Lydia, your first follower in Skyrim
Skyrim: using your follower
If you have put any time at all into Skyrim; you have met Lydia, your first follower. She is given to you when you become a Thane of Whiterun. Lydia is a retainer to you and requires nothing from you except direction. She will follow you, wait for you, carry items, and do certain tasks. Is she worth using, or does she get in the way? My experience has been a mixed bag; she’s been useful for the most part, but has interfered too.
The most useful thing about having a follower is the pack-mule aspect. Lydia can carry lots of items. She doesn’t seem to slow down too much, until she hits her limit. I’ve found it very useful to have her with me in dungeons. I can play through most of a dungeon and not have to leave loot behind, because Lydia can carry part of the treasure.
It is also useful to have someone to fight with you. In dungeons and out on the road, having a second person to aid your battles comes in very handy. Lydia will fight for you and won’t die, unless you accidentally kill her. I have done this a time or two. She can get in my line of fire when I am trying to shoot an arrow. The tougher enemies almost require you to have some help to defeat them. Lydia is always eager to fight at your side.
Though that leads to the first problem with having a follower; she always fights for you, whether you want her to or not. In a shop in Riften, I got into a fistfight that turned into a bloodbath because Lydia couldn't let me fight alone. She, of course, didn't just use her fists, she had to pull out her weapon and kill the other guy. By the time it was all over, my opponent was dead as well as several guards who had come to investigate. This was not what I had in mind.
Lydia also can’t sneak. She sneaks a little, but is almost always spotted. My current character is a sneak thief. My ability is really high, and there has been several times that we were spotted because of Lydia. I have tried leaving her behind a few times, but sometimes it is difficult to get back to her position. The Thieves Guild missions are much harder with her around too.
For me, the treasure carrying and the fighting are too useful to give up. Lydia may cause a few problems from time to time, but I found her to be worth the difficulties. Though I do wish they had developed her speech a bit more. I got tired of hearing the same line whenever I gave her items to carry.