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Walkthrough: written by Beezer1029, not checked
Reward: written by Voltyraine, checked by Beezer1029
SR-qico-College of Winterhold.png
Deal with the aftermath of the Eye's power surge.
Location(s): Winterhold
Prerequisite Quest: Revealing the Unseen
Next Quest: The Staff of Magnus
Reward: Savos Aren's Amulet (+50 Magicka), Torc of Labyrinthian
ID: MG05
Magic anomalies created by the Eye's power surge

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Find the Arch-Mage.
  2. Defeat the magic anomalies attacking Winterhold.
  3. Report to Mirabelle Ervine.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

College members mourning the death of the Arch-Mage

Tragedy at the CollegeEdit

As you regain consciousness after witnessing part of the battle between Ancano and the Arch-Mage Savos Aren, Mirabelle Ervine will be standing above you, telling you to get on your feet. Gather your wits and find her visibly shaken and upset. Tell her you feel okay, and she will tell you that Ancano is doing something with the Eye of Magnus and that the Arch-Mage is missing. This will begin the quest. Head to the College's central courtyard where you will find the Arch-Mage's body and a group of mages. Tolfdir will approach you and inform you that whatever killed the Arch-Mage has also affected the town of Winterhold. He asks you to go there and save the town.

No Time for GriefEdit

Cross the bridge, where Faralda and Arniel will be waiting. Faralda will inquire about the situation. Explain that Winterhold is in imminent danger and proceed to the town. Faralda and Arniel will follow and assist you in the battle that awaits. You will find the town has become infested with a swarm of magic anomalies—fast moving balls of energy whose attacks deliver frost damage. They explode upon defeat, leaving behind soul gems in their "ghostly remains". Faralda and Arniel prove valuable allies in this battle and, with their help, you defeat the ten anomalies and secure the town. Arniel will remain in the town while you return to the College to report back to Mirabelle.

The Staff of MagnusEdit

When you find Mirabelle, she will tell you that she and Tolfdir are trying to keep the Eye contained, but are in dire need of the Staff of Magnus. When you tell her that you must venture to Labyrinthian for the staff, she softens a bit from her concern and grief. She intimates that Savos Aren had just recently given her a mysterious torc, cryptically telling her that she would know what to do with it when the time came, and she believes it was meant for you. She also gives you Savos Aren's amulet to aid you on your journey, believing that you will be better served by it. The Staff of Magnus quest begins here.


  • If your horse is stabled within the city, the anomalies can quickly surround it and kill it. Simply rush down there at the start of the quest, hop on your horse, ride it out of town, hop off, and then sprint back on foot and join the fray, unless you have Shadowmere, then he can probably stay with you in the fight.
  • At higher levels, the anomalies can be used to train Restoration very effectively, due to their large numbers and low attack power.
  • The souls of magic anomalies are leveled.
  • All College NPCs will either disappear or lose all dialogue options until the next quest is finished, which temporarily prevents you from advancing certain quests or using College services. Any NPCs who have been made followers or stewardsHF will also lose their dialogue options until the quest is complete.
  • You cannot loot the Arch-Mage's body.
  • If you leave a follower somewhere away from the college or the town of Winterhold, when you go to speak with Mirabelle they may be there.
  • Enthir travels to Winterhold on Tirdas and Turdas at 10pm and stays there until midnight, even while this quest is active. This means that if the battle takes place during this timeframe, he may join in on the fighting and be a useful ally as an essential character.
  • Even after finishing the quest and talking to Mirabelle, magic anomalies will appear in the town of Winterhold and attack the guards.
  • It is advisable to finish sub-quests involving the townsfolk before triggering the anomalies, as they are known to kill NPCs in town.


  • You may get no initiating quest once the Arch-Mage is dead, and there will not be a group of mages surrounding him. This problem may be solved by loading a save several quest stages before the Eye of Magnus explodes.
    •   The Unofficial Skyrim Patch, version 2.0.5, fixes this bug.
    •   Entering the console command startquest MG05 will start the quest if talking to Savos Aren does not update the previous quest and Mirabelle does not give the quest.
    •   To get the quest to start, complete all Winterhold related quests that you have active including any under miscellaneous quests.
  • One of the anomalies may not appear and is likely under the world or in a wall, and you may find that it has fallen to the bottom of the cliff near the city.
    • Fast traveling back to the town may fix this.
    • Also, entering another cell such as the inn can cause it to move out of the wall.
  • You may not receive the quest after the Eye of Magnus has been overloaded.
  • If a dragon appears while you are fighting the anomalies, the dead dragon will not give you a dragon soul, and when you kill the anomalies, the quest will mark as being moved on the next stage but you won't be able to enter the College, and people won't talk to you. It is recommended that you reload to a save from before the dragon appeared. ?
  • After killing the anomalies, the entrance to the Hall of the Elements may be inactive.
    • Wait for an NPC to enter and fix the door for you; saving and reloading won't fix this.
    • It may also be possible to reset the door yourself by clicking around or near the edges of the door.
  • If you go into the Arch-Mage's quarters before going outside, you may encounter him alive but without any dialogue when you try to speak to him.

Quest StagesEdit

Containment (MG05)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
Objective 10: Assess the damage to the Great Hall
20 Ancano has done something to the Eye of Magnus, causing the orb to release incredible amounts of energy, and possibly putting the area in danger. I need to find the Arch-Mage and make sure he's safe.
Objective 20: Find the Arch-Mage
30 Ancano has done something to the Eye of Magnus, causing the orb to release incredible amounts of energy, damaging the College and killing the Arch-Mage. The town of Winterhold may be affected as well, and needs to be secured.
Objective 30: Protect the town of Winterhold
Objective 40: Defeat the creatures infesting Winterhold (<Global=MG05CreaturesKilled>/10)
50 Winterhold now appears to be safe from the creatures attacking it. Mirabelle needs to be informed of what's going on.
Objective 50: Report to Mirabelle Ervine
200 Finishes quest  The town of Winterhold has been secured for now, but the Eye of Magnus cannot be reached and continues to jeopardize the College.
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 1, 25.
  • Any text displayed in angle brackets (e.g., <Alias=LocationHold>) is dynamically set by the Radiant Quest system, and will be filled in with the appropriate word(s) when seen in game.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in any order. Some stages may therefore repeat objectives seen in other stages.
  • If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
  • On the PC, it is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage MG05 stage, where stage is the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages, but it is possible to clear all stages of the quest using resetquest MG05.

Prev: Revealing the Unseen Up: College of Winterhold Next: The Staff of Magnus