Elder Scrolls

Thieves Guild (Skyrim)

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TESV Banner ThievesGuild
"Our access to those bits of luck are what separates us from common bandits."
Gallus Desidenius[src]
For this faction in other games, see Thieves Guild.

The Thieves Guild is one of several joinable factions that appear in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Stationed in The Ratway beneath the city of Riften, members of the Thieves Guild are renowned for causing trouble in the city. Members of the guild specialize in stealing objects of varying value or loaning septims. Most citizens view them unfavorably; Mjoll the Lioness has made it her duty to maintain order in Riften and pledges to dismantle the guild. Maven Black-Briar, the affluent owner of the popular Black-Briar Meadery, consorts with the guild in exchange for their aid. The guild has an uncanny luck due to certain members striking up a deal with the Daedric Prince, Nocturnal, to serve as her guardians.


Flagon-cistern skyrim
The Ragged Flagon - Cistern, home of the Thieves Guild
ZimakaruAdded by Zimakaru
Little is known about when and how the Thieves Guild was founded, but it is rumored to have been around as long as Riften has. As the Fourth Era continued, the Thieves Guild slipped further and further into obscurity and the members and regular clients began to leave (with the exception of Maven Black-Briar).

The guild was previously believed to be completely fictional; in Oblivion, if asked about the guild, Guards would simply state that there was no such thing. However, the Thieves Guild has become well known and, in fact, well renowned for their thievery. The guild is in close association with the Dark Brotherhood which becomes apparent in The Silence Has Been Broken, where the player must bring an amulet given by Amound Motierre to Delvin Mallory, a member of the Thieves Guild.


To join the Thieves Guild the Dragonborn must enter Riften during the day, and speak to Brynjolf, a red-headed Nord male, who can be found in the Riften Marketplace between 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Once the Dragonborn is within proximity, Brynjolf will automatically attempt to strike up a conversation in which the Thieves Guild prerequisite quest A Chance Arrangement can be started. Alternatively, in the evenings past 8:00 p.m., the Dragonborn can encounter Brynjolf at The Bee and Barb inn, at which time he will tell the player to speak with him during the day at his stall in the Riften Marketplace.

Brynjolf, when encountered during the daytime, will give the dragonborn instructions to steal Madesi's Silver Ring from the strongbox located under his stall and then plant it inside of the pocket of Brand-Shei, the local general stall owner. He is identified as the only male Dunmer (or Dark Elf) in the crowd. Brynjolf will start a distraction by calling everybody within the area to listen to the story of his latest product that he's selling. During this time, carry out the plan as discussed with Brynjolf. Planting the ring will instantly end Brynjolf's tale he is telling to the crowd thus dispersing it. He will now tell the dragon born to meet him in the Ragged Flagon down in the Ratway to discuss membership.

Even if the dragonborn fails to acquire the ring, joining the Guild is stil possible, Brynjolf says he still believes the dragonborn has what it takes despite failure of the quest. It will, however, make a few members of the guild treat the dragonborn with more disdain, initially.


Main quests

  1. A Chance Arrangement
  2. Taking Care of Business
  3. Loud and Clear
  4. Dampened Spirits
  5. Scoundrel's Folly
  6. Speaking With Silence
  7. Hard Answers
  8. The Pursuit
  9. Trinity Restored
  10. Blindsighted
  11. Darkness Returns
  12. Under New Management

Small jobs

Delvin and Vex offer an unlimited number of radiant quests known as "jobs." The target item(s) and location are generated randomly. Jobs can be accepted and quit at will and it is possible (and efficient) to run a job for Delvin and one for Vex simultaneously. The reward for each mission is between 50 and 500GoldIcon. After performing five small jobs in Whiterun, Markarth, Windhelm, and Solitude, a special job will be unlocked for each. Killing those crucial to the job results in a failure, and no payment is given to the player.

Delvin mallory
Delvin Mallory, member of the Thieves Guild and Master Sneak trainer
JadadinAdded by Jadadin

Delvin Mallory's jobs

  • The Bedlam Job - Steal enough items to get a given value within the assigned Hold. Legally taking an item from a house may not count towards it.
    • A very effective method is stealing an expensive item, going to a secluded location, then dropping it and picking it up a few times. Each time the item is picked up it counts as theft.
    • Items with red names are stolen items. These can only be sold to a Thieves' Guild Fence.
    • An easy yet slightly rare method of reaching the required goal is to accept a 'Sweep Job' from Vex at the same time, and then quit and retake the jobs until they are both in the same city. When the Sweep Job is completed, the Bedlam Job will be done also.
  • The Fishing Job - Pickpocket an item from a given character.
    • Can be difficult, but the quest item has usually a higher success percentage for pickpocketing than its usual kind, hence it is great training for this skill.
    • Save before pickpocketing the item to prevent getting caught and paying bounty.
    • These are also good jobs to take to unlock the Thief Achievement.
    • A rather tricky fishing job is to steal Olava the Feeble's silver ruby ring, due to the fact that usually when she's not asleep she is sitting on a bench with almost no way to sneak up to steal her ring. However, one does not need to be hidden to successfully pickpocket.
  • The Numbers Job - Modify the ledger book at a given business. This is the easiest of Delvin's three jobs to complete. Near the ledger book, there might be a business safe box containing some GoldIcon.
Vex, member of the Thieves Guild and Master Lockpicking Trainer
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Vex's jobs

  • The Burglary Job - Steal an item from a house.
    • Can be done during the day or night easily, as the owner either sleeps or is at work
    • The best time to do this sort of job is around 7:30 PM, as there is no one at home or on the street
  • The Heist Job - Steal an item from a business.
    • If tried during the day the shop owner will most likely follow the player around.
  • The Shill Job - Plant a stolen item in an NPC's home.
    • Similar to Burglary. May be considered relatively easy, considering that the only "illegal" part of the job is trespassing, and getting caught by the guards any time during it doesn't cause it to be failed.
  • The Sweep Job - Steal three items from a house.

City Influence Quests

After completing five Small Jobs in a city (with the exception of Riften), Delvin Mallory will offer a special job to restore Thieves Guild influence in that city. These quests can be taken in any order. The city influence quests are necessary in order to complete Under New Management and assume the title of Guildmaster. (However, before completing them all, see the bugs reported for Under New Management.) Becoming Guildmaster allows access to the Guild Master's Tribute Chest.

Each city influence quest that is completed will add a merchant stall to The Ragged Flagon. In addition, the gold available to fences throughout Skyrim gradually increases as these quests are completed, up to a maximum of 4000. The third and fourth city influence quests will each add a new recruit to the Guild as well: first Garthar, and then Ravyn Imyan.

Quest Prerequisite City Reward
Imitation Amnesty

5 small jobs in that city

Whiterun One new merchant's stall.
Summerset Shadows 5 small jobs in that city Windhelm

Unlocks Niranye as a fence (if she didn't act aggressive and was killed when talked to during the quest).

One new merchant's stall.

Silver Lining 5 small jobs in that city Markarth

Unlocks Endon as a fence.

One new merchant's stall.

The Dainty Sload 5 small jobs in that city Solitude

One new merchant's stall.

Deliver Moon Sugar to Ri'saad Complete 3 city influence quests. N/A

Khajiit Caravans will offer a fence as well as a small gold reward from Tonilia

While related, Deliver Moon Sugar to Ri'saad is not itself a city influence quest. It is given by Tonilia rather than Delvin Mallory, and is not a prequisite for Under New Management.


Name Service Available
Syndus Arrows and weapons merchant Complete 1 city influence quest
Herlium Lothaire Alchemist Complete 2 city influence quests
Arnskar Ember-Master Blacksmith Complete 3 city influence quests
Vanryth Gatharian Weapons and armor merchant Complete 4 city influence quests

Although these unlocked merchants work for the guild, they do not act as fences and therefore do not buy goods marked as stolen.

Advantages To Joining

  • Access to the Thieves Guild headquarters.
  • A suit of Thieves Guild Armor.
  • Nightingale Armor, The Nightingale Blade, and The Nightingale Bow after proceeding up the ranks.
  • Three interchangeable unique powers once the Nightingale story arc is complete.
  • Access to Chillrend.
  • Fences who will buy stolen as well as regular goods and can carry larger amounts of gold (4,000 after completing all four improvement quests; they have 1,000 gold initially).
  • Tonilia, the fence for the Guild.
  • Chests ranging from novice to master for building up the lockpicking skill.
  • Free gold and lockpicks lying around the headquarters.
  • Unlimited thievery radiant quests which reward gold.
  • Master-level training in Lockpicking (Vex), Archery (Niruin), Pickpocket (Vipir the Fleet), and Sneak (Delvin Mallory).
  • Guild Master's Armor and the Amulet of Articulation can be obtained once the main quest line and the guild improvement quests are completed.
  • Dialogue option to avoid conflict with thieves encountered on the roads, later upgraded to such thieves paying the dragonborn tributes. (This appears in the Thieves Guild Master's tribute chest directly in front of the desk located in the Cistern).
  • Guards can be bribed even if the character has low Speech skill and no bribe perk.
  • With a low bounty, if caught pickpocketing, take out the equipped weapon (if not already out) and then put it away to initiate a speech option to get away with every thing for around 12 gold (along with all other guards leaving the dragonborn alone).
  • The Skeleton Key, an unbreakable lockpick (temporary).
  • The only way to learn one of the words of the Disarm shout is to complete the first six primary quests.

Trophy cases

Main article: Thieves Guild Trophies
Thieves Guild Trophies
All unique items including the Crown of Barenziah and Bust of the Grey Fox.
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Various unique items can be stolen during the Thieves Guild quests and sold to Delvin. As each is collected and sold to Delvin, they will be displayed on the shelves behind Mercer's Desk where they can freely be taken or left as decoration. By following the questline, the items appear in the following order:

Trophies also appear for completing a certain number of jobs assigned by Vex and Delvin:

Finally, the Crown of Barenziah is placed on the bust in the center of the shelves upon completion of the mission No Stone Unturned.


Players seeking to complete these city quests as fast as possible should quick save before getting a new job and then ask for Bedlam Jobs from Delvin and Sweep Jobs from Vex. (Hint: quick save once the dialogue is finished, but before the quest objective appears to avoid going through the conversation again) Once the sweep job is done, the bedlam job will be completed as well, essentially completing two tasks at once. If it is in a city whose influence quest has already been completed, quick load and try again. Another way is to quit the job Delvin and/or Vex assigned, then ask for the job again. There are no negative repercussions for quitting jobs, excluding the multiple failed missions in the quest log and the short disapproving dialogue after each quit job.

Although if the dragonborn quits a sweep job in one place and then gets that job again later, he/she risks having difficulties stealing the items since the new/latest rendered item could spawn inside the old item that is left from the first job. For example, the dragonborn could get a jeweled pitcher inside another jewled pitcher. On pc this can be resolved by using the console and simply <disable> the outer/old item from the quited job.





Main article: Trainer (Skyrim)


Fences buy stolen goods. There are a total of nine different fences throughout Skyrim, including each Khajiit caravan:

Fence Location Unlocked
Tonilia (Default)

Ragged Flagon, Riften.

Upon completion of Taking Care of Business
Mallus Maccius

Honningbrew Meadery.

Upon completion of Dampened Spirits

Winking Skeever, Solitude.

Upon completion of Scoundrel's Folly

Hall of Attainment, College of Winterhold.

Upon completion of Hard Answers

Windhelm Marketplace, Windhelm.

Upon completion of Summerset Shadows
Endon Silver Blood Inn, Markarth Upon completion of Silver Lining
Khajiit Caravans Outside of cities, near their stables. Upon completion of Deliver Moon Sugar to Ri'Saad

Armor sets

TESV Nightingale Armor Male
Nightingale Armor on a male character
When completing quests in the Thieves guild questline, the player can obtain four different armor sets.
  • A full set of Thieves Guild Armor can be found on the shelves in the training room in the Cistern. It respawns over a period of time.
Guild Master's Armor Set
Guild Master's Armor Set
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Expulsion from the guild

Thieves caught attacking other guild members or one of their associates are removed from the guild and none of the members speak to them. To rejoin the guild, speak to Vex, for a fee of 1,000 GoldIcon, the guild can be rejoined. Being caught pickpocketing other guild members will not result in being removed from the guild.


  • Occasionally a random event occurs where an unnamed Thief will attempt to lockpick a door in any city. Guards will attack the thief until he's either dead or he escapes. The thief will never attack the player, and he can be killed without any repercussions.
    • Normally this random thief has:
      • Gold (random amount)
      • Lockpicks (random amount)
      • Random houseware (candlesticks, platters, plates, etc.)
      • Gems (random assortment)
  • In the small training room in the Cistern, there are chests for each level of difficulty. These chests contain leveled loot, and will respawn after a few in-game days, providing the player with a good source of money and training.
  • A book written by Delvin Mallory can be found in the Flagon, called Shadowmarks. Shadowmarks are carvings into buildings near their main doorways, and are very handy in pointing out locations around cities that have good loot.
  • Unlike the other factions, namely The Companions and the College of Winterhold, none of the Thieves Guild members can be married. This is also true with the Dark Brotherhood.



  • If the player does not have the full set of basic thieves guild gear (whether sold, lost, etc.), then after they receive the "free upgrade to a piece of your choice" option, all future interactions with her result in a dead-end discussion of upgrading the gear. The player will be unable to fence anything with her. Also, the Quests Deliver Moon Sugar to Ri'saad and Under New Management are not completed until the armor trade is made.
  • PS3 As of Patch 1.4, a complete set of Thieves Guild Armor is found around the Ragged Flagon - Cistern (training room) that Tonilia will accept if the player loses the first set, meaning she will upgrade it, get new dialogue, start fencing again, and the player can actually complete the Thieves Guild questline. This secondary set of armor does respawn. (Xbox confirmed)
  • Alternatively, this could be circumvented by using the console to spawn replacement gear. As there are three different sets of Thieves Guild Armor that can be spawned through the console, the codes to spawn the starter set pieces are as follows:
    • player.additem 000d3ac2 1
    • player.additem 000d3ac3 1
    • player.additem 000d3ac4 1
    • player.additem 000d3ac5 1

 PS3   After completing "Loud and Clear," Brynolf will not assign the next quest and, when talking to him, he will only respond, "Sorry lad/lass, I've got important things to do; we'll speak another time."


Taking Care of Business (Achievement)
Taking Care of Business
Join the Thieves Guild
Points 10 Game points
Bronze trophy

Darkness Returns (Achievement)
Darkness Returns
Complete "Darkness Returns"
Points 10 Game points
Bronze trophy

One with the Shadows (Achievement)
One with the Shadows
Returned the Thieves Guild to its former glory
Points 30 Game points
Silver trophy

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