The area contains a puzzle door that requires the Coral Dragon Claw to open, which can be found either from Birna in Winterhold or within the barrow itself, located on a pedestal past a puzzle room. If you obtain the quest to retrieve the Helm of Winterhold from this destination before talking to Birna and obtaining the Coral Dragon Claw from her, and instead obtain the claw from within the barrow, then you can still return to Birna and receive the second claw for a modest price. However, that will not start a second quest, and returning to the barrow at that point shows things are exactly as you left them.
If you have started the quest for the Helm of Yngol, then the final room contains Yngol's Shade, an undead wielding a honed Ancient Nord battleaxe or an ebony sword, and appears to use Frost Breath, and Disarm. Upon defeating Yngol, the exit can be unlocked by removing the Helm of Yngol (pronounced Yin-gol) from the skeleton seated in the chair. Yngol Barrow is used for multiple quests, and the enemies within may vary depending upon which quests, if any, are active. Yngol's Shade may not always appear, instead being replaced by a Draugr Death Overlord or an unmasked Dragon Priest. The rest of the barrow may also be either filled with Draugr or completely empty before the final room.
As you explore around the interior of Yngol Barrow, you will encounter several eerie light orbs. They will follow the Dragonborn around, but are completely harmless. They tweet lightly and roll from room to room often bouncing or coming out of holes and cracks in the wall and ceilings, before literally pouring out of the puzzle door. They will follow after the player even if no Draugr are awakened or present.
The player comes across a Dead Scholar and a pillar puzzle early in the dungeon. The scholar's corpse contains a book titled Notes on Yngol Barrow. It appears he had discovered the barrow in his travels and had been transcribing the Nordic carvings in the cave for the College of Winterhold. The notes provide the key to the Pillar Puzzle:
Man in his throne, so should he be
Sit on the throne after you complete the correct Pillars below or just put the skull there.
Whale in the Sea, so should he be
Whale where the waterfall is bottom right Pillar next to the throne.
Eagle in Sun's Sky, so should he be
Eagle where there is light from outside beaming in, top left Pillar.
Snake in the weed, so should he be
Snake where grass has grown around, bottom left Pillar.
Activating the lever now opens the gate, revealing a Coral Dragon Claw on a pedestal. If you already obtained the claw from Winterhold, it will not be there. The Coral Claw is used to open the puzzle door and contains a clue to the sequence.
It is possible to defeat Yngol's Shade without ever entering a fight. To do this, enter the Barrow via the exit (it's a door facing the eastern sea, and usually guarded by a Frost Troll), head down the steps in the tower, and then sneak and snipe Yngol from the spaces in the gate. As Yngol's Shade cannot open the gate (it is only opened by taking his helm from his skeleton), it is possible to kill his shade from the other side of the gate without taking any damage from him. Note, however, that a bow and arrows must be used, or precision spells such as Firebolt, Ice Spike, Lightning Bolt or their "stream" counterparts (i.e., Flames, etc.) to get through the gaps. To then get the loot from within the Barrow, exit back through the tower and enter the normal way.
This section contains bugs related to Yngol Barrow. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
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.
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.
Click to see the list of bugs encountered
PC 360 PS3 When entering the dungeon, the game screen may become black. While the navigation bar on the top will still work and the player can do all movements judging by the sound effects, it is impossible to access any menus but the system menu. Quitting the game from the system menu may cause the game to freeze, requiring a reboot of the system. The issue can be solved by entering the dungeon without a follower or by saving inside the barrow and loading from that save. (1.5)
If you enter Yngol Barrow with the quest of finding the Helm of Winterhold, after defeating Draugr Death Overlord and retrieving the quest item, the last gate will NOT open. This issue can be solved by simply exiting the crypt the way you came in.
There isn't much beyond this gate, besides a staircase leading directly to the exit and a chest containing a meager amount of loot, but if you encounter the above glitch and really want the stuff in the chest on the other side of said gate, you can always find the other entrance to the Barrow that isn't marked on your map. Entering from this side will put you in the barrow on the other side of the gate. To find this door, fast travel to the barrow. Head left, around the entrance's outcropping of rocks, and keep heading North-East up the hill, and then down again. Head all the way down to the waterfront, and look to your right. There should be a sizable outcropping of rock, at the base of which is the door leading to the opposite end of Yngol Barrow.
To explain it differently, after exiting the Barrow turn right and follow the shoreline north, when you come to 2 logs washed up on shore turn directly right and head towards the cliffs, you will come to a little bay and you will see a large rock formation on your right, on this formation you will notice some of the rocks have horizontal lines carved on them, head towards this and there is your back entrance to Yngol Barrow.
PC You can also use the "tcl" Console Command to pass through.
If you try to complete the "Helm of Winterhold" quest after completing the Imperial path for the Civil War you cannot give the helm to Korir as he will not talk to you.
360 PC When arriving at the gate with the pillar puzzle, all three of the pillars might be set to the hawk emblem, and they might not respond when using the "Activate" prompt. This can be fixed by re-entering the Barrow.
If you kill Yngol's shade by shooting through the last gate, having accessed it via the door on the surface, Yngol's skeleton and the helm might be invisible when you reach the final chamber coming from the front. All that you can see will be Yngol's skull hovering in the air above the throne chair. You will receive the prompt to take the helm, though. On doing this, the skeleton will reappear and the last gate will open.
PC 360 PS3 When arriving at the dragon claw door it may not activate, thus leaving you locked out of the final room. The issue can be resolved by going to the home screen then restarting the game. You may find then that the door is now open.
PS3 When speaking to Dragon Priest, there's a chance that you may not be able to complete the quest. His dialogue freezes and the quest will remain within your Miscellaneous Quest listing.
Sometimes, the Dragon Claw will not insert into the door even though the sequence is correct. If you are doing the Trouble in Skyrim Quest for the Companions and only have to kill the Draugr Death Overlord, this can be solved by going in the back entrance and killing him with spells, but you may not be able to retrieve the Helmet.
PC 360 PS3 A Dragon Priest may appear instead of Yngol. This prevents acquisition of Yngol's Helm and the unlocking of the rear exit. (Occurred during Rings of Blood Magic; possibly caused by installation of Dawnguard)
360 After killing Yngol's Shade, if you leave out the rear exit and re-enter, a searchable Dragon Priest-looking body may appear as the body of Yngol's Shade, in addition to the ash pile that was left when you killed it. Items placed in one will appear in the other, but stolen items won't show their stolen status, however they will still be stolen when you take them back. If you try to Dead Thrall the body, it will say "Dragon Priest resisted Dead Thrall".
360 Loading an auto-save made by entering Yngol Barrow may result in distorted visual effects and may prevent the character menu from being opened. In order to fix this, simply walk backward (or turn around and move forward) through the entrance and re-enter the barrow.
360 Attempting to enter Beast Form while in Yngol Barrow may not work properly, leaving the Dragonborn unable to open the character menu or unable to change back. Loading a previous save can fix this. Leaving the barrow may also work.
PC When entering the dungeon, the game screen may become highly blurred. You will not be able to load a previous save (even through the use of the fast load feature) without first exiting to the main menu/desktop, all UI and menus (with the exception of the favorites menu) seem to become inaccessible. In order to fix this, type the command coc YngolBarrow01 into the console, you fill find yourself deep into the barrow and the screen will not be blurred anymore. To make your way back to the entrance, at one point, you will need to use the command "tcl" to clip through a closed door, once done, you can type "tcl" again to turn collisions on again.