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Type Settlement
Continent Tamriel
Province Skyrim
Hold Whiterun
Appears in Arena, Skyrim
Riverwood circa 4E 201

Riverwood is a logging town on the banks of the White River in Whiterun Hold, at the western base of the Throat of the World. It is located northeast of Falkreath and Lake Ilinalta, north of Helgen, and almost directly south of Whiterun. Despite its seemingly prime location, the settlement doesn't receive many visitors. The famous Guardian Stones lie to the southwest of town.[1]


The area of Riverwood has been inhabited since the Merethic Era, during the time of the Dragon Cult. The ancient Nords built Bleak Falls Barrow high up in the Brittleshin Hills to the west, overlooking the settlement. The locals were entombed in the barrow for some time before it was abandoned, and many continue to roam the ruins as mindless undead draugr.[2] The settlement was not listed as one of the holdings of Jarl Gjalund of Whiterun, dated sometime after the Dragon War.[3]

Some time before 2E 582, the inhabitants of Riverwood feuded with another Nordic clan.[2] Circa 2E 582, Riverwood was known for being an old town, and was said to be where the Riverwood White Hen was originally bred. This breed of hardy domesticated chicken could be found all along the White River at the time.[4]

A large settlement was still in existence at Riverwood during the Imperial Simulacrum and was ruled by Lord Asgens. At this time, it had a rivalry with Nimalten City.[5] It was neighbored by several settlements, including Black Moor to the northwest, Oakwood to the west, Whiterun to the north, and the Imperial City to the southeast.[6][7] But the area would later become abandoned. The town was refounded some time in the Fourth Era when a lumbermill was built on the banks of the river. After fleeing Cyrodiil during the Great War, a surviving member of the Blades named Delphine settled down in Riverwood to escape Thalmor assassins.[8]

In 4E 201, Riverwood was led by a local woman named Gerdur, whose family had built the mill. The town was the first to learn of the return of the dragons after Helgen was destroyed by Alduin the World-Eater. After appealing to Whiterun for aid, Jarl Balgruuf the Greater sent several soldiers to guard the town, a move which was likely seen as aggressive by nearby Falkreath Hold. Despite Whiterun's efforts to remain neutral in the Stormcloak Rebellion, loyalties in Riverwood were divided. Delphine departed Riverwood that year to re-establish the Blades.[1]


See Also[edit]

  • For game-specific information, see the Arena and Skyrim articles.