Lore:Winterhold (region)

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Type Region
Continent Tamriel
Province Skyrim
Subregions Broken Cape
Mount Anthor Range
Winterhold Glaciers
Appears in Skyrim, Legends
The symbol of Winterhold

Winterhold is the northernmost hold in Skyrim, and has weather to match.[1] The Sea of Ghosts is off its northern coast, Eastmarch is to the southeast and The Pale is to the south and west.[2] The city of Winterhold was once located in the hold, but it was mostly destroyed during the Great Collapse. The College of Winterhold is the most notable feature of the hold, which was spared even though the Great Collapse tore down most of the city around it.[3] What remains is a meager village, technically the hold's capital city, near the entrance to the College.[1]

Winterhold consists of snowy coasts and rocky islands in the Broken Cape, as well as the even snowier Mount Anthor range which marks the border between Winterhold and the Pale, and some of the northern border to Eastmarch.[2] Between the mountains and the sea to the east lies an ice plain, where the elements are at their harshest, and life at its most scarce. Rock and ice shelves form the barrier between Winterhold and the sea to the north and east, dotted occasionally with shingle beaches.

Not many plants or creatures can survive in Winterhold's harsh climate.[1] The only plants that can truly thrive are coniferous trees and snowberry bushes. Wolves, ice wolves, snow bears, snowy sabre cats and horkers all populate the region. Occasionally, an ice wraith or a wispmother may attack travelers.[4]


When the Second Empire disbanded and High King Logrolf was assassinated in 2E 431, there was contention for the throne between the High King's daughter, Freydis and the Jarl of Solitude, Svartr. The latter claimed that the former was an illegitimate heir to the throne, so a Moot was called for a successor. While the Crown of Verity chose Freydis, a partial Moot in Solitude chose Svartr, and in the end, Skyrim had split into two kingdoms, the east and the west.[5] The east was comprised of the Old Holds, including Winterhold, and the High Kingship ruled from Windhelm. The eastern kingdom was active for three more hundred years and when it was ruled by Jorunn the Skald-King, it became part of the Ebonheart Pact.[UOL 1]

By the late Third Era, Winterhold was recognized as a county in the Third Empire. Roughly around 3E 432, Dunmer refugees flocked to the city and brought about a renaissance of power and influence. With their help, the College of Winterhold was able to create the Ysmir Collective, which in turn brought scholars from all over Tamriel to the county. The library became a cornerstone of academic life in the college ever since.[6] It is unknown how Winterhold exactly faired in the Oblivion Crisis, but the Old Holds at large were laid waste by the daedra, according to rumors in Cyrodiil.[7] A few years later, another exodus of Dark Elves came to the Winterhold region in response to the cataclysm of the Red Year, but those faithful to Azura received visions of the destruction before it happened, and were guided west to safety. As a sign of gratitude, they built a large statue of Azura in the mountains of Winterhold, northeast of Mount Anthor.[8]

Notable Places[edit]

Mount Anthor, the highest peak in Winterhold
A Dwarven ruin built partially atop an active glacier with an entrance to Blackreach.
College of Winterhold
A famous school for the arcane arts in the city of Winterhold.
Fortress of Ice
An ancient fortress that served as the home of Arch-Mage Shalidor.
Fort Kastav
A strategically important fort found wedged in the mountains
Frostflow Lighthouse
A lighthouse infested by Falmer.
Hsaarik Head
At the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape, it is the place where tradition holds that Ysgramor's Five Hundred Companions made landfall.
Japhet's Folly
A stronghold built on a small inhospitable island.
Mount Anthor
A mountain famous as the site of the battle between Olaf One-Eye and the dragon Numinex.
An ancient Nordic city that was sacked in the Night of Tears, Saarthal is where the Eye of Magnus was found in the Fourth Era.
Shrine of Azura
A grand shrine built in honor of the Daedric Prince Azura.
Sightless Pit
An underground Dwemer ruin containing a temple and a vault where Kagrenac's Tools were stored.
Snow Veil Sanctum
A medium-sized Nordic ruin north-northeast of Windhelm that was has been used as a hideout.
The eponymous city of the region.
Yngol Barrow
An ancient Nordic ruin known as the burial ground of Ysgramor's son, Yngol.
Ysgramor's Tomb
The burial site of Ysgramor found northwest of Winterhold facing Atmora across the Sea of Ghosts.


See Also[edit]

  • For game-specific information, see the Skyrim article.



  1. ^ a b c The Holds of Skyrim
  2. ^ a b Map of Skyrim
  3. ^ On the Great CollapseArch-Mage Deneth
  4. ^ Events of Skyrim.
  5. ^ The Crown of FreydisTaleon Mythmaker
  6. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Throat of the World: SkyrimImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  7. ^ Tamriel Gate Responses generic dialogue in Oblivion
  8. ^ Aranea Ienith's dialogue in Skyrim

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

  1. ^ Loremaster's Episode of ESO-RP ZOS Interview — The Elder Scrolls Online Roleplaying Community
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