|Jarl||Balgruuf the Greater|
Whiterun is the capital city of Whiterun Hold, in the province of Skyrim. Whiterun is seen as the most “pure” Nordic city in Skyrim. In Whiterun, Nords live as they have for centuries: their lives are simple, harsh, and rooted in ancient traditions. Even the city’s fortifications—wooden and stone palisade walls and the sheer defensive advantage offered by its position on a large bluff that raises the city above the surrounding tundra—are archaic by contemporary standards. So while Windhelm may serve as the Stormcloaks’ center of operations in the Civil War, it is the culture of Whiterun that best exemplifies what it means to be a "True Nord".
Whiterun is located on the eastern end of its Hold, in the tundra plains that fills the center of Skyrim. It was founded by Jeek of the River, who was the captain of Jorrvaskr.Upon discovery of the Skyforge, he and his men constructed the great mead hall of Jorrvaskr, which at the time was the sole structure on the bluff. Now, Whiterun is a large city, albeit one that retains the feel of a smaller Nord village. The central location and easy access make it one of the most successful cities in trade.
When approaching Whiterun, the towering fortress of Dragonsreach dominates the view. Its history can be traced back to the First Era, when King Olaf One-Eye subdued the great dragon Numinex in a legendary duel of Thu’ums atop Mount Anthor, and brought him back to the fledgling town as a captive. It was then that the magnificent keep was rebuilt and renamed to serve as a cage for Numinex, whose head still adorns the Great Hall.
Whiterun was once considered Skyrim's equivalent of the Imperial City, but in recent times has suffered from many problems. The Civil War, excessively harsh winters, harassment by Horme bandits, and the attacks of Frost Trolls have diminished the once-proud city.
The city is home to two important dynastic families, the Gray-Manes and the Battle-Borns. Once on good terms with one another, they are currently bitter enemies, as a result of their differing views on the civil war conflict, as well as the economic disparity between both clans, since the Battle-Borns are wealthy and the Gray-Manes are modest. Upon entering the city, the Dragonborn is able to choose a side, either Battle-Born or Gray-Mane, although this is not necessary to interact with the city's shops and temple.
Whiterun is home to The Companions, a faction similar to the Fighter's Guild of Cyrodiil. Their headquarters are in Jorrvaskr, a legendary mead hall that was built next to the Skyforge, an ancient forge that is said to be older than both men and Elves. The city of Whiterun itself was built around Jorrvaskr, which used to attract warriors from all across Tamriel. Due to The Companions' reputation for being over-glorified sellswords, Jorrvaskr is no longer held in such esteem as it once was.
Initially, Jarl Balgruuf claims that he has yet to decide who to join in the Civil War, making the city of Whiterun neutral, although he does claim to owe a favor to General Tullius, to whom he seems indebted. Balgruff also suggests he owes a favor to Ulfric Stormcloak. There are however several indicators that suggest Whiterun is leaning more towards the Empire:
- Tactical maps found throughout Skyrim list Whiterun as an Imperial controlled city.
- The Age of Aggression, a pro-Imperial song, is played in Whiterun Hold. This song is not present in Stormcloak territories.
- Balgruuf's brother, Hrongar comments "All this waiting around is rubbish, we should be taking the fight to the Stormcloaks," even before the Dragonborn joins the Imperial Legion or the Stormcloaks, further suggesting that Whiterun is with the Empire.
- Sometimes after attacking a Whiterun Guard they will say, "Fool! The Imperial Legion will have your blood!".
- The Guards carry Imperial Bows and Imperial Swords.
Whiterun is composed of three districts:
The Plains DistrictThis is the first district any visitor to Whiterun enters, so named because it is the lowest of the three and therefore closest to the plains outside the city. It contains all the major merchants, the marketplace and Breezehome.
The Wind DistrictThe Wind District is where most of Whiterun’s residential buildings (including the mead hall Jorrvaskr and the Gildergreen) are located and was named because of the strong mountain winds that gust through the area.
The Cloud DistrictThe Cloud District is the smallest of Whiterun’s three districts. It was so named because it is located atop the bluff Whiterun was built on and is therefore closer to the clouds than any other. It is dominated by the imposing form of Dragonsreach.
Points of interest
- Arcadia's Cauldron
- Belethor's General Goods
- The Drunken Huntsman
- Whiterun Marketplace
- Amren's House
- Breezehome (For Sale)
- Ysolda's House
- Heimskr's House
- House of Clan Battle-Born
- House Gray-Mane
- Olava the Feeble's House
- Severio Pelagia's House
- Uthgerd's House
- Carlotta Valentia's House
Outside the City
Breezehome, the house in Whiterun, costs 5000 and can be bought from the steward after the Jarl grants permission, in gratitude for retrieving the Dragonstone from Bleak Falls Barrow. The seller is either Proventus Avenicci or Brill, depending on who remains Jarl after the Skyrim Civil War. Earning approval requires the performance of certain tasks around the city. You can also buy the decorations for your home from the Steward, such as a laboratory and storage space.
- Dragons may attack and kill the inhabitants in Whiterun.
- Whiterun is home to Skyrim's only temple of Kynareth. This is due to the Gildergreen's presence in the town square.
- There is a skeleton floating in the moat underneath the bridge leading from Dragonsreach, there is no reason or story as to why it is there. When searched, a few pieces of gold can be found.
- Despite being neutral, the guards offer Imperial Legion friendly dialogue to the player when wearing Stormcloak/Imperial armor.
- Whiterun bears a striking resemblance to Edoras, the capital of the Rohan territory in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The architecture and decorations are similar, as is the city emblem of a horse.
- With the Dawnguard add-on downloaded, vampires will randomly attack the town, at level 10.
This section contains bugs related to Whiterun (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to see the list of bugs encountered|
|Cities||Dawnstar • Falkreath • Markarth • Morthal • Riften • Solitude • Whiterun • Windhelm • Winterhold|
|Holds||Eastmarch • Falkreath Hold • Haafingar • Hjaalmarch • The Pale |
The Reach • The Rift • Winterhold Hold • Whiterun Hold