So I came came back to Breezehome after a hard few days on the road ridding the world of several bandits, a bunch of necromancers, two dragons and a cave troll. I stored all that I wanted to, took a well deserved rest and then went out to pawn the remainder.

On my way out of my home, which I bought with my own hard earned cash, I was accosted by a balding gentleman who insisted on dueling to the death with magic. His ass was promptly kicked, but my overeager companion, Lydia, may have leapt to my defense a bit robustly and a Whiterun guard may have ended up slightly more dead than he was before he met her.

I went to talk to the guards to offer reparations but all they did was make cracks about my sweetroll. But no matter. Off to sell my wares!

After some very fruitful bartering I went to disenchant a couple of rings at Dragonsreach and, to my surprise, I was attacked on sight upon entering. At first I thought this might be part of a quest (the hearty wench at the local tavern recently informed me that the Jarl's kids might be a little cuckoo). But I ended up dead.

I tried fighting back ... and ended up dead, just with a significantly higher body count. I reloaded an autosave ... changed nothing. I restarted my PS3 and reloaded a save. Nothing, still attacked. Tried talking to the guards about any crimes I may or may not committed - just more cracks about my sweetroll.

How do I stop from being attacked on sight in Dragonsreach? Is my game toast? Is this fixable? If so, how?


Fixed! After manually reloading an autosave, I headed back into town a stole some cheese. A guard caught me, I paid off my bounty, was relived of my stolen loot and was no longer attacked on sight upon entering Dragonsreach. I don't know why I was attacked inside the reach and not outside but I know that's how it got fixed.

  • 2
    I am neither suffering from lycanthropy nor vampirism.
    – Jed Oliver
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 16:03
  • 2
    possible duplicate of What is the mess Lydia is in?
    – bwarner
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 16:04
  • @bwarner It's not that. I already had that happen when a dragon attacked ... Dawnstar? Morthal? upon fast traveling there. Lydia caused some 'collateral damage' there and got in trouble. That was a costly mess to figure out. To fix that I talked to Lydia, then the guard, then payed her bounty, then paid my bounty and then had my stolen loot confiscated. In the current situation at Whiterun/Dragonsreach, the guards do not indicate there is any wrongdoing and/or bounty to pay. I just get swarmed by everyone as soon as I walk up the stairs in Dragonsreach for no apparent reason.
    – Jed Oliver
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 16:15
  • 2
    Nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.
    – Neon1024
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 16:18
  • While entertaining, would you consider making this question a bit less verbose? Remember, other users may need the help of this question in the future and in its current state it's a bit...lengthy.
    – spugsley
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 17:53

7 Answers 7


From http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Dragonsreach


  • Possible random attacking of player after becoming "Thane"
    • Solution: Commit another crime and pay off the bounty.
  • Sometimes when the player enters Dragonsreach, all NPCs become hostile for no reason.
    • Solution: Commit a crime and pay it off

Of course, as seems to be you can't do this. You have a recovery saved version? In addition, when you fight on the duel, did you kill or hit or damage someone?

Do you know what is your bounty in all cities? Because every city has a different bounty But, if you have a lot of bounty in another city, guards will attack you anyway.

On the PC you can fix it with the console, but not on the Xbox 360 or PS3.

  • 1
    1.) I know how the Bounty system works in Skyrim. I don't have much of a bounty anywhere. 2.) I did try starting from another save, post the 'Lydia accidentally killed a guard' incident. Still being attacked on sight. I may try stealing some cheese or a tomato and see what happens. I don't know, but for some reason I think this might fix it.
    – Jed Oliver
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 16:36
  • did it works? Please advice or comment what happens now. Thanks Commented May 11, 2012 at 19:55
  • I'll let you know at 11:30 when I'm at home playing Skyrim. Until then, hold tight buddy. I'm working here. :)
    – Jed Oliver
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 19:57
  • hahhaha me too! :D Or seems to be :P Commented May 11, 2012 at 20:00

You could try committing some other crime, such as blatantly stealing a near-worthless object. Your bounty will go up a bit, and perhaps the guards will approach you about it. Pay the price for the lesser crime, and maybe everything will sort itself out.

  • 2
    For maximum hilarity, you can walk right up to a guard and punch them in the face (attack with no weapon/spell equipped). That's a 40 gold bounty for assault, IIRC.
    – Kevin
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 23:50

I fixed it by stealing an iron mace and paying my bounty of 17 gold. After that everything was fine.


If people attack you for no reason, and you have no bounty that they would care about, then try this if you can use the console:

  1. Open the console with the ~ key.
  2. Click on the person attacking you.
  3. Type paycrimegold 0 0.
  4. Close the console.

That pays off your bounty with that NPC’s faction. It can help even when you don’t actually have a bounty with that faction. Sometimes, factions just get mad at you for no apparent reason, and paying your non-existent bounty placates them.

Or you can try gaining a bounty and then paying it off, like some other answers mentioned.


You didn't contract vampirism during your escapades, by any chance? If you did, that is probably the cause of the attacks.

  • 1
    Not a vampire. (or a werewolf, if that matters).
    – Jed Oliver
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 16:07
  • @JedOliver there are two kinds of vampirism in Skyrim now, with the addition of the Dawnguard DLC. In Vanilla Skyrim, "Vampirism" was a trait that you could contract from being attacked by Vampires (they used a "drain" spell). In the Dawnguard DLC, being a Vampire means a whole other thing
    – Ben
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 1:12

I had this same problem and tried steeling something and paying of the bounty, but that didn't work. Luckily going to jail and serving my time worked.


Stealing didn't work for me, nor did serving jail time. Finally I attacked a guard after about 30 minutes of this nonsense and told him I was the thane and they just went after Lydia and let me be on my way.
So if all else fails just tell them you're the thane and run off (I usually waste it on stealing a cabbage or killing a chicken anyway, but just as a last resort; it seemed to work).

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