Even the toughest adventurers need a break from dungeon diving, and when it comes to taking a little time off, nothing beats relaxing in one of Skyrim’s many inns. Whether you want to knock back a few Honningbrew meads with the locals, or catch wind of the latest rumors, inns are a welcomed source of entertainment and information.
Best Skyrim Inn
Last week, the Skyrim Fansite conducted a poll asking what was the best Skyrim inn. By a healthy margin, our readers chose The Bannered Mare as the best inn with 24% of the vote. Coming in second was The Bee and Barb with 16% and The Drunken Huntsman and Sleeping Giant Inn tied with 15% of the vote each for third place.
The Bannered Mare is located in the city of Whiterun, and is situated at the far end of the marketplace near Arcadia’s Cauldron and Belethor’s General Goods. Just look for the building with the shop sign of a rearing horse and rider — you can’t miss it.
Why Is The Bannered Mare The Best?
Out of all the inn’s scattered throughout the game, why was The Bannered Mare chosen as the best Skyrim inn? While our poll doesn’t reveal the exact reasons why readers selected The Bannered Mare for top honors, I surmise the inn’s popularity has something to do with the following:
- The Bannered Mare is located in the heart of Skyrim, and is one of the inns most players become familiar with at the beginning stages of the game.
- The inn’s architecture is warm and inviting, featuring a central room with a roaring fire pit and large, attached kitchen.
- The inn is a source of good, early level quests and interesting characters.
The Bannered Mare is a popular gathering place for the residents of Whiterun, and players can encounter just about anyone hanging about the tavern. With that said, the inn features four main characters of interest.
Hulda is the owner of The Bannered Mare. She promises guests warm food, warm drink and warm beds, and she’s true to her word: The Bannered Mare features a central tavern, large kitchen, and clean rooms upstairs. For 10 gold you can catch some z’s and gain a well-rested bonus.
Although she makes a good living running The Bannered Mare, she talks about retiring. She has a generous spirit and may give you things if you’re kind and chop some wood for the fire.
Mikael is The Bannered Mare’s bard. He’s more than willing to take requests, as long as it’s either The Age of Aggression or Ragnar the Red (for a really cool metal rendition of Ragnar the Red check out our earlier post here). He wrote A Gentleman’s Guide to Whiterun and fancies himself a ladies’ man. Ladies though, consider him annoying — just ask Carlotta Valentia.
Saadia is a beautiful woman of mystery — a Redguard working as a servant in The Bannered Mare. Without giving away too many spoilers, let’s just say that her backstory is intriguing, and that she’s wanted by certain Alik’r mercenaries. All is not as it seems with Saadia…
Uthgerd the Unbroken
To say that Uthgerd the Unbroken has a chip on her shoulder is an understatement. Rejected by the Companions, she comes across as brooding and miserable. The first time you meet her, she’ll challenge you to a brawl. If you decide to have a throw-down, you’ll win 100 gold for knocking her block off. If you win, she also becomes a potential follower, and will prove to be a more than capable fighter who’ll watch your back.
Sinmir is a tough-looking Nord warrior who hangs around The Bannered Mare. He’s got muscles and he’s got armor. The dude definitely looks like he’d make a good follower, but don’t waste your time. All he does is complain about the Whiterun guards and the lack of city security. He can’t become a follower or hireling.
Like other Skyrim inns, The Bannered Mare is a good source for quests. Here are some favorites:
|A Few Words With You||Convince Mikael to leave Carlotta Valentia alone|
|A Night To Remember||Engage in a drinking contest with Sam Guevenne|
|Argonian Ale Extraction||Steal a valuable bottle of Argonian ale for Brenuin|
|In My Time of Need||Help (or not help) Alik'r mercenaries search for a fugitive|
|The Whispering Door||Search for the cursed Ebony Blade|
|To Kill An Empire||Assassinate Emperor Titus Mede II|
So what’s your opinion? Is The Bannered Mare the best Skyrim inn? Why or why not? Please share your opinion in the Speak Your Mind section, and be sure to read our earlier article on the Silver-Blood Inn. Until next time fellow travelers!