Stewards and housecarls?

What is the difference between a houscarl and steward? Are you allowed to have both at the same house?  In Hearthfire when I get a housecarl after becoming Thane can I also employ my follower as steward of the same house? I couldn't find a Hearthfire forum for this question.




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Last updated September 28, 2018 Views 167 Applies to:

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This is the correct forum.

Hearthfire is part of Skyrim. They don't make individual forums just for DLC.

Ok...thank you.

To the best of my knowledge, the difference is as follows:


A housecarl is assigned to you by a Jarl, for becoming Thane of that Jarl's hold/city. If you don't own a home in that Jarl's hold, you will still be given a housecarl (if you become Thane). Your housecarl will simply stay in the Jarl's Longhouse until you purchase, or build in Hearthfire's case, a home for that particular hold or in that city. A housecarl really doesn't do much aside from sit around your house and munch on bread/drink and say "Honor to you my Thane!". A housecarl can obviously also be a follower. A housecarl (in Hearthfire) can also be a steward if you ask him or her to be.


A steward is only available for a home that you have built, as in Hearthfire but you are not 'assigned' a steward, you must either ask a housecarl or a follower to become one. (I don't have Dragonborn DLC, so don't know if there is a difference with it). I believe you can ask any follower to become a steward for any Hearthfire house. A steward will 'take care' of your home, you can ask your steward to buy building materials, make improvements and furnish your home, as well as buy animals and horses.


In short, housecarls will watch over and protect your property for you, whereas a steward will help you furnish your home and get supplies to do so. I usually just ask my housecarl to also be a steward, but I believe you can have both a housecarl and a different NPC/follower as a steward if you want.

Thanks so much. I'm about to retire my follower for a different one and he keeps offering to be steward of my Windstad Manor house. Since I'm about to become Thane I know I'll get a housecarl so I wanted to be sure I could have both. Now I'm wondering if I make him steward can I then dismiss him as my follower so I can have a different follower?? Oh....too many rules, haha.

I'm pretty sure you can, any follower in the game can be dismissed... unless they're 'assigned' to you for a certain quest, in which case, they won't be dismiss-able until said quest is completed. I can ask my steward to be a follower, so the option to do the opposite and dismiss a steward that is a follower should be there. Of course, my stewards are all housecarls from the beginning, so they're 'pulling double duty' so to speak, but I don't see why it would be any different for a follower. You shouldn't be stuck with any follower unless it's quest related. Then you're only stuck with them until you finish that quest.

Most of what has been said is correct, the exception to the "Steward" is that once they have that job, they are in it for life and will not be replaced. You can't have it both ways. Take for example: Mjoll the Lioness can be your follower or your steward. As a simple follower, she can be dismissed and will return to Riften and her boyfriend. As a "Steward" she can still be dismissed from helping you but she will return to your "Hearthfire" built home and her boyfriend will follow her were she will remain until you tell her you need her help.

Once you are "Thane" you will be "assigned" a "Housecarl" and that character is really there to protect you and all that you own with their life. You can however use that character to also be your "Steward". So a "Housecarl" is almost a "Steward" already.

I hope this helps.

@ Angelus... I was thinking those things when I was answering but for some reason I didn't end up typing them. lol Well, except for the fact that I did forget that a steward can't be dismissed from stewardship. I've just never been in a position where I've wanted to dismiss one.


Thanks for covering what I missed... hey, wanna be my steward? lol

Thank you all for the info. I appreciate it. My main train of thought is this....I have a follower (Faendal) who I'm ready to dismiss and go with Marcurio as a follower. So I thought I would make Faendal steward of Windstad but would he still be considered a follower or would I be free to hire Marcurio to follow me? As I understand it I am only able to have one human follower unless it's quest related and if I try to hire Marcurio won't I get the "you already have a follower " message?. I know I can have my housecarl as steward but (and I'm embarrassed to say this) I would like to have two people at Windstad and I can't stand that bards voice. Also I'm sort of attached to Faendal but Marcurios spells are really sweet. Sorry I'm making this so complicated.

Once you make Faendal your steward (IF he is still your follower), you should simply be able to 'dismiss' him as a follower using the usual "It's time for us to part ways" dialog. As long as you have made him your steward at Winstad, he will return there rather than his previous home and you will be free to choose another follower.


I have heard that sometimes when you ask a follower to be a steward, the game automatically 'dismisses' them as your follower for you. Although I may have this confused with a bug where the game will dismiss your follower if you ask a housecarl (who is already at your house, but is not your current follower) to be your steward.


In any case, here is what I would do in order to accomplish what you're wanting.


1. Take Faendal to Winstad.

2. Enter the house and ask him to be your steward after you're inside.

3. After he accepts, make sure he is no longer a follower (simply activate him again to see if the 'part ways' option is still there).

4. Once you've made him your steward and have verified he is no longer a follower as well, you should be free to go get Marcurio.


Just me personally, but if I want 2 people at a particular house, I marry one and have the housecarl as the other. I have 5 people at Lakeview all the time. A wife, bard, housecarl and 2 children. It's... a fun... place.  lol

Marriage is out of the question. This one's a Khajiit. I will get a carriage driver once I have my steward. Not sure about children. Valdimar, my housecarl, is never there. He is always wandering off into the hills and only comes in to sleep occasionally. I will follow your suggestion and hopefully Faendal will soon be taking care of the manor and Marcurio and I will be off adventuring.  :)

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