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I am an advisor to the Arch-Mage. The Thalmor wish to promote relations with your College. I am at the Arch-Mage's disposal if he requires advice.
~ Ancano explaining his purpose at the College of Winterhold
The Psijic Order is a rogue organization, believing themselves to be above the law. They have clashed with the Aldmeri Dominion before, and I have no intention of allowing that to happen here.
~ Ancano's negative opinion on the Psijic Order
The power to unmake the world at my fingertips, and you think you can do anything about it?!
~ Ancano to the Dragonborn during "The Eye of Magnus".

Ancano is a villain from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim where he serves as the main antagonist of College of Winterhold questline. He was voiced by Alexander Brandon.

Ancano is a Thalmor operative stationed in College of Winterhold where he acts as the advisor to the Arch-Mage Savos Aren. While the others in the College are highly suspicious of his actions, he, in turn, shows suspicion towards the Dragonborn when they first join the College. He also blames their presence in the College to the incompetence of the Arch-Mage. One of the College members, however, Nirya, admits that he does look handsome. She does, however, believe that Ancano is up to something bad, and tells the Dragonborn that he is not to be trusted.

Events of Skyrim

When the College arranges an expedition to the Nordic Ruins of Saarthal, the Dragonborn finds a strange artifact, which turns out to be The Eye of Magnus. After a while, the Dragonborn is contacted by the Psijic Order and they warn them about the power of this artifact and must not fall into wrong hands.They're then directed to the Augur of Dunlain, who warns the Dragonborn that Ancano wanted to get information from him about the Eye for different reasons. He will then direct them to find the Staff of Magnus. Mirabelle Ervine then tells the Dragonborn to investigate the Dwemer Ruins of Mzulft, where a member from the Synod reveals a possible location where the Staff should be.

When the Dragonborn returns from the search for the Staff, they find out that Ancano has taken control of the Eye and is terrorizing the College, and the city of Winterhold as well. In the process, he ends up killing the Arch-Mage. The Dragonborn is then forced to find the Staff which is located in the Nordic Ruins of Labyrinthian. After the Dragonborn returns with the Staff, they use it on the Eye to break through Ancano's magic and then kill him in the process, ending his magic spree for good.


Ancano will engage in some conversations with other College members as the Dragonborn progresses through the College of Winterhold questline.


Mirabelle Ervine "I believe I made myself rather clear."
Ancano "Yes, of course. I'm simply trying to understand the reasoning behind the decision."
Mirabelle Ervine "You may be used to the Empire bowing to your every whim, but you will find the Thalmor will find no such treatment here. You are here at the pleasure of the Arch-Mage. I hope you appreciate the opportunity."
Ancano "Yes, of course. The Arch-Mage has my thanks."
Mirabelle Ervine "Very good. Then we're done here."

Inappropriate Interruption

Ancano " I'm afraid I must intrude. It is urgent that I speak with your associate immediately."
Tolfdir "This is most inappropriate! We are involved in serious research here!"
Ancano [condescending] "Yes, I've no doubt of its gravity. This, however, is a matter that cannot wait."
Tolfdir "Well, I'm quite sure I've never been interrupted like this before... the audacity! [to player] I suppose we'll continue this at some later time, when we can avoid interruptions."

You're up to Something!

Ancano "Well, what is the meaning of this?"
Quaranir "I'm sorry, I'm afraid I don't understand."
Ancano "Don't play coy. You asked to see a specific member of the College. Here he/she is. Now what is it that you want?"
Quaranir "There's been a misunderstanding. Clearly I should not be here. I shall simply take my leave.
Ancano [angry] "What? What trickery is this? You're not going anywhere until I find out what you're up to!"
Quaranir "I am not "up to" anything. I apologize if I have offended you in any way."
Ancano [seething] "We will see about this..."

Ancano's Treachery

  • Ancano doesn't speak during this conversation, but it still heavily involves him, however.

Mirabelle Ervine "It's like a ward, but who's casting it? Ancano? How?"
Savos Aren "I don't care what it is. I want it down, now! I want to know what he's doing in there."
[ward gets taken down]
Savos Aren "Ancano! Stop this at once! I command you!"
Mirabelle Ervine "Don't go near him!"
[Energetic explosion]



Inappropriate Interruption

You're Up To Something!

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