Should I kill Cicero in Skyrim? (All benefits and negatives Explored)

The Dark Brotherhood will put you on a number of spooky quests where you have to make some very questionable choices. Killing the jester, you found carrying the Night Mother is one of those quests.

Cicero is the Keeper of the Dark Brotherhood’s Sanctuary and is fiercely loyal to the leader of the Dark Brotherhood. He is seen in the game carrying the Night Mother around and seems to have a special relationship with her, which is why it comes off as a bit odd when the leader of the brotherhood wants you to kill Cicero.

Personally, I don’t feel bad killing the weird twerp since he shows enmity towards us for being the Listener and not him.

Nevertheless, there must be a reason why the brotherhood wants us to off one of the most loyal assassins. Read on and find out everything there is to know about Cicero and the consequences of killing him or letting him live.

First, let’s begin with who Cicero is and what his backstory is.

Who Is Cicero In Skyrim?

Cicero is a wild card character in Skyrim; he is part of the Dark Brotherhood, he is the Keeper of their Sanctuary, and he is known for his odd behavior, like talking to a skull and his maniacal laughter.

Cicero’s backstory in the game is not fully fleshed out, but it is revealed that he has been carrying the Night Mother for 8 years, trying to communicate with her.

It is said that he became the Keeper after his predecessor was killed, and Cicero was the only one who knew the location of the Sanctuary.

Cicero has five journals lying around his room in Falkreath Sanctuary that tell the story of how he went crazy. He used to be a killer for the Dark Brotherhood, known for his sneaky ways, and was part of the Sanctuary in Bravil.

He got voted to be the Keeper of the Night Mother and the leader of the Dark Brotherhood. He had one last job, to kill a jester, and ended up getting obsessed with him. He went mad, locked himself in the Sanctuary alone, and eventually fled to Skyrim with the Night Mother’s coffin.

Cicero is portrayed as a deeply unstable individual; he is seemingly obsessed with becoming the Listener. He often has fits of maniacal laughter, has poor hygiene, and is heavily implied to be suffering from various mental illnesses.

He may be strange, but he is a skilled assassin who will defend the Sanctuary with his life, and is a loyal supporter of the Dark Brotherhood leader up until he starts questioning Astrid’s leadership which leads you to the ‘The Cure for Madness’ in the Dark Brotherhood main storyline, where you are tasked to end the mad clown’s life (don’t worry, we’re still talking about Skyrim, not Batman).

The Cure for Madness

After killing Gaius Maro, you have to return to the Falkreath Sanctuary, but things are not looking too good. You walk in to find Veezara looking worse for wear, Arnbjorn nowhere in sight, and Astrid clearly not in the best of moods.

It seems like Cicero, who’s been acting a little off lately, had a full-on meltdown and took a swing at Astrid for questioning the Night Mother’s authority. Veezara stepped in, but Cicero still managed to high-tail it out of there, with Arnbjorn hot on his heels.

When you catch up to them at the Dawnstar Sanctuary, you find Arnbjorn in pretty rough shape. You start your search for Cicero, fighting through some spooky assassins along the way.

And finally, you find Cicero wounded and ranting like a madman. You have the choice to finish him off or let him live. If you spare him, he’s going to stick around at the Dawnstar Sanctuary, even after Penitus Oculatus takes down the Falkreath Sanctuary.

What Happens If You Let Cicero Live?

If you sympathize with Cicero and you want him to live. Simply leave the Sanctuary and lie to Astrid that he is dead, and the quest will be marked complete. It is more advantageous for you to keep Cicero alive, as he will then be able to act as a follower for your character once the questline is completed.

You can go back to Cicero and get him as a follower. He is much livelier and quirkier than other followers in the game. Not to mention he’s a master assassin with a tremendous skill that will be beneficial to you for your adventure in Skyrim.

You also have the option to kill the jester, and it won’t deprive you of him as a follower either, so read on and find out what happens after you kill Cicero.

What Happens If You Kill Cicero?

If you choose to kill Cicero after he runs off to the Dawnstar Sanctuary, you will not gain any significant rewards or benefits.

It is important for you to consider this decision carefully, as there is no way to revive Cicero once he is killed unless your character has mastery over the necromancy skill.

After killing Cicero, you can loot his dead body for some high-value goods.

Cicero is a special character in the game, with unique abilities and characteristics that set him apart from other NPCs. Unlike most NPCs, when you resurrect Cicero using a conjuration spell, he will retain his distinct personality, dialogue, and abilities, acting just like he would have as a follower if he were still alive.

It is not entirely clear why this is the case, it could be a unique feature of the game, but it is more likely that Cicero’s spiritual connection to Sithis and other factors allow him to retain his memories and abilities when brought back to life.

So, Cicero is not just a generic zombie; he maintains his eccentric and lively personality, making him stand out among other NPCs. Hence, if you want him as a follower, but you want to kill him as well, then simply cast a conjuration spell after he has died.

Check out more amazing articles in our Skyrim blog.


Cicero is a wild card character in Skyrim, found carrying the Night Mother around and fiercely loyal to the leader of the Dark Brotherhood. When the leader orders the Listener to kill Cicero, it is unclear why. The five journals in his room in Falkreath Sanctuary tell the story of how he went crazy. Players must decide to either kill him or let him live. If they choose to kill him, they will be rewarded with high-value goods. If they choose to spare him, he can become a follower for their character. Killing Cicero will mean he can’t be revived unless the character has mastery of necromancy. If resurrected, Cicero will retain his distinct personality, dialogue, and abilities.

  • Cicero is a character in the game Skyrim who is a member of the Dark Brotherhood and serves as the Keeper of the Night Mother’s Sanctuary.
  • He has a tendency to be erratic and a bit overzealous in his duties.
  • The player can choose to kill him or spare him, though it must be noted that if Cicero is killed, the Dark Brotherhood questline will end prematurely.
  • It is recommended that players should spare Cicero, as he can be an interesting character to interact with and can be a potential follower.
  • Killing him may have consequences for the player, as he may be hostile towards them in future encounters.

The CareerGamers Newsletter

Sign up for my CareerGamer newsletter and, every month, I’ll send you an email stuffed full of my latest articles, guides, interviews, downloadable resources, news, and more.

Sign up using the form below.

Subscribe to our Youtube Success Newsletter

* indicates required

Nick Sinclair

Having played games since the golden age of the Commodore 64, Nick finally took the plunge and studied Creative Game Design in university. After 3 years of "Study", Nick co-founded a games company where he soon discovered his true calling: writing about games. 11 years later Nick writes about a tower of topics, but gaming is always stacked neatly at the top.

Recent Posts