Ulfric Stormcloak is the Jarl of Windhelm during the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. He is the Leader of the Stormcloak rebellion, which believes that Skyrim should free itself from the Empire. He is first seen bound and gagged accompanied by the Dragonborn, traveling to Helgen, for their execution.
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. Ulfric felt compelled to help the war effort and left High Hrothgar to join the Imperial Legion, much to the disdain of Arngeir, who believed that the Way of the Voice should only be used for the worship of Kynareth.
The Great War
During the Great War, Ulfric was captured as a prisoner of war and tortured by Elenwen for information by the Dominion. While still imprisoned, the Dominion falsely led him to believe that the information they extracted from him was used in the sack of the White Gold Tower in Cyrodiil. Ulfric was then allowed to escape the Dominion prison, and he returned to Skyrim. He was also a distinguished war hero during The Battle for the Imperial City, but the details of this were never mentioned.
The Markarth Incident
During the Great War, the Thalmor claimed the Imperial City, forgetting the other provinces. The Nords lost possession of the Reach to the Breton Forsworn. Ulfric and his men liberated the area, with the aid of the Thu'um. Some believed him a hero, while others labeled him an opportunist. As a result of the battle, known as "The Markarth Incident", Ulfric stationed a Nordic Militia in the area to aid in keeping the Forsworn that had retreated from retaking the city. The Jarl, in return, promised to see the worship of Talos restored to the Hold. Hearing of the battles in Markarth, the Thalmor returned to the area and threatened to wage war on The Reach; the Jarl relented in favor of avoiding bloodshed. 
Jarl of Windhelm
His father, the Jarl of Windhelm, known simply as "The Bear of Eastmarch", died during his incarceration with the Thalmor. 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.
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 now Jarl of Windhelm, 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. 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 to Windhelm. Some time after this event, the Imperial Legion managed to lure Ulfric into a trap in order to capture him. The trap worked and Ulfric surrendered himself without a fight. General Tullius ordered Ulfric to be sent to Cyrodil 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 that already is defeated by the Thalmor. After witnessing the 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.
Ulfric also seeks to become the next High King, as he believes there hasn't been a "true" high king in Skyrim for generations, and that previous kings were puppets that were hand-picked by the Emperor.
With several of his policies being nationalistic in tone, many non-Nord and some Nords consider Ulfric to be prejudicial. He sequestered the Dunmer population in Windhelm in the slums of the Gray Quarter and the Argonians to the assemblage off the docks. 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.
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.
Execution at Helgen
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. He was 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 usurp the throne, opposed by the Imperial Legion.
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If choosing to aid Ulfric in the Stormcloak resistance, the Dragonborn is sent to Korvanjund to retrieve the Jagged Crown. Ulfric believes the relic will secure his claim to the throne. Retrieving it, he sends the Dragonborn to Whiterun to deliver an axe, a symbol of challenge, to Balgruuf the Greater. Balgruuf sends the weapon back to Ulfric, and Ulfric sends the Dragonborn to help his Stormcloaks assault Whiterun, stationing Vignar Gray-Mane as the Jarl there. To expand his plot for becoming High King, Ulfric sends the Dragonborn to Solitude to question Jarl Elisif the Fair of her allegiance to him or to the Empire.
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. But 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. After the Battle for Windhelm, the Dragonborn storms his throne room, and he requests that the Dragonborn will kill him, as "it will make for a better song". Upon death, he can be encountered in Sovngarde as a specter, interestingly regretting his belligerent actions against the Empire due to how it only weakend Skyrim and strengthened the Thalmor.
Or, 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 Civil War. Ulfric will help in the Battle for Solitude. After the battle of Solitude, Ulfric can be found at both Windhelm and Solitude, as a clear sign that he combined his status as High King of Skyrim and Jarl of Windhelm.
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|Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak's Stats|
|Level||10 to 50 (Player Level x 1.2)|
|Health||155 to 671|
|Stamina||80 to 214|
Behind the scenes
- Ulfric Stormcloak is voiced by Vladimir Kulich.
- The sword Ulfric gives to the Dragonborn upon taking Solitude, a Sword of the Vampire, is likely a reference to Stormbringer, the vampiric blade of Elric of Melnibone.
- Ulfric's leveled stat growth is identical to that of the Housecarl Followers.
- Because the game currently does not level up NPCs after they are first generated, and Ulfric is generated in the opening cutscene, he is locked at his lowest possible level (level 10) for the rest of the game, including the final battle of the Civil War questline.
- If attacked for any reason after finishing the Whiterun Quest, any other save the player reverts to causes the Jarl to be hostile toward the Dragonborn, while his palace guards do not.
- Sometimes Ulfric's corpse does not disappear as it should, after being killed. The same problem occurs with Galmar Stone-Fist. If this is the case whenever someone walks past him they will continue to say things like "Damn shame," or "Oh, Gods, no, this can't be happening." If you don't want to have to see their dead bodies every time you visit the Palace of the Kings, simply drag their bodies down to the kitchen and hide them behind the stack of barrels next to the door.