The Companions are the warriors guild of Skyrim. It serves a similar function to the Fighters Guild chapters of other regions of Tamriel. Eorlund Gray-Mane, a blacksmith in Whiterun, states that they have been leaderless since Ysgramor. He says that an elder known as Kodlak Whitemane acts as the Harbinger (counselor). The fact that they have no official leader is emphasized by their name.
If Torvar is asked, "Who's in charge around here?" before joining, he will reply, "In charge of what? I'm in charge of me, and you're in charge of you."
The Companions can trace their origins from the Five Hundred Companions, the legendary army Ysgramor raised to wage war against the snow elves and avenge the Night of Tears. After defeating the snow elves in the Nordic-Falmer War, the remnants of the Five Hundred Companions went their separate ways to inhabit the unexplored lands of Tamriel. This period of exploration and colonization is known as The Return.
Several hundred years after the death of Ysgramor, the Companions had converted into soldiers for hire. Their services could be purchased for the fighting of wars, but the commitment to individual honor meant that often Shield-Brothers would be forced to face each other on the field of battle. Since the conflict of interests between its members was jeopardizing their bonds of honor, Harbinger Mryfwiil, in his wisdom, decreed that they would no longer be party to any war or political conflict of any kind. Because of his steady hand, the Companions today are known as impartial arbiters of honor, in addition to their glories on the field of battle.
By the end of the First Era, the Companions have begun to do away with rigid rules of Atmoran racial purity and recruited people of different races and walks of life to fill their ranks. After the dark periods in the late Second Era, when a string of false and dishonorable Harbingers laid claim to Jorrvaskr, it was Kyrnil Long-Nose who gathered the true hearts of the Companions in the wilds and stormed Jorrvaskr itself, killing the usurpers and returning honor through blood, in the old ways. He began the tradition of trusted advisors called the Circle (named after Ysgramor's council of captains) who would serve as examples to the younger, newer Companions.
Aela the Huntress, Farkas, and Ria can be the first faction members to be encountered in Skyrim. They first appear at Pelagia Farm outside of Whiterun fighting a giant. They may be assisted, and if this is done, Aela and the others react positively, while not helping causes her to deliver chastisement. Whether they are assisted or not, Aela extends an invitation to Jorrvaskr. If Whiterun is approached using a different route, it is possible to completely miss this fight.
Because the Companions can kill the giant very quickly, it may be very hard to get to the fight in time to assist. Shooting at the giant from afar with a bow and scoring some hits will still register as assistance, and the Companions will stay until Aela speaks with the Dragonborn.
Jorrvaskr is the home of the Companions, and is located on the eastern side of Whiterun in the Wind District. Jorrvaskr sits at the base of the Skyforge, which is an ancient forge from which special weapons and armor are crafted by Eorlund Gray-Mane. The Skyforge creates the finest steel in Tamriel, which is why Jorrvaskr was erected in this location. The inside serves as both the Companions' lodging and mead hall where they sleep, tell tales of valor, and occasionally fight each other. Once the Companions are joined, this hall can serve as home for the Dragonborn as well.
On the southern wall of the mead hall is a special area created to hold the fragments of Wuuthrad. At the end of the Companions questline, the last fragments are collected, and Wuuthrad is reforged to become whole. Wuuthrad can be kept after the final quest.
Joining the Companions
The most straightforward way to join the Companions is by simply heading to Jorrvaskr in Whiterun and talking to the members until directed to the Harbinger, Kodlak Whitemane. Vilkas opposes the new member, but Kodlak reassures him and directs him to go outside and provide training. The Dragonborn must use melee weapons (or bare fists) when fighting Vilkas, and the weapon(s) cannot be enchanted. After the training, Vilkas will send the Dragonborn on an errand to Eorlund Gray-Mane, Whiterun's senior blacksmith at the Skyforge, in order to sharpen a sword. Eorlund offers information about the history of the Companions. He asks the Dragonborn to take a shield back to Aela. After these errand quests are completed, at least one radiant quest is given before being initiated into the guild. After the brief initiation ceremony, the new member is directed to choose a bed in the living quarters, which comes with a secure dresser for storing items.
- See also: The Circle
The Companions also have a secret. Several of the Companions are werewolves and, as such, the guild is in constant conflict with a band of werewolf hunters known as the Silver Hand. During an early Companion quest, "Proving Honor," an attack on Farkas by the Silver Hand can be witnessed from within a locked cage. After this, "What is it like being a werewolf?" can be asked of them.
After completing more quests after the Proving Honor quest for the Companions, Skjor can be spoken to. He and Aela offer lycanthropy. If the Dragonborn agrees, a special ceremony is conducted allowing for the transformation into a werewolf to occur once per day. Further interaction with the Companions halts until a decision is made.
- Take Up Arms
- Trouble in Skyrim
- Proving Honor – one or more Radiant Quests must be completed as a prerequisite.
- The Silver Hand
- Blood's Honor – two of Aela's second wave of radiant quests (see below) must be completed as prerequisites.
- Purity of Revenge
- Glory of the Dead
- Most of these quests are radiant and can be repeated unlimited times, with random goals. For example, in "Animal Extermination," the hold and target beast will be different each time. 300 are gained by completing each quest.
- Entering and leaving the area which the character currently occupies changes radiant quests. It is possible to simply re-enter Jorrvaskr until the desired quest appears.
- Sometimes, the leaders will not have any quests. Reentering Jorrvaskr may also change this.
- Some of these quests (e.g. "Purity") are one time only, but they still follow the "reset" mentioned above, when leaving an area.
These quests are available after completing "Take Up Arms."
- Animal Extermination I – Aela
- Animal Extermination II – Aela
- Hired Muscle – Farkas
- Trouble in Skyrim – Farkas
- Family Heirloom – Skjor or Vilkas
- Escaped Criminal – Skjor or Vilkas
- Rescue Mission – Skjor or Vilkas
These quests are available after completing "The Silver Hand."
Aela only offers two of these quests; the two that the Dragonborn will be asked to do is chosen by the game at random.
These quests are available after completing "Glory of the Dead."
- Totems of Hircine – Aela
- Purity – Farkas or Vilkas
- Dragon Seekers – Farkas or Vilkas (Prerequisite: must also complete main quest: "Dragon Rising")
- Kodlak Whitemane – Harbinger and Circle Member
- Aela the Huntress – Circle Member, Expert Trainer (Archery)
- Farkas – Circle Member, Master Trainer (Heavy Armor)
- Vilkas – Circle Member, Master Trainer (Two-Handed)
- Skjor – Circle Member
- Athis – Expert Trainer (One-Handed)
- Vignar Gray-Mane
- Njada Stonearm – Expert Trainer (Block)
Asking Aela, Farkas, Vilkas, Athis or Njada to be a follower allows for free training sessions, because gold spent on lessons can be removed from their inventory repeatedly. Members of the guild can be fed upon by a vampire, but this is still considered a crime.
The following people work for the Companions, though are not technically members.
- Brill (Friend of Vignar)
- Eorlund Gray-Mane (Smith for the Companions)
- Tilma the Haggard (Caretaker of Jorrvaskr)
- Arnbjorn – He was asked to leave because his "unorthodox" methods were offensive to the members.
- Hestla – She did not progress too far, thus being called a "whelp" and no longer believes her past with the Companions to be important.
- Uthgerd the Unbroken – Uthgerd attempted to join the Companions but accidentally killed the boy she was set against. Thus, she was not accepted into the Companions and bears a grudge against them.
- Askar – The Harbringer prior to Kodlak Whitemane.
The way that the Companions' bounty works is different than the normal bounty system. The only way that bounty can be received is by stealing things from other Companions (through pickpocketing or just taking things from the shelves of Jorrvaskr) or by killing a Companion in a single hit. It is possible to attack any one of the Companions without incurring any bounty. A warning is issued upon first strike, "Watch it there, Brother/Sister." Thus, the Sneak, One-Handed, and Archery skills, as with any other offensive skill, can be leveled repeatedly. Killing a Companion causes a bounty of 1,000 to be assessed.
- The Companions appear to be more tolerant of non-Nords than most, as there is an Imperial and a Dunmer among the members.
- Similar to finding Aela, Farkas and Ria fighting a giant, the Dragonborn may also find Ria and Vilkas fighting two sabre cats, Skjor, Aela and Njada fighting a mammoth or Farkas, Athis and Torvar fighting wolves.
- Items placed in the inventories of the Circle members may disappear when they transform. This is due to the game removing their "regular" character entity and replacing it with a transformed instance instead. Remember to remove all given items from them if combat is to be expected, as the Circle members, unless told not to, will almost always transform when engaged.
- If one of the Circle is married, jobs can still be taken from them, as long as they are at either Jorrvaskr or their new marital home. If they are an active follower, however, they need to be first told to leave. The Dragonborn can then talk to them as they walk away and get a job, and "re-hire" them after getting the job if so desired.
- If a job is taken from one of the Circle after completing their main questline, they can be hired after getting the job, so after completing the quest, the quest giver can be immediately told of its completion, instead of having to travel back to Jorrvaskr to report in.
- If the Dragonborn gets into a brawl with a character, such as Benor, while one of The Circle is an active follower, instead of standing on the sidelines with their weapon drawn, like other Companions and followers, they will move around the outskirts of the fight and shout tips and encouragements to the Dragonborn.
- If a job is taken from one of the Circle (even during the Companions' main quests), the quest marker always points to the back doors of Jorrvaskr, not the front doors, even though quest giver(s) wait by the front door to hear of the Dragonborn's completion of a quest. This does not effect gameplay; either sets of doors can be used.
- Unlike most of the other joinable factions in Skyrim, all but two of the members of the Companions (barring potentially the Dragonborn) wear some form of warpaint.
- Although romantic relationships within the Companions is not totally forbidden, it is not encouraged either. However, the Dragonborn can flout this entirely, as wearing an Amulet of Mara and talking to most of the members opens up marriage dialogue.
- All members of the Companions have the same lines of dialogue for follower commands. However, most of them do not share marriage dialogue.
This section contains bugs related to The Companions. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to see the list of bugs encountered|
| Take Up Arms|
Join the Companions
| Blood Oath|
Become a member of the Circle
| Glory of the Dead|
Complete "Glory of the Dead"