Marriage in Skyrim is usually a simple process, but the Dragonborn sometimes has to work to win over a potential spouse. Vilkas is one of these.
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, marriage is often a matter of convenience. It’s made clear early on that those seeking a partner in Skyrim aren’t looking for love so much as they are seeking companionship and comfort from the harsh reality of life in the frigid northern land. There are more than 50 marriage candidates peppered across the land, from housecarls and companions to merchants and blacksmiths — but of them all, Vilkas is the best.
Most potential spouses show an interest in a Dragonborn wearing an Amulet of Mara once a favor or task has been completed. However, there are some relationships the player really has to work for. When choosing a partner, it’s important to consider what role the Dragonborn would like their spouse to play. Will they stay home to look after the house and family while tending to their small shop on the side, or will they travel with the Dragonborn and fight by their side?
The companions in Whiterun are as tough as they come, which makes them relatively worthy as far as spouses go. Interestingly, in comparison to other marriage candidates, the Companions are pretty difficult to win over as both friends and lovers. Out of 10 total Companions in the faction, seven of them are marriageable, but simply donning an Amulet of Mara won’t be enough to win them over. The Dragonborn has to prove themselves honorable and worthy — and that takes multiple quests over time to achieve.
Of the seven, inner-circle member Vilkas can provide the most rewarding marriage in the entire game. When the Dragonborn first encounters him, Vilkas had very little interest in or respect for them. However, as their working relationship grew throughout the Companions questline, it became clear that, beneath his cold exterior, there was more to Vilkas than his strong sword arm and wit.
The Companions storyline is one of the more intricate arcs because the time spent with others gives the Dragonborn more time to get to know the faction as people and become invested in their relationships. This arc introduces lycanthropy to the player, who has no choice but to become a werewolf (even if only temporarily) to complete the questline. As the story progresses, the player learns that Kodlak, Harbinger of the Companions, convinced twins Vilkas and Farkas to abstain from transformation and the hunt in hopes of finding a cure for lycanthropy so they could die cleansed and enter the warriors’ afterlife in Sovngarde’s Hall of Honor.
The inner-circle stands divided, with Kodlak and Vilkas firmly abstaining, while Aela the Huntress and Skjor embrace the nature of the beast. Farkas tends to follow his brother’s lead, as he’s not a strong thinker, which puts him in the center of the division. When the Dragonborn becomes a werewolf, their actions with Aela eventually lead to Skjor’s capture and death. It also causes a rampage of vengeance against the Silver Hand. This is kept secret from Kodlak, who would not condone their behavior. When their activity leads the Silver Hand back to Jorrvaskr resulting in Kodlak’s death, Vilkas is so enraged that he embraces his fury and joins the Dragonborn in destroying the Silver Hand.
This is the first time that players see Vilkas display any real emotion beyond arrogance and indifference. That emotion drives him through the rest of the questline, which ends with the remaining members of the inner-circle heading to Ysgramor’s tomb to release Kodlak from his wolf spirit and free him from the curse to enter the Hall of Honor. Only after this quest do the Companions, including Vilkas, become available for marriage. By this time, the Dragonborn has spent so much time in their company that it’s hard not to fall in love with all of them, especially Vilkas.
What makes Vilkas the perfect partner is that Dragonborns who specialize in arcane arts gain a powerful warrior to travel alongside them (for free) and tank through battles they face together. In addition to this, a married Vilkas starts to show his softer side, referring to his spouse as “love” in an endearing way, adding depth to the character and relationship.
Because the responsibility of Jorrvaskr falls to the Dragonborn when they become Harbinger after Kodlak, the couple already shares a home with the rest of their family, so there’s no need to buy property or build a homestead right away. Together, Vilkas and the Dragonborn can devote their time to traveling across Skyrim, righting wrongs and fighting dragons — the way all good couples should.
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