Dragons in Skyrim
In this article, you'll learn all about the Dragons in Skyrim.
First, we'll look at what to expect when meeting a dragon and what a fight with a Skyrim dragon is like.
Next, we'll take a look at the "random" dragons, which you can stumble upon at any time. Then we'll look at the "named" dragons, which you'll mainly encounter during the main quest.
We'll also take a look at the types of dragons that exist in Skyrim. Then you'll get to know the spoils of the dragon hunt, as well as the trophies and achievements that come with it. Then we'll talk about Thu'um, which is the language of dragons in this game.
And finally, you'll get to know some tips and advice from Skyrim players.
But first, don't forget to check out our incredible selection of dragon T-shirts:
1. Meeting a Dragon
Several dragons are encountered during the main quest in Skyrim, however, dragons that are randomly generated may appear in the wild after completing the Dragon Rising quest in Skyrim. Most encounters are with a single dragon in this game. However, in rare cases, two or even three dragons can be encountered at the same time, especially after making a quick trip. All the dragon lairs on the game map are easily spotted, as they have walls with words, as well as a beautiful dragon head icon on the game map.
A. Fight a dragon
You can often fall in front of a dragon, when you make a quick trip in Skyrim, to a place that is relatively open, or even in small towns like Rorikstead and Riverwood. Large fortified towns like Witherun and Markarth are not spared either. 😨
During a bloody battle, dragons are fearsome monsters, and they are among the most dangerous creatures in all of Tamriel. As your level in the game increases through your various quests, the dragons you encounter will be harder to kill. This can range from a basic dragon, which is a smaller level than you, to a legendary dragon of a higher level.
When you're about to meet a dragon in the game, you'll soon find out about it, as you'll hear a huge roar in Skyrim, and it will create an animation around you. The dragon will fly around your character, taking dust with it and blurring your vision, as if it wants to provoke you.
B. Debate a dragon
However, not all the dragons you may encounter in the game will necessarily be hostile towards you. Some of them, on seeing you, will turn around without engaging in combat: you will then just have to continue on your way quietly so that the event disappears and the dragon flies away.
Be careful if you engage in combat with a dragon, as they are able to draw their power from the Thu'um, which is also known as "The Voice" or "Dragon Shouts". This allows the dragon to attack their enemies, using short phrases of words, which will cause the opponent various damage and special effects.
For some non-player characters in the Skyrim game, fighting a dragon is actually a debate. As the dragon Paarthurnax explains, "There is no distinction between debating and fighting a dragon."
C. Dragon attacks
All dragons are capable of frost or fire attacks, and can use them in the air or on the ground. However, to reduce the damage of these attacks, you can increase your elemental or magical resistance. During a fight, dragons will sometimes land on the ground to engage in hand-to-hand melee with you, or any other non-player character present at that location. They may also remain perched on rooftops, or other parts of the game, to attack creatures that pass underneath them, while remaining out of range of melee attacks.
There is also Dragonrend's shout, which forces a dragon to land on the ground for a short period of time. However, once a dragon reaches half its health in the game, it will be forced to land on the ground, often awkwardly. It will then not be able to fly away for the rest of the fight. In rare cases, however, the dragon may flee the battle with you completely, depriving you of a dragon soul to absorb for your character.
D. The Dragon Bite
Although a dragon's breath is a fearsome weapon, its bite is devastatingly powerful. It is important to always have a good health bar when a dragon fights with you on the ground. If your health falls below a certain threshold in the game, and you stand next to a dragon's head, the dragon can kill you instantly with a programmed sequence of action. For example, it will move forward, grabbing you in its jaws, then lift you up in the air by slapping you from side to side, and finally throwing your poor body to the ground.
That is why it is important to keep a certain distance from the dragon when you challenge it directly to the ground so that you are out of reach of its jaws and breath. However, the dragon will always be able to reach you with its wings or tail. Try to use the trees, or the items available on the game map, to get a covering advantage.
E. Dragon vs. Dragon
The dragons in the game Skyrim, attack anything that moves, including giant mud crabs. However, they do not attack other dragons in the game. You can use this to your advantage, by engaging a dragon in battle in a place where there are many living creatures: this will distract the dragon, which you can attack while you're at it!
This will buffer the dragon's damage to other non-player characters, or other creatures. However, this does not guarantee that the dragon will attack these other creatures instead of you.
When you reach the end of your objective in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, by finally killing your first or last dragon, you will find that the beast's body will be engulfed in fiery flames. This will then allow you to absorb its soul through your character. All that will be left is a vulgar skeleton of the dragon, which can be pillaged for its bones, scales, etc.
2. Random Dragons
In Skyrim, dragons are a reptile race from Akavir. Before that, they were in Tamriel.
Even though they look like simple bugs, don't underestimate them, because they are very intelligent. Indeed, they can communicate. They are even multilingual! Their language, Thu'um, is very powerful. They were nearly extinct. In 4E 201, they reappeared in Skyrim, coinciding with the return of Alduin.
Here are a few examples of these charming creatures (non-exhaustive list):
- Dragons with brown robes: they are the first dragons you will meet in Skyrim, and that you will be able to defeat easily, because they are very weak.
- Blood dragons: They are green in colour. They are "equipped" with winged crowns and tails that look like a common construction shovel.
- Millennium Dragon: red, black and orange in colour. They are the strongest dragons in the game, originally.
- Legendary Dragon: They are adorned in black and purple. They have a maximum level and are present in Dawnguard. They are the strongest dragons encountered by chance.
- Serpentine Dragon: they are blue in color and snake-shaped. They are introduced into Dragonborn.
You have to know that dragons have a stable level. It's not related to the character you play, but to their own species.
You should know that you can meet new types of dragons as soon as your character reaches a higher level.
Dragons have a special shout that is similar to the fireball and ice storm spells. The damage is not the same between these two spells.
3. The named dragons
These are the dragons you'll essentially encounter during the main quest. They are very similar to random dragons in terms of playability. Each one of these friendly beasts has a name and associated dialogues (this list is not exhaustive):
- Alduin: Akatosh's firstborn. His mission is to resurrect dragons throughout the game and he likes to "taste" the souls of the dead and the living. All in all, he is not difficult to beat. He is black in appearance. You'll know he's called the "Devourer of Worlds". Brrr!
- Krosulhah: A dragon that you can find outside Nchardak after completing the quest. It is the path of knowledge in the expansion The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn.
Odahviing: He is Alduin's ally. Odahviing is captured by the Dragon Child and swears that he will always be faithful to him if he gives him freedom in return. He can be called to help the Dragon Child by using the shout "Draconian Ally". He is one of the only red dragons in the game.
- Sahloknir: A very old dragon, but he can still blow fire and ice! He was resurrected by Alduin alone, only to be killed soon after by the Dragon Child.
- Sahrotaar: A serpentine dragon that you will meet when you complete the quest "Atop Apocrypha" in the Dragonborn expansion.
- Voslaarum: A dragon that you can find in the Forgotten Valley during the quest "Touch the Sky", in the Dawnguard expansion.
4. Types of Dragons
There are many dragons, each one more beautiful than the other, although some are really ugly:
- Ice Dragon,
- Blood dragon,
- Ancestral dragon, and his fire-colored robe,
- Millennium Dragon,
- Skeleton dragon, whose name obviously designates its appearance,
- The black Alduin dragon, worshipped by many players,
- Paarthurnax, and its apparent ugliness.
5. Dragon Hunting Awards
A. The booty
In Skyrim, you're graciously provided with a lot of equipment, like:
- Dragon bones
- Dragon scales
- Weapon (can be enchanted)
- Armor (can be enchanted)
- Arrows (very useful)
- Jewellery (less useful)
B. Successes and Trophies
Existing successes are the dragon soul and the dragon slayer.
By achieving the first success, you earn 10 points and a beautiful golden trophy.
The second success, Dragon Hunter, consists of absorbing about 20 souls of these evil creatures. And you earn 20 points, plus the famous golden trophy. Is that what this is all about?! 😥
6. Thu'um: the dragon's tongue
Thu'um, which means "Art of the Voice", is an ancient form of magic that was originally practiced by the Dragons.
In order for you to understand the origin of Thu'um, you need to know that the Norse claim to be Children of Heaven, no less. According to legend, it was at the top of High Hrothgar, at the Throat of the World, that the Norse were conceived.
At that time, the heavens blew over the earth to bring the first humans. The goddess of breath, nature and the heavens is called Kyne. She is said to have contributed to the creation of mankind. That is why Breath and Voice are fundamental for a Northerner. Indeed, if they did not possess this Breath, they would not even be here! They consider the Voice as a "life force".
Thu'um is thus a gift from Kyne. She gave it as a gift to mankind only, during the Draconian War, at a time when mankind was about to perish under the force of the dragons. She then called Paarthurnax to initiate them into the Voice.
Legend also tells that it was the "daughters of Kyne" who spoke to men from the heavens so that they could learn to listen to the words of the goddess. It was through the Voice that the Norse learned to use this Vital Flow to articulate an incantation to produce a shout called Thu'um.
Many books tell of the exploits of the Nordic people, who used the Voice to defeat their opponents. There are 3 shouts: offensive shouts, defensive shouts and ambient shouts. The mastery of Thu'um will allow you to perform many actions:
- Repel a human or something,
- Learn how to sharpen a sword,
- Releasing a fire or ice storm,
- Teleport your character,
- Talking to someone who's several miles away,
- Change the weather and cause lightning.
7. Tips: What if a dragon becomes an asset?
If you possess the Dragonborn add-on, by completing the Dragonborn Main Quest, you will have the three words of the "bondage" shout. The third word (Dragon), transmitted by Hermaeus Mora in Apocrypha to defeat Miraak, allows you to tame dragons.
To do this, you must shout at a dragon and it will be trained so that you can ride it. But you should know that you can still use some spells and weapons on a dragon, but not only that. The dragon will leave your service if you get off its back.
And, unfortunately, if you're wondering, you can't "drive" the dragon. You can only command the dragon to attack a target on the ground. On the other hand, if you don't tell him anything, he'll just stupidly spin around in the sky.
So, if you use a fast dragon transport, you will still be on him after the loading time and there will be a short animation that will be triggered. You'll see it unload with your character on its back.
In this video game, the dragons are very typical of the western dragon, as seen in many myths and legends of the European culture. The remind us of the creatures in Harry Potter or Game of Thrones.
8. Some player opinions about the dragons in the game
Skyrim players express themselves about the game on the forums and sites dedicated to the subject. Alduin is, for many, their favorite dragon. Indeed, he is considered "stylish" by some players. It is to be seen, but why not? According to us, Odahviing is really classy! But hey, tastes and colors are not arguable!
And finally, don't forget to check out our incredible selection of dragon T-shirts: