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Type Settlement
Continent Tamriel
Province Skyrim
Hold Hjaalmarch
Appears in Arena, Skyrim
Snowhawk (Arena)
:"We bid you enter Snowhawk, where the wind is as sharp as its talons and as fierce as its name..." —In-game description in Arena
Map of Skyrim

Snowhawk was one of the eight major cities in the province of Skyrim.[1] It is located in Hjaalmarch, directly west from Morthal. It is found on a hill that overlooks the Drajkmyr marsh to the northeast.[2] Once considered one of the greatest cities of the West, Snowhawk fell into ruin in the aftermath of the wars of the Imperial Simulacrum, and an Imperial fortification from the Third Empire called Fort Snowhawk was named in its memory.[2][UOL 1]


Fort Snowhawk

A settlement known as Karthwatch was established in the mid-Second Era to defend the border against the Reach after Karthald was carved from its northern territory, and it would eventually become the city of Snowhawk.[3][UOL 2] Fort Snowhawk did not exist in the mid-Second Era, though an old Nordic ruin was located on the site of the future fort.[4] Just across from it was an old Dwemer lift to the Greymoor Caverns of Blackreach, specifically the northern cave of the same name.[5]

During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the city-state of Snowhawk was an active settlement. It was ruled by King Torbens and had a rivalry with Solitude. At the time, Snowhawk was the seat of a Kingship and was the largest city in the region.[6] It was neighbored by several settlements, including Dunstad Grove to the east, Lainalten to the south, and Markarth Side to the north.[1] During the War of the Bend'r-mahk, Redguard forces and allied Orcish mercenaries laid siege to Snowhawk from Frostfall 3E 397 to Sun's Dawn 3E 398. Though they failed to take it, a magical attack caused all stone walls and structures in the city to disappear. The city fell, and most of the survivors moved to Karthwasten, Solitude, and Whiterun.[UOL 1] By the Oblivion Crisis in 3E 433, there was a small settlement found outside of the city.[7]

Fort Snowhawk was built by the Third Empire in 4E 21 on the road toward Haafingar and the Karth River, dedicated to the memory of the town, though it was abandoned later on in the Fourth Era and it gradually eroded to a ruined fort.[8][UOL 1] The walls degraded, the jail collapsed, and the bailey was partially flooded and infested with skeevers.[8] Over the years, many people from bandits and necromancers took residence in Fort Snowhawk. In 4E 201, it was occupied by a local necromancer coven after they forced out the bandits that previously lived there. They used their new base of operations to perform experiments and find test subjects on the road just outside of it.[9] During the Skyrim Civil War, the fort served as a point of contention between the Imperial Legion and the Stormcloaks. Fort Snowhawk played a pivotal role in the conflict as it determined the hold's allegiance.[10]

Known Rulers[edit]



  • There is an outfit style available in ESO called Snowhawk Mage, which might be a reference to the city.[11] Despite this, Karthwatch was confirmed by Art Director CJ Grebb to be Snowhawk's predecessor during ESO's timeframe.[UOL 2]
  • Arena was originally conceived as a fighting game featuring a tournament that took the player to each of Tamriel's cities to challenge different gladiatorial teams. According to a file from that stage of development left behind in the final game, Snowhawk's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Frost Demons".[UOL 3]

See Also[edit]

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


Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.