Among the most popular companion choices and marriage candidates in Skyrim, most dedicated fans are familiar with Aela The Huntress. The tough lady of the Companions is a fan favorite right next to Serana and Lydia, her design resembling most closely that of a Nordic shield maiden. If you're looking for a talented archer and a woman who isn't afraid to shed blood in the name of Kodlak and Hircine, she's a great ally to travel with. However, before you decide to seal your friendship with Aela, here's a few things you probably didn't know about the mysterious archer of the Companions.
Aela's class in the game is considered a "thief", which means that she's among those companions who will be most tolerant of the Dragonborn making questionable decisions. If you plan on making your character join the Thieves' Guild or the Dark Brotherhood, she'll make for a great friend to tag along. If asked to steal or kill an innocent, Aela is likely to refuse, but she also won't judge the Dragonborn if witnessing them doing either one of those things.
We all know Legate Rikke from the beginning of the game, when the Dragonborn is being held captive and transported to his demise.
The Legate is ruthless and determined to see the Dragonborn die, which might spark some strong emotions right off the bat in the player. It might come as a surprise, then, that the Legate's voice is actually the same as Aela's. Both characters have the same actress, Claudia Christian.
For reasons unknown to us, if the player has a major bounty in any of the nine holds of Skyrim, Aela will immediately rush after the Dragonborn and attempt to attack them. This is because she's considered a guard character within the game's system. Of course, once Aela is your companion she won't be participating in such behavior, but it's important to keep this in mind as long as you haven't joined the Companions or asked her to tag along.
When the Dragonborn first makes their way to Whiterun from Riverwood to ask for the Jarl's help, they're likely to encounter Aela and a few others from the Companions fighting a giant just outside the city. Once the creature is dead, Aela will walk over the Dragonborn and point him towards the Companions. If the Dragonborn helps the Companions kill the giant, she will behave significantly nicer towards them, rather than accusing them of doing nothing.
After joining the Companions, the player gets to know Aela more in-depth. It's hinted at through a few dialogues that she doesn't seem to care too much about the ongoing civil war between the Imperials and the Stormcloaks due to Kodlak assuring the Companions it's none of their concern.
She also confirms her undying loyalty to Kodlak and states that she would follow him anywhere, no matter what happens. This leads us to believe that despite being a Nord herself she isn't necessarily on the side of the Stormcloaks and cares only about the Companions. If anything, she's disappointed she can't partake in the bloodshed the civil war will entail.
When asked how she came to join the Companions, it's revealed that Aela comes from a long line of women who all decided to join the faction. From what she tells the Dragonborn, she spent years in the woods hunting under her father's guidance, before she was considered ready to face her trials and enter the ranks of the Companions. This means her mother and her grandmother and so on were also most likely werewolves, which is undoubtedly a source of pride in her family.
During their time among the Companions the Dragonborn might overhear a conversation with Aela and Njada discussing Aela's close relationship with Skjor. Although this is but a rumor among the Companions and Aela denies having any romantic feelings towards him, it is confirmed that the two of them go on hunts together in beast form, something which the rest frown slightly upon.
Moreover, when Skjor is eventually found dead, Aela is the most infuriated and heartbroken of all the members of the faction, even going as far as vowing to avenge his death.
It's no secret that Aela is incredibly proud of her werewolf blood. She's constantly talking about how amazing it is to be one and is definitely among the most hot-headed, fanatic members of the Circle within the Companions. Most importantly, when the choice is given to all members of the faction to cure themselves of beast blood, Aela is the only one who refuses the offer and decides to embrace her werewolf form instead. Once hired as a Companion or taken as a spouse, she'll continue to praise werewolf lifestyle and exhibit her undying pride.
Once you have Dawnguard, you can regain your werewolf form back by speaking with Aela once more. Although she calls the player "fickle" for changing their mind, she'll still offer to turn them back to their beast form, even if the player asks for some time to think about it. This option was originally not available in the base game, so if you're not in possession of Dawnguard, make your choice carefully when you finally need to decide whether or not to embrace your werewolf ways or return to a fully human form.
In Dawnguard the Dragonborn is given the option to become a vampire, which are traditionally considered the rivals of werewolves. If you're wondering how this might affect your relationship with Aela, rest assured you won't have much to worry about. Aela won't know for certain something has changed in the Dragonborn, but if the player walks or stands around her, she will make a comment about how "something has shifted in the moons, brother/sister". Most likely she senses a difference in the player's nature, but still considers them a creature of the night and won't turn hostile towards them.