If there's anything Skyrim teaches people about themselves, it's that there's a little hoarder hiding in everyone. There's something about its ridiculously extensive catalog of obtainable items that obsessively compels us to collect them. Some of these acquisitions make perfect sense, like a legendary weapon, or a powerful Daedric artifact. Although it can be a little more difficult to justify assembling three-hundred pieces of every available variety of cheese, we know we're going to do it anyway.
Which items are the choicest bits for the discerning pack rat? Which conversation pieces are sure to yield maximum bragging rights? If you find either of those questions weighing heavily on your mind as you rummage through your own absurd Skyrim item hoards, you're in luck. Keep scrolling to check out ten of the rarest items to be found in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
10 Notched Pickaxe
The Notched Pickaxe is likely the most well-known item on this list, on account of its status as an Easter egg. Its name is widely accepted as a nod to Markus Persson, or "Notch," the creator of the timeless and ever-popular sandbox game, Minecraft.
It is stashed away in a hard to reach location at the very top of the Throat of the World, near the highest climbable point in the game. It actually has some limited application to boot, as it boosts the wielder's Smithing skill by five points.
9 Fur-Trimmed Cloak
You'll be the envy of every Jarl at the party when you strut in wearing this absurdly rare Nordic ensemble. The Fur-Trimmed Cloak is only worn by two select Jarls in the entirety of the game, namely Korir in Winterhold, and Idgrod Ravencrone of Morthal. A third is worn by Bryling, a Thane in service to Elisif in Solitude.
As (bad) luck would have it, all of these NPCs are marked as essential, meaning they cannot be killed for their swanky duds. Bryling, however, loses her essential flag after the Dark Brotherhood quest "Bound Until Death," and we're not responsible for what you decide to do with that information.
8 Auriel's Shield
In addition to being rare, Auriel's Shield is one of the strongest and most unique shields in the game. Its enchantment allows it store the energy of blocked attacks. When the player executes a Power Bash with it, this energy is unleashed to devastating effect.
Added with the Dawnguard DLC, it's tucked away within a hidden sublocation inside of the Forgotten Vale, known as the Forgotten Vale Forest. Getting there can be a little tricky, as the Dragonborn will have to track down the Ruby Paragon first. Once inside, just scout out the nearby ruins to locate the Falmer that drops this beautiful piece of defensive equipment.
7 Woodsman's Friend
This unique two-handed weapon can actually be scooped up just after the Dragonborn leaves Helgen for the first time, provided they know where to look for it. It can be a little difficult to spot, but sufficient stomping between Pinewatch and the nearby lake should yield it eventually: just keep an eye out for its fallen former owner.
At a glance, the Woodsman's Friend actually does a bit more damage than your standard iron battleaxe. However, what goes unmentioned is the fact that it also swings a bit slower than its plain counterparts, actually causing it do less damage over time. This one's best picked up before diving into the Hearthfire content, as building the Lakeview Manor house can cause it to disappear.
It's absolutely and completely useless. It seems to ignore the laws of physics, as when dropped, it'll simply float in mid-air. In all likelihood, it's the result of a coding oversight or an outright mistake by a developer that stayed up coding way too late one night. It's... well, it's a flag. A red one, to be precise.
Similar flags can be seen denoting Imperial holdings in the the various homes and castles of Skyrim's Jarls. In order to get your hands on it, you'll need to purchase Proudspire Manor in Solitude, which doesn't come cheap. After that, just have a children's bedroom built onto it, and you'll be able to pluck your prize right off of the map contained therein.
5 Mead with Juniper Berry
"This is Helgen. I used to be sweet on a girl from here. Wonder if Vilod is still making that mead with juniper berries mixed in." There's likely not a single Skyrim player that doesn't remember the then-gallows-bound musings of Ralof as they rolled into Helgen during the game's introduction.
As it turns out, there's an answer to be had, if the Dragonborn decides to revisit Helgen at some point. Scattered all over the floor of Helgen's burnt out husk of an inn are these unique bottles of mead, found nowhere else in Skyrim. It looks like Vilod was still making his juniper berry mead after all. Though probably not so much after Alduin had his say.
4 Giant's Club
The weapon that is single-handedly responsible for sending countless Dovahkiin on an all expenses paid trip into the stratosphere wasn't meant for players (or NPCs other than giants) to pick up or interact with. However, even without the aid of console commands, players can vicariously "own" their own Giant Club by utilizing their followers.
A loose one can be found in the giant camp at Tumble Arch Pass, northeast of Whiterun. After locating it, and summarily learning that you can't pick it up yourself, enter your follower's command menu. Hovering over the club will give you the option to have your follower pick up the item. If they're not carrying anything better, they'll even equip it.
3 Roasted Ox Head
Because who doesn't need a big, stinky, and completely inedible burnt cow head to adorn their dining room table? It's the perfect way to simultaneously wow and gross out the guests at your next dinner party. As a bonus, said party will also cost a lot less if they're put off enough by this macabre centerpiece to skip the actual dinner part.
That said, you have an extremely limited window to snag this rare bit, as there's only one Roasted Ox Head and it's within Sovngarde's Hall of Valor. Needless to say, you'll need to be quite far along in the main quest line in order to do so, but all you need to do is remember to snag it.
2 Akaviri Sword
This one-of-a-kind katana was added in the Dawnguard DLC, although the only known instance of it rests in the hands of the Imperial Moth Priest, Dexion Evicus. He's encountered on both sides of the main quest line, though the exact context differs just a wee bit depending on whether you're a valiant Dawnguard or a vampiric villain.
Either way, your only hopes for actually obtaining it rest in the Misdirection perk or getting really crafty with the reverse pickpocketing. The blade itself, though unique, is pretty unremarkable. It does decent (though unimpressive) damage, and looks just like a Blades Sword for most intents and purposes.
1 Combat Fork
There are a multitude of eating utensils in Skyrim. Forks and knives exist in joyous abundance, much to the delight of silverware enthusiasts. However, a handful of particular forks stand apart from the rest. With a fearsome damage rating of one, these forks may be wielded as weapons.
The trick is finding them. They look just like the normal, non-weaponized forks, but there are several locations in which these fabled forks may be found. One is in Honeyside, the purchased player house in Riften, after buying the porch furnishing. Another can be found outside the entrance to Gloombound mine, far to the southeast of Windhelm and close to Narzulbur. As an added bonus, it has a knife counterpart that's usually not far away.