Dragon Shouts (), also known simply as Shouts or Thu'um in the Dragon language, are an ancient form of magic prominently used in Skyrim during the late Merethic and early First Era, but have gradually become obscure. Shouts use the vocalization of specific "words of power" to create powerful magical effects, usually for offensive purposes. Each Shout is made up of three words. However, one or two words of a given Shout may be used, but the effect is correspondingly less powerful compared to the full force of the word.
Dragons are able to master and use them at will, as the sacred language is naturally inborn into their souls from the moment of their creation, though mortals are only able to learn and use them through a long process of meditation and practice of the words. Exceptions to this are rare individuals known as Dragonborn, those who are born with the body of a mortal but the soul of a dragon. Dragonborn are able to intuitively use Shouts and learn them by absorbing the soul of a dragon, and with it the dragon's understanding of the words. As shown during The Way of the Voice, they can also absorb knowledge from other individuals who have mastered specific words.
A minority of other characters also have the ability to use dragon Shouts, such as a small group of monks known as the Greybeards, who live in seclusion inside of the fortress of High Hrothgar. High Hrothgar is located halfway up the mountain, nearest to the Throat of the World. The Greybeards use their Thu'um to praise and worship the Divines. However, their beliefs differ from the Blades, who believe that the Thu'um should be used for battle against dragons.
There are twenty Shouts in Skyrim, the Dawnguard expansion adds three new Shouts, and the Dragonborn expansion adds four more. Shouts are learned on the word walls of ancient Nordic ruins, and are unlocked with dragon souls. There are a select few, however, that are unlocked by completing quests for the Greybeards along the main storyline. Dragon souls are gained by slaying dragons and absorbing their souls. Each full shout has three words of power, and each word of power requires one dragon soul to be unlocked. Hence, each shout requires three words of power and three Dragon Souls to be used at full power.
These Shouts have powerful effects and provide the user with a variety of abilities. For instance, one shout sends foes hurling away, another shout allows for travel across a patch of ground almost instantly, and others project spells of fire or ice, inflicting heavy damage to opponents. The Dragonborn can use a partially unlocked Shout (only one or two words unlocked), but the Shout grows stronger with each word used. The second and third words will also usually increase the recharge time of the shout, limiting the use of the shout if used at full power.
Significant events involving Dragon ShoutsEdit
- Kyne, Nordic aspect of Kynareth, was the one who granted the power to use the Thu'um to the mortal races of men. Paarthurnax was then the first to teach mortals to use the Thu'um.
- The ancient Nord heroes Felldir the Old, Gormlaith Golden-Hilt, and Hakon One-Eye contrive the Dragonrend shout and use it and an Elder Scroll to partially defeat Alduin by casting him adrift in time, marking the turning point in mankind's favor during the Dragon War.
- After the great Nord army's defeat against the Dunmeri Tribunal at Red Mountain, Jurgen Windcaller converted to pacifism and founded the Way of the Voice to be thereafter practiced and taught by the Greybeards.
- The Greybeards study shouts and are the primary institution for studying the Thu'um among mortals.
- General Tiber Septim was known to have been Dragonborn, possessing the natural ability to use shouts.
- Ulfric Stormcloak studied and apparently used the Thu'um to disable the previous High King of Skyrim in order to kill him. This was part of Ulfric's effort to show that the Empire was unfit to rule, supporting the cause of the Stormcloaks, the Nordic rebel force named after him. He also used shouts to retake Markarth from the Forsworn who had taken control during the Great War.
- The Last Dragonborn defeated Alduin and was recognized by the other dragons as the dominant dov in Mundus during the Fourth Era.
After finishing The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, Arngeir can be asked "Have you located any Words of Power?" The location will be added to the map and a miscellaneous quest will be added to the journal.
After shouting in a populated area, a courier may deliver a letter, which reveals the location of a nearby word wall, although it may be a location that has already been visited.
While the locations of the three words walls for each shout are fixed, the words are not locked to a specific wall. Therefore, traveling to any of the walls related to one shout will always gain the Dragonborn the first, second, and third words in order.
Once a new shout has been discovered, a dragon soul is required to unlock it. Access the shouts sub-menu from the magic menu. Locked shouts are grayed out. In the bottom right corner of the menu is the number of dragon souls available to use. These accumulate as dragons are killed.
According to the Greybeards, a Dragonborn absorbs the knowledge of the words from the dragon's soul. Fully unlocking a shout requires the use of one dragon soul for each word of power learned, with each shout being composed of three words.
To unlock the shout, hover over it and press the correct button for the system.
|Dragon Shout||Word of Power||Translation||Cooldown||Word Wall Location|
|Animal Allegiance||A Shout for help from the beasts of the wild, who come to fight in your defense.|
|Aura Whisper||Your Voice is not a Shout, but a whisper, revealing the life forces of any and all.|
|Your Thu'um enchants your nearby allies' weapons, allowing them to attack faster.|
All words learned during Lost Legacy
|Become Ethereal||The Thu'um reaches out to the Void, changing your form to one that cannot harm, or be harmed.|
|Zii||Spirit||40||Lost Valley Redoubt|
|Gron||Bind||50||Ustengrav - during The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller|
|Your voice bends the very stones to your will. As it gains power, animals, people, and even dragons must do your bidding.|
|Hah||Mind||90||Learned from Hermaeus Mora|
|Dov||Dragon||120||Learned from Hermaeus Mora|
|Call Dragon||Odahviing! Hear my Voice and come forth. I summon you in my time of need.|
|Od||Snow||5||Sky Haven Temple or High Hrothgar
All words learned during The Fallen
|Call of Valor||The valiant of Sovngarde hear your Voice, and journey beyond space and time to lend aid.|
All words learned during Dragonslayer
|Clear Skies||Skyrim itself yields before the Thu'um, as you clear away fog and inclement weather.|
All words learned during The Throat of the World
|Your Thu'um creates a whirling cyclone that sows chaos among your enemies.|
|Nos||Strike||60||White Ridge Sanctum|
|Disarm||Shout defies steel, as you rip the weapon from an opponent's grasp.|
|Viik||Defeat||40||Snow Veil Sanctum|
|Dismay||And the weak shall fear the Thu'um, and flee in Terror.|
|Faas||Fear||40||Dead Crone Rock|
|Ru||Run||45||Shalidor's Maze in Labyrinthian|
|Maar||Terror||50||Lost Tongue Overlook|
|Once a day, take on the mighty aspect of a dragon, delivering colossal blows, with an armored hide, and more powerful shouts.|
|Mul||Strength||5||Temple of Miraak|
|Qah||Armor||5||Apocrypha (Waking Dreams, Final "Chapter")|
|Dragonrend||Your Voice lashes out at a dragon's very soul, forcing the beast to land.|
|Joor||Mortal||10||Throat of the World - during Alduin's Bane.|
|Drain Vitality||Coax both magical and mortal energies from your hapless opponent.|
|Elemental Fury||The Thu'um imbues your arms with the speed of wind, allowing for faster weapon strikes.|
|Grah||Battle||40||Statue to Meridia|
|Fire Breath||Inhale air, exhale flame, and behold the Thu'um as inferno.|
|Shul||Sun||100||Throat of the World - during The Throat of the World.|
|Frost Breath||Your breath is winter, your Thu'um a blizzard.|
|Ice Form||Your Thu'um freezes an opponent solid.|
|Kyne's Peace||The Voice soothes wild beasts, who lose their desire to fight or flee.|
|Ov||Trust||60||Shroud Hearth Barrow|
|Marked for Death||Speak, and let your Voice herald doom, as an opponent's armor and lifeforce are weakened.|
|Lun||Leech||30||Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary|
|Soul Tear||Your Thu'um cuts through flesh and shatters soul, commanding the will of the fallen.|
|Rii||Essence||5||Each word learned from Durnehviir after he is summoned.|
|Slow Time||Shout at time, and command it to obey, as the world around you stands still.|
|Storm Call||A Shout to the skies, a cry to the clouds, that awakens the destructive force of Skyrim's lightning.|
|Bah||Wrath||480||High Gate Ruins|
|Qo||Lightning||600||Skuldafn - during The World-Eater's Eyrie.|
|Summon Durnehviir||Durnehviir! Hear my Voice and come forth from the Soul Cairn. I summon you in my time of need.|
|Throw Voice||The Thu'um is heard, but its source unknown, fooling those into seeking it out.|
Shearpoint - All words learned at once.
|Unrelenting Force||Your Voice is raw power, pushing aside anything - or anyone - who stands in your path.|
|Fus||Force||15||Bleak Falls Barrow|
|Ro||Balance||20||High Hrothgar - during The Way of the Voice.|
|Dah||Push||45||High Hrothgar - during The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller.|
|Whirlwind Sprint||The Thu'um rushes forward, carrying you in its wake with the speed of a tempest.|
|Wuld||Whirlwind||20||High Hrothgar - during The Way of the Voice.|
|Nah||Fury||25||Dead Men's Respite|
Dragon Shouts not available to player Edit
|Dragon Shout||Word of Power||Translation||Location|
|Devour Soul||This shout is used by Miraak during the battle between him and the Last Dragonborn in Apocrypha to instantly kill dragons and absorb their souls. Uniquely, it is the only shout with four words.|
|Zii-los||Spirit-is||Observed when fighting Miraak in Apocrypha.|
|Meteor Storm||This shout is used by Alduin to summon a storm that rains meteors down from the sky. Meteor Storm is the only shout with no words associated with it; instead, Alduin's roar is what seems to produce the storm.|
|N/A||N/A||Observed during encounter with Alduin at Helgen, and later during Alduin's Bane and Dragonslayer.|
|Reanimate Dragon||This shout is used by Alduin to resurrect long dead dragons from their burial sites.|
|Slen||Flesh||Observed at Dragon Burial Mound near Kynesgrove, and several others throughout Skyrim.|
|Return to Nirn||This shout is used by Tsun to return the Dragonborn to Nirn (specifically Skyrim) after the defeat of Alduin in Sovngarde.|
|Nahl||Living||Observed by the player in Sovngarde.|
|Soul Cairn Summon||This shout is used by Durnehviir to summon a Boneman, a Mistman and a Wrathman from the Soul Cairn.|
|Diil||Undead||Observed when Durnehviir is in combat.|
|Soul Fog||This shout is used by Alduin to summon a dense fog that doubles as a soul snare.|
|Ven||Wind||Observed by the player in Sovngarde.|
|Spectral Clone||This shout is used by the Greybeards to summon a spectral clone of themselves for the Dovahkiin to practice Unrelenting Force on.|
|Fiik||Mirror||Observed inside High Hrothgar during The Way of the Voice.|
- Using a shout in a city may prompt a guard to run up to the Dragonborn and request that they stop, stating that it's making people nervous, although this will never create in a bounty.
- Storm Call will strike all friendly characters, including followers.
- It is possible to learn the first word of Whirlwind Sprint before going to High Hrothgar. If learned before going to High Hrothgar, the Greybeards will teach the second word of Whirlwind Sprint.
- All three words of the Throw Voice shout are learned at a single word wall.
- The locations are shout specific not word specific, meaning they can be visited in any order and the words will be learned in the proper sequence.
- Summon Spectral Clone has voice files (Tested with Nord and Dark Elf) and is available through Console Commands.
- 44 Dragon Souls are needed to unlock every shout in the vanilla game. 13 Shouts require the full three souls to unlock, four Shouts (Call Dragon, Call of Valor, Clear Skies, Dragonrend) are learned automatically without needing to acquire any Dragon Souls, the first words of two Shouts (Fire Breath and Whirlwind Sprint) are learned automatically, but require two more souls each to fully unlock; and Unrelenting Force requires only one soul, which is used automatically when Mirmulnir dies, with the other two words being learned automatically through completion of the first act.
- All Shouts can be "sheathed" by pressing Square (PS3) or X (360) right after the first Word.
- With the Dawnguard and Dragonborn add-ons, 62 dragon souls are needed to unlock all dragon shouts. This does not include shouts learned from external sources (The Greybeards or Hermaeus Mora).
This section contains bugs related to Dragon Shouts. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- Rarely, a dragon shout will not work, and the Dragonborn will sound as if something is caught in their throat before the first word can be spoken.
- Sometimes, it is possible for a word wall to produce no word. The only fix for this is to reload a save.
- There is a chance of, after shouting, it will not be possible to change said shout to another, and it will display something along the lines of "you cannot switch shouts in the middle of one." To fix it, save and restart your PS3/Xbox. Another potential fix is to switch to a power rather than a shout, as this seems to "unlock" the shout menu, allowing a different shout to be selected.
- Shouts, like 'Drain Vitality,' may duplicate more than once. Saving before approaching the Word Wall may fix the bug if reloaded.
| Words of Power|
Learn all three words of a shout
| Thu'um Master|
Learn 20 shouts