Elder Scrolls

Esbern (Skyrim)

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For the character in Oblivion with the same name, see Esbern (Oblivion).
"But... there is one they fear. In their tongue, he's 'Dovahkiin' - Dragonborn!"

Esbern is a Nord and one of the last remaining Blades, the powerful order of knights and warriors who served as bodyguards to the Septim Emperors, who were also known throughout Tamriel as the eyes and ears of the Emperors and Empresses.


Early lifeEdit

As one of the two last Blades, Esbern has been monitoring the ancient prophecies of Tamriel and had predicted the return of the dragons under Alduin, the Nordic God of Destruction whose return would lead to the destruction of Nirn. He also has the title of Blades Archivist and knows a great deal about the nature of the Dragon Crisis in Skyrim. He is closely associated with Delphine, another Blade operative. He is being persecuted and, therefore, is very cautious.


Esbern is the guide and advisor of the Dragonborn, the chosen one ordained to fight Alduin and his servants after the release of Alduin and the dragons back into Tamriel nearly two hundred years after the Oblivion Crisis.


The option to recruit followers into the Blades is available through dialog from Delphine after completion of "Alduin's Wall". After recruiting three followers, Esbern will offer an option to hunt dragons. After completing the first Dragon hunt, Esbern will exchange Esbern's Potion for one Dragon Bone and Dragon Scales. He will also provide the Dragonslayer's Blessing.

If Esbern's door in The Ratway Warrens is knocked on before the first quest involving him, he will say, "Go away! I'm very dangerous!"

A Cornered RatEdit

By reading the Thalmor Dossier, Delphine discovers the location of Esbern. She sends the Dragonborn to Riften, to uncover his location. The Dragonborn eventually discovers his whereabouts and takes him to Delphine.

Alduin's WallEdit

Delphine, Esbern, and the Dragonborn travel to the Sky Haven Temple, in which they find an Akaviri carving depicting the Prophecy of the Dragonborn and how to defeat Alduin.

Dragon HuntingEdit

After recruiting three new Blades members, Esbern will send the Dragonborn to kill a certain dragon, and the Dragonborn must take at least one of the Blades recruits with him. Once the dragon is dead, the Dragonborn can trade a Dragon Bone and a Dragon Scale for Esbern's Potion.


Esbern tells the Dragonborn that Paarthurnax must die for his past deeds in the Dragon War and his relationship with Alduin. Neither Esbern or Delphine will offer any further quests until this quest is done.

Multiple followersEdit

Main article: Multiple Followers

Esbern is one of the quest characters that can be exploited to be a follower throughout Skyrim along with another follower of choice. Esbern can wear "planted" apparel equipment during the quest "A Cornered Rat", but will unequip it if taken to Delphine at Riverwood and completing the quest. If Esbern is exploited as a follower during the quest, "Alduin's Wall", and the Dragonborn becomes a Werewolf, he will attack the Dragonborn on sight.


  • "I tried to tell them. They wouldn't listen. Fools. It's all come true... all I could do was watch our doom approach."
  • "Haven't you figured it out yet? What more needs to happen before you all wake up and see what's going on?"


  • In Bethesda Softworks' Skyrim, Esbern is voiced by the Swedish actor Max von Sydow. He is famed for his acting in movies such as The Seventh Seal, The Exorcist, Minority Report, Flash Gordon, Robin Hood, Conan the Barbarian, Shutter Island, Strange Brew, with roles upcoming in Star Wars VII and Game of Thrones. In the trailer, Max von Sydow voiced Esbern as the narrator.


This section contains bugs related to Esbern (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  , 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.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Esbern (Skyrim)

  • Esbern Not talking

    2 messages
    • When I find Esbern in the ratway he doesn't talk. I don't know why but he never does. his chat text appears but not a word from him. not even ...
    • Theres a section about that and how to fix it on his bugs list look here (click show to open it), or theres a mod here thats supposed to fix it.
  • Why can I now hear Esbern talk?

    5 messages
    • It's a notable bug. Some people say there's a problem related to Esbern's soundtrack. So when you talk to him and he is supposed to talk to y...

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