Skyrim:Essential NPCs

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There are several NPCs in Skyrim who at some point during gameplay are essential. In effect, this means they cannot be killed under any condition (unlike protected NPCs, who can be killed normally by the player, but not by others), and when their health bar fully depletes, they will merely fall into a state of recovery for a short time before standing back up with full health. Unlike Oblivion, it is not possible to tell whether an NPC is essential without attempting to kill them or by using the level 100 Pickpocket perk Perfect Touch, which allows the player to remove equipped items; in the case of essential NPCs, however, the player will not be able to use this perk on them. NPCs are usually only set to essential if they are of high importance to a later quest (some of these essential NPCs have scripted deaths during, or at the end of, the quest).

Some NPCs in Skyrim are always essential and can never be killed, even after their associated quests are completed. Notable examples include the Imperial legates at the Imperial camps and named Stormcloak officers at the Stormcloak camps.

Children are not listed here because they use a tag other than essential to prevent them from being killed. This tag is a part of their race and, with the exception of Babette and SofieHF, these two tags are never both found on the same NPC.


Name Found Becomes Killable
Adril AranoDB Morvayn ManorDB (Raven Rock) Never
Aela the Huntress Companion's Faction Hall (Whiterun) After completing Glory of the Dead
Alik'r Prisoner Dragonsreach Dungeon (Whiterun) Never
Amaund Motierre The Bannered Mare (Whiterun) Hail Sithis!
Ancano Hall of the Elements (College of Winterhold) The Eye of Magnus
Anton Virane Understone Keep (Markarth) Recipe for Disaster
Anuriel Mistveil Keep (Riften) Never
Arnbjorn Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary (Falkreath Hold) Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!, or scripted death during Death Incarnate
Arngeir High Hrothgar (Whiterun Hold) Never
Arniel Gane Hall of Attainment (College of Winterhold) Scripted disappearance after Arniel's Endeavor
Arrald Frozen-Heart Hjaalmarch Stormcloak Camp Never
Asgeir Snow-Shod Snow-Shod Manor (Riften) Bound Until Death
Aslfur Highmoon Hall (Morthal) Never
Astrid Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary (Falkreath Hold) With Friends Like These... or Death Incarnate
Atmah Labyrinthian (Hjaalmarch) Never
Augur of Dunlain The Midden (College of Winterhold) Never (though technically not an NPC)
Avrusa Sarethi Sarethi Farm (the Rift) Never
Avulstein Gray-Mane House Gray-Mane (Whiterun) Never
Azzadal Bard's Leap Summit (The Reach) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Balagog gro-Nolob Nightgate Inn Cellar (the Pale) Recipe for Disaster
Baldor Iron-ShaperDB Baldor Iron-Shaper's HouseDB (Skaal Village) Never
Balgruuf the Greater Dragonsreach (Whiterun) Never
Beirand Solitude Blacksmith (Solitude) Get Outfitted
Bersi Honey-Hand Pawned Prawn (Riften) Taking Care of Business
Blasphemous Priest Temple of Kynareth (Whiterun) Never
Bolgeir Bearclaw Blue Palace (Solitude) Never
Borri High Hrothgar (Whiterun Hold) Never
Boti Fellstar Farm (Ivarstead) The Book of Love
Brand-Shei Riften (the Rift) After A Chance Arrangement.
Breya Avanchnzel (the Rift) Never
Brina Merilis Brina's House (Dawnstar) Never
Brother Verulus Hall of the Dead (Markarth) The Taste of Death
Brunwulf Free-Winter Brunwulf Free-Winter's House (Windhelm) Never
Bryling Bryling's House (Solitude) After Bound Until Death.
Brynjolf Thieves Guild (Riften) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Calcelmo Understone Keep (Markarth) Never
Calixto Corrium Calixto's House of Curiosities (Windhelm) Blood on the Ice
Captain Lonely-Gale Windhelm Never
Captain VelethDB The BulwarkDB (Raven Rock) Never
Carriage Driver Katla's Farm, Thalmor Embassy Never
Cart Driver Never
Chief Yamarz Largashbur Longhouse (the Rift) The Cursed Tribe
Cicero The Pale then Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary The Cure for Madness (becomes essential again if spared)
Cindiri AranoDB Morvayn ManorDB (Raven Rock) Never
Colette Marence Hall of Countenance (College of Winterhold) Never
Commander Caius Guard Barracks (Whiterun) Never
Commander Maro Penitus Oculatus Outpost (Dragon Bridge) Hail Sithis!
Crescius CaerelliusDB Caerellius HouseDB (Raven Rock) Never
Curwe Loreius Farm (the Pale) Scripted death after Delayed Burial if the player chooses to turn in Cicero
Corrupt Agent Penitus Oculatus Outpost (Dragon Bridge) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Danica Pure-Spring Temple of Kynareth (Whiterun) After The Blessings of Nature
Deeja Red Wave, Wreck of the Icerunner Lights Out!
Delphine Sleeping Giant Inn (Riverwood) Never
Delvin Mallory The Ragged Flagon (Riften) Never
Dengeir of Stuhn Dengeir's House (Falkreath) Never
Dervenin Temple of the Divines (Solitude) Never
Desperate Gambler Windhelm Barracks Never
Dishonored Skald Bards College (Solitude) Never
Dorian Red Wave (Solitude) Never
Drennen Avanchnzel (the Rift) Never
Drevis Neloren Hall of Countenance (College of Winterhold) Never
Drovas RelviDB The Retching NetchDB (Raven Rock),
Tel Mithryn Steward's HouseDB (Tel Mithryn)


Name Found Becomes Killable
Einarth High Hrothgar (Whiterun Hold) Never
Elenwen Thalmor Embassy (Haafingar) After Dragonslayer
Elisif the Fair Blue Palace (Solitude) Never
Eltrys The Warrens (Markarth) Scripted death after The Forsworn Conspiracy
Elvali Veren Labyrinthian (Hjaalmarch) Never
Endon Endon's House (Markarth) Never
Ennis Cowflop Farmhouse (Rorikstead) Before Patch 1.5
Enthir Hall of Attainment (College of Winterhold) Never
Erandur Windpeak Inn (Dawnstar) Waking Nightmare
Erikur Erikur's House (Solitude) After Bound Until Death / Never, if you choose to play Destroy the Dark Brotherhood! instead
Erlendr Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never
Esbern The Ratway Warrens (Riften) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Falas SelvaynDB Ramshackle Trading PostDB Never
Faleen Understone Keep (Markarth) Never
Falion Falion's House (Morthal) Never
Falk Firebeard Blue Palace (Solitude) Never
Faralda Hall of Countenance (College of Winterhold) Never
Farkas Companion's Faction Hall (Whiterun) After completing Glory of the Dead
Fastred Fellstar Farm (Ivarstead) The Book of Love
Felldir the Old Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never
Fenrig Greenspring Hollow (Whiterun Hold) Never
Festus Krex Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary (Falkreath Hold) Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!, or scripted death during Death Incarnate
FreaDB Temple of MiraakDB, Skaal VillageDB Never
Frorkmar Banner-Torn The White Hall (Dawnstar) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Gabriella Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary (Falkreath Hold) Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!, or scripted death during Death Incarnate
GalathilDG The Ragged Flagon (Riften) Never
Galmar Stone-Fist Palace of the Kings (Windhelm) Battle for Windhelm
Geldis SadriDB The Retching NetchDB (Raven Rock) Never
Gelebros Hall of the Elements (College of Winterhold) Never
General Tullius Castle Dour (Solitude) Battle for Solitude
Gianna Castle Dour, Emperor's Tower (Solitude) To Kill an Empire
Girduin Labyrinthian (Hjaalmarch) Never
Gisli Erikur's House (Solitude) Never
Gjalund Salt-SageDB The Northern MaidenDB Never
Glover MalloryDB Glover Mallory's HouseDB (Raven Rock) Never
Gonnar Oath-Giver Rift Stormcloak Camp(The Rift) Never
Gormlaith Golden-Hilt Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never
Griefstricken Chef Windpeak Inn (Dawnstar) Never
Gulum-Ei The Winking Skeever (Solitude) Scoundrel's Folly


Name Found Becomes Killable
Hadvar Helgen Keep Never
Haelga Haelga's Bunkhouse (Riften) Taking Care of Business
Hafnar Ice-Fist Labyrinthian (Hjaalmarch) Never
Hakon One-Eye Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never
Helgird Hall of the Dead (Windhelm) Never
Hemming Black-Briar Black-Briar Manor (Riften) Never
Hero of Sovngarde Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never
High King Torygg Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never
Hjornskar Head-Smasher Whiterun Stormcloak Camp Never
Horik Halfhand Brina's House (Dawnstar) Never
Hrongar Dragonsreach (Whiterun) Never
Hunroor Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Idgrod Ravencrone Highmoon Hall (Morthal) Never
Idgrod the Younger Highmoon Hall (Morthal) Never
Igmund Understone Keep (Markarth) Never
Ildari SarothrilDB Highpoint TowerDB End of Old Friends
Indolent Farmer Vilemyr Inn (Ivarstead) Never
Irileth Dragonsreach (Whiterun) Never
Istar Cairn-Breaker Haafingar Stormcloak Camp Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Jaree-Ra Angeline's Aromatics (Solitude) Lights Out!
Jod The White Hall (Dawnstar) Never
Jofthor Fellstar Farm (Ivarstead) The Book of Love
Jorleif Palace of the Kings (Windhelm) Never
Jurgen Windcaller Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Kai Wet-Pommel Winterhold Stormcloak Camp Never
Karliah Snow Veil Sanctum (Winterhold) Never
Keerava The Bee and Barb (Riften) Taking Care of Business
Kodlak Whitemane Jorrvaskr (Whiterun) Scripted death after Blood's Honor
Korir Jarl's Longhouse (Winterhold) Never
Kottir Red-Shoal Reach Stormcloak Camp Never
Kraldar Kraldar's House (Winterhold) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Laila Law-Giver Mistveil Keep (Riften) Never
Legate Adventus Caesennius Castle Dour (Solitude) Never
Legate Constantius Tituleius Pale Imperial Camp Never
Legate Emmanuel Admand Understone Keep (Markarth) Never
Legate Fasendil Rift Imperial Camp Never
Legate Hrollod Eastmarch Imperial Camp Never
Legate Quentin Cipius Whiterun Imperial Camp or Dragonsreach (Whiterun) Never
Legate Rikke Castle Dour (Solitude) Battle for Solitude
Legate Sevan Telendas Winterhold Imperial Camp Never
Legate Skulnar Jarl's Longhouse (Falkreath) Never
Legate Taurinus Duilis Highmoon Hall (Morthal) Never
Lleril MorvaynDB Morvayn ManorDB (Raven Rock) Never
Louis Letrush The Bee and Barb (Riften) Depends on choices in dialogue with him at the end of Promises to Keep
LygrleidDB The Northern MaidenDB Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
M'aiq the Liar Random encounter Never
Malborn Thalmor Embassy (Haafingar) Diplomatic Immunity
Mallus Maccius Honningbrew Meadery (Whiterun) Never
Malur Seloth Jarl's Longhouse (Winterhold) Never
Maramal Temple of Mara (Riften) Never
Maul Black-Briar Manor (Riften) Never
Maven Black-Briar Black-Briar Manor (Riften) Never
Mercer Frey The Ragged Flagon - Cistern (Riften) Blindsighted
Mirabelle Ervine Hall of Attainment (College of Winterhold) Scripted death during The Staff of Magnus
Mirri SeverinDB Severin ManorDB (Raven Rock) During Served Cold
Mjoll the Lioness Aerin's House (Riften) Never
MogrulDB The Retching NetchDB (Raven Rock) During and after the quest A New Debt
Muiri The Hag's Cure (Markarth) Mourning Never Comes


Name Found Becomes Killable
Nazir Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!
Nelacar The Frozen Hearth (Winterhold) Never
NelothDB Tel MithrynDB (Tel Mithryn) Never
Nenya Jarl's Longhouse (Falkreath) Never
Nerien Saarthal Excavation (Winterhold) Never
Nervous Patron Candlehearth Hall (Windhelm) Never
Nikulas Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never
Niranye Niranye's House (Windhelm) Summerset Shadows
Noster Eagle-Eye The Winking Skeever (Solitude) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Olaf One-Eye Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never
Olava the Feeble Olava the Feeble's House (Whiterun) Never
Olfrid Battle-Born House of Clan Battle-Born (Whiterun) Never
OslafDB Temple of MiraakDB, Oslaf's HouseDB (Skaal Village) After completion of At the Summit of Apocrypha


Name Found Becomes Killable
Pactur Sorli's House (Hjaalmarch) Never
Paratus Decimius Mzulft Aedrome (Eastmarch) Revealing the Unseen
Phinis Gestor Hall of Countenance (College of Winterhold) Never
Proventus Avenicci Dragonsreach (Whiterun) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Quaranir Arch-Mage's Quarters (College of Winterhold) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Raerek Understone Keep (Markarth) Never
Ralis SedarysDB Kolbjorn BarrowDB End of Unearthed
Ralof Helgen Keep Never
Razelan Thalmor Embassy (Haafingar) Never
Reburrus Quintilius The Treasury House (Markarth) Never
Rexus Volunruud (the Pale) Hail Sithis!
Ri'saad Outside Whiterun or Markarth Never
Rolff Stone-Fist Candlehearth Hall (Windhelm) Never
Ruki Gjukar's Monument (Whiterun Hold) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Sabine Nytte Red Wave (Solitude) Never
Sabjorn Honningbrew Meadery (Whiterun) Never
Sam Guevenne The Bee and Barb (Riften) Never
Sanguine Morvunskar (Eastmarch) Never
Savos Aren Arch-Mage's Quarters (College of Winterhold) Scripted death during Revealing the Unseen
Scheming Servant Understone Keep (Markarth) Never
Senna Temple of Dibella, Markarth Before Patch 1.5
SeranaDG Dimhollow CryptDG (The Pale) Never
Sheogorath The Mind of a Madman (Haafingar) Never
Siddgeir Jarl's Longhouse (Falkreath) Never
Silda the Unseen Streets of Windhelm Stage 40 of Blood on the Ice
Sinding Falkreath Jail (Falkreath) Ill Met By Moonlight
Sinmir The Bannered Mare (Whiterun) Never
Skald The White Hall (Dawnstar) Never
Skjor Jorrvaskr Before Take Up Arms, scripted death during The Silver Hand
SogrlafDB The Northern MaidenDB Never
Sorli the Builder Sorli's House (Hjaalmarch) Never
Storn Crag-StriderDB Shaman's HutDB (Skaal Village) Scripted death during The Gardener of Men
Susanna the Wicked Candlehearth Hall (Windhelm) Scripted death during Blood on the Ice
Svaknir Dead Men's Respite (Hjaalmarch) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Takes-In-Light Labyrinthian (Hjaalmarch) Never
Talen-Jei The Bee and Barb (Riften) Never
Tandil Hall of the Elements (College of Winterhold) Never
Teeba-Ei Rockwallow Mine (Hjaalmarch) Never
Tekla Dengeir's House (Falkreath) Never
Thaena Jarl's Longhouse (Winterhold) Never
TharstanDB GreathallDB (Skaal Village) Never
Thonar Silver-Blood The Treasury House (Markarth) After completing No One Escapes Cidhna Mine
Thongvor Silver-Blood The Treasury House (Markarth) Never
Thonjolf Kraldar's House (Winterhold) Never
Thonnir Thonnir's House (Morthal) Never
Thorygg Sun-Killer Falkreath Stormcloak Camp Never
Tilisu SeverinDB Severin ManorDB (Raven Rock) During Served Cold
Tolfdir Hall of Attainment (College of Winterhold) Never
Tonilia The Ragged Flagon (Riften) Never
Torsten Cruel-Sea House of Clan Cruel-Sea (Windhelm) Never
Tova Shatter-Shield House of Clan Shatter-Shield (Windhelm) Scripted death if Nilsine Shatter-Shield dies
Tsun Sovngarde Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Ulfgar the Unending Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never
Ulfric Stormcloak Palace of the Kings (Windhelm) Battle for Windhelm
Unemployed Laborer Frostfruit Inn (Rorikstead) Never
Unmid Snow-Shod Mistveil Keep (Riften) Never
Urag gro-Shub The Arcanaeum (College of Winterhold) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Vaermina Devotee Nightcaller Temple (the Pale) Never
Valdar Valthume Vestibule (the Reach) Never
Vantus Loreius Loreius Farm (the Pale) Scripted death after Delayed Burial if the player chooses to turn in Cicero
Varnius Junius Blue Palace (Solitude) The Man Who Cried Wolf
Varona NelasDB Tel Mithryn Steward's HouseDB (Tel Mithryn) Scripted death during Reluctant Steward
Veezara Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary (Falkreath Hold) Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!, or scripted death during Death Incarnate
Vekel the Man The Ragged Flagon (Riften) Never
Vendil SeverinDB Ashfallow CitadelDB During Served Cold
Vex The Ragged Flagon (Riften) Never
Viarmo Bards College (Solitude) Never
Vigilant Tyranus Silver-Blood Inn (Markarth) The House of Horrors
Vignar Gray-Mane Jorrvaskr (Whiterun) Never
Vilkas Companion's Faction Hall (Whiterun) After completing Glory of the Dead
Viola Giordano TownWindhelmFaction (Windhelm) If The Player Decides To Marry Her
Vittoria Vici Vittoria Vici's House (Solitude) Bound Until Death
Voice of Namira Reachcliff Cave (the Reach) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Wary Outlaw The Bee and Barb (Riften) Never
Watches-The-Roots Avanchnzel (the Rift) Never
Wilhelm Vilemyr Inn (Ivarstead) Never
Wulfgar High Hrothgar (Whiterun Hold) Never
Wuunferth the Unliving Palace of the Kings (Windhelm) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Yngvar the Singer The Treasury House (Markarth) Never
YrsaDB Temple of MiraakDB, Deor Woodcutter's HouseDB (Skaal Village) Never
Yrsarald Thrice-Pierced Palace of the Kings (Eastmarch) Never
Ysgramor Hall of Valor (Sovngarde) Never
Ysolda Ysolda's House (Whiterun) Before Patch 1.5


Name Found Becomes Killable
Zaria Grave Concoctions (Falkreath) Never


Name Found Becomes Killable
Alduin Helgen, Kynesgrove, Throat of the World, Sovngarde During the Dragonslayer quest
Barbas Outside Falkreath At the end of A Daedra's Best Friend (only with The Rueful Axe)
Odahviing Dragonsreach (Whiterun) Never
Paarthurnax Throat of the World (Whiterun Hold) During the eponymous quest