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Battle for Whiterun (Stormcloaks)

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For other uses, see Battle for Whiterun.
Battle for Whiterun is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


Ulfric Stormcloak has ordered the Last Dragonborn to join Galmar Stone-Fist in taking the city of Whiterun.

Galmar Stone-Fist makes a rousing speech at the Whiterun Military Camp.

Galmar: This is it men! They say that our cause is false and that we are nothing more than thieves, thugs and murderers! But no! We are farmers! We are craftsmen! We are sons and daughters of shopkeepers, maid servants and soldiers! We are the sons and daughters of Skyrim! And we have come this far because our cause is true. Because we fight as one. And because our hearts are bursting with anger! What we do here today, we do for our country! For all the true Nords of Skyrim!

Whiterun's walls are tall, but they are old and crumbling, like the Empire whose Legion lines them. They've barricades to block us, but we'll tear through them and the Imperials behind them! Our objective is the drawbridge. If we can find a way to drop it, the city will be ours! Everyone on me. Let's show these Imperial milk drinkers what true Nords look like! Rrrrraaaaaarrrrr!


Note: At this point, Whiterun and Dragonsreach will disappear from the map and will not be reachable anymore, even if a house is owned or if there is a spouse in Whiterun. Only the surroundings of the city can be reached. Fighting in the Battle for Whiterun to finish the quest will return everything as they were before.

Upon arrival at the Whiterun Military Camp, Galmar is found giving orders to his troops to take the drawbridge.

Break Through The Enemy BarricadeEdit

The walls of Whiterun are defended by both Whiterun guards and Imperial soldiers. The barricade is a simple wooden spike trap that is destroyed in a few hits.

Open the DrawbridgeEdit

Past the barricade a few more soldiers will be encountered. Beyond them are battlements around the left side of the drawbridge. Directly above the bridge is the windlass used to lower it. Once the gate is lowered, the defenders will retreat back into Whiterun, and the Stormcloaks will pursue them. Opening the doors to Whiterun advances to the next quest objective.

Force Jarl Balgruuf the Greater To SurrenderEdit

The battle rages on in the streets of Whiterun. There are impenetrable barriers in place that prevent taking some of the alternative paths deeper into the city. Several of Whiterun's populace can be encountered on the streets, but they are non combatants and it is still considered a crime to attack them openly (for example, Vignar Gray-Mane is standing directly behind a spike barrier near the entrance to Dragonsreach). It is necessary to fight through the city to Dragonsreach.

Upon entry, three guards will attack, who can be killed in one hit by any attack. The Jarl himself will attack with three guards and his Housecarl, Irileth. None of the guards have to be slain, as long as Balgruuf can be forced to ground and made to surrender.

Accept Jarl Balgruuf the Greater's SurrenderEdit

When Balgruuf surrenders, Vignar will walk in. After an argument over their views on the war, Balgruuf will face the Dragonborn and say that he thought better of them. He will then go to gather his belongings. This ends the quest and begins the "Liberation of Skyrim."

The Differences to the CityEdit


The Aftermath of the Battle

  • The guards in Whiterun, Riverwood and Rorikstead are replaced with Stormcloak soldiers.
  • The new Jarl is Vignar Gray-Mane.
  • Olfina Gray-Mane becomes the new Housecarl to the new Jarl.
  • Brill becomes the new steward.
  • Sinmir becomes the new commander of the guard.
  • The Battle-Borns are harassed and robbed, blaming it on the change in government.
  • Adrianne Avenicci's dialogue will change.
  • The preacher of Talos, Heimskr, is joyous from the result of the battle, even though he cannot enter his house, for it is sealed with debris and is missing most of the roof. Instead, he has a small tent next to the wall surrounding Jorrvaskr. This means a quest from Vex of the Thieves Guild cannot be completed.
  • The town has a few scars from the battle. The area around the Gildergreen tree is badly damaged.
  • Jarl Balgruuf, Commander Caius, Hrongar, Proventus Avenicci and Irileth take up residence in The Blue Palace in Solitude.
  • NOTE: If the Jarl is followed to his quarters after the fight, Galmar will become hostile when the Whiterun guards are killed before they become hostile. This can be avoided, after entering Dragonsreach, by waiting for the Whiterun guards to become hostile before they are killed.
  • Severio Pelagia will be killed and his house is no longer accessible, due to debris blocking the door and damage to the roof.
  • Fort Greymoor will be taken over by Stormcloaks with horses to ride.
  • Carlotta Valentia will dislike the Stormcloaks for attempting to court her, and also for their foul odor, commenting that at least Balgruuf the Greater's men bathed regularly.


  • The first quest objective is to get orders from Galmar. Even though he is actually still in the Palace of the Kings after the quest is first received, talking with him there does nothing. It is necessary to leave and find him again at Whiterun Military Camp near Pelagia Farm.
  • The windows of shops and homes in the city will be boarded up during the attack.
  • There is a way to get Balgruuf to surrender without having to fight everyone in Dragonsreach. To avoid combat with the guards and Irileth, simply use the Slow Time shout as soon as Dragonsreach is entered and shoot Balgruuf with a bow until he goes down. Using a bow with powerful enchantments is recommended, because Balgruuf needs to be downed before Slow Time runs out. 
  • Like the Imperial version of this quest, Severio Pelagia dies after this quest starts. His cause of death is unclear, although it could be that he was hit by one of the catapults.
  • If Vignar Gray-Mane is later killed, Jarl Balgruuf will take back his throne. However, he will still act as if he was thrown out.
  • If the Dragonborn goes to Whiterun during the battle and then leaves, it will complete the quest. However, upon traveling back to Windhelm, Ulfric will condemn the Dragonborn, saying how they ran away and how cowardly they are. The Dragonborn will not be gifted the enchanted sword, but the Civil War questline can still be continued regardless.


Journal Entry
Ulfric Stormcloak has ordered me to join Galmar Stone-Fist in taking the city of Whiterun.
  • Objective: Get your Orders from Galmar Stone-Fist
  • Objective: Break through the Enemy Barricade
  • Objective: Open the Drawbridge
  • Objective: Force Jarl Balgruuf the Greater to Surrender
  • Objective: Accept Jarl Balgruuf the Greater's surrender
  • Quest complete


This section contains bugs related to Battle for Whiterun (Stormcloaks). 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  , 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.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Battle for Whiterun (Stormcloaks)

  • Oh the irony!

    63 messages
    • I have just finished the Battle of Whiterun and spent about two hours checking things out. Forgot one thing -- the former Jarl told me...
    • And yeah, I noticed Heimskr's house got destroyed.  That is what led me to this page... My character stood there and "waited" ...
  • Battle for Whiterun is glitched!

    2 messages
    • I have fougth my way to the drawbridgen, when i lower it all whiterun/imperials run to the city BUT i dont get the message to force the Jarl...

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