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Harkon

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Harkon
Lord Harkon
Race Nord
Gender Male
Level PC x 1.2 (10-60)
Faction Volkihar Vampire
Rank Leader
Essential Yes, before Kindred Judgment
Ref ID xx003BA8
Base ID xx003BA7
Quotebg.png
"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 the Nord leader of the Volkihar vampire clan in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and the main antagonist of the Dawnguard storyline, regardless of the side the Dragonborn is. 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 capable of granting pure-blood vampirism.

Background

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 rather or not this story was at all exaggerated or just a downright lie made up to feed his large ego.

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 Last Dragonborn finds Serana and brings her to Castle Volkihar, Harkon regains the confidence to continue his quest to fufill 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:

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.
  • "Yes, I can smell it on you. The power of my blood will purge that filth and make you whole again." - If the Dragonborn is a werewolf during their first conversation.
  • 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." - If the Dragonborn is a vampire during their first conversation.

Trivia

  • Despite Serana and Valerica being Vampire Lords as well, Harkon is the only one to take the form in battle.
  • Harkon is the only main antagonist in The Elder Scrolls (excluding guild questline antagonists) that acts as mentor to the protagonist (If the Volkihar clan path is chosen) and betrays them in the end of the storyline.

Appearances

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