Missing in Action | Side quests

This section of our TES V: Skyrim guide provides a comprehensive walkthrough for the Missing in Action side quest. The quest involves finding evidence of Thorald’s fate, who has been imprisoned by Thalmors. You need to locate and free him, and then escort him to safety. During your investigation, you will face some minor choices.

  • Activate the quest
  • New main objective: Find evidence of Thorald’s fate
  • New main objective: Deliver proof to Avulstein
  • New main objective: Find a way to release Thorald from Thalmor custody
  • New main objective: Rescue Thorald from Northwatch Keep
  • New main objective: Lead Thorald to safety
  • New main objective: Speak to Thorald Gray-Mane
  • New main objective: Return to Fralia Gray-Mane

Activate the quest

You can activate this quest in two ways. Either speak with Fralia Gray-Mane in the Whiterun marketplace, who will ask you to help her find her son. Alternatively, head straight to her house and speak with the grey-haired man to learn about Thorald’s fate.

Your objective is to find out what happened with Thorald Gray-Mane, who was opposing the imperial authority and got kidnapped because of it. Begin with their biggest enemy, the Battle-Born.

New main objective: Find evidence of Thorald’s fate

After speaking with Avulstein Gray-Mane, go to the House of Clan Battle-Born in Whiterun to obtain the necessary information. You can either steal the Imperial Missive from the room on the left or persuade Idolaf Battle-Born to tell you everything he knows. Alternatively, steal a key to the room with the Imperial Missive from any of the inhabitants and take the note. You can also steal the compromising love letters from Jon and threaten to reveal the correspondence to get the Battle-Born to bring you the document you’re looking for.

New main objective: Deliver proof to Avulstein

Look through the documents taken from the House of Clan Battle-Born to learn that Thorald had been kidnapped by General Tullius and is being held at Northwatch Keep. Give the evidence to the Gray-Mane family.

To start the quest, bring the Imperial Missive to Avulstein Gray-Mane. He will inform you that his brother, Thorald, has been captured by the Thalmor and is being held in an old imperial stronghold. Avulstein is determined to free his brother and will do anything to accomplish this task. You can choose to accompany him in his attack on the Northwatch Keep or state that you will do it alone. Either way, you will face a tough fight against the Elves.

Your main objective is to find a way to release Thorald from Thalmor custody. There are two options: declare an all-out war against the Elves with Avulstein or quietly sneak into the keep. However, sneaking in is nearly impossible, and the guards will be alerted once you rescue Thorald. It is best to attack the keep with Avulstein and defeat the seven Elves guarding it.

The Northwatch Keep is located in a remote part of Skyrim. To get there, go to Solitude and head northwest, but be prepared to face wild animals and bandits. Once you enter the keep, expect strong resistance from the Thalmor, including three mages. Use skills like Sneak and Archery to gain the element of surprise.

In the captain’s quarters, you will find useful items and The Legendary City of Sancre Tor, which can boost your Two-Handed skill. The captain also carries a key that can come in handy during further exploration. Head to the cells on the upper floor and kill the Interrogator and Guard. Meet with Thorald in the left corridor and free him from his shackles.

Your new main objective is to lead Thorald to safety. You can either return the same way you came or take a shorter route through the cells, but be prepared to defeat two more Elves.

The quest involves rescuing Thorald Gray-Mane and escorting him to a safe location. Once there, speak with Thorald who will thank you for freeing him and ask for a favor. He wants you to deliver a coded message to his mother, Fralia Gray-Mane in Whiterun. Upon delivering the message, Fralia will reward you with an enchanted steel weapon or a large sum of gold. Thorald will then run to Windhelm to join the Stormcloaks, while Avulstein will share the same fate. The quest will end and you can continue on with your adventures.


1. What are Missing in Action side quests?

Missing in Action side quests are optional missions that can be completed in many video games. These side quests often involve rescuing a character who has gone missing or finding a lost item. In some games, they may also involve gathering information about a character’s whereabouts or negotiating with other characters to find them. These quests can often be completed alongside the main storyline or after the main story is complete. They provide players with an opportunity to explore the game world and gain additional rewards.

2. How do I start a Missing in Action side quest?

The method for starting a Missing in Action side quest can vary depending on the game. In some games, the quest may be automatically triggered when the player enters a certain area or speaks to a specific character. In other games, the quest may be initiated by finding a specific item or completing a certain task. Players can often find information about potential side quests by speaking to non-playable characters or exploring the game world for clues.

3. What rewards can I earn from completing Missing in Action side quests?

The rewards for completing Missing in Action side quests can also vary depending on the game. In some games, players may earn additional experience points or in-game currency for completing these quests. They may also unlock new items, equipment, or abilities that are not available through the main storyline. In some cases, completing these quests may also influence the game’s ending or affect the player’s relationships with other characters.

4. Are Missing in Action side quests necessary to complete the game?

No, Missing in Action side quests are usually optional and are not required to complete the main storyline of the game. However, completing these quests can provide players with additional challenges and rewards that can enhance their overall gaming experience. Players who are interested in exploring the game world and discovering hidden secrets may find these side quests to be particularly engaging.

5. How many Missing in Action side quests are in a typical game?

The number of Missing in Action side quests can vary widely depending on the game. Some games may only have a few of these optional quests, while others may have dozens or even hundreds. The length and complexity of each quest can also vary, with some being quick and easy to complete while others may take several hours or even multiple gaming sessions to finish. Players who enjoy completing side quests may want to research the game before playing to determine how many of these quests are available and how they can be started.

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