Elder Scrolls


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this wiki
Race Altmer
Gender Male
Level 15-50
Class Elemental Mage
Faction College of Winterhold


Rank Advisor
Ref ID 0001E7D8
Base ID 0001E7D7
Not to be confused with Aicaano.
"I had hoped your scholars would be on a level comparable with my own colleagues. They are not."

Ancano is an Altmer mage at the College of Winterhold. He is a Thalmor operative, serving as an advisor to Arch-Mage Savos Aren and is the primary antagonist of the College of Winterhold questline.


An overbearingly arrogant Altmer, the other mages of the college are highly suspicious of him; he, in turn, is highly suspicious of the Dragonborn. He also blames the Dragonborn's presence on the incompetence of the Arch-Mage. He wears the Thalmor Robes without a hood and matching boots and gloves. Ancano knows the following spells:





  • "I have many important things on my mind. Your concerns are not among them."
  • "Are you quite sure we need to be speaking?"
  • "I'm disappointed to say I've learned little during my time here."
  • "I had hoped your scholars would be on a level comparable with my own colleagues. They are not."


During the College of Winterhold quest line, Ancano attempts to harness the energy of the Eye of Magnus, erecting a barrier between himself and other mages of the College. Savos Aren is killed in the process. Only once Morokei is defeated and the Staff of Magnus is obtained, can the Dragonborn return to the College and defeat Ancano.

The staff must be used on the Eye to close it, allowing the Dragonborn to successfully attack and kill Ancano.

If the Dragonborn has not been given the Staff of Magnus quest and completed a few side quests, Ancano's barrier will become small. Ancano will also not harness the energy of the Eye of Magnus but walking around the Eye of Magnus and going through his barrier. The Dragonborn can interact with Ancano, but not when he is within the barrier.

Hitting the BooksEdit

With Tolfdir still occupied in Saarthal, the Dragonborn needs to speak to Mirabelle Ervine to find out about researching the discovery in Saarthal.

Good IntentionsEdit

Urag gro-Shub has asked to speak with Tolfdir about the Night of Tears book.

Revealing the UnseenEdit

Mirabelle has explained that members of the Synod recently visited the College, mentioning the Staff of Magnus. They were last known to be heading towards Mzulft; they may know more about where to find the staff.

The Staff of MagnusEdit

The Dragonborn needs to retrieve the Staff of Magnus from within Labyrinthian and return with it to the College of Winterhold.

The Eye of MagnusEdit

The Staff of Magnus has been recovered, and so it's time to assault the College of Winterhold and strike down Ancano.


  • Ancano is flagged as an essential character until the Eye of Magnus.
  • Ancano's corpse can be controlled by using Dead Thrall or The Ritual Stone.
  • Although she dislikes him, Nirya finds him "handsome."
  • He and Elenwen are known to be the only Thalmor that wear/possess the non-hooded Thalmor Robes.
  • Despite the fact that Ancano is an essential character, he can be attacked and "killed" without any bounty or hostility from any surrounding people.
  • Ancano may not become hostile when attacked by the Dragonborn.
  • If Lydia is dismissed while Ancano is near, she may attack him and most likely be killed. This may also apply to other followers.
  • When Ancano is using sparks on the Eye of Magnus, it will deal no damage when in front of it, and Wards will have no effect on it.
  • Ancano is voiced by Alexander Brandon.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Ancano

  • how defeat ancano

    4 messages
    • Here's a helpful answer. You have to close the Eye of Magnus using the Staff of Magnus. When the eye is open Ancano is invincible. After that, ...
    • AIdmeri wrote:Here's a helpful answer. You have to close the Eye of Magnus using the Staff of Magnus. When the eye is open Ancano is invincib...
  • Stupid ancano

    20 messages
    • wrote: AHAHAHAHAHA wow wikia contributor got a letter of inheritance from a dead THALMOR!?!?!? You little douche ...
    • With the exception of Ulfric whom the Thalmor captured during the war, and recruited (tortured) as an intelligence asset according to the lette...

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