Elder Scrolls


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Ancano is an Altmer mage at the College of Winterhold in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. He is a Thalmor operative and serves as an adviser to Arch-Mage Savos Aren.


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.


Template:Spoiler 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 Magnusis 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. Template:Endspoiler

If the Dragonborn has not being given the Staff of Magnus quest and completed a few side quest. 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 the Dragonborn can not interact with Ancano when he is in the barrier.

In Combat

Despite his in-battle quotes, such as "My power is supreme!", Ancano is actually quite an easy opponent to defeat. In fact, the only remarkable thing about him is his invulnerability granted by the Eye of Magnus. When he is hostile he will normally use Flame spells, like Fireball, although he knows Sparks too. He will also use wards to defend himself. Strangely, he will chase after the Dragonborn and attempt to punch the Dragonborn into submission; this can cause the Dragonborn difficulty at closing the Eye. He is immune to all effects when the Eye protects him, but follows the same attack pattern.



  • Ancano is flagged as an essential character.
  • 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 NPC, he can be attacked and "killed" without any bounty or hostility from any surrounding people. This is probaby due to the fact that everyone in the College of Winterhold dislikes or mistrusts him.
  • Ancano may not become hostile when attacked by the Dragonborn


  • 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.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Ancano

  • Isn't it obvious?

    5 messages
    • I assume you mean it's obvious that Ancano is a bad guy yet no one ever accuses him of anything? We cant really do anything about people who j...
    • You could hate him for is relentless quest for power...and the fact that he's not even trying to be polite, like some other Thalmor you can t...
  • Hmm I wonder?

    3 messages
    • Outsiders are not allowed into the college, so I guess the stormcloaks can't get to him, even if they would be aware of his presence?
    • Maybe he demonstrated... some degree of skill with magic. (Summon a Flame Atronach) The College's rite of passage. Clearly the Stormcloaks have...

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