Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For the quest in Online, see The Golden Claw (Online).
For the item, see Golden Claw.

The Golden Claw is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The quest can be activated either by entering Bleak Falls Barrow and overhearing the bandits discussing the claw, entering Lucan's shop and asking what went missing, or by letting the local innkeeper, Orgnar, tell the Dragonborn the latest rumors and/or gossips.


Lucan Valerius in Riverwood is offering me a gold reward if I retrieve his antique Golden Claw, stolen by bandits camped in Bleak Falls Barrow.


Note: Completing this quest simultaneously fulfills the objectives for "Bleak Falls Barrow" and vice versa.
  1. Retrieve the Golden Claw
  2. Cut Arvel down
  3. Retrieve the Golden Claw
  4. Find the secret of Bleak Falls Barrow
  5. Bring the claw to Lucan


"Yes, we did have a bit of a... break-in. But we still have plenty to sell. Robbers were only after one thing. An ornament, solid gold. In the shape of a dragon's claw."
Lucan Valerius[src]

When the Riverwood Trader is entered, Lucan and Camilla Valerius are in a heated argument about whether or not a valuable item that has recently been stolen from their shop should be retrieved. Upon inquiry, it is learned that a Golden Claw has been stolen from the shop by bandits. More curious yet, is the fact that the claw was the only item stolen, despite that numerous other valuable items in the shop which are worth just as much Gold. The bandits are thought to be holed up in Bleak Falls Barrow.

Retrieve the Golden Claw[]

Bleak Falls Barrow can be found by following the path Camilla lays out up the mountain west of Riverwood. Several bandits are found guarding the entrance, as well as two bandits inside, who can be overheard talking about someone called Arvel, who seems to have gone ahead of the rest of the group.

After killing or sneaking by the bandits and continuing through Bleak Falls Temple, another bandit is seen who pulls a lever and is cut down by a volley of poisoned darts. This introduces a turn-stone puzzle, whose solution can be deduced by studying the order of carvings on the stone faces, going from left to right (Snake, Snake, Whale). Once the trap has been deactivated, the Pickpocket skill book Thief can be taken from a table just past the portcullis.

Cut Arvel down[]

The voice of Arvel the Swift can be heard crying out for his comrades help (these include Bjorn and Soling), despite running ahead with the claw. Upon investigating the cries, a large Wounded Frostbite Spider descends from the ceiling to guard its trapped prey. Once the spider has been killed, Arvel asks to be set free. He states that he knows about the markings on the claw and the stone door and that he'll share in the power that the ancients have hidden away once he is free.

Despite all of his promises, Arvel is nothing but a bandit and tries to run once he has been cut free. Since he has the claw, he must be cut down (or let the trap and Draugr up ahead do it). His corpse has the Golden Claw as well as Arvel's Journal on it. To avoid the impending chase, Arvel can be killed as soon as he is free, as he will stand still for a moment or two after dropping to the floor. Another way that he can die is if he survives the draugr, he can run into a spike trap, killing him instantly. Alternatively, the player can use the Calm spell to make him fall into a trance, allowing a few seconds to slay him.

Find the secret of Bleak Falls Barrow[]

Past where Arvel was ensnared is the start of the crypts and the first encounters with the many ancient draugr that inhabit the barrow, as well as a number of deadly traps. There is a closed gate with water running through it that can be opened by activating the chain next to it. Eventually, the doorway down to Bleak Falls Sanctum can be found. It is guarded by a Restless Draugr at lower levels. Behind the door is a swinging axe trap, with two draugr behind it. Eventually, there is an iron door that leads to the Hall of Stories, a long, low arched vault with stone murals on the sides. Here, the ancient Nords processed their dead for their voyage to Sovngarde.

At the end of the hall is the keystone that the Golden Claw unlocks. The combination can be seen on the palm of the claw: bear, moth, owl from top to bottom (which can be seen when viewing the claw in the items view). Activate the outer, middle, and inner rings to rotate the radial turn stones on the door. Once they match the claw, activate the keyhole, which will insert the claw as the key. Once through, the passage will open up into a great chamber with a Word Wall for the Dragon Shout Unrelenting Force. While learning the shout, a Draugr Overlord will emerge from the nearby crypt. Once defeated, the Dragonstone, a quest item, can be taken from his body. Warning: Once taken, the Dragonstone, as a quest item, cannot be dropped, stored or given to a follower until it is presented to Farengar Secret-Fire in Whiterun to complete the quest "Bleak Falls Barrow." With a weight of 25, it takes up a considerable percentage of the Dragonborn's carrying capacity, especially early in the game, and presenting the Dragonstone sets in motion events that significantly change the game world, making it more difficult for players who are still early in the game. It is recommended the Dragonstone be left with the Overlord, and the location noted, until the player is ready.

Bring the Golden Claw to Lucan[]

With the secret of Bleak Falls Barrow uncovered, Lucan will be awaiting his prized possession. Following the stairs to the left of the Word Wall will lead to a handle that will reveal a secret passage to a one-way exit from the sanctum (the final room after the one-way drop has a chest and some purple mountain flowers, red mountain flowers, and blue mountain flowers). Return to the Riverwood Trader where Lucan will be pleased to have his prized trinket back, and in return, happily pays the promised gold. Camilla becomes a marriage prospect as well.


The Golden Claw – MS13
ID Journal Entry
10 Lucan Valerius in Riverwood is offering me a gold reward if I retrieve his antique Golden Claw, stolen by bandits camped in Bleak Falls Barrow.
  • Objective 10: Retrieve the Golden Claw
Camilla Valerius in Riverwood is offering me a gold reward if I retrieve her antique Golden Claw, stolen by bandits camped in Bleak Falls Barrow.
  • Objective 10: Retrieve the Golden Claw
12 I've overheard a group of bandits talking about a golden claw that they've recently stolen. Apparently, one of the bandits has taken the claw further into Bleak Falls Barrow.
  • Objective 10: Retrieve the Golden Claw
  • Objective 15: Cut Arvel down
  • Objective 10: Retrieve the Golden Claw
  • Objective 40: Bring the claw to Lucan
  • Objective 45: Bring the claw to Camilla
  • Objective 30: Find the secret of Bleak Falls Barrow
  • Objective 35: Find the owner of the Golden Claw
  • Objective 40: Bring the claw to Lucan
  • Objective 45: Bring the claw to Camilla
100 I have returned the Golden Claw to Lucan, who rewarded me for my effort.
  • Quest completed
110 I have returned the Golden Claw to Camilla, who rewarded me for my effort.
  • Quest completed
200 Camilla and Lucan Valerius are dead. Any chance of getting a reward from them for retrieving the golden claw died with them.
  • Quest failed



  • In the cavern with the Word Wall, there is a chest hidden up the stream behind it. It is accessible by following the stream to the right (facing the Wall), up and behind. There will be leveled loot inside, normally containing a few potions and other various items.
  • It is not necessary to talk to either of the Valerius siblings to begin the quest. If the first couple of quests in the main questline are completed, the Golden Claw will be found automatically. Once the claw has been picked up, this quest will initiate with the objective to "Find the owner of the Golden Claw."
  • Camilla owns the claw, and as such, ownership of it will pass to the Dragonborn upon marriage.
  • After completing the quest, Lucan and Camilla will thank the Dragonborn whenever their shop is entered.
  • Lucan will send hired thugs after the Dragonborn if they steal the Golden Claw after retrieving it.
  • There is a back entrance to the Bleak Falls Sanctum. It is a small, concealed cave on the lake-side of the mountain. The entrance is a small climb and is above an area of mammoth skeletons. This entrance leads to a small shrine-cave at the back of the Sanctum where a ledge can be climbed, offering a path into the sanctum proper. However, a stone door blocking the path makes entry into the sanctum proper from this direction impossible as the only lever to open this door is located on the other side.
  • If Camilla is dead, Lucan will let the Dragonborn keep the golden claw.
  • If the player elects to marry Camilla, she will keep expressing gratitude for the claw being returned.
  • If the Dragonborn keeps the Golden Claw, the store will remain open at all periods of the day until it is returned.


This section contains bugs related to The Golden Claw (Skyrim). 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 show
  • It is possible that this only occurs if one chooses to side with Ralof during the open quest, Unbound.
  •  PC   If the Riverwood Trader is entered at a time when it should be closed (e.g., 5:30 am), Lucan and Camilla can be heard arguing. However, when they are spoken to they will ask the Dragonborn to leave instead of making the quest quest available. Afterwords, if they are spoken to again, they will only have general conversations, making it impossible to get the quest.
  •  PC   In Bleak Falls Barrow, Arvel may be found already dead on the ground with the Claw nowhere to be found. If the Claw is obtained via console, the "Bleak Falls Barrow" quest may be cleared, but the quest objective "find the owner of the golden claw" still cannot be completed. There is no known fix for this.
  •  PC   If Arvel the Swift is attacked before activating the conversation with him, he will be stuck in the pose as if he is still in the spiderwebs. He can not be killed or pickpocketed in this state. The only way to fix this is loading a save from before he was attacked, restarting the game over or using console commands.
  • This bug does not occur on PS3, as any hit attempt on Arvel will register as a hit on the web. This means that Arvel cannot be attacked until the web is broken.
  •  PC   360   When killing the draugr that carries the Dragonstone, it may glitch through the floor, making the Dragonstone irretrievable. Reload a previous save and kill it again.
  •  PC   In some cases, if the Golden Claw is obtained before talking to Lucan or Camilla, they will not talk to each other or the Dragonborn, which makes completing the quest impossible. (Confirmed)
  •  360   Camilla may suddenly stop walking. To fix this, sprint and shove her and she should walk normally, if not, reload an old save.
  •  PC   If the quest "Bleak Falls Barrow" has been completed already, the quest marker will indicate back the word wall, even though it was already learned. To fix this, go back to Riverwood and give the claw to either Lucan or Camilla.