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See also: Dragons (Lore)
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"Most Nords of Skyrim believed Dragons were only a legend. Until now."
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Dragons (Dovah, or Dov in plural) are a reptilian race from Akavir that were once widespread throughout Tamriel. Although seeming rather beast-like, they are profoundly intelligent, capable of speech, written language, and comprehension of other languages.[1] Their spoken language can be used to cast powerful magic known as Thu'um or Dragon Shouts. They were virtually extinct until 4E 201, when they resurfaced in Skyrim with the return of Alduin.

Variants

Common

  • Dragon: Brown-colored dragons; they are the first dragons encountered in Skyrim and are the weakest.
  • Blood Dragon: Green-colored dragons that have finned crowns and spade-like tails.
  • Frost Dragon: White and blue, ice-affiliated dragons with black-colored dorsal spines.
  • Elder Dragon: Bronze-scaled dragons with arrow-shaped tails; second to Ancient Dragons.
  • Ancient Dragon: Red, black and orange-colored dragons; the most powerful dragon in the base game.
  • Revered Dragon: Orange-colored dragons introduced in Dawnguard; second most powerful variant.
  • Legendary Dragon: Black, purple-colored; maximum level dragon introduced in Dawnguard; most powerful variant.
  • Serpentine Dragon: Blue-colored, snake-like dragon introduced in Dragonborn.

Unique

Generic

Name Appearance Type Lvl1 Enc2 Health-icon Shouts3 Resist Fire Resist Frost
Dragon Dragon top Fire 10 1 905 Fire Breath
Fireball
50% 25%
Dragon Dragon top Frost 10 1 905 Frost Breath
Ice Storm
25% 50%
Blood Dragon Blooddragon top Fire 20 18 1421 Fire Breath
Fireball
Unrelenting Force
50% 25%
Blood Dragon Blooddragon top Frost 20 18 1421 Frost Breath
Ice Storm
Unrelenting Force
25% 50%
Frost Dragon Frostdragon top Frost 30 27 1860 Frost Breath
Ice Storm
Unrelenting Force
25% 50%
Elder Dragon Elderdragon top Fire 40 36 2255 Fire Breath
Fireball
Unrelenting Force
50% 25%
Elder Dragon Elderdragon top Frost 40 36 2255 Frost Breath
Ice Storm
Unrelenting Force

25%

50%
Ancient Dragon Ancientdragon top Fire 50 45 3071 Fire Breath
Fireball
Unrelenting Force
50% 25%
Ancient Dragon Ancientdragon top Frost 50 45 3071 Frost Breath
Ice Storm
Unrelenting Force
25% 50%
Revered Dragon (Dawnguard) Revereddragon top Fire 62 59 3511 Fire Breath
Unrelenting Force
Drain Vitality
50% 25%
Legendary Dragon (Dawnguard) Legendarydragon top Fire 75 78 4163 Fire Breath
Unrelenting Force
Drain Vitality
50% 25%
Legendary Dragon (Dawnguard) Legendarydragon top Frost 75 78 4163 Frost Breath
Unrelenting Force
Drain Vitality
25% 50%
Serpentine Dragon (Dragonborn) Serpentinedragon top Frost 58 50 3565 Frost Breath
Ice Storm
Unrelenting Force
25% 50%
Serpentine Dragon (Dragonborn) Serpentinedragon top Fire 58 50 3565 Fire Breath
Fireball
Unrelenting Force
50% 25%

Named

Name Appearance Lvl1 Enc2 Health-icon Shouts3 Resistances
Alduin Alduin top PC×1.2 (10-100) 10 2355 Fire Breath
Frost Breath
Unrelenting Force
Dragon Fireball Shout
Meteor Storm
50% to all damage sources
Vulthuryol Vulthuryol Top 50 10 3071 Fire Breath
Dragon Fireball Shout
50%
Paarthurnax Paarthurnax Top 10 10 905 Fire Breath
Frost Breath
50%
Skeletal Dragon Skeletaldragon Top 20 10 500 Frost Breath
Unrelenting Force
50%
Sahrotaar Serpentinedragon top 58 10 3565 Frost Breath
Fire Breath
50%
Nahagliiv Nahagliiv Top 10 10 3071 Frost Breath
Fire Breath
50%
Durnehviir Durnevhiir top 20 10 1821 Frost Breath
Fire Breath
50%

1 Dragons have a fixed level, depending on their kind, which unrelated to the player character's own level.
2 New types of dragons can be encountered once the player character reaches a certain level.
3 Dragons have unique shouts resembling Fireball and Ice Storm spells, although the damage values differ.

Named dragons

These are dragons encountered throughout Skyrim. Essentially identical to random nameless dragons in terms of gameplay, these Dragons are usually encountered during the main quest with individual names and dialogue:

Alduin

The first-born son of Akatosh. He resurrects the dragons throughout Skyrim so that he may feast on the souls of the dead and the living. One of the black dragons. He is also called the "World Eater".

Durnehviir

An undead dragon who resides within the Soul Cairn in The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard.

Krosulhah

A dragon found outside of Nchardak after completion of The Path of Knowledge in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn.

Kruziikrel

A dragon encountered during the quest At the Summit of Apocrypha in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn.

Mirmulnir

A dragon that attacks the Western Watchtower of Whiterun, and the first dragon to be fought and slain by the Dragonborn.

Naaslaarum

A Revered Dragon that can be encountered in the Forgotten Vale during the quest Touching the Sky in The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard.

Nahagliiv

Encountered near his burial site just outside Rorikstead. At the start of Alduin's Wall, the Dragonborn can witness this dragon's resurrection at his burial mound.

Odahviing

Alduin's right hand dragon, Odahviing, was captured by the Dragonborn and then was pledged allegiance to him in return for his freedom. He can be called to aid of the Dovahkiin by using the Call Dragon shout. One of the few red dragons.

Paarthurnax

Leader of the Greybeards and follower of The Way of The Voice, Paarthurnax was part of the cause for thousands of deaths but betrayed Alduin and helped in the original "defeat". He can help the Dragonborn meditate on certain words of power.

Relonikiv

A dragon encountered during the quest At the Summit of Apocrypha in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn.

Sahloknir

An incredibly old Dragon with the ability to breathe both fire and ice, was resurrected by Alduin only to be killed shortly after by the Dovahkiin.

Sahrotaar

A Serpentine Dragon encountered during the quest At the Summit of Apocrypha in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn.

Viinturuth

A dragon that has been observed speaking in native tongue to other dragons. This dragon can be randomly encountered while wandering Skyrim. After completing The Throat of the World, the Dragonborn can witness Alduin resurrecting this dragon from his burial site west of Anga's Mill.

Voslaarum

A Revered Dragon that can be encountered in the Forgotten Vale during the quest Touching the Sky in The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard.

Vuljotnaak

Encountered near his burial site north-west of Bloated Man's Grotto, southwest of Sleeping Tree Camp, and south of Broken Fang Cave. Was being resurrected by Alduin when encountered. Can be found after completing Diplomatic Immunity.

Vulthuryol

A dragon encountered underground in Blackreach, underneath Alftand. To trigger this dragon attack, the player must use the Unrelenting Force shout on the massive orange globe hanging above Blackreach.

Locations

Shearpoint

A dragon lair.

Dragons can attack anywhere outdoors in Skyrim and random encounters are scripted to take place after a certain amount of in-game time has passed without a Dragon appearance. Thus, fast travelling to an outdoor location is a reliable way to trigger a random Dragon encounter.

There are, however, certain locations where Dragons are scripted to appear. These locations are called dragon lairs that can be found all over Skyrim. In these locations Dragons are typically perched atop word walls that they are guarding.

The following is a list of Dragon Lairs:

Dragon Riding

Dragonborn-trailer-21

The Dragonborn takes to the skies.

Main article: Dragon Riding

Dragon Riding is a feature added in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn that grants the ability to temporarily tame and ride Dragons. All three words of the Bend Will shout are required in order for it to work. When the shout is directed at a dragon, it will land and allow the Dragonborn to mount it. As soon as the dragon has been mounted, it will take to the skies.

Loot

Strategies

Click for a list of strategies

Dragon behavior

DragonEatsSoldier

A soldier being eaten by a dragon

  • A Dragon not engaged in combat will emit a distinctive "air rushing" sound while in flight.
  • Dragons are Neutral enemies, meaning they are hostile towards all NPCs in the immediate area, and vice versa. However, sometimes dragons will not notice any enemies in the area at all and fly around nonchalantly. One may eventually become aware of nearby mobs and attack them, but if it doesn't encounter any enemies it eventually flies away.
  • Dragons have numerous combat patterns: When first encountered, they will usually take advantage of their speed while in flight to sweep enemies on the ground with Shout attacks. Occasionally, they may also stop to hover in place, or land on the roof of a building and proceed to use a Shout, then fly away for another attack. If the target is out of range for regular Shouts, it will use a longer ranged Fire or Frost "ball" Shout which explodes on impact with a surface. When grounded, they become susceptible to close-ranged attacks, and their attacks consist of swinging their tails, using Shouts, and attempting to bite at an enemy with their jaws. If dragons successfully do enough damage to a player, they will perform a finishing move by grabbing half player's body with their mouth, swinging them back and forth a couple of times, then launching them into the air.
  • After a dragon has sustained enough damage, it may lose the ability to fly. If airborne when this happens it will crash land (in the nearest relatively open area), scarring the ground in the process.

Defense

  • A Dragon can often be heard before it is seen. They roar on a regular basis and they make a distinctive sound when flying. This can be used to avoid or track them.
  • If the player is a Vampire they are more resistant to ice, but vulnerable to fire, this might be good or bad depending of the dragons encountered, if the player is a Dunmer and a third level Vampire the Dragonborn will be very resistant to all elemental damage Dragons can produce.
  • It is possible to find gear in game that protects against a percentage of elemental damage. This percentage stacks, so if the player has the right gear equipped it's possible to nullify up to 85% of elemental damage. Unfortunately, 100% resistance to any elemental damage is impossible.
  • Spellbreaker can deflect the breath attack of any dragon up to ancient dragons without its ward breaking.
  • As always, the player must be careful about their surroundings. NPCs can accidentally wander in and get hit, turning them hostile.
  • Using Dragonrend right before a dragon shouts will make the dragons shout disappear and also cause them to land. (Not true when fighting an Ancient Fire Dragon)
  • Become Ethereal is helpful when the player has low health.
  • Mages can conjure an Atronach of the same type as the dragon (Flame for fire breathing dragons, and Frost for frost breathing dragons). This takes advantage of both the Atronach's total resistance to its element and the Atronach's tendency to make a huge target of itself.

Offense

  • With the correct perks and powerful weapons, Dragons can be instantly killed with sneak attacks from a melee weapon or bow.
  • When landed, a dragon will let out a long roar when an attack causes it to reach 50% health (the same point where it can no longer fly). While doing its roaring animation, the dragon is incapable of attacking. Using the Slow Time shout can give the player enough time to finish it off before it even stops roaring.
  • Shield bashing a dragon on the head will cause it to recoil its head and stop breathing fire or frost prematurely. Power attacks can give the same result, albeit less reliably.
  • Distracting dragons with Shadowmere can be useful. Shadowmere is the toughest horse and can withstand the attacks and give the player time to kill dragons.
  • Using the Marked for Death shout can make dragons a little less difficult to slay.
  • Using weapons with drain magicka will eventually stop a Dragon from shouting.
  • Mages can force any dragon to recoil over and over by spamming an Apprentice-level dual wielded Destruction spell like Firebolt with the Impact perk. This makes them easier to kill so long as a large pool of Magicka has been obtained beforehand.
  • Using Fire Breath on Dragons is extremely useful, as it drains a lot of health and does additional fire damage, and Frost Dragons receive more damage.
  • Dragonrend, of course, does a lot of affects to Dragons. It slows the Dragon, and depending what type of dragon and words used, the Dragon gets weak, even slowing its ability to Shout.
  • Dragonbane is very effective because of its dragon damage enchantment.

Gallery

Achievements

Dragon Soul (Achievement)
Dragon Soul
Absorb a dragon soul
Points 10 Gamer points
Trophy
Bronze trophy

Dragon Hunter (Achievement)
Dragon Hunter
Absorb 20 dragon souls
Points 20 Gamer points
Trophy
Bronze trophy

Trivia

  • Dragons can only land on the ground if there is enough flat, open space. If a dragon refuses to land on the ground, consider moving somewhere more open. The dragon can also land on most buildings.
  • Dragons can appear inside a walled city and attack various NPCs. If a quest-giver is killed, their quest may become unavailable.
  • When a dragon is killed and NPCs are nearby, they will rush over to gawk at the corpse and the fact that the player has absorbed its soul.
  • While a dragon corpse is burning, the effect can be seen from the world map.
  • When a dragon is low on health, they may descend and crash into the ground, leaving a large trench behind.
  • Dragons were said to have been ruled by the Tsaesci and flew west to Skyrim.
  • Dragons cannot be soul trapped for obvious reason.
  • As the Dragonborn continues with the main quest, dragon attacks tend to happen more often.
  • In places where dragons are scripted to appear, such as Dragon Lairs, they can be found either perched on a cliff edge, word wall or sometimes even lying down on the ground.
  • The dragons depicted in Skyrim closely resemble wyverns, a type of dragon found in European mythology.

Bugs

This section contains bugs related to Dragons (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person-anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
Click to show
  • Several different spells are capable of launching dragon corpses if cast on a dead dragon. Spells that work include Raise Zombie, Ice Spike, and Magelight.
    • A Wabbajack bolt is also capable of launching dragon corpses.
  • Prior to patch 1.3, dragons had been known to become glitched into mountains and other textures, which caused them to fly backwards and spin around wildly.
  • Skyrim can sometimes fail to render the dragon's texture, leaving the player to fight the untextured model. The texture will appear once the dragon is dead.
  • Even when standing behind columns or large structures dragons perform their execution move, reaching through and grabbing the player in their mouth and tossing them aside for a one-hit kill. Likewise, dragon breath attacks such as Yol (Fire) and Fo (Ice) can usually damage the player through cover and obstacles if what the player is hiding behind isn't thick enough. This is more common with higher level dragons and in the area of the College of Winterhold.
  • Very rarely, when the dragon landed sometimes they'll be stuck on the ground when he had a full health
  • In some instances, when two dragons are encountered simultaneously one may die instantly upon landing. However, in other cases, both are able to land without dying.
  • On a rare occasion a dragon has be seen flying around with full health and then fall to the ground and die.
  • Prior to version 1.4*  PC  , dragons could get stuck in their out-of-combat flight animation (just straight flying, informal description) while fighting them. The direction they are stuck flying in is completely random, often they can be stuck ascending or even flying straight up, roaring and flailing their head about. During these glitches, the Dragon moves at a very slow speed. Reducing them to zero health may or may not break them out of this glitch. Also, they can even simply break out of the glitch after an apparently random amount of time has passed.
  • Sometimes when a dragon is killed, it will not start to burn and the flesh remains on the dragon's corpse, and therefore does not yield a Dragon Soul. However, this may be intentional - see Help: dragons disintegrating This can happen more often with dragons at lairs than ones encountered randomly.
  • Very rarely if two dragons spawn at the same time they may attack one another and upon one being defeated they will then attack other enemies such as other NPCs and the Dragonborn. This has only been seen between "Dragon" and no other dragon types such as Elder Dragon or Frost Dragon as of yet.
  •  360  After killing a dragon, a miscellaneous quest to "Return to Esbern" appears. However, speaking to him does not complete the quest.

Appearances

References


Start a Discussion Discussions about Dragons (Skyrim)

  • Bug with Dragon Hunting

    4 messages
    • I know I'm replying to an old thread but I figure this is an appropriate addition to the conversation. I stumbled upon a dragon lair one t...
    • That happened to me a year ago. It's a bugged quest that you can't get rid of besides using commands or reloading a save.
  • Funny Dragon Glitch

    2 messages
    • I came across this hilarious dragon glitch yesterday. I killed a dragon, and then cast a thunderbolt at its deceased corpse. the dragon body ...
    • Yep. That's certainly... a thing. Not really a glitch, just the physics of the game. Works even better with reanimation spells.