Skyrim:Balgruuf the Greater

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Balgruuf the Greater
(RefID: 0001A677)
Home City Whiterun
Location Dragonsreach
Race Nord Gender Male
Level PC×1.5 (range=10-30) Class Warrior
RefID 0001A677 BaseID 00013BBD
Other Information
Health 50+(PC-0.7)×17.5
Magicka 50
Stamina 50+(PC-0.7)×5
Primary Skills Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block
Class Details CombatWarrior1H
Moral. No Crime Aggress. Unaggressive
Essential Yes
Faction(s) CrimeFactionWhiterun; DragonsreachOccupants; Imperial Government; MQ201PartyGuestUnhappy; NPCs the Player cannot marry; Ruling Government; TownWhiterunFaction; faction for party guests
Jarl Balgruuf the Greater

Contents

Balgruuf the Greater, a Nord warrior, is 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 has 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 puts his heart and soul into his service, he is also not considered a patient man. Following the White-Gold Concordat, which Balgruuf had no influence in negotiating, he was purportedly given chests of gold and told to accept the terms. However, he continued worshipping Talos privately, and according to Nelkir, hated the Thalmor as passionately as the Stormcloaks. For more information, see the lore article.

He wears noble clothes, a pair of fur-lined boots, and a gold and ruby circlet. He wields a steel sword and carries a selection of upper-class loot and gold.

On a normal day, Balgruuf gets up early, at 5am, to head the main hall for a one-hour breakfast. Then, at 6am, he'll get up and take a seat on his throne. At 8pm, he leaves his throne and heads to his quarters to goes to bed. If he's still Jarl, he and Proventus Avenicci will also be present at Kodlak Whitemane's funeral.

When greeted, his impatience becomes clear, saying, "You should be talking to my Steward.", "I'm the Jarl, not a barkeep. Speak your business.", "Quickly now, or would you prefer I let Whiterun fall to the Stormcloaks?", "You might be a guest in Dragonsreach, but you're starting to try my patience.", "What is it that you need?", "You have my attention.", and "Speak your mind." Once you get on his good side, he may say, "It pleases me to see you again."

While he's neutral, you can ask him whose side he's on, to which he'll say, "If it's the war you're referring to, I'm on the side of Whiterun. No doubt General Tullius and his friends in the Empire will tell you that I owe them my loyalty, and perhaps I do. Ulfric Stormcloak would say that I owe my allegiance to the Nord people as they fight for Skyrim's independence. Perhaps this is also true. The day might come when I am forced to draw my sword for one side or the other. But that day has not come yet." You can also ask him why he thinks Ulfric killed the High King, to which he'll say, "No doubt he thought it was the only way to make his point. And also because he knew he could." If you ask him how can he protect Whiterun from the dragons, he'll say, "With good planning and constant vigilance. Even now, my court wizard, Farengar, continues his research into ways we might drive back these terrors. We must also have ample reserves of water to combat the fires that will surely spread after an attack. But our greatest weapon? Courage. For if we cannot kill the beast, we must at least have the tenacity to drive it back. Until brave heroes step forward to destroy these monsters, that is the best we can do." When exiting conversation, he'll say, "Next time, deal with Avenicci." and "Now if you don't mind, I've got a city to keep."

[edit] Related Quests

[edit] Main Quests

[edit] Daedric Quests

[edit] Civil War Quests

[edit] Quest-Related Events

[edit] Before the Storm

When you first see him, he will be having the following conversation with his steward:

Proventus: "My lord. Please. You have to listen. I only counsel caution. We cannot afford to act rashly in times like these. If the news from Helgen is true... well, there's no telling what it means."
Balgruuf: "What would you have me do, then? Nothing?"
Proventus: "My lord. Please. This is no time for rash action. I just think we need more information before we act. I just..."
Balgruuf: "Who's this, then?"

When you're done speaking with Irileth and you tell her you have news concerning Helgen, he'll turn to you and say, "So. You were at Helgen? You saw this dragon with your own eyes?" You'll now have a few options.

Your Dialogue Balgruuf's Reply Condition
I have a message from General Tullius. "Oh, yes? I wonder what that old busybody wants now. Whatever it is, it will have to wait until after I've finished dealing with this dragon situation." Only if Message to Whiterun is active
I have a message from Ulfric Stormcloak. "And I'm sure he told you it was urgent. Well, he's not the only Jarl in Skyrim with problems to deal with. Whatever it is, it will have to wait until after I've finished dealing with this dragon situation." Only if Message to Whiterun is active
Yes. I had a great view while the Imperials were trying to cut off my head. "Really? You're certainly... forthright about your criminal past. But it's none of my concern who the Imperials want to execute. Especially now. What I want to know is what exactly happened at Helgen." Always Available
The Imperials were about to execute Ulfric Stormcloak. Then the dragon attacked. "I should have guessed Ulfric would be mixed up in this." Always Available
The dragon destroyed Helgen. And last I saw it was heading this way. "By Ysmir, Irileth was right!" Always Available

When you're speaking with Irileth and you tell her that Riverwood is in danger and that you need to speak directly to the Jarl, he'll call out to Irileth, saying, "It's all right, Irileth. I want to hear what he/she has to say." When you approach him, he'll say, "What's this about Riverwood being in danger?" You can now tell him a dragon destroyed Helgen and Gerdur/Alvor (whoever sent you) is afraid Riverwood is next, to which he'll reply, "Gerdur? Owns the lumber mill, if I'm not mistaken. Pillar of the community. Not prone to flights of fancy.../Alvor? The smith, isn't he? Reliable, solid fellow. Not prone to flights of fancy... And you're sure Helgen was destroyed by a dragon? This wasn't some Stormcloak raid gone wrong?" You can now either mention your criminal past or mention the dragon, getting the same responses as above.

Alternatively, if you converse with him before talking to Irileth, he'll say, "Well. I trust you have something vitally important to tell me. Important enough to interrupt me in the middle of council?" You can now either say you have a message concerning the war, Riverwood is in danger, or you have news from Helgen, getting the same responses as above.

"Against a dragon?"

Whenever you decide to mention a dragon destroying Helgen, he'll then turn to Proventus and have the following conversation:

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! Irileth, send a detachment to Riverwood at once."
Irileth: "Yes, my Jarl."
Proventus: "We should not..."
Balgruuf: "I'll not stand idly by while a dragon burns my hold and slaughters my people!"
Proventus: "If you'll excuse me, I'll return to my duties."
Balgruuf: "That would be best."

He'll then turn to you and say, "Well done. You sought me out, on your own initiative. You've done Whiterun a service, and I won't forget it. Here, take this as a small token of my esteem." and hand you a piece of leveled armor. He will continue, "There is another thing you could do for me. Suitable for someone of your particular talents, perhaps. Come, let's go find Farengar, my court wizard. He's been looking into a matter related to these dragons and... rumors of dragons." The next quest, Bleak Falls Barrow, will now start.

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[edit] Bleak Falls Barrow

As you are walking over to see Farengar, he'll say, "I'll introduce you to Farengar. He can be a bit... difficult. Mages. You know." or "Farengar is probably puttering around in his lab. Day and night. I'm not sure he ever sleeps." When he gets to Farengar's lab, he'll say, "Farengar, I think I've found someone who can help you with your dragon project. Go ahead and fill him/her in with all the details." If you've previously spoke with Farengar, he'll say, "Farengar, I see you've already met my new friend here. I'm sure you two will get along famously." When Farengar is done talking he'll have the following conversation.

"This is a priority now."

Balgruuf: "This is a priority now. Anything we can use to fight this dragon, or dragons. We need it, quickly. Before it's too late."
Farengar: "Of course, Jarl Balgruuf. You seem to have found me an able assistant. I'm sure he/she will prove most useful."
Balgruuf: (to you)"Succeed at this, and you'll be rewarded. Whiterun will be in your debt."

During the quest he'll just say, "Bring back this tablet that Farengar wants and I'll be in your debt." or "That tablet is your priority now. Bring that back from Bleak Falls Barrow and I'm sure we'll have a lot to talk about."

[edit] Dragon Rising

After you return the Dragonstone to Farengar, Irileth will bring you to him and he'll have the following conversation. If you attempt to talk to him before he's done talking with the guard and Irileth, he'll only say, "Not now."

"Is it attacking the watchtower?"

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."

He'll then turn to you and say, "There's no time to stand on ceremony, my friend. I need your help again. I want you to go with Irileth and help her fight this Dragon. You survived Helgan [sic], so you have more experience with dragons then anyone else here. But I haven't forgotten the service you did for me in retrieving the Dragonstone for Farengar. As a token of my esteem, I have instructed Avenicci that you are now permitted to purchase property in the city. And please accept this gift from my personal armory." You will receive an "Axe of Whiterun" as your symbol of office; the axe is a leveled weapon that carries a random enchantment effect.

Farengar: "I should come along. I would very much like to see this dragon."
Balgruuf: "No. I can't afford to risk both of you. I need you here working on ways to defend the city against these dragons."
Farengar: "As you command."
Balgruuf: "One last thing, Irileth. This isn't a death or glory mission. I need to know what we're dealing with."
Irileth: "Don't worry, my lord. I'm the very soul of caution."

If you talk to him now, the only thing he'll say is, "Help Irileth kill this dragon before it can attack Whiterun. There's no time to lose."

When you return he'll say to Hrongar, "You heard the summons. What else could it mean? The Greybeards..." He'll then ask you, "So what happened at the watchtower? Was the dragon there?" You have a few options:

Your Dialogue Balgruuf's Reply
The watchtower was destroyed, but we killed the dragon. "I knew I could count on Irileth. But there must be more to it than that."
Turns out I may be something called "Dragonborn." "Dragonborn? What do you know about the Dragonborn?"
I killed the dragon. I think I deserve a reward. "There's no question about that. It was a mighty deed. You've earned a place of honor among the heroes of Whiterun. But there must be more to it than that. Did something... strange... happen when the dragon died?"

If you said that you may be Dragonborn, two new options will appear:

Your Dialogue Balgruuf's Reply
When the dragon died, I absorbed some kind of power from it. "So it's true. The Greybeards really were summoning you."
That's just what the men called me. "Not just the men. The Greybeards seem to think the same thing."

If you picked one of the other two options, you can tell him you may be Dragonborn or that you absorbed some kind of power, getting the same responses as above. Once he mentions the Greybeards, the next quest, The Way of the Voice, will start.

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[edit] The Way of the Voice

You can now ask him about the Greybeards, to which he'll say, "Masters of the Way of the Voice. They live in seclusion high on the slopes of the Throat of the World." You can now ask what would the Greybeards want with you, to which he'll say, "The Dragonborn is said to be uniquely gifted in the Voice - the ability to focus your vital essence into a Thu'um, or Shout. If you really are Dragonborn, they can teach you how to use your gift." Hrongar will then speak up:

"Nord nonsense?!"

Hrongar: "Didn't you hear the thundering sound as you returned to Whiterun? That was the voice of the Greybeards, summoning you to High Hrothgar! This hasn't happened in ... centuries, at least. Not since Tiber Septim himself was summoned when he was still Talos of Atmora!"
Proventus: "Hrongar, calm yourself. What does any of this Nord nonsense have to do with our friend here? Capable as he/she may be, I don't see any signs of him/her being this, what, 'Dragonborn.'"
Hrongar: "Nord nonsense?! Why you puffed-up ignorant... these are our sacred traditions that go back to the founding of the First Empire!"
Balgruuf: "Hrongar. Don't be so hard on Avenicci."
Proventus: "I meant no disrespect, of course. It's just that... what do these Greybeards want with him/her?"
Balgruuf: "That's the Greybeards' business, not ours. (to you) Whatever happened when you killed that dragon, it revealed something in you, and the Greybeards heard it. If they think you're Dragonborn, who are we to argue? You'd better get up to High Hrothgar immediately. There's no refusing the summons of the Greybeards. It's a tremendous honor."

He'll then say to you, "You've done a great service for me and my city, Dragonborn. By my right as Jarl, I name you Thane of Whiterun. It's the greatest honor that's within my power to grant. I assign you Lydia as a personal Housecarl, and this weapon from my armory to serve as your badge of office. I'll also notify my guards of your new title. Wouldn't want them to think you're part of the common rabble, now would we? We are honored to have you as Thane of our city, Dragonborn."

You can now ask him a few more questions:

Who are the Greybeards? "They're the Masters of the Way of the Voice - of Shouting. They live up on top of the Throat of the World. If you're really Dragonborn, they'll want to talk to you. In the old stories, they always summon the Dragonborn for training."
What's it mean to be Dragonborn? "Well, in the old tales, the Dragonborn heroes would use the power of their Voice to defeat the enemies of Skyrim. Wulfharth was Dragonborn. Talos, too - the founder of the Empire, back in the good old days. In the very oldest tales, back from when there still were dragons in Skyrim, the Dragonborn would slay dragons and steal their power."

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[edit] Diplomatic Immunity

"This gathering is nothing more than a boast."

If you complete Battle for Whiterun prior to the quest, he may appear at the Thalmor party. When you see him at the party, he'll show his distaste for the gathering and the Thalmor in general, saying, "This gathering is nothing more than a boast. The Thalmor are reminding us that we're at their beck and call.", "We've got troubles enough without the Thalmor and their witch-hunts.", "I'd rather be back at Whiterun, but while I'm here I might as well get some real news from the other parts of Skyrim.", and "These Thalmor might not like to admit it, but as long as the Empire has Skyrim, the Empire has strength." You can ask him how well he knows Elenwen, to which he'll say, "Not well at all, and I'm happy to keep it that way. That woman and her Thalmor Justiciars have caused nothing but problems for the people of Skyrim." You can also ask him if he's having a good time, to which he'll say, "I am not. I have no more taste for Thalmor wine than I do for Thalmor company. What is more, I'm away from the hold at a time when there are dragons and Stormcloaks on the loose. There's every chance I'll return to find a pile of smoking ash where Whiterun once stood." When Malborn tells you to make a distraction, you can tell Balgruuf you need his assistance, to which he'll say, "Let's hear it." When you ask him to cause a scene he'll say, "Say no more. I was wondering what you were doing here... I'm glad to play my part." If you talk to him right before he makes a distraction, he'll say, "I've got this. Do what you need to do." He'll then walk up to Razelan and start to harass him:

Balgruuf: "It's all for a good cause, old chap. Ulfric Stormcloak? The rightful High King? That's bordering on treason, man! Stand up. Stand up, I say!"
Razelan: "I don't understand... did you say Ulfric Stormcloak? Fine fellow, although a bit too fond of... I mean, no, of course, I condemn him in the most..."
Balgruuf: "You take it back then? You retract your statement? Well?"
Elenwen: "Razalan. And you promised to behave yourself this time. Remove him. He's disturbing the other guests."
Razelan: "I protest! This is an insult to the dignity of my person! This time I'm completely innocent!/This is preposterous. Disrespect... insulting! I am tired of being hounded from all sides!/Madame Ambassador, you know that I would never have behaved... that is to say... well I swear I'm innocent this time!"
Balgruuf: "Tell your men to stand down. I don't need any help dealing with this kind of fool. He isn't worth the trouble. I apologize for the disruption to such a festive occasion."
Razelan: "Absolutely not! I protest... uh, that is, yes, of course. I still don't understand what just... oh never mind./That is absolutely untrue! Uh, that is, yes, of course. What... I don't understand why everyone... never mind."

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[edit] The Fallen

After you learn Dragonrend and fight Alduin for the first time, Paarthurnax will tell you to trap a dragon in Dragonsreach to find out where Alduin has gone. When you approach Balgruuf, telling him you need to trap a dragon in his palace, he'll say,"I must have misheard you. I thought you asked me to help you trap a dragon in my palace." You can choose to persuade him; if your Speech skill is too low, he will respond, "I'm sorry, but I can't do it. We'll just have to keep fighting the dragons as best we can." If you have the right Speech skill, he will instead ask, "Of course. You already saved Whiterun from that dragon. I owe you a great deal. But I don't understand. Why let a dragon into the heart of my city when we've been working so hard to keep them out?" If you failed the persuasion check earlier and once again tell him you need to trap a dragon in his palace, he'll say, "What you're asking for is insane. Impossible! Why let a dragon into the heart of my city when we've been working so hard to keep them out?" When you tell him it's the only way to stop the dragons, he'll say, "There must be another way. The risk is too great." Either way, you'll then have to tell him Alduin has returned, to which he'll say, "Alduin? The World-Eater himself? But... how can we fight him? Doesn't his return mean it's the end times?" Three optional responses are now available:

It's only hopeless if we give up.
"I didn't say anything about giving up. Now, what's this nonsense about trapping a dragon in my palace?"

I'm Dragonborn. It's my destiny to stop him.
"I don't know about such things, but I heard the Greybeards summon you. That's good enough for me. Now, what's this nonsense about trapping a dragon in my palace?"

Maybe so, but I plan to go down fighting. What about you?
"No Nord could have said it better!/Spoken like a true Nord. I'll stand beside you, Dragonborn. Now, what's this nonsense about trapping a dragon in my palace?"

When you tell him it's the only way to stop Alduin, if the Civil War is still raging, he'll say, "I want to help you, Dragonborn. And I will. But I need your help first." If he has yet to join a side, he'll then say, "Ulfric and General Tullius are both just waiting for me to make a wrong move. Do you think they will sit idle while a dragon is slaughtering my men and burning my city?" If he's pledged allegiance to the Imperials, he'll say, "Do you think the Stormcloaks will sit idle while this dragon is slaughtering my men and burning down my city?" Either way, he'll then say, "No. I can't risk weakening the city while we are under the threat of enemy attack. I'm sorry." When you ask him if he would help if he didn't have to worry about an enemy attack, he'll say, "Then I would be glad to help you with your mad dragon-trapping scheme. But getting both sides to agree to a truce will be difficult at this point. The bitterness has gone too deep. Maybe... hmm... what of the Greybeards? They are respected by all Nords. High Hrothgar is neutral territory. If the Greybeards were willing to host a peace council... then maybe Ulfric and Tullius would have to listen." When you tell him you'll get the Greybeards to host a peace council, he'll say, "Aye, Dragonborn. Maybe you can stop the dragons - and this war into the bargain." You can now ask if Dragonsreach was built to hold a dragon, to which he'll say, "According to legend. Although I never thought to put the tale to the test. Jarl Olaf One-Eye it was, who later became High King. They say he Shouted it into submission in single combat atop Mount Anthor and brought it back to Whiterun. Numinex was the dragon's name. That's his skull decorating the main hall." Before the peace council, if you try to make him set up the trap, he'll say, "My men will be ready when you are, Dragonborn. You have a truce to arrange first, eh?"

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[edit] Season Unending

Balgruuf at the table

When the truce negotiations are about to start, he'll take his seat between General Tullius and Elenwen. Before the negotiations get underway, he'll say, "If you can arrange an end to the fighting, Dragonsreach is at your disposal." and "We should get started." He'll then play a minor role in the negotiations:

When Ulfric complains about Elenwen's presence, he'll say, "Diplomatic as usual." When Ulfric demands the Reach, Elisif and Balgruuf will then interrupt:

Elisif: "Wait. General, you don't intend to just hand over Markarth to that... traitor."
Balgruuf: "This is how the Empire repays us for our loyalty?"
Tullius: "Enough!"

Balgruuf on his way home

At the end of the negotiations, he'll say one of the following lines, based on the outcome of the treaty, "This is quite an achievement, Dragonborn. And General Tullius. Riften is ours!", "Giving up Markarth is a heavy price for this truce, Dragonborn. I hope it was worth it.", and "I admit, I really didn't expect you'd be able to arrange a truce. Getting Ulfric to agree to anything at all is quite an achievement." Arngeir will then turn to him and say:

Arngeir: "Jarl Baalgruf [sic], I assume you are familiar with the Dragonborn's plan?"
Balgruuf: "Yes, I'm ready to do my part. Just say the word, and my men will help you spring this trap."

When it's all over, he'll walk all the way back to Whiterun, determined to keep his word, saying, "When I return to Whiterun, I'll get my men ready to help trap this dragon."

After the peace council, or if the Civil War is already over, he'll say, "Then... Whiterun will stand with you, Dragonborn. We will take the risk, and gain the glory, whether it be in victory or defeat! So what's the plan, then? How do you intend to lure a dragon into the trap?" When you tell him you don't know yet, he'll say, "Oh... well, I'll leave that to you. I trust you know your business. Probably for the best. It will give me time to see if that old trap still works - and break the news to the men." If you once again ask if he's ready, he'll say, "We'll be ready, don't worry. You do have a plan for actually luring a dragon into this trap, don't you?" When you're finally ready, you can ask him if he's prepared, "As I promised, my men stand ready. The great chains are oiled. We wait on your word." If you tell him you're not quite ready, he'll say, "Now that it's upon us, I'm rather looking forward to the challenge. I'll be famouser than Olaf One-Eye!" When you tell him you're ready, he'll say, "My men know what to do. Make sure you do your part. I'm putting my city in your hands."

"You'll be the toast of Whiterun for this!"

As he arrives at the Great Porch, he'll say, "You do have a plan for luring a dragon here, yeah?" Once he gets in position, he'll only say, "Go ahead and call this dragon of yours. We're ready.", "What are you waiting for? Let's get this over with.", and "We're ready when you are." When fighting the dragon, he'll yell out, "Steady! Steady, now! Keep under cover until it's down!" and "Hold your fire until he's close!" When Odahviing is captured, he'll say, "Got him!" With the dragon captured, he'll greet you with, "I'm still amazed that your plan worked." or "You'll be the toast of Whiterun for this!" When you tell the guards to open the trap, he'll say, "Carry on, soldier. This is all part of the Dragonborn's plan." As you fly towards Skuldafn, he will shout, "May Kynareth guard you while you pass through her realm!"

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[edit] The Whispering Door

Once you get to level 20, you may hear rumors about Balgruuf's strange children. When you ask him about this, he'll say, "Yes, my youngest son. He's a dark child. I don't know what to do with him. He was always a quiet lad, but lately... something has changed. He's become brooding. Violent. He won't say a word to me, but I don't know how I upset him. If you could speak to him. Draw out the truth. I would be immensely grateful." When talking to Nelkir, he'll reveal some interesting secrets about Balgruuf, saying, "I know that he still worships Talos. That he hates the Thalmor almost as much as the Stormcloaks do. That he worries about being chased from Whiterun. That he... that I'm... that I don't have the same mother as my brother and sister." Later in the quest, Mephala will command you to open the Old Wooden Door in the Dragonsreach basement. The Whispering Door key will now be added to Balgruuf's inventory. Since he's essential, you have to pickpocket him to get it.


[edit] Message to Whiterun (Imperial)

After The Jagged Crown, General Tullius will tell you to bring Balgruuf a message about the Stormcloaks. When you tell Balgruuf you have an important message for him, he'll say, "No doubt requesting to garrison his men in my castle. How many times must I deny him? Well? Out with it." When you tell him Ulfric wants to attack Whiterun and the general wants to help, he'll say, "I see... Give the papers to my Steward." When you tell him it's for his eyes only, he'll say, "Don't be daft. Proventus is my eyes. Just give me the letter. I presume once I have it, I can do as I please with it? Good." When you give him the message, he'll say, "Hmm... these are interesting reports..." He'll then turn to Proventus for council:

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."
Proventus: "Lord, wait. Let us see if Ulfric is serious."
Balgruuf: "Oh, he's serious. But so am I."
Irileth: "Finally."

If you talk to him during the above scene, he'll say, "One moment. But don't go far. I expect I'll need you." After the above conversation, he'll turn to you and say, "You there. I have a message for you to deliver to our friend, the esteemed Jarl of Windhelm. Deliver this axe to Ulfric Stormcloak." If you ask about the axe, he'll say, "How long have you been in Skyrim? Yes. Give the man my axe. If he returns it to you it means we have business to settle. If he keeps it, then we are at peace." If you ask if you should say anything to him, he'll say, "Men who understand one another need not waste words. There are but a few simple truths behind one warrior giving another his axe. Ulfric will know my meaning." If you ask if he thinks Ulfric will let you just walk right up to him, he'll say, "True, he's a dangerous and blood thirsty man, but he's also a Nord that honors our traditions. Keep your wits about you and you won't be harmed. And then get back here. Because if Ulfric isn't bluffing, I'll need every able body to defend Whiterun." When you're done asking questions, and tell him you understand, he'll say, "Good. Good..." He'll then turn to Proventus and say:

Balgruuf: "Proventus. Bring me my pen. And the good parchment."
Proventus: "Are we writing a letter, Lord?"
Balgruuf: "Yes, to General Tullius. I need to make a few things clear before I accept these Legionnaires of his."

When you return with his axe, he'll say, "You've returned with my axe. I knew that would be his response. As soon as you left I sent word to General Tullius, who's been kind enough to lend us some of his troops and Legate Cipius here. Let Ulfric try to make it past our combined forces. I'll turn you back over to your Legion. Legate Cipius will have use for you. Gods be with us all." He'll then turn to the Legate:

"The men will be fighting in flames."

Imperial Soldier: "Sir! I... I have..."
Quentin: "Take a moment to breathe, soldier."
Imperial Soldier: "But... sir..."
Quentin: "Breathe!"
Balgruuf: "The outer walls are strong. If we can hold them there..."
Quentin: "They have catapults."
Balgruuf: "Damnit. Where'd they get catapults? The city walls are already falling apart as it is."
Quentin: "My scouts tell me they're loading them with fire."
Balgruuf: "So, he wants to take my city, walls intact."
Quentin: "The men will be fighting in flames."
Balgruuf: "My men are fearless. It's the Imperial milk drinkers I'm worried about."
Quentin: "If you prefer I took my men and left..."
Balgruuf: "No. Of course not. Just - don't let me down Cipius. We'll need to set up water brigades to combat the flames."
Quentin: "Already taken care of."
Balgruuf: "You Imperials are efficient, I'll give you that. How long until they arrive?"
Quentin: "Not long. They're hiding in the country side."
Balgruuf: "Damnit. What's he waiting for?"
Imperial Soldier: "Sir!"
Quentin: "What?!"
Imperial Soldier: "Sir, they're on the move. They'll be at the gates at any moment!"
Quentin: "Why didn't you say so immediately?!"
Imperial Soldier: "Sir, I tried."
Balgruuf: "This is it! Time to see what these Stormcloaks are made of."
Quentin: "The men are already gathering at the gates. Move it soldier. Spread the word. Go. Go. Go."
Balgruuf: "Oblivion take them. Every miserable last one of them."

The quest, Battle for Whiterun will now start.

[edit] Battle for Whiterun (Imperial)

The inspiring speech

After the battle he'll make the following speech just outside Whiterun:

"Revel in your victory here today, even as the gods revel in your honor! They already sing of your valor and skill! The halls of Sovngarde are no doubt ringing with your praises! In defeating these Stormcloak traitors, you have proven the hollowness of their cause and the fullness of your hearts. The citizens of Whiterun are forever in your debt! But Ulfric will not stop here. No, he will continue to strike out against any true Nord who remains faithful to the Empire. He will continue to sow discord and chaos wherever he can. And so, we must each one of us, continue to fight this insurrection, lest our fallen brothers have died for naught! Lest our honor be lessened should we allow these bloodthirsty beasts to prowl our lands! Carry on men, my gratitude and blessings go with you! For Whiterun! For the Empire!"

When you talk to him again, he'll say, "Thank you for your role in all of this. It'd be my honor should you decide to make Whiterun your home. Speak with Proventus. He'll make the necessary arrangements." Now that he's picked a side, you can ask him a few more questions:

Why side with the Empire? "Mutual advantage! Any fool can see that. For centuries, we have benefited from the Empire's protection, and prosperous trade with the south. In exchange, the people of Cyrodiil sleep peacefully, knowing their northern border is guarded by the fiercest warriors in all Tamriel."
What will it take to end the war? "Ulfric Stormcloak's head on a pike. Do you think Ulfric really cares about Skyrim's independence, or the welfare or [sic] its people? I promise you, he doesn't. He's nothing more than a barbarian renegade, whose lust for power has cost the lives of countless innocents."

SR-qico-Imperial Legion.png   SR-qico-Stormcloaks-right.png

[edit] Message for Whiterun (Stormcloaks)

After The Jagged Crown, Ulfric will tell you to bring his axe to Balgruuf. When you present him the axe, he'll say, "Did he now? The man is persistent, I'll give him that. I suppose it's time I gave him an answer..." He will then turn to Proventus and say:

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."
Proventus: "Lord, wait. Let us see if Ulfric is serious."
Balgruuf: "Oh, he's serious. But so am I."
Irileth: "Finally."

If you talk to him during the above scene, he'll say, "One moment. But don't go far. I expect I'll need you." After the above conversation, he'll turn to you and say, "You there. I have a message for you to deliver to our friend, the esteemed Jarl of Windhelm. Deliver this axe to Ulfric Stormcloak." He'll then turn to Proventus and say:

Balgruuf: "Proventus. Bring me my pen. And the good parchment."
Proventus: "Are we writing a letter, Lord?"
Balgruuf: "Yes, to General Tullius. I need to make a few things clear before I accept these Legionnaires of his."

[edit] Battle for Whiterun (Stormcloaks)

Once the battle starts, he'll then put on a full set of steel plate armor (minus the helm). When you invade Dragonsreach, he'll yell, "I'll be damned if I let this rabble take my city without raising my own sword." When you get him to surrender, he'll yell, "Enough! That's enough. I surrender... I surrender. Peace! Everyone stand down. That's an order. Stand down!" Vignar Gray-Mane will then enter the premise and yell out:

"You have no place in Whiterun anymore."

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."

Balgruuf in exile

If you talk to him after the following conversation, he'll only say, "I surrender! Give me a few hours to gather my household, and I'll depart. You have my word."

[edit] Exile

Balgruuf will now spend his entire life in the basement of the Blue Palace, either sitting around or sleeping. When you approach him, he'll say, "After Whiterun is retaken, Ulfric will pay in blood for his insolence." When you notice his children aren't with him and you ask where they are, he'll say, "If the gods are merciful, they've found a safe place to hide in the city. I hope Vignar doesn't find them. He'll ask a king's ransom, I'm sure."

[edit] Conversations

Balgruuf can often be seen consulting members of his court over various issues:

Hrongar: "Have you reconsidered my idea?"
Balgruuf: "I haven't changed my mind, if that's what you're asking. I won't leave Whiterun defenseless, even for a day."
Hrongar: "If we send half our guards to aid the legions, just for a few days, it could tip the scales in the Empire's favor. The Companions can help protect the city, and the Emperor will be in our debt."
Balgruuf: "Have you lost all sense? We are short on guards as it is! If we lose half our men, the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves' Guild will have the run of the city. The Stormcloaks will be the least of our worries! The answer is no, I tell you! Now stop pestering me with your war-mongering!"

Irileth: "Balgruuf, did you slip out again last night for a drink at the Bannered Mare?"
Balgruuf: "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."
Balgruuf: "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."

Proventus: "My lord, our provisions are running dangerously low. Our stores of meat, wine and grain are all but depleted."
Balgruuf: "Purchase more supplies, then. That's your job as Steward, isn't it? Why do you trouble me with these details?"
Proventus: "My lord, since Ulfric Stormcloak's uprising, the cost of goods has doubled. I'll need more coin if I'm to provision us properly."
Balgruuf: "Our coffers are nearly empty. I can scarcely afford to pay the guards, and we need every one of them in these troubled times. You'll have to make do with what we have, Proventus."
Proventus: "Yes, my lord."

Speaker Conversation
Proventus "Sir, we really must talk."
"Balgruuf, my Jarl. A word, if I may."
"I need but a moment of your time, my lord."
Balgruuf "Speak."
"What is it?"
"You've got sixty seconds. Go."
Proventus "Well... It's your son. Nelkir. The boy has been acting increasingly peculiar. Moreso than normal, I mean. Something really should be done..."
"We really must discuss the security here in Dragonsreach. Perhaps we could limit patrols in the city, and retain more guards here?"
"There's been talk again in the streets. A general fear that the giants may move south, and then... Well, you understand."
"One of the servants had a wonderful idea. Fireproofing Dragonsreach. In case of attack by, um... air."
"My daughter Adrianne wants to forge a new sword for you. Now, it wouldn't be a Skyforge blade, I know, but she really is quite gifted..."
"I think the time might be right for another public appearance. Maybe address the patrons at the Bannered Mare? Or visit Jorrvaskr?"
Balgruuf "Damn it, Proventus. I've got war lurking just outside my gates, and this is what you offer me? This? Begone."
"Yes, yes. Take care of it, Proventus. Whatever it is you're talking about..."
"Proventus, you're my steward. Your job is to offer me counsel. This? This is not counsel."
"Hmm... All right, yes, I see your point. Make the necessary arrangements."
Proventus "Of course, sir."
"Yes, my lord."
"As you say, my Jarl."

[edit] Notes

  • The following conversation was recorded, but Balgruuf and Vignar will never meet each other on a regular basis, so it can't be heard in the game:
Balgruuf: "I won't say it again, Vignar - Talos worship is forbidden. It's the Empire's law, and we're still a part of the Empire."
Vignar: "A law made at the tip of an Aldmeri sword, aye. A sword stained red with Nord blood. Is this what our people fought and died for? To forsake our most beloved ancestor and divine?"
Balgruuf: "I'm no happier about this than you are, but I don't want the see the Thalmor rounding up people in the streets and throwing them in prison."
Vignar: "Do your loyalties lie with the Thalmor, then?"
Balgruuf: "I warn you, Gray-Mane, you are treading on dangerous ground."
Vignar: "Don't threaten me, boy. You're either a Nord who respects our traditions, or you're not. If not, it isn't me you'll have to answer to, but the people of this city and this hold."
  • In The Whispering Door, an initially planned part of the quest was that Balgruuf's other two children would have fallen under Mephala's influence like Nelkir, and would've eventually committed patricide. Upon Balgruuf's death, Hrongar would have replaced him as Jarl, but since these quest stages do not trigger, it never happens.
  • If Whiterun is conquered by the Stormcloaks, his three children will not move to the Blue Palace with him.
    • PC Only This issue has been addressed by version 1.2.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch; his children will move to the Blue Palace.

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