The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition Followers guide

Members of the Dark Brotherhood

Assassins are good to take around if you’re a stealth build yourself, as they are the less likely to blow your cover than other followers. Under that condition, we’ve listed them both as yay. However, if you aren’t using a sneak build, you should probably avoid these two.

Cicero / Dark Brotherhood Initiate

Cicero

Training: One-handed, archery, light armor, sneak.

Requirement: Join Brotherhood, spare his life during main questline.

Marriage: No.

Location: Dawnstar Sanctuary.

Yay!: Cicero has similar skills to the Dark Brotherhood Initiate, but he makes more entertaining comments as he follows you.

Dark Brotherhood Initiate

Training: One-handed, archery, light armor, sneak.

Requirement: Join Brotherhood, complete “Hail Sithis” quest.

Marriage: No.

Location: Dawnstar Sanctuary.

Yay!: Initiate’s have the same skill set as Cicero, which comes in handy if you’ve killed Cicero. You can choose between a male and female initiate.

Followers for hire

Each of these followers offers their services for a mere 500 gold. In most cases, dismissing these followers means you’ll have to pay another 500 to recruit them again.

Belrand / Erik / Jenassa

Belrand

Training: Destruction, restoration, one-handed, light armor.

Requirement: 500 gold.

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire him.

Location: The Winking Skeever in Solitude.

Yay!: Belrand is a mixture of warrior and mage, with an ability to heal. This makes him an extremely useful ally for nearly any build.

Erik

Training: Two-handed, block, archery, light armor.

Requirement: Convince his father, pay 500 gold.

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire him.

Location: The farm in Rorikstead.

Nay!: If a follower specializes in two-handed weapons, we prefer they also dabble in heavy armor. This is not the case with Erik, so we would avoid him.

Jenassa

Training: Archery, sneak, one-handed, block, light armor.

Requirement: 500 gold.

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire her.

Location: The Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun.

Yay!: Janassa is one of the few followers with five skill specialties. She is primarily an archer, with enough back up skills to make for a good melee warrior. Specializing in sneak makes her a valuable ally for players that like to use bow-centric sneak attacks.

Marcurio / Stenvar / Vorstag

Marcurio

Training: Destruction, restoration, conjuration, alteration, sneak.

Requirement: 500 gold.

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire him.

Location: The Bee and Barb in Riften.

Yay!: Marcurio is a good choice for players seeking a mage but who aren’t a member of the College of Winterhold.

Stenvar

Training: Two-handed, block, heavy armor, archery.

Requirement: 500 gold.

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire him.

Location: Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm.

Yay!: Stenvar is a great tank due to his heavy armor, block, and two-handed skills. He can also deal damage at a distance thanks to his archery skill.

Vorstag

Training: One-handed, heavy armor, block, archery.

Requirement: 500 gold.

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire him.

Location: Silver-Blood Inn in Markarth.

Yay!: Vorstag is quite similar to Stenvar, only he specializes in one-handed weaponry. A solid warrior. Plus, he can be found drunkenly dancing, so there’s that...

Quest/Task-locked Followers

These characters will follow you only after you’ve completed a quest/task/favor for or relating to them. The size and difficulty of the task varies, so we’ve factored that into our yays and nays.

Ahtar the Jailor / Benor / Borgakh the Steel Heart / Cosnach

Ahtar the Jailor

Training: Two-handed, block, heavy armor, archery.

Requirement: Agree to kill the leader at Broken Oar Grotto.

Marriage: No.

Location: Many places in Solitude. We found him in Jala’s house.

Nay!: Ahtar is a good tank build, and his default weapon is his executioner axe. However, he can be quite difficult to track down, and because he’s nothing too special, we would avoid him.

Benor

Training: Two-handed, block, heavy armor, archery.

Requirement: Beat him in a brawl.

Marriage: Yes, if you first beat him in a brawl.

Location: Wandering the streets of Morthal.

Yay!: Benor is a great tank, and his task is simple. As such, we recommend him.

Borgakh the Steel Heart

Training: One-handed, heavy armor, archery, sneak.

Requirement: Use speech skill, pay her dowry, or complete a small quest.

Marriage: Yes, after she becomes a follower.

Location: Training in the orc stronghold of Mor Khazgur.

Nay!: Unless you are an orc yourself, you’ll have to complete a quest before you can converse effectively with the residents of Mor Khazgur. Considering that in addition to the work you need to do for Borgakh in particular, we suggest passing on the orc. That, and her skills of heavy armor and sneak seem contradictory.

Cosnach

Training: One-handed, block, heavy armor, archery.

Requirement: Beat him in a brawl or buy him a drink.

Marriage: Yes, if you first do the above.

Location: Silver-Blood Inn in Markarth.

Yay!: Cosnach is a tank build that prefers shields, so we definitely like him. Plus, drunkards are always entertaining.

Ghorbash the Iron Hand / Sven / Uthgerd the Unbroken

Ghorbash the Iron Hand

Training: One-handed, block, archery, sneak, light armor.

Requirement: Complete a short quest for him.

Marriage: Yes, if he has become a follower.

Location: Training in the orc stronghold of Dushnikh Yal.

Yay!: Ghorbash’s light armor, sneak, and archery skills make him a good follower for stealth builds who haven’t joined the Brotherhood.

Sven

Training: Enchanting, Alchemy, Smithing, Archery.

Requirement: Complete “Love Triangle” in his favor.

Marriage: No.

Location: Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood.

Yay!: Sven is one of the few non-combat followers. Of course he can fight, but his real purpose is to round out players who don’t share his unique skill set.

Uthgerd the Unbroken

Training: One-handed, block, heavy armor, archery.

Requirement: Beat her in a brawl.

Marriage: Yes, beat her in a brawl.

Location: The Bannered Mare in Whiterun.

Yay!: Because Whiterun is one of the first locations you’ll find in the game, and beating Uthgerd in a brawl is easy, we recommend her as a follower.

Golldir / Illia / Adelaisa Vendicci

Golldir

Training: One-handed, block, heavy armor, archery.

Requirement: Clear his dungeon.

Marriage: No.

Location: Hillgrund’s Tomb in Whiterun Hold.

Nay!: Warrior followers are common, and most don’t require you clear an entire dungeon first before joining you. As such, we recommend you leave Golldir and his problems alone.

Illia

Training: Destruction, Restoration, Conjuration, Alteration.

Requirement: Clear her dungeon.

Marriage: No.

Location: Darklight Tower in The Rift.

Yay!: Illia is a powerful mage and a great choice for those who don’t have access to the followers in the College of Winterhold. Just make sure she doesn’t get too close to the enemy, for she has no armor skills.

Adelaisa Vendicci

Training: Speech, Smithing, Enchanting, Alchemy.

Requirement: Complete the side quest “Rise in the East” given by Orthus Endario.

Marriage: No.

Location: East Empire Company at the Windhelm docks.

Nay!: Adelaisa has a rare skill set for a follower, and is recommended if you are already completing her associated side quest. However, there are a couple other followers with similar skill sets that are easier to obtain (such as Sven).

Faendal / Mjoll the Lioness / Annekke Crag-Jumper

Faendal

Training: Archery, sneak, one-handed, light armor.

Requirement: Complete “Love Triangle” in his favor.

Marriage: No.

Location: Riverwood, near the lumber mill.

Nay!: You should side with Sven instead, because Sven has a fairly unique set of skills. Faendal is pretty ordinary.

Mjoll the Lioness

Training: Two-handed, heavy armor, block, archery.

Requirement: Retrieve her sword.

Marriage: Yes, if you complete her quest.

Location: Streets of Riften.

Yay!: Mjoll is a standard tank build, but she does wield a unique sword (her quest requires you retrieve it). She clashes with the Thieves Guild, so you may want to avoid her if you are completing Thieves Guild quests.

Annekke Crag-Jumper

Training: Archery, one-handed, block, light armor, sneak.

Requirement: Clear Uttering Hills Cave of bandits.

Marriage: No.

Location: Darkwater Crossing.

Yay!: Annekke is a stealth build. Normally we would pass, but she can train you in light armor and has five skills.

Derkeethus / Roggi Knot-Beard / Kharjo

Derkeethus

Training: Archery, one-handed, light armor, block, sneak.

Requirement: Free him from Darkwater Pass.

Marriage: Yes, if you free him.

Location: Darkwater Pass, then Darkwater Crossing.

Nay!: You have to find his cell in Darkwater Pass, find the lever above his cage, and unlock it (requires Expert skill). It’s a lot of hassle for a fisherman. He is the only Argonian follower, though, so there’s that... Note: We simply talked to him without unlocking his cage and he appeared, completely freed, next to us once we exited Darkwater Pass anyway.

Roggi Knot-Beard

Training: Alchemy, smithing, enchanting, one-handed.

Requirement: Fetch his shield from Ansilvund.

Marriage: Yes, if you complete his quest.

Location: Kynesgrove, just south of Windhelm.

Yay!: Roggi is one of those unique followers that isn’t particularly good at combat, but is great at other skills that you may not have. If that’s the case, he can be great to have around for a while.

Kharjo

Training: One-handed, archery, block, heavy armor.

Requirement: Fetch his amulet.

Marriage: No.

Location: In Ahkari’s caravan traveling between Riften, Whiterun, and Dawnstar.

Nay!: We don’t recommend pursuing Kharjo because it can be extremely difficult to track down his caravan (we found him just outside Riften). If you are completing the Thieves Guild quests you will eventually run into him.

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Companions
Members of the College of Winterhold

Members of the Dark Brotherhood
Followers for hire
Quest/Task-locked Followers

Daedric-related Followers
Housecarls
Dogs!

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