For other uses, see Battle for Whiterun.
"This is it men! This is an important day for the Empire and for the Legion. And for all of Skyrim. This is the day we send a message to Ulfric Stormcloak and the rebel Jarls who support him."
Legate Rikke[src]

Battle for Whiterun is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which the Dragonborn must defend Whiterun against the Stormcloak offensive and ensure Whiterun's allegiance to the Empire and ability to fight against the Stormcloaks.


The Stormcloaks are attacking Whiterun. I have been ordered to defend the outer walls and keep the rebels from taking the city.


  1. Meet with Legate Rikke
  2. Defend the barricades
  3. Defend the drawbridge
  4. Destroy attackers


Once you finish talking to Legate Quentin Cipius, your objective is to meet with Legate Rikke. She is outside near the gate of Whiterun.

Upon exiting Dragonsreach, the severity of the assault will become blatantly obvious. Flaming catapult rocks are raining down upon the Wind and Plains districts of Whiterun, and its populace is in a state of pandemonium, running about the city seeking shelter. City Guards are heading towards the city gates to aid the defense, and the sky has turned a sickly orange from the smoking buildings.

Proceed to the staging area just outside the main gates. Legate Rikke will be giving a short motivational speech to the combined forces of Whiterun Guards and the new reinforcements of Imperial Soldiers.

"This is it men! This is an important day for the Empire and for the Legion. And for all of Skyrim. This is the day we send a message to Ulfric Stormcloak and the rebel Jarls who support him. But make no mistake. What we do here today, we do for Skyrim and her people. By cutting out the disease of this rebellion, we will make this country whole again!"
"Ready now! Everyone, with me! For the Empire! For the Legion! Rrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!"

Once the speech is done, your new objective will be to defend the wooden barricades from the invading Stormcloak soldiers. If you enter the city at all during the battle, terrified citizens will be seen fleeing from the taverns and shops to their own homes, where they will lock the doors to prevent anyone from entering. All shop owners will lock their doors, including the taverns; stall owners will flee, as well.

Defend the barricades by killing the Stormcloak soldiers trying to get in. If you fail to defend the barricades, you will have to fall back and defend the drawbridge instead. Failing to defend the drawbridge has little consequences, as the quest is impossible to fail unless you die. There will be a percentage count of how many Stormcloak soldiers are left. Once that count reaches 0%, your new objective will be to meet with Jarl Balgruuf the Greater to hear a short victory speech.

Victory speechEdit

Upon being victorious, Jarl Balgruuf will deliver a speech to the men after Irileth makes an announcement.

Irileth: "Everyone, on me! The Jarl wishes to speak!"
Jarl Balgruuf the Greater: "Revel in your victory here today, even as the gods revel in your honor! They already sing of your valor and skill! The halls of Sovngarde are no doubt ringing with your praises! In defeating these Stormcloak traitors, you have proven the hollowness of their cause and the fullness of your hearts. The citizens of Whiterun are forever in your debt! But Ulfric will not stop here. No, he will continue to strike out against any true Nord who remains faithful to the Empire. He will continue to sow discord and chaos wherever he can. And so, we must each one of us, continue to fight this insurrection, lest our fallen brothers have died for naught! Lest our honor be lessened should we allow these bloodthristy beasts to prowl our lands! Carry on men, my gratitude and blessings go with you! For Whiterun! For the Empire!"


Battle for Whiterun (Imperial) – CWSiegeObj
IDJournal Entry
1The Stormcloaks are attacking Whiterun. I have been ordered to defend the outer walls and keep the rebels from taking the city.
  • Objective 2000: Meet with Legate Rikke
  • Objective 2030: Defend the Barricades
  • Objective 2040: Defend the Drawbridge
  • Objective 2999: Destroy Attackers (<GLobal=CWPercentPoolRemainingAttacker>% Remaining)
  • Quest failed
9000We have successfully defended the city of Whiterun. Demonstrating the weakness of the rebels' cause and the excellence of the Imperial Legion.
  • Quest complete


  • Your horse can easily be killed if it is waiting by the stables.
  • Summoning Durnehviir will help immensely as he can quickly slaughter large numbers of enemy soldiers and will also summon Mistmen, Bonemen, and Wrathmen. Summoning Odahviing will also help greatly with similar results.
  • This is a good time to loot steel arrows, as almost every Stormcloak Soldier will have 10+ arrows on them.
  • This is also one of the few opportunities to acquire several full sets of the Stormcloak Officer Armor by looting it quickly off the killed Stormcloak Generals before they vanish.
  • Severio Pelagia will be killed in the battle and his house will be destroyed and inaccessible after the battle. The same thing happens if the Dragonborn is with the Stormcloaks.
  • Heimskr's house is sealed after the battle with debris and is missing most of the roof. This means that The Sweep Job from Vex might not be able to be completed.
  • Hadvar takes part in the battle, clad in a new set of Imperial Armor. He will greet you during the speech, and joke that he killed more enemy soldiers during the victory speech.
  • If you have children and they live in Breezehome, talking to them during the invasion will not open any dialogue. However, they ask you to make the invasion stop while expressing they are scared.
  • Whiterun's citizens will stay locked inside their homes, taverns or shops for the duration of the siege.
  • If you married Ysolda and she is currently living in your house, she can be seen running back to her original home even if your house is located in another hold. This will also occur with Lucia.
  • The leading cause of barricade destruction appears to be the arrows of Whiterun guards. If you destroy the barricades yourself, before the speech concludes, you will successfully defend them during the battle, since what is not there cannot be destroyed.
  • After the quest is finished, all forts in Stormcloak-controlled holds, being Fort Dunstad, Fort Kastav, Fort Greenwall, and Fort Amol, will be garrisoned with Stormcloak troops in place of their original tenants. Fort Greymoor will be occupied by Imperial Legionnaires if the fort was not cleared earlier.
  • The objective numbers for this quest, like some others for the civil war questline, follow a significantly different progression than most other quests. These numbers are only visible in the creation kit and do not affect gameplay.


This section contains bugs related to Battle for Whiterun (Imperial). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
Click to show
  • Despite the defense being complete and the Stormcloaks being driven back, the city may continue to be bombarded by fireballs. They do no damage, and the citizens seem unaware of them. There is no apparent fix for this, however it can be avoided. There are certain things that seem to cause this glitch:
  1. Looting the bodies of ANY fallen soldiers for anything, both Stormcloak and Imperial. It seems that having any looted item in the player's inventory makes the game "memorize" that the battle is still going on, even though it ended. It is best not to loot anything at all, before, during, or after the battle. If the player wishes to loot the Stormcloak Officer Armor, there is another way to get it. (Note: Could not replicate bug via looting in over a dozen attempts on 4 different saves on 360 and PC, more likely the cause is #2.)
  2. Entering Whiterun right after the battle. It seems that the game does not "refresh" the current state of Whiterun, causing it to be a warzone forever. Note: After talking to Jarl Balgruuf, it is advised to travel back to Solitude or any place away from Whiterun and the surrounding area for that matter, and then travel back to Whiterun. Everything should be back to normal as the game has been given time to "refresh" the state of Whiterun.
  •  PS3   Not only this but otherwise you may lose your stolen goods, traveling to Solitude and speaking with Tullius before fast traveling back corrected this.
  • If siding with the Imperials, be sure to talk to Jarl Balgruuf before traveling to Solitude and reporting to General Tullius. If you do not talk to Balgruuf, the objective to report back to him will permanently remain in your quest log and Balgruuf will still have a quest marker over him.
    • Console command: player.setobjectivecompleted cwpostwhiterunobj 1 1
  • When you leave the castle, as you make your way to the main gates, sometimes almost all of the citizens of Whiterun will group just outside the guardhouse. However, when you approach them, they will run to their house or tavern and then proceed to lock the doors for the remaining duration of the siege.
  • Sometimes, Legate Rikke will talk, and then stop for no known purpose, and the Stormcloaks will not advance. A fix for this is to attack her until she becomes hostile and then sheathe your weapon. The Stormcloaks should charge now.
  •  PC   Occasionally a glitch will happen at the completion of this quest. Once the battle is over and Jarl Balgruuf gives his speech, you should get the quest "Reunification of Skyrim." Very rarely, however, the quest that shows up is titled " [...] ." The objectives for the quest are the same, and it can progress normally, however you get no quest markers for it, and the description is blank, preventing you from being able to check where you need to go in-game. There is no known solution for this, and its causes are unknown.
  •  PS3   Sometimes upon leaving Whiterun towards battle, the Dragonborn can see all the civilians who killed, lying naked on the ground.
  •  360   Once the main quest is completed, prior to starting the Legion quests, and Louis Letrush has been assassinated by one of Maven's thugs over the theft of Frost, the Dragonborn may see copies of him running into Whiterun for shelter during the battle, while another copy stays buried up to his waist in the ground in the main road, beside Whiterun Stables.
  • Your family/household members/followers from Whiterun may appear outside the gates and immediately be attacked by Whiterun guards (if playing Imperial) and Stormcloaks will not spawn. Use of console to set quest complete is the only way to fix this.
    •  360   There is a potential solution for this bug that worked for me, but it involved a unique set of circumstances. It may only work if you own Breezehome and have spoken with Aventus Aretino but have not yet gone to sleep so as to be kidnapped by the Dark Brotherhood. Before exiting Whiterun (the gates where the family members/followers are attacked), go into Breezehome and go to sleep. You will be taken away to the Abandoned Shack. The Battle for Whiterun quest will show as completed once you awaken in the Abandoned Shack, and your family members/followers will remain unharmed (though it may take a day or two before they return to your home).
    •  PS3   An easy way is that after you left Whiterun there are your home people getting attacked and the Legate do nothing. Pickpocket Legate Rikke to make her angry and attack you then using a horse ride to the Stormcloak Camp south of the Whiterun. It can be seen from far away because the catapults are there. Then the Stormcloaks in the area would be hostile and will start the war straight away but your home people keep on being attacked.
  • If the Dragonborn accidentally attacks an ally with a shout – such as Unrelenting Force – and gains a bounty, no guards will come to stop the Dragonborn to clear the bounty. Talking to any guard after the quest is completed will not give dialogue to clear the bounty. This means the Dragonborn will be stuck with a bounty permanently on their head that cannot be removed without using console commands.
  • Followers may be transported to the Dragonsreach jail during/after the battle.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Battle for Whiterun (Imperial)

  • Battle for Whiterun Bug

    4 messages
    • Use Detect Life if that happens again, or, if you want,...
    • Thank you for your adivice. I use another method to solve this problem. When the problem happend, I saved my game and reloaded it. And then, ...
  • I've lost my companion!

    5 messages
    • My companion (Eola) was in a jail cell in Dragonsreach. Late reply, but hopefully it helps anyone with this problem in the future.
    • Yes dragonsreach was the answer for me. I had Lydia as my companion. She was sitting in a chair waiting for me. She still had everything i g...
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