Best NPCs In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

NPC means non-playable character for those of you who don't know. Basically every character in the game apart from the Dragonborn.
The Top Ten
1 Paarthurnax

I killed him thinking a would get gold. Then found out you don't. Tried to redeem myself by killing the blades and the greybeards still hate me. Don't kill paarthurnax or the greybeards won't teach you new shouts

He is a very wise old dragon that has worked hard in his life to make amends for what he has done in the past.

If you kill Toriel/papyrus/Sans, that's the equivalent of killing Paarthurnax. A true supporter along the way.

He's pretty wise, a good dragon and all-around good guy.

2 Jarl Balgruuf

Now listen well, he's Jarl Balgruuf, and he be ballin, ballin, ballin, Jarl Ballin, ballin, ballin. Swag, he's Lord of the Rings, and the Jarl of Whiterun, holla if you need him...

Sorry, can't ever forget that. But I like Balgruuf because he is probably the smartest Jarl out of all of them (though I also quite like Ulfric) and is loyal to his people, first and foremost. And he tries to stay out of the war for as long as he can but when Ulfric threatens to besiege Whiterun he fought back because he was no coward. If I had to choose which Jarl to be the next High King, my vote would go to Balgruuf...

Great man. If it weren't for him, Alduin would not be dead. Sure his kids are sassy,and he's ignorant about the war, but the dragons are a greater deal.

Jarl Balgruuf is my favorite Jarl in Skryim, because he chooses to not choose a side in the war, and he cares for his hold.

A true nord and neutral. Ulfric forces his hand with his illegal insurrection but Bulgruuf himself is a great guy.

3 Serana

The only well-written character in Skyrim. Every NPC in Skyrim seems one-dimensional and bland, voiced by the same two or three voice actors repeating the same lines. With Serana, I could actually feel her vibe and personality. Her being super flirty and yet unmarriageable is so sad and poetic. Long live the Vampire Princess.

Brilliantly voiced by Laura Bailey, Serana is the only character in skyrim where your dialogue choices matter with both of your futures. I deeply wish Bethesda gave an ounce of possibility of marrying Serena as a vampire wife or as a cured, born again woman. What a character.

Possibly the most developed character in Skyrim and seems more human than most other npcs. However, she was the "forced in" kinda type. They wont even let you ditch or dismiss her until you complete the ENTIRE Dawnguard questline.

I'm surprised some of these characters ranked above Serana. The Dragonborn gets closer to her than to any other character in the game.

4 Sheogorath

"Oh yes, I was there for that whole sorted affair. Marvelous time! Butterflies, blood, a fox, a severed head, ohoho! And the CHEESE, to die for! " - Sheogorath, Best video game character of all time (joking of course, but he is really great). Personally, I do think Sheogorath is the main character of Oblivion, if you consider the Shivering Isles canon, which I do. Sheogorath is just so deliciously insane, hilarious and evil at the same time.

"Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind! " "Ta ta, come by again, or I'll pluck out your eyes! Haha! "

"Why do I need a reason for everything? Mortals, mortals, mortals! Always needing a reason to do things. For example: people think light chases away the shadows! I prefer to think that without a few lights, there'd be no shadows to enjoy."
- Sheogorath, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (the best quote EVER in my opinion)

Seriously, this guy is the most awesome out of all the Daedric Princes.
Glory to the Mad God, Lord of the Never-There.

Morrowind's daedric mission: Kill a Blue Giant Netch with the Fork of Horripilation. 10 min of game in which I couldn't stop laughing hitting a house size monster with a tiny fork. In Oblivion we all fell in love with him, his Shivering Isles and his hilarius dialogues. We all waited Skyrims daedric quest to see a clue if Sheogorath is confirmed to be who we expected. Simply best characters of all Elders Scrolls saga

Sheogorath is a very interesting character to come across in the Elder Scrolls games, whether it be Skryim or Oblivion. Being the Daedric Prince of Madness, he has a lot of very odd things to say, making you question the entire game itself.

5 Cicero

Astrid is so unlikable in my opinion, you can tell right from the start everyone unhealthily idolizes her and she cares about her own power more than the family's growth. She redeems herself but Cicero was right about her all along. Also he's absolutely hysterical.

Insanely funny as well as insane. Loyal to the old and true Dark Brothehood ways. Sneaky as can be and his added dialouge always has me laughing.
"Cicero wants sky forge steel. Sharp sharp sharp to stab stab stab"
Did I mention, he is insane?

Favoriteee <3
he always brightens my day and is probably the most well thought out character in the game; plus he has a crap ton of health, is really stealthy and amazing in battle. I gave him a fire staff and my other follower a lightning staff and now they're practically invincible.

I hate people who think he is a pain in the butt. He and sheogorath are like the comedy reliefs of skyrim + he is a good follower and a better dark brotherhood agent

6 Aela the Huntress

Is it weird that I crush so hard on her?

She's cool and a great wife.

7 General Tullius

One of the empires best. Calm and intelligent, able to content with Ulfric without any real support from Cyrodill.

He knows what's best for skyrim! He's very practical and just in my opinion

8 Brynjolf

I love his accent, and just how ridiculous he looks in nightingale armor and how much he changed. Love that dude.

He is just a good character with a great personality and a fine Scottish accent.

He had me at "lass"

9 Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak

He is a magician with 1-handed weapons, the most cunning man that Tamriel will ever see, and has the power of the Thu'um along with an assortment of magical swords, axes, and maces. He is a true Son of Skyrim

I remember murdering him with a voice. Shouted him apart.

Not only my favorite Skyrim character,but my favorite character of all time.

Has a very bad ass voice

10 Mjoll the Lioness

In a city getting its reputation ruined by corruption and crime, she's a badass warrior who protects its people. She also sends you to Mzinchaleft, which is nice.

Am I the only one who thinks that she should be the Jarl of Riften?

The Contenders
11 M'aiq the Liar

He makes you question the world around you, and makes things interesting. M'aiq is a nice easter egg to have in the Elder Scrolls games.

He tells you all the features of the games and other Easter eggs, but in riddle form.

We all love M'aiq, don't we? And y'know, dragons never really disappeared, they were just invisible. And very quiet.

If M'aiq was a follower, then I would never stop playing Skyrim.

12 Legate Rikke

Legate Rikke wasn't the person who ordered death sentence of Dragonborn. It was an imperial Captain, imperial by race. Rikke is nord.

Everybody thinks that she sentenced the dragonborn to his/her death, but the person who did that was killed by alduin. Legate rikke wasn't even at Helgen.

Her last words to Ulfric if you side with the Empire are the perfect example of her beliefs as a person. Very well written character.

She's a total boss

Need I say more?


13 Hadvar

I don't choose sides in the war, but I always left Helgen with Hadvar. It's nice to see him whenever I visit Alvor, and chat with Hadvar for a small minute, remembering him saving me from Helgen. A good man, and a worthy friend.

He helps out when you join the legion and turns out to be a great character.

Only important briefly. Afterwards he's irrelevant.

14 Spectral Assassin

You know a character is great when he pretty much hijacks a quest line in a game he arguably doesn't quite belong in... The only problem is the constant talking, but oh well.

Lucien Lachance was awesome in Oblivion. Sad to see him die.

Now he's back in Skyrim, as a loyal spirit.

Nothing beats good old Lucien.

15 Brenuin
16 Kodlak Whitemane

Kodlak Whitemane is a very wise character in the Companions, and he seems to act as a father figure to the members of the Companions.

Kodlak Whitemane is in a better place now.For is there any place better than Sovngarde?

17 J'zargo

My favorite line..."If anyone sneaks up on us, I will smell them coming. Or...I might not. We will see."

Best follower
Sadly nonessential but he's the only guy ill load a save for

18 Esbern

The reasonable blade. He is wise and should have been the leader of the blades. Delphine is self obsessed and cares for grudges rather than progress. Esbern could work with the greybeards and I think he'd be the best for the job.

19 Karliah

If she was a follower, she would probably be the most powerful follower for sneak builds. Plus her last lines to Gallus ghost before he goes into the Ebonmere make me emotional every time.

She gives you a pretty good bow at the and of the thieves guild storyline.

Her voice is hot.

20 Gabriella

I don't know why I like her so much but I do. She's one of the few people I was sad couldn't be a part of the new brotherhood.

21 Farkas

Farkas is a kind-hearted NPC, and a great Shield-Brother to take with you on quests. He's just nice to be around.

He is a savage

Farkas is the most good looking guy in the game and makes a decent follower

22 Delvin Mallory

He has a funny sort of appeal, he is very helpful, and he does a lot of work around the thieves guild. Plus, he called "the curse"

What can I say? All around guy really stuck into his job.

How is he so low, he is Jason Statham!

23 Hold Guard

They -are- Skyrim and a major icon of the game. Skyrim seems like a miserable place to live but their humor adds a lot of levity to the atmosphere.

I love their armor, lines and especially the fact they treat that chicken in river wood like a holy object that can make you immortal and allows you to make it rain bacon.

The Hold Guards are the best NPCs I have ever met. They have the funniest lines of dialogue in the game, and I get a good laugh anytime I walk into a city.

I used to like the hold guard but then I took an arrow to the knee.

24 Faralda
25 Kharjo

Kharjo, my favorite follower. He never complains and is really bad***. I gave him Ebony Mail and Ebony gauntlets, helmet, and boots. He did a kill move on Vokun while I cpwer behind a rock.

Best follower in vanilla Skyrim by far. Sweet, strong, and the quest to get him is easy.

Cute kitty man.

Kharjo is and amazing follower always keeping up with me unlike the other followers

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