- For other uses, see High Hrothgar.
High Hrothgar is a monastery that sits at the top of the Seven Thousand Steps to the Throat of the World — the highest point in Tamriel. It is here the ancient Greybeards reside, living in absolute silence to better attune themselves to the voice of the sky.
Seven Thousand Steps
The act of climbing the Seven Thousand Steps holds a spiritual significance for many Nords due to the belief that Men were created by Kyne on this mountain when the sky breathed onto the land. This belief has led to pilgrims from all across Tamriel traveling to the Throat of the World, and several may be encountered along the mountain path either meditating or studying the etched tablets.
The path leading to High Hrothgar begins in the village of Ivarstead—across the main bridge in the northwest side of town. The mountain path itself is treacherous and is host to a multitude of dangerous creatures such as frost trolls, ice wraiths, snow bears, ice wolves, Frostbite Spiders and occasionally dragons.
Etched tablet emblems
- Emblem I – Before the birth of Men, the Dragons ruled all Mundus; Their word was the Voice, and they spoke only for True Needs; For the Voice could blot out the sky and flood the land
- Emblem II – Men were born and spread over the face of Mundus; The Dragons presided over the crawling masses; Men were weak then, and had no Voice
- Emblem III – The fledgling spirits of Men were strong in Old Times; Unafraid to war with Dragons and their Voices; But the Dragons only shouted them down and broke their hearts
- Emblem IV – Kyne called on Paarthurnax, who pitied Man; Together they taught Men to use the Voice; Then Dragon War raged, Dragon against Tongue
- Emblem V – Man prevailed, shouting Alduin out of the world; Proving for all that their Voice too was strong; Although their sacrifices were many-fold
- Emblem VI – With roaring Tongues, the Sky-Children conquer; Founding the First Empire with Sword and Voice; Whilst the Dragons withdrew from this World
- Emblem VII – The Tongues at Red Mountain went away humbled; Jurgen Windcaller began His Seven Year Meditation; To understand how Strong Voices could fail
- Emblem VIII – Jurgen Windcaller chose silence and returned; The 17 disputants could not shout Him down; Jurgen the Calm built His home on the Throat of the World
- Emblem IX – For years all silent, the Greybeards spoke one name; Tiber Septim, stripling then, was summoned to Hrothgar; They blessed and named him Dovahkiin
- Emblem X – The Voice is worship; Follow the Inner path; Speak only in True Need
There are banners hanging throughout the interior of High Hrothgar. Despite how many hang, there are only two separate phrases written on them and the positioning when they are first encountered seems to indicate they are meant to be paired. In the picture, the one on the left reads "LOK BO" and the one on the right reads "THuuM TuuM." Unfortunately, a complete translation cannot be made as not enough of the language is known to translate it from simply 'reading into it'. We do, however, know that LOK is 'Sky' and THuuM (Thu'um) is 'Shout' or 'Storm Voice'. Therefore, it is likely that the banners translate to the phrase that Arngeir frequently speaks to the Dragonborn after they leave conversation with him: "Sky above, voice within."
The courtyard of High Hrothgar can be accessed from within the temple. The courtyard itself is relatively sparse, with only a few trees and stone pillars. A large double gate is off to one side where the Greybeards practice the Whirlwind Sprint shout. A large tower dominates the opposite end, where Arngeir occasionally meditates at the top. Occasionally, one of the Greybeards will meditate by the cliffside—he will stand up to shout at the sky, then continue meditating.
The path to the summit of the Throat of the World is also accessible from the courtyard, but will initially be blocked by a powerful wind barrier. The only way to disperse the barrier is with the Clear Skies shout.
After the completion of Dragon Rising, a powerful shout will be heard from the mountains close to Whiterun. Upon talking to Jarl Balgruuf, it is revealed that the shout was uttered by the Greybeards, summoning the Dragonborn to High Hrothgar.
At the base of the steps, there is a man called Klimmek with supplies meant to be taken up to the Greybeards. These supplies can be delivered to the chest outside High Hrothgar for a leveled amount of upon return.
- This location is inaccessible until the Dragonborn starts the associated quest.
- The wind barrier in the courtyard deals 25 points of frost damage per second, making it impossible to pass unless the Clear Skies shout is used.
- On the path to the Throat of the World, the fog effect is called "Oppressive Cloud/Fog: The fog slows your progress and dulls your senses" under the active effects menu.
- In an interview, Todd Howard jokingly mentioned that he would count all the steps leading up to High Hrothgar to make sure it's seven thousand, however it appears that there are actually only seven-hundred forty-eight steps.
- When walking, it takes approximately 2,403 footsteps from High Hrothgar to reach the base pathway. Walking the entire 7,000 footsteps from High Hrothgar, however, will actually bring the Dragonborn to the town center of Whiterun.
- Hrothgar was a legendary Danish king who lived in the early 6th century. He plays a role in the epic poem Beowulf, composed by an Anglo-Saxon poet. A significant portion of the poem takes place in Heorot, Hrothgar's mead hall.
- The Greybeards can occasionally be found in the courtyard during the day practicing Shouts.
- The dressers behind the beds have been placed so that when opened, the drawer clips through the bed's headboard.