For other uses, see Bleak Falls Barrow.

Bleak Falls Barrow is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Farengar Secret-Fire tasks the Dragonborn to retrieve the Dragonstone inside Bleak Falls Barrow, leading to the first finding of a Word Wall.



In order to start this quest, the Dragonborn must speak to Farengar Secret-Fire during the previous quest "Before the Storm" inside Dragonsreach, Farengar will explain how he is looking for a map of Dragon Burial sites so he could find out where the next Dragon might rise. He will then instruct the Dragonborn to look for this Dragonstone map in Bleak Falls Barrow, starting the quest of the same name.

Bleak Falls BarrowEdit

Travel to the Ancient Nordic ruins of Bleak Falls Barrow. Outside are several bandits and after eliminating them, the Dragonborn can then find the entrance at the top of the stairs. In the first large room a couple of bandits have set up camp and are discussing when entering. When moving forward they will detect and attack on sight. Continue into the corridor and proceed until reaching a small room with a bandit, a lever and a puzzle. Watch him pull the lever setting off a trap that will kill him. Set the pillars on the left of the entrance after the tablets on the upper wall above the gate and the tablet beside the lever. The order, from left to right is: snake, snake, whale.

Arvel the SwiftEdit

Travel further through the dungeon to winding stairs that go downwards. There are skeevers at the bottom, and just around the corner waits a wounded frostbite spider. Kill it and then speak to Arvel the Swift, who is trapped in a spider web. He wants to be freed, which can be done by hitting the spider web with a weapon. As soon as he's free, Arvel will make a run for it. Chase him down the corridor and kill him, or let the draugr do it further in. When he is released from the web, he recoils and has low health, and it is quite easy to kill him before he can escape. If he manages to slay the draugr, he may run over the pressure plate trap near the scene of the battle and get himself impaled on the swinging wall trap. However, if this happens, his body may be flung a large way away and it may be difficult to find.

The Golden ClawEdit

Arvel will have the Golden Claw with him. Continue through a hall where some draugr wake up and attack. There are pressure plate traps near the entry and stepping on it will trigger a swinging wall trap. The next obstacle will be a swinging blade trap. The blades can be stopped with a chain pull after passing them. The next room has three more draugr. Kill or avoid them and follow the path upstairs. At the room with a creek running through it go through the metal gate into the creek. The gate is opened by pulling the chain on the right side.

Next there is a Nordic puzzle door with three movable rings. The Golden Claw is the key here, both literally and figuratively. Align the three rings in a specific pattern, which can be seen when zooming in on the Claw in the inventory. The correct combination is on the palm of the Golden Claw (from top to bottom: bear, moth, owl). When the rings have been correctly aligned, use the Claw in the middle of the door to open it.

Word WallEdit

Past the door lies the real treasure of the crypt: A Word Wall that teaches a word of the Dragon Shout Unrelenting Force. Afterwards, a powerful draugr (it is normally a draugr overlord) will emerge from the sarcophagus nearby. Kill it and get the Dragonstone off its corpse and leave the crypt through the exit nearby.

If you find yourself overpowered by the draugr, to the right (as you enter) of the cavern on the far side of the bridge is an easily accessible area which the draugr cannot reach and which allows the Dragonborn to snipe away with arrows.

Return to Dragonsreach and give the Dragonstone to Farengar, (with a stop off at Riverwood to return the Golden Claw to Lucan). Irileth will run in almost immediately and ask Farengar to come quickly to speak to the Jarl, beginning the quest "Dragon Rising."


Bleak Falls Barrow – MQ103
IDJournal Entry
10 Jarl Balgruuf thinks I may be able to help Farengar, his court wizard, with something related to dragons.
  • Objective 10: Talk to Farengar
50 Farengar Secret-Fire, Jarl Balgruuf's court wizard, has asked me to retrieve a Dragonstone from Bleak Falls Barrow, a stone tablet that he believes contains a map of ancient dragon burial sites. He hopes this will help him understand how and why dragons are returning to Tamriel.
  • Objective 50: Retrieve the Dragonstone
  • Objective 80: Deliver the Dragonstone to Farengar
190 Farengar Secret-Fire, Jarl Balgruuf's court wizard, asked me to retrieve a Dragonstone from Bleak Falls Barrow, a stone tablet that he believes contains a map of ancient dragon burial sites. He hopes this will help him understand how and why dragons are returning to Tamriel. He was pleased when I returned with it, and promised that the Jarl will reward me for my efforts.
  • Quest complete


  • One can do serious damage to higher level draugr in this dungeon by leading them into traps.
  • It is possible to find Farengar in conversation with Delphine, who wants his translation of the Dragonstone as soon as possible. Their conversation is informative.
  • The Dragonborn may already have the Dragonstone from The Golden Claw. If so, just give it to Farengar. However, Delphine will not be there, and the Dragonborn will be unable to hear Farengar and Delphine's conversation.
    • While Delphine can meet Farengar if the player backs out of the conversation tree and waits a few hours, the first half of the conversation won't occur. In this case, she wears her regular inn clothing rather than travel armor.
  • There is a locked chest behind the word wall, reachable by following the water stream backwards.
  • There is also an unlocked chest next to the waterfall that appears left of the stairs leading towards the exit.
  • Close by this chest, on the ground, there is a valuable potion.
  • There is a small ledge that leads up to the exit where it is possible to use a bow to attack the draugr without being hit. However, it can still use its shout.
  • The draugr at the Word Wall can and will use the Unrelenting Force shout.
  • The last draugr in the dungeon will always have an Ancient Nord weapon with a frost enchantment. It may be either one-handed or two-handed.
  • There is a random potion located to the left after exiting the dungeon.
  • Player with a high level may also encounter a frost troll instead of a draugr on the bridge above the waterfall and chest. This frost troll can even spawn behind the Dragonborn, if the player happens to reach level 18 or so while in the dungeon.
  • If one has not started the Golden Claw quest by talking to Lucan, heading inside Bleak Falls Barrow and overhearing the bandits will automatically start the quest.
  • If one heads to Riverwood after getting the quest from Farengar and gathering the Dragonstone, the barkeep will note that the innkeeper is out and the player can not rent a room.
  • It is impossible to pickpocket Arvel as long as he is caught in the web.


This section contains bugs related to Bleak Falls Barrow (Quest). 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.
  •  360   There is a bug that occurs when leaving Arvel for the Draugrs, having run off he disappears along with all quest markers making the quest impossible to finish. Loading a previous save or killing him before he runs will fix this.
  • The pillars in the puzzle room or the rings on the claw door will not move, exit and re-enter Bleak Falls Barrows. Reloading a previous save may resolve the issue.
  • There is bug that makes the last Draugr unable to be looted. Saving and then loading will fix this. The bug occurs most often when the Draugr is killed on the bridge leading to the word wall or further away from his coffin, killing the Draugr on the word wall plateau reduces this chance.
  •  360   PS3   There is a bug that will sometimes cause the rings to not rotate when trying to use the claw. Saving and reloading the save should resolve the issue.
  • There is a bug that causes Skyrim to crash upon entering.
  • If the Dragonstone is obtained after talking to Farengar about it, when it is given to him, he will take the stone, and will tell the Dragonborn to talk to the Jarl or steward, however, nothing will happen and the next quest will not start. The only way around this bug is to re-load a save from before going to Dragonsreach, get the Dragonstone, then go to Dragonsreach with the stone, this way one can give it directly to Farengar and the quest will progress as normal, the only problem with this method is that some dialogue between a hooded Delphine and Farengar will be missed.


Bleak Falls Barrow (Achievement)
Bleak Falls Barrow
Complete "Bleak Falls Barrow"
Points 10 Gamer points
Bronze trophy

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