Elder Scrolls

The Whispering Door

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The Whispering Door
TESV 2011-11-22 21-29-06-71
Quest Giver Hulda
Location The Bannered Mare
Prerequisite Completed Dragon Rising, Level 20 or higher
Reward Ebony Blade
Type Daedric Quest
The Whispering Door is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


"Balgruuf the Greater, Jarl of Whiterun, has a troubled child. He's asked me to help the boy."
―The Dragonborn


Note you must be at least level 20 and have finished Dragon Rising to receive this quest. After hearing a rumor at the The Bannered Mare, talk to Jarl Balgruuf in Dragonsreach (or if you sided with the Stormcloaks in the Civil War he is in the basement of the Blue Palace) reveals he is having problems with his youngest son Nelkir, who has been taking a sudden dark turn in his personality. Nelkir tells the Dragonborn how a Whispering Lady tells him secrets and he directs you to the locked room in the basement.

Once there, a voice tells you that you are more worthy and orders you to open the door. In order to find who has the keys, you must talk to Nelkir again, and he says only the court wizard Farengar Secret-Fire and Jarl Balgruuf carry the key because of the war.

  • You can pickpocket Farengar through the map board in the side room.
  • Waiting for either Jarl Balgruuf or Farengar Secret-Fire to go to sleep allows you to pick-pocket them without worry as long as you are Hidden.

After acquiring the key and unlocking the door, the voice is revealed to be that of Mephala, who instructs you to take the Ebony Blade, which is next to a book warning of its corrupting evil.

The quest is completed at this point, but Mephala tells you the Ebony Blade does not match its own description, and has fallen to a lesser form due to its aging without use. In order to restore its former strength, it must taste the "Blood of Deceit". For the blade to do this, you must kill someone who trusts you: a person that you did a quest for, or a follower. You can identify people who trust you based on what they say in your presence. They may say something like "Its a fine day with you around", but it's far easier to simply use a follower. Considering this, you may want to use the Ebony Blade in the quest Boethiah's Calling, The Taste of Death, or Lights Out!

On the PC version of Skyrim, it is possible to resurrect killed followers or friends using console commands, allowing you to kill the same people repeatedly while reaching the Ebony Blade's full power.


  • When inspecting the quest of The Whispering Door more thoroughly with help of the Creation Kit, it is revealed that the quest was intended to be far more dark and elaborate. Unused scripts and packages hold references to all of Balgruuf's children having been intended to fall under the manipulation of Mephala.
  • One unused script named SF_DA08 Frothar Kills Horse Scene, shows that Frothar was meant to kill a black horse at the stables named Karinda, (currently an unused horse NPC). An accompanying script is named SF_DA08 Frothar Listens To Ebony B, referencing to Frothar falling under the control of Mephala much like Nelkir has, meant to occur at one point during the quest, with Ebony B standing for the Ebony Blade through which Mephala makes her voice heard.
  • Another script is titled SF_DA08 Children Kill The Jarl Scene, where Balgruuf's children were meant to gather at an undefined waypoint in secret, to commit patricide (possibly with the Dragonborn's aid as the script calls for removing Balgruuf's essential state) against their own father. An accompanying interaction package is named DA08 Balgruuf Wait To Die In Scene where Balgruuf is present at an undefined place as to be murdered.
  • Upon Balgruuf's death, Hrongar was meant to replace Balgruuf as Jarl. Attached to his NPC is a lot of unused dialogue parallel to that of Balgruuf, meant to be used in the civil war quests and main quests. The dialogue varies from that of Balgruuf in that Hrongar takes a more aggressive approach towards the problems at hand.
  • If you start the quest and leave it, and then do the March on Whiterun quest, Balgruuf will no longer be Jarl and the quest may be lost.
  • Note: If you obtain the blade beforehand by glitching through the wall using a plate or such and pick up the sword when doing the quest you will be unable to complete "retreive the Ebony Blade" as the sword cannot be dropped and picked up again.



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