Lore:Balgruuf the Greater
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|Jarl Balgruuf the Greater|
|Jarl Balgruuf the Greater on his throne in Dragonsreach|
|Appears in||Skyrim, Legends|
- "If it's the war you're referring to, I'm on the side of Whiterun."
Balgruuf the Greater was the Jarl of Whiterun in 4E 201, and a direct descendant of King Olaf One-Eye. An admirer of the Greybeards, Balgruuf made the pilgrimage to High Hrothgar in his youth. He carried on a rivalry with Ulfric Stormcloak since they both were young. He had multiple children, including Frothar, Dagny, and the youngest Nelkir. While considered to be an honorable warrior who put his heart and soul into his service, he was also not considered a patient man. Following the White-Gold Concordat, he and the other Jarls were given chests of gold as compensation. However, he continued worshipping Talos privately, and according to Nelkir, hated the Thalmor as passionately as the Stormcloaks.
During the Stormcloak Rebellion, a shrine to Talos remained in Whiterun's Wind District, and citizens there were allowed to publicly proselytize in Talos' name without repercussion. Both the Stormcloaks and the Imperial Legion sought to gain Balgruuf as an ally, as Whiterun was prosperous, influential, and strategically located. The latter in particular allegedly made a great effort to obtain Balgruuf's loyalty. Balgruuf claimed to be neutral, saying he was only "on the side of Whiterun". He refused to allow the Legion to garrison troops in the city, and he refused to acknowledge Ulfric's claim to the position of High King. When the Last Dragonborn came to him following the attack by Alduin on Helgen, Jarl Balgruuf ordered troops to Riverwood, directed the hero to High Hrothgar, home of the Greybeards, and quickly devoted his time and resources to addressing the Dragon threat. He made the Last Dragonborn Thane of Whiterun for slaying Mirmulnir when the dragon threatened the city.
At some point after Mirmulnir's attack, Jarl Balgruuf finally declared his loyalty to the Empire in order to protect Whiterun against a Stormcloak siege, and coordinated the defense of the city from Dragonsreach.
- For game-specific information, see the Skyrim and Legends Character, Jarl Balgruuf and Triumphant Jarl articles.