Skyrim: Should You Let Cicero Live or Die? Here Is What Happens

should you let cicero live heres why

Dark Brotherhood has one of the most interesting storylines in Skyrim and some of the most interesting characters you will get acquainted with during the game. One of those characters is Cicero, a crazed former assassin obsessed with Dark Brotherhood tradition and Night Mother. Somewhere along the way, you will get to choose whether Cicero lives or dies and for the players that simply can’t decide what to do, we’ve created this guide. So, should you let Cicero live? What happens if you do?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • You should let Cicero live since he is far more valuable to you alive than dead. No matter what happens between him and Astrid, he presents no danger to you once Astrid is out of the way and can be quite a valuable follower.
  • Astrid, in the end, proved to be a traitor and danger to the Dark Brotherhood, and Cicero was right all along. It’s only fair that you reward him by offering him a place at Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary.

Cicer is one of the most iconic characters in Skyrim

Cicero served as one of the assassins back in the Cheydinhall chapter of the Dark Brotherhood in Cyrodiil. He was known as a lethal assassin, quite skilled with the blade. Eventually, during the Great War, the statue of Lucky Old Lady that served as Night Mother’s tomb was desecrated as a consequence of the War, and the Night Mother’s corpse was forced to be moved from Bravil to Cheydinhall. Cicero was newly appointed Keeper of Night Mother’s corpse, and his new duties would include maintaining the corpse, anointing it with oils, and keeping it from drying out, among other things.

Cicero at dawnstar sanctuary

After he took on the new duties, he was permitted to commit one last murder. His last target was a jester of little importance, but this assassination was the one that changed his life forever as the echoing jester’s laughter brought him to madness. Cicero’s entire persona changed, and he adopted the attire and mannerisms of the mentioned jester.

Cicero was fiercely loyal to the Night Mother and a strong supporter of the Old Ways. After Cheydinhall Sanctuary was put in danger, Cicero relocated to Skyrim in search of the last known chapter of Dark Brotherhood, the one near Falkreath.


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Delayed Burial – Your first meeting with Cicero

Before you start the Dark Brotherhood storyline, one quest is only available before you trigger the Dark Brotherhood quests. You should go to Loreius Farm near Whiterun, where you can meet Cicero for the first time.
Cicero stands on the side of the road. His carriage has a broken wheel. If you interact with him, he will admit that the big wooden box contains the corpse of his “mother.”

Cicero delayed burial
Cicero and his broken carriage

You can either ignore and report him to the local guards or agree to help him. If you agree to help him, the quest “Delayed Burial” will automatically start. You need to convince Vantus Loreius, a nearby farmer, to help Cicero by fixing his carriage wheel. Once you talk Vantus into helping Cicero, he will reward you with a leveled amount of gold. The next time you meet Cicero, the two of you will have the same mother.

Cicero and Night Mother at loreius farm
Cicero rewards you with a leveled sum of gold if you decide to help him

Second meeting with Cicero

The next time you come across Cicero, you will already be a member of the Dark Brotherhood. He will explain his story and what led to his relocation. Not all members of the Dark Brotherhood will appreciate having him around. Astrid foremost is insulted by the fact that Cicero considers Night Mother to be the true leader of the Dark Brotherhood, and she is afraid that having him and the corpse of the Night Mother around can only affect her badly.

On the other hand, Cicero is mad at Astrid for abandoning the Black Sacrament and taking on the role of the Night Mother. He also becomes frustrated that he was passed over for the role of Listener by the Night Mother. As you know, the Night Mother chooses you as the Listener.
Things truly turn for the worse during the quest The Cure for Madness. In a great rage, Cicero attacks and injures several members of the Dark Brotherhood before fleeing to Dawnstar Sanctuary, for which he acquired the Black Door catchphrase.

Cicero with Night Mother in Falkreath sanctuary
Cicero in his quarters tending to Night Mother in Falkreath Sanctuary

Astrid sends you to track him down and kill him. You eventually arrive at the Dawnstar Sanctuary, where you are met by badly injured Arnbjorn, who insists that you must kill Cicero once and for all. After a brief and relatively simple passage through the abandoned Dawnstar Sanctuary, heavily injured Cicero is at your mercy. You can either spare his life or finish him off. The choice is yours.

Should you spare or kill Cicero in Skyrim?

You should spare Cicero since you gain practically nothing by killing him, but on the other hand, if you let him live, you gain a powerful follower. Even Lucien Lachance himself comments how you shouldn’t kill Cicero (if he is summoned during the quest) since it isn’t the will of Sithis.
The only good thing about killing Cicero is easy access to his unique enchanted outfit, but with little extra effort, the outfit can be acquired even without killing him.

Cicero tending to Night Mother at Dawnstar Sanctuary
Cicero tending to Night Mother at Dawnstar Sanctuary

If you let Cicero live, you will be able to recruit Cicero as a follower later down the line, as he will appear near the newly rebuilt Dawnstar Sanctuary, asking whether he can be part of the Brotherhood once again. If you say yes and decide to admit him back, neither Babette nor Nazir will go against your word, and your relationship with them will not suffer.


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Is Cicero a good guy in Skyrim?

Cicero is not a good guy, but he is not a bad guy, either. He serves only the interests of the Dark Brotherhood, and the only reason he attacked Astrid is that he could recognize that she was leading the Dark Brotherhood down the path of destruction. No matter how crazy Cicero is, Astrid, in the end, betrays the Dark Brotherhood and the family she allegedly loves so much, only to get rid of you.

Cicero enchanted outfit
A weaker version of Cicero’s outfit can be found in the Dawnstar Sanctuary during the quest “The Cure for Madness”

She considers you a potential threat to her position as a leader of the Dark Brotherhood. Astrid acted in her own interest, and Cicero acted in the interest of the faction as a whole, which makes him neutral if anything. We can’t consider him to be a good guy because, well, he murders people for a living.

And that would be all. If you’re interested in more Dark Brotherhood-related guides, you can check out our guide on completing Bound Until Death without earning a bounty.

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