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Skyrim:Find the Thalmor Assassin

< Skyrim: Quests: Miscellaneous
The Thalmor are after Malborn. Help him get to safety.
Quest Giver: Malborn
Location(s): Windhelm
Prerequisite Quest: Diplomatic Immunity
Reward: Leveled Gold
ID: MQ201Malborn
Malborn is down on his luck

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Talk to Malborn after the quest Diplomatic Immunity.
  2. Locate and kill the assassin.
  3. Return to Malborn.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

An Old FriendEdit

If you manage to get Malborn out of the Thalmor Embassy alive at the end of Diplomatic Immunity, he will run all the way to Windhelm seeking shelter in the New Gnisis Cornerclub, a Dunmer tavern located in the Gray Quarter. Due to his treachery, Malborn is obviously blacklisted by the Thalmor, and has decided to flee to Morrowind; however, every time he tries to sneak out of Windhelm, he sees a suspicious Khajiit outside the gates. Convinced that the Thalmor have sent an assassin to kill him, and still blaming you and Delphine for putting him in a tight spot, the scared Malborn is now stuck in the Cornerclub and will request your assistance to get him to safety.

An assassin waits for his prey outside Windhelm

A Stranger in Their MidstEdit

Malborn will not provide a description of the supposed Khajiit assassin, instead just saying that he is standing outside the city gates. Your map marker will disappear when you exit Windhelm, so cross the pathway and make your way to the Khajiit trading caravan camped near the Windhelm Stables. You will find the caravan leader Ma'dran in his tent and his fellow Khajiit roaming around, offering their services. One of them is actually a stranger in the group called J'datharr, who stands on the fringes away from the others. When approached, J'datharr will initially try to brush you off, but upon hearing that you have a message from Malborn, he'll reply with: "Malborn? Ah... very good. I think we understand each other." After saying this, he will break his cover and attack you; the Khajiiti caravanners will not intervene on either side, so it's a simple duel to the death. After the kill, loot his body and read his note, obviously written by the Thalmor. Lastly, return to the Cornerclub and tell Malborn the good news. He will be grateful and will reward you with some of the gold he stole from the Thalmor. He will then leave Windhelm, head towards the safety of Morrowind, and disappear from the game.

Levels Reward
1-5 50
6-10 100
11-15 150
16-20 200
21+ 250


  • Immediately after learning of the assassin's death, Malborn starts running out of the city. He will head out all the way to Refugees' Rest, and as soon as he reaches the podium with the Decree of Monument on it, he gets disabled from the game.
    • If you freed Brelas from the Thalmor Embassy Dungeon, she will be with Malborn in Windhelm, and will also accompany him to Morrowind. However, no-one will acknowledge her presence, nor will she gain any new dialogue.


  • J'datharr carries a nameless object. When dropped, it turns into a large red square with a pink exclamation mark inside it and cannot be picked back up, this is due to the item lacking a world model. This item is actually a world item internally known as HelgenCandleLight01NS, a light source to be specific. It is unknown why he possesses this, but it could be due to him needing a light source for his torch holding animation. (details)
  • If you let the hidden 24 hour timer between arriving in Windhelm after Malborn getting there, and the caravan returning to their old route, run out, you will be unable to speak to the assassin, preventing the quest from progressing.
    • Killing J'datharr will advance the quest. If you don't want to just attack him in cold blood, cast Frenzy on him; even if his level is too high to be affected, he will turn hostile, allowing you to kill him and continue the quest.
    •   You can circumvent this by opening the console and entering setstage MQ201Malborn 30. This will place a quest marker on the assassin and allow you to talk to him. After picking "Malborn has a message for you." he will turn hostile and you can kill him normally.

Quest StagesEdit

Find the Thalmor Assassin (MQ201Malborn)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
20 I met Malborn hiding out in Windhelm. He thinks there's a Thalmor assassin on his trail, a Khajiit, waiting for him outside the city. I promised I'd take care of this assassin, if there really is one.
Objective 10: Find the Thalmor assassin
100 I met Malborn hiding out in Windhelm. I killed the Thalmor assassin who was on his trail. I should let him know it's safe for him to leave Windhelm.
Objective 20: Tell Malborn the assassin is dead
150 Finishes quest 
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 10, 15, 30, 50, 80, 110, 200, 300.
  • 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 MQ201Malborn 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 MQ201Malborn.