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< Skyrim: Places: Worldspaces(Redirected from Skyrim:Skuldafn Temple)
(view on map) (lore page)
# of Zones 4
Clearable Yes
Dungeon Yes
Respawn Time Unknown
Dragons, Draugr, Frostbite Spiders, Nahkriin
Important Treasure
Dragon Priest Staff
Diamond Claw
Console Location Code(s)
Skuldafn01, Skuldafn02, Skuldafn04, Skuldafn05
Special Features
Word Wall Storm Call

Skuldafn is a large Nordic ruin with a portal to Sovngarde containing draugr, dragons, and a dragon priest. It contains four interior zones, two of which are unconnected: Skuldafn Temple, a second Skuldafn Temple, Skuldafn South Tower, and Skuldafn North Tower, with a separate exterior area behind the temple.

The only way to reach Skuldafn is by forcing Odahviing to fly you there; this is accomplished during the quest The Fallen. He will fly away after leaving you there. The only way to leave Skuldafn is to take the portal to the Nordic afterlife.

Related QuestsEdit



Skuldafn overview

Odahviing will drop you off on top of an old dragon mound. You should be facing east, towards a low arch which opens to a stone bridge over a shallow lake. Just to the right before the arch is a tree stump with mora tapinella growing on it. There is a draugr on either side of the far end of the bridge, another draugr patrolling the stairs off to the far right, and a dragon constantly circling overhead.

Beyond the far end of the bridge to the left is a blue mountain flower, while to the right is a purple mountain flower, a thistle, and a snowberry bush to the left of stairs rising to the south. To the right before these stairs are other stairs descending to the lake, which contains nothing of interest. Along the south edge of the lake is a blue mountain flower and a purple mountain flower, with another purple mountain flower at the north end to the right of the main waterfall feeding the lake. Return to the first flight of stairs rising to the south, and you will enter a paved area with another two draugr, one of which is a magic-user. There is another thistle to the right, and a red mountain flower to the left.

After this is a large courtyard; when you enter it, another dragon will begin circling overhead. There are more draugr patrolling the battlements to the left, who may detect you if you choose to fight the dragon here. There is a snowberry bush just to the left of where you enter the courtyard, and a purple mountain flower farther along the wall. There is a red mountain flower at the base of the left flight of stairs rising to the east, a snowberry bush at the base of the right flight of stairs, a thistle in the middle of the courtyard, and another red mountain flower near a tree stump with mora tapinella growing on it to the west. The entrance to Skuldafn South Tower is on the south side of the courtyard.

At the top of the stairs, on a walkway above is a patrolling draugr. Heading forward, there is a ruined tower to the left; it contains a chest on the second level. There is a draugr patrolling the next area to the north, another watching the area from the broken stairs farther to the north, two more walking along the higher walkway to the west, and two more on the higher walkway to the east. Once all of these draugr are dealt with, proceed to the south along the walkways. There is an altar here with three draugr; two are patrolling the lower area, and one is guarding the raised area with the altar, on top of which is a chest. To the east of the altar is the door to Skuldafn North Tower. Before you enter Skuldafn Temple back to the north, follow the walls to the west and north from the temple entrance, and you will find a chest with a random potion of healing, magicka, or stamina beside it. If you look up, you should see a short wooden bridge connecting the tower in front of you to the second exterior area behind the temple.

Skuldafn TempleEdit

In keeping with the general theme of the place, the temple is rather large. There is an urn in front, another to the left, and an altar with two random poisons on top to the right. The first room may appear deserted, but there are three draugr waiting towards the rear of the room behind the central raised section. Both paths pass under bridges that link this raised area with the sides of the chamber, and both lead to the same place. The path on the right is strewn with rubble, but contains a chest, while the path on the left is trapped, with two pressure plates along the path that cause a series of poison darts to shoot from both walls. In the area with the three draugr is another altar with two burial urns on top and four more on the ground around it.

After dispatching these first draugr, continue up the stairs; again, both lead to the same area. There is a magic-using draugr in the next room, while another four slumber in sarcophagi to the sides. One on each side will emerge as you reach the top of the stairs, while the other two will emerge once you pass the three rotating pillars in the middle of the room. Once these draugr are out of the way, take a moment to assess the puzzle. There are two solutions here for two gates; the two side pillars face outwards, while the one in the middle faces the gates. The right gate's solution, from east to west, is Snake—Eagle—Whale, and the left gate's solution, again from east to west, is Snake—Snake—Whale. Pull the lever to activate each solution and raise the corresponding gate; raising the second gate will not lower the first.

There is a cave-in behind the right gate with a chest among the rubble, while to the left of the left gate is another urn, and the path continues beyond this gate. Once past the gate there is a cave-in directly ahead, with a flight of stairs rising to the west. The passage leads out onto a balcony overlooking a small room containing a magic-using draugr standing in front of an altar. There are two flights of stairs descending into the room on either side of a large statue. However, as you begin to descend the stairs, two more draugr burst from sarcophagi: one at the back of the room behind the altar, and the other on the balcony off to the right. Directly under the statue is a chest, and on the altar is a mummified draugr corpse and three burial urns. When the sarcophagus on the west wall burst open, it revealed an opening in the back.

Beyond this opening, you'll see a large amount of cobwebs and spider egg sacs. You'll also be able to hear several frostbite spiders moving around. You will need to hack or burn through the webbing into catacombs infested with the spiders, with a series of burial alcoves along both walls. The catacombs rise to the north, where another section has caved in. There are three egg sacs from which you can harvest spider eggs among the fallen masonry. There is a doorway to the east covered with more cobwebs you'll need to hack or burn through. Beyond this doorway is a narrow passage that first turns north and climbs more stairs, before turning east again with yet more stairs leading up. There is a frostbite spider near the top of the first flight, and two more at the top in a wider section of the passage in front of a pair of iron doors. There is a blocked passage on the right containing another egg sac and a chest hidden beneath thick cobwebs you'll need to hack or burn through. On the floor to the right of the doors is a salt pile.

Beyond the doors is a room with a raised central section and balconies on both sides linked by a pair of walkways crossing above the lower level. Two draugr in this room patrol both balconies and the raised central section. There is a pillar puzzle here; the solution, from north to south, is Whale—Snake—Eagle. You can also use the Whirlwind Sprint shout to reach the exit to the east from the raised central section. The first pillar is immediately in front of you when you enter the room; this is the "middle" pillar, and should be turned so the snake shows. On the lower level there is an urn to the north and a chest to the east behind the central section. The symbol for the middle totem can also be seen at the rear of the room. The other symbols are high above the walkways on either side of the room. There are stairs to the south leading up to the balcony and the third pillar, which should be turned so the eagle shows. Head across the walkways, past the lever with many skulls lying around it, to the "first" pillar, which should be turned so the whale shows. Once this is done, pull the lever and a raised wooden bridge will fall into place from the east, granting access to a pair of iron doors and an urn on either side of the bridge. Go through the doors to the second Skuldafn Temple zone.

Skuldafn TempleEdit

Around the corner to the north is a split-level room containing three draugr, with one on the lower level and two above. There is an empty chest on an altar in front of the draugr on the lower level. The path forward is up a flight of stairs at the back of the room, then to the right, which cuts back to a bridge over the altar. Once across the bridge, there's a doorway into a wider passage that turns north after a few paces. At the far end is another doorway into a room with a pressure plate on the floor which activates a double trap. The first part of the trap is highly visible when triggered, with a lantern dropping onto and igniting an oil slick. The second part of the trap is a poison dart trap on the opposite wall. There is a wooden spiral staircase in the middle of the room. On your left is a sideboard holding a burial urn and a skull with a flawless garnet on top. To the right of the sideboard is an urn, and against the back wall is a set of shelves holding an empty random soul gem, a random potion of stamina, and a sack, with a burial urn on the floor beside it.

At the top of the staircase is a room with a closed gate to the north, and a closed pair of iron doors to the south, with a window on either side of the doors. Looking through the windows, you will see a draugr in the small room beyond the doors. There is another draugr slumbering in a sarcophagus in the same small room, which will burst open when you enter the room. In the small room, there is an oil slick on the floor, an oil lantern hanging above, a chest to the right, and the lever to raise the closed gate to the left.

The passage beyond the gate rises, passing an urn before turning east by more fallen masonry. The next wide corridor has two pressure plates along it that drop another oil lantern onto an oil slick. One of the plates is in front of a chest on the right, and the other is in the middle of the corridor to the left of the chest. At the far end of the corridor are some skeletal remains beside an iron battleaxe. At this point the passage turns back to the north, and another wide corridor leads past an urn to a puzzle door guarded by a high-level draugr or even a dragon priest. The draugr carries the Diamond Claw, which reveals the combination for the door, from top to bottom, as Fox—Moth—Dragon. Beyond the door is a short flight of stairs leading up to a huge chamber, with the word wall at the far end of a wide path with thrones on either side. On the first two thrones are lootable skeletons. The word wall teaches part of the Storm Call shout.

Continue to the left of the wall, past a burnt corpse and an iron greatsword. Climb the stairs and follow the passage north, which turns west before a doorway to a room to the north. The room contains a stone table holding a draugr corpse, two random potions of healing, magicka, or stamina, a random war axe, a random helmet, and a burial urn. Beside the table on the floor is a second burial urn, with an urn to the left of the table. A set of shelves on the east side of the room holds three more burial urns, a random potion of regeneration, and a stone bowl containing a flawless diamond, a flawless emerald, and a flawless amethyst hidden under a linen wrap. At the end of the passage is a pair of iron doors leading to Skuldafn Temple Exterior.

Exterior: Skuldafn TempleEdit

When you emerge, at least two draugr will immediately notice your presence. Deal with them, and head straight ahead from the temple exit to the tower connected by a short wooden bridge that was visible from outside the first entrance to the temple. Head down a level to find a set of shelves and a sideboard holding two random potions of healing, magicka, or stamina, a honed or standard ancient Nord sword or war axe, and a flawless emerald. There is also an urn on this level. There is a ramp leading down on the outside of the tower to the lower levels, where you will find an urn and a chest. Be careful not to fall down here; if you survive, you will need to traverse the whole temple again. Return to the top level of the tower and the area outside the temple exit, and proceed to the south and east to two draugr guarding a flight of stairs rising to the north.

If you have attempted to sneak in this area, you may have noticed you are being detected, but not attacked. If you look to the top of the stairs, you will see a dragon looking back. This dragon, and another on the opposite side of the portal which is also visible at the top of the stairs, are not aggressive. Continue up the stairs, where the dragon priest Nahkriin awaits. He has a decent amount of magic resistance and a small amount of physical resistance, and knows many spells, including summoning, ward, wall, and cloak spells. He also has perks granting greater magic and healing effects to his spells. Once he has been defeated, loot him for his eponymous mask and his staff, which is needed to access Sovngarde. You can choose to fight the two unaggressive dragons for their loot and souls at this point. Attacking one of them will turn both hostile. One generally uses frost breath, while the other uses fire breath. They will repeat the phrase "Skuldafn fen kos dinok" while attacking you.

When you are ready, ascend to the small platform overlooking the area where the portal had been prior to the battle. Activate the dragon seal by placing Nahkriin's staff in it, then enter the portal to exit Skuldafn and enter the Nordic afterlife of Sovngarde.

Skuldafn South TowerEdit

The tower is quite small, but still populated by draugr. Before ascending the spiral ramp, check the room to your right. There are two draugr in here, and an urn. There is another draugr patrolling the ramp. There are two more draugr guarding a chest and an urn in the room at the top of the ramp. The doors to the southeast and southwest exit the building. You emerge high above the entrance, but can jump down to the protrusion over the entrance and then jump safely to the ground.

Skuldafn North TowerEdit

The tower is quite small, but still populated by draugr. Before ascending the spiral ramp, check the room to your right. There is a single draugr in here. There is another draugr patrolling the ramp. There is one more draugr guarding a chest in the room at the top of the ramp. The door to the southwest exits the building. You emerge high above the entrance, but can jump down to the protrusion over the entrance and then jump safely to the ground. Before you do so, enter the other door to discover another chest hidden among the rubble in the southeast tip of the interior.


  • Skuldafn is only accessible during the related quest, and it is impossible to return to the location after you enter the portal to Sovngarde, so be sure to get everything you want from the area before you enter the portal. Remember that Nahkriin's mask is required to get the ninth dragon priest mask, Konahrik, so be sure to loot him. If you missed them, it is possible to recover Nahkriin's mask and the word of the Storm Call shout while maintaining your progress without using mods or console commands by using the Dead Loading glitch.
  • All four dragons in Skuldafn are unique. The difference between ordinary dragons and the first two dragons in Skuldafn is that the latter have the dunSkuldafnDragonFaction so they don't fight the draugr in the area, and their displayed name will always be "Dragon". The two dragons by the portal are unaggressive versions of the first two, but will fight you if you attack them. All four may have higher stats than the ordinary versions of their type.
  • If DurnehviirDG is summoned in Skuldafn, he will also speak the unique dialogue that the other dragons in the area have while in combat.
  • This location is where Alduin flies off to at the beginning of the game. It is possible to chase him all the way into the mountains and spot him circling the Skuldafn region of the Tamriel worldspace.
  • You can use Auriel's BowDG to quickly eliminate most of the undead enemies here. You can also combine Sunhallowed Elven ArrowsDG with Auriel's Bow to inflict sun damage on undead enemies in the exterior areas, provided your assault happens during the day.
  • Fast travel is not available in Skuldafn.
  • The Clear Skies shout is not effective in Skuldafn.
  • The Bend WillDB shout is not effective on the dragons in Skuldafn.
  • Skuldafn also appears in ESO.


  • If the puzzle door does not work, check here for possible fixes.
  • If you kill Nahkriin while hidden and he is atop the rise (with a bow, for example), he may not drop his staff, and you will then be unable to unlock the portal to Sovngarde.