Elder Scrolls

Windhelm (Skyrim)

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Windhelm Windhelm
Windhelm Skyrim
Windhelmmapkey 03
Hold Eastmarch
Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak
LocationID WindhelmOrigin
For this city in other games, see Windhelm.

Windhelm, also known as the City of Kings, is a city located in northeastern Skyrim. It serves as the capital of Eastmarch Hold. It is also the oldest city in Skyrim, possibly the oldest city of man on Tamriel that is still standing, dating back to the Merethic Era.[1][2]


Windhelm Seal

Windhelm's current seal.

After the eruption of Red Mountain, many Dunmer fled to Windhelm after Hoag Merkiller opened it up to Dunmer refugees[3]. Previously known as the "Snow Quarter", the area has since been renamed the "Gray Quarter" as all the Dunmer have congregated in this area. Reasons as to why vary depending on who is spoken to within the city. Some say it is because of heightened suspicion of other races generated by the ongoing Civil War, and that the strongly nationalist Nords of Windhelm sequestered the Dunmer from the other citizens in this "Gray Quarter" in reference to the Dunmer skin color. Other dialogue with various Nord characters and a High Elf in the city suggest though that the Dunmer did not want to assimilate to the Nord culture and so began living together in what used to be the Snow Quarter, and as the numbers began increasing, this prompted the change in name.

Argonians are also segregated from the Nord population and are forced to live at the Argonian Assemblage at the city docks. A decree forbidding the Argonians from living within the city's walls has been standing since Hoag Merkiller first allowed them to come to the city.[3]

Dialogue with Ulfric Stormcloak, Windhelm's current Jarl, reveals that he does not attend to the issues occurring in the Grey Quarter due to being too busy with the Stormcloak Rebellion. The guards seldom patrol the Grey Quarter and their reasons vary depending on the characters spoken to within the city. Some will comment that the guards are too afraid, as many of the other Nords are, to go near the place because of the Daedric worshipping occurring that is common for the Dunmer culture. Others say instead that considering the guards are Nords, that they are racist towards the Dunmer and blatantly refuse to help them.

Despite the claims of Ulfric's racism towards anyone who is not Nord, High Elves seem to manage living in the city much better than the Dark Elves, despite the fact that the High Elves are the head of the Aldmeri Dominion. Niranye, an Altmer citizen of Windhelm, implies that it is because the Dark Elves refuse to conform that they live in squalor like they do, rather than because of Nordic racism. She manages to attain a moderate amount of wealth and even owns a home outside the Gray Quarter. Likewise, the Dunmer Belyn Hlaalu is allowed to own a successful farm on the outskirts of the city where he employs a Nord, and likewise shares the view that his kin need to stop complaining and work harder to make a home for themselves.

It is suggested, through dialogue with Viola Giordano, that the Dunmer are taxed more heavily than the Nords, and that these taxes can be raised at the Jarl's whim.

Civil War

Palace of the Kings Insignia

The banner of Windhelm is depicted by a bear.

During 4E 201, as the Civil War rages on, Skyrim becomes a nation divided, and Windhelm becomes the new capital of the Stormcloak Rebellion, the main center of the entire Nord revolution against the Empire.[4] Windhelm is governed by Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak, the leader of the Stormcloaks. Ulfric was chosen by the public as the new Jarl of Windhelm after his father, the previous Jarl, died.[5]

Ulfric believes that Skyrim should secede from what he believes is a crumbling Empire. This stance came about due to the aftermath of the Great War and the introduction of the White-Gold Concordat by the Aldmeri Dominion. But it was not until the Markarth Incident that Ulfric's rebellion truly started.


Joining the Empire during the Main Quest will set Windhelm as the location of the last battle of the Civil War.


Windhelm is composed of three quarters:

Stone Quarter

The Stone Quarter is Windhelm’s central district; the one visitors first enter when passing through the Main Gate into the city. It contains the marketplace and the most important shops and inns.

Windhelm Skyrim Stone Quarter

Gray Quarter

The Gray Quarter was so named because of the large number of Dunmer that reside here. It was once named the “Snow Quarter,” but that was a long time ago. But, to the elves, the name “Gray Quarter” is one of derision, cruelty, and discrimination. They believe the Nord people of Windhelm have always seen them as outsiders and hated them because of it.

Windhelm Skyrim Gray Quarter


Translated from ancient Nordic, Valunstrad means “Avenue of Valor.” It is the oldest section of Windhelm and has the largest buildings in the entire city, including the ancient and majestic Palace of the Kings and the only purchasable property in the city, Hjerim.

Windhelm Skyrim Valunstrad Quarter

Points of interest




Jarl's residence


Outside the city

Purchasable property

Hjerim House


Main article: Hjerim

After completing "Rescue from Fort Neugrad" or the full Civil War questline, the house in Windhelm, Hjerim, costs 12,000 GoldIcon and can be purchased from the Jarl's steward. Assigned by the Jarl to serve the new Thane and protect the house, Calder is the Housecarl of Hjerim.





Hero of Skyrim (Achievement)
Hero of Skyrim
Capture Solitude or Windhelm
Points 30 Game points
Silver trophy


This section contains bugs related to Windhelm (Skyrim). 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.
  •  PC   360   PS3  The steward (Jorleif) may continuously claim that a house is not available for sale even if all prerequisites for purchasing a home are met. This seems to be most likely if he is spoken to before "Blood on the Ice" is completed.


  • An unused character, Sulvar the Steady, was supposed to reside in this city as an unused character, but was not added to the final version of the game.



Start a Discussion Discussions about Windhelm (Skyrim)

  • Skyrim Whindhelm Error, HELP!!!

    6 messages
    • If only the other Jarls who were forced out of their holds could leave the place. Its a little annoying walking in and getting taunted everytime.
    • The bodies always stay there, not that they are much of an issue. Except everyone everytime they see them say "Oh, what happened?" On one of...
  • The Gray Quarter - really as bad as is said?

    15 messages
    • The hardships that the Dunmer have suffered, the eruption of Red Mountain...Man, it really does make you have pity for their race and feel so...
    • Dapoculos13 wrote: The hardships that the Dunmer have suffered, the eruption of Red Mountain...Man, it really does make you have pity for th...

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