Lord Harkon is a Nord vampire, the leader of the Volkihar Clan in The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, and the primary antagonist, regardless of the side taken during Bloodline. A powerful Vampire Lord, Harkon rules his brood with an iron fist. He will stop at nothing to achieve his goals, even if it means the estrangement of his own family. Harkon is one of the few individuals in Tamriel capable of granting pure-blood vampirism.
If asked about how he got his vampirism, Harkon will say how he once ruled as a mighty king, and that his domain was said to be vast and powerful. Despite all of this, his greatest fear was his own mortality, so he pledged himself to Molag Bal and in his name he sacrificed a thousand innocents. In return, Molag Bal granted him immortality by turning him and his family into pure-blood vampires. Due to historical contradictions with his story, it remains to be seen whether or not this story was at all exaggerated.
As the years passed and Harkon ran Volkihar, he uncovered a prophecy called the Tyranny of the Sun, that, if enacted, would blot out the sun and allow his kin to roam freely during the day. He started becoming obsessed with the prophecy and everything in his life, including his family, was pushed aside to try and make it a reality.
To enact the prophecy he required the ancient artifact called Auriel's Bow and the blood of a Daughter of Coldharbour. He would then put the blood on an Elven arrow and shoot it at the sun with the bow. Harkon wanted to use his daughter, Serana, as a source for the blood, as she is a Daughter of Coldharbour. His estranged wife Valerica saw how obsessed Harkon was becoming and disagreed with his goal. She believed that vampires should stay in the shadows otherwise it would bring too much attention to their kind, and that mortals would wipe out the vampires, attempting to bring the sun back.
In an attempt to stop him fulfilling the prophecy, Valerica locked Serana along with an Elder Scroll in Dimhollow Crypt for her protection and escaped to the Soul Cairn with the other scroll sometime before the events in Skyrim. Harkon, enraged by this betrayal, commanded every vampire in his court to look for them. After the Dragonborn finds Serana and brings her to Castle Volkihar, Harkon regains the confidence to continue his quest to fulfill the prophecy.
Harkon is an elitist, and sees mortals as inferior beings. He has little regard even for his family, and only remembers his wife and daughter due to his lust for power, though he does seem to think that his actions are benefitting vampire kind. Harkon is cruel and will not let anything stop him in his quest for domination. He views the vampires found throughout the rest of Skyrim to be no more than feral animals that "frighten the herd" of mortal citizens of Skyrim that he and his fellow "pure-bloods" feed upon.
He harbors significant resentment towards his estranged wife, Valerica, and wished to enact revenge upon her for her betrayal. Similarly, Harkon holds a deep abhorrence for lycanthropes, considering the condition "filthy."
The Dragonborn first encounters Harkon upon returning Serana to Castle Volkihar after the quest "Awakening." As a reward, he offers the Dragonborn the ability to become a Vampire Lord and join his clan of vampires. Alternatively, the Dragonborn can refuse his offer and fight with the Dawnguard against him.
If the Dragonborn sides with the vampires, Harkon sends the Dragonborn and Serana on a quest to find someone capable of reading the Elder Scroll. The two soon learn they need to find Dexion Evicus, a Moth Priest who can read Elder Scrolls, who's held up in Forebears' Holdout. After getting Dexion and bringing him back to the Castle, the Dragonborn learns that two additional Scrolls are needed to complete the prophecy. Harkon then sends the Dragonborn to find them, stating that they are located hidden with his wife Valerica and the other in some Dwarven ruins. After finding and deciphering the last two Elder Scrolls, the Dragonborn is finally sent to recover Auriel's Bow.
Eventually, the Dragonborn and Serana realize that Harkon's plan will doom vampires and mortals alike and decide to stop serving him. Once the three Elder Scrolls of Blood, Dragon, and Sun have been deciphered and Auriel's Bow has been gained in the quest "Touching the Sky," the Dragonborn and Serana go to Castle Volkihar to confront Harkon. After some dialogue, there is the option to either kill Harkon or give him the bow. Either way, Harkon begins the fight.
- Harkon's Sword
- Potion of Blood
- Vampire Royal Armor
- Vampire Boots
- Random enchanted or unenchanted jewelry
- One of many assorted random potions
|Inside Castle Volkihar:
"For my daughter's safe return, you have my gratitude. Tell me, what is your name?"
If becoming a vampire lord is chosen:
"Awake at last, good. The power is growing within you, and now you must learn to wield it."
After changing into a vampire lord:
"In this form, you can drain the life from your foes with your right hand. With your left hand, you can wield the power of blood magic to raise the dead. You can also call upon the powers of night to turn into a swarm of bats and reappear some distance away. Should you run out of magicka, you can descend to the ground and fight as the beasts do. Do so now and we will continue."
"Good. You are weaker while on the ground, because you cannot access the blood magic. However, the night powers are still yours to command, and your claws are still formidable weapons. Over time, your powers will grow in strength and you will find new ways to use your gifts."
After viewing the perk tree:
"There is much to learn, but if you master the powers of the Vampire Lord, few enemies will be able to stand against you."
After selecting a power:
"There is one last thing you must know. Slaying mortal men with your life drain grants you new night powers and blood magic. I keep a stable of thralls in the castle should you need to feed like the baser vampires to stave off the sun. That is all I have to teach you. If you wish to be reminded of these lessons, you need only ask. I have a task that will test your new powers, but first, do you have any questions?"
|Show: The Bloodstone Chalice|
|Inside Castle Volkihar:
There are some things I want to ask you about. "You have earned my trust, so I will share what I can."
|Inside Castle Volkihar:
"Ah, you are here. Good."
Upon returning with the Moth Priest:
"Well done! Somehow I knew it would be you and Serana who found our moth priest."
After hearing the reading:
"That was... not as useful as I would have liked. Even so, you did well."
|Show: Kindred Judgment|
|Inside Castle Volkihar:
"It appears I have you to thank for turning my daughter against me. I knew it was only a matter of time before your ambition outgrew your loyalty."
"I'll rend the flesh from your bones!"
Vingalmo: "How dare you trespass here! Wait... Serana? Is that truly you? I cannot believe my eyes! My lord! Everyone! Serana has returned!"
Serana: "I guess I'm expected."
Feran: "I can't believe it."
Harkon: "My long-lost daughter returns at last. I trust you have my Elder Scroll?"
Serana: "After all these years, that's the first thing you ask me? Yes, I have the scroll."
Hestla: "She has the scroll!"
Orthjolf: "The scroll!"
Harkon: "Of course I'm delighted to see you, my daughter. Must I really say the words aloud? Ah, if only your traitor mother were here, I would let her watch this reunion before putting her head on a spike. Now tell me, who is this stranger you have brought into our hall? "
Serana: "This is my savior, the one who freed me."
Harkon: "Scions of the night! Hear my words! The prophesied time is at last upon us. Soon we will claim dominion over the sun itself, and forge a new realm of eternal darkness. Now that I have reclaimed one of my Elder Scrolls, we must find a Moth Priest to read it. I have spread false rumors about the discovery of an Elder Scroll in Skyrim to lure a Moth Priest here. Now it is time to see if those efforts have borne fruit. Go forth, and search the land for rumors of a Moth Priest within our borders. Look to the cities. Speak to innkeepers, carriage drivers, anyone who would meet a traveler. Go now, and carry out this task. This is my command!"
Garan: "It will be done, my lord!"
Ronthil: "A Moth Priest?"
Vingalmo: "Hm. Most interesting."
Harkon: "So, you've returned. Is your... pet keeping you entertained?"
Serana: "You know why we're here."
Harkon: "Of course I do. You disappoint me, Serana. You've taken everything I provided for you and thrown it all away for this... pathetic ."
Serana: "Provided for me? Are you insane? You've destroyed our family. You've killed other vampires. All over some prophecy that we barely understand. No more. I'm done with you. You will not touch him."
Harkon: "So, I see this dragon has fangs. Your voice drips with the venom of your mother's infleunce. How alike you've become."
Serana: "No... Because unlike her, I'm not afraid of you. Not anymore."
Harkon: "And you..."
[During the fight]
Serana: "Tough day for you!"
Serana: "Sorry it had to be this way!"
Serana: "This won't end well for you!"
Harkon: "No... Serana... your own father..."
- "You have forsaken my gift. The ancient blood no longer flows through your veins. Don't deny it! Count yourself fortunate that I'm a forgiving man. Now, be still while I give you the ancient blood once again." – If cured of Vampirism.
- "I will darken the skies!" – During "Kindred Judgment"
- "Fools." – During "Kindred Judgement"
- "Die, traitor!" – During "Kindred Judgement"
- "You've turned her against me!" – During "Kindred Judgement"
- Despite Serana, Valerica, and Harkon being Vampire Lords, Harkon is the only one to visibly assume his vampire form.
- Harkon is one of three questline main characters in Skyrim that acts as a mentor to the Dragonborn (if the Volkihar Clan is chosen) and betrays them in the end, the others being Mercer Frey of the Thieves Guild and Astrid of the Dark Brotherhood.
- Miraak. Oddly, this is not the case for Serana; she only has one base ID and contains no follower dialogues. Harkon's character models are separated by four different base IDs, the first one is Harkon's humanoid form which is essential and contains no dialogue, the second one is Vampire Lord form which is non essential, the rest are hostile variants. This is for separating the character AI, the same feature is also shared by