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Containment is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


Ancano has done something to the Eye of Magnus, causing the orb to release incredible amounts of energy, damaging the College and killing the Arch-Mage. The town of Winterhold may be affected as well, and needs to be secured.


A Plague on WinterholdEdit

After the explosion, Mirabelle Ervine can be found sitting by one of the columns in the Hall of the Elements. Ancano remains with the Eye of Magnus, protected by strong magic.

Mirabelle will ask the Dragonborn to find Savos Aren, who was knocked away by the explosion. When Dovahkiin steps out to the courtyard, a crowd is forming around a body. Tolfdir confirms the shocking news: the Arch-Mage has succumbed to the wounds he suffered during the battle with Ancano. However, there is another, more important matter. Winterhold is being overrun. Magic Anomalies appeared there and are attacking the townsfolk.

Running on the bridge out of the College, Faralda will stop the player and ask to be told what happened. She can be recruited to help, before asking Arniel Gane to join the fight herself.

The ten Magic Anomalies are easily spotted and quickly removed. Ranged magic is a good choice, but pinpoint spells (such as Firebolt or Ice Spike) that don't hit the fleeing townsfolk who are under Magic Anomalies' attack work best. Melee weapons, such as Bound Swords and "conventional" weapons like daggers and war axes will also do nicely.

One strategy is to draw the anomalies away from the townsfolk, leaving Faralda and Arniel to deal with them. If Faralda is here when the ten magical foes are dead, she shouts that she'll stay here and check for any more incursions. The defeated anomalies leave behind ghostly remains that have soul gems to be looted.

After all the anomalies are defeated, the quest continues by returning to the College and seeking out Mirabelle, letting her know that Winterhold is safe for now. She wishes she could say the same for the College. While she attempts to keep the Eye of Magnus contained with her fellow mages, she asks the Dragonborn to locate the Staff of Magnus.

When the Dragonborn mentions they are off to Labyrinthian, Mirabelle is taken aback: The Arch-Mage gave her an item from this place and told her she’d know what to do with it. She hands the following items over:

This ends this quest and begins the next, "The Staff of Magnus."


Journal Entry

Ancano has done something to the Eye of Magnus, causing the orb to release incredible amounts of energy, and possibly putting the area in danger. I need to find the Arch-Mage and make sure he's safe.

  • Objective: Find the Arch-Mage

Ancano has done something to the Eye of Magnus, causing the orb to release incredible amounts of energy, damaging the College and killing the Arch-Mage. The town of Winterhold may be affected as well, and needs to be secured.

  • Objective: Protect the town of Winterhold
  • Objective: Defeat the creatures infesting Winterhold (0/10)

Winterhold now appears to be safe from the creatures attacking it. Mirabelle needs to be informed of what's going on.

  • Objective: Report to Mirabelle Ervine

The town of Winterhold has been secured for now, but the Eye of Magnus cannot be reached and continues to jeopardize the College.

  • Quest complete


  • If soul trapped, the Magic Anomalies possess Grand souls, allowing for potential and valuable soul collecting during the battle.
  • Using at least one rank of the Summoner perk, casting a summoning spell on the roof above Ancano's spell will raise an Atronach or Dremora inside the barrier. However, they still will not attack Ancano.
  • Depending on when this quest is started, it is possible that a leveled dragon will attack Winterhold, making it very hard to complete the quest while avoiding death from the dragon. Dragonrend can be used to disable the attacking dragon temporarily, but most of the NPCs will likely attack it and ignore the magic anomalies.
  • The anomalies sound identical to Ice Wraiths. They also move around and attack in the same manner.
  • A good way to deal with the anomalies is by using the master level Destruction spell Fire Storm, which could destroy them all at once.


This section contains bugs related to Containment. 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 Containment

  • Hired thugs during containment quest

    8 messages
    • wait i got them from tullius after i had just completed the imperial quest line i never stole from him either
    • The hired thugs seemingly make up excuses so they can attack you. I hate being attacked by them in the wilds.
  • College of Winterhold Quest glitch!!

    12 messages
    • I'm having a problem where I will talk to Tolfdir and then when I go speak to Feralda and Arniel they attack me for no reason. I...
    • If you have questions, ask them in a new thread, don't revive 3 year old threads to ask about your own bug. This once I will try to h...

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