"Yes, the claw. I know how it works. The claw, the markings, the door in the Hall of Stories. I know how they all fit together!"
―Arvel the Swift[src]


Arvel the Swift is a Dunmer thief, found trapped in a spider web at Bleak Falls Barrow. Arvel wears a full set of hide armor. He is the primary antagonist of the quest "The Golden Claw."

Bleak Falls BarrowEdit

Main article: Bleak Falls Barrow (Quest)
Bleak Falls Barrow 3

Arvel trapped in a spider's web

The Dragonborn finds Arvel trapped in a spider's web, and he asks to be freed. After killing the spider, the Dragonborn hacks away at the web constraining Arvel. Magic can also be used to destroy the webs without harming Arvel. As soon as he is freed, he attempts to escape through the dungeon. The Dragonborn must then chase after Arvel and retrieve the Golden Claw from his dead body. If he is not killed by the Dragonborn, he will meet his fate in in the adjoining room, where he is attacked by Draugr. Surviving this, he will be killed by the swinging door trap.

Upon searching Arvel's corpse, Arvel's Journal can be found. This journal is useful in the quest "The Golden Claw". The claw is required to progress further into the barrow.

The Golden ClawEdit

Main article: The Golden Claw (Skyrim)

Prior to entering Bleak Falls Barrow, the player may enter the Riverwood Trader and start the quest "The Golden Claw" in which Lucan Valerius asks the Dragonborn for assistance in getting back the Golden Claw that was stolen by a Thief and taken to Bleak Falls Barrow.



Quote Condition
"Is... is someone coming? Is that you Harknir? Bjorn? Soling?"
"I know I ran ahead with the claw, but I need help!"
"What? Who are you? Oh, never mind. Cut me down before that thing gets us!" Once getting to Arvel undetected by the spider.
"Where are you going? Come back!"
"Wait, come back!"
"No. Not again. Help!" Once the fighting with the spider has initiated.
"Don't let it get me. Help!"
"Agh. Agh!"
"Get it away from me. Get it away!"
"Keep it away from me."
"Ah, kill it. Kill it!"
"You. Over here!"
"Help me out of here!"
"Get me out of here!"
"Get me down. Get me down!"
"Help me! Help!"
"Don't leave me, for Arkay's sake!"
"You did it. You killed it. Now cut me down before anything else shows up."
"Where are you... get me down from this!"
"Cut me down. or you'll never get the claw!"
"Help me down, and I'll show you. You won't believe the power the Nords have hidden there."
"Does it look like I can move? You have to cut me down, first."
"Sweet breath of Arkay, thank you."
"It's coming loose. I can feel it."
"You fool, why would I share the treasure with anyone?"


  • When the Dragonborn approaches, Arvel mistakes him for a member of his gang. He calls out to Harknir, Bjorn, and Soling, the three bandits the Dragonborn killed in order to reach Arvel.
  • The Dragonborn can retrieve the Golden Claw without killing Arvel by pickpocketing him after he is freed from the web.
  • Arvel will not react to to the Dragonborn's vampire lord or werewolf transformations.


This section contains bugs related to Arvel the Swift. 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  , 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.
  • If Fury is cast on the Wounded Frostbite Spider, Arvel will leave the webbing he is stuck in and aid in the fight. Afterward, he will interact as if he was still trapped, and is invulnerable until "freed."


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