"A new day is dawning and the sun rises over Whiterun."
Ulfric Stormcloak[src]

The Battle for Whiterun was a battle during the Skyrim Civil War. It took place in Whiterun Hold.


Whiterun Hold has been neutral territory during the Skyrim Civil War,[1] with skirmishes on both sides[2] taking place in the Hold and Fort Greymoor switching hands between the Empire and Stormcloaks on a regular basis.[3] Jarl Balgruuf refused the Legion's right to garrison troops in Whiterun city, on the other hand he also refused to acknowledge Ulfric's claim.[4] After an unknown period of time, Ulfric started planning an attack on Whiterun.[5][4][6][7] Shortly after Balgruuf got to know of this news, he declared his allegiance to the Empire.[8]


Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak sent his axe to Whiterun, which Balgruuf returned, meaning he did not back the Stormcloaks. Since Ulfric Stormcloak saw those who weren't with him as against him,[9][6] Balgruuf instantly ordered his steward to write a message to General Tullius, requesting Legionnaires.[10]


Jarl Balgruuf, after getting a message from General Tullius in which some of Ulfric's plans were recorded, decided to send Ulfric his axe. Ulfric decided to send the axe back, which meant they would go to war,[1][9] which is the response that Balgruuf suspected.[1]

The battleEdit

The Legionnaires sent by General Tullius arrived just in time to fight against the Stormcloaks.[11] The Legion had set up catapults inside the city, while the Stormcloaks had set up catapults in the farms and fields surrounding Whiterun.[12] The Imperials had blocked the first passage going into the wind district, and had set up various barricades in the city.[12] Additionally, barricades had been set at the first defences of the city.[12] Imperial Soldiers and the Whiterun Guard killed a significant portion of Stormcloak forces using their bows at the first barricade and the drawbridge.[13][note 4]


  1. If the Imperial Legion wins the battle, Whiterun remains part of the Empire, however, if the Stormcloaks win, Vignar Gray-Mane gets appointed as Jarl.
  2. Imperial Generals and Imperial Field Legates only appear if the Stormcloaks are sided with, likewise, Legate Rikke only appears if the Empire is sided with.
  3. Stormcloak Generals and Stormcloak Field Commanders only appear if the Empire is sided with, likewise, Galmar Stone-Fist only appears if the Stormcloaks are sided with.
  4. If the Empire is sided with and Hadvar along with Legate Rikke are removed during the battle, the Imperials and Whiterun Guard sometimes kill up to 80% of the Stormcloak forces before they lose the drawbridge.

For the battle in The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimEdit