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Not to be confused with Hakon One-Eye.
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"I offer you my blood. Take it, and you will walk as a lion among sheep. Men will tremble at your approach, and you will never fear death again."
―Harkon[src]

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.

Background

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"In an age long forgotten to history, I ruled as a mighty king. My domain was vast, my riches endless and my power infinite."
―Harkon[src]

Harkon

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,[citation needed] it remains to be seen whether or not this story was at all exaggerated.

Prophecy

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.

Personality

Dawnguardvampiremaster

Lord Harkon, leader of the Volkihar vampire clan.

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."

Interactions

Bloodline

Harkonfull

Not just vampires...

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.

Prophet

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.

Kindred Judgment

Harkonlordkin 03

Lord Harkon during "Kindred Judgment."

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.

Equipment

After killing Harkon during Kindred Judgment, his ashes appear at the foot of the Molag Bal vampire altar. They can be looted for the following items:

Dialogue

Show: Bloodline
Inside Castle Volkihar:

"For my daughter's safe return, you have my gratitude. Tell me, what is your name?"

I'm Dragonborn (Player name). Who are you?
You first.
"I am Harkon, lord of this court. By now, my daughter will have told you what we are."
You're vampires. "Not just vampires. We are among the oldest and most powerful vampires in Skyrim."
You're a reclusive cannibal cult. "Not quite, though I can see how an outsider might arrive at that conclusion. No, we are vampires, among the oldest and most powerful in Skyrim."
I don't really care what you are. "Perhaps you should. I count some of the oldest and most powerful vampires in Skyrim among the members of my court."
"For centuries we lived here, far from the cares of the world. All that ended when my wife betrayed me and stole away that which I valued most."
Do I get a reward for finding your daughter? "I was about to suggest that very thing. Yes, you most certainly deserve a reward."
What happens now? "You have done me a great service, and now you must be rewarded."
"There is but one gift I can give that is equal in value to the Elder Scroll and my daughter. I offer you my blood. Take it, and you will walk as a lion among sheep. Men will tremble at your approach, and you will never fear death again."
And if I refuse your gift? "Then you will be prey, like all mortals. I will spare your life this once, but you will be banished from this hall."
I'm already a vampire. What more can you offer me? (If a vampire.) "You contracted a disease, perhaps, but you are no true vampire. Accept my gift and I promise that you will learn the difference. Refuse me, and I will banish you from this castle. I will spare your life this once, but after that, you are prey."
I'm a werewolf. What will happen if I accept your gift? (If a werewolf.) "Yes, I can smell it on you. The power of my blood will purge that filth and make you whole again."
"Perhaps you still need convincing? Behold the power! This is the power that I offer! Now, make your choice!"
I will accept your gift and become a vampire. "Be still!"
I don't want to become a vampire. I refuse. "So be it! You are prey, like all mortals. I banish you!"

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."

I'm ready to learn about my new powers. "With my guidance you will become a deadly instrument, striking terror in the hearts of mortals wherever you tread. Now, listen to my words and do as I instruct. The true power of the ancient blood is found in the form of the Vampire Lord. Assume the mantle of the Vampire Lord, and we will continue."
What happened? How did I get here? "My blood is potent. At first, the body is overwhelmed by it. After my bite, you collapsed and fell into a slumber. Now your flesh has acclimated to the new blood that courses through your veins. I assure you, no harm was done. In truth, your strength surprises me. Not all mortals can withstand my embrace."
What is this place? "A shrine to Molag Bal, the mighty Daedra Prince who is father to all our kind. Our power is a blessing from him. It is he who first bestowed the gift of the ancient blood upon me."
You made a pact with Molag Bal? "In an age long forgotten to history, I ruled as a mighty king. My domain was vast, my richess endless and my power infinite. And yet, as my mortal life neared an end, I faced a seemingly invincible enemy -- my own mortality. I pledged myself to Molag Bal, and in his name I sacrificed a thousand innocents. In reward, he gave everlasting life to me, my wife and my daughter. And so I have defeated mortality itself."

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."

After landing:

"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?"

I'm ready to carry out this task. "Good. Go and speak to Garan Marethi. Tell him it is time. He will understand."
Tell me again about being a Vampire Lord. "When you first transform into a Vampire Lord, you will hover in the air. While you do, you will command the powers of Blood and Night. Descend to the ground, and you can attack with your claws and feed upon your prey to regain your strength. With experience, your powers will grow and you will discover new ways to use them."
What must I know about being a vampire? "As a vampire, you gain new powers, but also a weakness to sunlight. With each passing day that you do not feed, that weakness will become more deadly, but your powers will also become stronger. Feed upon those who are sleeping, and your vulnerability to sunlight will diminish along with your powers."
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."

When you greeted Serana, it sounded like you hadn't seen her in a long time. "Serana and her mother disappeared long ago. I commanded every vampire in the court to look for them, but after centuries of searching without success, I lost hope. In my heart, I know that it was my wife, Valerica, who took my beloved daughter away from me. If I ever see her again, she will pay most dearly for that betrayal. What else do you want to know?"
I heard you mention Serana's mother. What happened to her? "Her nam was Valerica. She has been gone for so long now, I can only assume that she has left this world, one way or another. I will say only that we did not part on good terms. What else do you want to know?"
That's all I wanted to ask. "Very well."
Show: Prophet
Inside Castle Volkihar:

"Ah, you are here. Good."

You wanted to speak to me? "Yes, I did. When I told you that I was grateful for my daughter's safe return, I told the truth. But I did not tell you everything."
I suspected as much. "Good. Strong instincts and a cunning mind will serve you as well as blade, spell or claw."
When do you plan to start trusting me? "Do not presume to tell me who I can and cannot trust. I possess the wisdom of a dozen lifetimes, and I will make my own judgements. Now be silent, and hear what I have to say."
"As you know, vampires are powerful, but we have limits. Our great enemy is the sun, and until recently it's an enemy we've had no way to fight. For centuries I searched for an answer to this problem. I found an old prophecy written by a Moth Priest, those scholars who read the Elder Scrolls. The prophecy tells of a time in which vampires will gain power over the sun, and will no longer fear its tyranny. I believe the secret to unraveling that prophecy is written in Serana's Elder Scroll. I have ordered the court to assemble. I have a new task for us all to carry out, and that includes you. Come now, and hear my proclamation."

Upon returning with the Moth Priest:

"Well done! Somehow I knew it would be you and Serana who found our moth priest."

I have made the moth priest my thrall. "Yes, I see that. I trust his capture was not too difficult a task?"
The Dawnguard tried to stop me, but they posed no threat. "I wish I could have been there to hear the sounds of their screams.
The Dawnguard were there. They fought well, but not well enough. "They are determined and well-armed, but foolish if they think they can defy us. We will deal with them in time."
The Dawnguard were protecting him, and they nearly killed me. "We both know that a band of fools with crossbows is no match for a scion of the ancient blood. I admit, I do not entirely understand your sense of humor."
"Well, your thrall awaits and we have given him the Elder Scroll. Command him to read it, and let us hear the words of prophecy together."

After hearing the reading:

"That was... not as useful as I would have liked. Even so, you did well."

Do you know where these other scrolls are? "My traitor wife stole one of them away and then disappeared. As for the other, the last I heard, it was lost in the bowels of a Dwemer ruin. It seems our work is not yet done. But I have waited this long, and we are so very close now. I can wait a bit longer."
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."

Loyalty? You never intended to let me live. "A small price to pay for the betterment of our kind."
You're an insult to our kind. "Oh, come now... spare me your notions of kinship. You've simply used Serana in an attempt to take away what should rightfully be mine."
I would never use Serana like that. "The vampire is eternal, and with immortality comes the revelation that these bonds never endure... it's fleeting, momentary at best."
No, I'm here to prevent our annihilation. "Ah, I see you've been speaking to Valerica and she's convinced you that eternal night will plunge us into war with daytime dwellers. If only it were so. With the world in shadow, we would never tire, never weaken... more than a match for their pitiful armies."
The bow belongs to me now. "Finally, a trace of honesty in our little conversation. How does it feel to hold the fate of the vampire in your grasp. Exhilarating, isn't it?"
Enough of this! "Yes, quite. I'm growing weary of speaking to you and my traitorous daughter. I'll give you a single chance to turn over the bow to me. There will not be a second."
Never. "Very well then, you leave me no choice!"
Very well. (Give Auriel's Bow) "Pitiful. Simply pitiful. I expected more from the defiant fool that beguiled my daughter. No matter. Serana will sacrifice her blood for the sake of the prophecy, and I will feast upon yours in Molag Bal's honor!"
... "Little patience for talk? Good. Let's end this!"

"I'll rend the flesh from your bones!"

If a Dawnguard:

"It appears I have you to thank for turning my daughter against me. I knew it was only a matter of time before she'd return with hatred in her heart."

Hatred born of your neglect. "A small price to pay for the betterment of our kind."
Your kind is a blight on this world. "Yes, yes. Always the noble vampire hunter. And what happens when you've slain me? Is Valerica next? Is Serana?"
I would never harm Serana. She's too important to me. "Then my daughter is truly lost. She died the moment she accepted a mortal into her life."
I'm only here to kill you. "I see. Interesting that you can set aside your morals when it suits you."
This is about more than killing vampires. "Ah, of course. The prophecy. You've come here to stop me from taking Auriel's Bow and shrouding the world in darkness."
Enough of this! "Yes, quite. I'm growing weary of speaking to you and my traitorous daughter. I'll give you a single chance to turn over the bow to me. There will not be a second."
Never. "Very well then, you leave me no choice!"
Very well. (Give Auriel's Bow) "Pitiful. Simply pitiful. I expected more from the defiant fool that beguiled my daughter. No matter. Serana will sacrifice her blood for the sake of the prophecy, and I will feast upon yours in Molag Bal's honor!"

"I'll rend the flesh from your bones!"

Conversations

Bloodline

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."

Kindred Judgment, Volkihar

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 being (Or "half-breed vampire" if a vampire)."
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..."

Kindred Judgment, Dawnguard

Harkon: "Serana, my darling. I see you still favor keeping a pet."
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 being."
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!"
Serana: "I won't fall for your tricks!"
Serana: "It's time for you to suffer!"
Harkon: "No... Serana... your own father..."

Quotes

  • "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"
  • "Auriel's Bow will be mine!" – During "Kindred Judgement"
  • "I'll drain the life from you!" – During "Kindred Judgement"

Trivia

  • 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.
  •  PC   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 Miraak. Oddly, this is not the case for Serana; she only has one base ID and contains no follower dialogues.

Appearances

Start a Discussion Discussions about Harkon

  • Harkon, Valerica, and Serana Volkihar's exact age.

    106 messages
    • Okay.... Dis is enough guys. Theres enough evidence to prove Serena, Valerica and Harkon or older then the Dragon War, and theres not enough pr...
    • We know that it is very likely they were alive either when solitude was built or before because if you ask Serena about her home she says n...
  • Harkon is invincible

    13 messages
    • Honestly,i just reloaded a bunch until it worked but the kill command is a last resort
    • Had this problem and as far as I could tell it only happened when he telleports and then I guess something glitches and he can’t die. But if ...