With Half-Life 2 & its episodes finally finished, I was able to pick Skyrim up again. I decided to complete the Civil War quests from the Imperial Legion side. But after completing it, I came across a bug that I couldn’t find a solution for on the internet. I suspect this is because I’m in the minority of choosing the Legion while most players go with the Stormcloaks. Personally, it didn’t make sense for my Bosmer to side with the people who basically want all other races expelled from Skyrim. Plus, I thought it would be more epic for two Thu’um users to go against each other. But I digress…
This isn’t the first time I’ve come across bugs or glitches while playing, but this was the first time one wasn’t fixed by saving & reloading the game. So because I had to find my own solution (the Elder Scrolls Wiki doesn’t offer a solution either), & on the off-chance that other people may have encountered the same problem, I decided to post my steps for fixing it.
The Bug: The new Jarl of Windhelm doesn’t appear.
After defeating Ulfric Stormcloak in the Battle for Windhelm, Brunwulf Free-Winter is made the new Jarl. When you return to the Palace of the Kings, he’s supposed to inside. However, with this bug, he does not appear. There’s a table full of Jarls & the steward, but you can’t interact with them. (The people aren’t actually part of the bug, although I thought they were at first. The Jarls who sided with the Stormcloaks get replaced.) I also noticed that although the citizens returned & the city was no longer in flames, no guards were around — either Stormcloak or Imperial. While not necessarily game-breaking, without the Jarl I couldn’t buy a house in Windhelm or become Thane.
I tried traveling to another location, waiting a few days & returning, but that didn’t work. I saved my game outside the Palace, went to the 360 home screen & reloaded, but that didn’t work either. Searching the forums & message boards didn’t offer any solutions for the 360 (I assume PC users can use console codes).
But I came up with a solution on my own & everything seems to be working fine now. So here are the steps I took:
- I entered the Palace of the Kings.
- Standing at one end of the dinning table, I used Unrelenting Force on all of the people seated. This of course gave me a bounty from every region the people were originally from & caused them to attack them.
- I then fast traveled to outside Riften. First I had to lose my pursuit because you can’t fast travel with enemies around. I found it easiest to simply leave Windhelm & then jump into the river & swim away. No one followed me.
- The Imperial soldiers outside Riften attacked me without trying to arrest me first, so I had to kill them all. I’m not sure if this is related to the Jarl bug, but I’m documenting exactly what I did so I’m including it.
- When I traveled back to Windhelm, the problem seemed to be fixed. The guards were back, as was Free-Winter, & I was able to proceed as normal. The guards at Riften also began to behave normally again & tried to arrest me the next time I entered the city (for the record, I bribed them because it was cheaper than paying the fine).
I can only say that this worked for me on the 360, so I can’t guarantee it will work for everyone. I doubt you have to follow my steps exactly. Just attack the people in the hall, leave the city & then come back & everything should be fine.
I hope this helps out anyone else who has the same problem.