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< Lore: Places: S
Type Plane
Realm Aetherius
Appears in Skyrim, ESO
Sovngarde (Skyrim)

Sovngarde is the storied afterlife of the Nords,[1][2] a part of Aetherius[3] where the greatest Nord heroes go when they die to enjoy an eternity of feasting and merriment.[4]:631 It is ruled by Shor and contains the Hall of Valor, a supposedly gigantic feasting hall where the mead "flows like a waterfall". Those who cross the threshold of the living and entered the afterlife are greeted below the red glow of the eternal sunset, following the pathway down between the mammoth tusks and the monolithic cowled statues and into the valley of mists—the Shadowed Vale.[4]:150 Tsun currently guards the mythical Whalebone Bridge past the Vale,[5] which leads to the Hall of Valor. At Shor's bidding, he has taken on the role of the master of trials, asking new arrivals to the utopia to prove their strength in combat against him before they can enter Shor's Hall.[6] Some people regarded Sovngarde as a myth by the Fourth Era.[7]

SR-misc-Sovngarde Statue 01.png

Entry and AcceptanceEdit

Excluding the rare usage of portals, the realm can supposedly only be reached by true Nords (and their loyal beasts)[8] who die valiantly in battle, regardless of personality.[9] Others believe those who die dishonorably, even in battle, are denied entry.[10] This excludes those afflicted with Lycanthropy, as Hircine takes them to his Hunting Grounds,[11] those without souls,[12] and those whose bodies were interred deep within Blackreach, as their souls cannot reach the realm.[13] Nords who live lives without combat do not go to Sovngarde according to some,[14] but some exceptions to this supposed rule are known to have occurred: Jurgen Windcaller, who swore a life of pacifism,[15] and Svaknir, who was imprisoned and executed[16] were known to have nevertheless ascended to Sovngarde.[17][18]

Though Nords and Atmorans may go to Sovngarde when they die,[19] is unclear whether or not other races may ascend to the realm. A priest from the Cult of the Ancestor Moth who lived during the Interregnum claimed that mortals decide the destinations of their own souls through the choices they make in life,[20] seemingly absent of race. Giants have occasionally been referenced in the context of going to Sovngarde.[21] Additionally, in a prophetic dream, Fourth Era Harbinger of the Companions Kodlak Whitemane saw all Harbingers who came before him enter Sovngarde, ending at Terrfyg, who took up Lycanthropy.[11] As Terrfyg ruled after them, this would mean that Henantier the Outsider, an elf, and Cirroc the Lofty, a Redguard, went to Sovngarde.[22] Another Redguard, a renowned warrior in the Fourth Era, believed he could go to Sovngarde.[23]

Inter-Realm ContactEdit

A few Nords have received divine premonitions of Sovngarde. Kodlak Whitemane of the Companions dreamt of Sovngarde, seeing generations of Harbingers ascend to the Hall of Valor, as well as Terrfyg being pulled into the Hunting Grounds. The dream also predicted the arrival of the Last Dragonborn.[11] Skardan Free-Winter, a soldier in the Imperial Legion, had a dream of Sovngarde where he met Ysgramor in the Hall of Valor, filling him with determination to win the upcoming Battle of the Red Ring.[24] Those who suffer mortal wounds in combat but are not yet dead may see Sovngarde before them.[25]

Spirits have been known to depart Sovngarde to contact the living. The Five Hundred Companions once appeared to King Jorunn after the defeat of Sinmur.[26] Queen Nurnhilde appeared to a force of the Ebonheart Pact, giving them vital information to entering Sovngarde.[27] The Direfrost Clan, within their keep's mead hall, house an artifact known as the Direfrost Flame, a sacred fire that gives the Clan access to commune with their ancestors in Sovngarde.[28] Ulfgar the Unending was able to manifest as a spirit after reaching Sovngarde, blessing a stone with his magical energies.[25]


Merethic EraEdit

The standing stones at Brodir Grove on Solstheim (Morrowind)

During the Merethic Era, a group of Ysgramor's Five Hundred, after successfully taking Skyrim from the elves, began to search for the entrance to Sovngarde. This group consisted of Ulfgar, Hunroor, Erlendr, Nikulas, and Grimkell. The group was close to finding an answer on the island of Solstheim, but before they could, Grimkell betrayed them, casting a spell that turned the group to stone in attempt to create a portal to Sovngarde. Ulfgar, however, resisted the spell, becoming a living stone and killing Grimkell for what he had done. He would spend the next several millennia wandering Tamriel, searching for the entrance to the elusive realm.[25]

First EraEdit

In or before the First Era,[29] the necromancer Azaran the Cruel attempted to bind the dead souls of Sovngarde to the living world, but failed. He was later buried somewhere in Skyrim.[30]

Second EraEdit

In 2E 582, Fildgor Orc-Thane located a hidden passage to Skuldafn, a Nordic stronghold far in the Velothi Mountains with a portal to Sovngarde. He used his royal blood to enter the realm and attempted to fuse his soul with that of his dead sister, Nurnhilde, in order to usurp the throne using the Crown of Verity.[27] Forces loyal to King Jorunn pursued him to the stronghold. A Pact soldier, later given the title King's Arrow for their deeds, then entered Sovngarde with the blessing of Nirnhilde's spirit and defeated Fildgor. It is unknown whether he was killed by the soldier, by Jorunn, or was spared.[31]

Third EraEdit

By 3E 427, Ulfgar the Unending had made his home on Solstheim, not far from Brodir Grove, where his companions were turned to stone. An adventurer, who found out that Sovngarde was reached by an honorable death in battle, slew the ancient Atmoran in battle.[32] Ulfgar then joined his companions in Sovngarde.[25]

Fourth EraEdit

The portal to Sovngarde within Skuldafn (Skyrim)

In 4E 201, Alduin, a godly tyrant from the Dragon War, returned to Tamriel, having been sent into the future during the Merethic Era. Alduin made his base of operations in Skuldafn. Using Skuldafn's portal to Sovngarde, Alduin began to ensnare the realm in mist and feast upon the souls of the dead, building his power in the process, a privilege he withheld from his subordinates.[33][34] Later that year, the Dragonborn breached Skuldafn and entered Sovngarde. After besting Tsun, they continued into the Hall of Valor and rallied the spirits of Gormlaith Golden-Hilt, Felldir the Old and Hakon One-Eye, whom had previously bested Alduin atop the Throat of the World.[35] Together, they were able to defeat Alduin, cleansing Sovngarde of his soul snare.[36][37]

In the same year, Harbinger Kodlak Whitemane of the Companions was killed by the Silver Hand.[38] Due to his Lycanthropy, he was taken to Hircine's Hunting Grounds upon his death, despite his desires for Sovngarde.[11][39] The remaining members of the Circle then convened, reassembling the legendary axe Wuuthrad and breaching Ysgramor's Tomb, where a magical relic known as the Flame of the Harbinger resided.[40][38] After burning the head of a Glenmoril hagraven and defeating Kodlak's wolf spirit in battle, a new Harbinger was selected for the Companions and Kodlak's soul was freed.[39][36][19]

Kodlak hoped that someday, he and other honored warriors could invade the Hunting Grounds and rescue the souls of the Companions who did not have the chance to free themselves from Hircine's grasp before death. He called this imagined battle "The Harrowing of the Hunting Grounds",[39] but it is unknown if it ever occurred.


See AlsoEdit



  1. ^ The Road to Sovngarde
  2. ^ Sovngarde quest in Skyrim
  3. ^ "Death" of Morphotypical EntitiesDoctor Rhythandius
  4. ^ a b The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Prima Official Game Guide — David Hodgson
  5. ^ Eydvina's Note
  6. ^ Tsun's dialogue in Skyrim
  7. ^ Vals Veran's dialogue in Skyrim
  8. ^ Valorous Sovngarde Guar Strider description in ESO
  9. ^ Sovngarde, a ReexaminationBereditte Jastal
  10. ^ Svana's dialogue in ESO: Greymoor
  11. ^ a b c d Kodlak's JournalKodlak Whitemane
  12. ^ Nelhilda's dialogue in ESO
  13. ^ Alwyn's dialogue in ESO: Greymoor
  14. ^ Bulfrek's dialogue in Skyrim
  15. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: SkyrimImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  16. ^ Giraud Gemane's dialogue in Skyrim
  17. ^ Appearance of Jurgen Windcaller in Skyrim
  18. ^ Appearance of Svaknir in Skyrim
  19. ^ a b Ysgramor's dialogue in Skyrim
  20. ^ The Abbot Crassius Viria Answers Your QuestionsAbbot Crassius Viria
  21. ^ Irna's dialogue in ESO
  22. ^ Great HarbingersSwyk the Long-Sighted
  23. ^ Ebony Warrior's dialogue in Skyrim
  24. ^ A Dream of SovngardeSkardan Free-Winter
  25. ^ a b c d Ulfgar the Unending's dialogue in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
  26. ^ Stomping Sinmur quest in ESO
  27. ^ a b Queen Nurnhilde's dialogue in ESO
  28. ^ The Direfrost FlameThorvild Direfrost
  29. ^ Farengar Secret-Fire's dialogue in Skyrim
  30. ^ Become Ethereal third word wall in Skyrim
  31. ^ Songs of Sovngarde quest in ESO
  32. ^ Betrayal at Brodir Grove quest in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
  33. ^ Odahviing's dialogue in Skyrim
  34. ^ Paarthurnax's dialogue in Skyrim
  35. ^ Alduin's Bane quest in Skyrim
  36. ^ a b Dragonslayer quest in Skyrim
  37. ^ Tsun's dialogue in Skyrim
  38. ^ a b Vilkas' dialogue in Skyrim
  39. ^ a b c Kodlak Whitemane's dialogue in Skyrim
  40. ^ Appearance of Ysgramor's Tomb in Skyrim