On the Dragonborn's first visit to Jorrvaskr, the line "Those two at it again?" are the first words they hear when entering. Njada Stonearm and Athis will be in a brawl (fist fight), and the rest of the Companions and other characters will be watching. Njada will eventually win the fight.
According to local legend, Jorrvaskr is the oldest building in Whiterun. It once existed by itself on the mountain, with the rest of the town springing up around it over the centuries. Jorrvaskr itself was originally a longboat made for the Return of the Five Hundred Companions of Ysgramor. Its captain was Jeek of the River, and its crew consisted of twenty two men.
Upon arrival in Skyrim, Ysgramor commanded that his men go forth and settle in this new land. Jeek of the River and his crew split from the Circle of Captains and traveled southwards towards the area that was later named Whiterun Hold.
It was there they discovered a strange monument that later became known as the Skyforge. Jeek and his crew decided that the mysterious Skyforge could be of use to them. The wasteland surrounding the Skyforge was fit for harvest, and so began the labors of Menro and Manwe, whose eager hands again laid to the Atmoran wood which had born them all across the sea, their boat, Jorrvaskr, becoming their shelter.
Jorrvaskr is a place of honor and courage, and to walk into the hall is to proclaim, "I am a warrior, and will die as I lived—in glorious battle!" It is also the location where the Dragonborn may join the Companions as a Shield-Brother or Sister.
Jorrvaskr was built from the timbers of the ship that brought some of Ysgramor's Five Hundred Companions to Skyrim from Atmora. The design is influenced by this; the roof resembles the hull of one of their vessels.
The exterior of the building features two front doors and a rear outside dining and training area. Inside, the main floor is dominated by the mead hall and fire pit where the Companions can be found throughout the day. At one end of the hall is a sparring area, and around the sides are various shelves stocked with books and food.
The door at the north end leads to a bedroom. The stairs at the south end lead down to the living quarters. Upon joining the Companions, the Dragonborn is given a cot in a room shared with the other newest recruits. After completing the quest "Glory of the Dead," the Harbinger's bedroom (formerly Kodlak's living area) is available for use. The chest and barrel in Kodlak's quarters in Jorrvaskr in Whiterun can reset, thus permanently deleting all items placed within them after a certain period of time. The wardrobe, cupboard and other containers do not, however.
- Skill Book (Archery) – The Marksmanship Lesson, in a locked case (Expert) in Aela's room.
- An Elven Bow is also in the locked case (Expert) that the book The Marksmanship Lesson is found in.
- Skill Book (Two-Handed) : The Song of Hrormir – found in the living quarters on a table holding the map.
- Skill Book (Heavy Armor): Hallgerd's Tale – found in the Main Hall.
- An Unusual Gem in Kodlak's room. If the Dragonborn is caught taking it, it counts as a crime and makes the Companions pursue them, wanting them to pay 500 . This gem is necessary for the completion of the quest "No Stone Unturned." Waiting until the end of Glory of the Dead, when the Dragonborn becomes the new Harbinger, lifts the "steal" tag from most of the items in Jorrvaskr, so the gem can then be taken without consequence.
- A Daedra heart is on a plate in Kodlak's room. This Daedra heart will respawn every so often, proving useful for the crafting of Daedric armor and weapons.
- At the south end of the south-central room in the living quarters (the first room entered when descending the stairs from Jorrvaskr itself into the living quarters) is a green book titled An Explorer's Guide to Skyrim. Reading this will cause the map to be updated.
- Aela the Huntress
- Kodlak Whitemane
- Njada Stonearm
- Vignar Gray-Mane
- After completing "Take Up Arms," the dresser in the quarters shown to the Dragonborn becomes theirs and is safe to store items in permanently.
- When inside the great hall, an ebony greatsword, Dwarven greatsword, glass warhammer, and an Elven sword can be seen, however these objects are unable to be taken.
- The locked display cabinets in the master bedroom reset after a certain period of time; since they are all expert locks, they are a great way to level up Lockpicking early on.
- Jorrvaskr is one of three faction headquarters that does not have a "fast travel" option on the world map, the others being Castle Dour of the Imperial Legion and the Bards College. The other faction headquarters are Thieves Guild, College of Winterhold, Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, Sky Haven Temple, and the Palace of the Kings.
- When inside Jorrvaskr, it is possible to transform into a werewolf without being pursued by the guards. This is mainly due to the fact that the members of the Circle are werewolves as well.
- In Kodlak's room, there is a display case on top of the bookshelf on the left. While it can be opened, there is nothing inside of it.
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Attempting to leave Jorrvaskr may result in a game freeze on the loading screen. As the game finishes loading Whiterun, it freezes before leaving the loading screen. Any attempt to re-load the same save and re-attempting to exit results in the game crashing, thus making the game impossible to be played any further. On the PC, one can use the teleport console command
- Turn off all autosaves and leave Jorrvaskr. When faced with the grey screen, select the map option in menu and navigate a location to fast travel to. The game will stay on the map screen and the loading music will begin to play. When arriving at the destination, the Dragonborn's facial textures may not load. To fix this, save the game and return to the Xbox home, reload the game and save it again. Facial textures can also be fixed by werewolf transformation.
- Reloading a previous save and deleting excess saves before attempting to enter Jorrvaskr again may also fix this.
- This bug no longer occurs if one has the Dawnguard DLC.
- If Jorrvaskr is locked and needs a key, it can be returned to its normal state by reloading to previous save where it should be unlocked.
- During the fight between Njada and Athis, Athis may rarely die.
- One may cause them to draw weapons on each other, ultimately with one killing the other, by punching one of them during their brawl. Timing this punch may be important, namely landing the blow just when they are about to be struck by their opponent. This is likely due to the strike breaking the scripted brawl session, with the NPC's blow causing them to go hostile in the true sense.
- Farkas continues to talk to the Dragonborn as they are in the Companions living quarters.
- If the Dragonborn walks up to the back door of the Jorrvaskr whilst moving an item they will fall through the floor. Fast travel will return them back to Whiterun.
- Skjor may respawn after the Companions questline has been completed.