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< Skyrim: People / Merchants / Trainers
(RefID: 0001C1A5)
Home City Winterhold
Location College of Winterhold
Hall of Countenance
Race High Elf Gender Female
Level PC×1 (range=15-50) Class Sorcerer
RefID 0001C1A5 BaseID 0001C197
Training Trainer (Master)Destruction (Master)
Gold 500 (+1000 Master Trader)
Sells See Standard Merchandise
Buys Spells (Books, Clothing, Daedric Artifacts, Jewelry, Scrolls, Soul Gems, Spell Tomes, Staves)
Other Information
Health 150+(PC-1)×10
Magicka 250+(PC-1)×5
Stamina 50
Primary Skills Destruction, Restoration, Heavy Armor, One-handed
Perks Augmented Shock (rank 2); Destruction Dual Casting; Mage Armor (rank 1); Magic Resistance (rank 1); Recovery (rank 2); Regeneration
Class Details TrainerDestructionMaster
Morality Any Crime Aggression Aggressive
Essential Yes
Voice Type FemaleSultry
Faction(s) College of Winterhold 4(Wizard); CrimeFactionWinterhold; Destruction Trainer; Faralda Services; Skill Trainer
Faralda standing outside the College of Winterhold

Faralda is a High Elf sorceress living at the College of Winterhold. She is the guardian who initially stops prospective students and requires them to cast a spell as a demonstration of their abilities. She specializes in teaching the school of Destruction, and starts the quest to obtain the most powerful Destruction spells once you reach 100 skill. Once that quest is complete, she sells the most advanced Destruction spells in the game.

Before entering the College, she requires you to complete a test by casting a spell. You can use persuasion or reveal that you are Dragonborn to avoid the test (although the dialogue option to do so is unavailable if you have not yet met with the Greybeards, even if you know more than one Shout and can demonstrate one in her presence without angering her), but it may be advantageous to take it. Faralda will randomly choose a spell for you to cast, and if you do not have the spell, she will sell it for only 30 gold. Possible test spells are Healing Hands, Magelight, Conjure Flame Atronach, Fear, and Firebolt.

When retiring for the evening, Faralda can be found in or near her room in the Hall of Countenance, first room on the right. She wears master robes of destruction and a pair of boots. She can cast the Alteration spell Stoneflesh, the Destruction spells Chain Lightning, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Cloak, and Thunderbolt, and the Restoration spells Close Wounds and Steadfast Ward.

Faralda and Nirya are both secret lovers of Sergius Turrianus, which, along with their aspirations to be promoted, is the source of their rivalry. If asked, Faralda will provide advice on using Destruction spells. During the quest The Black Star, Faralda can also direct you the mage you're searching for.

Related QuestsEdit


Faralda often expresses her desire to become Master Wizard, and may greet you with any of the following:

"Certainly a few of my colleagues aren't quite as talented as they'd like to believe."
"I'm sure when the time for promotions comes, they'll go to the most deserving mage."
"Don't you think I'd make a wonderful Master Wizard? Maybe even Arch-Mage someday?" (Only if you are male)
"If you need any help with Destruction spells, please let me know." (Only if you are female and this is your first time talking to her)

Before Containment, she can also say:

"Mirabelle does a fine job as Master Wizard, I suppose. Still, there's always room for improvement."
"I can't wait to see who succeeds Mirabelle. I've no doubt she'll be promoted to Arch-Mage at some point."
"Savos Aren is wise beyond his years. He knows real talent when he sees it."

After you become the Arch-Mage during The Eye of Magnus, Faralda will be grateful for your efforts and can also greet you with:

"We all have you to thank for saving the College. Your position is well-deserved."
"Tolfdir as Master Wizard. Certainly didn't anticipate that."
"And to think, Mirabelle questioned my allowing you into the College. I can just imagine the look on her face now."

You can ask Faralda to train you in Destruction magic.

I'd like training in Destruction Magic.
"I can teach you, but I won't be held responsible for what you do with the knowledge."

She will also gladly give you advice about the Destruction school.

Is there any advice you can give about Destruction spells?
"Certainly. Destruction spells come in different forms, each useful for various purposes. Concentration spells can be cast immediately, though they're weaker. Good for a tight spot, and less costly if you miss. You'll also need to decide whether to devote yourself to a single type of spell. Focusing solely on flame spells will make them more powerful, but you may find yourself at a disadvantage against foes immune to fire."

Faralda's LectureEdit

Faralda holding a lecture

After First Lessons, Faralda and other mages will hold lectures in the Hall of the Elements. The lecture is chosen each day between noon and 1pm, but usually does not begin until after 2pm due to the time it takes for the instructor to travel to the Hall of the Elements. Faralda's lecture is about external pressures: the Synod and the College of Whispers.

"It is no secret that both the Synod and the College of Whispers have recently made inquiries as to the status of our College here in Winterhold. At this time, there is no indication that either group is aware of the other's correspondence. The College of Winterhold has thus far declined requests for direct meetings. This has been at the specific request of Arch-Mage Aren. Aren believed that although the initial communications were innocent enough, they were sent with a particular motive in mind. The Synod's harsh rules and draconian structure are maintained only by suppressing any opposition to their Council's policies. It is entirely possible that they look to our College here in Winterhold in order to find supporters for their organization. Likewise, the College of Whispers has long been driven by its desire to directly oppose the Synod. They focus on research banned by the Synod, such as Conjuration and Necromancy. The College of Whispers hopes to learn that our College also supports these avenues of research. Thus they may claim that the Synod is indeed a political minority in the Empire and should be treated as such. Our actual position and policies are irrelevant. No matter the facts of the response, it will certainly be twisted to suit the whims of either group. Indeed, it has been jokingly suggested that we send the exact same response to both, which each will warp into support for their side. At present, these two groups do little beyond attempting to gain the attention and favor of the Emperor. They appear to have little interest in real study and research for the sake of gaining knowledge. Arch-Mage Aren believes that their conflict poses a significant threat to the autonomy of our College, and I concur. Falling in with either would threaten to draw much unwanted attention to our College. If either group goes through less official channels and attempt to contact you directly, please refer them to the College's Master Wizard. Say as little as possible so as to avoid compromising our neutral position."

Quest-Related EventsEdit

College Objective QuestEdit

You may hear about the College of Winterhold in conversations with certain NPCs, which starts a short miscellaneous quest to visit the College. Traveling to the College and speaking to Faralda completes the quest and initiates the next, First Lessons.

First LessonsEdit

Upon arriving in Winterhold, you will find Faralda, the gatekeeper, standing at the start of a bridge leading up to the College. Approaching Faralda will cause her to forcegreet you and issue a warning:

"Cross the bridge at your own peril! The way is dangerous, and the gate will not open. You shall not gain entry!"

If you exit dialogue and speak to her again, she will welcome you:

"Welcome to the College of Winterhold. I am Faralda, one of the senior Wizards here. I trust you found your journey to Winterhold not entirely unpleasant. Now, I must advise you that if your only purpose in being here is to complain, you would be far better off speaking with the Jarl of Winterhold. If, however, you seek something more, I will be happy to assist you.
Is there some way I can assist you?"

She can also say:

"Greetings. Welcome to the College of Winterhold."

You can ask her several questions.

Why are you out here?
"I am here to assist those seeking the wisdom of the College. And if, in the process, my presence helps to deter those who might seek to do harm, so be it. The more important question is: why are you here?"
Why would I want to complain about the College? (Only available after hearing her line about "if your only purpose in being here is to complain...")
"It is no great secret that we have been unjustly blamed for a great many things over the years. The good people of Skyrim on occasion would rather pass judgment than attempt to understand what we do here. Thus we must take certain precautions in order to secure our safety.
What is this place?
"Oh, forgive me. Most who arrive here do so because they have heard of the College beforehand. This is the College of Winterhold, a safe haven for mages in Skyrim. A place of wisdom and arcane knowledge."
May I enter the College?
"Perhaps. But what is it you expect to find within?"

You will then have several options.

Option Dialogue
I want to use the power of ice and fire to destroy any who oppose me. "I see. That power certainly exists, I assure you. Wield it faithfully, and few can withstand you."
I desire to bend the will of those around me. "Yes, the school of Illusion can be quite influential. Kings have risen to power because of it, and empires have been razed with it."
I want to unravel the mysteries of Aetherius. "Ah, the immortal plane. It is said to be the source of all magic. This is a noble goal, indeed."
I seek the knowledge of the Elder Scrolls. "Do you? It is true there are some here who have spent years studying the accumulated knowledge of the scrolls. But what you seek does not come easily, and can destroy those without a strong will."
I just wanted to see what it looks like inside. "Ha! Humor is often in short supply here. But I sense that perhaps you're after more than just that."
Only available during the quests Elder Knowledge and Scroll ScoutingDG or if you have completed those quests without speaking to Faralda previously.

Faralda will then say, "It would seem that the College has what you seek. The question now is what you can offer the College. Not just anyone is allowed inside. Those wishing to enter must show some degree of skill with magic. A small test, if you will."

You will again have several options. One option is to persuade her, but it is the hardest speech check in the game, requiring a Speech skill of 100 to pass. The Persuasion perk reduces this to 70, while the Amulet of Articulation will make all persuasions automatically succeed.

I think we both know I'll succeed here. (Persuade)
"You know, I think you're right." (Passed)
"No, I'm afraid I don't know anything of the sort." (Failed)

Alternatively, if you are on the quest Elder Knowledge, you can tell her that you are Dragonborn:

Would you grant entry to the Dragonborn?
"It's been so long since we've had any contact with the Greybeards. Do you really have the Voice? I would be most impressed to see that."

While waiting for you to show her the Voice, Faralda may say:

"If it's true, and you do have the Voice, would you mind showing me? I've never seen it first-hand."

After demonstrating a Shout in her presence, you can say:

That proves I have the Voice.
"So the stories are true... you are Dragonborn! Normally you'd need to show some aptitude with one of the schools of magic, but you... I think there is much that we can learn from each other."

Otherwise, you can say:

I'll take your test, then.

Faralda will randomly select one of five apprentice-level spells from each school.

"A standard spell for one skilled in Destruction magic is the Firebolt. Casting one at the seal on the ground here would be sufficient."
"Those invested in Restoration magic find Healing Hands to be essential. Can you cast it on me? That would prove your skill."
"The Fear spell has saved the life of many an Illusion mage. If you could cast it on the seal here on the ground, that would prove your skill."
"The Flame Atronach is a vital companion for anyone relying on Conjuration. Summoning one here would certainly show your skill."
"The Mage Light spell is useful to any mage, not just those specializing in Alteration. Can you cast one on the seal on the ground?"

You have several options:

Okay, I can do that.
"I look forward to it."
Never mind. I'm not interested.
"No? Very well, it's your choice."

If you don't know the spell she selects, you can tell her:

I don't know that spell./I don't know the <Spell Name> spell. (The second option only occurs if you exit dialogue/tell her never mind then talk to her again.)
"No? Well, if you think you're capable of it, then I'd be happy to provide it to you for a mere 30 gold. Or you can try your luck with one of the court wizards around Skyrim. They also sell spells."

You can tell her never mind, getting the same response as above, or you can say:

Okay, this is for the spell. (Give 30 gold)
"Here you are. Now I'm anxious to see you cast it."

If you exit the conversation or tell her never mind, and then talk to her again, the dialogue will be slightly different.

May I enter the College?
"If you can pass the test, then yes."

You will have the same option to persuade her or tell her that you are Dragonborn (only available if you are on the quest Elder Knowledge).

I'll take your test, then.
"Excellent. Yes, you were going to demonstrate your ability, were you not?"

You will then have the same "Okay, I can do that."/"Never mind. I'm not interested." options as above.

Once you have passed the test, Faralda will say:

"Well done indeed. I think you'll be a superb addition to the College. Welcome, Apprentice. I'll lead you across the bridge. Once you're inside you'll want to speak with Mirabelle Ervine, our Master Wizard. Please, follow me."

You can talk to her for more information. The first two options were previously available if you exited dialogue and spoke to her again.

I'd like to know more about the College.
"We are the only group left in Skyrim dedicated to the study of the arcane. There are others who study, to be sure, but they do so in private, and often in secret."
Are there many problems with the locals? (Only available if you had previously asked "Why would I want to complain about the College?")
"No, not recently at least. We don't mistake that for acceptance, though. Odds are they're simply too afraid to confront us directly. And most of us are quite satisfied with that."
Who is Mirabelle Ervine?
"She's the Master-Wizard here. Arch-Mage Aren may be in charge, but Mirabelle runs the place. You'd do well to remember that."
Where did I need to go again?
"You'll need to speak with Mirabelle Ervine. Her quarters are in the Hall of Countenance, but she could be anywhere on the grounds."

During this time, she may also say:

"Much knowledge lies within the College's walls."
"The College is an asset to Skyrim, even if it goes unnoticed or unappreciated."
"Winterhold's glory days may lie behind it, but the College lives on."
"No matter what, the College will endure."

After exiting dialogue:

"Mirabelle will be waiting for you."

Hitting the BooksEdit

When you return from Saarthal after discovering the mysterious orb, Faralda may approach and warn you that Ancano is looking for you.

"There you are. I've been trying to find you. I just wanted to let you know that Ancano's been asking about you. I think he's looking for you."
Why would Ancano be looking for me?
"I'm not sure. Just... Well, mind what you tell him, all right?"

You have two options, which lead to mostly the same response:

What does it matter what I say to him?
"Between the two of us, there are rumors about him. That this "advisor" position he has is a sham, an excuse. That what he's really doing is spying for the Thalmor, trying to feed them information. Whether it's true, I can't say. But it never hurts to be a little suspicious, does it?"
Is there a problem?
"No, no. Well, I don't think so. Between the two of us, there are rumors about him. That this "advisor" position he has is a sham, an excuse. That what he's really doing is spying for the Thalmor, trying to feed them information. Whether it's true, I can't say. But it never hurts to be a little suspicious, does it?"

You again have two options:

Thanks for the warning.
"You're welcome."
I'll say what I like to him.
"Of course. That's your choice. I just wanted to let you know."

Good IntentionsEdit

During Good Intentions, Faralda can help you find the Augur of Dunlain.

Have you ever heard of the Augur of Dunlain?
"The Augur? Really? Well, it's certainly not my place to say anything about it. I think you'd better go see Mirabelle Ervine."


Faralda and Arniel ready to fend off the magic anomalies

After Ancano starts drawing power from the Eye of Magnus and Savos Aren is killed, Tolfdir asks you to save Winterhold from the magic anomalies. Faralda and Arniel Gane will be waiting for you on the bridge.

Faralda will ask about Ancano and the Eye:

"What's going on? What happened in there?"

You have two options:

Something went wrong. Winterhold may be in danger. Can you help?
"It 'may be' in danger? Take a look. I don't think there's much question. Let's get down there. We have to do something."
There's no time. We have to make sure Winterhold is safe.
"We'll go with you, but when this is all over I want an explanation."
Faralda: "Come on, Arniel. Let's go."
Arniel: "Do we have to? They'd never lift a finger to help us."

Talking to Faralda during the quest will have her say:

"We've got to stay focused."

After destroying all of the magic anomalies:

Faralda: "That looks like it's the last of them. We'll stay here. Get back to the College and let them know what's going on. Arniel, stay on your guard. We can't let harm come to these people."

The Staff of MagnusEdit

During The Staff of Magnus, Faralda can say:

"We've got to find a way to put a stop to this."

After you have retrieved the Staff of Magnus, she can also say:

"I hope whatever you're going to do will work."

The Eye of MagnusEdit

During The Eye of Magnus, Faralda can say:

"We never should have brought that thing here..."

Destruction Ritual SpellEdit

After reaching a skill level of 100 in Destruction, you can ask Faralda about additional training.

What else is there to be learned about Destruction magic?
"I daresay you've learned all I can teach you. But... That doesn't mean there isn't more out there."
What do you mean?
"Over the years I've heard things. Powerful magics lost to the ages, incredible spells that only the most skilled mages can master. This is the only thing I've ever found. I think it's better off in your hands."

Faralda will hand you the book Power of the Elements, starting the quest Destruction Ritual Spell. Once you have completed the quest, Faralda will start selling Spell Tome: Blizzard and Spell Tome: Lightning Storm.

The Black StarEdit

During the quest The Black Star, you will be sent to look for an elven mage who studies stars. You can ask Faralda to see if she can tell you anything.

Is there an elven mage here that studies stars?
"Why specifically stars? Wait, you aren't referring to... No, there's no way you would know about that."

You have two options:

What is it? What happened?
"It was a few years ago. A few of the mages got overconfident and were exiled. They had no talent, anyway. I hear one of them, Nelacar, still hangs around the Frozen Hearth. Guess he has no where else to go, poor thing."
Would you believe I was given a vision?
"Well, I've certainly heard worse things. I think the man you want to talk to is Nelacar. He was exiled a few years ago, bad research. Still hangs around the Frozen Hearth."

Research ThiefEdit

Research Thief is an unfinished quest in which Nirya would have tasked you with stealing Faralda's Notes. You would have had the option of either fulfilling Nirya's request for 100 gold or informing Faralda of Nirya's plan.

If you had decided to expose Nirya's scheme to Faralda:

Nirya wanted me to steal your notes.
"She what? Oh, I should've known she'd try it again! Thanks for warning me. I'll see to it this is taken care of."

Standard MerchandiseEdit

This is the merchandise found in Faralda's merchant chest. These items are only available if purchased from the merchant; they cannot be pickpocketed or stolen. They are restocked every two days.

Count Item Details
1 Complete set of Novice Destruction Spell Tomes
1 Complete set of Apprentice Destruction Spell Tomes
1 Complete set of Adept Destruction Spell Tomes Only if PC's skill level is ≥ 40
1 Complete set of Expert Destruction Spell Tomes Only if PC's skill level is ≥ 65
1 Spell Tome: Blizzard Only after Destruction Ritual Spell has been completed
1 Spell Tome: Lightning Storm
10 Leveled Destruction Robes (enchanted)
5 Leveled Mages Hood (enchanted)
5 Leveled Mages Robes (enchanted)
~9 Leveled Scrolls Max 12 (12@75%)
~15 Leveled Soul Gems (empty and full) Max 20 (20@75%)
~1 Leveled Staves Max 2 (2@25%)