Skyrim: How To Solve The Puzzling Pillar Ruins

Quick Links

  • Finding The Puzzling Pillar Ruins
  • Solving The Puzzle
  • Rewards

To the southwest of Whiterun in Skyrim, you will find the Puzzling Pillar Ruins. You will be able to solve this mysterious puzzle and receive a small reward by doing so. In this guide, we are going to go over how to solve the Puzzling Pillar Ruins.

This unmarked location is optional to solve; there are no quests or NPCs who are involved with the ruins, making solving it completely optional. Overall though, you don't need any specific skill or spell to solve the puzzle. First, let's take a look at how you can get to the ruins for the first time.

Finding The Puzzling Pillar Ruins

As mentioned above, the Puzzling Pillar Ruins are located southwest of Whiterun.

From Whiterun, take the road leading to the west until you come to a fork. Here, you can either take the road north or south.

Take the road south, until it starts to curve. Off the right-hand side of the road, you can find the Puzzling Pillar Ruins.

Solving The Puzzle

To solve the puzzle of the ruins, you need to align the pillars with the correct symbols. Hints for each pillar with be displayed on the rocks nearby. Search these rocks until you find the correct symbol for the pillars.

Stand at the lever in the ruins and look towards all three pillars. The correct symbols should display as follows from left to right.

  • Whale
  • Hawk
  • Snake

With all three symbols displayed, pull the lever to open a grate.


Once you have opened the grate, head down the exposed staircase until you come to a chest with a skeleton nearby. After killing the skeleton, you will be able to look the chest and receive a Destruction skill book titled A Hypothetical Treachery.

That's all there is to solving the Puzzling Pillars Ruins! This type of puzzle is Nordic; oftentimes, when you see Nordic pillars that display symbols of animals, you can find the answer on hidden rock faces nearby. Keep this in mind as you explore the world of Skyrim and come across more Nordic Puzzle Pillars.

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