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Type Settlement
Continent Tamriel
Province Skyrim
Hold Whiterun Hold
Appears in Arena, Skyrim
Whiterun circa 4E 201

Whiterun (also known as Ahrolsedovah in the Dragon Language[1]) is a city in central Skyrim, and the capital of Whiterun Hold. It is divided into three districts: the Plains District, used as a marketplace where all the merchants, stalls and inns are located; the Wind District, used as a residential area; and the Cloud District, where the palace of Dragonsreach is located. The Gildergreen tree, grown from a sapling from the legendary Eldergleam, is an ancient tree located in the city, worshipped by followers of Kynareth.


The mountain on which the city was built was discovered by members of the Five Hundred Companions of Ysgramor, who discovered the Skyforge, an abandoned forge with the ability to smelt superior Skyforge Steel. The local elves feared the Skyforge as a relic of the gods. Following Ysgamor's death, Harbinger Jeek of the River built the mead hall of Jorrvaskr beside the Skyforge, founding the settlement.[2] This group became the Companions, a famous band of mercenaries.

The palace of Dragonsreach was built by Olaf One-Eye to house the captured dragon Numinex.

The area used to be referred to as the "Imperial City of Skyrim", before it underwent several acts of chaos, including a dynastic feud, attacks by Hörme bandits and frost trolls, and a series of annihilating winters of alternating floods, droughts, and fires.

The young Barenziah escaped to here for a week with a young lover during her return to Mournhold.[3] During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the city-state of Whiterun was an active settlement. It was ruled by King Asgis, and it had a rivalry with Dawnstar and Falcrenth.[4] Whiterun was neighbored by several settlements, including Black Moor to the west, Laintar Dale to the northeast, Nimalten City to the southeast, and Riverwood to the south.[5] By the waning years of the era, a self-proclaimed priestess of Lorkhan, Jsashe the Witch-Queen, controlled the county and the local witches' coven.[6]

In 4E 201, the city was ruled by Jarl Balgruuf the Greater and played a major role in the Dovahkiin's efforts to defeat Alduin. Whiterun was also the site of a major battle in Skyrim's Civil War, in which Stormcloak forces attacked the city, which was defended by the city guard reinforced by Imperial soldiers. Vignar Gray-Mane was backed by the Stormcloaks as a replacement jarl, while the Imperials haltingly supported Balgruuf. The Gildergreen died that same year, but it was restored by Danica Pure-Spring, a priestess of Kynareth.[7]



  • Arena was originally conceived as a fighting game featuring a tournament that took the player to each of Tamriel's cities to challenge different gladiatorial teams. According to a file from that stage of development left behind in the final game, Whiterun's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Devastators".[UOL 1]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ Holdings of Jarl GjalundSlafknir the Scribe
  2. ^ The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: SkyrimFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  3. ^ The Real Barenziah, v 1 — Anonymous
  4. ^ Whiterun location and rumors in Arena
  5. ^ Map of Skyrim — The Elder Scrolls: Arena
  6. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Throat of the World: SkyrimImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  7. ^ Events of Skyrim

Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.

  1. ^ Original TES: Arena texts at the Imperial Library