With my first character, Lydia would hang out in the Jarl of Whiterun's palace until I bought Breezehome, and then she moved in there. With my second character, I don't own Breezehome, but I do own Honeyside. I dismissed Lydia and went to find her later, but she didn't appear in either location.

I assume I simply haven't waited long enough, but I would like to know where to expect her. How does Lydia determine her home?

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    I cant help but mention this rockpapershotgun.com/2011/11/21/skyrim-lydia-death – Vaibhav Garg Nov 30 '11 at 9:10
  • i had the same problem try sleeping in the double bed at the breezehome that fixed if for me. – user15740 Dec 2 '11 at 16:52
  • I specifically said in the question that I don't own Breezehome. – Invader Skoodge Dec 2 '11 at 17:43
  • on the 360 when she's dismissed she loses any armor and shield given, but retains the weapon(s). mght have something to do with why you cant remove her starting armour set. strip her bare when you dismiss! – user17331 Dec 29 '11 at 14:38
  • Are you sure she doesn't just de-equip it. Usually, when I dismiss Lydia, she goes back to wearing her default gear. Even once I tell her to follow me again, she still doesn't equip the good gear until we actually find a battle. Then she'll instantly equip all the stuff she had on before. – Invader Skoodge Dec 29 '11 at 14:43

If you own Breezehome, she should be there. Otherwise she should be in Dragonreach (the keep in Whiterun), so you might just be dealing with a glitch.

  • So she won't ever appear at another home? – Invader Skoodge Nov 30 '11 at 1:15
  • @StrixVaria — No. Each purchasable home has its own housecarl. Lydia will only hang out in Whiterun when she's off-duty. – Ben Blank Nov 30 '11 at 1:46
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    If you enlisted her in the Blades with Delphine she will appear in the Sky Haven Temple. I forget I had enlisted her and had to use a console command to find her. – Mike Weller Dec 2 '11 at 19:07
  • Note that, with Hearthfire, if you have purchased and built Heljarchen Hall, Lydia will go there instead of Breezehome. – Peter Lillevold Oct 5 '13 at 13:34

It depends on what you have done with her. If you don't have a house then she's in Dragonreach, if you have bought Breezehome in Whiterun she will be there unless you have made her a Blade then she'll be at Sky Haven Temple.

There's a rumor if you do the Stormcloak quest where you take over Whiterun you lose her and can't get her back. Whether or not this is true though I'm not sure.

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