Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Whiterun (Dragon Language: A.svgH.svgR.svgO.svgL.svgS.svgE.svgD.svgO.svgV.svgA.svgH.svg Ahrol-Se-Dovah: "Hill-Of-Dragon")[1] is one of the nine major cities in the province of Skyrim; it is the capital of the Whiterun Hold region of Skyrim. Whiterun is well-known throughout the Empire for being the trading capital of Skyrim, due to its convenient location, surrounding the Hold capitals of Skyrim.

By game[]


"Whiterun is the heart of Skyrim, its towering palace rivaling even the great castles of Cyrodiil. But should you tire of the Jarl's hospitality, another adventure awaits a few hours to the east of the city, along the road that rises above White River Gorge."
Marcius Carvain[src]


Whiterun is located in the central tundra of Skyrim, along the White River that flows from Falkreath Hold to Eastmarch. The area around Whiterun is very open, stretching far to the Sundered Hills of the Reach. The area is very versatile, filled with all sorts of game, ranging from Deers to Mammoths. Farms and other settlements riddle the area such as the township of Rorikstead and the fortress of Greymoor, although they are more prevalent around the Whiterun outskirts. The roads of Whiterun connect to most of the hold capitals, Dawnstar is mostly a straight path north of Whiterun, and south-southwest leads directly to Falkreath. The hill known as Skyforge was the foundation of Whiterun's construction, the city grew around the landmark. Throughout the area, there are several Whiterun defense towers, safeguarding the roads around Whiterun. The Western Watchtower is in between Whiterun and Greymoor. The northern road has the Whitewatch Tower in between Whiterun and Heljarchen Creek.

Whiterun is a well-fortified city with watchtowers all along the border. The western gate is the only entrance to Whiterun, which is heavily fortified, with a drawbridge connecting the city. The city is divided into three districts. The Plains District is the lower level of Whiterun; it is where the common-folk reside and trade amongst each other. The Bannered Mare is the most popular inn in the city, it is located on the eastern end of the Plains District, adjacent to the market square in the center of the Plains District. The Wind District is the second level of Whiterun, and it is the home of the nobility in Whiterun, as well as, other notable groups. The Temple of Kynareth is located in the center of the Winds District, parallel to the Gildergreen Tree, an ancient tree that grew from the Eldergleam Tree of Eastmarch. The eastern side is the home of the Companions and the Skyforge. The Companions stronghold was the first building in Whiterun. Finally, there is the Cloud District, which is the home of Dragonsreach, which was where the trap was built by Olaf One-Eye to trap the great dragon Numinex.[2]


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  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate the New Life Festival on the 1st of Morning Star. It is a day of celebration where the drinks are free and people party in the streets all day. It truly is, a day of merriment.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate the South Wind's Prayer on the 15th of Morning Star. It is a day to pray to the Gods for a bountiful harvest, and it is for citizens who cannot afford to heal from the local temple to get healed from an ailment.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate Heart's Day on the 16th of Sun's Dawn. It is in honor of a legend passed down from generation to generation about a couple named Polydor and Eloisa. Every Inn in Tamriel become free for visitors arriving into town.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate the First Planting on the 7th of First Seed. It is the day that begins the harvest, where neighbors reconcile their difference, bad habits are dropped, and the clerics heal people for free.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate the Second Planting on the 7th of Second Seed. The holiday is ideally the same holiday as First Planting, to improve one’s soul, and to improve relationships with others.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate the Mid Year Celebration on the 16th of Mid Year. A day to distract everyone from the increased taxes. It is a day celebrating the halfway mark in the year, where many warriors feel blessed and venture to dungeons they normally cannot defeat.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate the Merchant's Festival on the 10th of Sun's Height. It is a day that benefits the consumer in the market. Traders and Gypsies drop the prices on their stock. The only place that does not celebrate it is the Mages Guild. This is the same day as the Summoning of Boethiah.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate Sun's Rest on the 20th of Sun's Height. It is a day when the workers of Tamriel take a day to relax, businesses across town are closed in observance of this day. Some people have to have to leave the province to actually buy something.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate Harvest's End on the 27th of Last Seed. It is the final day of the harvest, and it is where the people eat the crops they have grown since the First Planting. Travelers are given the option to join a farmer’s family for a feast.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate Tales and Tallows on the 3rd of Hearthfire. It is the day of superstition where the elderly do not speak for an entire day, in fear of evil spirits entering their body. The Mages of Tamriel favor this day since it is a day to study the oldest forms of magic.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate the Witches' Festival on the 13th of Frostfall. A day where the creepy ghouls and creatures of the night gather to terrorize the denizens of Tamriel. Many have not dared to wander the streets at night, in fear of being nabbed by a creature.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate the Warriors Festival on the 20th of Sun's Dusk. It is a day where many warriors gather to practice their fighting prowess. Travelers by weapons in stores since their price's drop by half. Young children foolishly buy weapons, only to stab themselves by mistake.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate the North Wind's Prayer on the 15th of Evening Star. It serves as a thanksgiving to the Gods for the year's harvest. It is a day when the local temples heal and bless anyone for a lower price.[3]
  • The Nords of Whiterun celebrate the Old Life Festival on the 31st of Evening Star. It is a day of rest, where many leave the events of the passing year behind and to reflect their past. They rest for the New Life Festival.[3]



Merethic Era[]

Jeek of the River & the city of Whiterun[]

After the Night of Tears, Ysgramor and his Five Hundred Companions purged the Snow Elves and inhabited the province of Skyrim. Many of the Companions had spread out throughout Skyrim, moving westward into the modern-day West Skyrim. One of the many Atmoran pioneers was Jeek of the River, who sailed from Atmora on the mighty ship named the Jorrvaskr with his crew. The crew of the Jorrvaskr embarked onto Skyrim from the northeast and defeated the Elves in their path. One of the members, Jonder the Tiny, went ahead and witnessed the great plains of modern-day Whiterun Hold, a vast open grassland with no end in sight. He looked over and saw and rocky hill with a large bird monument and a searing fire under its wings. This monument would be named the Skyforge. And so, the Jorrvaskr crew began constructing their stronghold Jorrvaskr, and as time went on, they built a new city, circling on the running of the White River. Thus, the city of Whiterun was born.[4][5]

First Era[]

Olaf One-Eye; the Tale of Numinex[]

During the First Era, High King Borgas was killed by the Wood Elves of the Wild Hunt, ending the Ysgramor Dynasty, a new High King was needed to rule over the province of Skyrim. Tension would rise, starting the War of Succession, where the Jarls of Skyrim would fight each other for the position of High King. Around the same time, the great Dragon named Numinex was terrorizing Skyrim while the Jarls were warring against each other, no one would defeat the Dragon. At this time, the Jarl of Whiterun was Olaf One-Eye, he decided to take the initiative to fight against Numinex atop his lair in Mount Anthor. The Battle atop Mount Anthor was fierce, but in the end, Olaf One-Eye had won and trapped Numinex into his new castle called Dragonsreach. Because of this feat, the Jarls had settled down and named Olaf One-Eye, the new High King of Skyrim. So another conflict would not start, the Jarls created the Pact of Chieftains in 1E 420, where a Moot would be convened to determine the next High King after a dynasty.[6][7]

Olaf the Liar & Svaknir's Vendetta[]

Olaf One-Eye was considered a hero throughout the whole province, but many people felt that there was something else to the story, something wrong. Many people accused Olaf of fabricating a tale about an epic battle so that he could gain the praise and become the High King of Skyrim. One person that accused the King of this was Svaknir, alumni of the Bards College in Solitude. Svaknir had claimed a different tale. Knowing that his time was ending, Numinex flew all across Skyrim, burning villages before leaving to Mount Anthor where he would rest in peace. By the time Olaf One-Eye and his men arrived onto Mount Anthor, Numinex was weak and near-death. Olaf's men captured Numinex and took them to Dragonsreach, imprisoning him. Those men that helped Olaf had become wealthy leaders during Olaf's reign. In the end, Olaf One-Eye was buried in Dead Men's Respite and imprisoned Svaknir there, leaving him to die.[7][8]

Second Era[]

The Kingdom of Western Skyrim[]

During the reign of the Akaviri Potentate, the province of Skyrim was ruled by High King Logrolf, who was a close ally of Versidue Shaie and was unfortunately assassinated around the same time in 2E 431. Eyes were looking towards Freydis, Logrolf's daughter, assuming she would become the next High Queen leading Skyrim into the future. Controversy would soon arise from the Kingdom of Solitude, when Jarl Svartr would claim that Freydis was illegitimate for the throne and that a moot was required to determine the new leader. The Moot had spoken, and the leaders of Skyrim voted for Svartr to become the High King. However, the Crown of Verity, the one that has chosen the High King for generations since Olaf One-Eye had chosen Freydis to become the High Queen. The province became divided, the Nords of the Old Holds followed Freydis while the Nords of West Skyrim followed Svartr. Skyrim had split into two separate kingdoms which would later affect the province for the next few years. The city of Whiterun, as well as the Whiterun Hold region, would join the Western Skyrim Kingdom.[9]

Barenziah the Young; Adventures of Youth[]

After Tiber Septim's conquest over Morrowind, the royal daughter of the King of Mournhold was taken by Symmachus, a Dark Elven General of the invading force. The young child was named Barenziah, and she was taken to the outskirts of Whiterun, to the township of Darkmoor where she would be supervised by Count Sven Advensen, a veteran of the Tiber Wars. Barenziah grew up as a proper noble but had yearned adventure outside; she would occasionally escape Castle Darkmoor to wander off from time to time. During her stay, she befriended a donkey-brained stable boy named Straw out of pity, for he was a bumbling oaf. Straw told Barenziah about a conspiracy against her, saying that she would be sold as a concubine to the King of Rihad, so the two hatched a plan to escape Darkmoor to the nearby city-state of Whiterun. To flee the Castle, Barenziah dressed as a boy and took up a job as a Caravan Guard with Straw, the two then headed to the city of Whiterun, arriving at dawn.[10]

During their stay in Whiterun, the two teenagers lived out in the poor district of Whiterun, staying in a shanty inn in the area. Her disguise was effective, despite her dark skin and vibrant red eyes, she blended into the crowd, but she still had to hide since most Dark Elves are not found in Whiterun. With the gold that they took from Darkmoor, the two lived in the inn, enjoying decent meals, celebrating their escape, and having vigorous sex until they fell asleep. Time eventually came when the two had to leave Whiterun and move eastward to the province of Morrowind. The two hooked jobs as Caravan Guards for a group heading to the city of Riften, which is near the border of Morrowind. The two left for Riften where Barenziah would reunite with Symmachus and eventually become the Queen of Mournhold. Straw would later die a horrible death.[11][12]

Third Era[]

Main article: Whiterun (Arena)

Whiterun during the Imperial Simulacrum[]

During the Imperial Simulacrum from 3E 389 to 3E 399, Emperor Uriel Septim VII was imprisoned along with Talin Warhaft in the Deadlands by Jagar Tharn. Tharn planned for months to capture the throne, and he was able to achieve so in the span of ten years. Tharn had a powerful weapon called the Staff of Chaos, and he split it into nine pieces and scattered them across Tamriel, the staff was the only thing keeping Uriel Septim and Warhaft in Oblivion. A warrior escaped his clutches and traveled all corners of Tamriel to retrieve the missing pieces. The hero was known as the Eternal Champion, and he assembled the staff and defeated Jagar Tharn at the Imperial Palace. The Eternal Champion had at one point visited the city of Whiterun in their quest to recover the pieces. The city of Whiterun was under the rule of King Asgis.[13]

Jsashe the Witch-Queen; the Deceiving Tyrant[]

During the waning years of the third era, the city-state of Whiterun was ruled by Jsashe, the Witch-Queen and the Priestess of Lorkhan. Her rise to the throne of Whiterun is mysterious, recently, the group known as Horme and several natural attacks have plagued the Kingdom of Whiterun and other settlements including Hrothgar. A vast majority of the citizens had blamed Jsashe but had unexpectedly exalted her to the seat of power in Dragonsreach. She would earn the moniker of the Witch-Queen. Jsashe had a massive amount of control in the land, though her magic did not bring prosperity into her domain. Jsashe would continue to rule over the city of Whiterun into the fourth era. Luckily, the Nordic Kingdoms in the North were doing way better in the long run.[14]

Fourth Era[]

Main article: Whiterun (Skyrim)

The Last Dragonborn of Prophecy; the Dragon Crisis[]

During the Skyrim Civil War in 4E 201, the city-state of Whiterun was ruled by Jarl Balgruuf the Greater. Balgruuf was a well-spoken man who put his people first then the problems occurring throughout the province. During the conflict, Whiterun was nominally aligned with the Imperial Legion in the conflict, but Balgruuf was focused on protecting his people from the Dragon Crisis. Around this time, the township of Helgen was razed by the World-Eater Dragon named Alduin, and a survivor traveled to Whiterun, to warn the Jarl about the recent dragon attack. Giving a convincing story, Jarl Balgruuf sent a militia to the township of Riverwood to protect them from other threats and sent the survivor to obtain the Dragonstone for the Whiterun court-wizard, Farengar Secret-Fire. Sometime later, the lost Dragon known as Mirmulnir had attacked the Western Watchtower in between Whiterun and Greymoor. The survivor and a group of Whiterun Guards traveled to the outpost and fought the dragon. The survivor had ultimately killed Mirmulnir, and the dragon's soul had enveloped the warrior. This event would reveal the Last Dragonborn of prophecy.[15][16]

The Plan to trap Odahviing; the Dragonslayer[]

The Dragon Crisis had taken its toll on the residents of Skyrim, and so an end to this conflict need to come to fruition. After learning Dragonrend through the Elder Scrolls, the Last Dragonborn had battled Alduin at the Throat of the World, temporarily defeating the World-Eater. After the battle, Alduin escaped to the ancient temple of Skuldafn rooted in the Velothi Mountains. Through the wisdom of their teachers, the Last Dragonborn learned a shout that summoned an ally of Alduin named Odahviing, the plan was to summon Odahviing and to interrogate him on Alduin's whereabouts. With the help of the Jarl of Whiterun, the Last Dragonborn was able to snare Odahviing inside of Dragonsreach, the prison of the Great Dragon Numinex of ye old. In the end, Odahviing took the Last Dragonborn to Skuldafn, where they would eventually traverse Sovngarde and defeated Alduin, once and for all.[17][18]

Minor events[]

  • 4E 201 – At one point, the Gildergreen in the Winds District was struck by lightning and started to fade. The Priestess of the Temple of Kynareth, Danica Pure-Spring needed the sap of the Eldergleam Tree to fix it, and fortunately, a helpful traveler retrieved the sap and saved the tree.[19]
  • 4E 201 – The Skyrim Civil War had escalated to great heights, where Whiterun had become directly involved. The Battle of Whiterun took place mainly throughout the outskirts of the city-state. The victor in the battle is unknown, but regardless, the events in Whiterun shifted the tides in the Civil War.[20]
  • 4E 201 – The Harbinger of the Companions, Kodlak Whitemane had passed away when a werewolf hunting group called the Silver Hand had raided the halls of Jorrvaskr. His funeral was held afterward, with the Jarl of Whiterun attending. A new Harbinger was named later on.[21]



  • When Arena was going to be a tournament-based game, each city was going to have their gladiatorial team that would fight other groups. Whiterun's team was known as the Devastators.[UL 1]
  • Whiterun's Dragon name, along with Rorikstead, Granite Hill, Old Hroldan and Ivarstead's, is written without the combined letter for "AH" (Ah.svg), instead using "A" (A.svg) and "H" (H.svg) separately.[1]



Notice: The following are unlicensed references. They are not copyrighted by a ZeniMax Media company, but can still be considered part of The Elder Scrolls lore and are included for completeness.