Whiterun Hold has remained neutral in Skyrim since the beginning of the Civil War, refusing to place its land and people in peril from attacks by either side. Both sides of the war have been attempting to persuade Whiterun to discontinue its neutrality and support them but have been so far unsuccessful. With the war mostly at a stand-still, it is time for Balgruuf the Greater, Jarl of Whiterun, to pick a side in the war and the Dragonborn must deliver the message.
The quest continues in Whiterun by speaking with Jarl Balgruuf. After the initial conversation, he will speak with Proventus Avenicci and Irileth. They will debate their course of action—Proventus advises caution, while Irileth advises that they go to war with the Stormcloaks. Balgruuf agrees with Irileth—Ulfric may be serious, "But I'm serious, too." Upon completion of the debate he will hand back the axe, signifying that he is siding with the Imperial Legion and that there will be a war.
Back at the Palace of the Kings, speaking with Ulfric Stormcloak once again will initiate a scripted event during which Galmar Stone-Fist will encourage the Jarl to battle. He will request that the Dragonborn report to the front lines. Note that after the conversation, it may be necessary to wait or exit the palace and then return before the scripted event takes place. This event will finish "Message To Whiterun" and start "Battle for Whiterun."
Note: If the Stormcloaks are joined, at this point Whiterun and Dragonsreach will disappear from the map and cannot be reached.
If the Dragonborn sides with the Imperial forces, General Tullius can be spoken with in Solitude after delivering the Jagged Crown to him. He tells the Dragonborn to deliver a message to Balgruuf in Dragonsreach.
As long as "Dragon Rising" has been completed, the quest continues in Whiterun by speaking to the Jarl and delivering the message. Upon delivering, he will converse with Irileth and Proventus Avenicci, and he decides to side with the Imperials if Ulfric returns the axe. He will give the Dragonborn Balgruuf's War Axe, and ask that it be delivered to Ulfric Stormcloak.
Ulfric will tell the Dragonborn to go back to Dragonsreach and return the axe to Jarl Balgruuf, and that he is disappointed that the Dragonborn did not side with the Stormcloak rebellion. Upon return, Balgruuf will not be surprised that Ulfric returned the axe, and he already requested that Tullius send legionnaires to fight for Whiterun. Whiterun Imperial Legate Quentin Cipius will be in Dragonsreach, and the Dragonborn will need to report to him, which ends "Message to Whiterun" and begins "Battle for Whiterun."
This section contains bugs related to Message to Whiterun. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
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XB1 If the Dragonborn is in trouble with the guards and they try to talk to you while talking to the Jarl, it will mess up the questline and he will not discuss things with Proventus Avenicci and Irileth. If you try talking to Jarl Balgruff after saying; "After that message from Ulfric...", he will reply with "You should be talking with my steward." Yet when talking to him, it does not give you any quest dialogue. Therefore you can not go forth with the quest.
Re-loading from before you give him the axe should help this.
PC 360 PS3 The Jarl will sometimes disappear for no reason. The quest marker will point somewhere around Battle-Born Farm.
360 If the Companions questline has been started, there is a chance the Jarl will disappear for the duration of the companion quests.
PC 360 PS3 If the quest "Season Unending" has been started, then there is no option for talking with the Jarl. There are only the dialog options for setting up the trap to capture Odahviing. This is caused by the Civil War being stopped entirely after the meeting at High Hrothgar and the dialogue option will return after completing that quest.
PC After giving the axe to Jarl Balgruuf the Greater, if the Dragonborn talks to Ulfric Stormcloak, he may ask that Ulfric's War Axe be delivered to Jarl Balgruuf the Greater again.
PC 360 PS3 Sometimes when trying to finish the quest by talking to Legate Quentin Cipius he will not chat and instead say random lines about the war, making it impossible to carry on the quest.
Leaving the area and/or waiting seems to fix this, but sometimes there is no fix and the quest is permanently stuck.
PS3 Sometimes when talking to Legate Quentin Cipius, he will already be in a dialogue with an Imperial soldier. Upon opening dialogue with the Legate, the Imperial soldier will disappear. This causes no known negative effects with the game.
PS3 If Legate Quenting Cipius is found sleeping upstairs above the Jarl's throne, sometimes he will not get up when speaking with the Dragonborn, nor will his mouth move.
If the Stormcloaks are joined and the Jagged Crown delivered to Ulfric, and HAVE NOT finished "Before the Storm," Jarl Balgruuf will not speak to the Dragonborn until "Dragon Rising" is finished, which prevents delivery of the axe from Ulfric. Also, Irileth and the Whiterun soldiers will disappear, which means the Dragonborn will have no help killing the dragon in "Dragon Rising." The guards will appear shortly after the dragon is killed. After going through the dialogue with Balgruuf about being a Dragonborn, he will be able to receive the axe.
360 Sometimes if the quest is started before finishing "Dragon Rising," the quest cannot be finished after finishing "Dragon Rising" is complete.
360 PS3 Ulfric will likely issue the "Message to Whiterun" quest before completing "The Jagged Crown."
Although it may seem as if neither quest can be completed, simply visiting Galmar will cause him to give new orders to speak to Ulfric, completing "The Jagged Crown." After that, going through the dialogue again for the "Message to Whiterun" quest will resolve everything.
360 Sometimes the Jarl can talk to Proventus Avenicci and ask "Proventus, what do you make of all this?" and then not say anything else.
360(Fix) Reloading a previous save will fix this.
360 It is possible that Ulfric will NOT offer the next quest dialogue. There are no known fixes for this.
Sometimes when going to Castle Dour to receive the message from Tullius after completing the quest "The Jagged Crown," the dialogue option to start the quest will not appear.
PC General Tulius may take the crown from the Dragonborn, but will not provide them the letter to Balgruuf, delaying the quest even further.
If the Dragonborn sides with the Imperials and reports to Legate Quentin Cipius, sometimes Cipius does not appear. However, Balgruuf and the random Imperial soldier speak as if Cipius is actually there.
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