Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Ironbind Barrow is an ancient Nordic tomb in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is the final resting place of the Warlord Gathrik. One word of the Become Ethereal shout can be found here.


Ironbind Barrow is a medium-sized dungeon. It is occupied by draugr, and has a named final boss, Warlord Gathrik.

The barrow is located about an equal distance southeast of Dawnstar and southwest of Winterhold on the road from Whiterun to Windhelm, a short distance north-northwest of the Nightgate Inn near the Wayward Pass across the northern mountain chain.


Before entering, the Dragonborn will come upon a warrior, Salma, and a wizard, Beem-Ja, two adventurers arguing over exploring the ruins. Salma is eager, yet Beem-Ja believes they should wait. However, upon the Dragonborn's arrival, the two agree to delve inside, so long as the Dragonborn accompanies them.

Upon entering, the Dragonborn will be in a frozen cave with a few Frostbite Spiders and a giant frostbite spider. Note that Salma and Beem-Ja will wait for the Dragonborn if they get too far ahead.

Past the cave is the actual Nordic Ruin. To the right of the first gate is a treasure chest with leveled loot. A handle that opens the gate is in an alcove to the left side of the gate, opposite the chest.

Through the gate is a room with a pit covered by a metal grate. Two draugr come out of their crypts to attack. There is a table against the north wall that contains various potions and armor. From the east wall is a passage that bends into a left turn and eventually heads west. A table with a leveled weapon is on the right (north) side of the passage. Where the passage turns right (north), a chest has minor loot, but is protected by a spear trap.

The passage turns north and enters a room with a bridge and several draugr. On the other side of the bridge is a small room with an adept-locked chest at the south end that contains minor loot. Just before the room, at the end of the bridge, a ramp goes down to the right (south). At the south end of the room is a gate that leads to a passage to another room with a large fire pit in the center and two draugr. There are miscellaneous potions available on shelves around the room, and a pull chain that opens the grate above that covered the pit from the earlier room.

Through the iron gate to the east is a room with a gate at the opposite end, and high-grade loot on a pedestal. Take the loot from a small distance, as spikes shoot from the floor amid ceiling around the pedestal. This will also raise the gate in front. There is also a pull-chain above and behind the pedestal (opposite from the gate) that will raise it as well.

Through that gate, the passage turns north to an iron door. The final chamber is a great throne room, in which Warlord Gathrik will arise and attack, accompanied by a few skeletons, both mage and archer versions. Due to the Warlord's frequent Ice Spike attacks, melee is not recommended unless the Dragonborn can back him into a corner. After slaying Gathrik, Beem-Ja (if still alive) will then explain that he needs a blood sacrifice to absorb Gathrik's power, and that the Dragonborn will be just the one. He will then attack with Lightning Bolt spells. Upon slaying him, Salma will be disheartened, and asks the Dragonborn to continue without her.

After collecting the Word of Power and loot from a chest left of the word wall, the Dragonborn will find a gate with a pull chain on the lower level of the throne room to the right. This leads to a stairway, at the top of which is an exit to Ironbind Overlook. To the left (southeast) from the doorway is a chest with minor loot. From here, it is possible to fast travel.

Notable items[]


  • It is possible to sneak kill Beem-Ja while he and Salma wait outside the entrance. After, Salma's dialogue will indicate that she is ready to join the Dragonborn, but she will not enter the barrow. Otherwise, the entire mission appears to be fine. Upon exiting the barrow, she will be gone.
  • It is also possible to kill Beem-Ja inside the barrow before the end. If he is killed without Salma seeing who killed him, she will leave the barrow. If she is talked to before she leaves, she will say that she is returning to High Rock. She will never know of Beem-Ja's intended treachery.
  • If the Dragonborn sheathes their weapon, Beem-Ja may no longer be hostile.


This section contains bugs related to Ironbind Barrow. 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.
Click to see the list of bugs encountered
It has been seen in a game fully updated but with no activated DLCs, that upon entering the location, beem-ja sometimes will be completely naked with only his circlet, gloves and shoes equiped, reloading sometimes can fix this bug but not always, reloading only works if you advance into the location, save and then reload from when you entered the place. If you save outside the barrow, talk with them and then enter the location, he will be naked and even reloading that sayed save will not fix the issue. The mission can either way still be finished with no problem, even if he lacks clothing.
  •  360   A gate partway through the dungeon has a slit for a swinging ax trap and the swinging axe can be heard there but not seen. The trap spawns a few feet left of the door instead of directly over the slit as it should.
  • After triggering the handle of the first door, the floor may be bugged. If the Dragonborn drops through the floor, they will be sent to the room with Warlord Gathrik.
  • After killing Gathrik and having the dialogue with Beem-Ja, Warlord Gathrik may come back to life and just walk on the spot. Hitting him will reduce his health (which returns again to full), but he will not die and just continues to walk on the spot. This appears to only happen when a Paralyze spell is cast on Gathrik before beating him the first time. Reloading an earlier save will remedy this.
  •  PC   360   PS3   There is a bug in which the Steel Battleaxe of Fiery Souls is floating in the middle of Gathrick's chamber. One way to resolve the issue is by trying to reach it using the Whirlwind Sprint shout. Alternatively, it can be shot down with an arrow or a ranged attack spell (like Firebolt).
  •  360   PS3   The Steel Battleaxe of Fiery Souls might not be floating and could be replaced with an Elven Shield. The Steel Battleaxe of Fiery Souls can still be found somewhere on the staircase.
  •  360   PS3   When entering the room with the Nordic Tomb entrance, the Dragonborn can jump onto a ledge directly to the right. If this ledge is followed, there will be a small ledge below, the end which can be jumped onto. When on this second ledge, if crouched, the Dragonborn will fall through the bottom and land directly in front of the iron door of the word wall room.
  •  360   If the helmet on the pedestal that activates the door directly before the last iron door is knocked off with an arrow, the final iron door will not be reachable. This bug can be used as a work-around.
    • As of patch 1.5 there is a chain on the ceiling opposite the iron gate in the room with the pedestal that will open the gate should the helmet be knocked off with an arrow. Jumping onto the pedestal and back off quickly will avoid the trap but will raise the gate.confirmation needed
  •  PC   Sometimes Salma will disappear when the entrance to Warlord Gathrik's chamber is reached, specifically after the door is opened. However, she can still be interacted with as if she is still present. Only her body becomes invisible.
  •  PC   If the Dragonborn traps Salma and Beem-Ja in the hall before the room with the boss fight (the one with the enchanted helmet on the stand) by using the lever to close the gate and fight Warlord Gathrik alone, then his corpse can be used as storage. At that point, it is possible to return to Salma and Beem-Ja and initiate the dialogue of betrayal, then dispatch Beem-Ja. If this is done, there will be a chance that Warlord Gathrik will stand up again. He will not be "alive" but he may also not be lootable. Using the console command "resurrect" will remedy this, but he will have to be fought again. Reloading to a previous save, after killing him, will make him lootable but his body is still "alive," meaning it is standing and wavering but he will not be hostile or react to any attacks.
  •  PS3   Sometimes the Dragonborn will not absorb the word of power. The Word Wall music can still be heard though. There is no known way to fix this bug.