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Skyrim:Retaking Thirsk

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Walkthrough: written by Krusty, not checked
Reward: written by Krusty, not checked
Help Bujold the Unworthy retake Thirsk Mead Hall.
Quest Giver: Bujold the Unworthy
Location(s): Bujold's Retreat, Thirsk Mead Hall, Hrothmund's Barrow
Reward: None
The assault on Thirsk Mead Hall

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Speak to Bujold the Unworthy in Bujold's Retreat.
  2. Join the assault on Thirsk Mead Hall and defeat the rieklings.
  3. Meet her at Hrothmund's Barrow.
  4. Listen to her interaction with Hrothmund's spirit.
  5. Keep her secret, kill her, or betray her to Kuvar.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

Exiled WarriorsEdit

Thirsk, the legendary mead hall founded in the Third Era by Hrothmund the Red of the Skaal, was built for Nord warriors who wanted to live, hunt, and fight in the wilderness, the old way. When you visit Thirsk Mead Hall, it is clear that the mead hall has seen better days, as it is currently inhabited by rieklings, without a single proud Nord in sight. Head east from the Hall and locate Bujold's Retreat, where you will find the former Nord inhabitants, clearly exiled from their own Hall and quite frustrated and embarrassed. As you enter the camp, you will witness a heated discussion between Bujold and Kuvar:

"We'll act when I say we do and not before."

Bujold: "It won't be that easy to get rid of the Rieklings, Kuvar."
Kuvar: "I never said it would be. But either way, we have to try. Whether we succeed or not, it'll stir up some of the old blood in this crowd."
Bujold: "I'm not going to lead them to their deaths if they aren't ready."
Kuvar: "Then train them. What are we doing here? We should either get used to staying here, or be preparing to retake the hall. You're having us do neither, and I can't stomach it."
Bujold: "Your stomach isn't my problem. We'll act when I say we do and not before."
Kuvar: "Well, you'd better say something. And soon."

Talking to the other residents reveals that everyone is unhappy about living in the remote camp, instead of the cozy warmth they are used to in the Hall. If you seek out Kuvar, he will explain it: "We brought ourselves out here, along with our shame. We used to be proud warriors of Thirsk Mead Hall. There, up on the hill. But we let that sweet life get the better of us. We grew soft, and..." He then tells you what happened: "Rieklings. Those filthy vermin... they came in numbers. Waves of the things. One at a time, they're pests, but with this many... And so here we are, out of our home."

The UnworthyEdit

Locate the leader with the unflattering byname, Bujold the Unworthy, and ask her what is going on. Like Kuvar, she will be painfully honest: "What's going on here is that we've been kicked out of our home." She then proceeds to explain that rieklings took over the Hall and will explain how the mighty warriors lost the battle against the small vermin: "With tenacity and numbers. Didn't help that we'd grown a little too comfortable up there. Too much mead. Too many stories. Too few battles." While it is clear that the Nords drank themselves out of their home, ask her if she needs any help and she will gladly accept and reason that "Some new blood should be enough to rouse these layabouts to actually fight again." At this point, consider completing a favor quest for camp inhabitant Elmus (it becomes unavailable once this quest is started) - and consider if you want to help the Nords or not, as you will miss out on the quest The Chief of Thirsk Hall.

Retaking ThirskEdit

As soon as you agree to help the Nords, the quest will initiate and Bujold will gather her warriors with the words:

"Hey, you lazy milk-drinkers, get over here! I know you're all starting to settle in here, and keep up the fat lives you got used to up in the hall. But look here. This outsider has more fire than any of you. All I had to do was mention our little infestation, and he/she volunteered in a second! I don't want to have my spirit outstripped by some wanderer. So let's get up there and kill us some Rieklings!"

After the speech, all the warriors will draw weapons and set off at a running pace towards Thirsk Mead Hall, determined to reclaim it and wipe out the rieklings. You will have no choice but to tag along and fight a total of nineteen angry rieklings defending their new property. A total of six rieklings will defend the exterior while the rest will be inside, doing everything they can to protect their property, including the riekling chief himself. The chief can only be wounded by the Nords to the point where he drops into the recovery position; it falls to you to finish him off. When all is said and done and dead rieklings lie everywhere in the Hall, locate Bujold who will be exhilarated by the battle and ask how you feel. Regardless of your answer, she will ask you to be her 'second' for a journey, as she needs to get another blessing from Hrothmund the Red before the Nords again take up residence in the Hall.

Hrothmund's BarrowEdit

Bujold will lead you to a Nordic ruin called Hrothmund's Barrow, southwest of Benkongerike. Near the entrance she will turn around and ask you whether you are ready or not. You can then ask her what this place is and she will explain the full background: "The burial place of Hrothmund, who founded Thirsk. He brought a group of true warriors away from the soft life of the Skaal, to know the wilderness, to feel the sting of cold and of steel. I know that... sounds a little silly. It's just the way it's written in the books, and that phrase has always stuck with me." She will also explain what will happen in the barrow: "It's pretty simple. Hrothmund's axe is in there with him. Anyone who attempts to take hold of it has their spirit judged by Hrothmund himself." She will then reveal that she is quite confident that she will receive Hrothmund's blessing once again. After all, she received it before.

The Spirit of HrothmundEdit

Inside the barrow, head through the first empty chamber and enter a huge water-filled room. As you approach, the water will disappear, and the now-visible path will lead you right to Hrothmund's Axe, where Bujold will try and grab it, as per tradition. When she does, Hrothmund's spirit will speak:

"Then... the leadership is not mine?"

Hrothmund: "You seek my blessing for the leadership of Thirsk Hall?"
Bujold: "I do. It is I, Bujold. You blessed me in the past, and now I've rid the hall of Rieklings and returned it to its rightful owners."
Hrothmund: "And well it is that this has happened. But I have always watched, and know that it was your softness that lead to your own exile."
Bujold: "No! I..."
Hrothmund: "You allowed your fellow warriors to grow weak while the dangers around you mounted."
Bujold: "Then... the leadership is not mine?"
Hrothmund: "No. Nor is there any among you fit to serve. For a band in the wilderness, it is better to have no leader than a poor one."

After her conversation with Hrothmund, an embarrassed Bujold will approach you and two options will be available, although both will lead to Bujold making the decision to return to Thirsk Mead Hall and continue her leadership as if Hrothmund had given his blessing. She will explain why: "No matter what Hrothmund says, we need a leader. And I'm still the best person for that." When you point out that she goes against Hrothmund's wishes she will continue: "Look what's happened to us so far under his watchful eye. He gave his blessing to all the leaders who brought us to this point. Anyway, he's dead and we're alive. It's time to begin a new tradition for Thirsk. And I'm going to do that. All I need is for you to back me up. You don't even need to lie... just don't tell anyone else what you heard here."

Your next decision will make a huge difference for Bujold and maybe even cost you a few useful relationships within Thirsk Mead Hall.

With Bujold determined to keep leading the mead hall regardless of Hrothmund's wishes, you must decide whether to intervene and end her leadership. After she tells you her plan, you will have two options:

NOTE: The quest will end right after you make the decision, and no reward will be given, so think carefully what benefits you the most: your relationship with Kuvar or the old Nord traditions of Hrothmund.
"Get out of here. Run to the wilds."
Follow Bujold
If you choose to accept Bujold's scheme, she will simply end the quest and walk away with the words: "Good. See that you do. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a hall to lead." When you return to Thirsk Mead Hall, Bujold will wander around carrying a new name, specifically Bujold the Intrepid. As soon as you enter, Kuvar will approach you and say: "Bujold says you served well. Before we were married, I was her second on the first trip to the barrow. Hrothmund knows strength, in this world and the next." You can either tell him the truth, that she was rejected by Hrothmund, or lie, saying that it was an honor to accompany her. Think twice before choosing, because Kuvar is a master trainer in Heavy Armor:

TRUTH: "I don't think you know how dangerous it is to say what you've just said. This is a serious accusation. I'm sure Bujold can straighten it out for us.." He will then seek out Bujold and demand to hear the truth. Bujold will be taken by surprise by your betrayal and will admit everything, much to the regret of her husband. The argument ends with a heartbroken Kuvar asking Bujold to leave Thirsk and run to the wilds.

Trying to talk to Kuvar further will reveal that he now holds a grudge towards you for separating him from his wife, meaning that he will no longer offer training.

LIE: "Yes, I remember how I felt being there with her the first time, before we were wed. I hope to see you more around the hall, friend."

He will then continue his daily routine and will offer training.

Bujold attacks
Follow Hrothmund
If you choose to follow ancient Nord tradition and say: "I can't let you lead Thirsk.", Bujold will be quite sad when she says: "I was afraid you might say that. Well, looks as though I'll have to prove my mettle against you now." She will then draw her war axe and proceed to attack in order to keep her secret. Once she is dead, the quest will finish and Thirsk will be left without a leader. A return to the now cleaned-up mead hall will net you a concerned Kuvar who demands to know what happened to his wife: "How did things go out there? Where is Bujold?" You can then choose to tell the truth, that she was rejected, or lie and tell him you don't know what happened to her. Think twice before choosing, because he is a master trainer in Heavy Armor:

TRUTH: "Are you being serious? How... how did she take it?" When you tell him she attacked you, he will respond: "Ah. I see. I hope she... fought well. Was it... did Hrothmund recognize anyone else? Was it you? Is that why..." When you tell him that Hrothmund said the next leader is a long way off, he will accept this, although he will refuse to speak to you again: "Well, then. I'll do my best to keep the hall together until that day comes. Now, look... I understand you were just defending yourself. And because you helped us retake the hall, I'll look past it this once. But I wouldn't show my face in here again, if I were you. Do we understand each other?"

Trying to talk to Kuvar further will reveal that he now holds a grudge towards you for separating him from his wife, meaning that he will no longer offer training.

LIE: "Well, let's hope she makes it back soon. This lot doesn't have much patience with me."

He will then continue his daily routine and will offer training.


  • Should you choose to tell Bujold that you will keep her secret, then tell Kuvar the truth, Bujold will be disabled and disappear from the game as soon as she leaves Thirsk Mead Hall.
  • If you delay too long in responding to Bujold after her conversation with the spirit of Hrothmund the quest will autocomplete (advance to stage 200) as if you had agreed with her actions.
  • Once the warriors have cleaned up the mead hall, three new favor quests will be available. See this section for details.
  • If you've returned Bilgemuck to the rieklings before starting this quest, he'll remain outside the hall indefinitely even after it's been retaken by the Nords.
  • Before volunteering to assist the Nords in retaking the Hall, you can kill all of the rieklings that currently inhabit it save the chief, who is flagged as essential at this point. When you then join the assault with Bujold, no rieklings will be waiting outside, and the chief will only have eight warriors inside to help him fight off the attackers.
  • The total number of rieklings to kill given in the relevant quest objective can be as high as twenty, but will vary based on how many are still alive.


  • If you kill the rieklings too quickly before the Nords arrive, the quest may be stuck on the "Kill the Rieklings" objective while Bujold's group stands around in the hall with their weapons drawn.
    •   Open the Console and type setstage DLC2MH01 25 and hit enter. This should advance the quest to the next stage.
  • Geldis Sadri has a rumor which should have started this quest. Two separate issues prevent the line from being played, however.
  • It is possible to stumble upon the Nords at Bujold's Retreat and begin and complete the quest and then later acquire the quest again from Geldis Sadri, leaving the quest stuck in the Journal with no means to remove it and quest objective markers on the ground at both the Mead Hall and Bujold's Retreat. This is likely made possible by some other mod for Special Edition restoring or "fixing" dialogue with Geldis Sadri. ?
  • On Switch, upon first encounter, Bujold may already be named "Bujold the Intrepid" instead of "Bujold the Unworthy", and the dialogue option to start this quest will not be available.
  • If you have already discovered Hrothmund's Barrow and fast-travel to it, Bujold may not show up at the barrow where the arrow points. This can be solved by using her prid and the "moveto player" command in the console. ?

Quest StagesEdit

Retaking Thirsk (DLC2MH01)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 I met a group of Nords from Thirsk Mead Hall, which has recently been overrun by Rieklings. They're camped on the eastern shore of the island, waiting for an opportunity to attack and take back their home.
Objective 10: Join the assault on Thirsk Mead Hall
20 I've agreed to help the Nords from Thirsk Mead Hall take their home back from the Rieklings who have infested it.
Objective 20: Approach Thirsk Mead Hall
Objective 21: Kill the Rieklings (<Global=DLC2MH01RieklingsKilled>/<Global=DLC2MH01RieklingsTotal>) (as you approach the hall)
25 I helped the warriors of Thirsk Mead Hall retake their home from the infestation of Rieklings.
Objective 25: Speak to Bujold
27 I helped the warriors of Thirsk Mead Hall retake their home from the infestation of Rieklings. Their leader, Bujold, has asked me to accompany her to Hrothmund's Barrow, where she hopes to receive the blessing of Thirsk's founder to continue her leadership.
Objective 27: Meet Bujold at Hrothmund's Barrow
Objective 30: Commune with Hrothmund's Spirit
40 I helped the warriors of Thirsk Mead Hall retake their home from the infestation of Rieklings. Their leader, Bujold, asked me to accompany her to Hrothmund's Barrow, where she was denied the blessings of Thirsk's founder. She expressed a desire to lead the hall anyway, and when I opposed her fraud, she attacked me.
Objective 40: Defeat Bujold
100 Finishes quest 
200 Finishes quest  I helped the warriors of Thirsk Mead Hall retake their home from the infestation of Rieklings. Their leader, Bujold, asked me to accompany her to Hrothmund's Barrow, where she was denied the blessings of Thirsk's founder. She expressed a desire to lead the hall anyway, and plans to begin a new tradition at Thirsk, focused on the present instead of the past.
Finishes quest  I helped the warriors of Thirsk Mead Hall retake their home from the infestation of Rieklings. Their leader, Bujold, asked me to accompany her to Hrothmund's Barrow, where she was denied the blessings of Thirsk's founder. She expressed a desire to lead the hall anyway, and when I opposed her fraud, she became enraged. I was forced to kill her to defend myself.
210 Fails quest  I met a group of Nords who had been exiled from their former home in Thirsk Mead Hall, but chose to help the Rieklings keep them permanently evicted.
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 205.
  • Any text displayed in angle brackets (e.g., <Alias=LocationHold>) is dynamically set by the Radiant Quest system, and will be filled in with the appropriate word(s) when seen in game.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in any order. Some stages may therefore repeat objectives seen in other stages.
  • If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
  • On the PC, it is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage DLC2MH01 stage, where stage is the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages, but it is possible to clear all stages of the quest using resetquest DLC2MH01.