Where is Lydia in Skyrim? A guide to finding her

She’s left me. Maybe for good this time.

Skyrim is full of wonder and mystery, but finding the follower Lydia is one mystery we would rather not solve. She’s always hard to find. It makes you wonder, where is Lydia in Skyrim?

Not only that, but she has a terrible habit of wandering around after she has been dismissed as your follower, making her very hard to find. Finding a needle in a haystack is hard enough, but finding a needle that changes position every five minutes is even more difficult.

But it’s actually quite simple to locate Lydia. There is a recognizable pattern to her behavior and appearances in the world that can be learned and anticipated.

When first introduced to Lydia in Skyrim, she can be found near the entrance inside Dragonsreach Castle, Whiterun. If she is already your follower and you dismiss her, she will either reappear at Dragonsreach or, if you are married, she will return to your home.

Okay, now you have a quick understanding of where Lydia can be found in Skyrim. But there is so much more to learn about where to find this incredibly popular NPC, such as how she travels the world back to Whiterun once Dismissed. Let’s kick this article off by briefly looking at who Lydia is, how you meet her, and what benefits she offers you.

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Who is Lydia in Skyrim?

In this section, I’m just going to give you a quick introduction to who Lydia is, how she enters your adventures, and some of the broad benefits she offers the player.

A Nord Housecarl, Lydia is obtained upon completing the early main story quest “Dragon Rising”. She is awarded the title of Housecarl by Balgruuf the Greater in Dragonsreach, Whiterun, right after the Dragonborn is promoted to the title of Thane.

This title brings with it many privileges, including the right to be protected and served by a Housecarl. As Housecarl, Lydia is devoted to protecting you, the Dragonborn, with her life. She is also tasked with carrying your burdens and will do her best to ensure you have the resources and support you need on your adventures.

By becoming your Housecarl, Lydia effectively provides you with your first follower, provided that you have completed the initial main story quest line. She is of great value to you, offering her services and standing by your side in times of trouble. She is skilled in close-quarter combat and can cast a spell. She is best paired, in my experience, with a player character that prefers medium to long-range combat. This way, the player can send Lydia into battle to keep your enemies busy while you attack from safety from long range with arrows and magic.

Her experience and skill can provide invaluable aid, making her an irreplaceable companion in any journey.

Additionally, you can marry Lydia if you so choose. This opens up even more opportunities for Lydia to provide support and advice as you progress through your adventures in Skyrim.

In the next section, I’ll look at where you can find Lydia initially when playing Skyrim.

How to initially find Lydia in Skyrim?

In this section, I’ll take a look at where you’ll initially find Lydia when you are first awarded her as Housecarl to the player.

Lydia can be found in the city of Whiterun, which is located in the center of Skyrim’s map. When you arrive in Whiterun. First, you must complete the main quest line, “Dragon Rising.”

Upon completing this quest, Lord Balgruuf, the greater, the effective King of Whiterun, will promote Lydia to Housecarl. On this promotion, she will be sworn to protect you in any and all ways she can.

However, though Lydia has effectively been given to you as a gift, she can be quite hard to spot.

Lydia can be found to the left of the main entrance in the throne room of Dragonsreach. After your conversation with Balgruuf, turn 180 degrees and head towards the exit of the keep. You’ll find Lydia on your left near the large doors of the exit.

Once found, you can, at this point, interact with Lydia and ask her to follow you. She will continue to follow you on all of your adventures throughout Skyrim until she is dismissed.

In summary, Lydia is the player’s Housecarl, given to them by Lord Balgruuf the Greater upon completing the main quest line, “Dragon Rising.” She can be found in the throne room near the exit of Dragonsreach in Whiterun and will follow the player on all of their adventures throughout Skyrim until dismissed.

But hang on, where do you find Lydia if you have recruited her and dismissed her? In the next section, i’ll look at where Lydia goes if you dismiss her on your adventures.

Where to find Lydia after you Dismiss her while out adventuring?

Have you ever wondered where Lydia goes if you dismiss her as a follower when you are out roaming the world? Then this is the section for you.

One of the main problems I encountered when keeping Lydia as a follower was finding her again if I dismissed her. This is a problem that I think most Skyrim players have encountered while playing the game. Lydia seems to disappear off the face of Tamriel.

Despite being dismissed, Lydia does not simply disappear and reappear elsewhere on the map. She travels across Skyrim in real-time and returns to Whiterun, no matter where she is dismissed. This is remarkable, as Lydia travels back to Whiterun at roughly the same speed as the player would in real-time.

It is possible to find Lydia wandering through the wastes of Skyrim, although it is not an easy task. Skyrim tends to transport NPCs from place to place when you are not around rather than allowing them to move realistically through the world. You may have to search for a while before finding her, as the game’s NPC teleportation system constantly changes her location. If you are persistent, however, and enter the correct area of the map, you may eventually encounter Lydia, slowly making her way toward Whiterun, her original hometown. Searching for her can be difficult and time-consuming, but it is worthwhile if you want to reunite with your companion.

Usually, NPCs such as Lydia will travel via the map’s main pathways. The reason for this is twofold. One, it seems realistic. If you had to travel a frozen arctic wasteland, wouldn’t you use available well-trodden routes and roads? Of course, you would. Secondly, it simplifies the AI. Skyrim has to keep track of a lot of NPCs. So, whenever one travels across the world, the journey is simplified by only letting them travel along designated roads and paths.

The fact that Lydia actually has to travel back to Whiterun in real time is pretty cool, and it can be a great way to explore the world of Skyrim. However, this can also lead to a few issues. If you happen to make it back to Whiterun before Lydia, you won’t have the chance to recruit her again until she arrives.

And this can lead to some confusion as to where in the world, literally, she is. Fortunately, if you wait or sleep, Lydia should appear in Dragonsreach Keep after 24-48 in-game hours.

The second problem is that Lydia will not always appear where you first met her, by the main exit of Dragonsreach. When she returns to Dragonsreach, she has a tendency to roam around and can be difficult to find in the keep’s labyrinthine corridors.

So you may have to run around and search the castle until she is found. From my experience, she will spend most of her time in the throne room. But, she will usually try to find a bed to sleep in if it’s nighttime. So be sure to check all the rooms and their beds.

Lydia, a follower in Skyrim, does not simply disappear when dismissed but instead travels across the game in real-time and makes her way back to Whiterun. Though her location is constantly changing, she can be found by searching the main pathways on the map. When she returns to Whiterun, she may be difficult to find in the castle’s corridors, but if you wait or sleep, she will appear in Dragonsreach Keep after 24-48 in-game hours.

But hang on, what if you’ve married Lydia? Will she still show up at Dragonsreach? We’ll find out in the next section.

Where to find Lydia if you are Marryed to her?

So you spent so much time with Lydia that you thought it would be a good idea to make an honest woman out of her and marry her. Good for you! But where does Lydia go if you dismiss her as a follower while you are married? In this section, you’ll find out.

First off, Lydia is a fantastic follower to marry in Skyrim. She offers a number of perks that every player would desire. She offers the player the gift of 100 gold per day, and she’ll make stat-boosting meals for you.

She’ll also do all the normal things a follower does, such as fighting for you and protecting you.

And if you sleep with her (Way-hay!), you’ll get a passive bonus that boosts how much XP you gather from quests and battles.

But where does she go if you take Lydia out adventuring while married and then dismiss her?

If you chose a marriage home when you got married to Lydia, she will travel back to that house after she has been dismissed. On being dismissed, she will travel back to your home in real-time. So it may take her a few days to get there. Don’t worry, she can’t be harmed on her travels.

If you didn’t choose a marriage home when marrying Lydia, then she will reappear in Dragonsreach keep.

In the next and final section, I’ll pull everything together with a simple conclusion and reminder of the article’s main points. See you there!


Lydia is a Nord Housecarl that is obtained upon completion of the early main story quest “Dragon Rising” in Whiterun, and will follow the player on all of their adventures throughout Skyrim until dismissed. If dismissed, Lydia will travel back to Whiterun in real-time, or to the player’s marriage home if they are married. She offers the player many benefits, such as protection, carrying burdens, and marriage.

  • Lydia is a Nord Housecarl, who is awarded to the player upon completion of the “Dragon Rising” quest in Whiterun
  • Lydia is devoted to protecting and serving the player and can be useful in close and long-range combat
  • The player can marry Lydia, which opens up more opportunities for support and advice on their adventures
  • Lydia will travel back to Whiterun in real time if dismissed or to the player’s marriage home if they are married

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Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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