|Primary Skills||Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block|
|Faction(s)||CompanionsCirclePlusKodlak; CompanionsFactionMinusBrillAndVignar; CompanionsHarbingerFaction; FavorExcludedFaction; GuardFaction (makes an actor a guard); The Companions (Cohort); TownWhiterunFaction; WIAdditem03ExclusionFaction|
Kodlak Whitemane is a Nord warrior and a well-respected Harbinger of the Companions. He avoids politics, and maintains the Companions' long-standing tradition of abstaining from political conflicts. He is also something of a philosopher, prone to pondering on the meaning of honor and nobility. He lost his family at a young age, when he was little more than a boy. His predecessor, the Harbinger Askar, found him working as a bodyguard in Hammerfell, and recruited him. The Companions quickly became his new family. As Harbinger, he maintains that family and honor are the most important things to the Companions, and that they should deal with problems head-on, finding honor in life through glory in battle. Legends of the Companions speak of Kodlak's many great feats, such as Kodlak and another Companion fighting off one hundred and one Orc berserkers.
For more information, see the lore article.
Kodlak can usually be found in the living quarters of Jorrvaskr. He is clad in a set of wolf armor, gauntlets, and boots. Although Kodlak is a member of the Circle, he wishes to be rid of his lycanthropy, as upon death, a werewolf's soul goes to the Daedric Lord Hircine's Hunting Grounds. Kodlak does not wish for this, and instead wants his soul to go to Sovngarde. If you complete the Companions questline by the time you enter Sovngarde during the main quest, Kodlak can be found among the other lost spirits, trapped in Alduin's mist.
If you choose to ask him where he stands on the war, he will tell you: "Politics are something best avoided. I prefer more personal confrontations, myself." Asking who are the Companions, he will reply: "Your question carries more weight than you may know, newcomer. The sort of thing some of us spend our lives pondering. The difference between a noble band of warriors and a ragged bunch of assassins is as thin as a blade's edge. I try to hold us to the right path." If you also ask why he joined the Companions, he will elaborate: "Like most of our band, I found this family after losing my own. I traveled the length and breadth of this land, learning all I could of the sword and the axe. I was just a boy, but I had the fire of a man in my heart. Eventually, my body caught up to my spirit. My predecessor, Askar, found me in Hammerfell. I was serving as bodyguard for some weak-necked lord out there. He brought me back here, and I realized... that I was actually coming home. I work to bring honor to this family, and to the family that I lost. For my mother, my father, and my grandfather. For all my Shield-Siblings. Family and honor. That's what it means to be one of us, boy/girl." When you join the Companions, you may also ask him what it means to be a member: "It means living such that your Shield-Siblings would proudly say they fought at your side. Glory in battle, honor in life. Deal with problems head on. Leave whispers and sneaking to the gutter rats who can't fight for themselves."
In combat, he may yell "By Ysgramor!", "For honor!" or "Glory awaits!"
Take Up Arms
In order to join the Companions, you must first speak with the Harbinger, Kodlak. He can be found within his quarters in the Jorrvaskr living quarters. As you approach him, you can overhear a conversation he is having with Vilkas:
Vilkas: "But I still hear the call of the blood."
Kodlak: "We all do. It is our burden to bear. But we can overcome."
Vilkas: "You have my brother and I, obviously. But I don't know if the rest will go along quite so easily."
Kodlak: "Leave that to me."
Approaching Kodlak, you can express your interest in joining the Companions. He will remark: "Would you now? Here, let me have a look at you. Hm. Yes, perhaps. A certain strength of spirit." Vilkas will then interrupt your conversation by disagreeing with him:
Vilkas: "Master, you're not truly considering accepting him/her?"
Kodlak: "I am nobody's master, Vilkas. And last I checked, we had some empty beds in Jorrvaskr for those with a fire burning in their hearts."
Vilkas: "Apologies. But perhaps this isn't the time. I've never even heard of this outsider."
Kodlak: "Sometimes the famous come to us. Sometimes men and women come to us to seek their fame. It makes no difference. What matters is their heart."
Vilkas: "And their arm."
Kodlak will then turn back towards you and ask: "Of course. How are you in a battle, boy/girl?" You can choose out of three ways to respond to his question:
|Your Dialogue||Kodlak's Dialogue|
|"I have much to learn."||"That's the spirit. Vilkas, here, will get started on that."|
|"I can handle myself."||"That may be so. This is Vilkas. He will test your arm."|
|"You dare question my skill?"||"Calm down there, whelp. Don't feel like you need to show off for our sake. Vilkas, here, will be the one testing your mettle."|
He will then tell Vilkas: "Vilkas, take him/her out to the yard and see what he/she can do." You are now directed to follow Vilkas into the courtyard to test your arm.
At the closing of the Quest Proving Honor, when you and Farkas have recovered the fragment of Wuuthrad from Dustman's Cairn and returned to Whiterun, Vilkas will tell you to stand before the Circle for judgement. Once you have done so, Kodlak will start off:
Kodlak: "Brothers and Sisters of the Circle, today we welcome a new soul into our mortal hold. This man/woman has endured, has challenged and has showed his/her valor. Who will speak for him/her?"
Farkas: "I stand witness for the courage of the soul before us."
Kodlak: "Would you raise your shield in his/her defense?"
Farkas: "I would stand at his/her back, that the world might never overtake us."
Kodlak: "And would you raise your sword in his/her honor?"
Farkas: "It stands ready to meet the blood of his/her foes."
Kodlak: "And would you raise a mug in his/her name?"
Farkas: "I would lead the song in triumph as our mead hall reveled in his/her stories."
Kodlak: "Then this judgment of this Circle is complete. His/her heart beats with fury and courage that have united the Companions since the days of the distance green summers. Let it beat with ours, so the mountains may echo and our enemies may tremble at the call."
Everyone: "It shall be so."
With the judgement complete, and you now an official member of the Companions, Kodlak will be the first to congratulate you, “Well, boy/girl, you’re one of us now. I trust you won’t disappoint.” You then can ask him if the Companions are indeed werewolves. Kodlak will then reply: "I see you’ve been allowed to know some secrets before your appointed time. Yes, it’s true. Not every Companion, no, only members of the Circle all share the blood of the beast. Some take to it more than others." When you ask him what he thinks, he'll reply: "Well, I grow old. My mind turns towards the horizon, to Sovngarde. I worry that Shor won’t call an animal warrior as he would a true Nord warrior. Living as beasts draws our souls closer to the Daedric lord, Hircine. Some may prefer eternity in his hunting grounds, but I crave the fellowship of Sovngarde." You then ask him if he's trying to cure himself to which he'll reply: "Yes, but it’s no easy matter. But you don’t need to share the worries of an old warrior. This day is to rejoice in your bravery and speak to Eorlund for a better weapon than... whatever that is."
The Silver Hand
After becoming a werewolf yourself and completing the quest, The Silver Hand, if you tell him about Skjor's death, he will be sad: "This is... he should not have gone alone. Thank you for telling me. This is a day where our souls must cry, and our hearts will answer. Go. Grieve in whatever way you know."
During the quest Blood's Honor, Kodlak will request to see you personally. Upon arrival, he will tell you to take a seat. If you ask him what this is all about, he will remark: "I hear you've been busy of late." If you choose to tell him that you and Aela have been avenging Skjor's death, Kodlak will show remorse: "Your hearts are full of grief, and my own weeps at the loss of Skjor. But his death was avenged long ago. You have taken more lives than honor demanded. The cycle of retaliation may continue for some time." If you however choose to tell him that you work for the honor of the Companions, he will openly admit: "Lad/Lass, I know what you've been up to." He will then continue to tell you: "Mind you, it's no business of mine what each Companion does in the name of honor. But this sneaking around. It doesn't befit warriors of your standing. Aela knows better, and so should you." Regardless of whether you hid your true intentions or not, Kodlak will now say that he has a task for you. Upon asking what the task is, he will ask you if you have heard the story of how the Companions came to be werewolves. Saying that Skjor said that it was a blessing from Hircine, he will say: "Aye, that sounds like him. As in all matters of faith, though, the reality is more complicated than one believer would tell you." If you chose to tell him that Vilkas said it was a curse from the ancient Companions, he will remark: "The boy has a nugget of truth, but the reality is more complicated than that. It always is."
Regardless, if you ask him what the truth is, he will continue to elaborate: "The Companions are nearly five thousand years old. This matter of beastblood has only troubled us for a few hundred. One of my predecessors was a good, but short-sighted man. He made a bargain with the witches of Glenmoril Coven. If the Companions would hunt in the name of their lord, Hircine, we would be granted great power." Asking if they became werewolves, Kodlak will confirm: "They did not believe the change would be permanent. The witches offered payment, like anyone else. But we had been deceived." Depending on your response, he will either tell you: "The witches didn't lie, of course. But it's more than our bodies." or "We'll get to that. It's not so simple as just killing them, though." He will then continue: "The disease, you see, affects not just our bodies. It seeps into the spirit. Upon death, werewolves are claimed by Hircine for his Hunting Grounds. For some, this is a paradise. They want nothing more than to chase prey with their master for eternity. And that is their choice. But I am still a true Nord. And I wish for Sovngarde as my spirit home." If you ask if there is a way for him to be cured, he will answer: "That's what I've spent my twilight years trying to find out. And now I've found the answer. The witches' magic ensnared us, and only their magic can release us. They won't give it willingly, but we can extract their foul powers by force. I want you to seek them out. Go to their coven in the wilderness. Strike them down as a true warrior of the wild. And bring me their heads. The seat of their abilities. From there, we may begin to undo centuries of impurity." At this point, you can choose to respond in either of three ways:
|Your Dialogue||Kodlak's Dialogue|
|"Am I to do this alone?"||"You shall have no Shield-Brother this time. But the spirit of Ysgramor goes with you, to restore the honor of his legacy." After this, you will have no choice but to accept the task and he will say: Talos guide you, lad/lass."|
|"I don't wish to remove this blessing."||"This is not about your desires, lad/lass. Your own fate will be your own choice. Just as always. Now be gone." He will then dismiss you to complete the task at hand.|
|"It shall be done."||"Good. Now move quickly. And don't leave any of them alive. Talos guide you, lad/lass."|
You are now directed to go to Glenmoril Coven to collect the Glenmoril Witches' heads. However, once you return from the Glenmoril Coven, you will notice several citizens gathered around near the stairs leading to Jorrvaskr. Halfway up the stairs, you will find both Torvar and Aela the Huntress next to dead Silver Hand members. When you enter the building, Vilkas will seek you out and ask you where you were in the time of need. In your absence, the Silver Hand attacked Jorrvaskr, managing to kill Kodlak and take off with all the fragments of Wuuthrad. You will find Kodlak’s dead body near the central fireplace, with Farkas and Njada Stonearm kneeling next to him.
Glory of the Dead
After you have completed the quest Purity of Revenge, the funeral for Kodlak will be held up at the Skyforge. All members of the Companions as well as the incumbent Jarl of Whiterun and his steward will pay their respects and say goodbye to the Harbinger:
|Aela: "Before the ancient flame..."
Everyone: "We grieve."
Eorlund: "At this loss..."
Everyone: "We weep."
Vilkas: "For the fallen..."
Everyone: "We shout."
Farkas: "And for ourselves..."
Everyone: "We take our leave."
Afterwards, the Circle members will gather in the Underforge, discussing Kodlak's passing. During their discussion, Eorlund Gray-Mane will arrive with the complete and repaired Wuuthrad. He will then tell you that all hope is not lost and that Kodlak can still be granted his final wish - to be cured of lycanthropy and to find peace in Sovngarde. You will now be directed to head out to Ysgramor's Tomb.
As soon as you enter the burial chamber situated within Ysgramor's Tomb, you will find the ghost of Kodlak Whitemane warming his hands near the Flame of the Harbinger. Upon questioning the ghost, he will say: "Of course. My fellow Harbingers and I have been warming ourselves here. Trying to evade Hircine." Stating that there's no-one else in the burial chamber, he will continue: "You see only me because your heart knows only me as the Companions leader. I'd wager old Vignar could see half a dozen of my predecessors. And I see them all. The ones in Sovngarde. The ones trapped with me in Hircine's realm. And they all see you. You've brought honor to the name of the Companions. We won't soon forget it." When you tell Kodlak that Vilkas said that he still can be cured of lycanthropy, he will tell you: "Did he now? I can only hope. You still have the witches' heads? Excellent. Throw one of them into the fire. It will release their magic, for me at least."
Once you have slain Kodlak's wolf spirit, you may now approach Kodlak himself, who will remark: "And so slain the beast inside of me. I thank you for this gift. The other Harbingers remain trapped by Hircine, though. Perhaps from Sovngarde, the heroes of old can join me in their rescue. The Harrowing of the Hunting Grounds. It would be a battle of such triumph. And perhaps some day, you'll join us in that battle. But for today, return to Jorrvaskr. Triumph in your victory. And lead the Companions to further glory." Before he leaves however, he will promote you as the new Harbinger of the Companions, as he leaves for Sovngarde to finally find his peace.
If you have managed to complete the Companions questline by the time you enter Sovngarde during the main quest, you will see Kodlak wandering helplessly - trapped by Alduin's mist. If you approach him during this time, he will openly say: "When I woke from cold death, my doom was lifted - there was Shor's Hall, my heart's desire. But now I wander, weary and lost. Alduin hunts me as we once hunted our prey - a bitter payment for many bloody deeds." He may also comment: "I hear your heart beat like the Harbingers of old. Your glories in Skyrim are seen and honored." If you speak to Ysgramor within the Hall of Valor, he will say: "Do not fail Kodlak. He's earned his place here, and does not deserve to fall prey to Alduin's insatiable hunger." Once Alduin is defeated, Kodlak will begin to make his way towards the Hall of Valor and thank you sincerely for lifting the curse of the World-Eater.
- He is voiced by Michael Donovan.
- Vlkodlak is Czech for werewolf. Similarly, vukodlak means werewolf in Slavic countries such as Croatia and Serbia.
- There are in fact, two versions of Kodlak:
- The main version as seen throughout the Companions questline has base ID of
0001A68Eand a ref ID of
- The second has a base ID of
0009700Eand a ref ID of
00098BD4. He is only in three factions: FavorExcludedFaction, MQ304LostSoulFaction, and MQSovngardeCombatDialogueFaction. This version is seen in Sovngarde.
- The main version as seen throughout the Companions questline has base ID of
- The option to tell Kodlak at the start of Blood's Honor that Skjor said that lycanthropy was a blessing from Hircine is a reference to dialogue recorded for Skjor but cut from the final version of the game.
- Kodlak has an unused dialogue choice where he can be asked "What's it like being a werewolf?" and he would reply "How did you... you reach beyond your station, new blood. Let's wait and see how you did in your trial, before speaking further." In the base game, it is impossible to speak to Kodlak both after knowing Farkas is a werewolf and before he finds out how you did in your trial.