After killing the first dragon and becoming Thane of Whiterun, the Jarl suggested I visit the Greybeards to learn more about the "power of the voice".

I could see High Hrothgar was on a nearby mountain top on the map. And there were enough hints with the "seven thousand steps" to make the connection with the high peak where High Hrothgar is located.

However I could not find a path to the top. Eventually I noticed the quest marker pointing to Ivarstead. A friend told me this is where I should go.

How was I supposed to learn about Ivarstead, and what am I even doing there? I can't find any quests in my log that refers to it. I do not remember anyone at Dragonsreach mentioning it either.

PS: Also what added to my confusion is this: as I fooled around with a new character, upon returning the Dragon Stone, I saw for the first time Delphine at Dragonsreach discussing with Farengar. There was also a book on the table listing various settlements, possibly giving me useful information about areas on the map. On my original character, I never saw Delphine there, and this book is not there on Farengar's table either. Is this a bug?

  • Follow the quest marker? Dec 14, 2011 at 21:32
  • 2
    Skyrim's 1000th question! Dec 14, 2011 at 21:46
  • Well maybe I'm a bit OCD on this, but having played the beginning with a second character, I noticed things that were missed the first time. For example, on my first run, I never noticed that Ralof explains things along the way while leading you to Riverwood (shows you the Stones, the Bleak Falls Barrow opposite the valley, etc). On my first run he just ran off. That's why I'm wondering if I have missed a dialogue somewhere that introduces Ivarstead. Dec 14, 2011 at 22:03
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    What's perhaps more amusing is that he does this after suggesting you split up. Dec 14, 2011 at 22:11
  • regarding Daphine.. When you escape helgen you can either escape with stormcrow people are Legion people. I think if you escape with the prisoners, you see Daphnine in dragonsreach, but if you escape with the legion guard, you don't see her.
    – GmNoob
    Dec 15, 2011 at 18:27

3 Answers 3


Once you get to Ivarstead, the quest marker moves to High Hrothgar.

It's just the Developer's saying, "This is where the path starts, so go here first, otherwise you won't be able to make it up there. Unless you have a horse, then you can probably run right up the mountain."

  • Thanks. What I am wondering is what introduced Ivarstead on my map? Story-wise how did my character learn about Ivarstead? It is on my map so I suppose it was granted by reading a book, or obtaining the quest, but I can't remember any dialogue mentioning it. Dec 14, 2011 at 22:01
  • @faB Is one of the prisoners in the very beginning from Ivarstead? I know one of them is from Rorikstead... It's also on the Jarl's war map in Dragonreach. Dec 14, 2011 at 22:02
  • @RavenDreamer, the three prisoners are from Rorikstead (gets shot), Riverwood (escape option), and WindHelm (Ulfric).
    – Amy B
    Dec 14, 2011 at 22:05
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    If you walked by the map hanging near the court mage in the Dragonsreach of Whiterun, several local landmarks were added to your map, including Ivarstead.
    – jsnlxndrlv
    Dec 14, 2011 at 22:09
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    If you listen closely to the dialog, I'm pretty sure that the Jarl tells you to head to Ivarstead and then from there climb the steps.
    – bwarner
    Dec 14, 2011 at 22:28

I guess it's one of those blank spots in the game dialogues filled in by the Clairvoyance skill and the map.

I'm sorry if I didn't spell my question correctly. I agree one can simply follow the map marker but there is already World of Warcraft if you want to rush to max level and skip all dialogues.

This game reconciled me with offline RPGs and so I was genuinely wondering what part of the lore I may have missed that would let my character know about Ivarstead.

The closest I can think of is a book I vaguely remember that mentions the pilgrimage to High Hrothgar and the 7000 thousand steps. Can't say for sure if it mentionned Ivarstead so the question remains unanswered.

Won't vote my own answer as it wouldn't be fair, thanks all for the comments.


You don't necessarily have to be given "cheater" knowledge -- i.e. find out that you're supposed to go to Ivarstead by following the arrow or seeing the quest marker on your map -- in order to get there.

I think you're right in that none of the dialogue ever tells you. I had no idea about Ivarstead when I started off to find High Hrothgar, and I play with the HUD turned to the least opacity possible so that the compass isn't visible at all; thus no quest arrow to spoil it for me. I knew High Hrothgar was at the top of the mountain, so I basically just came out of Whiterun, headed east until I reached the hard-to-miss impassable mountain, and then walked around the base of the mountain scrambling up every barely visible goat track and "is that an actual trail or just a stretch of bare dirt?" that seemed to lead upwards (and generally having to scramble right down again when it became apparent that I couldn't go any higher) until I had eventually circled around to the far side of the mountain and run right into Ivarstead without even knowing there was a town there.

Once I walked into the town I heard NPC dialogue informing me that Ivarstead had come into existence because of pilgrims climbing the 7000 steps, and then I felt pretty dumb about all those little trails that I'd painstakingly climbed and scrabbled my way up before finally admitting that this probably wasn't the path to High Hrothgar and sliding back down to continue circling around looking for a more obvious way up the mountain.

  • True. I was looking around the high peak, which is obvious on the map. But I kept running into places of interests and new locations every five minutes and eventually I gave up searching on my own without clues because I thought I'd never ever get there :) Feb 2, 2012 at 1:36

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