|Characters||Jarl Balgruuf the Greater|
It was constructed in the ornate wooden style of the great Nord longhouses of the olden days. Visually and politically, it is very much the focal point of the entire city itself. As is true of the keeps in other cities, Dragonsreach serves many important functions.
As the seat of government in Whiterun, Jarl Balgruuf the Greater resides here as its ruler. Dragonsreach is situated in the "Cloud District" of Whiterun and, as the name suggests, it is elevated from the rest of the city. According to the Jarl's steward, Proventus Avenicci, the building gained its name after a battle with a dragon that left the victorious party as "rulers of the clouds"
According to legend, the palace today known as 'Dragonsreach' was originally a smaller building. However, with the intent of creating a prison for the dragon Numinex after its defeat at the hands of Olaf One-Eye, the people of Whiterun added a stone prison to the keep and renamed it Dragonsreach. Though accounts vary on Olaf's position, the dragon's disposition, and the manner in which the dragon was captured, there seems to be little doubt about the history and purpose of the building.
- Jarl Balgruuf the Greater
- Proventus Avenicci
- Farengar Secret-Fire
The Great HallEdit
The great hall is the main chamber of the keep and is where the Jarl holds court on his throne beyond the long tables and central fire pit. Check the shelves to the sides for all manner of books. There are balconies on the upper floor, accessed via the War Room, from which you can peer down. The head of Numinex adorns the great hall above the Jarl's throne. If you tell Lydia that you no longer require her services then she will return here and be sitting at one of the two large tables.
Two large tables and an even bigger fireplace are where the Jarl’s servants prepare the feasts of the long table.
Servant's Bedroom and Storage (Lower)Edit
A rough-hewn, rock-walled chamber where the servant sleeps. There is a storage room behind the door.
In this laboratory, the Court Wizard Farengar mixes concoctions and conducts research into the mysteries of the dragons’ return. His bedroom and a small library are behind his main study. An Alchemy Lab and an Arcane Enchanter are available in here.
This is where the Jarl and his advisors discuss matters of state, poring over the Civil War map near the book-lined shelves. When needed, an Imperial Legate also plans from this location.
Exit onto the Great Porch if you want an impressive view to the north. According to legend, the dragon Numinex was trapped here.
This is the private quarters of the Jarl, and entering here without invitation results in you being removed, facing a fine, or worse. However, an Unusual Gem can be found here that pertains to Side Quest: No Stone Unturned. The book Lost Legends is on a bookshelf in one of he side rooms off the dining room - this grants the Forbidden Legend main quest. In the same room on the table is the book Before the Ages of Man - when read, this improves Illusion.
Proventus Avenicci's ChambersEdit
Note the display case; it usually has something valuable inside.
The Jarl’s brother, Hrongar sleeps here. The study desk has shelves with books on them.
There are three connected chambers here: a dining area, bedroom, and book-filled study.
- Skill Book (Illusion): Before the Ages of Man in the Jarl's Bedchamber Area.
- An Unusual Gem in the Jarl's Quarters. Taking the gem may give you a bounty of 250 septims.
- Amulet of Zenithar in Hrongar's Bedroom - end table on the right side of the bed
- If you have a high enough sneak skill, a bow, arrows, a black soul gem (or The Black Star), you can harvest black souls by casting soul trap on one of the guards standing by the Jarl, then going up stairs and sniping them off with an arrow, staying hidden. This gains you their grand black soul and you gain no bounty assuming you stay hidden for a few seconds.
- An Explorer's Guide to Skyrim, on a bookcase behind the map table at the top of the stairs behind the Jarl's throne.
Dragonsreach houses a Cooking Pot, used for creating health and stamina recovery foods. As with most places in the game, after missions are completed that help the occupants, most of the food, cutlery, and books in Dragonsreach can be taken freely without worry of stealing.
Dragonsreach's Wizard, Farengar Secret-Fire, has an Alchemy Lab and Arcane Enchanter available for constant use with creating potions and enchanting items. Farengar sells all manner of valuable Spell Tomes and Mage Robes.
- Dragonsreach's design resembles and possibly comes from the design of Danish and Norwegian Stave Churches. These buildings had timber and beam structures and repeated the staves up to a raised roof. It is possible this is where the design came from.
- Beneath the bridge leading to the front doors of Dragonsreach, there is a skeleton underneath, containing a few gold that respawns after a few days. The story of this skeleton is unknown. This skeleton can be manipulated through necromantic spells.
- The shadow scheme of the Great Hall is a curiosity, as the fire pit casts no shadows at all while in the entrance area, upon entering the building, shadows are cast with no apparent light source.
- In the Jarl's Quarters there is an Elven Sword that can be taken from inside a master-locked display case as early as level one.
- Dragonsreach's design resembles also Meduseld, the great hall on top of the hill of Edoras in The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. Expanding on this, the hall was said to be 'thatched with gold', and Dragonsreach's roof shows much golden colouring. Also, Whiterun and Rohan share a similar emblem: a horse.
- It is possible that after using the door, the player cannot leave. It's recommended that the game is saved before entering.
- It is possible the Dragonborn may be attacked after becoming "Thane".
- Solution: Commit another crime and pay off the bounty.
- Sometimes when the player enters Dragonsreach, all NPCs become hostile for no reason.
- Solution: Commit a crime and pay it off.
- Shooting arrows at the steps in front of the Jarl's throne causes them disappear to through him.
- When you enter Jarl's quarter's and head up the stairs, Player and NPC's become invisible.
- Entering the dungeon also causes the player and npc's become invisible. Leaving the dungeon will solve this.
- Sometimes fast traveling to Dragonsreach will spawn you underneath the floor in the pool underneath the bridge. I'm not sure if it is only on PC or what causes it, but just swim up through the floor to escape.
- Vampire Lords can use Vampiric Grip to throw NPC's off of the Great Porch. This effectively removes essential NPC's from the game, as they cannot return or be retrieved.
- When exiting from the Enchanting interface in Farengar's quarters, the menu might disappear without returning control to the player. Pausing and unpausing should solve it.