Elder Scrolls

Paarthurnax (Quest)

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For the character relating to this quest, see Paarthurnax.
Quest Giver Esbern or Delphine
Prerequisite Season Unending
Next Quest None
Reward Allies with the Blades
Faction Blades
Type Side Quest
Quest ID MQPaarthurnax
Paarthurnax is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


Delphine and Esbern learn that Paarthurnax is the leader of the Greybeards. They inform the Dragonborn of Paarthurnax's former position as the lieutenant of Alduin during the Dragon War and claim he was responsible for many unspecified atrocities against humankind. Bound by their oaths as Blades, they refuse the Dragonborn further assistance until Paarthurnax is slain. This quest is optional; it does not need to be completed in order to finish the main quest. 


This quest is optional, but in order to continue the Blades storyline, it must be completed before the conclusion of the Main Quest. However, doing so will prevent any further communication with the Greybeards, including the radiant quest to locate Words of Power. The conclusion of the main storyline slightly differs depending on whether or not Paarthurnax is still living. Working with all factions prior to engaging Paarthurnax runs the risk of making the quest impossible to complete. 

Killing PaarthurnaxEdit

Defeating Paarthurnax is not especially difficult as he displays only the usual powers common to all dragons and at this point the player must have access to both the Dragonrend shout and the Dragonbane sword.

How to avoid killing Paarthurnax (PC only)Edit

It is possible to complete this quest without needing to slay Paarthurnax by typing this command into the console:

setstage MQPaarthurnax 100

This way, Paarthurnax will remain alive, the Greybeards will still be hospitable, and the Blades will talk once more. The speech options regarding Paarthurnax's termination are still available when speaking with Arngeir, however.

If this quest is received during Season Unending and not completed before the end of the Main Questline, it will disappear from your list of active quests.

There are also mods available to bypass this quest, or the console command setessential <baseID> 0 can be used, which allows the Blades to be killed instead.


Journal Entry

Delphine and Esbern have discovered that Paarthurnax was one of Alduin's chief allies during the ancient Dragon War. They refuse to give me any more help until I kill Paarthurnax.

  • Objective: Kill Paarthurnax

Delphine and Esbern have discovered that Paarthurnax was one of Alduin's chief allies during the ancient Dragon War. I killed him, as they requested.

  • Objective: Talk to Delphine
  • Quest complete


  • When speaking to Arngeir regarding the Blades' request, he will tell the Dragonborn about Paarthurnax's reason for siding with Alduin and later, his rebellion which brought to Alduin's first demise. There is the option to tell Arngeir that Paarthurnax must die or that he is going to be spared. This will affect the conversation between Esbern and Arngeir in Season Unending, during the negotiation of a treaty.
  • Should the Civil War questline be complete (thus bypassing Season Unending), Delphine and Esbern will remain in Sky Haven Temple. However, they remain in disapproval and the quest disappears from the log.
  • There is no actual way of denying the request of the Blades, other than simply abstaining from doing it.
  • Without Arngeir, it is still possible to get radiant quests for words of power by shouting in a town or some other inhabited place and waiting for a Letter from a Friend.
  • This quest is still possible to complete after completing Season Unending by depleting all of Paarthurnax's health then quickly fast traveling to Sky Haven Temple.
  • It is possible to kill Paarthurnax directly after the quest Alduin's Bane, since he is no longer an essential character. Once he is dead, traveling to Sky Haven Temple and talking to Esbern will get him to introduce the Dragonborn to the quest to kill Paarthurnax. At that point, the Dragonborn can tell him Paarthurnax is already dead. Note that this will not interfere with the Peace Treaty mission at High Hrothgar later.
  • After the epilogue is finished, he can be found at the Throat of the World.


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

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , or  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Paarthurnax (Quest)

  • The Paarthurnax Question

    12 messages
    • I also found it a little weird that you couldn't tear the blades apart at all on behalf of the grey beards or the Thalmor.
    • I think that both factions are being saved for a Thalmor DLC. I mean, what other organization has more experience at severely wounding the Thal...
  • Paarthurnax

    17 messages
    • wrote:I'm on a Mac and I'm very sad they never made an official Skyrim Mac, with an updated version. I would have most glady pa...
    • Or use Wine so you don't have to use Windows at all, 88.174 didn't want to start a new playthough though.

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