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Home City Whiterun
Location Dragonsreach
Race Dunmer Gender Female
Level PC×0.8 (range=10-30) Class Nightblade
Other Information
Faction(s) CrimeFactionWhiterun; DragonsreachOccupants; Imperial Government; Ruling Government; TownWhiterunFaction
Irileth

Irileth is a Dunmer who serves as Housecarl to Jarl Balgruuf the Greater of Whiterun, and remains by his side at all times within Dragonsreach.

Irileth accompanies the character to the Western Watchtower, where they slay a dragon. She gives several speeches along the way to motivate the following troop of guards. She is essential, and is quite useful in the fight.

Irileth wears a custom set of leather armor, and fights with a Steel Sword of Cold. When attacking at range, she uses steel arrows and an elven bow, regardless of character level. She also makes frequent use of Destruction magic.

Although it is highly uncommon for a Dunmer to serve as housecarl in Skyrim, Irileth and Balgruuf fought in many battles together when they were younger. When Balgruuf was named as Jarl of Whiterun, she demanded that she be his housecarl, on account of their long-forged battle-bond. As a rule, Irileth appears to be highly distrustful of the main character, regardless of events that may take place, though after killing Mirmulnir and being declared Dragonborn she will tell the main character that she's happy that the Dragonborn is on their side.

Spells: Chain Lightning, Lightning Bolt, Shock Cloak, Chain Lightning, Stoneflesh.

Perks: IrilethVsDragons = apparently halfs the damage of her destruction spells vs dragons

Items: ClothesFarmClothes01, LootCitizensPocketsCommon

Related Quests

Before the Storm

"What's the meaning of this interruption?"

When you enter Dragonsreach to inform Jarl Balgruuf of the dragon attack at Helgen, you'll stumble upon him arguing with his steward, Proventus, regarding the civil war. Irileth will draw her weapon and will slowly approach you when she spots you: "What's the meaning of this interruption? Jarl Balgruuf is not receiving visitors." If you tell her you have news from Helgen, she'll grant you audience with the Jarl: "Well, that explains why the guards let you in. Come on then, the Jarl will want to speak to you personally." If you, however, have been asked by either Alvor or Gerdur to request aid from the Jarl and mention that Riverwood is in danger, she'll insist you can tell her about it: "As housecarl, my job is to deal with all dangers that threaten the Jarl or his people. So you have my attention. Now, explain yourself." When you then tell her a dragon destroyed Helgen, she'll be surprised and let you approach the Jarl: "You know about Helgen? The Jarl will want to speak to you personally. Approach." Should you tell her you were to inform the Jarl personally, she'll stand by her decision: "Whatever you have to say to the Jarl, you can say to me.", after which she'll utter: "I'm starting to think...", after which the Jarl will ask her to let you through.

However, if you went straight to Solitude or Windhelm to join up with the Imperial Legion or the Stormcloaks, you'll end up having to hand Jarl Balgruuf a message from General Tullius or Ulfric. In that case, after she asks you why you are interrupting, you can tell her you have a message from either Tullius or Ulfric, which will grant you an audience with the Jarl immediately: "You'd better speak to the Jarl, then."

"Yes, my Jarl."

Once you have told Balgruuf about the dragon attack in Helgen, the concerned jarl will turn to his steward, Proventus Avenicci, while Irileth will take the opportunity to get her points across:

Balgruuf "What do you say now, Proventus? Shall we continue to trust in the strength of our walls? Against a dragon?"
Irileth: "My lord, we should send troops to Riverwood at once. It's in the most immediate danger, if that dragon is lurking in the mountains..."
Proventus: "The Jarl of Falkreath will view that as a provocation! He'll assume we're preparing to join Ulfric's side and attack him."
Balgruuf: "Enough! I'll not stand idly by while a dragon burns my hold and slaughters my people! Irileth, send a detachment to Riverwood at once."
Irileth: "Yes, my Jarl."

After this conversation, Irileth travels all the way to the main gate in southern Whiterun, where she meets up with three nervous Whiterun guards outside the guard barracks for a quick briefing:

Irileth: "The Jarl has finally agreed to send you back to Riverwood."
Guard: "Yes, Housecarl. We'll leave immediately. It's just us against a dragon, is that it?"
Irileth: "I can't afford to send anyone else. And we don't know where the dragon is. Your main job will be to keep an eye out and get the people to safety if the town is attacked. I don't expect the three of you to fight off a dragon by yourselves. But I do expect you to do your duty."
Guard: "Of course. We'll keep Riverwood safe. You can count on it. Let's move out. Time's a wasting."

The three soldiers will then run all the way to Whiterun to do their duties, while Irileth will return to her usual spot in Dragonsreach.

Dragon Rising

While you are handing over the Dragonstone to court wizard Farengar Secret-Fire, a guard will run upstairs to the Jarl to inform about a dragon at the Western Watchtower. Irileth will utter: "Wait for me.", before quickly running downstairs, interrupting your conversation with the court wizard by shouting: "Farengar! Farengar, you need to come at once. A dragon's been sighted nearby." She then turns to you: "You should come, too." An excited Farengar will exclaim: "A dragon! How exciting! Where was it seen? What was it doing?" Irileth will then tell him to lower his enthusiasm: "I'd take this a bit more seriously if I were you. If a dragon decides to attack Whiterun I don't know if we can stop it." They will proceed up the stairs, where Balgruuf will be standing near an exhausted guard:

TEST, MY JARL
Balgruuf: "So, Irileth tells me you came from the western watchtower?"
Irileth: "Tell him what you told me. About the dragon."
Guard: "Uh... that's right. We saw it coming from the south. It was fast... faster than anything I've ever seen."
Balgruuf: "What did it do? Is it attacking the watchtower?"
Guard: "No, my lord. It was just circling overhead when I left. I never ran so fast in my life... I thought it would come after me for sure."
Balgruuf: "Good work, son. We'll take it from here. Head down to the barracks for some food and rest. You've earned it. Irileth, you'd better gather some guardsmen and get down there."
Irileth: "I've already ordered my men to muster near the main gate."
Balgruuf: "Good. Don't fail me."

The jarl will then turn to you: "I want you to go with Irileth and help her fight this dragon. You survived Helgen, so you have more experience with dragons than anyone else here." He then returns to Irileth: "One last thing, Irileth. This isn't a death or glory mission. I need to know what we're dealing with." Before leaving, Irileth assures him: "Don't worry, my lord. I'm the very soul of caution." She will then set off towards the watchtower and ask you to meet her there: "I'll see you at the watchtower as soon as the rest of the men have gathered."

"Shall we go kill us a dragon?"
Irileth: "Here's the situation. A dragon is attacking the Western Watchtower."
Soldiers: "Now we're in for it." / "A dragon?"
Irileth: "You heard right! I said a dragon! I don't much care where it came from or who sent it. What I do know is that it's made the mistake of attacking Whiterun!"
Soldier: "But Housecarl... how can we fight a dragon?
Irileth: "That's a fair question. None of us have ever seen a dragon before, or expected to face one in battle. But we are honorbound to fight it, even if we fail. This dragon is threatening our homes... our families. Could you call yourselves Nords if you ran from this monster? Are you going to let me face this thing alone?"
Soldiers: "No, Housecarl!" / "We're so dead..."
Irileth: "But it's more than our honor at stake here. Think of it - the first dragon seen in Skyrim since the last age. The glory of killing it is ours, if you're with me! Now what do you say? Shall we go kill us a dragon?"
Soldiers: "Yeah!" / "We're with you!"
Irileth: "Let's move out."
"No signs of any dragon right now."

She and the soldiers will then run off towards the Western Watchtower. If you manage to approach her, she will just say: "Be careful. We need to find out what happened here." They will keep running down the road, stopping at a rock a few hundred feet east of the watchtower, where they'll take cover as Irileth inspects the tower from afar and provides a quick briefing: "No signs of any dragon right now, but it sure looks like he's been here. I know it looks bad, but we've got to figure out what happened. And if that dragon is still skulking around somewhere. Spread out and look for survivors. We need to know what we're dealing with." She and the soldiers will draw their weapons and run towards the tower, and as you discover a guard hiding on the destroyed bridge, he'll shout:

Guard: "No! Get back! It's still here somewhere! Hroki and Tor just got grabbed when they tried to make a run for it!"
Irileth: "Guardsman! What happened here? Where's this dragon? Quickly now!"
Guard: "I don't know!"

Irileth bravely faces Mirmulnir

If you've already arrived and found the guard on your own, the guard will give you the same warning, after which the dragon approaches and Irileth and her men will try to catch up as fast as they can, skipping the previous dialogue. When you see Mirmulnir approaching, the guard will utter: "Kynareth save us, here he comes again..." Irileth will be quick to shout out orders in an attempt at organization: "Here he comes! Find cover and make every arrow count!"

When Mirmulnur is slain from a distance, Irileth can be heard saying: "Let's make sure that overgrown lizard is really dead. Damned good shooting, boys!" When you're close to its dead body and it starts to dissolve, a startled Irileth will exclaim: "Everybody get back!", as she and the men will run to take cover while you absorb the dragon's soul. When you've completed absorbing the soul, a soldier will walk up to you:

Soldier 1: "You... must be Dragonborn!"

He initiates a conversation with you in which he claims you're Dragonborn, after which a second soldier approaches:

Soldier 2: "Dragonborn? What are you talking about?"

At this point more soldiers approach the carcass.

Soldier 3: "That's right! My grandfather used to tell stories about the Dragonborn. Those born with the Dragon Blood in 'em. Like old Tiber Septim himself."
Soldier 2: "I never heard of Tiber Septim killing any dragons."
Soldier 1: "There weren't any dragons then, idiot. They're just coming back now for the first time in... forever."
Soldier 3: "But the old tales tell of the Dragonborn who could kill dragons and steal their power. You must be one!"
Soldier 4: "What do you say, Irileth? You're being awfully quiet."
Soldier 2: "Come on, Irileth, tell us, do you believe in this Dragonborn business?"
"Here's a dead dragon, and that's something I definitely understand."

At that point Irileth will have come out of hiding while she has been listening to the conversation. She will however focus on the dragon's corpse as she claims:

Irileth: "Hmph. Some of you would be better off keeping quiet than flapping your gums on matters you don't know anything about. Here's a dead dragon, and that's something I definitely understand. Now we know we can kill them. But I don't need some mythical Dragonborn. Someone who can put down a dragon is more than enough for me."
Soldier 1: "You wouldn't understand, Housecarl. You ain't a Nord."
Irileth: "I've been all across Tamriel. I've seen plenty of things just as outlandish as this. I'd advise you all to trust in the strength of your sword arm over tales and legends."

She'll then turn her attention towards you: "That was the hairiest fight I've ever been in, and I've been in more than a few. I don't know about this Dragonborn business, but I'm sure glad you're with us. You better get back to Whiterun right away. Jarl Balgruuf will want to know what happened here." She will then stay behind and will only repeat: "I'm taking command here for the moment. You head back to Whiterun and let the Jarl know what happened."

As soon as you have spoken to Jarl Balgruuf, Irileth returns to Dragonsreach.

The Fallen

During the quest The Fallen, after you have convinced Balgruuf to use his palace as a dragon trap, Irileth will only comment: "I don't know how you talked the Jarl into this plan of yours." but will still head up to the great port of Dragonsreach and scout the landscape for dragons saying nothing but: "Let's get this over with." When Odahviing arrives, she will draw her bow and do her best to get him to land without killing him. When he is down, she will shout, "Get it into the trap before it kills us all!" One the dragon is stuck in the trap, she will position herself at a safe distance while you talk to Odahviing. After a while, when the quest The World-Eater's Eyrie is initiated, she will start wandering around the captured dragon and will, when Farengar Secret-Fire turns up and makes bad suggestions to the captured dragon, say: "Farengar, very bad idea. Even for you." Once Odahviing is freed, she will go down to the dragon and ensure it keeps its promise. When you climb onto the dragon she will comment: "You're either the bravest person I've ever met, or the biggest fool."

Message To Whiterun (Stormcloaks)

If you sided with the Stormcloaks in the civil war, Ulfric Stormcloak will task you with bringing his axe to Balgruuf the Greater to find out where he stands. When you show Balgruuf the axe, he will immediately discuss the situation with Aventus and Irileth:

Balgruuf: "Proventus, what do you make of all this? If Ulfric were to attack Whiterun..."
Proventus: "As in all things, Lord, caution... I urge us to wait and see."
Irileth: "Prey waits."
Balgruuf: "I'm of a mind with Irileth. It's time to act."
Proventus: "You plan to march on Windhelm?"
Balgruuf: "I'm not a fool, Proventus. I mean it's time to challenge Ulfric to face me as a man, or march his Stormcloaks up to the gates."
Proventus: "He'll do no such thing! A dagger in the back is all you could expect!"
Irileth: "He was rather straight forward with Torygg."
Proventus: "Torygg? He simply walked up to the boy and murdered him!"
Irileth: "That "boy" was High King of Skyrim."
Balgruuf: "I'm not the High King, but neither am I a boy. If Ulfric wants to challenge my rule in the old way, let him. Though I suspect he'll prefer to send his "Stormcloaks" to do it for him."
Irileth: "True. He's already proven his personal strength. Now he seeks to prove his army's."
Proventus: "Then might I urge you to consider General Tullius's request? I mean, if you are bent on offending Jarl Ulfric..."
Irileth: "Ulfric is the one who has offended. But, Proventus has a point. Ulfric has made it clear. In his mind, to refuse his claim is to side with the Empire."
Proventus: "And what harm is there in letting a few legionnaires die in place of your own men?"
Balgruuf: "It seems cowardly."
Irileth: "Was it cowardly then to accept the White-Gold Concordat?"
Balgruuf: "This again?! That was different. Was I given a chance to object to the terms of the treaty? No. The Jarls weren't asked. We were told. And we had to like it."
Proventus: "The chests of gold didn't hurt."
Balgruuf: "Damnit! This isn't about gold!"
Irileth: "It's time to decide."
Aventus:" Lord, wait. Let us see if Ulfric is serious."
Balgruuf: "Oh, he's serious. But so am I."
Irileth: "Finally."

Jarl Balgruuf will then ask you to return the axe to Ulfric and will then seal the fate of Whiterun. Before long, an angry Ulfric will order an attack, starting the next quest, Battle for Whiterun.

Message to Whiterun (Imperials)

Balgruuf: Proventus, what do you make of all this? If Ulfric were to attack Whiterun...
Proventus: As in all things, Lord, caution... I urge us to wait and see.
Irileth: Prey waits.
Balgruuf: I'm of a mind with Irileth. It's time to act.
Proventus: You plan to march on Windhelm?
Balgruuf: I'm not a fool, Proventus. I mean it's time to challenge Ulfric to face me as a man, or to declare his intentions..
Proventus: He'll do no such thing!
Irileth: He was rather straight forward with Torygg.
Proventus: Torygg? He simply walked up to the boy and murdered him!
Irileth: That "boy" was High King of Skyrim.
Balgruuf: I'm not the High King, but neither am I a boy. If Ulfric wants to challenge my rule in the old way, let him. Though I suspect he'll prefer to send his "Stormcloaks" to do it for him.
Irileth: True. He's already proven his personal strength. Now he seeks to prove his army's.
Proventus: Then might I urge you to consider General Tullius's request? I mean, if you are bent on offending Jarl Ulfric...
Irileth: Ulfric is the one who has offended. But, Proventus has a point. Ulfric has made it clear. In his mind, to refuse his claim is to side with the Empire.
Proventus: And what harm is there in letting a few legionnaires die in place of your own men?
Balgruuf: It seems cowardly.
Irileth: Was it cowardly then to accept the White-Gold Concordat?
Balgruuf: This again?! That was different. Was I given a chance to object to the terms of the treaty? No. The Jarls weren't asked. We were told. And we had to like it.
Proventus: The chests of gold didn't hurt.
Balgruuf: Damnit! This isn't about gold!
Irileth: It's time to decide.
Aventus: Lord, wait. Let us see if Ulfric is serious.
Balgruuf: Oh, he's serious. But so am I.
Irileth: Finally.

Battle for Whiterun (Stormcloaks)

After fighting your way through the streets of Whiterun, it is finally time to conquer Dragonsreach. Ulfric’s second-in-command Galmar Stone-Fist and Ralof will help you fight Balgruuf and Irileth. When the jarl is on his knees, he will finally surrender and Irileth will sheathe her sword. Vignar Gray-Mane will then come rushing in, shouting:

Vignar: Balgruuf!
Balgruuf: Vignar Gray-Mane! Your family was noticeably absent from the walls. Now I know why. Wouldn't a dagger in the back have sufficed?
Vignar: You think this is personal? The Empire has no place in Skyrim... not any more. And you? You have no place in Whiterun anymore.
Balgruuf: A convenient position to hold now. But mark my words, old man, in the days to come, Ulfric will spread his rebellion thin. And what then? We need the Empire, as much as it needs us. We Nords are the Empire! Our blood built it. Our blood sustains it! You of all people should know that.
Vignar: If this was my Empire, I'd be able to worship whoever I damned well pleased. You wish to see an Empire without Talos? Without its soul? We should be fighting those witch-elves, not bending knee to them. The Emperor is nothing more than a puppet of the Thalmor. Skyrim needs a High King who will fight for her, and Whiterun needs a Jarl who will do the same.
Balgruuf: Tell me, Vignar. Was all this worth it? How many of those corpses lining our streets wear the faces of men who once called you friend? What about their families?
Galmar: Enough! Both of you! There is a burning city out there that needs a government.
Vignar: He's right. Galmar, come, let us restore order.
Balgruuf: This isn't over. You hear me you old fool! This isn't over! (to the player) And you. A Stormcloak? I'd thought better of you. You'll all come to regret this day.

After this, a beaten Balgruuf will see his throne taken over by Vignar and will reluctantly head up to his quarters, followed by the ever-loyal Irileth. The two of them will now travel all the way to the last neutral place in Skyrim, the Blue Palace in Skyrim:Solitude, and seek shelter in the basement. Here, Irileth will live a monotonous existence and either eat, sleep or wandering restlessly around. When approached she will only say, There are so many delightful ways I've pictured you dead.

Battle for Whiterun (Imperials)

After Message to Whiterun, Balgruuf will hand you his axe as a symbolic request forpeace. Ulfric, however, will reject it right away and when you return to Dragonsreach, you will find the Legion present and ready for the attack. Everybody will be gathered around the strategy map on the second floor, Irileth included. Suddenly, an Imperial Soldier will come rushing in with bad news.

Irileth will remain quiet during the entire conversation and will of course stay with her jarl when you join Legate Rikke on the battlefield.

After the battle, Irileth will appear outside the city gates, atop the bridge and shout: "Everyone, on me! The Jarl wishes to speak!" She will then stand by her jarl when he makes his heroic speech. Once he is finished she will follow him back to Dragonsreach and resume her usual routine.

Dialogue

Irileth may be seen talking with Jarl Balgruuf about his security:
Irileth: "Balgruuf, did you slip out again last night for a drink at the Bannered Mare?"
Jarl Balgruuf the Greater: "Heard about that, did you? Yes, I went out for a pint or two. What of it?"
Irileth: "These secret visits to the tavern will make you an easy target for an enemy assassin. You should have told me first."
Jarl Balgruuf the Greater: "Damn it, woman, I'm the Jarl of Whiterun! I won't apologize for talking to my people. You can't protect me every moment of the day."
Irileth: "That might be so, but it will never stop me from trying."