Elder Scrolls Quests:Alduin’s Wall

Alduin’s Wall(Quest)

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Alduin’s Wall
Quest Giver Esbern
Location Riverwood
Sky Haven Temple
Prerequisite A Cornered Rat
Next Quest The Throat of the World
Reward Dragonbane sword
Able to acquire Dragonslayer’s Blessing from Esbern
Type Main Quest
QuestID MQ203

Alduin’s Wall is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

For other uses, see Alduin’s Wall.


  1. Escort Esbern to Riverwood
  2. Talk to Esbern
  3. Gain entrance to Sky Haven Temple
  4. Learn the secrets of Alduin’s Wall


After the Dragonborn and Esbern arrive at Riverwood, they meet with Delphine at the Sleeping Giant Inn. They say that the Dragonborn must go to Alduin’s Wall, which is in Karthspire, located in Sky Haven Temple. The Dragonborn  may travel with Delphine and Esbern, or meet them at the Karthspire.

Arriving in Karthspire or meeting up at the entrance to the Karthspire camp, the group will encounter a number of leveled Forsworn (who can attack with Ice Spike and Summon Frost Atronach spells) and perhaps Hagravens. Note: The lower wooden bridge continues up the hill to the other side where there are more Forsworn. If they aren’t killed initially, they will attack from above with Ice Spike on the way into Karthspire (Sky Haven Temple).

A dragon may also spawn at the camp, on some occasions, increasing the chaos in the camp. The dragon might attack both the Dragonborn and his allies, as well as the Forsworn.

Upon entering into the caverns, there will be an encounter several more Forsworn. Delphine and Esbern run ahead, so you can look for loot. There’s an iron ore vein in the bottom area of the first section. They stop at the first puzzle that controls a drop-bridge that allows you to continue into the mountain. The puzzle solution, with Esbern’s hint, is to align them so that all three show the “Dragonborn symbol” (Dragon, Dragon, Dragon). The bridges drop, and your group crosses and goes higher into the mountain.

Again, the party stops when Esbern looks ahead and sees danger in a patio area consisting of pressure plates with symbols on them. If applicable, tell your follower to “wait” in order to avoid interference as you carefully walk across the pressure plates. Esbern points out the Dragonborn symbol and, sure enough, walking only on these plates gets you safely across to where you can pull a chain that disarms the trap part of the plates. Immediately, Esbern and Delphine run ahead. If your follower is waiting, go back and tell your follower to “follow” again. If you are unable to tell your follower to “wait,” you can use the Whirlwind Sprint and quickly pull the chain. An easier method it to use the “Become Etheral” shout and simply walk across the plates, taking no damage.If you have opened the drawbridge before Esbern tells you to type turn the pillars you can run ahead and just pull the chain without the pressure plates being activated.


The tunnel opens up into a large room just prior to the Temple. In the wall ahead, there is a very large stone face, and a few feet in front of the face is a circular platform. Esbern thinks the entrance will open if you shed a few drops of Dragonborn blood onto the pressure plate. If you click on the plate, a cut-scene plays showing you cut your hand to dribble some blood on the plate. The face slides up and reveals a doorway. You can see a treasure chest with a quicksilver vein to the right. Note: You cannot click on the plate if you are not doing the quest.

Alduins Wall

Instead of racing ahead like they have until now, Esbern and Delphine decide you should have the honor of being the first to enter the great Sky Haven Temple. As you come up into a large, open room with a large table and a carved stone frieze, Esbern reverts to historical scholar. As he examines the frieze wall, he explains that it tells the story of Alduin‘s time of dragon rule, the human rebellion led by those who could “shout,” and finally a panel that shows Alduin defeated by a Shout. Esbern fears that only this Shout will defeat Alduin. Delphine isn’t pleased about involving the Greybeards at High Hrothgar but agrees that you will have to return to them and ask to learn that Shout.

After your conversation with Esbern, he offers to give you a Dragonslayer’s Blessing that will increase your chance to gain critical hits against dragons by 10% for 5 days. You can talk to him and get the blessing again, but he advises that you only get it if you are expecting to kill some dragons.

Explore the Temple for a while. You will discover the room to the opposite of Alduin’s Wall(to your left at the top of the stairs) has a complete set of Blade Heavy Armor and the sword Dragonbane. An upper room has a number of beds and chests. Delphine decides the Temple will be the new Blade headquarters. If you have worthy warriors who will drop previous allegiances and swear to the Blades, you may send them to Delphine at the Temple to build up the numbers of Blades.


  • After completion of this quest, the Dragonborn can speak to Esbern and receive the Dragonslayer’s Blessing effect.
  • There is a room that is not on the map, to the west of the northwestern room. In that room are a number of beds and chests with gold and various hides. From the main room, go up the stairs to the left of the floor area with 4 chairs (behind the table). At the first landing (which is only about 12 steps up from the main floor), go to the left (west) side. There is another set of stairs that leads to the sleeping area.


Alduin's Wall (Achievement)
Alduin’s Wall
Complete “Alduin’s Wall”
Points 20 Game points
Bronze trophy


  • Alduin’s Wall prophesied the events depicted in Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.
  • This puzzle can be bypassed by jumping onto one of the puzzle pillars and using Whirlwind Sprint to bridge the gap, but, seeing as Delpine and Esbern do not follow you when this method is used, it is far easier to just solve the puzzle.
  • To use the blood door, you will always use the weakest knife in your inventory.


  • If you have trouble talking to Esbern (for example, after getting to the Sleeping Giant Inn, Delphine may be stuck saying ‘Let’s hear what Esbern has to say’ and he doesn’t say anything), try exiting the Inn and fast-travelling or waiting, then re-entering the Inn. They should be waiting in Delphine’s secret room.
  • Sometimes Esbern and Delphine may get stuck behind the Inn’s counter when there are several NPCs, such as Followers.Bumping into them while running may force them to move.
  •  PC   If you do not get the option to activate the seal on the ground when you arrive at the stone face door of the temple after Esbern has mentioned it, you can exit Karthspire and return (use the same cave entrance you use to get to Karthspire, instead of fast traveling) and the option should be available.
  •  PC   If you encounter errors that you cannot bypass during Alduin’s Wall, you can advance to the next quest through the console using setstage MQ203 280. It is recommended you save prior to doing this, as you may not have access to Sky Haven Temple after doing this. Sometimes, using this console command to complete will result in Esbern and Delphine ‘leashing’ to the beginning of the puzzles. Using resetquest MQ203 will add the quest back into your quest log, but the NPCs will advance in to the temple.
  • There have been instances in which the player fast travels and Esbern disappears. If this is the case, return to The Ratway Warrens. Once near Esbern’s room, he should reappear engaging in combat with various Thalmor enemies. However, completing the quest in this manner is frustrating, as Esbern will not “follow” the player despite being described as following the player. Esbern will walk at a slow pace from the Warrens in Riften to the objective in Riverwood. Waiting or fast traveling again will cause him to permanently disappear, forcing the player to follow him for around 2 hours real-time. (Or you could do the next: Once outside riften, fast-travel to Riverwood and go into the inn. Skip 48 hours, and Esbern will be there.) Also, Esbern’s pathing will often become confused, making him go in reverse. This is correctable by aiming an unrelenting force shout at Esbern in the direction of the objective, knocking him down the path and heading in the correct direction. If this is not corrected properly, then they can appear later with torches in their hand and certain conversations between NPCs do not occur. All of this can be circumvented by going into the console (`) clicking on him, fast traveling to Riverwood, and using the “moveto player” command (NPC ID 19DFD) instead of waiting around for two hours — just a bit easier.
  • This bug can cause the NPC’s to disappear from the location after forcing the quest to completion. (The main questline will still work.)
  • When Esbern’s conversation is skipped too fast, it might not trigger Delphine’s dialogue. To correct this, simply talk to Esbern again, and cancel the conversation. This should trigger Delphine’s next dialog.
  • If you have found Karthspire and Sky Haven Temple before starting this part of the main quest and have already completed the puzzles there, do not travel directly to the Temple. Esbern and Delphine will meet you in front of the temple, but upon opening it, they will run back to the first puzzle and not move, try reloading a save back before Delphine and Esbern’s reunion. When Dephine asks if you would like to meet them at Karthspire, or go as a group, choose to meet them there. Go outside and “wait” for about 12 hours (enough time to show their quest marker is already at Karthspire). Fast Travel directly to Sky Haven Temple. “Wait” for a few more hours, and they should appear at the entrance of the temple..
  • In order to fix the bug above, the user “Meepinz” on the Steam forums came up with this fix:
    • Restart game before you travel to the cave.
    • Fast travel to kargath camp (outside of the cave).
    • Enter the cave and run to the first bridge.
    • NPCs will now get stuck at the bridge and not move.
    • Run to the quest arrow (the big face on that opens when you put your blood on the seal).
    • Run back to where the NPCs are and they should now start moving towards the main quest area.
    • Once you reach the quest area do it as you normally would.
    • After quest NPCs will say something like “you go ahead.”
    • Don’t go ahead, run behind the male NPC and use your level 3 force shout to throw him into the now open hallway behind the face. The quest should then proceed normally.
  • Another working tip for this is: load a save from entering the cave, and run as fast as you can to the “face” gate. Delphine will follow you, and Esbern will be already waiting before the face.
  •  PC  Another fix for the above is, if you have the patience, stand behind Delphine with a two handed weapon constantly holding the ‘block’ button. She will slowly move forward, and, with the help from an occasional level 3 shout, you will be able to move her to the big room with the chest in the middle. When she arrives there, the quest should continue as normal.
  • Delphine may randomly try to kill the player. When this happens, the main quest is not able to be finished. You must reload the last save. Be sure to save often due to this bug/glitch happening very often; however, instead of re-loading, Delphine may be attacking because you have a bounty. Either find out where you have a bounty, and pay it or you can cast an upper-level calm or pacify spell on her until you complete the quest. If you took any weapons from her hidden room under the inn, or stole anything from there, returning to the inn and dropping the items seems to work. This might have more to do with leaving and coming back or something though.
  • Esbern might disappear when entering the last room of the temple, having the objective marker positioned inside Alduin’s Wall. Just head upstairs, exit the temple through the door and head back in, and Esbern may be back in front of the Wall. Or, you can wait for an hour, and eventually Esbern will enter with Delphine. Another option is picking up Dragonbane if you haven’t already, and perhaps Esbern will return.
  • Esbern might be injured or crawling along on one leg after getting inside. If this happens it will take a long time for him to get up the steps, and he won’t be able to activate the tile even after talking to him. Using Healing Hands on him may not work. Reload to a previous save, and he should be back to normal.
  • Esbern and Delphine become invincible and cannot be resurrected, making the quest impossible to complete.
  • Esbern gets stuck in fighting position after the first Forsworn fight inside of Karthspire and will not follow you. (Can be fixed by exiting the cave then going in again and go to the seal where Esbern should be.)
  • Sometimes Esbern may conjure/summon a friendly Storm Atronach. If the Atronach gets caught in one of Dragonborns shouts or is accidently hit by the Dragonborn, it will turn hostile and attack friendlies.
  • After killing the forsworn and ‘Before’ entering the Sky Haven Temple, Esbern and Delphine will follow you any place. Thus giving you a chance to add some temporary followers for other quests. Both are very useful for combat. However, it is unsure whether dragging them around will cause any other glitches.
    • Sometimes if this is done it is possible that Esbern will try to attack your follower randomly. (only seen with Iona.)
  • If you are currently doing “The Silver Hand” quest, and continue on with this quest, Aela will follow you. This proves troublesome, however, as when you come across the pressure plates, there is no way to tell her to stop and she can easily cause you to die multiple times by pressing the wrong plates while following you.
  • Sometimes Esbern and Delphine will be stuck in attack position in the final room with Alduin’s wall and walking towards a wall. This makes the quest unable to be completed as you cannot talk to Esbern while he’s attacking.
  • To fix the above use the wait option in game and set it for 10 hours this will allow Esbern to continue to Alduin’s Wall.
  • After killing the Forsworn inside the cave entrance, Esbern and Delphine will become stuck simply standing, but they are able to talk to the Dragonborn. This will prevent them from discussing the first puzzle. To fix this, simply exit the cave through the entrance and re-enter. They will both teleport in front of the first puzzle.
  • Sometimes after Activating the Blood Seal, your console might freeze. Making you have to restart and start back at your last save.


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