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Thief (Character)

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For other uses, see Thief.

The Thiefs are characters that appears alone during several random encounters.

Riften's thief (Stop, Thief!)Edit

After starting the quest "A Chance Arrangement" and one is above level 5, while the Dragonborn is walking around Riften at night time (between 10pm and 4am), an unnamed Nord thief may attempt to steal items from one of the stalls or tries to pick the lock of a shop, leading to a fight with the guards, this usually ends in the demise of the thief. The Dragonborn may help the guards defeat the buggler, without incurring a bounty. It is also possible to loot the corpse of the thief, which carries assorted gems and a small amount of GoldIcon.

They usually wear an unobtainable set of Thieves Guild Armor.

They may also be encountered in Riverwood or inside a random house.

Skyrim's thief (Stick 'em up)Edit

Another type of thief can be encountered anywhere along a road, at any time while exploring Skyrim. They will stop the Dragonborn and ask to hand over their valuables, while threatening the hero with a leveled dagger. One can choose to surrender their belongings, try to persuade or intimidate them, or enter combat. If the Dragonborn has become a member of the Thieves Guild, they also have the option of notifying the thief of this, who will then walk away.

If combat is avoided, the Thief may run to the Brandy-Mug Farm near Windhelm.

These usually wear a leveled light armor and a Mage Hood or an unobtainable variant of the Thieves Guild Hood. They will also have a small amount of GoldIcon and two daggers and a few lockpicks.

This thief will appear as an Argonian, a Dunmer or a Khajiit.


When encountered:

  • "All right, hand over your valuables, or I'll gut you like a fish!"

When the Dragonborn says they are also part of the Guild:

  • "Of course! I remember seeing you at the Flagon, my mistake."

When the Dragonborn says they are also part of the Guild:

  • "Of course! I remember seeing you at the Flagon, my mistake. Good luck out there!"

When persuasion fails:

  • "Yes, actually. You look like you're lousy with gold. I'm not going to ask again."

When intimidation fails:

  • "Nice try, but you don't scare me. I'm not going to ask again."

When the Dragonborn says "I don't have time for this," or if they exit dialogue:

  • "Don't you walk away from me!" (The thief will then engage the Dragonborn in combat)

Nightingale's privilegesEdit

TESV Nightingale Armor Male

A Nightingale

Hail Nightingale! Luck has shined down on me and made me a rich man. Here is your cut, as promised. Good luck out there!"
―A thief

Once the Dragonborn has become a Nightingale member, these thieves will not attempt to rob the Dragonborn. Instead, they will give them a sum of gold, recognizing the Dragonborn as a Nightingale and will greet them.

Note: This encounter only happens if a minimum of one piece of Nightingale Armor is worn.


  • Sometimes, if the Dragonborn walks into someone's house in Riften, a thief will be inside. If the thief sees the Dragonborn, he will start running around the house silently. Killing this thief will not result in a bounty.
  • Items in a thief's inventory are never marked as stolen.
  • If the Dragonborn is a Nightingale and a female thief engages conversation with them, she will say "This job has made me a very rich woman." However, the subtitles will still refer to the thief as a male: "This job has made me a very rich man."


This section contains bugs related to Thief (Character). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person-anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  360   PS3   Multiple thieves may spawn in one location.
  •  360   PS3   If one takes everything a thief has by selecting "take all," then the thief's clothes may be taken, but no clothes go into the Dragonborn's inventory.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Thief (Character)

  • Attracting a thief

    2 messages
    • Is there any way to attract a thief? Or make a thief encounter more likely?
    • There's no way to attract them, but to me, they spawn very often when I just wander along the roads (well, at least once per character, I mean).
  • Thief became citizen

    2 messages
    • So.. a thief tried to rob the Riverwood Trader, me and the Valariuses or whatever caught him, and beat him. But he got back up, and now he ha...
    • The area reset might remove him after a while, some people have said occasionally those thieves will oddly spawn protected or essential (gua...

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