Skyrim:Find the Thalmor Assassin

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The Thalmor are after Malborn. Help him get to safety.
Quest Giver: Malborn
Location(s): Windhelm
Prerequisite Quest: Diplomatic Immunity
Reward: Leveled Gold
ID: MQ201Malborn
Malborn is down on his luck

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Talk to Malborn after the quest Diplomatic Immunity.
  2. Locate and kill the assassin.
  3. Return to Malborn.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

An Old Friend[edit]

If you manage to get Malborn out of the Thalmor Embassy at the end of Diplomatic Immunity, he will run all the way to Windhelm seeking shelter in the New Gnisis Cornerclub, a Dunmer tavern located in the Gray Quarter. Due to his treachery, Malborn is obviously blacklisted by the Thalmor, and has decided to flee to Morrowind; however, every time he tries to sneak out of Windhelm, he sees a suspicious Khajiit outside the gates. Convinced that the Thalmor have sent an assassin to kill him, and still blaming you and Delphine for putting him in a tight spot, the scared Malborn is now stuck in the Cornerclub and will request your assistance to get him to safety.

An assassin waits for his prey outside Windhelm

A Stranger in Their Midst[edit]

Malborn will not provide a description of the supposed Khajiit assassin, just that he is standing outside the city gates. Your map marker will disappear when you exit Windhelm, so cross the pathway and make your way to the Khajiit trading caravan camped behind the Windhelm Stables. You will find the caravan leader Ma'dran in his tent and his fellow Khajiit roaming around, offering their services. Start asking around and one of the more talkative Khajiit, Ri'saad, will point you towards a stranger in the group called J'datharr, who stands on the fringes, away from the others. When approached, J'datharr will try to brush you off. You can tell him you have a message from Malborn: "Malborn? Ah... very good. I think we understand each other" and he will blow his cover and attack. The Khajiiti caravanners will not intervene on either side, so it will be a simple duel to the death. After the kill, loot his body and read his note, obviously written by the Thalmor. Lastly, return to the Cornerclub and tell Malborn the good news. He will be grateful and will reward you with some of the gold he stole from the Thalmor. He will then leave Windhelm, head towards the safety of Morrowind, and disappear from the game.

Levels Reward
1-5 50
6-10 100
11-15 150
16-20 200
21+ 250


  • After talking to you upon your return, Malborn will start (slowly) running out of the city. It's possible to "escort" him all the way to Refugees' Rest at the border with Morrowind. As soon as he reaches the podium with the Decree of Monument on it, he will disappear from the game.
  • The Thalmor assassin may carry an object titled <Missing Name>. It is unknown whether this will affect gameplay if taken.
  • The quest can be started as soon as Malborn arrives in Windhelm. When you arrive in Windhelm, a 24 hour timer starts, regardless of whether you talk to Malborn or not. Ri'saad's caravan (which normally travels between Markarth and Whiterun) will be placed outside of Windhelm, and Ri'saad is the only character in game who can be asked about the assassin ("I'm looking for a Khajiit... might be a Thalmor spy."). If you let the 24 hours pass without talking to Ri'saad outside of Windhelm, his caravan will be reverted to the old path, and Ma'dran's caravan will once again camp outside of Windhelm. The only way to then advance the quest is to kill him and then loot his note (or use the console, see below).


  • If the <Missing Name> item looted from J'datharr is equipped, it will take the place of a shield. ?
  • If you let the hidden 24 hour timer between arriving in Windhelm after Malborn getting there, and Ri'saad's caravan returning to their old route, run out, you will be unable to speak to the assassin, preventing the quest from progressing.
    • Killing J'datharr will advance the quest. If you don't want to just attack him in cold blood, cast Frenzy on him; even if his level is too high to be affected, he will turn hostile, allowing you to kill him and continue the quest.
    • Pc22.png You can circumvent this by opening the console and entering setstage MQ201Malborn 30. This will place a quest marker on the assassin and allow you to talk to him. After picking "Malborn has a message for you." he will turn hostile and you can kill him normally.
  • Malborn might never arrive at the pub, preventing the quest from getting started.
  • The Khajiit in Ma'dran's caravan may not tell you about J'datharr being the stranger in the group, meaning you can not talk to him to send him a message from Malborn. Reloading does not fix this, nor does pickpocketing the note from him.
    • Killing J'datharr will advance the quest.

Quest Stages[edit]

Find the Thalmor Assassin (MQ201Malborn)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
20 I met Malborn hiding out in Windhelm. He thinks there's a Thalmor assassin on his trail, a Khajiit, waiting for him outside the city. I promised I'd take care of this assassin, if there really is one.
Objective 10: Find the Thalmor assassin
100 I met Malborn hiding out in Windhelm. I killed the Thalmor assassin who was on his trail. I should let him know it's safe for him to leave Windhelm.
Objective 20: Tell Malborn the assassin is dead
150 ☑Finishes quest
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 10, 15, 30, 50, 80, 110, 200, 300.