Elder Scrolls

Ulfric Stormcloak

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Ulfric Stormcloak
Ulfric Jarl
Race Nord
Gender Male
Level PCx1.2 (10-50)
Class Warrior
Faction Stormcloaks
Rank Jarl
Ref ID 0001B131
Base ID 000D0575
"I fight for the men I've held in my arms, dying on foreign soil! I fight for their wives and children, whose names I heard whispered in their last breath. I fight for we few who did come home, only to find our country full of strangers wearing familiar faces. I fight for my people impoverished to pay the debts of an Empire too weak to rule them, yet brands them criminals for wanting to rule themselves! I fight so that all the fighting I've already done hasn't been for nothing! I fight... because I must."
―Ulfric Stormcloak[src]

Ulfric Stormcloak is the Jarl of Windhelm and leader of the Stormcloak rebellion. He believes that Skyrim should free itself from the Empire. Some believe Ulfric to be a hero,[1] while others label him an opportunist.[2]

He is first seen bound and gagged, accompanying the Dragonborn and a few other prisoners of war while traveling to Helgen for their execution.


Early life

As a boy, Ulfric was chosen by the Greybeards to study with them at High Hrothgar. He trained with them for almost ten years and developed his skills in the Way of the Voice. He was to become a Greybeard himself, but his life took a different path when the Great War began in 4E 171. Ulfric felt compelled to help the war effort and left High Hrothgar to join the Imperial Legion,[3] much to the disdain of Arngeir, who believed that the Way of the Voice should only be used for the worship of Kynareth.[4]

The Great War

During the Great War, he fought alongside Galmar Stone-Fist and Legate Rikke, however he was captured by the Aldmeri Dominion during the campaign for the Imperial City.

While imprisoned, he was interrogated by Elenwen for information, under which they learned of his potential value (being the son of the Jarl of Windhelm), assigning him as an asset. He was made to believe information obtained during his interrogation was crucial in the capture of the Imperial City in Cyrodiil, even though it had fallen before any information could be gained.[3] The Thalmor Dossier on Ulfric says he was then allowed to escape; whether he escaped on his own and the Thalmor were unable to apprehend him or if he was intentionally set free is not known. He was also a distinguished war hero during the battle for the Imperial City, but the details of this are never mentioned.

The Markarth Incident

Palace of the Kings Insignia

The banner of Windhelm.

In 4E 175, The Great War ended with the Empire signing the White-Gold Concordat, an act which banned the worship of Talos in the Empire.[5] During the war, the Nords lost possession of the Reach due to an uprising by a group of Bretons known as Reachmen.

Igmund, son of the previous Jarl of the Reach, took it upon himself to seek help from Ulfric in ousting the Reachmen invaders. He promised Ulfric that if he re-took the Reach, then Igmund as Jarl would allow free worship of Talos. Ulfric agreed and marched his militia to the gates of Markarth and retook the city, supposedly using the power of his Thu'um.[6]

The leader of the Reachmen, Madanach, was captured by Igmund but was spared by prominent Markarth citizen Thonar Silver-Blood, as he was deemed more valuable alive than dead.[7] The surviving Reachmen fled to the hills of the Reach and became known as the Forsworn. As a result of the battle, later known as the Markarth Incident, Ulfric stationed a Nordic militia in the area to aid in keeping the Forsworn that had retreated from retaking Markarth. Igmund kept his promise to Ulfric and allowed free worship of Talos.

When the Imperial Legion arrived to restore the rule of law, Ulfric refused them entry into the city until they also agreed free worship of Talos would be allowed. With chaos supposedly running through the streets of Markarth and the reports of deaths rising every day, the Empire had no choice but to grant Ulfric and his men their worship, thus jeopardizing the peace agreement with the Aldmeri Dominion.[6]

Eventually, The Empire rescinded upon the agreement due to pressure from the Aldmeri Dominion, and Ulfric and his militia were expelled from the city and imprisoned shortly after. This betrayal left Ulfric bitter towards the Empire and is considered to be the initial conception of the Stormcloak rebellion.[6]

Jarl of Windhelm

His father, the Jarl of Windhelm, known simply as "The Bear of Eastmarch", died during his incarceration. Ulfric, his only son, was forced to deliver his eulogy via a letter that he had smuggled out of prison. Leaving prison, Ulfric returned to Windhelm to find the city in mourning. The citizens were said to have been calling out for justice and war against the Aldmeri Dominion. Naturally, they sat Ulfric on the throne and he became Jarl.[4]

High King Torygg

In 4E 201, after years of brewing resentment for what he and his followers considered the Empire's betrayal of Skyrim, Ulfric challenged High King Torygg to a duel. Ulfric maintains it was to show how weak Skyrim had become under Imperial rule. He also claims that it was a formal duel in the "Old Nord Way" and that Torygg accepted the challenge.[4] Others in Skyrim, such as General Tullius, denounced the act as murder and an attempt to usurp the throne.

After Torygg's death, Ulfric fled back to Windhelm. Some time after this event, the Imperial Legion managed to lure Ulfric into a trap at Darkwater Crossing in order to capture him. The trap worked, and Ulfric surrendered himself without a fight.[8] General Tullius ordered Ulfric to be sent to Cyrodiil to face trial, but there was a change of plan and instead it was decreed that Ulfric be publicly executed in Helgen.

Policies and beliefs

Much of Stormcloak doctrine stems from Ulfric's views that Skyrim should secede from what he considers a crumbling Empire; one that already is defeated by the Thalmor. After witnessing the deaths of an untold number of Nords who sacrificed themselves during The Great War, Ulfric considered the White-Gold Concordat treaty between the Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion to be a complete betrayal of the Empire's citizens.[4]

Ulfric also seeks to become the next High King, as he believes there has not been a "true" High King in Skyrim for generations, and that previous kings were puppets that were hand-picked by the Emperor.[4] Some Nords feel that his opposition to the White-Gold Concordat and the banning of Talos worship in Skyrim is simply a facade for him to gain more supporters to gain his true goal of becoming High King of Skyrim.[9] However, asking Ulfric how he became Jarl of Eastmarch will reveal he is very dedicated in following the ways of traditional Nord beliefs. He says that the throne he sits on is Ysgramor's and his father's, rather than his, and that he only hopes he can do both of them proud.[4]

With several of his policies being nationalistic in tone, many non-Nord and some Nords consider Ulfric to be prejudicial. He is believed by some to have sequestered the Dunmer population in Windhelm in the slums of the Gray Quarter and the Argonians to the assemblage off the docks, issuing a decree forbidding the Argonians from living within the city's walls. However, Ulfric was not the one who established opening Windhelm to refugee Dark Elves, nor established the Argonian Assemblage and its rules; this was done in the First Era by Hoag Merkiller. [10].

Pleas from Dunmer citizens often fall on deaf ears, leading them to believe he has nothing but disdain for them. Some even claim Ulfric refuses to send aid to the Khajiit caravans and non-Nord towns that have been raided by bandits.[11] Dialogue shared between Ulfric and his steward Jorleif reveal, however, that he does not attend to the issues in his city because he is too preoccupied with the Stormcloak Rebellion and the greater issues of Skyrim to worry about them, saying it is the guards' jobs to deal with such issues.[12] He also allows non-Nords to live peacefully in Windhelm and own businesses, including Altmer and Imperials. He also allows a Dunmer, Belyn Hlaalu, to own a successful farm in the outskirts of the city, and employ an elderly Nord woman.

Ulfric admits to having fallen from the Greybeards' strict teachings about using the Way of the Voice for anything other than the worship of Kynareth, however he still believes that his Thu'um should not be used lightly and rarely uses his training.[4] He also still refers to Arngeir as "Master Arngeir", despite not training with them for a number of years.[13]


Execution at Helgen


Ulfric is charged with murder by General Tullius.

"Ulfric Stormcloak. Some here in Helgen call you a hero. But a hero doesn't use a power like the Voice to murder his king and usurp his throne. You started this war, plunged Skyrim into chaos, and now the Empire is going to put you down, and restore the peace."
―General Tullius[src]

At Helgen, Ulfric is among the prisoners awaiting execution along with the Dragonborn. He can be identified easily by the cloth he is gagged with, preventing him from using the Thu'um to escape his captors. He is scheduled to be executed when a dragon attacks the town. Ulfric escapes his execution and survives the dragon attack with the help of his men, and returns to Windhelm to resume his office of Jarl. When the Dragonborn meets him again, they discover that he and his Stormcloaks plot to gain control over all of Skyrim, an act opposed by the Imperial Legion.

Stormcloak Rebellion

"So it begins."
―Ulfric Stormcloak[src]
Ulfric Civil War3

Ulfric brandishing a sword.

If choosing to aid Ulfric in the Stormcloak resistance, the Dragonborn is sent to Korvanjund to retrieve the Jagged Crown. Ulfric's second-in-command, Galmar Stone-Fist, believes the relic will secure his claim to the throne. Retrieving it, he sends the Dragonborn to the neutral city of Whiterun to deliver his axe, a symbol of challenge, to Balgruuf the Greater, the Jarl. Balgruuf, reluctantly refusing to side with the Stormcloaks, returns the weapon to Ulfric. Not long after, Ulfric sends the Dragonborn to help his Stormcloaks assault Whiterun; when the city is conquered, he secures Stormcloak control by stationing Vignar Gray-Mane as the Jarl there. To expand the amount of Stormcloak-controlled territory in Skyrim, Ulfric sends the Dragonborn to the various other Imperial-controlled Holds to free them in preparation for the assault on Solitude.

Thane of Eastmarch

Upon completing a personal task for Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak, the Dragonborn is offered a place in his court as Thane of Eastmarch. However, a Thane needs to be known by the Jarl's subjects and therefore the Dragonborn must complete a series of tasks for the people of Eastmarch. To become Thane, the Dragonborn must purchase Hjerim, a previously condemned estate in Windhelm, and have completed the Blood on the Ice quest.


Ulfric can be killed during the Civil War if the Dragonborn chooses to side with the Empire. During the Battle for Windhelm, the Dragonborn storms his throne room, where a final battle ensues. During the battle, Ulfric uses his Thu'um against the attackers, the shout Unrelenting Force being among the shouts in his arsenal. When defeated, Ulfric requests that the Dragonborn kill him, as "it will make for a better song". Upon his death, he can be encountered in Sovngarde as a specter, regretting his decision to fight over the future of Skyrim instead of turning his attention on the return of the World-Eater, as the souls of the Nords that died in the Civil War only made Alduin stronger.

Alternatively, Ulfric can become the unofficial High King of Skyrim after the Battle for Solitude if the Dragonborn chooses to side with the Stormcloaks during the war. Ulfric will help in the battle, and will be encountered in Castle Dour in the final scene. Surprisingly, he does not expatriate Elisif the Fair from Solitude after the battle is won, despite her support for the Empire; she swears fealty to him and continues to live in the city even after the war has ended. After the battle, Ulfric returns to the Palace of the Kings in Windhelm.


Ulfric's Main Stats
Level 10 to 50 (Player Level x 1.2)
Health 155 to 671
Magicka 50
Stamina 80 to 214
Armor Rating 7
Light Armor 20
Heavy Armor 100
One-Handed 100
Two-Handed 72
Archery 98
Block 100
Speech 20
Smithing 20

It is possible, after completing the Legion questline, to obtain Ulfric's apparel after his death. His apparel is comprised of Ulfric's Clothes, Ulfric's Boots, and Ulfric's Bracers.



Wartime strategies

Ulfric: "Galmar thinks we should double our men in the Reach."
Jorleif: "A reasonable strategy."
Ulfric: "And you, Jorleif?"
Jorleif: "Well, sir, the hold of Falkreath is fairly vulnerable, and blocks the only road from Cyrodiil."
Ulfric: "A good point, old friend."
Jorleif: "To be sure, my lord, I am not skilled in the arts of war or military tactics."
Ulfric: "But you're able to see the whole in the parts, and for that I'm grateful."
Jorleif: "As you wish, sir."

Unrest in the Gray Quarter

Jorleif: "Sir, there continues to be unrest in the Gray Quarter."
Ulfric: "Blasted dark elves. I don't suppose you could tell them that I presently have larger concerns? Such as all of Skyrim?"
Jorleif: "They don't seem to be very sympathetic to our cause, sir."
Ulfric: "Let me know if you hear anything more substantial."
Jorleif: "Of course, my lord."

Message to the Reach

Ulfric: "Jorleif, I want you to send a messenger to our western camps."
Jorleif: "And the message, sir?"
Ulfric: "I'm diverting Gar and Haddring's men to join him."
Jorleif: "Is that wise, sir?"
Ulfric: "It will work if we can pull Hran's men from the south. And find a bit of luck."
Jorleif: "Of course. Something that seems to be in short supply these days."
Ulfric: "I'm not seeking advice right now, friend. Just send the message."


  • "Legends don't burn down villages."
  • "They have families to think of."
  • "Things hinge in Whiterun. If we can take the city without bloodshed all the better. But if not..."
  • "Soon."
  • "Yes, but why do you fight? If not for me, what then?"
  • "I will gladly retire from the world were such a day to dawn."
  • "He knows that. They all know that."
  • "You think I need to send Balgruuf a stronger message?"
  • "Up the stairs! Quickly!"
  • "Many I fear still need convincing."
  • "We've been soldiers a long time. We know the price of freedom. The people are still weighing things in their hearts."
  • "And what would you have me do?"
  • "Taking his city and leaving him in disgrace would make a more powerful statement, don't you think?"
  • "Torygg was merely a message to the other Jarls. Whoever we replace them with will need the support of our arms."
  • "Well put, friend. Tell me, Galmar, why you fight for me?"
  • "A crown doesn't make a king."
  • "Send the word. A new day is dawning and the sun rises over Whiterun."


If the Dragonborn sides with the Imperials during the Civil War and Ulfric is killed, he will appear in Sovngarde and will say the following lines:

  • "Skyrim was betrayed, the blood of her sons spilled in doomed struggle against fate. And so in death, too late, I learn the truth―fed by war, so waxed the power of Alduin, World-Eater―wisdom now useless. By gods' jest in this grim mist together snared, Stormcloak and Imperial, we wander hopeless, waiting for succor."
  • "Do you know the way? I'm weary and lost."
  • "Beware! The World-Eater waits within the mist!"
  • "There is no escape. Courage is useless."


  • "You want me to close my eyes? Would that even things up a little?"
  • "You're losing a lot of blood. Maybe you should sit down for a moment."
  • "Wake me up when you're ready to fight me for real."
  • "Call yourself a warrior?"
  • "I'm having fun, are you?"
  • "Talos smite you!"
  • "Come on, at least try to hurt me."
  • "Come on! I dare you!"
  • "You call this a fight?"
  • "Sovngarde awaits!"
  • "This should be fun!"
  • "Hahahaha!"
  • "Where's your precious Emperor now?" ―If the Dragonborn is in the Legion.
  • "Die, Imperial!" ―If the Dragonborn is in the Legion.


  • Ulfric Stormcloak is voiced by Vladimir Kulich, who plays a similar role in the film The 13th Warrior.
  • Ulfric's leveled stat growth is identical to that of the Housecarl followers.


This section contains bugs related to Ulfric Stormcloak. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , and  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.
  • Ulfric's corpse may not disappear after death. The same issue occurs with Galmar.
  •  360   Ulfric may become stuck in his throne. The Unrelenting Force Shout can be used to free him.
  • He will refer to the Dragonborn as "he", even if the character is female.



  1. Dialogue with Thongvor Silver-Blood
  2. Dialogue with Igmund
  3. 3.0 3.1 Thalmor Dossier: Ulfric Stormcloak
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Dialogue with Ulfric
  5. The Great War (Book)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Bear of Markarth
  7. Thonar's Journal
  8. Dialogue with Hadvar
  9. Dialogue with Threki the Innocent
  10. Scourge of the Gray Quarter
  11. Dialogue with Brunwulf Free-Winter
  12. Dialogue between Ulfric and Jorleif.
  13. Dialogue between Ulfric and Arngeir.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Ulfric Stormcloak

  • Jarl Marriage

    3 messages
    • I definitely would have liked to have the chance for that.. one of my wood elf lady characters would have been a perfect match for Ulfric :D
    • Marrying the single Jarls would've been quite the adventure. You'd basically have the City Guard at your feet and a Elsif or Ulfric to 'love' you. 
  • Has anyone else noticed...

    323 messages
    • How about a dwarven ballista turret, slow to fire and slow to reload, but packs a punch, and you can pick I up and fire It Halo style, but h...
    • Might be a bit heavy, even for a Dragonborn. I like the idea, but I picture it as something more like a half-ogre or Warforged (D&D/DDO) wo...

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