Skyrim | things to do – notes and tips

This is a collection of things I have gathered from all over my game and the Internet, includes notes on male marriage candidates. The game is modded with Vanilla male spouse and male follower overhaul and masculine housecarls. I can’t imagine my game without these. Since I’m a straight female, I focus on male NPCs for marriage and only selected / recommended ones.

This will be UPDATED and reorganised as I explore more. I will gather more of what captures my attention and where I encountered issues, perhaps it can be of some use to someone, some parts of this, but this is mostly for myself, to keep track of the game for a future review.

mod allows you to choose from many, many places in the world to start your game and hints at a possible background. Well worth using. Works with the vanilla start, albeit a little glitchy, especially when you have Helgen Reborn quest mod.

Kaidan and Valgus generally override all marriage candidates for me. He’s the one you can rely on most and he’s really quest-aware. Valgus is too and he reminds me of Thane in some ways. Garrett is a loyal friend.
Garrett, Teryn and Darion from Anna’s NPCs are worth checking out. Super followers from Interesting NPCs are more fun. I’m especially grateful for the straight options: Valgus is additionally a really well-spoken character and the interactions are plenty!

After that, my warrior Nords seem to click best with their housecarls. I have not yet played a non Nord.

I only ever woo and marry one character per playthrough. I’m a one-guy kinda girl and that’s it. Which means I have dozens of hours ahead of me! And it also means Valgus is one definitely one of my top romances.

to keep it handy

Valgus, Kaidan (he proposes!), npcs from Anna’s npcs.

the next interesting options are Hadvar or Rolaf / via mod. Complete civil war. There’s also Ulfric via another mod , depending how you interpret him.

Farkas or vilkus- best vanilla options bc of their storyline involvement. Developed characters.

Lydus wins over Argis because he somehow has more lines and both are similar since the modder had to base Lydus on something.

Ainetach – Karthwasten
Filnjar – Shor’s Stone
Deerkethus – Darkwater crossing
Sondas Drenim – Dark water
Roggi – Kynesgrove
Pavo Atticus – Left hand mine / Kolskeggr
Perth – Soljund Sinkhole
Rulnik – Whiterun / Temple
Omulag – Markarth
Ghorbash the Iron Hand
Moth gro-Bagol – Markarth
Aicantar – Markarth via mod
Balimund – Riften
Sorex Vinius – Solitude
Octieve San – only in modded version, Solitude
Halbarn Iron Fur – Solthsteim
Ulfric – via mod / Windhelm
Revyn Sadri – Windhelm
Quintus Navale – Windheln

Aura village mod apparently adds a few
Winterhold restored adds a few
Onmund / Winterhold

Lydus – modded in for Lydia / Whiterun
Rayahan – replaces Rayaa in my modded game / Falkreath
Argis the Bulwark / Markarth
Jonah – replaces Iona / Riften
Jordi the Shield-guard replaces the female vanilla housecarl, Solitude
Calder – become thane / Windhelm

Note 1: Valgus has vanilla wedding integration but dur to some animations (animated wedding scene), the wedding may glitch right after Maramal hands you the wedding rings. To push it forward , open the console and type SetStage RelationshipMarriageWedding 100

As this glitch fortunately occurs at the end of the ceremony I don’t think we miss anything. Valgus wil start walking out of the temple after the console command but stop him to discuss housing arrangements, otherwise he’ll likely return where you met him.

Where did my carriage driver go?
Immersive Citizens mod makes the drivers walk away from the carriage sometimes, but never far. If you have that mod installed check nearby camps. The one outside Whiterun threw me for a bit too, but he’s not far :).


Marriage candidates of interest: Hadvar or Rolaf / via mod. After completing the Civil War.

i favour helping Faelden in the quest lovely letters because he’s a humble sort and there’s enough persecution of elves and Sven reflects these nasty attitudes. But it’s a quest that can be uncomfortable and both guys can be seen as idiots. Valgus comments on that

Aura Village and Little Vivec from mods are located nearby on lake Illnata Aura village adds marriage options. Little vivec has a very nice quest.


How to become thane? It’s part of the main quest.
How to become Tane after changing sides in the civil war? Talk to the new thane and complete 5 quests.

Marriage options of interest

  • Lydus – mod replacement for Lydia. He becomes your housecarl after completing the required main quests. He cannot become a Steward as his voice type has no voicelines for it.
  • Farkas or Vilkas – they have important storyline roles for the Companions and are quite developed, which makes them exceptionally good vanilla partners
  • Rulnik – in the Temple.

Favourite various quests
The Blessings of Nature, takes you to Eldergleam Sanctuary. Talk to Danica inside the Temple. It’s nice to listen to Maurice, but if you use the Reforestation mod in its lore-friendly version, it will give you a reason to pick the other option.

To return to Klimmek after visiting High Hrothgar: Klimmek goes out of his house around 1 p.m and spends time by the river, just opposite where Narfi lives.

I favour Klimmek in Mara’s quest “Book of Love” here. He seems honest, stable sort.


  • Thunderchild mod opens up fun new options
  • Fun to do Seasons Unending without favouring anyone, though the mod Betrayal at Hrothgar adds a good option.
  • The Parthumax dillemma mod is a must. I see no good reason to kill Paarthumax and the blades are acting too blindly.
  • I favour High Hrothgar over Sky Haven Temple in general.
  • Christpher Plummer as Anergir is a bonus!


Can trigger “Helgen Reborn” quest with the mod

to become thane
talk to jarl, complete the radiant quest. Help 3 citizens.
Sell vegetables to Mathies
Talk to Thadgeir
Chop wood for Hert

Marriage candidates of interest:

Rayahan – replaces Rayaa in my modded game. Houscarl after becoming thane.

Build Lakeview Manor

– Use a mod to make something nice out of that thing. I use Lakeview Manor as it should be.

Instructions, courtesy of the modders:
It will function if you chose to construct exactly the same wings as the ones used in the mod, but if you’ve already built things inside the house then you’ll need to do a lot of disable/mark for delete/ repositioning, and even then some bugs may occur, so it’s better to load a save from before touching the house. DO NOT let your steward build anything!

  1. Make a save game (a named one would be better and backing it up would be even better). *Optional: If you haven’t built a Hearthfire home before,  now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the building system, which is not the most intuitive one. So go ahead and build the vanilla house with all its wings. Done? Revert to your previously made save and let’s continue.
  2. Download and install with your mod manager. The fomod installer will walk you through the process. There are two main files, independent of each other and a couple of optional ones.
  3. Buy the plot of land, if not done already (The quests given by Jarl of Falkreath must be completed first).
  4. Travel to Lakeview.
  5. If you installed LKVM Main House, proceed to steps: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. If you installed only LKVM Cellar and Exterior jump to steps 12, 13, 14.
  6. Activate the Drafting Table and build Small House Layout, then activate the Carpenter’s Workbench and build all its components (walls, floor, etc.).
  7. Do the same for: Main Hall, East Wing –Kitchen, North Wing – Alchemy Laboratory and West Wing – Bedroom.
  8. Back at the Drafting Table, remodel house into entryway.
  9. Enter the house.
  10. At the bedroom workbench, build Child’s Bed & Chest x 2, Double BedDo not build anything else!
  11. Go back to the Drafting Table outside and disable all the workbenches.
  12. Build the cellar. Enter it and build Child Practice DummyDo not build anything else!
  13. Exit the cellar and disable its workbench.
  14. Build Animal Pen, Garden, Apiary, Stable if not done already.
  15. Done! Hire a steward, a bard, move your family in, buy hens and sell their eggs, etc. Enjoy!

Ids of various useful items for this building task – if you don’t have enough materials and are in a hurry to test things out like I was

– First click on the building or anything related to the DLC to check the load order for Hearthfire. For me it was 03. the first two digits replace the XX for the codes
Clay: XX003043
Straw: XX005a68
Lock: XX003012
Sawn log: XX00300e

For the rest, you should already have enough materials from all the foraging / dungeon exploring / buying random stuff from stores – like I sometimes do.


To become thane

Help the jarl and five other people and buy Vindrell Hall house.
My favourite quest is to help Calcelmo woo his sweetheart as part of “The book of Love” Mara Temple questlins. You can also explore the Dwarven ruins and kill a giant spider for Calcelmo
Give a drink to Degaine in the Silver-blood inn.
Find The Last Scabbard of Arkash for Ghorza.
Complete Forsworn conspiracy by killing Madanach will count towards the goal.

Marriage options of interest

  • Argis the Bulwark – obtain after becoming Thane. Argis will not become a Steward due to lack of recorded lines.
  • Omulag – Find him in the Warrens and do his quest. He doesn’t have it easy. Marriage may be a way out of this dump. The quest will count towards “Becoming thane”.
  • Moth gro-Bagol – Jarl’s blacksmith
  • Aicantar – via mod

I love the design and layout of this town, it’s fantastic. But it’s a nasty, utterly corrupt city with so many problems I don’t know where to start, though it also makes it memorable and you kind of want to help it even more. Here’s how I see dealing with Markarth – courtesy of: Reddit, just shortened it a bit, but really agreed with the line of thinking.

  1. Deal with cannibals
    Talk to Brother Verulus in front of the Hall of the Dead. Go inside and discover Eola a Breton girl. Do not kill her here. There’s a cult of cannibals in the city to uncover. She will ask you to help clear out a cave and remove herself from the temple and you will be able to tell Verulus that the temple is clear. That’s one quest towards becoming a Thane. Then go to the cave and help Eola all the way until Verelus is on the altar. All the cultists are in one place so just kill them. Verulus will wake up, thank you and head back to the city. The city is more empty but you have done Markarth a huge service.
  2. The Forsworn corruption and Silver-bloods
    It starts as soon as you enter Markarth for the first time. Go speak to the person who handed you the note and investigate. Follow the steps but when you investigate Thonar, let Thonar’s wife be killed. That’s one Silver-blood less. After following the quest further, you will be imprisoned. And you have a choice to side with the terrorist Forsworn or help a rich man tie his loose ends. I prefer to side with Silver-blood for this one.
  3. Deal with the Silver-bloods
    Thonar’s wife is dead and his task force is crippled, he is grateful to you for taking care of his matters. Kill him. It will leave only one Silver-blood. Dealing with Thongvor is more of a choice based on your opinion. He isn’t corrupt like his brother and seems relatively harmless. I personally choose to leave him be, but if you’re set on really destroying the Silver-Bloods, you can. However, this only works if you prefer to side with the Imperial Legion in the Civil War. Simply wait until the ‘Season Unending’ quest, and give the Reach to the Stormcloaks. Do the Civil War later on, and if you retake Markarth, Thongvor gets exiled from the city’s walls forever. And just like that, you’ve completely destroyed the Silver-Blood’s presence in Markarth.
  4. House of Horrors
    One house is haunted by Molag Bal. You must complete this quest. It might not seem like it, but this goes on to help Markarth considerably. After you do as Molag bids, he leaves the house alone. And it’s a pretty good thing when a demon god of torture decides to leave your city alone. The guy he tasks you will kill isn’t exactly a saint himself. But, long story short, work with Molag to get rid of him, and Markarth will no longer have a demon problem. If you still want to spare the vigilant, just use the mod House of Horrors expanded.
  5. Kill Ondolemar.
    He’s a Thalmor running around having people arrested for worshipping Talos, that might actually be a favour to the city.
  6. Help Dibella
    Complete their quest. You will rescue a little girl and strengthen the temple.

When you are done with all this, Markarth now no longer has cannibals running around in plain sight, one of its biggest threats has suffered a blow it most likely will not recover from, it no longer has a house haunted by a demon, its temple is stronger, and the most corrupt family in it has been completely eradicated.

I like talking to the ghost girl, but the whole quest just makes me want to hunt down vampires in Dawnguard.
It’s not my favourite place, or hold.

leads to some of the best locations (other than Blackreach) in game: Forgotten Valley, soul Cairn
prefer siding with the dawnguard. Fortunately, the game doesn’t force vampirism on me
remember to use disease-resist accessories or drink cure disease potions when clearing dungeons of vampires.

Become the thane of the Pale
Complete “Waking nightmare” – one of my favourite quests
Complete three minor quests: give a drink to Karl, invest in Rustelif’s shop (or bring him the book he asks for), sell quicksilver ore to Leigelf or iron ore to Beitild

Kill a giant
If sided with the Empire during the civil War quest, Brina Merillis will give the title without Waking Nightmare.

Build Hjalmarchen Hall.

Generally don’t like them but Azura and Meridia’s are quite nice. The Mad Prince os a fun quest with fun trials – I like those.
when doing Meridia’s dungeon, remember to clear out and loot everything- they give good gold- before taking the dawn breaker. You are teleported out as soon as you activate the pedestal.


How to become thane? Help the jarl (talk to Wuujeta about skooma and start the skooma trader quest) and five other people and buy Honeyside.
– Donation to Sniff or Edna
– Help Balimund if you wan to marry him
– Deliver Allesandra’s dagger to the Hall of the Dead in Whiterun
– Help Harralds – Delivery from Balimund
– Help Hafjorh – Delivery from Filnjar in Shor’s stone.

Marriage candidate of interest

  • Jonah – replaces Iona as your housecarl after you become thane.
  • Balimund – helping him will count towards “becoming thane” quest. | The Scorched Hammer

Deal with the entrance to the city and Thieves Guild: install At your own pace or Thieves Guild for Good guys for options. Without mods, you can also go through the back door to the Meadery.

Dealing with Maven

Favourite Various Quets
I like Temple of Mara’s quests – The book of love. Three different love stories that take you all over Tamriel (Ivarstead, Markrath, tundra near Whiterun) all interesting: young love, undecided love, enduring love in the afterlife.


do the Falk Firebrand’s quest, talk to Elisif and do what she asks
Purchase Proudspire Manor and help five residents.
Easy quests:
Talk to Sorex and deliver rum to Falk Firebrand,
Give a septim to Noster Eagle-Eye and Dervenin
Retrieve Noster Eagle-Eye’s helmet
Sell vegetables to Katia
Sell firewood to Hjorunn

Marriage candidates of interest

  • Jordi the Shield-guard replaces the female vanilla housecarl, obtainable once you become thane of Haafingar.
    Sorex Vinius
  • Octieve San – only in modded version.

Solitude has a clothing store – Radiant Rainemnts. You can mod-add nice outfits.

Favourite misc quests
Enter the Pelagius Wing

Favourite places near Solitude
Shadowgreen cavern – Kaidan has a lovely story there, you also go there to retrieve Eagle-eye’s helm.

Bard college
My favourite place

Entry exams answers:

History Test
Who was the leader of the Atmoran expedition to Skyrim? Ysgramor
Who was the leader of the Snow Elves during the Nordic-Falmer War? The Snow Prince
Which King of Skyrim relinquished all holdings in Atmora, proclaiming people of Skyrim as independent? Harald
Which claimant to the throne of Skyrim did the Crown of Verity reject? Asurn Ice-Breaker
What event lead to the founding of the Ebonheart Pact? The Second Akaviri invasion
What happened during the Red Year that gave the year that name? The Red Mountain erupted

Lyrics Test
Where was Ragnar the Red riding to in the song Ragnar the Red? Whiterun
What is the name of the shieldmaiden in the song Ragnar the Red? Matilda
Which song offers an archetype of what Nords should be? The Dragonborn Comes
True or false, the opening lyric of The Dragonborn Comes is“Our hero, our hero, wields the ancient Nord art?” False
The Age of Aggression is a song that favors which faction in the Civil War? The Empire
Both the Age of Aggression and the Age of Oppression feature the lyric “And when Sovngarde beckons,” but how does the lyric end? Everyone of us dies

Historic Musical Instruments
What is the name of the Orsimer drum on display at the Bards College? King Thunder
Which instrument is said to have been swindled from Sheogorath by Callisos? Lodestone
Which instrument was the creation of the Khajit bard Eye-Fancy? 20-String Harp Lute
What culture does the harp Lilytongue originate from? Aldmeri
What purpose did the drum Sky-Talker serve? send messages to slaves during revolt
Which historic bard originally owned the Lute of Blue Longing? Gjaldred

Drum Oral
What wood type is best for drums? Hard wood
How many skins are part of a drum? Two
What should be applied to the drum’s wood monthly will help to preserve the wood’s strength and tone? Troll fat
True or false, heat can dry out a drum skin and cause shrinkage? True
According to Viarmo, where is rhythm born? Body
How many drum performance techniques are there? four

Flute Oral
What kind of instrument is a flute? woodwind
Which of the following is not a material used to make flutes? metal
True or false, heat is the greatest enemy of the flute? false
How often should a flute be dried? after every use
What is the flute an extension of? The breath
True or false, a bard should press down hard on the holes of a flute. False

Poetic Edda oral recitation

“It came to pass that our great lord Ysgramor, the Harbinger of us all, sat before an encampment fire. The crews of the Jorrvaskr, the Fallowfire, and the Kaal Kaaz bade him eat, and boast, and drink.” For the boon members of the Five Hundred Companions were abroad in the land.

“Hail King Borgas, last son of Ysgramor. Last king of the Jagged Crown and traitor to Shor.” He cast out the Nord gods who protected our home

“this humble skald raises their voice to praise Shor’s Tongue.” From the shadow of King Borgas, a new light emerges, dishonor undone.

“sing the lament of the Red Mountain, the color of blood illspent. The sky is red as the survivors return to Skyrim while the sun dies.” The Devil tricked the Nords and Shor’s Heart was never seen.

“Thirteenth in the line of Ysgramor who opened his fist, Released claim on Atmora and named Skyrim the Nord home.” First High King of Skyrim and diviner of our destiny, Haraldled us to war

“Heads roll from the chopping block, Under the gaze of Skyrim’s High Queen.” Roleke herself holds the axe, And puts down those who rebel against her name.

Lute oral exam
What are the parts the shell of a lute is made of called? ribs
Which of these is not part of a lute? reed
True or false, cold is the ideal temperature to store a lute? False
How often should the strings of your lute cleaned? Daily
On which hand should you keep your nails short? Left
True or false, the lute is my favorite instrument? True

the answer to the first door puzzle is: bird, bird, bird, then: bird, snake, bird.

The most beautiful place. Help lost souls. Help old heroes.


  • I love the storyline and the cleansing the stone quest
  • don’t be alarmed when you sleep in Solthsteim and then all of a sudden wake up at some pillar. It’s forces of evil playing mind games with you. I usually try not to sleep before finishing with the stones.
  • I hate being forced into serving Hearmaeus Mora, though. don’t like him. you can use the mod Mirak Follower to side with Miraak and kill Mora.

Marriage candidates of interest: Halbarn Iron-Fur

becoming thane of Eastmarch depends on the civil war storyline. Ultimately will need the same requirements: purchase the house and help five people.
Give a gold going to Silda or Angrenor
Delivering Adonato’s book to Giraud in Solitude
Giving mead to Torbjorn Shatter-shield
Cleaning out a radiant location of bandits for Brunwulf
Bringing Amulet of Arkay to Torbjorn.

Marriage candidates of interest:

Ulfric – via mod
Calder – become thane
Revyn Sadri – Windhelm
Quintus Navale – Windhel


Become thane: Retrieve Helm of Winterhold and help three people. If Imperial thane, talk to new Jarl and complete three quests.
Give Ranmir at the Frozen Heart an ale or mead
Help Haran convince Ranmir to pay his bar tab
Invest in Birna’s oddments.

Mage College Questline is intriguing

Marriage candidates of interest

  • Winterhold restored adds a few
  • Onmund

Favourite locations in the region


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