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Related to this question: How do I become a Thane?

For at least one of the locations you need to buy a house before you can become Thane, so what is the benefit of becoming a Thane?

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For at least Riften, Solitude, and Markarth you have to buy the house before you can become Thane. –  agf Dec 8 '11 at 11:44
    
Thanks for the correction. –  GmNoob Dec 8 '11 at 11:48
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

As Thane, you'll have a Housecarl appointed who can act as your companion. Additionally, the guards can be convinced to overlook a variety of crimes if reminded of your station.

You'll also be given a pretty decent levelled magic weapon on being named Thane.

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Does the "convincing" only work once per city, or is their some sort of time limit on it? –  Katustrawfic Oct 7 '13 at 3:10
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And you will receive the privilege of buying a house if I'm not mistaking.

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Actually, buyinng a house is generally a requirement for becoming a Thane, not the other way around. –  Ben Blank Dec 8 '11 at 15:33
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This is true only for Whiterun! –  spauny Dec 12 '11 at 12:16
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protected by Community Mar 18 at 3:51

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