Vilkas is a Nord werewolf resident of Whiterun. He is the Master at Arms of the Companions and a member of the Circle, the most formidable and experienced of their warriors. Like the rest of the Companions, he lives in Jorrvaskr in the Wind District of Whiterun. He is a Master-level trainer in two-handed weaponry and serves as the Dragonborn's shield-brother in several of the Companions' quests. He is also one of the Companions who can assign radiant quests to the Dragonborn.
Upon completion of the Companions' main plotline, Vilkas can be recruited as a follower and becomes a potential marriage candidate. He can be recruited into the Blades if the Dragonborn talks to Delphine while having him as a follower, or as a steward if the Hearthfire DLC has been installed.
Vilkas and his twin brother, Farkas, were both raised in Jorrvaskr by Jergen, who rescued them from a cult of necromancers. It is unknown if he was their biological father. According to Vilkas, Jergen left to fight in the Great War but never returned.
Eventually, Vilkas and Farkas both officially joined the Companions and rose to the ranks of the Circle. They were said to be the youngest members to ever join, though this may be a play on words by Vignar Gray-Mane, referring to the twins' young age during their residence at Jorrvaskr rather than the age at which their membership became official.
As Master at Arms, Vilkas is in charge of training the younger members in weapon combat. He has a reputation of being hard on his students but is an excellent teacher.
At first, Vilkas seems to think the Dragonborn is not worthy of being a Companion. He does eventually warm up to the idea after the completion of "Glory of the Dead."
Vilkas is well-spoken, and considered to be an intelligent man by the other Companions, the counterpart to his brother's physical prowess. He, along with his brother and Kodlak, resists the call of the beast-blood, choosing instead to refrain from transformations. However, he struggles with the side-effects more harshly than the others.
He resents Jergen leaving them, and looks down on his brother's rosy description of their childhood. He at first claims that it is the promise of coin that feeds his blade, but later admits his respect for what the Companions represent and upholding the legacy of Ysgramor. He has great respect for Kodlak and trusts his judgement, even when it disagrees with his own.
Vilkas is also thought of as a hot-tempered man. For example, during "Purity of Revenge," he does not hesitate to avenge Kodlak's death. However, he does later show remorse for his rash actions, as seen in "Glory of the Dead," during which he refuses to enter the rest of Ysgramor's Tomb, feeling himself unworthy.
After the Companions' main questline is completed, Vilkas will eventually give the quest "Purity." In this quest, he will ask the Dragonborn to cure him of beast blood.
When the Dragonborn first approaches Kodlak Whitemane to join the Companions, he and Vilkas are having a private conversation. Kodlak assigns Vilkas the task of testing the Dragonborn's skill. Vilkas escorts the Dragonborn to the training yard and endures a few swings, then tells the Dragonborn to deliver his sword to the Skyforge for sharpening.
In this radiant quest, Vilkas requires the Dragonborn to track down and kill an escaped prisoner in a specific hold.
This radiant quest requires the Dragonborn to retrieve a random weapon or item from a radiant dungeon and deliver it back to Vilkas for payment.
In this radiant quest, Vilkas requires the Dragonborn to rescue a kidnapped citizen and escort the citizen home safely.
After Vilkas informs the Dragonborn of Kodlak's death, he demands they accompany him to Driftshade Refuge to retrieve the Fragments of Wuuthrad and wipe out the Silver Hand once and for all. Once the mission is complete and the two have returned to Whiterun, he informs the Dragonborn that all the Companions are meeting at the Skyforge for Kodlak's funeral.
After Kodlak's funeral, Vilkas accompanies the remaining members of the Circle to The Underforge. When the Dragonborn enters, he and Aela are arguing about granting Kodlak's final wish. The decision is made for the Circle to travel to Ysgramor's Tomb and cure Kodlak's spirit of lycanthropy so he may ascend to Sovngarde.
Once the Circle arrives and the tomb is opened, Vilkas chooses not to proceed, due to his grief clouding his judgement and making him unworthy. He cautions the others on what to expect and waits next to the statue of Ysgramor outside the burial chamber. Once the quest is complete, Vilkas decides to stay at the tomb with the other Circle members for a while.
Vilkas wishes to rid himself of his beast blood. To cure him, the Dragonborn must take him to Ysgramor's Tomb, throw a Glenmoril Witch Head into the fire, and then kill Vilkas's beast spirit.
After Vilkas's beast blood is removed, the Dragonborn can speak to him again for more radiant quests. Eventually, he will have the quest Dragon Seekers for the Dragonborn, indicated by the speech option "Is there any work to be done?"
Vilkas will tell the Dragonborn of people coming to Whiterun with rumors of dragons, and how he would like to see one for himself. He will then give the Dragonborn the location of one of the Word Walls to travel to and kill the dragon located there. Once complete, he will elect to remain behind for a while so he can pay the proper respects to the fallen dragon.
"An Amulet of Mara? You're not married? [surprised chuckle] Surprising."
Interested in me, are you? "I am. I'd be glad to stand by your side until the Divines take us, i..if you'll have me."
- I will. Together, then. "Together."
- I'm sorry. I'm not interested. "[dejected sigh] I see."
Vilkas can train up to level 90 in Two-Handed.
If recruited as a follower, his services as a trainer are still available. Any money paid can be taken out of his inventory afterwards, effectively making the training free.
As a follower, Vilkas has no tolerance for crime. If the Dragonborn has a bounty in any hold, Vilkas will draw his sword and advance on the Dragonborn, but will not attack unless provoked.
Ria: "It just feels so slow."
Vilkas: "It will feel that way for a while. But eventually you'll get used to it, and then you'll get faster with it. After that, the shortsword will feel like a knitting needle when you pick it up again."
Ria: "I've never held a knitting needle."
Vilkas: "Of course not. My mistake."
Ria: "Should I be holding the blade further away than a smaller one?"
Vilkas: "If you keep it in close, you'll have more control, but it can be harder to balance a strike."
Ria: "I guess that comes down to footwork, then."
Vilkas: "Exactly. When you have a big, heavy weight swinging around your upper body, your lower body has to compensate, or you'll fall right over."
Ria: "Why can't I train with Aela?"
Vilkas: "Because, you wanted to learn the longer blades. Aela's never used anything bigger than a dagger
Ria: "It's just...I think our fighting styles are similar."
Vilkas: "Well, you can either get better with a bow or try to learn from me."
- "Vilkas" means "wolf" in Lithuanian. His brother's name, "Farkas," also means wolf in Hungarian.
- He claims to have killed every type of creature in Skyrim.
- Vilkas usually says that he likes and prefers two-handed weapons, and he always uses them when he is the Dragonborn's follower or when he is in a quest. However, Vilkas uses a one-handed sword and a shield if encountered before completion of the quest "Take Up Arms."
- Vilkas may be randomly encountered out in the wilderness killing a giant or sabre cat along with Ria or other Companions.
- If the Dragonborn marries Farkas, Vilkas may appear in the Temple of Mara as a wedding guest; if addressed, he warmly expresses his happiness for the couple.
- Vilkas was voiced by Michael Gough. He and the voice actor for Farkas (Michael "Popeye" Vogelsang) also voice Majni and Akar, another set of brothers and Nord werewolves from the Frostmoon Pack.
- After the Companions' questline, if the Dragonborn does not wear Wolf Armor, Vilkas will be the only member of the Circle to wear the armor.
- Although Vilkas claims to "know the Companions' history as well as Vignar," and to come to him with any questions about their history, there is actually no dialogue option to ask about the Companions' history; the only "history" options are to ask about how he and his brother became Companions.
- Vilkas is not tagged as essential after completing "Glory of the Dead," unlike his brother, who is always essential.
- If a title is earned before joining the Companions, such as being Thane of Whiterun or Arch-Mage of College of Winterhold, Vilkas still says to Kodlak that "I've never even heard of this person." when Kodlak approves the Dragonborn to join the Companions.
- Vilkas is the only member of the Circle not to carry a key to Whiterun's gate.
- During Take Up Arms, before he agrees to measure the player character's strength, Vilkas protests Kodlak's decision, "But Master...", to which Kodlak shouts "I am no one's master!"
- Kodlak writes in his journal that Vilkas is "as fierce as a sabre cat" in battle.
- Vilkas states in his dialogue that Jergen "left to fight in the Great War and never came back." However, per The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Prima Official Game Guide, Jergen was killed in a battle with brigands near Dawnstar several years ago.
This section contains bugs related to Vilkas. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
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