Northwatch Keep is a semi-ruinous fortress where the Thalmor are keeping Thorald Gray-Mane prisoner.

The road to Volskygge (south of Northwatch Keep) leads to a seemingly dead end; however, there is an obscure path down the cliff, but it is easy to miss and will still need the Dragonborn to swim across an inlet; so the best route to get to Northwatch Keep is by following the shore from either the West or East. If traveling by means of the path, the Illusion spell Clairvoyance is helpful.

When the Dragonborn arrives there, he or she is greeted outside by a Thalmor. He will state that you must be a member of the Imperial Legion to enter. If you are not an Imperial soldier, the Dragonborn may enter anyway, but they will start attacking him or her. He or she will then have to battle through the fort to free Thorald.

The other prisoners can be 'freed' by picking Master locks, or flipping the levers in the room. However once freed, they just stand there. Attempts to speak with them end with rude generic replies, which is probably an oversight on the developers' behalf.

In the Dawnguard DLC, the Icewater Jetty is just a bit North-West from here.



Notable Loot


  • The enemies in Northwatch keep will not re-spawn.
  • If one retreats far enough back after attacking the guards they will cease to be hostile.
  • After clearing the keep in the quest Missing in Action, citizens will comment about the Thalmor having been "taken down a notch."
  • The guards will not attack those in Beast Form. However, once inside, Thorald will attack anyone in beast form. for this reason, it is best to wait it out and revert to normal before making the final assault on the prison cell.
  • After completing "Missing In Action", Vidrald and Geirlund may be found in the courtyard.


  • If the Dragonborn goes with Thorald's brother to the keep they do not seem to recognize each other and continue on as if one another is not there.
  • If the prisoners are killed, they may disappear through the floor.




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