Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a beautifully crafted, open world, action role-playing game. It took four years to develop and has an extremely massive map. Bethesda Game Studios, the developers of Skyrim, created approximately 14.8 square miles of forests, caves, valleys, temples, and islands for gamers to explore.
With massive amounts of area to discover, the game is basically endless. Many players have spent hundreds of hours deeply submerged in the world of Skyrim. However, despite how many hours you spent in front of your screen, you most likely missed some of the Easter eggs hidden within the game.
Bethesda Game Studios has a knack for surreptitiously hiding Easter eggs throughout their games, and Skyrim is no exception. In their fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series, they incorporated many references and nods to popular movies, old school video games, children’s fairy tales, and classic folklore. They even added hidden bosses and quests to further enhance your gaming experience and prolong the time you spend inside the world.
This list will help you uncover all the secrets that lie within Skyrim and you will definitely be surprised by how much you missed.
So, pull out your dusty armor and get ready to plunge back into the world of Skyrim, because here are the 20 Skyrim Easter Eggs You Completely Missed.
20 Scene from 300
Head to the south of the Shrine to Peryite, west of Karthwasten, and you’ll discover a skeleton about halfway up the mountain. If you look behind the skeleton, in the gap between two rocks, you’ll also see a saber cat with a glass sword through its head.
This represents a scene from the beginning of 300 (2006) where King Leonidas fights a wolf, stabbing it through the mouth with a spear. Leonidas is successful in 300; however, he doesn’t fair very well in the Skyrim universe, and his skeleton is left next to the dying cat.
Nearby, you’ll also find a backpack that contains the skeleton’s clothes. This is a hilarious nod that explains why King Leonidas is battling the wolf in nothing but his "underwear."
19 Game of Thrones Quote – “A Lannister Always Pays His Debts”
Bethesda Game Studios was offered to develop an open world Game of Thrones game. They ultimately decided against it because Game of Thrones was just starting and they wanted to create their own world. However, Bethesda did add a GOT Easter Egg to their world.
For this Easter egg, you will need to be on the quest called No One Escapes Cidhna Mine. While in the mine you must kill Madanach and his forces, before escaping.
Once you escape, you will be greeted by Thonar Silver-Blood and two guards who will thank you for killing Madanach by giving you the Silver-Blood Family Ring. Thonar will also say “The Silver-Bloods pay their debts. You have my thanks."
This is a nod to the Lannister family from Game of Thrones-- "A Lannister always pays his debts."
18 Assassin's Creed - Leap of Faith
Travel northwest of Falkreath, or east of Markarth, and you will find Bard’s Leap Summit. Here you can head to the end of the summit and plunge down into the depths below. This high fall is meant to replicate the “Leap of Faith” from Assassin’s Creed.
The Leap of Faith is simply the maneuver when the player dives off a high platform and lands unharmed, and is an interesting way to link fans of both games.
To further solidify the fact that this leap is an Assassin’s Creed Easter egg, players have noted that the archway leading up to the Bard’s Leap Summit is shaped like the Assassin’s Creed insignia. Take a look for yourself and see if you can make out the outline of the insignia.
17 Portal 2’s GLaDOS in Her Potato Battery Form
In Skuldafn, there is a flaming fireplace that hides a treat for fans of Portal 2.
You can either travel to Skuldafn on your own, or type in “coc Skuldafn02” for a quick teleport to the temple. Search the fireplace and you will come across a potato with a boiled cream treat and piece of charcoal on it. If you’re having trouble locating the potato, try searching the fireplace with clipping off.
The cream treat and the charcoal are arranged on the potato to make it look like Portal 2’s GLaDOS in her potato battery form. When GLaDOS was uploaded into the potato battery, she was commonly referred to by the community as PotatOS. Valve liked the nickname and made it her official potato form name.
16 Star Wars Easter Eggs - Wampa Cave Scene and Darth Vader’s Helmet
To set off on your quest to find Luke Skywalker, you will need to head to Bleakcoast Cave.
Here, you will be met by an abominable snowman guarding the cave. Destroy him and make your way into the icy cave. Once inside, look up and you will see a skeleton stuck in the ceiling. Look down, and you will see a sword.
This represents the scene from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back where Luke is in a similar situation in the Wampa Cave in Hoth. Luke successfully escapes in the movie, but is not so lucky in Skyrim. His skeleton hangs in the ceiling and his lightsaber lays on the icy ground.
Another Star Wars reference can be found in Ysgramor’s Tomb. The tomb can be found on a frozen island to the northwest of Winterhold. Inside, there is a large mammoth skull that resembles Darth Vader’s helmet.
15 Pac-Man Made of Cheese
Skyrim pays homage to one of the best video games of all time: Pac-Man.
This retro Easter egg can be found in Markarth, at Endon’s house. Once inside the home, walk up a small ramp on the left and look at a bookshelf. On the bottom shelf, you will find a cheese wheel, three pieces of garlic, and bowl of Glowdust.
The cheese wheel is shaped like Pac-Man’s body and has a slaugshterfish egg on it to represent his eye. The three pieces of garlic represent the Pac-Dots that he eats, and the Bowl of Glowdust may have one of two meanings.
Some people believe it represents a ghost from Pac-Man as the Glowdust is obtained from killing wisps, or ghosts. However, some players believe the Glowdust represents a power pellet.
14 King Arthur Easter Eggs
The Sword in the Stone was inscribed with the saying, “Whoso pulleth out this sword from the stone, is rightwise King born of all England.” Nobles from far and wide came to try and pull the sword from the stone and claim their spot as the rightful king of England. Now it’s your turn to try your hand at the sword in the stone in Skyrim.
Directly south of the Broken Tower Redoubt, there is a place called Rebel’s Cairn where you will find the sword in the stone in front of a cave. Because you are the rightful king, you can pull the sword out of the stone.
This is not the only King Arthur reference in Skyrim. Northeast of the Bleakwind Basin, you will find a pond with a skeleton’s arm reaching out the water. This arm is holding Excalibur’s Sword, representing the Lady of the Lake who gives Arthur the sword.
Thirdly, another subtle Lady of the Lake reference can be found on a small island in Lake Ilinalta. Here you can find the Lady Stone surrounded by a lake.
13 Skeleton from Beauty and the Beast
Head to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary for a Beauty and the Beast Easter egg from beyond the grave. Here, in the sanctuary, you will find the giant domesticated Frostbite spider named Lis. In her nest, you will see a skeleton in the water named “Gaston Bellefort.”
Gaston Bellefort is a mashup of different characters from Beauty and the Beast. Gaston refers to the arrogant antagonist of the film, Belle is the beautiful female protagonist, and Fort refers to Maestro Forte, Beast’s music conductor who was turned into a pipe organ. Skyrim put these characters together to create Gaston Bellefort.
In the game, though, Bellefort is a deceased author of a book called The Night Mother’s Truth. On the skeleton, you will find a note that is written by Bellefort revealing that he had been spying on the Dark Brotherhood and had tried to infiltrate it. It is assumed, though, that he was not successful and was ultimately fed to Lis.
12 The Dead Body Cleanup Cell
Ever wonder what happens to the hundreds of characters you kill in Skyrim? They don’t just disappear like most of us think. Instead, they are transported into a dark and grim room called the Dead Body Cleanup Cell.
Also known as the room of Death, the Dead Body Cleanup Cell houses the characters that you have killed throughout gameplay. The cell is purple and green and comprised of two identical hallways crossed over each other. In the eastern hallway, you will find two coffins.
To reach this hidden purgatory, you have to use one of two console commands. If you’re playing on a computer, hit the ~ button to bring up the console command center. For the first method, you will need the RefID of a character that you have killed to enter with the move player command.
For example, Severio Pelagia’s RefID is 0002C927 so you will enter “player.moveto 0002C927." If Pelagia is dead and in the Cleanup Cell, you will be teleported there with him.
The second method of reaching the crypt is much easier. Simply open the command console and type in “coc WIDeadBodyCleanupCell.”
11 Minecraft Reference - The Notched Pickaxe
The "Notched Pickaxe" can be found at the very top of the Throat of the World by completing the appropriately named quest. After completing the Throat of the World quest, there is a slope that you can climb to reach the top of the mountain’s summit. The pickaxe can be found just below the peak.
This enchanted Notched Pickaxe is thought to be a reference to Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft. Persson is known to the Minecraft community by the name Notch, hence the name of the pickaxe.
Pickaxes are also a prominent tool in Minecraft, leading many players to believe that Skyrim is playing tribute to the game’s creator. The pickaxe also adds a bonus for Smithing, which is similar to crafting items in Minecraft.
Some players also believe the Notch Pickaxe could refer to the two English climbers, George Mallory and Andrew “Sandy” Irvine who disappeared climbing Mount Everest in June 1924. Search and rescue crew found a marked pickaxe at the top of the mountain possibly belonging to Irvine. This marked pickaxe could be represented by the notched pickaxe in Skyrim.
10 Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Scene
This way to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, where it’s always tea time...
In Skyrim, there is a quest entitled The Mind of Madness. In this quest, you will arrive in Pelagius’ mind where you see Sheogorath and Pelagius having a tea party in the forest. To complete the quest, you must finish three curing tasks.
Sound familiar? The entire quest parallels Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, particularly when the Mad Hatter asks Alice to complete many tedious tasks while she attends to his tea party.
The tea party set in the forest is also seen throughout movie adaptations of the book such as Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016).
At the end of The Mind of Madness quest, you will also receive a Wabbajack, which sounds eerily familiar to Alice in Wonderland’s Jabberwocky.
9 The Three Billy Goats Gruff
There were once three Billy Goats who lived in a meadow at the foot of a mountain, and their last name was Gruff. They were called Big Billy Goat Gruff, Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff, and the Little Billy Goat Gruff. Each of these Billy Goats Gruff went over a bridge to find more grass to eat, and wound up in Skyrim.
On your way to Hag Rock Redoubt, you will find this bridge and the three Billy Goats Gruff. If it’s your first time going across the bridge, you will see two goats meeting a third at the end of the bridge, and then see all three of them run off together.
Now, as most of us know, this bridge was the home of a great and terrible Troll who threatened to eat the three Billy Goats. Unfortunately for him, the Billy Goats outsmarted him and he lies dead underneath the bridge. Head underneath the bridge in the game to find his lifeless body.
8 Sleepy Hollow's Headless Horseman
The ghostly figure of the Headless Horseman from Washington Irvine’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow can be found lurking around Skyrim.
The Horseman appears in Skyrim at night between 10PM and 4AM. If you follow him, he will usually take you to Hamvir’s Rest. Here you will find three skeletons and some random items.
Many players believe that the Headless Horseman is actually Ragnar the Red. This is because of a popular song in Skyrim says “Oh, there once was a hero named Ragnar the Red, who came riding to Whiterun from ole Rorikstead… And the braggart named Ragnar was boastful no more, when his ugly red head rolled around on the floor!”
Just like Ragnar the Red’s description in the song, the Horseman is lacking a head and is riding in a similar path.
7 Santa Claus Visits the Good Children of Frossel
Santa Claus is coming to town in Skyrim’s downloadable content Dragonborn.
Travel through the cave of Frossel until you reach the clearing. Here you will see a group of Reiklings bowing down and worshipping something. Eliminate the Rieklings and you’ll notice they were worshiping a sleigh attached to a reindeer made of ice. Behind the reindeer, you will also find charcoal. Guess these Rieklings were on the naughty list.
Head to the right of this scene, and you’ll find “Fine Clothes” and a “Fine Hat” that look vaguely similar to the outfit that the jolly red man wears.
Finally, on the way out of the cave, jump down a ledge and you’ll see some mushrooms called “Fly Amanita,” which is associated with the creation of Santa Claus. Koryak shaman would gather these mushrooms in a red and white suit, just like Santa Claus.
They would then hang the mushrooms in a sock over their fireplace to dry the toxins out of it – hence where we got the idea for Christmas stockings over the fireplace. The shaman would then eat these hallucinogenic mushrooms and journey through a vision quest, accompanied by a reindeer which they thought to be spiritual animals.
6 The Hangover Quest
The entire quest called “A Night to Remember” is a nod to the movie The Hangover (2009).
To start the quest, you must meet Sam Guevenne and compete in a drinking competition. Sam clocks out after two drinks, and after your third, you will be declared a winner. However, your drink starts to get to you, and you slowly blackout.
When you wake up, you think, “I have awoken in the Temple of Dibella in Markarth. Sam and the staff he promised me have disappeared. I have no idea how I got here but a priestess has told me I trashed the Temple.”
You then retrace your steps in an attempt to find Sam. Along the way, you learn more about the night before and the shenanigans you got into. This is The Hangover, Skyrim style.
5 Ghostbusters – The Return of Vigo the Carpathian
Right before his death, Vigo the Carpathian says “Death is but a door, time is but a window. I’ll be back.” He keeps that promise and returns to modern day New York in Ghostbusters 2 (1989). Although the Ghostbusters defeat Vigo, he returns for his second rebirth in Skyrim: Dawnguard. In the Soul Cairn, you can find Vigo’s soul quoting the same line he uttered before his death.
The souls in Soul Cairn will also recite quotes from previous Elder Scrolls games. One soul says “How dare they cast me from the Battlespire! I will make them pay dearly,” and another ghostly apparition references Oblivion by saying “I wonder if the fires are still burning in the Imperial City…”
Jiub from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind can also be found wandering the Soul Cairn.
4 The Hobbit - Hidden Bosses
There are three hidden bosses within the world of Skyrim. One is found in the main game, while the other two are in downloadable content.
In the main game, the fiery dragon, Vulthuryol, hides out in Blackreach cave underneath the Tower of Mzark. You can summon the Level 50 beast by yelling the Unrelenting Force Thu’um at the giant globe hanging from the cave’s ceiling. Some players believe Vulthuryol is a reference to the dragon Smaug from The Hobbit.
The second monster, Karstaag the Frost Giant can be found in the Dragonborn DLC. The ruins of his Castle Karstaag is to the north-west of Solstheim. Find Karstaag’s skull in the back of the Glacial Cave and put it on his throne. It will summon his ghost, a Level 90 soul that will immediately destroy you.
The Reaper is the third monster and is hiding in Soul Cairn from the Dawnguard DLC. Find three Reaper gem fragments and then put them on the altar in the black building known as the Reaper’s Lair. This will summon the Reaper whose difficulty will depend on your level.
3 Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Rocky IV, and Harry Potter Quote
The Indiana Jones quote can be heard if you ask Athis why he decided to join the Companions. His response is “Fortune and glory, friend. Fortune and glory.” This references Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) when Short Round asks Indy what Sankara is and he replies, “Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.”
If you travel with the ghost of Lucille Lachance, sometimes he will say, “I feel a disturbance in the void.” This is very similar to the phrase “I feel a great disturbance in the Force” from Star Wars.
Male drunks and bandits in Skyrim will also often say “Remember, hit the one in the middle,” which is a reference to the advice Paulie gives Rocky in Rocky IV (1985).
Lastly, after killing giant spiders in the first quest, Hadvar says “What’s next giant snakes?” This is a nod to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). In this movie, Harry and Ron escape from giant spiders and later fight the Basilisk.
2 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Skyrim is full of fairy tale references, including the most iconic tale of all: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
In the dwarven city of Blackreach, there is a building called War Quarters which is said to be the home of the princess and her seven loyal friends. In this building, there is one room that holds seven small beds, circling a lantern – beds small enough to fit seven small dwarves.
In the room across from this one, there is another bedroom with a large, double bed fit for a princess... or Snow White.
There is another reference to the classic Disney movie during the Dark Brotherhood quest entitled To Kill an Empire. In this quest, the Spectral Assassin discusses how the Dragonborn will kill the Emperor. His favorite method, much like Snow White’s Evil Queen, is by poisonous apple.
1 Lord of the Rings References
Skyrim is full of Lord of the Rings references. In the Nordic ruin, Angarvunde, you will find a room with spikes on the ceiling and a set of stairs in the middle of the room. Go behind the cylindrical staircase, and you’ll find an open chest containing a broken sword, a golden ring, and a severed skeleton hand. This clearly represents when the ring was cut from Sauron’s finger.
The White Tree from The Return of the King is also referenced in Skyrim’s Whiterun. The tree in the center of the town, called the Gildergreen, is dying in the same fashion as the White Tree.
There are also two LotR quotes recited by characters within the game. When trying to take a ring from Moira, the hagraven quotes Gollum saying, “My precious.” Also, after the Battle for Whiterun, Rolof says “I’m pretty sure I killed more than you. I was counting.” This is a reference to Legolas and Gimli’s competition to see who gets the most kills.
Do you know of any interesting Skyrim Easter eggs? Let us know in the comments!