For the character in The Elder Scrolls: Legends, see Tolfdir (Legends).

Tolfdir is an elderly Nord mage at the College of Winterhold, where he teaches. An old, wise, and friendly mage, Tolfdir is adept in defensive magic, plus a master of Alteration and a trainer in its use. Some spells he sells include Telekinesis, Waterbreathing and Ebonyflesh. He serves as the Dragonborn's teacher and guide at the college. When Ancano is defeated, Tolfdir becomes Master Wizard of the College, succeeding Mirabelle Ervine following her death at the hands of the Thalmor agent.

Wares and routineEdit

As well as offering Master-level training in Alteration, Tolfdir sells Alteration-based items such as jewelry, staves, spell tomes, and mage robes. When not teaching in the Hall of the Elements, Tolfdir may be found sleeping or eating on the lower level of the Hall of Attainment.

After completing "Under Saarthal," Tolfdir may remain at the Eye of Magnus in Saarthal, until the next quest in the College's main quest line, "Hitting the Books," is completed. 


Despite his age and apparently absent-minded nature, Tolfdir is a very powerful mage; however, he is never boastful, nor does he abuse his influence at the college.


During the Dragonborn's first lessons at the college, Tolfdir instructs the apprentices about the proper use of wards. He also provides a lesser ward spell, free of charge, if it isn't already known. Thereafter, he serves as a master-level trainer for Alteration, staying in the Hall of the Elements and studying the Eye of Magnus while it is there.

Tolfdir's second lesson takes the apprentices to Saarthal, where the Dragonborn stumbles upon a secret passageway while collecting magical artifacts. Tolfdir accompanies the Dragonborn as a companion from this stage until the Eye of Magnus is discovered at the end of the crypt.

After recovering the Staff of Magnus from Labyrinthian, Toldfir gets paralyzed when he tries to assist with defeating Ancano. Afterwards, he replaces Mirabelle Ervine as Master Wizard, due to her death in the skirmish that followed Ancano's seizing of The Eye.

At regular intervals, Tolfdir misplaces his alembic, which can be located in one of three places in the Hall of Countenance.


Inappropriate interruptionEdit

Ancano "I'm afraid I must intrude. I need to speak to your associate immediately."
Tolfdir "This is most inappropriate! We are involved in serious research here!"
Ancano "[condescending] Yes, I've no doubt of its gravity. This, however, is a matter that cannot wait."
Tolfdir "Well, I'm quite sure I've never been interrupted like this before...the audacity!...[to player] I suppose we'll have to continue this at some later time, when we can avoid interruptions."



  • Tolfdir has heterochromia iridum. His right eye is hazel and his left eye is green.
  • During the quest "The Staff of Magnus," Tolfdir is made Master Wizard, replacing the late Mirabelle Ervine.
  • Despite the Dragonborn being named Arch-Mage of the college after completing "The Eye of Magnus" quest, Tolfdir is effectively in charge of the college after that point. There are no more main duties or quests with other NPCs of the college than before. Tolfdir is also the one to answer to if the Dragonborn steals, assaults someone, or otherwise breaks the college's rules and ends up being forced to complete the quest "Rejoining the College."
  • He recognizes Talos as a Divine. In the quest "The Eye of Magnus," he exclaims "By the Nine...." and "What in Talos' name!"
  • Although he sells a ward spell during the player's first lesson, and can be conversed with about how to use them, wards are from the school of Restoration, not Alteration.
  • Tolfdir, among several other characters, is voiced by George Coe, an original member of Saturday Night Live's first cast, and commonly known as the voice of Woodhouse from the FX series Archer.


This section contains bugs related to Tolfdir. 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  ,  NX  , 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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Tolfdir may travel to Whiterun Stables during Under Saarthal. From there, he moves near Mount Anthor, finally proceeding to Saarthal.
  •  PC   360   PS3   When teaching the Lesser Ward spell, Tolfdir may not shoot fire at the Dragonborn.
  •  PC   Tolfdir may only be able to sell Novice leveled spell tomes.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Tolfdir may repeatedly speak to the Dragonborn about saving the College, rendering him unable to sell items.


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