Top 10 Best Followers in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

A list of the top ten best followers in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
The Top Ten
1 Serana

Best follower. She's the type I'd fall in love with in a heartbeat. Plus, she's the most interesting. Aela may give her blood to make you a werewolf, but apparently, she will only do it once. After you're cured, you're screwed if you wanted to go back. Serana, on the other hand, can change you to a Vampire Lord again and again after you have cured yourself. (She can bite me any day is all I've got to say.) And if you're an archer, she can make your Elven arrows even stronger. If not, it's something to consider.

Last but not least, she actually has a story. Now, don't get me wrong, I thought Aela was hot. But she did not have a story besides being part of a few quests and sending you off to kill a few Silver Hands.

Most interesting of all followers. Almost childlike in her post-adolescent curiosity, but one helluva lady in a fight. Very quick to spot an ambush, if you keep her close. Good ranged magic, but a one-vampire army when equipped with staves. Keep a good supply of charged soul gems when traveling with this lady. Her reluctance to engage in melee keeps her out of your way while she's pelting enemies with frost spikes and the like. Also excellent on the sneak attack. If you're a melee type fighter, she'll keep your flanks clear and watch your rear.

However, she can be a P.I.A. with her constant mimicry and complaints about the weather.

2 J'zargo

I've kept J'zargo as my follower for the entire game so far, with the exception of forced followers in quests, and I am at level 59. I've equipped him with a full suit of dragon armor, his very own glass sword with his name on it, Mehrune's Razor, the Spellbreaker shield, a ring I named "Gills" (allows swimming underwater without drowning), several staffs, and Savos Aren's Amulet. I like J'zargo so much that I've reloaded games just to keep him if he got killed in a quest. Thankfully, that's only happened about two or three times. He is a pretty strong character. Give him a selection of staffs, and he will use them effectively. His favorite weapon is Mehrune's Razor. As a strong mage, he typically kills with lightning strikes and shock damage. Most of the other characters' dialogue annoys me, but J'zargo has a cool accent and simple dialogue, making him less annoying.

J'zargo has the lowest levels of spells of all mage followers. That being said, despite many boards advising against using him, I found a simple approach to fix it! Since he will level up with you, give him very high-level staves. He won't run out of charges as a follower. You should see him with double fireball blasters! Double BOOM. He's like a machine gun that way. Also, this seems to keep him back from the front line a bit more, as he has distance and is very accurate with it.

3 Aela the Huntress

Aela. She kills a giant on your first visit to Whiterun near the Hanningbrew Meadery. While giants aren't that difficult, it's still kind of badass. Did I mention she's a werewolf? A werewolf. More badass-ness right there, my friends. She is a valiant, honorable companion. She can kill with a bow like nobody's business. And if you give her some enchanted weapons like a sword or some waraxes... Wow. Aela is my all-time favorite follower. Bar none.

Who else could have first place? Aela is good looking, strong, and just a great character.

She deserves the top place due mainly to the fact that she is one of the only plot-based followers and she gives you her blood so that you may become a werewolf.

There is no one better to have at your side.

Well, I guess it is pretty ironic how the two most dangerous creatures (werewolf and vampire) are the most desired ones for a follower and wife...

4 Cicero

He was one of the first characters I met when I bumped into him on the road with his broken wheel. I was happily surprised to meet him again later on. He is as loyal as can be to you from beginning to end - and also the only follower I know who randomly starts dancing as you're going through caves and dungeons. He's the only follower who keeps me sane. All the others start driving me nuts after a while.

I always make a point to get Cicero as early in the game as possible. There are a number of places I won't go unless he's with me. He is so well-written, with an interesting (but sad) backstory that helps you understand his personality a lot better. He's especially great for clearing out dungeons or Dwemer ruins, making them less eerie. All of his talking might be annoying at first, but the guy really grows on you.

Cicero is hands down the best if your character uses stealth at all. His Sneak maxes out at 100, One-handed at 100, Archery at 97, and Light Armor at 97. Plus, he says and does the craziest things. He is one of the most well-conceived characters in the whole game.

5 Mjoll the Lioness

Mjoll is like the Death Star without the weakness in the exhaust port. I played the game the first time through as a male high elf 100% wizard, and she was my wife. I had her tanked out in Daedric armor with enchanted Daedric weapons, and she killed everything. At times, she even shoved me out of the way to kill things.

Now, I'm playing the game a second time through as a female Redguard warrior using 100% weapons, heavy armor, and no magic at all. I just hooked up with Mjoll again, and we are twins in our orc armor. I think I'll marry her again anyway to add some sexual diversity to the game. All-in-all, Mjoll is a beast. She can't die and she kicks the crap out of everything... "May the White Take You!"

I've tried many followers in Skyrim through five playthroughs, and Mjoll has always been the best. She goes straight in and takes all the damage for you, scales up to level 40, and does tons of damage. If you give her enchanted weapons and armor, she becomes unstoppable. She's the first follower I get in every game. After having her as a follower for so long, she still says things I've never heard before. In every playthrough, get Mjoll as soon as you can (level 14 at the earliest) and you won't regret it.

6 Jenassa

I can't believe she isn't higher on this list. It's mostly because you can carry her through the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild without questions. Once she levels at 30, there are others, but for the early game, no one is better if you're the sneaky kind.

I watched her put an arrow through the eye of an invisible vampire and married that woman! She's skilled in bows and sneaking, and can circle dance like the best rogues out there. She was the perfect counter-stab to my back-biting fighter/thief.

I love her as a follower, but if you marry her and tell her to go home, there is a chance that she will become permanently missing, which is the most annoying thing in the world.

7 Frea

She just goes in and clears them out. She uses magic for protection and weapons for offense. She is also one of the only people who can dual wield. A very flexible follower and the best bar none.

Just a great companion all around with some nice depth. Sticks with you through thick and thin and never runs. Can really put out the damage. Very respectful and strong at knowing who she is.

Frea can't die and levels indefinitely with the player. She has amazing starter gear, and she also looks cool while she slays many enemies.

8 Marcurio

Literally the best mage in the game. Chain lightning spells blast everything away. J'zargo pales in comparison to this absolute beast of a man. That stupid cat probably chases his own tail while Marcurio is discussing and researching Dwemer architecture, history, and mechanics like an absolute chad.

Marcurio has been my bestie since I first started playing Skyrim years ago, and even if I haven't saved in ten hours, if he dies, I'm going back. I couldn't live in a Skyrim with no Marcurio making nerdy anthropologist comments about every ruin we enter before blasting any nearby enemies sky-high before I even see them.

He's pretty awesome and is the sass lord supreme. Not to mention, he's an ass-kicking machine who steals all of my kills and keeps getting in the way of my arrows. But still, he's my priority companion every time I start a new game.

9 Brelyna Maryon

She is pleasant and helpful all along, and I found she complements my wood elf conjurer archer very well, as we quickly get a couple of atronachs on the field. If you prefer voice to looks, she's also a good marriage partner, and she can stay at home when you reach higher levels. If you prefer looks, Azura's priest is a good alternative.

I really wanted to like her, but she is just outclassed by just about every other mage in the game. However, this is all outshined by how sweet of a companion and spouse she is!

She is such a boss. She summons atronachs and familiars, uses wards, does massive damage with flames and sparks, and even occasionally heals.

10 Lydia

All these other followers are pretty great, but I think Lydia is the best. She doesn't talk, and can be pushed out of the way if she's blocking your path. Though, most times, she just sort of stares at me. Poor Lydia. She'd probably be happier off in Breezehome with my beggar kid, but I drag her along anyway. She will be sworn to carry my burdens until I find a way to imprison a dragon and make it my follower.

Lydia is a balanced character that can be great if you give her the right stuff, like Boethia's Ebony Mail for sneakiness, a ring to increase one hand, an amulet to raise heavy armor, Wuuthrad, a leveled-up bow, and so on. She makes good use of everything you give her. She's loyal, has cute big lips, and those beautiful almond eyes.

I've tried a lot of followers: Mjoll, Aela, Serana, Faendal, etc. While I enjoy adventuring with Serana because she's an amazing character, I think Lydia is the strongest by far. I equip her with a fully upgraded Ebony/Daedric armor set, Ysgramor Shield, and The Nightingale Sword and Bow. She never falls below 80% health (I play on Master and Legendary difficulty), and I enjoy watching her fight and kick ass alone. Maybe Mjoll could be even better as a fighter, but I cannot stand her silly dialogues. While Lydia is quieter and has an adorable voice. Plus, if you have all DLCs, she becomes a little more talkative. The only "con" is that she can die, but if you equip her correctly, she is virtually indestructible.

The Contenders
11 Kharjo

Kharjo has a personality and he stands out because of that. He is the best in the sense that he's well-rounded, suited for my archer character, and funny. He's my favorite follower, even if there are technically stronger or more capable followers.

He is so cute, cunning, and protects you at all costs. I've become so attached to this follower that I don't want a new one. Once, he died by my own hand by accident, and I committed suicide so the mission would restart.

Awesome follower. I use him with a Battle Mage. He has a nasty disposition towards the enemy, especially when you give him the Ebony Mail, Mace of Molag Bal, the Black Star, Predator's Grace, and Spellbreaker. Pimps like a boss!

12 Uthgerd the Unbroken

I have been using her for a long time, and she never dies. She is a great follower because she can use a bow and melee weapons. Great all-around follower for low and high levels.

I had this chick for not even 10 minutes during a quest, and she got wrecked instantly. She has badass armor but is pretty weak, if you ask me.

So far, she's been a sturdy companion. Guess what's said about her here is quite true. She is quite strong indeed.

13 Dark Brotherhood Initiate

Devilish with dual weapons, this follower tag teams well with a housecarl. The only follower you can add in the game that allows you two human followers. A quick and agile follower that can cross ground quickly and tie up enemies, allowing you to join in or hit from range. I like Lydia/J'zargo with this guy.

I agree once you arm her with some extra stuff. Once you arm her with another dagger, a sword, a bow, and some arrows, you are ready for launch.

Levels up with you as you progress, has very high sneak, and she's very strong to boot. How can you beat her? Plus, she's hot.

14 Derkeethus

I remember he scared me the first time I saw him. Now, I have him outfitted in full dragon, and I would pick him over any follower any day. Except maybe Kharjo. Maybe.

Great story, true companion, and when he's with you, he's basically the top-ranked Argonian in Skyrim, so that's pretty cool.

Derkeethus: The bow-shooting, dual-wielding, sneaky Argonian that likes caves.

15 Farkas

Farkas is good for the archer type who likes to hit from far away or for the kind of stealthy people who don't level up their health. Even for the cowards who like to hang back and have other people do the work. Vilkas is a total jerk sometimes, but he's pretty sweet sometimes. Vilkas is kind of the same, but his styles are a bit different from Farkas'.

Farkas is honestly not that great. They messed up his class. But Vilkas, give him some Daedric armor and weapons, and he can one to two-shot kill most of my characters. Also, I've never had to worry about him dying.

Love Farkas. He is a beast with two-handed weapons and is perfect for my archer character. Plus, he doesn't talk too much, so long as you don't have a high bounty.

16 Ghorbash the Iron Hand

"My blood is calm, I prefer it boiling." - Ghorbash.
With the right equipment, this dude eats dragons. He uses bows and all kinds of swords, although a bit of console commanding is necessary.

In my game, he is my follower and he kicks ass. I totally give him a two-handed weapon and heavy armor, and he is almost indestructible. He is also good with a bow, so I really like him.

17 Rayya

Rayya is arguably the most underage follower in the game, and I believe she is the only dual wielder, or one of the very few dual wielders in the game!

Upgrade her weapons, enchant one with health drain and the other with stamina drain. Give her a good bow and good armor with an armor bonus enchant. Then, give her as many enchants to archery and wielding as you can.

She doesn't need the latest and greatest to chew through your enemies, but why show your enemies mercy?

So nice. Does mostly anything I ask. Great fighter and doesn't talk too much, which I like. Some followers just talk too much, which gets annoying when you're trying to listen to someone else in the game.

Should be higher ranked, near the top!

18 Erik the Slayer

Seriously, Erik should be number one! He has the best comments when he travels with you, he can take a lot of hits, he has the classic sword and shield, and Erik is awesome! I know you don't expect much from a farm boy, but if you get to know him... You will have a great time!

I always called him Erik the Red because I felt he was similar to the real-life Erik the Red, well, in some ways.

Erik is funny as a companion! I never tire of him, and he's bad with a sword and shield.

19 Annekke Crag-Jumper

Strong and courageous. It's funny how she's married to some gross-looking miner dude, but I still married her anyway. Now that I think of it, I think she had a kid too that she hasn't seen in years... Oh well.

Good archer. Looks great in Forsworn armor. Will fight until the end.

She stays out of the way, doesn't hog the kills, and is a looker.

20 Aranea Ienith

I've had Aranea basically the whole game since I accidentally killed Lydia. She can't carry much, but her mage skills are off the charts! Her atronachs are bloody vicious, she can take a hell of a lot of damage, and her comments are amusing. She'll use a shield in close combat and wield a battleaxe, even though she won't use it. Give her a dragon priest mask, and she is a boss.

I cannot believe she isn't ranked higher. This is likely because a lot of players go for the Dark Brotherhood and/or Thieves Guild, and she will blast you for that. Just wait until you're done and go get her, and she will follow through all the rest, like a boss.

Aranea Ienith is one of the best mages in the game. She can use expert-level conjuration and destruction spells along with dual-wielding staves. I accidentally attacked her once, and she made me fly. My only complaint is her low magicka capabilities... Sheesh. You really have to enchant magicka regeneration or give her staves because she lasts about as long as I do in bed.

21 Eola

Once I took my first bite of human flesh and put on the ring, she's been my "go-to girl"... and yeah, that creepy eye, her reverent devotion (to me), and the fact that she conjures up the corpses as fast as I can make them makes her the sexiest of them all. Who needs a whining valley girl like Serena when Eola has your back?

She's one tough mage. I gave her some smithed-up dual-enchanted Forsworn armor items and stole her crappy hide armor, and now she can carry even more than I can. I like her "I smell blood" comment.

She conjures a flame atronach, will use most armor or weapon you give her, including staves. Plus, she has a cool, creepy eye!

22 Faendal

Better than Sven. Light armored, trains in archery, and has himself a bow, quiver of arrows, and dagger. Pretty faithful. Not the best, but he is my most common follower. I've armed him with Thieves Guild armor, only the gauntlets and boots are Imperial steel enchanted with a 15% increase in archery and one-handed combat. He has a steel shield, Imperial bow, steel arrows, Dwarven dagger, Skyforge steel sword, and a torch. Shame he doesn't do Destruction, Restoration, and/or Conjuration, but you can't have everything. I understand your choice, though, if you disagree.

If you agree, I am overjoyed (not literally) and the picture you see him in is totally awesome. Thanks for reading.

I've tried other followers and they either got killed or didn't live up to their bad-ass reputation. Faendal, on the other hand, has been with me all the way. I gave him an ebony bow and 90 glass arrows, and he literally became a sniper for me. I added an ebony axe and an elf shield, and he killed almost any melee opponent that charged him. My only issue is his high morality, which prevents him from picking pockets or opening Expert chests. However, I forgive him for that since he has saved me so many times.

23 Illia

Ok, I am confused as to why Jzargo and Brelyna Maryon are ranked higher than Illia. Regardless of level, her magic is stronger than both of them combined. Personally, I think it is about Jzargo being a Khajiit. As for Brelyna Maryon, I have absolutely no clue. Maybe it's the personal relationship? If you ever find yourself in Darklight Tower, make sure you help Illia. Her magic is unmatched, nothing but pure, unadulterated power. She is unmatched by just about everyone, and her adept level magic spells are enough to put other Mage followers in their place.

I give her two fire staves alongside her already impressive destruction magic, and she just absolutely annihilates the opposition. She's like the Human Torch - super aggressive. I haven't used a lot of followers, but Illia is fantastic.

It's hard to believe she's not on this list. She was a wonderful replacement for Lydia. She is sweeter, doesn't get lost or blow my cover nearly as much, and she can actually manage kills. Besides, I'm not a mage, but it's nice having one at my side.

24 Teldryn Sero

Sero is the best companion, and I refuse to do anything without him (except for the Goldenglow Estate mission, where I briefly dismissed him. That was my biggest mistake ever because I couldn't find him again and had to load a save. But ANYWAY). I love his unique voice and dialogue. One of his funny traits is that he REFUSES to wear any other kind of armor you give him unless it completely covers his face.

He's really reliable when you feel like going all out to kill something and is super useful against dragons. He doesn't have to use a bow and arrow like everyone else. As many have said, he's a great spellsword, and there aren't many followers who can do that.

Yeah, this guy is great. I don't really know why everyone is obsessing over Lydia and Aela, and I personally just flat out despise Serana. Short and restrained rant session concluded.

A video on YouTube proves that spellswords are the most powerful followers, and Teldryn happens to be the most powerful spellsword.

I just stood back and watched while he fought and killed the dragon priest Krosis, as well as a blood dragon!

Not only is he very powerful, but he has so much more personality than all the other followers. He makes hilarious, sassy comments about every place you visit, yet he seems genuinely nice. Not to mention, he looks awesome!

Teldryn Sero - Great company, and extremely powerful in battle!

25 Borgakh the Steel Heart
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