As you adventure throughout the province of Skyrim, you will become highly familiar with its holds and the people that live within them. Eventually, you will probably want to buy a house in one or two of them as well to have somewhere to store your cool loot and crafting materials that you’ll gather from throughout your adventures.
If you fall in love with a city or the people that live there, you might also want to become its Thane, which is sort of like a knight. This can be particularly useful in the city of Riften if you intend on playing a thief character that will be heading to the Thieves Guild frequently to fence some stolen goods.
Key Info Up Front
Location: Riften and the surrounding area
Requirements: Complete five quests for Riften locals, purchase Honeyside
Length: 2-3 Hours
Thane of Riften Description
Becoming the Thane of a hold in Skyrim represents that the Dragonborn has found their way into the hearts of its citizens and ruler, the Jarl themself.
To do this, you typically have to complete three quests given in the city, purchase a home there, and then complete a particular task from the Jarl. Riften is unique in that it requires the player to complete five quests from within the city.
If that all sounds like a lot of work, there are benefits to making it worthwhile. Not only will the process allow you to purchase a house in the hold, but it also will allow you to have a Housecarl and tell that hold’s guards to ignore any of their minor crimes.
This is particularly helpful in Riften if you plan to pickpocket or rob your way through the Thieves Guild. Housecarls are also valuable in helping run your home in the city or as followers who can help carry items for you and cover your back in combat.
If you aren’t looking for a complete breakdown of becoming a Thane but still want to know the general steps, here’s is the brief walkthrough.
- Speak to the Argonian Wujeeta in the fishery on the docks and complete her miscellaneous quest.
- Ask Wujeeta about her skooma dealer
- Complete five other quests for Riften citizens
- Purchase Honeyside
- Talk to Jarl Lalia and complete the quest The Raid
If you want a more specific look at everything required to become the Thane of Riften, here is everything you need to know.
Speak with Wujeeta
Interestingly, this entire process begins with helping a skooma addict in the docks of Riften. To get started, head to the fishery in the docks of Riften.
Just outside the fishery during the day, you will find the Argonian Wujeeta. Wujeeta will inform you that she is in danger of losing her job because of her addiction. To help her, she requests you give her a health potion to help her bounce back. Once you do so, you can ask her about her Skooma dealer to start working on Riften’s drug epidemic.
Once you’re done helping Wujeeta you can go to the Thane of Riften and tell her about the skooma dealer you received information on.
This will start the miscellaneous quest known as The Raid. When you tell her about the dealer, she will reveal that she is already aware of the drug problem in Riften and that she knows where the dealers stay as well. She will tell you that they have holed up in the Riften Warehouse, and she will ask you to take care of them.
When you go to the warehouse, you will find the primary dealer, Sarthis Idren, talking with his fellow dealers. All you have to do then is kill the group of them and search in the warehouse’s basement for a chest that holds some shipment papers that you then have to take back to the Jarl.
The group is pretty easy to take out, and after returning to the Jarl, the next step will be to clear out Clagslane Cavern of drug dealers there. The cavern can be found just north of Shor’s Stone and should be very easy to take care of as most of the dealers there wear no armor and only carry a dagger to fight with.
Help Other Riften Citizens
Once Wujeeta is out of the way, you can start helping five other Riften citizens. These can take the form of either completing full quests, which will net you more rewards, or completing miscellaneous quests that will be quicker but not give you as many rewards along the way.
Here are all of the options you have to choose from, and you only have to complete five of them before talking to the Jarl again.
Shadr is a Redguard that recently moved to Riften and works at the stables. You can find him there throughout the day and talk to him to offer to help him with a debt he owes to the thief Sapphire. This object requires you to speak with Sapphire at the Bee and Barb and pass a conversation check or pay off the debt yourself.
Free Svana Far-Shield
Svana is a Nord merchant in Riften that works at Haelga’s Bunkhouse. If you talk to her about her work, she will confess that she is more of a slave than an employee. To help her, she requests the Dragonborn to obtain three Marks of Dibella from men in town.
To complete the objective, you have to talk to Bolli, Hrofgir, and Indaryn and pass conversation checks to get their marks. Once you have them, confront Haelga with them, and you’ll be on your way.
Run Harrald’s Errand
Harrald is the son of Jarl Lalia and can be found either in the training area of Mistveil Keep or the throne room by his mother. If you talk to him about why he wields a dagger, he will reveal that he had a training accident, causing his sword to be repaired by the city’s blacksmith, Balimund. All you have to do then is fetch his sword for him.
Hafjorg is a senior alchemy merchant found in her store down by the Riften waterways. If you talk to her, she will offer a miscellaneous objective that requires you to get an ore sample from Filnjar. Filnjar can be found in the small village of Shor’s Stone in eastern Skyrim.
Brawl Hofgrir Horse-Crusher
Hofgrir is a Nord that runs the Riften Stables. If you approach him, you can accept his challenge to a brawl included with a bet of 100 Septim. Completing it will reward you with the Septims and completed objectives and make the horses and all of the items in the stable free to take.
Run a Delivery for Alessandra
Alessandra is Riften’s priestess of Arkay and an Imperial. If you talk to her, you can offer to deliver a ceremonial dagger to her father in Whiterun. It’s a quick journey and doesn’t get more complicated than providing the dagger.
Run a Delivery for Bolli
Bolli is a Nord that can either be found in his house or the Riften fishery as he runs it. If you talk to him, he will request your help delivering a purchase agreement for him to Kleppr in Markarth.
Recover Items for Wylandriah
Wylandriah is a Bosmer mage that can be found working as the court-wizard for Jarl Laila. However, she is highly forgetful and asks you to recover three objects for her that she left behind in her travels.
These objects include her spoon at Ivarstead’s Fellstar Farm, an orichalcum ingot in Winterhold’s The Frozen Hearth, and a Soul Gem in Windhelm’s White Phial. This makes it one of the more tedious miscellaneous objectives since it has you traveling all across the province.
Talen-Jei is an Argonian that can frequently be found at the Bee and Barb. If you approach him, he will ask for your assistance crafting an Argonian wedding ring.
To do this, you have to bring him three flawless amethysts. The rewards for doing this objective are some low-level potions and 200 Septims, which comes out to much lower than the value of the amethysts by themselves.
Marise Aravel’s Icy Request
Marise is a Dunmer meat merchant found at the merchant stalls in the center of town. When approached, she will request you to collect five Ice Wraith Teeth and bring them to her.
Ingun Black-Briar’s Even Trade
Ingun is training to be an alchemist but has suffered costly mistakes that waste expensive materials. She will ask you to bring her 20 Nirnroot, 20 Nightshade, and 20 Deathbell to replenish her stock if you talk to her. This will take a lot of time to collect, but once you do, she will give you a key to access her chest that she will restock with potions every couple of days. This makes it a great way to keep up your potion supply without having to spend time investing in alchemy.
Madesi’s Scavenger Hunt
Madesi is an Argonian jeweler in Riften’s town square. He asks you to collect two flawless sapphires, one mammoth tusk, and one gold ore when talked to. This is another miscellaneous objective that the rewards will often be worth less money than the individual ingredients if they were just sold to a merchant.
Balimund is the Nord Blacksmith of Riften who uses Fire Salts to heat his forge. To keep it lit, you can accept a task to bring him ten fire salts. Doing so rewards you with a leveled sum of Septims, making it well worth doing.
A Charitable Heart
There are also two beggars in Riften, named Snilf and Edda. You have the option to give both of them one Septim, which counts as helping the citizens of Riften each time. This is easily the fastest way to get two counts towards the five required, but they do have the downside of not netting any rewards for doing them.
Dravin is a Dunmer farmer who resides just outside Riften at Merryfair Farm. If you talk to him, he will reveal that a group of thieves stole his bow, and he will ask you to get it back. He then informs you that he suspects it is being kept in the Ratways, and he is ultimately correct.
To obtain it, go through the Ragged Flagon to the vaults underneath and lockpick the locked treasure chest within to find the bow. Returning it to Dravin nets you a handful of leveled gems.
Brand-Shei is a Dunmer shopkeeper who works at his stall in the town center. If you talk to him, he will ask you to find clues about his past at a shipwreck. You then must travel to the Wreck of The Pride of Tel Vos, located east of Winterhold. Then, you have to go there and loot his journal from a chest underwater.
Mjoll the Lioness’ Prized Sword
Mjoll can be found at the Bee and Barb and sticks out because of her complete set of iron armor. When you first talk to her, she will pine about losing her sword Grimsever, and you can offer to retrieve it for her.
However, you can only get this objective if you are at least level 14 and she likes you because you agree that the Thieves Guild is evil. Once you set out to find Grimsever, travel to the Dwemer ruin of Mzinchaleft, where they have to kill a leveled Dwarven Centurion and a Dwarven Sphere.
The dungeon can be located to the southwest of Dawnstar, and once it is done, Mjoll is available as a follower, spouse, or stewardess.
From-Deepest-Fathoms is an Argonian that you can find in the Riften docks. When you talk to her, she will ask you to help her by returning a Lexicon to the Dwemer ruins of Avanchnzel. The ruins are located in The Rift just to Riften’s Southwest, making it a short trip.
The dungeon is a bit longer than the other options for this list and sees you navigating dwarven enemies as well as discovering From-Deepest-Fathoms’ previous trip to the ruins with her companions that met early deaths there.
While this is the longest to do on this list, it gives you the most rewards. Not only will you receive all of the loot and experience from the dungeon, but you will also get the unique ability of Ancient Knowledge. This ability gives you a 25% bonus to your armor when wearing the Dwarven Armor while also making your Blacksmithing skill increase 15% faster.
Honeyside is the player home available in Riften. Once you’ve completed the five objectives for citizens of the Hold, you can go to the Jarl and talk to her. She will then acknowledge your standing reputation in Riften and tell you that she will allow you to purchase property there.
You can then purchase Honeyside from the steward Anuriel for 8,000 Septims. After you’ve bought the property, Anuriel will start selling upgrades for the house that amount to 4,300 Septims, making the total cost 12,300 Septims.
The house itself is medium-sized, with a porch and multiple interior rooms. It can hold a tanning rack, cooking area, alchemy lab, arcane enchanter, and various display options like weapon plaques. However, the house is also not without its disadvantages. Not only is it not near a smelter, but players who want to have their family in Honeyside will have to get rid of their arcane enchanter.
Claim Your Title
Once you’ve purchased Honeyside, you can return to the Thane and talk to her about becoming the Thane of Riften. You don’t have to have Honeyside fully upgraded; it just matters that you own it. Once you are the Thane, the Jarl, guards, and some citizens of Riften will refer to you by your title.
You will also have guards in Riften ignore your minor crimes if you are caught, but this can only be done once. It also will give you access to the Housecarl Iona. Iona is a warrior that can travel with you and comes with steel armor and a steel axe and shield.
If you need a ranged follower, she is also competent with a bow. If you don’t need a follower, she also can be appointed to your new home of Honeyside or a homestead, where she will serve you in some practical ways.
Question: What weapon do you get for being Thane of Riften?
Answer: Once you become Thane, you will be gifted the Blade of the Rift. It is a greataxe with its material, depending on your level, that comes with a random enchantment.
Question: Can you become the Thane of Riften if Maven is the Jarl?
Answer: It is possible to become the Thane after Maven is made the Jarl, but it is challenging because you have to have a very high relationship with her beforehand, which is not easy to do.
Question: Can you become a Jarl in Skyrim?
Answer: Unfortunately, there is no way to become a Jarl in vanilla Skyrim. It is possible to do with mods if you play on a platform that supports them, but without them, it is impossible.
Thane of Riften Guide: Final Thoughts
That’s all there is to it. Once you obtain the title of Thane, you are welcome to continue doing as you wish, as the position doesn’t come with any extra in-game responsibilities or duties. You can also go and become the Thane of multiple other holds if you wish. That way, you’ll have a house handy no matter where you are to store items or do some quick crafting.