"Cause trouble in Whiterun, and I'll haul you into the Dragonsreach Dungeon myself."
―Whiterun Guard

Dragonsreach Dungeon is a location in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim located within Dragonsreach in Whiterun. It serves as the prison for those who have committed crime inside Whiterun Hold.


Dragonsreach Dungeon serves as home to a portion of the Whiterun's guard and the prison.

The entrance area has the chests the Dragonborn needs to retrieve their items, either after they serve time or if they reach in from the sewer grate behind the chests.

The main cell block has cells on either side (Adept, unless a quest-related cell) and a door at the opposite end leading to Dragonsreach. The cell to the west is of particular interest, as it comes decked out with food and a variety of luxuries not normally associated with jails. This is where the more prominent miscreants are kept, usually after a drunken binge.

A man named Arn is imprisoned in this location, but only during the Thieves Guild quest "Imitation Amnesty."


If the Dragonborn is arrested and placed in this prison, the cell will have a loose grate on the floor which may be lockpicked. Going down this grate will lead through an underground passage and eventually open into the guard barracks. It is possible for the Dragonborn to retrieve their possessions while still in the dungeon by activating the Prisoner Belongings and Evidence chests, which can be seen through a grate in the underground passage. If caught escaping, the guard will battle the Dragonborn and Irileth (an essential character) often joins the fight.

The guards will not try to arrest the Dragonborn again, but all possessions will still be in the prison. The door can also be lockpicked, but is a harder lock. If guards see the Dragonborn escape through the door, they will attack.

Side storyEdit

If the Dragonborn agrees to side with Saadia against the Alik'r, they venture to the dungeons in search of the imprisoned bounty hunter. If the Dragonborn pays off the bounty hunter's fines, he reveals the location of his leader Kematu at Swindler's Den, west of Whiterun.



This section contains bugs related to Dragonsreach Dungeon. 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.
  • There is a bug where if the Dragonborn uses a dragon shout a few times, a guard will unlock the cell door and ask them to stop, at which time escape may be attempted without the guards becoming hostile.
  •  360   There is a bug where when the Dragonborn walks in, there is a hole in the floor. If they walk in it, it drops them to the other side of the first cell on the left.
  • Sometimes, guards will become hostile to the Dragonborn while they are in jail, for no apparent reason.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Dragonsreach Dungeon

  • I freed Heimskr from prison after civil war

    6 messages
    • Ottoman Hold wrote: There's a glitch where Heimskr won't go to prison with the Imperials. Did you have a mod that completely fixed t...
    • Purrington wrote:Isn't the only cell with a grate the one the Dragoborn is sent to? That means you would've had to open his cell ...
  • Lydia going arrested in Dragonsreach?

    8 messages
    • I tried, but it doesn't happen to me. Lydia ended up on a road near Falkreath. Bugs are pretty unpredictable though.
    • I added it to the bugs list on the page.
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