I was unable to retrieve the Dragonstone from Bleak Falls Barrow.

Do I need to complete this mission to progress further in the game? Is it necessary to finish this in order to become a Dragonborn?

  • 1
    Define "unable"
    – IG_42
    Feb 26, 2018 at 21:20
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    @Rothgar27 please define "I can't get it". It is found at the end of the dungeon. Can you not reach the end? At a minimum, at least 2 people are confused. Feb 27, 2018 at 1:57

3 Answers 3


This quest is the third step of the skyrim Main Quest. You will not be able to progress in the main quest without finishing it.

Dragons only start to appear after after the fourth step, Dragon Rising. This mean that you will not be able to use any dragon shout without finishing Bleak Falls Barrow, as you need to obtain dragons souls (thanks Mixxiphoid for the correction)

  • 3
    I think you can actually learn the shouts, but just not use them because you can't get any dragon souls (kinda hard without dragons)
    – Mixxiphoid
    Feb 26, 2018 at 14:57
  • Except the first dragon which you kill at the Whiterun Watchtower. You absorb its soul when you kill it; these events are what prompt the Tongues practicing as Greybeards to shout your name from atop the Throat of the World.
    – TylerH
    Feb 26, 2018 at 15:52
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    You don't get to the tower until you have the stone, I think. Balgruuf tells you to talk to his court wizard once you report in about Helgen. That's how you get the quest for the Dragonstone. Mirmulnir attacks the watchtower after you turn that quest in.
    – CDove
    Feb 26, 2018 at 17:21

The Dragonstone is the third chapter of the Alduin questline, but it is also part of a "beginner dungeon". The game flow intends for you to, most likely, end up in Riverwood before you go anywhere else. The general store there is run by a brother (Lucan) and sister (Camilla) who will send you to recover a missing item. That missing item happens to be required to reach the Dragonstone; a golden claw. Lucan Valerius issues the quest, but it is also generated when you first enter the Barrow. The multiple pronged hole there is intended for you to insert the claw that you were sent to pick up for the side quest. All such gates require one of these claws, and the palm of the claw has the puzzle solution (check it in your inventory by viewing the object) for its respective gate. The claw itself is in the inventory of Arvel the Swift, a thief you cut down from some spider webbing and (unsurprisingly) gets himself killed when he tries to flee without giving you the claw. Just take it off of his corpse.

You can accidentally lock yourself out of the Dragonstone room at the end of the Hall of Stories (the name for the hallways leading to the ancient Nord puzzle gates, note the glyphs on the walls). If you turn in the quest to Camilla and her brother, the claw is removed from your inventory and placed on the counter in plain view. From here, the only way to get in is to steal the claw back by sneaking in during the night or otherwise distracting the family. Please note that if you do this, even if you later marry into the family, Camilla will pay for mercenaries to attempt to take the claw back from you. Inversely, if you marry into the family and THEN want to take the claw, the claw is marital property and you can take it without it being flagged stolen and without Camilla hiring thugs to come after you.

This is one of two claws I'm aware of where you can lock yourself out. The other belongs to a woman in Winterhold who can die if she is attacked the first time you enter town. She sells the claw after a dialog option is pursued, so make sure to pick it up the first time you are in town.

I can't stress enough that you should never sell a door claw. Some mods will re-use these claws, and I think I recall one situation where more than one claw is used from other dungeons. Money will rapidly become easy to obtain in Skyrim, so don't let the high value of the items fool you into thinking you're getting easy money; later you'll be selling items you've enchanted for so much money that you'll buy the store out of its other stock first just so the merchant can afford what you are selling.

If you are on PC, the console code to recover the claw to your inventory is

player.additem 39647 1

Using console commands to obtain quest items can play wonky with the quest, so use it only if you lost or sold the claw and can't buy it back. If you stole the claw and got arrested after, it's in the evidence chest of the associated hold.

If your issue isn't related to the item, and is instead related to a bug, don't just use the console to fix it. This quest is a hingepoint for the main quest and a side quest, and you can really screw up the main quest scripts and sequence by using quest advancement or quest item commands to skip sections of it. I strongly recommend just reloading a prior save if the problem is bug related, and adding what the bug is to your question here.

  • I agree and can confirm the reusing claws. One, I think the Iron Claw (?) is used in two separate dungeons. Feb 27, 2018 at 1:55
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    Just an addendum that isn't really part of the answer, but players beware in Elder Scrolls games; it's a series old enough to be from the time where games were harder and didn't protect you from breaking your save. In Elder Scrolls 3, you could kill anyone, and you'd just get a message saying you ruined the main quest and now lived in a "doomed" world, but you could overwrite your save and break your game. Save early, save often, and make many save files, even in Skyrim.
    – CDove
    Feb 27, 2018 at 12:44
  • that is good advice I wish I had followed when I started playing. Feb 27, 2018 at 13:19

So I actually did a challenge for this.

You can actually bypass the main quest line altogether and still have 11 shouts unlocked and functional.

This however requires the Dragonborn DLC. As learning the "Bend Will" shout is free and you receive 10 dragon souls from defeating Miraak.

However in terms of beating the main quest line there is only one quest you can skip (Season Unending) which can be skipped if the Civil War Quests have been completed. Other than that all quests must be completed to defeat Alduin.

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