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I am right in the middle of doing the "Forbidden Legend" quest. I am in Geirmund's Hall and the pillars to open the gate will not rotate. I cannot get out and cannot start the game in an earlier spot without losing too many levels. How do I get the pillars to rotate so I can open the gate?

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4 Answers 4

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The sad / obvious fix to a non-rotating pillar will be to reload a previous save. You aren't alone in experiencing this glitch.

(There are some spoilers in that thread but are hid nicely as Spoilers)

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From the UESP wiki's "Skyrim Puzzle Totems - Bugs" article:

A common bug is that the ... the door may not open after the correct combination is set. Possible fixes are:

  • Save and then immediately load that save.
  • Load either the auto-save from the entrance, or a save from before you entered.
  • Exit the location, save, and load that save.
  • "Reset" the door by selecting the right combination... Do this until the correct combination re-appears and try again.
  • (On Xbox 360) Clear the hard drive cache.
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    You posted an identical answer to a separate question here. Was this intentional? From what I can tell, this doesn't answer this question, but it does answer the other. Were you going for a more general bug fix solution?
    – Niro
    Feb 10, 2013 at 16:39
  • @Fluttershy This was intentional and an attempt to answer this question. If you've read the UESP wiki article I've linked to, you'll notice that it talks about both the "pillar" or totem puzzle doors/gates (this question), and the "dragon claw" puzzle doors/gates (the other question). That's why both my answers are similar, since I've quoted the same article's solutions, which talks about both of the mentioned questions. Feb 12, 2013 at 3:53
  • @Fluttershy Anyway, I've edited this answer to be less.. similar to the other one, to avoid another deletion flag/vote. (I wasn't able to reply to your comment earlier, since someone had flagged/voted this answer for deletion, and it was deleted by a mod.) Feb 12, 2013 at 3:54
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This will require you to leave the cave. It should be easy to walk back to the entrance give you killed most of the enemies in the way.

  1. Leave the cave.
  2. Get back in the cave.
  3. Done.
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This is a way old post but I was replaying Skyrim Special Edition and ran into this very issue today. Realizing that you're stuck and can't backtrack to the entrance once you encounter the pillar bug, I did the following (PC version, not sure if console access is available on PS4 / XBox):

  • Move back to the pit you fell down into the water near the entrance to Gerimund's Hall.
  • Open the console with the '~' key.
  • Type 'tcl' to toggle off clipping. Close console with '~' key again.
  • Look up and do your best Superman flying through the hole to the top.
  • Open the console and type 'tcl' to toggle on clipping again. Close console.
  • Exit and reenter the cave and see if you're fixed.

This could help you if you don't have a save handy at or near the beginning. Happy exploring.

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