Elder Scrolls Main quest-Bleak Falls Barrow

Bleak Falls Barrow

For the location, see Bleak Falls Barrow (Location).
Bleak Falls Barrow
Bleak Falls Barrow - Evening
Quest Giver Farengar Secret-Fire
Location Bleak Falls Barrow
Prerequisite Before the Storm
Next Quest Dragon Rising
Reward Ability to purchase a house in Whiterun
Leveled item
Type Main Quest
QuestID MQ103

Bleak Falls Barrow is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


Bleak Falls Barrow

Travel to the Ancient Nordic ruins of Bleak Falls Barrow and enter. There are several bandits outside the entrance. It is advised to save before entering the barrow due to a glitch that may force reverting to the last save.

Once reaching a room with a bandit and a lever, watch him pull the lever, setting off a trap. set the pillars on the left of the entrance. The order, from left to right is: Snake, Snake, Fish.

Arvel the Swift

Travel further through the dungeon to winding stairs that go downwards. There are Skeevers at the bottom, and just around the corner waits a Wounded Frostbite Spider. Kill it and then speak to Arvel the Swift, who is trapped in a spider web. He wants to be freed, which can be done by hitting the spider web with a weapon. As soon as he’s free, Arvel will make a run for it – he is called “the Swift”, after all. Chase him down and kill him, or let the Draugr do the work. When he is released from the web, he recoils and has low health, an easy kill, before he can escape. If he manages to slay the Draugr, he may run over the pressure plate trap near the scene of the battle and get himself impaled on the swinging wall trap.

The Golden Claw

Arvel will have the Golden Claw with him. Continue through a hall where some Draugr wake up and attack. There are pressure plate traps near the entry and exit that will trigger a swinging wall trap. The next obstacle will be a swinging blade trap. The blades can be stopped with a chain pull after passing them. The next room has three more Draugr. Kill or avoid them and follow the path upstairs. At the room with a creek running through it go through the metal gate into the creek. The gate is opened by pulling the chain on the right side.

Next there is a Nordic puzzle door with three movable rings. The Golden Claw is the key here, both literally and figuratively. Align the three rings in a specific pattern, which can be seen when zooming in on the Claw in one’s inventory. The correct combination is on the palm of the Golden Claw (from top to bottom: Bear, Moth, Owl). When the rings have been correctly aligned, use the Claw in the middle of the door to open it.

Word Wall

Past the door lies the real treasure of the crypt: A Word Wall that teaches a word of the Dragon Shout ‘Unrelenting Force‘. Afterwards, a powerful Draugr will emerge from the sarcophagus nearby. Kill it and get the Dragonstone off its corpse, and leave the crypt through the exit nearby. Return the Dragon Stone to Farengar Secret-Fire, the Court Wizard for Jarl Balgruuf the Greater at Dragonsreach in Whiterun.

  • At higher levels, the Dragonborn will fight a Dragon Priest instead of a Draugr. This Dragon Priest does not have a mask however.

Return to Dragonsreach and give the Dragonstone to Farengar, (with a stop off at Riverwood to return the Golden Claw to Lucan). Irileth will run in almost immediately and ask Farengar to come quickly to speak to the Jarl, beginning the quest Dragon Rising.


  • Lower level players can do serious damage to higher level Draugrs in this dungeon by leading them into traps.
  • It is possible to find Farengar in conversation with Delphine, who wants his translation of the Dragonstone as soon as possible. Their conversation is informative.
  • The player may already have the Dragonstone from The Golden Claw quest. If so, just give it to Farengar.
  • There is a locked chest behind the word wall, reachable by following the water stream backwards.
  • There is also an unlocked chest next to the waterfall that appears left of the stairs leading towards the exit.
  • There is a small ledge that leads up to the exit where it is possible to use a bow to attack the Draugr without being hit. However, it can still use its shout.
  • The Draugr at the Word Wall can and will use the Unrelenting Force shout.
  • The last Draugr in the dungeon will always have a weapon with a Frost enchantment. It may be either one-handed or two-handed.
  • There is a random potion located to the left after exiting the dungeon.
  • On the way to Bleak Falls, if you are at a higher level, you may encounter a Frost Troll.
  • You may also encounter a Frost Troll instead of a Draugr on the bridge above the waterfall and chest.


  •  360  There is a bug that occurs when leaving Arvel for the Draugrs, having run off he disappears along with all quest markers making the quest impossible to finish. Loading a previous save or killing him before he runs will fix this.
  • The pillars in the puzzle room or the rings on the claw door will not move, exit and re-enter Bleak Falls Barrows. Reloading a previous save may resolve the issue.
  • There is bug that makes the last Draugr unable to be looted. Saving and then loading will fix this. The bug occurs most often when the Draugr is killed on the bridge leading to the word wall or further away from his coffin, killing the Draugr on the word wall plateau reduces this chance.
  •  360   There is a bug that will sometimes cause the rings to not rotate when trying to use the claw. Saving and reloading the save should resolve the issue.
  • There is a bug that causes Skyrim to crash upon entering.
  • If the Dragonstone is obtained after talking to Farengar about it, when it is given to him, he will take the stone, and will tell the Dragonborn to talk to the Jarl or steward, however, nothing will happen and the next quest will not start. The only way around this bug is to re-load a save from before going to Dragonsreach, get the Dragonstone, then go to Dragonsreach with the stone, this way one can give it directly to Farengar and the quest will progress as normal, the only problem with this method is that some dialogue between a hooded Delphine and Farengar will be missed. This bug has been reported in both standard and modded versions of Skyrim.
  •  PS3   If you do not immediately speak to Farengar straight away and decide to do faction quests (such as for the College of Winterhold), the quest might bug and stop you from progressing. Farengar will only say that the Jarl will be in the throne room, even though he is standing right next to him.


Bleak Falls Barrow (Achievement)
Bleak Falls Barrow
Complete “Bleak Falls Barrow”
Points 10 Game points
Bronze trophy



Skyrim Main Quests
Act I UnboundBefore the StormBleak Falls BarrowDragon RisingThe Way of the Voice
The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
Act II A Blade in the DarkDiplomatic ImmunityA Cornered RatAlduin’s WallThe Throat of the World
Elder KnowledgeAlduin’s Bane
Act III Season UnendingThe FallenPaarthurnaxThe World-Eater’s EyrieSovngarde


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