Skyrim:Essential NPCs

Skyrim: NPCs

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.

For a list of essential NPCs in the Dragonborn add-on, see this article.


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

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Name Found Becomes Killable
Zaria Grave Concoctions (Falkreath) Never

Creatures