The Gildergreen, planted during the early days of the settlement, was grown from a cutting or seeding (accounts vary) taken from the ancient Eldergleam, one of the oldest living things in Tamriel, located in a cave in Eastmarch. Even its name is an echo of the mother tree. Worshippers of Kynareth could sense something holy in it, and since then many pilgrims have traveled to Whiterun to hear the goddess's wind blow through its branches.
In 4E 201, the tree was struck by lightning. It was severely burned and assumed to have died. Pilgrims were devastated, and stopped coming to worship the tree. Danica Pure-Spring, the local priestess of Kynareth, requested that the Last Dragonborn go to the Eldergleam Sanctuary in Eastmarch and retrieve some of the tree's precious sap using Nettlebane, a vile weapon created by a coven of Hagravens. Eldergleam Sap has the ability to restore barren fields or bring life to rocks, and it was thought that the sap could be used to restore the tree. Maurice Jondrelle, a pilgrim who accompanied the Dragonborn to the Eldergleam Sanctuary, was appalled by the plan and instead offered to pray to the tree and request a new sapling, which could replace the damaged Gildergreen. It is unknown whether the Dragonborn extracted the sap or took the sapling, but the Gildergreen was restored, much to the appreciation of the people of Whiterun.
The burned Gildergreen circa 4E 201
- The related quest has two alternate endings, which makes the Gildergreen's canon fate somewhat unknown.
- For game-specific information, see the Skyrim quest article.