I am sworn to carry your burdens.
Followers are various characters found throughout Skyrim. They can travel with, battle for, perform tasks for, and carry items for the Dragonborn.
A subclass of followers is non-humanoid followers, such as dogs. These followers can neither carry nor equip items. The interaction with these followers is limited to the wait/follow commands and dismissal.
It is only possible to have one humanoid follower at a time, unless additional followers are gained via a quest or conjuration In most cases, there is no penalty for dismissing a follower and then re-recruiting the follower later.
Followers specialize in a variety of Skills ranging from Combat, Magic, Sneak, Smithing, Speech, Alchemy, and Enchanting. However, skills outside of Combat, Magic, and Sneak cannot be directly benefited from.
Certain followers can also serve as Skill Trainers. Many followers can marry the Dragonborn, and most can join the Blades after being relocated to Sky Haven Temple.