|House||Brunwulf Free-Winter's House|
|Primary Skills||One-handed, Two-handed|
|Faction(s)||CrimeFactionEastmarch; Favor104QuestGiverFaction; Favor254QuestGiverFaction; Imperial Government; TownWindhelmFaction; WindhelmMarketBrowsers|
Brunwulf Free-Winter is a Nord warrior who lives on the east side of Windhelm. He is known for standing up for the Dunmer and Argonians in the city and thus openly goes against the opinions of his fellow Nords Rolff Stone-Fist and Angrenor Once-Honored. He'd be happy to reward you for clearing a bandit hideout. Brunwulf is made jarl of Windhelm if Ulfric Stormcloak is deposed by the Imperial Legion, and enacts a more tolerant administration of the hold.
According to townsfolk and Brunwulf himself, he is a veteran of the Great War against the Aldmeri Dominion's invasion of the empire of Tamriel. However, despite being recognized a war hero by many, Brunwulf explains he is not proud of this title and claims that the war had not given any glory to anyone.
|Malthyr:||"You're a war hero, Brunwulf. Ulfric will listen to you."|
|Brunwulf:||"It's not that simple. Ulfric wants a Skyrim for the Nords. He doesn't trust what he calls outsiders."|
|Malthyr:||"You've seen how we live -- cramped alleys, run-down buildings, few guard patrols. Even the name 'Gray Quarter' is an insult."|
|Brunwulf:||"I'll speak to Ulfric soon, but I make no promises that I can change his mind."|
|Malthyr:||"That's all I ask. With your help, we have a chance to make a better life for ourselves here. For that, I thank you."|
After the conversation above, Brunwulf will resume his normal schedule: he wakes at 7am to eat breakfast for one hour, then heads to the local marketplace at 8am, browsing the stands for four hours. At noon, where he goes to depends on the day: on Mondas, Middas, and Fredas, he heads to the Palace of the Kings, staying there for four hours. On Tirdas and Turdas, he goes back home for a four-hour nap. On Loredas and Sundas, he goes to the Temple of Talos for a four-hour visit. Either way, at 4pm he enters Candlehearth Hall. After four hours, he exits the Hall to patrol the city until midnight, when he returns home to sleep.
Should you approach him, he'll have a few comments on the reality of war: "There's no glory in war. It's just something they tell soldiers so they'll risk their lives." and "They call me a war hero. I'm no hero, I'm just a soldier who didn't want to die." He may comment on the civil war: "The sooner this war ends, the sooner we can all get on with our lives." He can be found remarking about Ulfric's prejudiced views: "If Ulfric had his way, anyone who wasn't a Nord would be shipped right out of Skyrim." He will usually end conversations with "Farewell, then."
Upon your first time speaking to him when he is not jarl, he'll ask you, "You one of those 'Skyrim for the Nords' types?" If you are a Nord, you can reply in two ways:
- "Yes. Anyone who's not a Nord is a trespasser."
- "Is that so? You ought to join the Stormcloaks, if you haven't already. Seems to me they're a bunch of narrow-minded bigots, just like you. Meantime, you best steer clear of me."
- "No. Skyrim's big enough for everyone."
- "Good. Too many Nords in this town have been listening to Ulfric's narrow-minded words. He's tough, loyal to his men and a good leader, but if you're not a Nord, Ulfric will never trust you."
If you are not a Nord, your dialogue options will instead be:
- "Yes. Outsiders like me have no place here."
- "That's just what Ulfric wants you to think. If that's what you really believe, then you're a fool. Never had much patience for fools, myself."
- "I think all folk should be welcome here."
- "And you're right, at least as far as I'm concerned. Don't let Ulfric or some of these other short-sighted Nords bother you. Most of us are happy to welcome newcomers."
If you say that you think Skyrim is for everyone, he will start to like you. To reflect this increase in disposition, he may wish you, "Safe journeys, sword-brother." as a farewell, regardless of your character's gender. On the other hand, answering that Skyrim should only be for Nords will cause him to start to dislike you. Instead of greeting you, he can be found trying to ignore you: "I told you, I've got no patience for fools. Keep walking." and "Got no time for a Nord who thinks he's better than everyone else. Keep walking." regardless of your character's actual race and gender.
To start his version of the quest Kill the Bandit Leader, ask him if Ulfric doesn't care about outsiders. He'll explain, "Whenever a group of marauders attack a Nord village, Ulfric is the first to sound the horn and send the men. But a group of Dark Elf refugees gets ambushed? A group of Argonians, or a Khajiit caravan? No troops. No investigation. Nothing. There's a group of cutthroats out there right now that Ulfric doesn't lift a finger to bring to justice, as long as they don't threaten Nord land." Telling him what if you took care of the bandits will have him commend you, "That's a brave offer. I'd be happy to throw in my coin behind that. You deal with them, I'll make sure you get paid. Maybe this old soldier will throw in some lessons as well." You'll be given a random dungeon in Eastmarch to clear. If you refuse by saying, "That's too bad.", he'll simply reply, "Yes. It is." If you have accepted the quest, Brunwulf will tell you, "Show those marauders what Windhelm justice tastes like." when you end conversation with him.
Once you've cleared your assigned dungeon of bandits, mention this to Brunwulf, and he'll be grateful: "Now that's good work. Everyone will be a lot safer with them gone, Dark Elf and Nord alike. Here, some gold as promised, and let me show you a bit about wearing heavy armor. Save you some aches on a long march." He'll reward you with 750 gold and a lesson in Heavy Armor.
If you ask him why help the dark elves, he'll reply, "Help the Dark Elves? Oh, you must have heard me talking to Malthyr." Brunwulf will continue by explaining, "The Dark Elves live in a run-down slum called the Gray Quarter. Ulfric's content to keep it that way. I guess they think I can open Ulfric's eyes to their plight, and get him to lift a finger on their behalf. I'm trying, but Ulfric is set in his ways. For him, there's two kinds of people in this world -- Nords, and the folk beneath them."
You can also mention that Malthyr called him a war hero, and Brunwulf will respond, "I killed a lot of High Elves in the Great War, and I didn't die. I guess that makes me a war hero." It turns out that he has a rather bleak opinion about the Great War: "The 'Great War'- there was nothing great about it. Thousands died on both sides and where did we end up? Did we really save the Empire or did we just plant the seeds for Ulfric's uprising and another war?"
After the victory of the siege of Windhelm, General Tullius will give a speech, mentioning why Brunwulf will be appointed to rule the city: "We are turning the city over to Brunwulf Free-Winter, an honorable and faithful man. Many of you will be staying in Windhelm to aid the Jarl in restoring order and stamping out any embers of rebellion that may still smolder here."
When he becomes jarl of Windhelm, he'll move in to the Palace of the Kings. His schedule will also change: he will sleep from 10pm to 8am, waking up to perform his duties as jarl, sitting in the throne and holding court. He'll have new greetings, mostly on working to rebuild the city: "It'll take time to rebuild, but the Nords are no strangers to hard work.", "The dark elves and Argonians won't soon forget Ulfric's prejudice, but I'm doing what I can to repair that rift.", "Being a Jarl isn't something I ever wanted, but if I can help these people, then I will.", and "My time is limited, so speak quickly." His dialogue will also be replaced with a new set to better suit his position as jarl.
You can ask him how he is settling into his new role, and he'll answer, "Every day is a struggle, but a Nord doesn't back down from a fight when the cause is honorable." He'll elaborate on the difficulties of repairing Windhelm: "I just wish things were simpler. In my days as a soldier, I knew who the enemy was, and how to defeat him. Unfortunately, a sword can't repair damaged buildings, feed hungry people or undo years of prejudice."
If asked for any plans to renovate the Gray Quarter, Jarl Brunwulf will reply, "I've taken the first steps toward doing so already. I met with several of the Dark Elves to discuss improvements in the Gray Quarter, but we have no real plans as of yet. First we'll need to refill our coffers and stockpile stone and wood. The war took a heavy toll on Windhelm's resources." He'll promise you, "But I swore an oath to our Dunmer friends that, for as long as I sit on the throne of Windhelm, their needs will not be ignored."
Finally, should you ask him if he will let the Argonians into the city, he'll explain why not: "I'd like to, but it's not as simple as that. Most of the folk in the city believe as Ulfric did, that outsiders should not be trusted. Until those people learn to accept the Argonians, they must remain outside, for their own safety. Old habits don't die easily, and we Nords can be as stubborn as stone."
It turns out that many of Windhelm's non-Nord citizens are optimistic about the city's conditions improving now that Ulfric is gone. Should you ask Aval Atheron, a Dunmer merchant, if things have changed much with the Empire in charge, he'll first tell you, "Well, not yet. The Empire hasn't been in charge for that long, and real change takes time." He'll continue, expressing his hopes, "Still, having a just and honorable man like Brunwulf in charge can only be an improvement. Unlike Ulfric, Brunwulf has shown a great willingness to work with the other races and make us feel more at home here." He'll end with a mix of relief and optimism, "For the first time in a long while, I truly believe that there are brighter days ahead."
 Related Quests
- Kill the Bandit Leader: Do a favor by slaying a bandit leader. (radiant)
- Thane of Eastmarch: Gain the title of Thane of Eastmarch. (radiant)
- Note: This NPC is one of many potential quest givers or quest targets for one or more of the radiant quests found on this page.
While shopping, Aval Atheron may offer a discount to him for his efforts to help the Dunmer, though Brunwulf will politely refuse:
|Aval:||"Friend Brunwulf, how good to see you! If you see anything you like, just let me know and I'll glad offer you a discount."|
|Brunwulf:||"That's not necessary. I'll pay the same price as anyone else."|
|Aval:||"But I insist. and with good reason. Malthyr told me that you've been speaking to Ulfric about our situation. He said you're going to help us. So few Nords have ever offered to help us, a discount is the least I can do."|
|Brunwulf:||"I'm not looking for special treatment, Aval. All I did was talk to Ulfric. For all I know, he's already forgotten the conversation. I wouldn't get your hopes up."|
|Aval:||"Oh, I see. Well, I'm sorry to have troubled you about it. Just... know that your efforts are appreciated."|
At Candlehearth Hall, he may chat with his lover, Elda Early-Dawn. She'll mockingly scold him for flirting with her:
|Elda:||"Tell me about the Great War. I hear you were in the battle of..."|
|Brunwulf:||"Elda, honey, let's not talk about the war. It's in the past."|
|Elda:||"I'm sorry. What would you like to talk about?"|
|Brunwulf:||"about we figure out some way to keep warm tonight?"|
|Elda:||"Oh! You behave, now!"|
Elda may also explain to Brunwulf why she is still running the inn:
|Brunwulf:||"How long have you run this place, again?"|
|Elda:||"Nearly thirty years, now."|
|Brunwulf:||"Just wondering when you'll be ready to give it up and settle down. Seems like you're always working."|
|Elda:||"I just feel like if I'm not here, then something could go wrong. Nils is a hard worker, but I wouldn't trust him to run things."|
|Brunwulf:||"One of these days he'll have to learn."|
|Elda:||"Perhaps. But not today."|
He may talk with her about building a cabin near Riften:
|Brunwulf:||"I've been thinking about building that cabin we talked about."|
|Brunwulf:||"There's a clear spot just west of Riften. You know the area?"|
|Elda:||"I've been there before, but I don't know it well."|
|Brunwulf:||"Well that's where I want to build. In the fall forest. Give it an easterly view. The sunrise is almost as pretty as you are."|
|Elda:||"That sounds lovely. You're very sweet."|
- A Dream of Sovngarde is written by Skardan Free-Winter. There is no known connection besides a shared surname.
- It is also interesting to note that despite his seemingly kind disposition towards Argonians, he will occasionally use the racial slur "lizard" when you exhaust his normal dialogue as an Argonian. However, this is purely inherent to his voice type.
- After finishing the quest Battle for Windhelm for the Imperials, Brunwulf Free-Winter sometimes won't appear in the Palace of the Kings. All Stormcloak-supporting jarls and their housecarls will be there sitting at a table, but without Brunwulf in the Palace. Without him, you are unable to purchase Hjerim or become thane of Eastmarch if you have not already.
- This bug is fixed by version 2.0.5 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- To fix this, use the Unrelenting Force shout on everyone at the dinner table. This will give you a bounty in each of the holds that the jarls are from. Travel out of Windhelm and return.
- Finishing Blood on the Ice appears to fix this as well. Brunwulf doesn't seem to pick up his jarl duties before this quest is completed.
- Brunwulf may not get the "Jarl" prefix to his name like most new jarls do.
- This bug is fixed by version 2.0.4 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- This can be fixed if you select Ulfric and Galmar's corpses with the console immediately after killing them and type
addfac 0003662a -1and
addfac 00036629 1, and/or by disabling them.