Skyrim talk:Maven Black-Briar

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Should it be mentioned here that Maven can become Jarl of Riften, or would that violate the no-spoilers policy? Cormac 14:58, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

What I'd like to know is how we can prevent her from becoming Jarl if we go Imperial. -- 16:20, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Not possible to prevent this if your going Imperial or giving over Riften to the Imperials during Season Unending- Azurome 09:26, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Does she re-award the Thane of the Rift title, like the other "replacement" Jarls do when the holds are conquered, or does she just gloat about being in charge for the rest of the game? I was already Thane with Laila Law-Giver, but I was curious if one could be Maven's Thane as well, since in this particular game she's not offering that option. SingingMom 04:00, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
The title of Thane that's awarded to the player is Thane of the hold, not Thane of the Jarl. So, no, it won't be re-offered, but it doesn't mean anything whether it is or not. • JATalk 04:21, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Just a note, i've completed the stormcloak campaign and she is called Jarl Maven which really confuses me because she isn't actually the Jarl anyway. 13:20, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually, any hold that is conquered during during the civil war requires a rethaning. But Maven is the only one I've encountered so far who refuses to rethane you at a moment's notice if you were thaned by the previous jarl. You may be thane of a hold, but you are still a specific jarl's thane of a hold.--Playerseekingbugs 07:59, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
OK, Stormcloaks retook Riften, and Maven have disappeared! Her in-city manor is locked and empty, outdoors-manor too (except mercs). Her children are also absent. Where can I find them?

If you become thane before maven takes over, are you still a thane after she takes over? and if not will she re-offer it? i really want to know this because on the! page, they say you cannot be thane again if maven takes over, is this true or a some sort of a bug? 23:09, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Maven Black-Briar and the Black Sacrament[edit]

In the basement of the Black-Briar Manor in Riften, there is a room with a master-locked door. This room contains skeletal remains and a note "To The Brotherhood." It's contents say:

"Astrid, I thought your people were supposed to be reliable. I've performed the Black Sacrament, I've paid the proper penance and I've waited patiently for results. If you can't handle a simple assassination, I'll find someone who can. I want this contract handled, and I want it handled immediately! Maven Black-Briar"

This note confirms that she knows the Dark Brotherhood in a personal relationship as she knows about Astrid. The note however does not seem to trigger anything. I found this note after having completed all the quests for the Dark Brotherhood and the destruction of its first base. Is it possible that there is a trigger if you find it before Astrid dies as it's addressed to Astrid? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 08:02 on 10 December 2011

I don't think Bethesda's included any real quests where you can 'deal' with Maven Blackbriar and her treachery and control of Riften and the thieves' guild, which is unfortunate since I made a thief character specifically to break into the thieves' guild underworld and take it over.
Perhaps when proper modding tools are out someone can weave in a proper storyline where you can depose Maven (either to be The Hero of Riften or to take over as the new boss) 10:20, 15 December 2011 (UTC)Veradin
I'd still love to see a DLC on this topic. I kinda doubt it'll happen though, Bethesda seems to prefer DLC content to be pure add-ons with independent storylines. --Morrolan (talk) 00:53, 11 April 2013 (GMT)
Dunno about a mod or anything of that sort, but she can be killed if you turn her essential status off through the console command. For her, it'd be "setessential 0001336a 0", after which she can be killed. This works for most essential NPCs, but not all. Serana, for example, cannot have her essential status turned off; which admittedly bothered me because she is perhaps the most annoying character in the game. Alternatively, you can make NPCs essential by using the same command, with the appropriate character ID, and replace the 0 with a 1.
In terms of the note left at the Black Sacrament site in her basement, its actually part of her characterization, and not necessarily a significant part of the game other than to reveal a bit more about who Maven really is. Maven is all talk. This is obvious by the fact that she always boasts, gloats, threatens and condescends people, yet her connections are failing. The Thieves Guild, as we know going into it, is suffering massively with very few thieves in their numbers and even fewer profitable feats in recent times; along with the fact that Karliah is undermining Maven's control massively. The Dark Brotherhood likewise is suffering, with Astrid a paranoid, self absorbed, desperate pseudo-mother figure to her little "family" of killers which likewise lacks in numbers; without a Listener at that, so they cannot answer Black Sacrament pleas, which is further compounded by the fact that Astrid, in her attempt to usurp a motherly visage from the Night Mother, attempts to omit their unholy matron and all the old methods so she can remain the apparent bread winner. Without the Night Mother and Listener, they cannot receive Black Sacrament contracts and have to rely on word of mouth; thus, Astrid is actually killing the reputation of the Brotherhood by attempting to replace the Night Mother.
In short, Maven is allied to organizations once massively feared all across Tamriel, but are now hardly even shadows of their former selves, and thus attempts to use their historical influence to intimidate others into bowing to her whim. She also has yet to actually follow through with her threats, and never shows any actual connection to the Dark Brotherhood, as Astrid never mentions her, but refers only to Delvin as having history with the Brotherhood. 22:24, 16 August 2013 (GMT)


If you choose to go imperial side and make Maven Jarl , what do you do if you get to the quest "Dampened Spirits" because your supposed to speak to her upstairs in the Bee and the Barb but since she is Jarl she stays in Mistveil Keep so you can't speak to her for the quest.— Unsigned comment by (talk) at 18:12 on 13 March 2012

Is this an actual problem you are having or are you just wondering? Wolok gro-Barok 17:31, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
im having this problem it wont give me the quest she just sits in her throne and look snug — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 14:03 on 2 June 2012
Possibly the same reason characters can't be rethaned by her. She never gives you any dialogue options it seems.--Playerseekingbugs 08:03, 21 July 2012 (UTC)


Is it possible that she is grandmother of Ingun and Sibbi. They both cll her mother, after all. Besides, she seems too young to be a grandmother of someone who is around 30 years old, especially taking account of her being 'from good family'. If I remember correctly, Mjoll also says that all Hemming, Ingun and Sibbi are siblings. The only thing that says Maven is grandmother is one of Hemming's lines (though I've never heard it personally), which can be found here: — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 21:20 on 20 April 2012

She's marked as their grandparent in the CS. As you say, though, game dialogue is inconsistent about it. Well, unless we assume Hemming and Maven are the parents! (No way Bethesda intended it like that =)
Mjoll: "Well, there's Ingun Black-Briar, Maven's daughter. Strange girl. She likes to spend time down in Elgrim's Elixirs working on her alchemy."
Hemming: "My children, Sibbi and Ingun, are being groomed to run the family business one day as well." WerojTalk Contribs 15:44, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Plus there's the letter regarding Sibbi found in Anuriel's quarters in which Maven directly refers to Sibbi as her son! Granted neither Ingun nor Sibbi literally says that Maven is their mother, but the person they talk about obviously has to be Maven (thinking otherwise is just being dense). The only things that actually point to Maven being a grandmother are Hemming's dialogue and her status in the CK data; everything else says that she's Sibbi and Ingun's mother. To me it's pretty obvious that Bethesda changed their mind during development and forgot to fix Hemming's dialogue and the CK data; they got overlooked just like a million and a half other things in this game. 00:22, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
It seems like it could be a mistake, but then at the same time, she's a completely ruthless bitch, maybe she's supposed to be a bit Game of Thrones when it comes to family matters… -- Haravikk 14:42, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

The most telling fact is when you walk into the Black-Briar home for the first time and find the 3 of them at the dinner table eating. Maven specifically refers to Ingun as her daughter while addressing her, while Ingun calls Maven mother. — Unsigned comment by (talk)

There is more in-game proof that Maven is mother of all three, and if we are to believe the CK, she is the grandFATHER. May I remind you how, for instance, faction rank in Oblivion was inconsistent with the dialogue (I think of DB)? And though it isn't necessary, but notable, she also isn't an elder ~ Dwarfmp (talk) 03:00, 28 January 2013 (GMT)
Yeah the CK isn't the most reliable thing when it comes to relationships between NPCs, like Nelkir who is obviously Baalgruf's son but is tagged as his brother. Hemming's dialogue is likely an oversight. Elakyn (talk) 11:40, 28 January 2013 (GMT)
The relationship settings in the CK are not to be relied upon at all. One only needs to look at the mess that is the Gray-mane and Battle-born relations (IIRC, it basically says Lars is inbred). Or the complete lack of relations between Balgruuf, his brother Hrongar, or his three kids.--MadCat221 (talk) 23:55, 10 March 2014 (GMT)

() I agree. Maven Black-Briar is mentioned in Mjoll's dialogue, Ingun/Maven's dialogue, Anuriel's note, Sibbi's dialogue, and Maven herself as the mother not grandmother of the three Black-Briar siblings. The only place where this status is in doubt is from Hemming's dialogue (two counts) where he claims Ingun and Sibbi are his children. The contradictions should be added in this article accurately instead of claiming Hemming is correct and the rest of the town including Maven are wrong. Original intentions in development on Maven can be added as trivia but her final status as the mother of all three should be recognized on this article accurately. 01:48, 9 April 2014 (GMT)

The whole thing is a mess. Maven identifies Ingun as her daughter but Sibbi as Hemming's son. Hemming identifies Ingun and Sibbi as his children. The only clear thing seems to be that Maven is Hemmings mother. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 19:00, 9 April 2014 (GMT)

Unfinished quest?[edit]

Okay so, I was wandering in Riften right after starting the quest Scoundrel's Folly when I ran into Maven. I started talking to her, and noticed a speech option I've never seen before. It was basically about how she doesn't trust the guild and thinks that the whole Goldenglow Estate thing is a trick to make her lose money and such. After that, she asks me to do her a favor, and to bring her the Estate's Bill of Sale, in exchange for a big compensation, to me and to the Guild. I've searched as hard as I could, I pickpocketed Brynjolf and Mercer, went back to Goldenglow, but nothing; the Bill obviously "disappeared" from the game once the quest complete. So I'm guessing this is from an incomplete quest, that might have been the way to get her to help you during Diplomatic Immunity. Since I've couldn't find anything around here, I guess I'm the first to discover this? Elakyn 19:05, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

You steal the Goldenglow Bill of Sale during the quest Loud and Clear. — Kimi the Elf (talk | contribs) 19:10, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I know that. But I've completed Loud and Clear a long time ago, and the Bill is nowhere to be found. The option wasn't available before, so the quest is technically impossible to complete. It's unmarked though, so I don't even know if it's supposed to happen. Elakyn 19:52, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
You also need to get a Goldenglow Bill of Sale from Gulum-Ei during Scoundrel's Folly. — Kimi the Elf (talk | contribs) 19:56, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, that must be the one. Thanks, Kimi. I'll report later if I can confirm anything about this. EDIT: Well, nothing new unfortunately. There is no way to give her the Bill of Sale, and therefore no option to get her "favor" for Diplomatic Immunity. I'm disappointed. Elakyn 20:43, 14 August 2012 (UTC)


I've created a note section on the main page regarding to Maven not helping you to cause a distraction during the Diplomatic Immunity quest because of the players status of being a member of the thieves guild. Someone decided to put a note of verification needed. I'm providing a YouTube video as proof indicating that she refuses to help you due to the players status. Elders Scroll V : Skyrim Maven Black-Briar At Thalmor Embassy party

This was taken after I've killed Mercer Fray, but haven't yet returned the skeleton key to Nocturnal. Theirs no dialogue of "I need your help with something" when speaking with Maven at the party. Raijin (talk) 11:27, 15 September 2012 (GMT)

Verification needed means that we need verification from a source other than the original poster that this statement is true, and not just a one-off in your game. --Xyzzy Talk 21:54, 15 September 2012 (GMT)

MBB attacking guards[edit]

Playing on a PC, I witnessed MBB attacking and killing guards for no apparent reason. She'd attack, kill, get knocked to a crouch and attack again once she'd recovered. A calm spell didn't work on her but leaving and re-entering Riften re-set her to walking about as if nothing had happened. This was after the completion of the civil war story line, resolved on the Storm Cloak side and with the "two Jarls" bug. There's a You Tube video by someone who appears to be casting healing spells on her to keep her going, search for "The Jarl of Riften Gone Mad." — Unsigned comment by ‎ Bwilderbeast (talkcontribs) at 08:45 on 20 September 2012

Same here. On PC, did not start any of the civil war questline. After visiting RIFTEN for the first time, it only takes about 5 minutes to see MBB spawn in the middle of the town and start slaughtering the guards. In my case, exiting and re-entering RIFTEN did not resolve anything. She just keeps on attacking the guards. 05:57, 16 July 2013 (GMT)
Considering both of these reports are on PC, I have to ask - do you have any mods? If so, this may be an effect of one (even if unintended). — ABCface 06:14, 16 July 2013 (GMT)
Yes I have multiple mods. It could be its side effect. However, after tinkering around a bit I found a workaround. I used the console command 'disable' to make MBB disappear, and then used 'enable' to make her appear again. This seemed to reset the whole situation and make it normal again. 09:59, 16 July 2013 (GMT)

Confirmed on XBox360 as well. After completing the Civil War for the Stormcloaks, MBB was attacking Riften guards with Imperial Bodyguards. As an essential NPC, she cannot die and causes constant chaos in the marketplace making further Riften questing or trading impossible. If you do not complete Season Unending and give Riften to the Imperials, I assume this bug doesn't happen. It's only if MBB is made Jarl and then is deposed by the Stormcloaks. (I guess she takes it rather badly.) Still working on a solution for XBox360(?). This needs added as a Bug for Maven during the Civil War questline and please include a workaround for all platforms. 11:29, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

XBox360 Possible Workaround: Since MBB is usually found speaking with Jarl Laila during the day, I approached Riften during the day (about 9-11 AM). Then I fast-traveled to Mistveil Keep from just outside the gate near the stable. (Since I was already outside the city, it didn't shift the time of day significantly). At first, there seemed to be the beginnings of the commotion loading behind me and the guards on either side of the Keep entrance ran past me to attack (presumably MBB), but I quickly entered the Keep.

Upon entering the Keep, MBB was loaded in front of the Jarl Laila as she should be. When MBB exited the Keep, she was reset and wandering the marketplace normally. I could speak to her just fine (so any Thieves Guild quest progression will probably be unaffected. The only difference between MBB before and after her installation as Jarl is that she retains the title of "Jarl" before her name, but she will not reference it at all in conversation.)

Hope this helps someone else. I didn't enter Riften normally, but fast-traveled from just outside the Riften city gates then proceeded ASAP into Mistveil Keep. (I wanted to appear as close to the Keep as possible before MBB really got going in the street.) If MBB, doesn't load in front of Laila, this method probably won't reset MBB. The other important factor is time of day. At night, MBB is often at the Bee & Barb tavern. I chose Mistveil Keep because I was hoping the game would load MBB AND the "current" Jarl of Riften simultaneously in their proper places (resetting MBB).

Extra Notes: I did not visit Riften during the Civil War or during MBB's tenure as Jarl which may have contributed to her loading as hostile in the street. I never saw MBB walking away from Solitude though I visited Solitude after the Civil War was over and before visiting Riften again. (I did the entire Civil War campaign in 6 ingame days.) This bug occurred the first time I entered Riften after Jarl Laila was reinstated. The bug seems to be loading MBB as an Imperial and hostile to the returned Riften (Stormcloak) guards instead of recognizing a reset after Jarl Laila is restored. Mistveil Keep is the only place I could think of where a reinstated Jarl Laila and MBB might load together in a way that resets MBB. And it worked! 07:35, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

Maven's pointless bragging.[edit]

In the page it states that Maven is not one to be trifeled with as she will get the dark brotherhood on you. Well irobbed the black briars blind and the best she could do is send some hired thugs. Whereas i cant remember who it was who i pissed off but they sent a dark brotherhood assassin after me. Should maven send one as there is an option in the game to do so or is this something bethesda didn't think of. (I dont mean to sound picky bethesda did a great job just it would fufill my emersion if this were to happen. — Unsigned comment by Oblivionfreak99 (talkcontribs) at 18:50 on 17 October 2012

Hired Thugs are sent when you steal something, Assassins are sent when you kill someone. The Dark Brotherhood mention comes from her own dialogue, "Make me angry and I contact the Dark Brotherhood." Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 18:55, 17 October 2012 (GMT)
Hired thugs can be sent for murder. If you kill Nazeem's wife, Sven's mother or Idolif Battle Borne(people I got hired thugs after me for) you can get hired thugs. They carry a different contract, the person for example Nazeem wants you dead and for them to return with evidence of your death and that the sender will pay the bounty if they are caught. All three of them have a contract. All Dark Brotherhood contracts that I know of are just signed by Astrid. To my knowledge I don't think there is anything you can do to find out who sent them or why. Just that somebody has performed the dark sacrement and wants you dead. Well, the only way you would know is if you had only ever committed one crime since the beginning and got an assassin after you. Or maybe Assassins are just random encounters. As you play you clear out plenty of dungeons. Those bandits all had relatives. News spreads that you are a hero who cleared out a mine/cave/camp/fortress of bandits but you won't be a hero in the eyes of the relatives. Thats why I think assassins could just be randon encounters like the taunting adventurers(or maybe it was his relative the performed the black sacrament.)
I was surprised that he wasn't essential but I decided I wanted to protect the woman in Ivarstead so after saying she was in Morrowind I decided to make sure that Sibbi would never lay a hand on her again... Lets just say it wasn't a bandit's soul that was floating about The Black Star when I enchanted an Elven Sword to give to Janessa
I'm wondering what will be sent after me for that, hired thugs are always a bit of fun. I'm sure I should expect Maven to send something. — Unsigned comment by Festuskreux (talkcontribs) at 21:58 on 31 December 2012‎

How is this a bug?[edit]

"If you chose to swap Markarth for Riften during Season Unending, and then take Riften for the Stormcloaks, both Laila Law-Giver and Maven Black-Briar will have the title "Jarl", even though it is only Laila who takes up residence in Mistveil Keep."

I don't really see this as a bug. All the dethroned Jarls will still have Jarl in their name when exiled to either the Blue Palace or the Palace of Kings, the only difference here is that Maven doesn't get exiled, seeing as she's the puppet master of Riften. Schiffy (talk) 15:07, 16 November 2012 (GMT)

This is probably better described as a developer oversight rather than a bug. IMO, it's not even noteworthy. --Xyzzy Talk 18:03, 16 November 2012 (GMT)
I think it's worthy of being in the notes section, but not the bugs section. Schiffy (talk) 03:21, 17 November 2012 (GMT)

Diplomatic Immunity[edit]

In the notes section it says if you ARE a member of the Thieves Guild, she WON'T help you create a distraction? Isn't it only if you're the leader of the Thieves guild she WILL help you? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 21:22 on 13 January 2013

Could Maven be Sibbi and Ingun's mother and grandmother?[edit]

Maven is a pretty shady character at best, and since Maven is called Sibbi and Ingun's mother so many times in the game, could it be possible that she's having an incestuous relationship with her son Hemming? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 11:44 on 6 August 2014

Well, the game data and dialogue are inconsistent about Maven's relationships to Sibbi and Ingun. NPCs say she's their mother, but CK data and Hemming indicate that Maven is their grandmother/he is their father. It may be possible, but more proof is needed before it can be noted on the article. Otherwise, it would be speculation, which is discouraged in this site. —<({QT>> 12:45, 6 August 2014 (GMT)