A Dragonborn (transliterated from to Dovahkiin in the Dragon language) is a rare individual who has been born with the blood and soul of a Dragon, but the body of a mortal, and can naturally learn and speak their ancient and powerful tongue.
Dragonborn scarcely exist, and it is rare for more than one to appear within an era. They can belong to any race or gender, since the Dragon blood (transliterated from to Dovah Sos) is a "gift" bestowed to certain mortals favored by the gods. Able to use "Dragon Shouts" (transliterated from to Thu'um), the Dragonborn can consume a slain Dragon's soul and absorb its knowledge, allowing them to learn words of power quickly and making them more effective in battle against Dov than other men. It is said that the Blades have always guided, protected, and served the Dragonborn, whom they consider "The ultimate Dragon slayer".
The Prophecy of the Dragonborn, generally attributed to the Elder Scrolls, and sometimes to the ancient Akaviri, tells that, at the end of time, in the wake of the World-Eater, the wheel will turn upon the "Last Dragonborn".
In the Elder Scrolls universe, the term "Dragon-born" has frequently been used to refer to the heirs of Emperor Tiber Septim, founder of the Septim Dynasty of Tamriel. For instance, when the Hero of Kvatch brings Martin Septim to Cloud Ruler Temple for the first time in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, The Blades hail him as "Dragon-born". Other "Dragon-born" bloodlines have derived their legitimacy from the covenant between Saint Alessia and Akatosh as well as the line of Reman Cyrodiil. The Nerevarine, the main character in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, is referred to as "Dragon-born" in the Lost Prophecy.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Dragonborn is the player character in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and was stated to be different than the "Dragon-born" of previous games by Bethesda Softworks Game Developer and Executive Producer Todd Howard. At the beginning of the game, the Dragonborn is a prisoner, captured while attempting to illegally cross the border into Skyrim. While being transported to the settlement of Helgen, the Dragonborn discovers that Ulfric Stormcloak, the leader of the Stormcloak rebellion, is a fellow prisoner. At Helgen, Imperial General Tullius sentences all the prisoners to death, but a dragon attacks before the Dragonborn is executed, providing a chance for escape.
Skyrim's trailers and concept art depict the Dragonborn as a male Nord with brown hair and a short beard, wearing an Iron Helmet, Studded Armor, Iron Gauntlets, and Iron Boots. In one gameplay trailer, the Dragonborn uses a Steel Sword and a Banded Iron Shield, but in another he dual wields a Steel Sword and a Steel Dagger. In Skyrim, as with all Elder Scrolls games, race, gender, and equipment are left to the player's discretion.
The following are titles the Dragonborn can acquire throughout the course of Skyrim.
- Arch-Mage of The College of Winterhold
- Bard of Bards College
- Bloodkin of the Orcs
- Champion of Azura
- Champion of Clavicus Vile
- Champion of Boethiah
- Champion of Hircine
- Champion of Hermaeus Mora
- Champion of Malacath
- Champion of Mehrunes Dagon
- Champion of Mephala
- Champion of Meridia
- Champion of Molag Bal
- Champion of Namira
- Champion of Peryite
- Champion of Sanguine
- Champion of Sheogorath
- Nightingale of Nocturnal
- Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild
- Harbinger of The Companions
- Listener of The Dark Brotherhood
- Thane of each of Skyrim's nine Holds
- War Hero of the Imperial Legion or the Stormcloaks
- Ysmir, Dragon of the North
- Agent of Dibella
- Agent of Mara
- Leader of the Volkihar Clan
- Vampire Hunter of the Dawnguard
- In the Dragon language, "Dragonborn" is a combination of the words 'Dovah', meaning "Dragon", and 'kiin', meaning "child" or "born".
- Dovahkiin also has a second meaning: the 'Dov' in 'Dovah' refers to Dragonkind, while the 'ah' means "hunter". Interpreted thus, the name reads "Dragonkind Hunter Born," or "Born Hunter of Dragonkind", an appropriate description of what the Dovahkiin is destined to do. Of further interest is that dragons use the term dovahkiin as a proper noun to address or talk about the player and the dragon naming convention holds that names consist of three words.
- Early dialogue with Ralof or Hadvar would suggest that the Dragonborn crossed the border from Cyrodiil. The Pale Pass, where the Dragonborn seems to have crossed into Skyrim, runs from Helgen to the Cyrodiil border.
- When formally greeting the Dovahkiin, the Greybeard's name him/her Ysmir, suggesting the Dragonborn's connection to Talos or Shor.
- During the events of the No One Escapes Cidhna Mine quest, the player can choose to remark on where the Dragonborn's family is from. This place of origin varies according to the Dragonborn's race.
- When talking with Serana, the player may comment on what type of relationship the Dragonborn has with his/her parents.
- NPCs will occasionally comment on the Dragonborn's skills and items. This can include gender-specific comments.
- Guards sometimes say, "Got to thinking, maybe I'm the Dragonborn, and I just don't know it yet."
- In the final conversation with Paarthurnax at the end of the main quest line hints that the Dragonborn may appear in future installments unlike any other Elder Scrolls game.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (First appearance)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dialogue with Arngeir.
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dialogue with Delphine.
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - The Book of the Dragonborn
- ↑ Gamer.no - Intervju om The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, del 2
- ↑ BethSoft Forums - Todd Howard interiew
- ↑ Game Informer - Skyrim’s Dragon Shouts