She is known as one of the "Daughters of Coldharbour", and because of this she is central to the main questline in Dawnguard. After being encountered, she can be recruited as a follower, unlocking a multitude of interactions.
Due to contradictory evidence her exact age cannot be determined, but she is believed to predate the Alessian Empire from the early First Era. This would place her at around 4000 years old; however, some dialog implies that her age might be measured in centuries, not millenia.
She is one of the few pure-blood Vampires known to exist. Pure-blood vampires are individuals who are granted vampirism directly from Molag Bal, the creator and patron deity of Vampires. The process is somewhat similar to the creation of the first vampire, Lamae Beolfag. Serana gained her vampirism through a ritual in which members of her family pledged themselves to Molag Bal. Females like Serana and her mother, Valerica, who survive the horrific ordeal are dubbed "Daughters of Coldharbour".
Her father, Lord Harkon, is leader of the Volkihar vampire clan based in Castle Volkihar. He discovered an ancient prophecy called the Tyranny of the Sun which, if enacted, would allow Vampires to roam the world freely without the fear of weakness from the sun; but to do so, he required two Elder Scrolls, Auriel's Bow, and Serana for a ritual sacrifice.
In response to this, her mother hid her away with one of the Elder Scrolls in a sealed sarcophagus within Dimhollow Crypt for thousands of years to protect her from her father. She then fled to the Soul Cairn with the other Scroll.
PersonalityShe is enterprising and friendly, but also lonely due to her troubled childhood and her mother's self-exile, which is why she confides in the Dragonborn.
She harbors a degree of resentment towards her mother, Valerica for locking her away for centuries and is angry that her feelings weren't taken into consideration.
As a child she was close with her mother, but once her parents began to fight, she felt trapped between both. Her mother would often feed her negative opinions of her father and after a time Serana began to believe them. She was never very close with her father Harkon before her family were vampires, but once they became followers of Molag Bal, it only worsened as her parents became drunk with power and were always in conflict. Her father started to see her as a means to an end and would often state "Power takes precedence". Despite this she still admits to loving him as he is still her father.
She feels trapped between the conflict that consumes her parents and sees herself as a pawn that they are using against each other. Deep down she wishes they were able to reconcile and become a family again, but realizes that it's not possible.
When questioned about her vampirism, she can be defensive. She doesn't like to talk about the actual ceremony as it was degrading, but she doesn't seem to regret the power it has granted her, and rather sees it as a gift that she earned. The only regret she does seem to have is how it tore her family apart.
After the Hall of the Vigilant was attacked by vampires, the Dragonborn is sent to Dimhollow Crypt to investigate further. Serana is discovered in the crypt and set free. She asks the Dragonborn to help her get home to Castle Volkihar.
Serana indicates her desire to locate her estranged mother, Valerica. She believes that Valerica may have left a clue to her whereabouts somewhere in the courtyard of Castle Volkihar. The Dragonborn must travel with her and infiltrate the castle to discover the whereabouts of Valerica.
It is discovered Valerica fled to the Soul Cairn via a portal in Castle Volkihar. The Dragonborn and Serana must travel there to retrieve the Elder Scroll Valerica took with her.
As Dexion Evicus, the Moth Priest who read Serana's Elder Scroll is now blind, the Dragonborn and Serana must travel to Ancestor Glade and learn how to read the Elder Scroll that will show them where to obtain Auriel's Bow.
Serana travels with the Dragonborn to the Forgotten Vale to seek Auriel's Bow. Upon reaching the Inner Sanctum and meeting Arch-Curate Vyrthur, she discovers her role in the ancient prophecy her father was pursuing.
Serana travels with the Dragonborn back to Castle Volkihar to confront her father, Lord Harkon.
Unlike regular followers, Serana displays advanced behavior and situational awareness:
- If Serana is outside, she will always don a hood.
- She will comment on the weather; however, be it rain or shine, it's typically a complaint.
- She will interact with her surroundings. If the Dragonborn is standing still, she may walk around, sit down and even interact with workstations like a grindstones, forge or alchemy lab. If she has a reanimated corpse following her, it may join in.
- If near an ore vein, she may begin mining, despite not having a pickaxe in her inventory.
Initially, Serana has fewer follower commands than other followers during the Dawnguard questline. Once the questline is completed, she can serve as a regular follower with the same set of commands that other followers have.
She will equip enchanted rings, chains and circlets, as well as both light and heavy armor. When outdoors, however, she wears her hood which displaces any circlets.
Bloodcursed Elven Arrows
She can also be asked to bite the Dragonborn, which grants the ability to become a Vampire Lord, however this cannot be done if she has been cured of vampirism. While she is a follower, the Vampire Lord's Drain Life spell is weakened.
Once the Dawnguard questline is complete, she can be asked about curing her Vampirism. Should she agree, she leaves to see Falion for a cure. She will return to Fort Dawnguard after a few days, cured, however will still exhibit certain traits of her previous vampirism:
- She still speaks the same dialogue, such as complaining about the sun.
- She stills wear her hood when outdoors.
- She still uses the Vampiric Drain spell.
- Sanguinare Vampiris can be contracted from her through combat.
The option to get her cured can be permanently lost by choosing the wrong dialogue options. If this occurs, every time she is asked about getting cured she replies "I'm not talking about this with you anymore."
|Main stats at level 50|
In battle, Serana proves herself to be a powerful necromancer. She will frequently raise the corpses of both humanoids and creatures, even very powerful ones such as Dremora Catiffs.
She prefers to dual wield Vampiric Drain and Ice Spike spells, but may use Lightning Bolt for attacking at range. She will switch to melee combat when her magicka runs dry, with her default weapon being an Elven Dagger. She will equip stronger daggers and swords if given to her and will even wield two-handed weapons.
Bows seem to be her least favored weapon. She will equip a shield if given one, but unequips it as soon as combat starts, so she can use a spell in each hand. She also uses a staff if given a powerful enough one.
Serana may give some unique comments depending on where she is traveling to. These include:
|"I'd read stories about the Solitude windmill, but I didn't expect it to be that big!"||In Solitude|
|"From the castle, you used to just be able to see Solitude over the mountains. It's exactly what I imagined."|
|"What a curious city. It's so... open."||In Whiterun|
|"I had expected Ysgramor's city to be... bigger."||In Windhelm|
|"They used to call Windhelm, "the City of Kings." In my books anyway."|
|"These people seem nervous, which makes me nervous."||In Riften|
|"...when I was here it wasn't so... crumbly. This used to be a city."||In Winterhold|
|"I was always taught to avoid these types of ruins. I think I see why, now."||Inside a Nordic Tomb|
|"Nordic ruins. Even older than I am. I wonder if the draugr are as gullible as they were when I was a girl."|
|"Is this a dwarven city? I can't believe they'd let it get so run down."||Inside a Dwemer Ruin.|
|"I always wondered what the dwarves actually looked like. I hear they're like elves, but with beards."|
|"Another cave. I've spent enough time underground, myself, but if you want to go in, I'm right behind you."||Outside a cave.|
|"I'm okay with the dark, but I've spent more than my share of time in caves already."||Inside a cave.|
|"This is the kind of thing I've been wanting to see. Makes everything else worth it."||Viewing a breathtaking view.|
|"This land feels... twisted. I'm surprised my father didn't want to live out here."||Anywhere in The Reach.|
|"I've never seen leaves this color."|
|"Rocks and valleys, crevices and hiding places. This is the kind of place where hermits and fanatics dwell."|
|"The air, the ground... this is all wrong"||Inside the Soul Cairn.|
|"Let's move faster. The sun is... it's not great for my skin, if you know what I mean."|
|"This must be that beautiful Skyrim weather I've always heard about."|
|"I'm no fan of the sun, but it would be better than this."|
|"Let's get indoors. Or in a cave. Anywhere, just out of this."|
|"It'll be good to get out of the sun for a while."|
|"Good, let's get inside there. The sun is starting to get to me."|
- Serana is voiced by Laura Bailey.
- Serana politely refuses a proposal of marriage, mentioning her unease with temples and complicated history.
This section contains bugs related to Serana. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to show a list of bugs.|