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Kodlak Whitemane is the Harbinger of the Companions. He does not give orders, but his word is highly respected both inside Jorrvaskr and through all the nine holds.
Kodlak Whitemane is a Nord most often found near his bedroom in the living area of Jorrvaskr. Kodlak is the current Harbringer of The Companions, as of the beginning of Skyrim; and therefore also member of The Circle (the upper echelon of The Companions). For more than 20 years Kodlak Whitemane has commanded the Companions. Kodlak is highly respected for his tactical skill, his fierceness in combat and a strong commanding authority. As an elder in the Companions, Kodlak is becoming older. About a year ago he caught a disease and became very sick. His days are mournfully drawing to a close.
About a year ago, Kodlak Whitemane contracted the rot and his health has rapidly taken a turn for the worse. Kodlak has become weaker in body and strength. More and more Kodlak Whitemane becomes frustrated with his situation. Kodlak Whitemane has buried himself deep in old documents in search for a cure for his sickness. His greatest wish is to go to Sovangarde, but he wouldn’t be accepted because he is a werefolf. Upon death, a Werewolf's soul goes to the daedric lord Hircine's hunting grounds. This had led Kodlak to desperately seek a cure for his lycanthropy.
As the acting Harbringer, Kodlak is more of a counselor than a commander. Even if he is not considered a leader, his words carry a lot of weight. Eorlund Gray-Mane, the blacksmith at the impressive forge “Skyforge”, will state that there has not been a real leader in the Companions since Ysgamor, the founder of the organization.
Quote from Swyk the Long-Sighted, in the book “Great Harbingers of the Companions”
The Companions have never had a true leader since Ysgramor -- none have been mighty enough to corral the great hearts that beat within Jorrvaskr.
The Harbinger advises, resolves disputes, and helps to clarify when questions arise of the nature of honor.
- If you search Kodlak Whitemane’s bedroom in Jorrvaskr, you can find one of the stones of Barenziah.
- When performing the quest “Glory of the Dead”, the Dragonborn is sent retrieve the last shard of Wuuthrad (a legendary battle-axe) from Kodlak’s end table. There you can find Kodlak’s own journal, which contains notes about The Circle and the Dragonborn.
- If the Dragonborn have completed the Companion's main quest lin, and later go to Sovngarde, Kodlak Whitemane will be found there. Sovngarde is the home of the death.
- There is a chance that Kodlak Whitemane will assist you in the last battle with Alduin.