Dragon shouts ( or Thu'um in the Dragon language) are an arcane form of magic prominently used in Tamriel long ago, but has gradually become obscure; in Skyrim there are few who retain the ability to perform these Shouts. The Dragonborn (Dovahkiin) is able to use the language of the dragons to great effect due to his/her ability to absorb the souls of Dragons. A minority of non-player characters also have the ability to use dragon shouts. There is a small group of monks, known as the Greybeards, who reside in the fortress of High Hrothgar, at the Throat of the World, the highest mountain in Tamriel (Morrowind's Red Mountain being the largest volcano). These mages are able to use Dragon shouts as well but they had to learn and teach themselves unlike the dragonborn who has a natural ability for it.
There are twenty Shouts in the game. Each shout is performed by the vocalization of specific words of power. Shouts are learned on the Word Walls of old ruins, and are unlocked with Dragon Souls. There are a select few however, that are unlocked for you by simply completing quests for the Greybeards along the main storyline. Dragon Souls are gained by slaying dragons and absorbing their souls. Each Shout consists of three words of power, and each word of power requires one Dragon Soul to be unlocked. Hence, each shout requires three words of power and 3 Dragon Souls to be used at full power.
These shouts have powerful effects and provide the user with a variety of abilities. For instance, one shout sends foes hurling away from you, another shout allows you to sprint a short distance almost instantly, and yet another lets you conjure forth spells of ice or fire, doing heavy damage. A player with only a partly unlocked shout (only one or two words unlocked) can use it, but the shout grows stronger with each word learned. The second and third words will also usually increase the recharge time of the shout, limiting the use of the shout.
Significant events involving Dragon Shouts
- Kynareth was the one who granted the power to use the Thu'um to the mortal races of men. Paarthurnax was then the first to teach mortals to use the Thu'um.
- The Nord heroes Felldir the Old, Gormlaith Golden-Hilt and Hakon One-Eye contrive the Dragonrend shout and use it and an Elder Scroll to partially defeat Alduin by casting him adrift in time, marking the turning point in mankind's favor during the Dragon War.
- The Greybeards study shouts and are the primary institution for studying the Thu'um among mortals.
- Akatosh first facilitated the creation of dragon souled and blooded mortals, mortal dov (dragonkind), or dragonborns, by granting the Alessian Bloodline the power of the Dragons (i.e. the ability to use the Thu'um naturally, to steal the power of a dragon by absorbing its soul as it dies).
- After the great Nord army defeat against the Dunmer at Red Mountain, Jurgen Windcaller converted to pacifism and founded the way of the voice to be thereafter practiced and taught by the Greybeards.
- General Talos was known to have been Dragonborn, possessing the natural ability to use shouts.
- Ulfric Stormcloak studied and then used the power of Shouts (Thu'um) to disable the previous High King of Skyrim in order to kill him. This was part of Ulfric's effort to show that the empire was unfit to rule, supporting the cause of the Stormcloaks, the Nordic rebel force named after him. He also used Shouts to retake Markarth from the Forsworn who had taken control during the Great War.
- The Dragonborn hero of Skyrim defeated Alduin and was recognized by the other dragons as the dominant dov in Mundus.
Learning Dragon Shouts
Once a new shout has been discovered, a Dragon soul is required to unlock it, which allows it to be used.
Access the Shouts sub-menu from the magic menu. Locked shouts are grayed out. In the bottom right corner of the menu is the number of Dragon Souls available to use. These accumulate as you kill dragons.
According to the Greybeards, a Dragonborn absorbs the knowledge of the words from the dragon's soul. Fully unlocking a shout requires the use of one dragon soul for each word of power learned, with each shout being composed of 3 words. In order to unlock new shouts, The player must slay a dragon and absorb their soul.
To unlock the shout, hover over it and press the correct button for your system.
- 360 Press 'X'
- PS3 Press "Square"
- PC Press 'Z'
If you have remapped this key, use the newly bound key.
After finishing the "The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller" quest, Arngeir can be asked where to find a Shout by asking "Have you located any Words of Power?" The location will be added to your map and a Miscellaneous quest will be added to your journal.
After shouting in a populated area, a courier may hand you a Letter from A Friend, which reveals the location of a nearby Word Wall, although it may be a location you have already been to.
The first word of the shout is always the first to learn, so traveling to the default location of a shout's second word, will only learn the first word, and the locations will differ. All three locations will hold all three words, but it isn't always precisely that word if one is already known.
List of shouts
|Dragon Shout||Word of Power||Translation||Cooldown||Word Wall Location|
|Animal Allegiance||A Shout for help from the beasts of the wild, who come to fight in your defense.|
|Aura Whisper||Your Voice is not a Shout, but a whisper, revealing the life forces of any and all.|
|Become Ethereal||The Thu'um reaches out to the Void, changing your form to one that cannot harm, or be harmed.|
|ZII||Spirit||40||Lost Valley Redoubt|
|GRON||Bind||50||Ustengrav (during The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller)|
|Call Dragon||Odahviing! Hear my Voice and come forth. I summon you in my time of need.|
(All words learned during The Fallen)
|Call of Valor||The valiant of Sovngarde hear your Voice, and journey beyond space and time to lend aid|
(All words learned during Dragonslayer)
|Clear Skies||Skyrim itself yields before the Thu'um, as you clear away fog and inclement weather.|
(All words learned during The Throat of the World)
|Disarm||Shout defies steel, as you rip the weapon from an opponent's grasp.|
|VIIK||Defeat||40||Snow Veil Sanctum|
|Dismay||And the weak shall fear the Thu'um, and flee in Terror.|
|FAAS||Fear||40||Dead Crone Rock|
|RU||Run||45||Labyrinthian (Shalidor's Maze)|
|MAAR||Terror||50||Lost Tongue Overlook|
|Dragonrend||Your Voice lashes out at a dragon's very soul, forcing the beast to land.|
|JOOR||Mortal||10||Throat of the World (during Alduin's Bane)|
|Elemental Fury||The Thu'um imbues your arms with the speed of wind, allowing for faster weapon strikes.|
|GRAH||Battle||40||Statue to Meridia|
|Fire Breath||Inhale air, exhale flame, and behold the Thu'um as inferno.|
|SHUL||Sun||100||Throat of the World (during The Throat of the World) (and if you have 1 dragon soul unlock the second or first and Paarthurnax will upgrade it 1 level.)|
|Frost Breath||Your breath is winter, you Thu'um a blizzard.|
|Ice Form||Your Thu'um freezes an opponent solid.|
|Kyne's Peace||The Voice soothes wild beasts, who lose their desire to fight or flee.|
|OV||Trust||60||Shroud Hearth Barrow|
|Marked for Death||Speak, and let your Voice herald doom, as an opponent's armor and lifeforce are weakened.|
|LUN||Leech||30||Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary|
|Slow Time||Shout at time, and command it to obey, as the world around you stands still.|
|Storm Call||A Shout to the skies, a cry to the clouds, that awakens the destructive force of Skyrim's lightning.|
|BAH||Wrath||480||High Gate Ruins|
|QO||Lightning||600||Skuldafn (during The World-Eater's Eyrie)|
|Throw Voice||The Thu'um is heard, but its source unknown, fooling those into seeking it out.|
(All words learned at once)
|Unrelenting Force||Your Voice is raw power, pushing aside anything - or anyone - who stands in your path.|
|FUS||Force||15||Bleak Falls Barrow|
|RO||Balance||20||High Hrothgar (during The Way of the Voice)|
|DAH||Push||45||High Hrothgar (during The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller)|
|Whirlwind Sprint||The Thu'um rushes forward, carrying you in its wake with the speed of a tempest.|
|NAH||Fury||25||Dead Man's Respite|
Dragon Shouts not available to player
|Dragon Shout||Word of Power||Translation||Effect||Location|
|Resurrect Dead Dragon|
|SLEN||Flesh||This shout is used by Alduin to resurrect long dead dragons from their burial sites.||Observed at Dragon Burial Mound near Kynesgrove and several others throughout Skyrim.|
|N/A||N/A||This shout is used by Alduin to summon a storm that rains meteors down from the sky.||Observed during encounter with Alduin at Helgen, The Throat of the World and later in Sovngarde.|
|Summon Spectral Clone|
|FIIK||Mirror||This shout is used by Greybeards to summon a spectral clone of themselves for Dovahkiin to practice Unrelenting Force on.||Observed inside High Hrothgar during The Way of the Voice.|
|VEN||Wind||This shout is used by Alduin to summon a dense fog that doubles as a soul snare.||Observed by the player in Sovngarde.|
|Return to Nirn|
|NAHL||Living||This shout is used by Tsun to return the Dragonborn to Tamriel after the defeat of Alduin in Sovngarde.||Observed by the player in Sovngarde.|
- Meteor Storm seems to the only shout with no words associated with it. During both encounters of this shout, Alduin's roar is what seems to produce the storm.
- If you perform a Dragon Shout in a City, guards may run up to request you stop, stating that it makes residents nervous. However, even if you continue to do so, there are no penalties.
- If your playing style relies upon Dragon Shouts, the recharge time can be a problem. To reduce this, obtain a Blessing of Talos. The blessing reduces recharge time by 20%. You can acquire the Amulet of Talos from the executed person upon entering Solitude (not recommended, can crash its Quest). Some Guards and Stormcloaks will also carry it, and it can be pickpocketed or looted. You can not gain the same blessing of Talos from a shrine of Talos, rather the shrines give a different blessing all together.
- Alternatively, there is a way to completely negate the recharge time of dragon shouts using the fortify restoration glitch. However, this could be very overpowered.
- Storm Call will also strike friendly NPC's, including your follower. So don't use this in town as your bounty will go up thousands of gold.
- Bex is a shout used by the Greybeards to practice Whirlwind Sprint on. It opens gates.
- It is possible to learn the first word of Whirlwind Sprint before going to High Hrothgar (Should be in Dead Man's Respite). If learned before going up to High Hrothgar, the Greybeards will teach you the second word of Whirlwind Sprint
- All three levels of Throw Voice are learned at a single word wall, and the shout itself is the only shout the player can learn that takes less time to recharge the more words of power you speak. (This is because Throw Voice never changes. Spending more dragon souls and having the forethought to fully charge the shout before use allow it to be used more frequently. Really only useful for stealth builds.)
- Not all shouts are at fixed locations.
- If you have remapped the "R" key on PC, you will need to use the newly bound key to unlock the shout. "R" key still works for storing or transferring items, but in order to drop an item or unlock shouts you need to use the customised key.
- Higher-leveled magic-using enemies (such as Necromages) will create a ward when they hear the first word of a shout. This can be particularly annoying if you plan to use a powerful shout (such as all three words of Unrelenting Force) in order to get close to your enemy. A good strategy to counter this is to use the first word of Ice Form as they will not have time to counter with a ward.
- The locations are shout specific not word specific, meaning you can visit the locations in the reverse order as listed and learn the words in the proper sequence.
- There is a possibility of learning all three words of Fire Breath and Whirlwind sprint shouts from the Greybeards and Paarthurnaax by spending a dragon soul on the shout before they give you the meaning of the shout (confirmed on Xbox).
- After defeating Alduin, Guards in Skyrim will start calling you Dovahkiin, the Draconic word for Dragonborn.
- If the player preforms a shout while running the second and third word can be delayed/not said. (confirmed on xbox360)(confirmed on ps3)(confirmed on pc)
- In order to get the achievement, Thu'um Master, one must complete the main story, as there are only 20 shouts in the game, and Call Dragon and Call of Valor are exclusively learned through the story.
- Upon using the console command, PSB, The player gains access to all the shouts in the game. They need dragon souls to unlock.
| Words of Power|
Learn all three words of a shout
| Thu'um Master|
Learn 20 shouts