Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Bleak Falls Barrow.

Bleak Falls Barrow is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Farengar Secret-Fire tasks the Dragonborn to retrieve the Dragonstone inside Bleak Falls Barrow, leading to the first finding of a Word Wall.


Jarl Balgruuf thinks I may be able to help Farengar, his court wizard, with something related to the dragons.


  1. Talk to Farengar
  2. Retrieve the Dragonstone
  3. Deliver the Dragonstone to Farengar


"Yes, I could use someone to fetch something for me. Well, when I say fetch I really mean delve into a dangerous ruin in search of an ancient stone tablet that may or may not actually be there."
Farengar Secret-Fire[src]

In order to start this quest, the Dragonborn must speak to Farengar Secret-Fire during the previous quest "Before the Storm" inside Dragonsreach, Farengar will explain how he is looking for a map of Dragon Burial sites so he could find out where the next Dragon might rise. He will then instruct the Dragonborn to look for this Dragonstone map in Bleak Falls Barrow, starting the quest of the same name.

Bleak Falls Barrow[]

Travel to the Ancient Nordic ruins of Bleak Falls Barrow. Outside are several bandits and after eliminating them, the Dragonborn can then find the entrance at the top of the stairs, leading into the Bleak Falls Temple. In the first large room a couple of bandits have set up camp and are discussing things regarding a Dunmer who went further into the ruins when entering. When moving forward they will detect and attack on sight. Continue into the corridor and proceed until reaching a small room with a bandit, a lever and a puzzle. Watch him pull the lever setting off a trap that will kill him with poisoned darts. Set the pillars on the left of the entrance after the tablets on the upper wall above the gate and the tablet beside the lever. The order, from left to right is: snake, snake, whale.

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. Chase him down the corridor and kill him, or let the draugr do it further in. When he is released from the web, he recoils and has low health, and it is quite easy to kill him 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. However, if this happens, his body may be flung a large way away and it may be difficult to find. His body may also end up behind the swinging wall trap. Even if he gets past the trap and first three draugr, he'll meet his end against the Restless Draugr beyond the trap, as that draugr uses a one-handed Ancient Nord Weapon and ice magic.

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 stepping on it 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 four 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. There is another draugr that steps out of a sarcophagus as the Dragonborn enters the room. Go down the path, fight the draugr on the ledge and continue into bleak falls sanctum.

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 the 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 unlock and 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 boss will emerge from the sarcophagus nearby. Kill it and get the Dragonstone off its corpse and leave the crypt through the exit nearby. This will likely be the first time the Dragonborn faces a draugr boss enemy, possibly a Draugr Overlord or higher based on the Dragonborn's level at the time. The draugr will use Unrelenting Force to stagger the Dragonborn and uses a frost-enchanted Ancient Nord Weapon. A clear indication of when it uses its Thu'um will be when it stands straight up, before leaning forward to open its mouth and release the Shout.

If the Dragonborn finds themselves overpowered by the draugr, to the right from the entry to the cavern on the far side of the bridge is an easily accessible area which the draugr cannot reach which allows the Dragonborn to snipe with arrows or magic.

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."


Bleak Falls Barrow – MQ103
ID Journal Entry
10 Jarl Balgruuf thinks I may be able to help Farengar, his court wizard, with something related to dragons.
  • Objective 10: Talk to Farengar
50 Farengar Secret-Fire, Jarl Balgruuf's court wizard, has asked me to retrieve a Dragonstone from Bleak Falls Barrow, a stone tablet that he believes contains a map of ancient dragon burial sites. He hopes this will help him understand how and why dragons are returning to Tamriel.
  • Objective 50: Retrieve the Dragonstone
  • Objective 80: Deliver the Dragonstone to Farengar
190 Farengar Secret-Fire, Jarl Balgruuf's court wizard, asked me to retrieve a Dragonstone from Bleak Falls Barrow, a stone tablet that he believes contains a map of ancient dragon burial sites. He hopes this will help him understand how and why dragons are returning to Tamriel. He was pleased when I returned with it, and promised that the Jarl will reward me for my efforts.
  • Quest complete


  • If the draugr ahead of Arvel are killed after he is freed, he will stop before the swinging axe trap and become hostile.
  • The Dragonborn may already have the Dragonstone from "The Golden Claw" and immediately give it to Farengar. However, by doing that Delphine will not show up, and the Dragonborn will be unable to hear Farengar and Delphine's conversation.
    • While Delphine can meet Farengar if the Dragonborn backs out of the conversation tree and waits a few hours, the first half of the conversation will not occur. In this case, she wears her regular inn clothing rather than travel armor.
  • If one heads to Riverwood after getting the quest from Farengar and gathering the Dragonstone, the barkeep will note that the innkeeper is out and the Dragonborn can not rent a room.
  • It is impossible to pickpocket Arvel as long as he is caught in the web.
  • After giving Farengar the Dragonstone, the Axe of Whiterun will spawn in Balgruuf the Greater's inventory. Saving and reloading will cause the Axe of Whiterun to have a different enchantment.
  • When this quest is started, the first of many Dragon Burial Mounds across Skyrim will open. The mound west of Autumnshade Clearing will now be empty.


This section contains bugs related to Bleak Falls Barrow (Quest). 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  /  PS5  ,  XS  , 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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   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 occurs when leaving Arvel for the draugr after he has 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.
  •  360   PS3   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 the barrow.
  •  XB1   There is a bug that cause the last draugr to not open from the tomb after obtaining the shout. Reloading a save will fix this.
  •  PC   360   PS3   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.


Bleak Falls Barrow (Achievement)
Bleak Falls Barrow
Complete "Bleak Falls Barrow"
Points 10 Gamer points
Bronze trophy