Completing a small series of quests can get you the title of Thane across various holds in Skyrim. This title brings some benefits like you can buy properties in neighboring areas, are more respected by the guards – which means you will be suspected less and things will get easier for you.
You will become Thane of Whiterun as part of main-quest, but Whiterun is not the only hold where you can attain the title of Thane.
How to Become Thane in Skyrim
This is the main/first thane of the game. You will become the Tane of Whiterun when you kill the dragon at Western Watch Tower and discover that you’re Dragonborn. The Jarl will now make you the Thane of Whiterun. This is part of the main story quest.
Investigate the burnt house and complete its quests. Jarl will now tell you that she has no objection in making you the thane but she wants you to get popular in her hold, by that she means you’ll have to help three different people throughout the Morthal.
For the Thane of Markarth you’ll have to complete many quests of Jarl and Stweard, also the Civil War quests. Once you have done everything you’ll be appointed the housecarl known as Argis the Bulwark. Help 5 citizens of Markarth and kill Forsworn for Jarl and Steward and they will make you the Thane.
Falk Firebeard (Blue Palace) will give you a quest if you go and talk to him. The quest will be to investigate the lights/sounds which come out of the Wolf Skull Cave that is located in the mountains west of Solitude.
Once you have investigated enough, go back to Firebeard and he will give you a reward. Spend sometime in the game and a letter will be given to you, Firebeard will be asking for you again. Meet him and he will give you another quest, once it’s completed go to Jarl to get another task.
Complete the task given to you by Jarl and go back to her. She’ll tell you that she is happy to make you the Thane but for that you will have to buy some property in Solitude, which can be purchased from Falk (costs about 25000 gold pieces). If you have bought the property get back to her and you’ll become the thane.
Interact with Jarl Siddgeir and a bottle of Black-Briar Mead upon his request. After Jarl gets his drink, he asks Dragonborn to eliminate the bandit leader. Once you complete the objective, you will be given an offer to become a Thane.
You have to interact with the Argonian named Wujeeta. Hand over the Potion of Healing to her and then ask her about the skooma dealer. After that, you have to interact with Jarl in order to begin the Skooma Trade Quest. You have to complete five other quests other than the Thane’s quest to help the citizen of Riften in order to get the title of Thane. You have to purchase Honeyside before you accept the title.
After Brunwulf Free-Winter will become Jarl of Windhelm, Dragonborn has to speak to Brunwulf where Brunwulf offers the title of Thane a chance on them to help five people of Windhelm and purchasing Hjerim from Brunwulf’s steward. Once done with the objectives, Brunwulf grants Dragonborn the title of Thane.
You have to go and interact with Erandur in the Windpeak Inn which initiates the quest Waking Nightmare. Complete three quests and you are going to receive Thane of The Pale. You can also complete the Civil War questline. After this, you do not have to complete the Waking Nightmare.
Once you regain possession of the Helm of Winterhold for Jarl Korir you have to complete an objective. The objective asks you to help three people in the hold. If you don’t want to regain the Helm of Winterhold first, you can see to it that the Legion wins the Civil War and you go just go and interact with the Jarl and then go and help the three people.