of Thane may be lost if power over the Hold of which the Dragonborn is Thane is transferred to the opposite side of the ongoing Civil War. It can be attained again, however, by completing the normal tasks needed to become Thane once more, this time for the newly-instated Jarl.

Real-world meaningEdit

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.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Thane

  • giving up markarth

    2 messages
    • so, after giving up markath at the end of Season Unending, will I be able to become thane and get Argis as housecarl? 
    • Should be able to the title will just be given by a diffrent Jarl.
  • Bug about House Purchase in Markarth

    5 messages
    • yeah, you can become Thane in most of the Holds without joining a side.... but where's the fun in not picking a side? anyways, just "assist...
    • Yeah. I did help Falkreath. I did become thane of Falkreath luckily. I had Dawnguard downloaded and thank god vampires didn't come to kill ...

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