Thane is a rank given by a city's Jarl after the Dragonborn completes tasks, becomes accepted by the people of the city, and owns property in a city (see Becoming Thane). The Thane is someone recognized by a Jarl as a person of great importance in a particular city, often a hero.
Benefits and requisites
The guards of the town excuse the Dragonborn from crimes if they mention they are the Thane in a dialogue option when confronted, but the amount of times this works is limited. After being proclaimed Thane in a city, the Dragonborn can purchase houses from the Jarls' stewards. In a few cases, purchasing a home within a Hold is a prerequisite for becoming a Thane of said Hold. Newly titled Thanes receive housecarls, who protect the Thane, their spouses, and their property.
- Erikur and Bryling serve as Thanes to Elisif, Jarl of Solitude. Melaran, an Altmer alterer, serves as their housecarl.
- Dengeir of Stuhn, Former Jarl of Falkreath Hold now serves his nephew, Jarl Siddgeir, as Thane.
The Thanes (Thegns) were the minor and greater nobility of Anglo-Saxon England and Viking Scandinavia -- serving as leaders of the local militias, monitoring crime, and carrying out general work of their Ealdorman.
Many runestones in Sweden and Denmark honor dead men as good thanes.