Al-du-in (Dovahzul: , "Destroy-Devour-Master"), the World Eater (also known as the Nordic God of Destruction and wrongly considered an alternative name of Akatosh by most of Tamriel), is a dragon and the primary antagonist of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
He was first removed from Tamriel through the last resort of the ancient Nord heroes who used an Elder Scroll to force Alduin to become lost in time and hopefully never return. Instead, he was sent forward to the Fourth Era, to the timeline of events in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Alduin's triumph would ensure Nirn's destruction.
Comparisons with Akatosh
Scholars speculate that Alduin is the Nordic name attributed to Akatosh.  One source states that Alduin and Akatosh are very different deities entirely. Because Akatosh's invocation appears as a Dragon, he is attributed as their "father." Playing off this, Alduin proclaimed himself as the "First-Born of Akatosh!"[note 1]
According to Paarthurnax, Alduin's peers considered him the most acclaimed creation of Akatosh. Alduin basked in arrogance at these accolades. In favor of conquering Mundus for himself and his fellow dragons, he forsook his "proper role" as World-Eater. Additionally, Akatosh is considered the chief deity of the Nine Divines pantheon; Alduin, on the other hand, is not the chief deity of the Nordic pantheon. This title is reserved for Shor, God of the Underworld, who reigns over Sovngarde.
Admired for his ferocity and feared for his power, Alduin served as a point of worship to the Ancient Nordic people. Superficially, Alduin represents the anti-pantheon of the Nine Divines, figures of creation and love. Embodying their counterpart, Alduin is depicted as a ravaging firestorm that destroyed the last world to begin the current, one who promises to herald the apocalypse or total annihilation of Nirn again.
The prophecy of Alduin is foretold on Alduin's Wall, located at Sky Haven Temple, the last refuge of the Blades. The wall prophesies a bloody civil unrest will occur after the murder of the High King of Skyrim as well as the destruction of Tamriel. It is said that only a Dragonborn can defeat the enraged god Alduin by harnessing the power of the dragon in the form of Dragon Shouts to ultimately destroy him in one final battle of titanic proportions, restoring peace to the land of Skyrim and Tamriel at large. He calls himself the first-born of Akatosh, which would mean he is actually separate from Akatosh, but still Alduin's Death related to him. He feels it is his birthright to dominate the world with his dragons.
Alduin was the first dragon among many that ruled over men and mer. The dragons viewed humanity as a lesser species, and kept a tyrannical hold on mankind, but soon, in an event known as The Dragon War, men stood up to their dragon overlords. They were almost effortlessly driven back by the dragons. But with the help of Kynareth and the traitor dragon Paarthurnax, who held sympathy for mankind, humanity learned how to use the Voice (Dragon Language), and began to push back. On the Throat of the World, Alduin was defeated, but not killed. Instead, with an Elder Scroll, Alduin was sent forth in time, albeit unintentionally, and would not return until the beginning of the Fourth Era.
After Delphine, the last of the Blades discovered the Dragonborn of the Fourth Era, she helped them discover from Paarthurnax that the key to Alduin's defeat was the Dragonrend shout. Septimus Signus, an expert on Elder Scrolls, helped the Dragonborn locate an Elder Scroll in Alftand, which the Dragonborn used atop the Throat of the World to view the memory of Alduin's initial defeat. Attracted by the power of the scroll, Alduin appeared at the site. Together with Paarthurnax, the Dragonborn weakened Alduin, who eventually fled the battle.
The Dragonborn finally kills Alduin in Sovngarde, alongside the three other heroes of Sovngarde: Hakon One-Eye, Felldir the Old, and Gormlaith Golden-Hilt. Thus, Alduin is banished from the world forever, although Arngeir and Paarthurnax theorize he may return in the future to fulfill his destiny as the World-Eater.
- "Meyye! Tahrodiis aanne! Him hinde pah liiv! Zu'u hin daan!" ― "Fools! Treacherous ones! Your hopes all wither! I am your doom!"
- "Nivahriin joorre! What have you done? What kind of twisted words have you created?! Tahrodiis Paarthurnax! my teeth to his neck!" ― "Cowardly mortals!" ... "Treacherous Paarthurnax!"
- "Zu'u Alduin. Zok sahrot do naan ko Lein!" ― "I am Alduin. Most mighty of any in the World!"
- "Zu'u lost daal." ― "I have returned."
- "Nust wo ni qiilaan fen kos duaan." ― "Those who (do) not bow will be devoured."
- "Pahlok joorre! Hin kah fen kos bonaar!" ― "Arrogant mortals! Your pride will be humbled."
- "Di kiirre fen alok." ― "My children will arise."
- "Kel drey ni viik." ― "The Elder Scroll did not defeat (me)."
- "Hin sil fen nahkip bahloki." - "Your soul will feed (my) hunger."
- "Fen du hin sille ko Sovngarde!" ― "(I) Will devour your souls in Sovngarde"
- "Daar Lein los dii." ― "This World is mine."
- "Dovahkiin, hin kah fen kos bonaar." ― "Dragonborn, your pride will be humbled."
- "Sahloknir, krii daar joorre." - "Sahloknir, kill these mortals."
- "Zu'u lost kriaan hi ont, nu hin sille fen nahkip suleyki." — "I've killed you once, now your souls will feed my power."
- "Zu'u unslaad! zu'u nis oblaan!" ― "I am immortal, I cannot die!"
- Alduin is voiced by Daniel Riordan.
- Alduin is the only main antagonist in the Elder Scrolls that appears in the very beginning of the story.
- He (indirectly and ironically) saves the life of the Dragonborn.
- When defeated in Sovngarde, unlike other Dragons, Alduin's soul cannot be absorbed. When Arngeir is questioned about the anomaly, he theorizes that Alduin is not permanently dead and will eventually return to fulfill the prophecy of the Elder Scrolls.
- Alduin's body dissolves completely upon death and does not leave a skeleton, unlike other dragons.
- He can be seen near any of the burial mounds of Dragons just before they're resurrected. Also, he may mention the dragon's name.
- Alduin only refers to the Dovahkiin by name when he attacks Helgen and immediately after the "Alduin's Bane" quest.
- Alduin is possibly inspired or a reference to the Dragon called Níðhöggur (pronounced Neeth-Hökk-uhr) in Norse Mythology. Níðhöggur was a dragon in Niflheim near Hel, he did almost nothing but feasting on the dead, biting the roots of the tree Yggdrasil and killing for his own amusement. Níðhöggur was a symbol of death and destruction, much like Alduin.
- When using the Dragonrend shout, Alduin may say, "You may have picked up the weapons of my ancient foes, but you are not their equal!"
- Killcams in the game do not activate for Alduin as they would for any other dragons.
This section contains bugs related to Alduin. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- During the initial Helgen attack, when the player climbs up the stairs of the tower, Alduin will sometimes sit on the side of the tower without reaction instead of breathing fire through the gap. This can be fixed by reloading the game.
- Throat of the World he may be completely invincible to all attacks. This can be fixed by reloading to a previous save.
Occasionally during the quest "Alduin's Bane", when fighting Alduin at the
- This bug may be avoided by not directly attacking Alduin prior to him becoming hostile.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls Online (Mentioned only)
- ↑ During the quest "Alduin's Bane", Alduin tells the Dragonborn, "I am Alduin! First born of Akatosh!". The statement cannot be taken literally; anyone can claim they are a deity or born of a deity. Additionally, in a brief dialogue possibility with M'aiq the Liar, he states, "Some say Alduin is Akatosh, some say M'aiq is a liar. Don't believe any of these things." which sheds more light on the assertion.