Serana is an ancient pure-blood vampire and the daughter of Lord Harkon and Valerica. 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.
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 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.
She 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 is wary of the Dragonborn at first meeting, refusing to share inventories, answer questions in detail, and not letting him/her travel too far ahead alone when told to wait. Because of her Vampiric weakness and time spent in Dimhollow, she will also complain to the Dragonborn about caves and the sun, yet also complain when the weather is anything but sunny as the sun is her preference. Although she complains a lot, she also acknowledges the beauty of Skyrim, especially areas featuring groves and rivers, stating that she is happy to be there with 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 became vampires, but once they became followers of Molag Bal, her relationship with him 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 that "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 she may have left a clue to her whereabouts somewhere in the courtyard of Castle Volkihar. The Dragonborn must travel with Serana 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 grindstone, 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.
Serana also displays specific reactions in some locations. When approaching Molag Bal's altar in Markarth's abandoned house, Serana kneels and protects her head with her arms. If taken to the High Hrothgar, she will also kneel on the ground, but in a posture of prayer similar to the Greybeards.
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. In some circumstances, however, she may refuse to follow a command, or accept it conditionally.
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
Upon completion of Touching the Sky, Serana will offer to make Bloodcursed Elven Arrows for use with Auriel's Bow. Note that if the Dragonborn cured Serana of her vampirism, this ability to make such arrows will be lost. This limits the supply of these arrows to the ones made before she was cured.
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 still wears 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."
If this happens, the console command
SetPapyrusQuestVar DLC1NPCMentalModel ToldPlayerSheDidntWantCure_var False can reset the cure conversation, allowing the Dragonborn to ask her about a cure again. Then choose the option saying, "You could be your own person again."
|Main stats at level 50|
She prefers to dual wield Vampiric Drain and Ice Spike spells, but may use Lightning Bolt for attacking at range. At higher levels, she also uses Chain Lightning. 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.
|"I'd read stories about the Solitude windmill, but I didn't expect it to be that big!"||When in Solitude|
|"From the castle, you used to just be able to see Solitude over the mountains. It's exactly what I imagined."||When in Solitude|
|"They used to call Windhelm, "the City of Kings." In my books, anyway."||When in Windhelm|
|"I had expected Ysgramor's city to be... bigger."||When in Windhelm|
|"What a curious city. It's so... open."||When in Whiterun|
|"This place makes me a little uneasy."||When in Riften|
|"These people seem nervous, which makes me nervous."||When in Riften|
|"This land feels... twisted. I'm surprised my father didn't want to live out here."||When in The Reach|
|"Rocks and valley, crevices and hiding places. This is the kind of place where hermits and fanatics dwell."||When in The Reach|
|"I've never seen leaves this color."||When in The Rift|
|"I'm okay with the dark, but I've spent more than my share of time in caves already."||When near a cave|
|"Let's move faster. The sun is... it's not great for my skin, if you know what I mean."||When outside|
|"This must be that beautiful Skyrim weather I've always heard about."||When outside|
|"I'm no fan of the sun, but it would be better than this."||When outside|
|"Let's get indoors. Or in a cave. Anywhere, just out of this."||When outside|
|"Good, let's get inside there. The sun is starting to get to me."||When outside|
|"I was always taught to avoid these types of ruins. I think I see why, now."||When near an ancient Nordic ruin|
|"Nordic ruins. Even older than I am. I wonder if the draugr are as gullible as they were when I was a girl."||When near an ancient Nordic ruin|
|"Does the air feel... heavy down here? I'm a little woozy, but it might just be from waking up."||When inside a cave|
|"It'll be good to get outside and breathe again. I haven't missed the sunlight, but I do miss fresh air."||When inside a cave|
|"So this is the grand tour of Skyrim's caves that you're showing me?"||When inside a cave|
|"Is this a dwarven city? I can't believe they'd let it get so run down."||When in a Dwarven ruin|
|"I always wondered what the dwarves actually looked like. I hear they're like elves, but with beards."||When in a Dwarven ruin|
|"Oh Wow. This is gorgeous. I'm glad you're here with me."||When entering Bloated Man's Grotto|
- Serana is voiced by Laura Bailey.
- Serana politely refuses a proposal of marriage, mentioning her unease with temples and complicated history.
- Even if she is in Solstheim, Serana still may say, "This must be that beautiful Skyrim weather I've always heard about."
- After Serana is cured, her eyes retain a faint glow to them, causing the whites to look yellow.
- During Unseen Visions, her RefID inside the Ancestor Grove is changed to xx00feca and returns to normal when the Dragonborn exits the cave after receiving the vision.
- If Serana is made unessential via console commands and then killed, she will sometimes scream "Nooo!" upon death. This implies that there was an idea for her death to be a possibility, but this was scrapped from the game.
This section contains bugs related to Serana. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to show a list of bugs.|