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Commanding Followers in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Updated on November 20, 2011

Elder Scrolls V Skyrim allows you to gather followers that can help you on your quests. Followers can help you fight against enemies that you encounter, but they can also be used for other useful purposes. You can only have one follower at a time in Elder Scrolls Skyrim. If you attempt to get another follower when you already have one, they will decline saying you already have someone with you. You must first tell your current follower to leave before another follower will join you.

In general, the followers in Elder Scrolls Skyrim are much better in combat than they were in Oblivion. In Elder Scrolls Oblivion, they were very weak and died easily. In Skyrim, however, they are much more tougher, unless you take on extremely tough enemies. I recently had a bad experience where I went to some camp where a bunch of giants lived. I was on a horse and my follower was behind me. The giant killed my horse and I fell off! I then saw my follower Lydia get crushed by a giant! I reloaded my game. I do not recommend taking on giants if you have a follower with you. Actually, I do not recommend fighting a giant at all if your a low level. They can kill you in one hit! They just slam you into the ground like your jello!

Commanding followers in Elder Scrolls V Skyrim

You can issue a number of commands to your followers in Skyrim. Some followers in Skyrim, however, can not be issued commands.

  • Followers can wait at a certain position. This may be useful if you do not want to put them in danger from tougher enemies ahead.
  • Followers can use switches, levers, and other various objects in the world if you command them to do so.
  • Followers can pick up objects that are scattered in the world. This is a good idea if you can not carry any more equipment.
  • Followers in Skyrim can be ordered to attack enemies.
  • Followers can open locked doors, treasure chests etc.

Some followers in Elder Scrolls Skyrim will not steal for you, however. This is because some of the followers in Skyrim do not believe in stealing. Also note that you will be held responsible for any crimes that your followers commit in Elder Scrolls Skyrim.

Followers are able to carry equipment. If you find treasure, weapons etc. and can not carry any more, you can have your follower hold some of your equipment. This is very important if you are trying to make money in Skyrim because you can sell equipment you gave to your follower later.

Remember if you go over the amount of weight you can carry, you will not be able to run in Skyrim. You will still be able to move, but it will be extremely slow.

Killing Followers in Elder Scrolls Skyrim

Be careful not to hit your followers in Skyrim. There is friendly fire and you can potentially kill them if you damage them enough. In my opinion, I think there should be no friendly fire in Skyrim because it can be difficult to attack an enemy without accidentally hitting your follower with magic or swords etc. whilist in battle.

Where did my follower go in Skyrim?

Note that followers will not be able to keep up with you when your using a horse or are climbing obstacles that they can not climb. If you do not know where your follower is, simply wait an hour, and they should appear next to you.

If you can not find your follower anywhere, they may have died. Make sure to save fairly often and use auto saves if you do not want them to die.

In some cases, it may be best to dismiss them if they keep dying in certain areas of the game. Most of the time, they will just take a knee when they lose their health, but for some reason, they will sometimes die completely. I think this depends on what type of enemies you are facing.

Has your follower ever been killed in combat, if so, how did it happen?

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    • profile image

      TY 4 years ago

      Not a single one of my followers will listen to a command. I press the circle button on the desired target and the command reticule disappears, without anything else happening. The entire "commanding followers" aspect of my game is missing, preventing me from completing several quests, including Boethiahs calling. Did Bethesda forget to write a fee Megs of code? I'm furious.

    • profile image

      krynn 5 years ago

      Lots of good posts but my lydia got killed by enemies not me

    • David 470 profile image
      Author

      David 470 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States

      @Tommy,

      Are you saying that the vampire girl (serana) from the dawnguard DLC will not follow you because it says u already have a follower?

      Because in my game she followed me even though I already had a follower. That's strange to hear. Not sure if my game was glitched or your game was.

      Once I stopped talking to her in that Dimhallow crypt she followed me (disregarding my current follower) and I took her to the castle.

    • profile image

      tommy 5 years ago

      I accidentally killed one of my followers in battle while swinging at a creature it grabbed my follower and cut his head off so i just left him and went on. Now he is following me around and he is headless and I can't interact with him so i can not dismiss him. Now I have a level 46 character that I can not use because I can't get rid of him to get the vampire girl to follow me in the new Dawnguard. Is there anything I can do other than just stat another character I have reloaded killed him again and he still shows up, I have tried everything can anyone help?

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      Simon 5 years ago

      I have a problem that when i meat lydia and i never had her she says i already have follower and i never had one any ideas. and i also asked other ones and they said the same. plz help:)

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      Noor-elena 5 years ago

      It seems that i'm having the same problem as many others- no one will follow me and i am desperate for help. It all happened when i was sent on a mission to cure varkas of his werewolfness (this is after that big mission to cure that old guy of it with the witch heads) so i accepted the mission and varkas became my follower and i left the companions hq and if wasn't with me. So i went back inside to retrieve him and he wouldn't come. And then i tried going to the cave where the ritual takes place and he still wasn't there. So i reloaded the game and tried again and still he was no where to be seen and then the mission for some crazy season became inactive - and it didn't say it was completed. Since then i can't have a follower. I've tried to get varkas to do it since all this trouble started with him! And no he won't follow me and neither will anyone else. It's just me and my really cool horse shadow-something now but i miss having a human follower. Someone please help! I'm to far into to game to do it again. Thanks!

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      Jay 5 years ago

      Just so everyone knows, followers can die. Fairly easily, when their health drops low, they tebow but they will usually not do that twice. If the enemy keeps attacking them they will die. Unless you have a follower from the assasins guild after you become the leader. The two available followers will not die even if you try and kill them.

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      coy 5 years ago

      I went to get lydia and she says you already have someone with you but i haven't someone..any solutions?..badly needed please :(

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      GeCCo 5 years ago

      I really need help. If I want to talk to my follower she attacks me. There is no reason for it , I'm not in battle or took a shot at her. She just attacks me , then I need to kill her , obviously , but when I get back to Whiteburn the guards attacks me.

      I just want to talk to her...

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      dudethatlikespie 5 years ago

      "I Lost my follower! and now I can't get a new one because they keep saying i have another person with me!"...this is why i travel ALONE and fight ALONE in the game, well since im high leveled

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      Joel 5 years ago

      I have Illia as a follower and in the beginning she was great using here frost spells and killing the enemy really fast and funny :P But now from nowhere she has started to use a bad fucking bow and a bad dagger instead of using here magic who was really good? Why has she started doing this and how do i make here start using magic again? Is it because i only use bow and dual wield weapons and she has started to copying me instead of using hear spells as before? Would be really glad to get an answer!

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      me 5 years ago

      I've got the same problem as Rafae and Mant. Got mods - got no followers. Anyone know what mod to get rid of - or need to restart.

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      guy 5 years ago

      my follower (lydia) died, and now when i try to get a new follower, it says i already have one... why is this?

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      Blade 5 years ago

      I tried to get my companion to mount it said mount under i need u to do something he pulled his hammer out and killed it then srated at the dark bro hood horce then was killed by gaurds for hiting thestable master

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      Rafae 5 years ago

      A new save did not fix the problem, and now my shield textures are gone. Great.

    • profile image

      Rafae 5 years ago

      I've even tried reinstalling. Starting yet another new save to see if that sorts it.

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      Mantronnix 5 years ago

      I have the same problem as you do Rafae. It's driving me crazy. can't get any follower dialog to work. I can marry them but none have the follow me option.

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      Rafae 5 years ago

      I started a new game the other day, and I can't recruit a follower. Even disabling all my mods, I cannot get a follower to join me. On this save I've never had one. The dialog options ('Follow me, I need your help' and 'Consider yourself hired') do not appear in conversation with ANY potential followers. Can someone help?

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      Nicole 5 years ago

      Can a follower ride a horse or ride with you?

    • profile image

      james 5 years ago

      the game wont let me get a follower because it says i already have one even though i have not had a follower in about 2 weeks where is the guy

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      daz 5 years ago

      i got the follower disapears with all ur gear after companions quest -_-

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      Leslie 5 years ago

      Sorry, last post. So basically you can do what you want but when they turn on each other you have to run like hell. Either get far enough away they forget they were fighting or go through a door that gives you the load screen. Essentially, I'm running outside the cave after every room, but at least they're getting along (sorta).

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      Leslie 5 years ago

      OHMYGOD. Doing a mass shout will hurt them too and they turn. Basically I can't do anything. Having multiple followers = such a headache.

    • profile image

      Leslie 5 years ago

      I think I figured it out. Conjuring a Flame Atronach when they're in melee range causes them to catch on fire and then they get all disagreeable-like. Frikking ugh.

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      Leslie 5 years ago

      I have a companion (Erandur) and I started a quest that forces someone else to come with me. I decided to take both of them into a few caves to get some points, if for nothing else to act as extra targets and it worked out great for a while. Now I'm doing the Glory of the Dead quest and so I've got three followers because Aela is here. But recently they started turning on each other and trying to kill each other. Any idea why? I feel like a parent trying to separate them all the time and I keep having to reload.

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      Theinnocentderp 5 years ago

      If you go to jail does your follower abandon you?, or go to your house or something?

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      Dovver99 5 years ago

      Oh and for anyone who wants to know a really easy way to level up smithing is just buy all the iron and leather strips from a blacksmith and make them into iron daggers it got me tons of expiriance

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      Dovver99 5 years ago

      Hey i have a question i gave a dragon preist mask to lydia then signed her up for the blades and when i checked her inventory it was gone

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      Robbie 5 years ago

      I have a serious problem its nothing about followers. I may have done a stupid thing and hit someone on a mission and it autosaved. Now every time i die or reload a page hes there attacking me and i can't go further because i need him to finish the mission. What should i do?

    • ecosimon profile image

      ecosimon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I like creating armor and weapons for my followers, and watch them wear it into battle. Makes them more valuable when they can last longer in the more tougher battles.

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      JoeBarbaro 5 years ago

      Followers travel the whole way home after you dismiss correct? Because I recently recruited Darkeethus into the blades, and unlike others he returns home instead of staying there. I quick traveled to his original point and haven't seen him yet.

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      zoocrue 5 years ago

      hi i had marcuio and i noticed he was not fallowing me. i can hire another one too fallow me. so does that mean hes dead? and if he is where does the items i gave him go? are they lost? and has anyone found a way around "the pursuit" quest glitch... i want to advance on it but the thief's guild is on alert..??

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      Brunnun 5 years ago

      I asked lydia to wait and forgot where she was. Now I can't find her and can't get another companion. What do I do?

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      Angel 5 years ago

      My follower is lost somewhere she/he is not dead just missing I don't know where they are but if I don't find them Im going to lose it I need help PLEASE. :/

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      Matthew 5 years ago

      So, I need a follower to do this mission, but when I go to hire someone, the person says I already have someone following me. But I never hired a follower. Any solutions?

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      Brunac 5 years ago

      hey if anyone could please help. i have a dark broterhood initiate as a follower and i gave her my ancient shrouded armour and later on when i wanted to take it back it wasn't there. is there some kind of command that can force her to give it back or something?

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      Gabe 5 years ago

      So, If this thread is still open, I had a Dark Bortherhood Iniate as a follower, And I gave her some really important items to carry, And she had some pretty valuable armor and the like, And one minute she has it, And the next she doesn't, And there is NOTHING in her inventory. What happened?

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      Chauncy77 5 years ago

      First of all companions can and do die by enemy's, at least n Xbox version, get over it. Get another, if u can't by glitch, then I do feel for you. Skrim is so advanced it's full of bugs, and yes Bethesda knows, and is working on patch's, and multiple DLC's

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      Alicia 5 years ago

      Does Lydia always go to the hall of dead in Whiterun when she dies, cause i lost her and iv tried EVERYTHING, house, Companions quest, looking in the last place, dungeons in every place i went to, hall of dead in the last place i was with her, drangonsearch. please help me i left stuff with her that i believe i needed in quests, and TONS of expensive stuff. Thank You for any help

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      Austin 5 years ago

      How do I get my follower to use the "pillar of sacrifice" for the quest "boethiahs calling"

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      fisherman2010 5 years ago

      I was using Farkas always did but i have a HUGE problem im way to far into the game to restart and am past the mission i was doing a dark brotherhood quest and forgot Farkas was with me and i killed the goermet in cold blood and after Farkas started to attack me so I talked to him to make him stop and he did but now hes fallowing me and keeps pulling up the dialog and I tried to leave and it said the gaurds where after me please help Farkas is the only person i will use btw im on a PS3

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      lenny 5 years ago

      can i tell my folower to git on my hourse

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      jharm002 5 years ago

      I have the same question as the original post on this forum...I had Janessa and I completed a companion quest that automatically put Aela with me for the mission (Werewolf mission), but I finished all that and Janessa is gone. I don't specifically need her but she has a lot of my stuff...any thoughts? I already checked back at Drunken Huntsman

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      cheezitscrust69 5 years ago

      anyone know about a patch being released or does bestheda even release patches? sometimes this game has SO many bugs I wonder if they even tested it before they sold it to us... its an amazing game but the bugs are so annoying! you should be able to replace your current follower without telling him to "part ways" and now there is no cure to this problem. why bestheda why?

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      Richardblade 5 years ago

      Cast the ice form shout on your follower, if it doesn't want to follow you down a cliff, they will turn into an icecube and gravity will do the rest, and volia your follower thaws out at the bottom of the cliff, ready to journey onwards.

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       5 years ago

      ????????????STOP!!!!????????????

      For everybody who lost there companion or never even got one and when they tried to get 1 it said that sombody was already with them, i know why! I haven't figured out how to stop it maby by killing it i just figured it out seconds ago, if u got on a horce without a saddle, every time i fast travle it will go with u! I am pretty sure that it is what they mean by companion!!!!!!!! I hope this helped!!! Ya i just killed my horce and it worked!!!:)):):):)

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      Truston 5 years ago

      It's a fact that only you as the player can kill your follower, in game characters can not kill your follower no matter how powerful they are

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      cheezitscrust69 5 years ago

      @robstar

      i have the same problem, only i accidentally killed arthis in a quest in labyrinthian and he wont respawn. No one will become my follower because apparently i have "someone" with me. I can't finish one of the daedric quests because of this and it is irritating, can some one help me and many others out?

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      Robstar 5 years ago

      Hi all.

      I had J'zargo follow me, he died.

      Now when I try to get a new follower they say

      'seems like you already have someone'.

      If they opened their eyes they could see that wasn't the case because Jzargo body is at the same place i left him.

      Has anyone experienced this and/or found a solution?

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      Balgruff The Greater 5 years ago

      As some people are saying followers level with you, your wrong. my level 36 breton has Farkas with him, and he kneels from damage after two hits... wtf? He is wearing entire ebony armor with a glass warhammer...

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      Bill 5 years ago

      Can someone help me i tried the glitch where you get two followers and it ended up with one following me and on that acted as if he was following me but he was walking back to where he came from now if i try to hire him again he says what do you need and gets his weapon out if i get mine out like a usual follower how do i hire him???

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      Pride134 5 years ago

      It was me and my dog an I went to steel armor from the spell school the wizard killed but I got them back I was a werewolf it was blood everywhere I was sooo mad I spent 500 gold for it an Thayer just just going to kill it I killed everybody in the school and the valley now I'm the king my name is pride124 an get at me

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      TME 5 years ago

      I was going to meet up with Delphine and when I got there she started to attack me. I've tried to go back a bunch of times, but she really hates me or something.

      Does anyone know how to get her to stop killing me?

      BTW: This is outside Solitude on the Diplomatic Immunity quest.

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      i hate followers 5 years ago

      I fast traveled to the mage college and then went into town. Lydia just disapeared. I've waited 6 days in dragonreach but shes won't come. help please.

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      guest 5 years ago

      i have a quick question if you command your follower/companion to read the "oghma infinium" book does your follower/companions skills increase? like if u were to read it?

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      Tank 5 years ago

      Hey iwas doing the quest for gallus journal and I told Lydia to wait outside one of the doors in the laboratory but when I went back to get her she was gone not dead just missing went back to whiterun and waited no Lydia and I don't have a house any thoughts

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      spcballs 5 years ago

      ok i went to whiterun to pay a fine for a stolen horse after i paid the fine i can't find my follwer i have waited 4 days in the same spot and no follower

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      Z-Moo-cow 5 years ago

      I did the Eldergleam quest where you have to get sap from a tree using a weapon called 'Nettlebane'. On that quest, you can get an NPC called Maurice to follow you to Eldergleam from the same place you receive the quest (though you don't have to take him).

      During the quest I passed a bandit hideout, 'Valheilm towers', and in my efforts to wipe them out Maurice, of his own accord, went ahead of me and was killed by one of them (I never hit him, he just died). Initially, I didn't mind that much because he was useless, annoying and made condemning comments on me 'cause I was a girl. -_-

      But since then I tried to get other people to follow me and they say "looks like you've already got someone following you". Maurice is dead! I know this because I stood over his corpse for 5 minutes hacking at him with my sword 'cause I was bored and didn't like him.

      How can I dismiss him from my service when he's dead? I've waited 3 days real-time. D:

      TL:DR - follower died in bandit attack (not by me), is still said to be following me (as no others will join me), help?

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      bigdogerik 5 years ago

      im having the same problem i think i told my follower to stay and i don't know where i toold her to stay

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      cookiemonster456 5 years ago

      if you told your follower to wait and u forget where told to will they ever leave the spot

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      Kathy 5 years ago

      New to Elder Scrolls.

      What keys do you use to see your followers inventory and have them drop it. I am having no luck in finding the answer to this.

      Thanks

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      Kahleesi 5 years ago

      Does anyone else feel bad for their followers? Or horses for that matter...I get my followers all kinds of killed and they just keep on following me, come hell or high-water. I tried to buy poor Lydia a horse cause that chick beasts some mages for me but poor thing can't even ride it :( And my poor horses :(( Why do they have to be so brave!? NO you can't take on that Frost Troll by urself-silly horse...why can't you just run away like in real life!? I'll come find you-I promise :)

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      vixx 5 years ago

      Has anyone else experienced a lock on the controller to command state (PS3) I can't change it, opened a new file, quit and reloaded, changed controllers, it's stuck. I can't even pick up stuff or loot bandits without it asking Lydia to, (and she wont! :( ) ...anyone else get this? I want my crosshairs back, and my independance!

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      Austin 5 years ago

      Ok here's my question if you dismiss illia can you get her back if so were...... Also if I denied j'zargos initial request to help him will I be able to do it later I really want him as a follower

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      Austin 5 years ago

      Ok here's my question if you dismiss illia can you get her back if so were...... Also if I denied j'zargos initial request to help him will I be able to do it later I really want him as a follower

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      beast 5 years ago

      i gave lydia a bunch of stuff like staff of sparks . i got a brother shield thing with the companions quest and lydia went to dragons reach how to i get my staff back

      she says "i already someone with me"

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      bruce 5 years ago

      PLEASE I NEED A RESPONSE

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      wondering? 5 years ago

      can you teach ur followers magic or have your follower read spell tomes?

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      sadface ): 5 years ago

      Lydia died can i get her back

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      Rebecca 5 years ago

      i was heading somewhere with delphine and on the way were attacked by a dragon and i lost her :\.. she didn't get killed because she wasn't near the dragon nd i killed it, ive Looked for her around the area she was, waited , went back to where mission started but shes not anywhere :\ .. any ideas?

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      Suggestion 5 years ago

      I think if you have the ability to own more than one horse in Skyrim they should create an order that will allow your follower to use that extra horse and therfore keep up with you once you're mounted.

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      Fz 5 years ago

      Take all of their weapons but their bow

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      Kathy 5 years ago

      How do I get Lydia to drop the inventory she is carring?

      Thanks

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      kaki 5 years ago

      i told my folower to wait at a empire camp for the reunification of skyrim quest but when i finished taking the fort the camp was not on map how can i find him

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      Lizard King 5 years ago

      My dog Vigilance was at my house. I went back after a long quest and I saw Vigilance walking out of the city. When I pressed "talk" he ignored me. Now, I can't find him. What do I do?

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      Finally 5 years ago

      Recently found out that the reason it didn't let my companion follow my orders was because I changed the default controls.. Once I put them to where they was originally it worked ..

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      bruce 5 years ago

      I have it for a console :

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      Y u no read this 5 years ago

      release your follower then press the ~ below escape then click on your follower and type disable then enable and they should be up to your level and stats. All u have to do is rehire them :D

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      bruce 5 years ago

      Sorry, anyway I dissmissed faendal from the golden glow estate for the thieves guild quest. And when I went back to rivereood to find him he wasn't there. Please help me I r the sadz without Fanny (faendal)

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      bruce 5 years ago

      Before I did the goldenglow estate quest for the quest for the thieves

      guild I dismissed fae

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      Tom 5 years ago

      My follower had died, I knew where but when I try to get a new one she/he says I need to dismiss him? Any ideas on how to get a new one thanks!!

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      To Alex 5 years ago

      Not that I got this idea my self but through playing the game I already did the quest you are referring to and it still hasn't worked.

      On top of this my horse is nowhere to be found *sighs* I left it outside Whiterun at the stables and there it stayed for a few days. will it return to the city I bought it in you think?

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      Alex 5 years ago

      Just an idea but when get involved with the companions quest(s) in whiterun it automatically dismissing your follower/hireling whether you like it or not...so if uv lost them or it is glitch that you can not hire a follower, by doing this quest (& others like it where you are assigned a follower automatically), it may fix the problem...as I say just an idea that may be worth investigating as iv not hit this problem yet to test it for myself.

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      Lydia won't come out of the cave. 5 years ago

      I did a dungeon with a dragon word in it and a labyrinth (forget the name of the place but it was in the mountains not far from Whiterun and there were ruins and trolls outside). Anyway...

      When I try to leave the dungeon Lydia won't come with me. I have tried dismissing her and she still remains inside the dungeon. What is it with women and following orders? :P

      Any suggestions?

      P.S. This is for xbox 360.

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      Mondo 5 years ago

      I had found the Stray dog and I was using him and Lydia as a followers, I think I left the Dog somewhere on wait and I can't find him because every time I try to buy Vigilance at Falkerth the owwner says I already have an animal with me, but I only have Lydia. Is this a glitch

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      Scott 5 years ago

      I got married and left Lydia at home since I figured she might be jealous. Anyway, a bunch of people show up for the wedding that are your pals or you've done quests for. Lydia showed up on her own at the wedding. Everyone walks home to where they came from after. When a got home no more Lydia. waited days and she never came back. I figure maybe she hated me for marrying someone else.

      I finally used the console command player.moveto [id] with her id and was transported to the temple of Mara. She was still sitting in the chapel three days later, but came back with me when I told her to follow me.

      I think this was a game bug.

      Look up the characters id on the wiki and use the command above when your follower gets lost forever.

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      skyrimlover 5 years ago

      never mind i just waited a day

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      skyrimlover 5 years ago

      and i don't have stormcall

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      skyrimlover 5 years ago

      delphine keeps attacking me and i don't why she is or how to stop her, im in the quest where you have to gain entrance to sky haven temple and she wont let me put my blood on the seal on the ground. any ideas? please help me out

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      Arian 5 years ago

      I told my follower to wait for me, but when I went back she wasn't there and I can't obtain any new followers since she's still technically following me. What do I do.?

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      abcdef 5 years ago

      had lydia but i went to jail, when i picked the lock and broke out i couldn't find her?

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      BAtman 5 years ago

      Hey, I'm having a bit of trouble myself. You see, most followers, when you tell them to wait, will eventually get bored and leave your service, and you are notified by a little message in the top left corner. However, I got the insane assassin Cicero as a companion, and told him to wait, and lost him, and, probably since he's insane, he won't get bored and leave. I tried the console cheat posted by a guy earlier, but it didn't work, so any ideas?

      P.S. I wonder if spiders have eaten his face of yet

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      matheus123 5 years ago

      I think I accidentally hit lydia and she died, where can I find other followers like her ?

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      random 5 years ago

      With all the hassle why even bother with followers?

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      mike 5 years ago

      I lost my follower. I don't remember where i told her to wait. I know shes still alive somewhere because when i try to get another follower they say i have a follower and will get in the way. Is there anyway i can find my follower? Is there an icon on the compas that will lead me to her? I tried waiting a whole day and she does not report to me. I'm stuck, someone please help!!!

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      Dj the fister 5 years ago

      Guys if it sais that you have a follower when you don't go to jail for three days and they. Will go away

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      BOB 5 years ago

      I did the party quest were you go into the thalmar party and it automatically dismissed mercurio I can't find him any were

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      ajm 5 years ago

      Thanks but it doesn't matter much any more. I accidentally killed him :(

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      Jack 5 years ago

      Ajm, meeko goes back to meekos's shack. (The place were you found him.)

      Chad, you killed her by accident during that battle and another mage ressurected her corpse. Sorry to tell you bro but she's gone.

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      Chad 5 years ago

      I was defending the College from the anomalies or whatever. Next thing I know Lydia is glowing purple and said that it was some other Mages Lydia.