Skyrim Quest Walkthrough: The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller


After meeting the Greybeards at their mountain temple of High Hrothgar, Arngeir will give you one last task to do to prove that you are a Dragonborn: obtain the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, one of the heroes of old. The Horn is located in the ancient Nordic ruin of Ustengrav, which Arngeir marks on your map for you.


The simplest way to reach Ustengrav is by taking a carriage to the town of Morthal, then trekking through the marshes on foot. The ruins can be found to the northeast of the town. When you arrive at the ruins, you’ll encounter some bandits engaged in combat with mages. Since both groups are hostile, you’ll likely have to mop up the survivors unless you can sneak past them all.


The first level of the ruin is fairly straightforward, with a few mages and draugr to deal with. Entering Sneak mode and following the mages deeper into the ruin rather than attacking them yourself immediately will result in an eventual fight between them and the draugr, leaving fewer enemies for you to deal with. When you’ve picked off any survivors and collected all the loot worth taking, descend into the second zone of the ruin.


Upon entering Ustengrav Depths, you will see a vast, somewhat forested chasm with a waterfall and a bridge. As there is no way down to this area, except by a steep fall that would surely be fatal, you will have to navigate a winding passageway through the rest of the ruin. There will be several draugr and a fire trap to hinder your progress along the way. In the outdoor area itself you will encounter several skeleton patrols, both on the ground by the bridge and in the higher up area with the wood barricade. These can easily be taken down with a good shot from your bow. Note that there is also a skeleton in the room with the tall pillars who is seated in the throne but will rise and attack you when approached.


Near the bottom of the waterfall is a Word Wall with the Words for a “Become Ethereal” shout. It can be seen from the bridge and is reachable via a small path carved out of the side of the cave wall. Behind the waterfall is a hidden area containing a draugr and some stashes of loot. The Horn, however, lies on the other side of the bridge, so after you’ve learned the shout and collected the loot, go back up the path and head across the bridge.


Across the bridge you might encounter a lone skeleton who is easily dispatched. The main attraction here are the three outcrops of rock carved with runes and the tunnel you need to access to continue which is currently barred with three gates. Each of the rocks glows red when you approach and lifts one of the gates closing the tunnel. Starting at the rock nearest to the bridge, sprint by each of them until you get close to the tunnel entrance, and from there use Whirlwind Sprint to clear all the gates at once. Once you are clear, the gates will remain fully open, allowing any followers you have with you to follow you in.


The floors in the next few chambers are covered with fire traps that may or may not work, and there are two spiders on the cobwebbed arch. The room beyond the arch also contains a giant spider and two of her smaller offspring. After dispatching them, cut through the cobwebs covering the tunnel and enter the next chamber.


The final room in Ustengrav contains a lake between you and the altar where you expect to find the item you seek, with a bridge for you to cross. As you approach the bridge, four Nordic dragon carvings rise out of the water, but these don’t do anything, so just cross the bridge. On the other side of the bridge lies the pedestal upon which the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller should be seated. But when you get close, you find the pedestal bare except for a mysterious note addressed to “the Dragonborn”. The note states that the Horn has been removed and requests that you rendezvous with the note’s author by renting the attic room at the Sleeping Giant Inn in the town of Riverwood.


Leave the dungeon and make your way to Riverwood as the note instructs. When you reach the inn and speak to the innkeeper, Delphine, about renting the appropriate room, she tells you that there is no attic room, but you can have the one on the left if you like. Go into the room on the left and she’ll follow you. When you’re alone, Delphine tells you that she was the one who took the Horn, and gives it to you. She asks to speak privately, and you follow her to the room you usually rent. Delphine opens the wardrobe door, revealing a stairway to a secret chamber beneath the inn, where she bends over a map on a table and begins speaking to you. She will not share many details with you, but she says that “her organization” has been looking for one such as you, and that she took the Horn in order to get you to come here. This exchange with her begins the quest A Blade in the Dark, and when you’re done speaking with her you can return the Horn to the Greybeards at High Hrothgar and complete the quest.


If, however, you first return the Horn to its pedestal in the ruins you just came from and activate the pedestal, you will be granted a dragon soul as a reward. In fact, due to a glitch, if you rapidly press the activate button several times in succession when interacting with the pedestal, you may be granted two dragon souls instead of one. When you’ve done this you can just remove it again, leave the dungeon and head off to present the Horn to the Greybeards.


Return to High Hrothgar with the Horn and present it to Arngeir, who will take it to the main hall, where the other Greybeards are assembled, and Wulfgar will teach you the last word to the Unrelenting Force shout. The Greybeards will now perform the ritual that signifies they formally recognize you as a Dragonborn, and from now on High Hrothgar is open to you.


32 Responses

  1. Marzacc says:

    where do u take the carriage to morthal from?

  2. Dimitris Thodis says:

    So I reach the rocks and my chracter seems to stuck and not be able to go through the doors via the whirlwind. I’ve been trying a lot of thing the past 3 days to no vail.. Plz help! I’m going to smash my pc …

    • Alex Berry says:

      Same happened to me, the first gate needs to be fully open and not closing, just do the shout about 1 second before you are doing.

  3. Luisao says:

    stand in the middle of the rocks and when all the doors open do the whirlwind sprint which will take you just over half way through and then sprint normally through the last one

  4. dusstin says:

    I am told to talk to wulfgar to get the final word of unrelenting force and when i do he just moves his arms like he is blessing me nothing else happens and i also completed alduins wallband need the power to kill alduin

  5. Josh says:

    I just returned with the horn back to the tavern before seeing the greybeards. How do I activate the pedestal. It is not working for me, thanks.

    • Josh says:

      When I say tavern I meant to say pedestal. Except it doesn’t allow me to do anything. I have no idea how to get the dragon souls. (Playing on Xbox 360)

  6. Lucy W says:

    I am also having this trouble (on 360). I have the horn and i am trying everything to get an option to put it back in the hand, but nothing!! I WANT A DRAGON SOUL!!!! :0(

  7. max says:

    i got all they way to wulgard ..but the game wont let me learn the last word to the shout anyone

  8. Chase says:

    I have retrieved the message but cannot find my way out of the depths!

  9. Erik says:

    It told me I failed??? that i didnt talk to someone about the horn before i tryed to grab it. idk im so lost.

  10. Drachmir Kelfghar says:

    I am also unable to activate the pedestal. I assume we’re talking the pedestal/hand in Ustengrav Depths where the mysterious note was?

  11. DarbRelah says:

    When I return to Riverwood, everyone is trying to kill me, even Delphine. What did I do wrong?

  12. Krovvy says:

    You have to place the horn at the pedestal and therefore get the dragon soul AFTER you return the horn to Angeir. If you go back to the pedestal before you complete the quest you will not be given the option to activate it.

  13. stones says:

    they will not teach me the final word of unrelenting force help

  14. stones says:

    why can i not learn the last word of unrelenting force

  15. Jordan says:

    Is it possible to get the dragon souls even though I already returned the horn?

  16. jason says:

    I get back to riverwood to talk to delphine and get the horn from her and all the villagers including her start attacking me. I have not robbed or killed anyone in riverwood in the past so whats up with that

  17. Chris says:

    opened the gates, went through the traps…killed the spiders….can’t get to the door to open it….stops me in the middle of the hallway…force field maybe?

    driving up the wall…please help

  18. Nexx says:

    Hiya! I can’t seem to finish the quest. I went back to the greybeards with the horn, though they did not speak anything and I couldn’t find this Angeir person I’m supposed to return it to.. I also tried the trick with Ustengrav ruins but since I haven’t completed the quest it just keeps saying I cannot remove the horn from my inventory. Sucks.. Oh and was I supposed to go through the blizzard in the backyard of the greybeards or ignore it for now? Should have tried that before venturing to the other side of Skyrim.

  19. castesx says:

    Need some help. When I sprint through the gates they don’t stay open. My follower is closed outside the gates and if I clear my way to the letter I can’t get back because the gates are closed. Help!!!

  20. hsmitty says:

    I cant figure out how to keep the gates open to get to the spiders. I use the whirlwind sprint but, the gates close before i get through. Help!

  21. Ethan says:

    No offense but if yall down know how to play this game dont even try i mean i just got it and i beat all those parts in like 2 hours so lol

  22. Zarshark says:

    Help!!! Every time I go into riverwood people try to kill me for no reason! I didn’t do anyting wrong, all I did was fire frost spells everywhere when I first got them. maybe I hit a chicken or something.

  23. Natalie says:

    Super confused! I, too, cannot receive the last word of unrelenting force. It may have worked for some, but they won’t teach me. Are there any suggestions?

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