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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Way of the Voice

By
Scott Peers

This page details The Way of the Voice main quest in Skyrim, including how to find Ivarstead and reach the Greybeards at High Hrothgar.

High Hrothgar, Skyrim.

Quest Info Description
Objective Meet the Greybeards.
Quest Giver Jarl Balgruuf the Greater
Location(s) Ivarstead, High Hrothgar
Prerequesite Dragon Rising
Next Quest The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
Reward Word for Unrelenting Force and Whirlwind Sprint shouts.

Quest Overview

  1. Go to Ivarstead.

  2. Climb the 7,000 Steps.

  3. Speak to the Greybeards at High Hrothgar.

How to Find the Greybeards at High Hrothgar

Now that you’ve dealt with your first dragon and discovered how to harness your new powers, it’s time to answer the summons of the Greybeards. To easiest way to ascend High Hrothgar is by visiting the village of Ivarstead first. You’ll also be able to pick up a miscellaneous quest from Ivarstead while you’re there.

Travel to Ivarstead

To reach Ivarstead from Whiterun, head toward the Honningbrew Meadery and follow the path around the mountain from here. You’ll encounter a few points of interest along the road, including the White River Watch where you’ll find some bandits to kill, and a ritual stone where you can gain the power to raise the dead. There are a number of wolves along the road, too, so be ready to fight them.

If you find yourself in a giant camp named Guldun Rock, turn back and follow the river instead. You can try to take on the giants, but if you’re low level they will likely kill you in one hit, so it’s hardly worth the risk if you want to focus on reaching Ivarstead. If you must fight them, the safest way to kill them (slowly at lower levels) is to find a vantage point and shoot them from afar with arrows or spells.

As you continue along the road you’ll eventually reach the Valtheim Towers bandit camp. One of the bandits will demand a toll of 200 gold, but you’re not so vulnerable that you have to submit to this demand. Instead, you can choose to intimidate them and be on your way, or kill them if the intimidation doesn’t work, or if you think they deserve it. There’s quite a bit of loot in the tower, so it may be worth your while.

The road will eventually lead to a path heading into the mountains. Take this and follow it upwards and over the range. You may want to save as you go to avoid the saber cat which lurks up here. It will inflict a lot of damage if you’re low level.

Take Klimmek’s Supplies from Ivarstead

The path will eventually go down a bit and lead to the village of Ivarstead. While you’re here, be sure to speak with a man named Klimmek, who can be found talking to another villager near the bridge up to the path. You can take some supplies up to High Hrothgar for Klimmek, and he’ll reward you when you speak with him later.

(1 of 3) The location of Ivarstead, east of Whiterun.

Climb the 7,000 Steps to High Hrothgar

Once you’ve explored Ivarstead and spoken with the locals about the region (and about what they know of the Greybeards and High Hrothgar), you can begin the ascent up the mountain. Along the way you’ll encounter some stone emblems which inform the reader about the history of dragons, the voice, and humanity. We’ve listed the detail of the emblems in the below table for your convenience.

Emblem Text
Emblem I Before the birth of men, the Dragons ruled all Mundus. Their word was the Voice, and they spoke only for True Needs. For the Voice could blot out the sky and flood the land.
Emblem II Men were born and spread over the face of Mundus. The Dragons presided over the crawling masses. Men were weak then, and had no Voice.
Emblem III The fledgling spirits of Men were strong in Old Times. Unafraid to war with Dragons and their Voices. But the Dragons only shouted them down and broke their hearts.
Emblem IV Kyne called on Paarthurnax, who pitied Man. Together they taught Men to use the Voice. Then Dragon War raged, Dragon against Tongue.
Emblem V Man prevailed, shouting Alduin out of the world. Proving for all that their Voice too was strong. Although their sacrifices were many-fold.
Emblem VI With roaring Tongues, the Sky-Children conquer. Founding the First Empire with Sword and Voice. Whilst the Dragons withdrew from this World.
Emblem VII The Tongues at Red Mountain went away humbled. Jurgen Windcaller began His Seven Year Meditation. To understand how Strong Voices could fail.
Emblem VIII Jurgen Windcaller chose silence and returned. The 17 disputants could not shout Him down. Jurgen the Calm built His home on the Throat of the World.
Emblem IX For years all silent, the Greybeards spoke one name. Tiber Septim, stripling then, was summoned to Hrothgar. They blessed and named him Dohvakiin.
Emblem X The Voice is worship. Follow the Inner path. Speak only in True Need.

As you make your way up the steps, you can stop and read the emblems if you wish. Otherwise, just keep running upward, following the path wherever there are steps. You’ll encounter a few wolves along the way, including Ice Wolves, which inflict more damage than regular wolves. Fire magic will serve you well here, but melee and ranged attacks will do just fine.

Defeat the Frost Troll

A bit further on, however, you’ll encounter a Frost Troll. This is a tough enemy to fight, especially if you’re low level, so you’ll need to ensure that you have some decent gear and high damage weapons if you want to stand a chance. Alternatively, you can focus on kiting the troll around the nearby rocks, shooting arrows or casting destructive magic as you go. You won’t be able to take too many hits from the troll as a low level, so avoid this at all costs.

Although kiting the troll is an effective method of keeping him in the fight and inflicting damage over time, you should keep in mind that the troll will occasionally heal itself if you leave it unharmed for too long. Try not to leave too much time between attacks for this reason. The Frost Troll will sometimes roar and beat its chest, giving you a few seconds of free damage without the risk of being hit in melee. If you must fight in melee, this is the best time to attack without being hit. Regardless of your strategy, keep in mind that fire attacks will be most effective against the troll, and will even stop it from regenerating if the fire is active.

(1 of 8) The Frost Troll will be a tough fight if you’re low level, but you can sprint past it if you prefer.

Meet the Greybeards and Complete Their Challenges

After dealing with the Frost Troll, you won’t encounter any other tough enemies here. Continue up the steps and you’ll eventually find High Hrothgar, a large stone structure. The chest which you can put Klimmek’s supplies in is located in the middle of the steps, so be sure to drop them in before you enter. Once inside, the Greybeards will greet you. Arngeir, the only Greybeard that can talk, will answer many of your questions and will offer to teach you a few Words of Power. You’ll first need to demonstrate that you are in fact the Dragonborn by using your Unrelenting Force shout. The Greybeards will then teach you the second word of this shout: Balance. After learning this, you’ll need to knock back three targets which the Greybeards summon. Be sure to hold down the shout button to use both words of the shout.

Once you’ve completed the challenge, follow Borri outside to the courtyard. Here you’ll be taught another word of power: Whirlwind. This power allows you to sprint forward quickly, and you can test it by completing the challenge of sprinting through the gate before it closes. Be careful not to use the word twice in a row as you do this, as you may find yourself flying off the cliff…

After using Whirlwind, the Greybeards will inform you that there is one final task for you to complete their set of challenges. This leads into the next quest, The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller.

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The Way of the Voice

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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms
    PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, XB 360, XB One
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    31 May 2012
  • Last Updated
    26 October 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Greg Wright

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Skyrim is the homeland of the Nords, a fierce and proud warrior people who are used to the bitter cold and mountanous terrain that mark the lands of Skyrim. Wracked by civil war, and threatened by the return of the legendary dragons, Skyrim faces its darkest hour. You must make sense of this maelstrom, explore the frozen tundra and bring hope to the people. The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons. You are that Dragonborn.

Version 1.2

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