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The main characters of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. For the full list of characters, click here.

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    Dovahkiin / The Last Dragonborn
"And the fiercest foes rout when they hear triumph's shout..."

The Dovahkiin is The Chosen One of prophecy, foretold to be the one to defeat Alduin, who is poised to destroy all of Nirn. They turn out to be a penniless prisoner waking up in the back of a cart and about to be executed.

  • Abusive Parents: As part of the Dragonborn's Multiple-Choice Past, the Dragonborn can tell Serana in "Dawnguard" that they had a poor relationship with their parents, who are now absent from their life, and they are glad for it. Self-Made Orphan is implied to have taken place.
  • The Ace: It's rare for an NPC to have 100 in any skill, but the Dragonborn can grow every skill to level 100.
  • Action Girl: If you choose to play as a female.
  • Action Survivor: After surviving almost being executed by beheading and burnt alive by a dragon, you proceed to become The Chosen One to prevent the end of the world.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Somewhat justified, as many Word Walls are located deep within trap-filled and Draugr-infested tombs built by the Ancient Nords. Some quests involve exploring Dwemer ruins for ancient, forgotten knowledge.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: According to lore, Akatosh used his own blood to create the first Dragonborn, who would serve as guardians for mankind and natural predators for Dragons.
  • Amazon Chaser: If the Dragonborn marries a female follower, especially Uthgerd the Unbroken, Mjoll the Lioness, or Aela the Huntress.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The game doesn't end when you complete the main storyline, and random Radiant Quests ensure you have something to do afterwards.
    • Both Tsun and Paarthurnax doubt your purpose has been completely fulfilled and several plot-threads are left unresolved, such as the calling of a Moot to elect a new High King. Similarly, whoever wins at the end of the Civil War questline will imply that they expect to call on you in the future, since a second war with the Thalmor seems to be all but inevitable.
    • The end of Dragonborn adds another plot hook into the mix, as Hermaeus Mora declares you will replace Miraak as his right-hand man, despite any objections you might have in the matter.
  • Anti-Hero: There is no karma meter, but the Grey-and-Gray Morality of the two main questlines can put you anywhere on the index of subtropes. Possible membership in factions like the Companions, Thieves' Guild, and/or the Dark Brotherhood add to this.
  • The Archmage: Specialize in magic, and the Dragonborn will become this quite quickly overall. You also become this literally at the end of the College of Winterhold questline.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority:
    • Your actions in the various holds can lead to the Jarls declaring you Thane, which is a courtesy title of recognition and prestige.
    • If you're scouted out to join a group like the Thieves' Guild, the Companions, or the College of Winterhold, by the time their questline is over, you'll have been made their leader in recognition of your skill.
    • In Dragonborn, you can become Tribe-Kin to a tribe of Rieklings, and eventually their chief after Challenging the Chief.
  • The Atoner:
    • You can invoke this by completing the Dark Brotherhood main quest which ends with you killing the Emperor. Afterwards, join the Imperial Legion and help them win the civil war as way of making amends for the crimes you committed against the Empire. See Face–Heel Turn if you do the opposite.
    • The game itself will invoke this trope with you. If you steal from your fellows in the Thieves' Guild or kill a colleague in the Dark Brotherhood, you must make restitution (though the latter is a subversion as a fine of 500 gold is all that is assessed for murder). You can also pay off your bounties for crimes committed in various communities. If your skill in Illusion is high enough to pacify a guard long enough to accept the bounty, you can make restitution for any and all crimes.
    • Smaller sidequests occasionally allow you to do a favor for someone you wronged in another quest. For example, you can beat up the bartender at the Bee and the Barb in Riften as part of a racketeering job for the Thieves' Guild, then retrieve the gemstones her lover needs to prepare a wedding band so he can propose to her.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Ignoring how you can name your character whatever you want, most characters refer to you as Dovahkiin or Dragonborn; the former, being dragon speech, sounds comparably awesome to other dragon names like Alduin, Paarthurnax and Odahviing.
    • To expand on this, Dovahkiin is not only a title, but a name, and suitable for a Barbarian Hero in the mold of Beowulf, it has multiple meanings. The first assumes that "Dovah" is meant to be read as a single word, in which case the literal translastion is "Dragon (Dovah) Born (Kiin)." The second assumes that "Dov" and "Ah" are meant to be read as two separate words, in which case the literal translation is "Dragonkind (Dov) Hunter (Ah) Born (Kiin)," or, with interpretation, "Born to Hunt Dragonkind."
  • Ax-Crazy: The Dovahkiin tends to show shades of this in everyday conversation, but if you actually choose to play them that way, they take the cake and then robs the entire bakery.
    NPC: [Is Markarth] Bloody enough for you, outsider?
    Dovahkiin: More blood is always good.
  • Badass Beard: Todd Howard really wasn't kidding when he said that Skyrim would have truly epic beards...
  • Badass Boast: The dialogue gives the chance to make a couple if you're so inclined.
  • Badass Bookworm: Via reading skill books or specializing in magic.
  • Badass Bystander: Later in the game dragon attacks become more a nuisance than a threat—you fast travel to a town to conduct some business, but a dragon is attacking. You step in to help the guard kill it (likely doing most of the work yourself) and absorb its soul, then go back to whatever you came here to do while the townsfolk gather around the beast's skeleton and whisper in awe about you.
  • Badass Gay: If you're so inclined when it comes to marriage.
  • Badass in Charge: By the end of the game, you have the potential to be Thane of all nine holds, The Archmage of the College of Winterhold, Guildmaster of the Thieves' Guild, Harbinger of the Companions, Listener of the Dark Brotherhood, Lord/Lady of Clan Volkihar, and Chief of the Rieklings of Thirsk Hall. The only guild you can't take total control over is the Dawnguard, because unlike every other guild, their leader doesn't die or get killed by you.
  • Badass Preacher: If you join a temple to the Divines.
  • Bald of Awesome: The Dragonborn can be bald, and as can be expected, kicks considerable amounts of ass.
  • Bald of Evil: If the Dragonborn is bald, and if they resort to evil, such as murder and theft.
  • Bald Woman: If the Dragonborn is both bald and female.
  • Barbarian Hero: Although you can play your Dragonborn as whatever kind of character you like, the "official" Dragonborn seen in the promotional art and trailers is one of these. It comes naturally to Nords. In general, the theme of Skyrim is Barbarian Hero to Oblivion's Knight In Shining Armour.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: A Dragonborn can use nothing but their fists to get ahead. After taking some basic steps, the Dovahkin can kill anything one could think of unarmed. Khajiit and Argonians get a damage bonus since they have claws, and the skill "Fists of Steel" in the Heavy Armor tree is integral to this playstyle.
  • Beard of Evil: If you play this way.
  • Berserk Button: A minor tip? Kidnapping a One-Man Army's spouse is an incredibly bad idea. The vampires and Rochelle the Red are stupid enough to learn this the hard way.
  • The Berserker:
    • According to the game, specializing in two-handed weapons qualifies you. Potions that increase two-handed skills are rendered with "of the Berserker."
    • Playing as an Orc will give you the option of triggering a berserker rage that will temporarily double melee damage output while halving damage received.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: You can play as a polite, kind and all-round Nice Guy or Nice Girl, who nonetheless is perfectly capable of bending reality itself to tear enemies apart and not afraid of doing so!
  • Blood Knight: You can choose to be one. Given that you're in the land of blood knights, it comes naturally. Paarthurnax also mentions that, as you have the soul of a dragon, you have an innate desire for destruction. Even if you don't play as one, this tendency can still come through. After all, what sane person would willingly accept a bounty that requires them to charge headfirst into a dragon's lair, because their real goal was the Word Wall that dragon was guarding?!
  • Boomerang Bigot: You can have a "Skyrim for the Nords" attitude when talking to Brunwulf Free-Winter, who holds disdain for such an attitude... while not being a Nord yourself.
    Brunwulf: You one of those "Skyrim for the Nords!" types?
    Non-Nord Dragonborn: Yes. Outsiders like me have no place here.
  • Born Lucky: Playing as an Imperial will allow you to randomly find more gold when looting containers. Additionally, an optional quest for members of the thieves guild will cause you to randomly find gems in most of the game's containers, and the lockpicking skill tree has perks that cause you to find more gold and magic items.
  • Bounty Hunter: One way to make money is to ask around for bounty decrees (the target is usually a dragon, a group of bandits, or a troublesome giant), kill the target, then collect your bounty from the local Jarl.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Manages to pull this on dragonslaying of all things. Each dragon just serves as a minor annoyance in the end. Miraak calls them out on this at one point.
  • The Champion:
    • Serves as one for Serana in Dawnguard. It could also be said that the Dovahkiin is this for all of Skyrim, with regards to the main quest.
    • Becoming a Thane of any hold is essentially about formalizing this relationship with the local Jarl.
    • Completing Daedric quests generally results in the Daedra in question declaring you their chosen champion, regardless of how you might feel about it.
  • Chick Magnet: They are very much this with a number of potential spouses, tons of ship tease with NPCs, and others who flirt with them - even when it makes no sense, like Elisif the Fair (to be fair, this is due to the limits of the randomized stock voice types and dialogue).
  • The Chosen One:
    • A slightly unusual case in that there's sometimes more than one Chosen One running around; but the Player Character is implied, in The Book of the Dragonborn as well as a very accurate ancient prophecy, to be the last Dragonborn.
    • The Dragonborn DLC confirms that you are the Last and must deal with the return of the First.
    • The Dragonborn is also the chosen one of every other circumstance and guild they run across. Whether it's restoring ancient guilds to power, ending a civil war, averting a vampire apocalypse, or a random alchemist needs to find a magical phial. The Dragonborn's presence changes everything.
    • Taken Up to Eleven when you reach Sovngarde and are challenged by the guardian of Shor's Hall, Tsun. He wants to know by what right you should be allowed to enter, and you can say that you're the Dovahkiin... But if you've completed all the other Faction Quests, you can also say that you're Harbinger of the Companions, Archmage of the College of Winterhold, Nightingale of the Thieves' Guild, or Listener for the Dark Brotherhood.
    • Zig-zagged in some of the Daedric quests. Some of the Daedric Princes will allow the player to invoke Refusal of the Call with no consequences, but know that the player will accept anyway because they offer powerful trinkets and weapons as a reward, and if the player says no, they'll find someone else to reward instead.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Being Elder Scrolls game, you can backstab basically everyone. Notable example: You kill the Emperor at the end of the Dark Brotherhood questline. Bonus points if you've previously joined the Legion and sworn allegiance to the Emperor. Then you can accept the Emperor's last request to murder the man who ordered his assassination. Less notable example: Help Madanach and the Forsworn escape Cidhna Mine, accept his reward and thanks, then stick a knife in his back when he turns to leave.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Can be played as such. It's hard not to qualify when you've helped out literally half the population of Skyrim in some way or another.
  • Colonel Badass: The Dragonborn's rank at the end of the Civil War. An Imperial-aligned Dragonborn is specifically a Legate Badass.
  • Combat Pragmatist: If it gets the job done, no tactic is too underhanded for you. The kill animations are often quite brutal in this regard—some of them including using the shaft of a warhammer or battle axe to break the neck of the foe, headbutting them to death, Shield Bashing them to death, decapitations, and occasionally you just kick them. And let's not forget the Dragon Shouts, which let you freeze enemies solid, rip out their souls, drain their health, or, most famously, toss them through the air and off cliffs to die on impact.
  • Co-Dragons: By the final mission in the Civil War questline, you've become the Co-Dragon to either Tullius or Ulfric, alongside Rikke or Galmar, respectively.
  • Cool Helmet: Always depicted as wearing a horned helmet with a face mask in promotional art (the readily available iron helmet, for those interested). In the game, you can wear a variety, including that one, or none at all.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Potentially. A Dovahkiin focused on smithing, enchanting, speech, and alchemy (at the expense of perk-placement in other skills directly related to combat or magic) can have custom-made weapons, potions, and enchanted gear for any eventuality. You essentially sacrifice the ability to be the perfect warrior to instead be the high-fantasy equivalent of Batman.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Dragonborn is essentially The Elder Scrolls' version of Christ, a god in a mortal's body destined to save the world. You even go to the afterlife and then return to the mortal realm.. Some of the songs about the Dragonborn declare that once they've defeated Alduin, they will usher in a new Age and (depending on your interpretation) give the gift of the Voice to the races of Man on a large scale.
  • Cursed with Awesome:
    • You can become a werewolf, making you passively immune to disease and contracting vampirism. Oh, and the whole transforming into a werewolf and tearing people limb from limb with your bare hands part is kinda cool as well. The only real downside is that you don't get the experience bonus from resting.
    • Becoming a Vampire Lord with Dawnguard removes or negates many of the drawbacks of common vampirism, making becoming one incredibly worth it, despite the stat-penalty during daylight hours.
  • Dad the Veteran: With Hearthfire, the Dragonborn can adopt children, and this trope applies for one who joined either side of the Civil War.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Invoked by the Greybeards during the ceremony where they formally recognise the Dragonborn:
    Greybeards: Meyz nu Ysmir, Dovahsebrom. Dahmaan daar rok! Translation: 
  • Deadpan Snarker: There are plenty of sarcastic dialogue options.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: As part of the Dragonborn's Multiple-Choice Past, the Dragonborn can tell Serana in the Dawnguard DLC that their parents were good people, but have since passed on.
  • Defector from Decadence: If the Dragonborn is an Altmer and loyal to the Empire, one of the possibilities for why they arrived in Skyrim is that they are one of the many Altmer fleeing the expanding influence of the Aldmeri Dominion. Due to the White-Gold Concordat being signed between the Thalmor and the Empire, the Thalmor were effectively granted free reign to come and go throughout the Empire and the jurisdiction to arrest anyone they wish. One suspects that Altmer not loyal to the Dominion are on the top of their list...
  • Determinator: Slaying dragons, ending Civil Wars and saving the world? Numerous characters comment on the Dragonborn's tenacity.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: The Dragonborn always has the option of telling the Daedric Princes, in no uncertain terms, to go to hell.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: You eventually end up defeating Alduin, firstborn of Akatosh, god of Time itself, whose purpose is to bring about the end of the world and who has done it many times before.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?:
    • The Dragonborn can do this to several Daedric Princes during their personal quests. They can also pledge their soul to more than one Daedric Prince...which, since the Dragons-blood is a gift bestowed by Akatosh, might not actually be their soul to sell!
    • Can be all the more apparent at the end of the main quest, as Tsun, after the Dragonborn defeats Alduin, will tell the Dovahkiin that their afterlife is guaranteed to be spent in Sovngarde. Tsun says this even after the Dovhakiin tells him that they are a Nightingale to Nocturnal, suggesting that not even a Daedric Prince can prevent the Dragonborn from going to the Nord race's Warrior Heaven for their afterlife, even if they aren't a Nord.
  • Disability Superpower: Compared to dragons, the Dragonborn is mortal due to being embodied in a mortal coil. Compared to other mortals, the Dragonborn has the Thu'um of a dragon. This confluence enables the Dragonborn to understand and use Dragonrend (dragon soul, but mortal mind), but give the power of a dragon's Thu'um behind the Shout. This is what enables the Dragonborn to succeed against Alduin where the first mortal Thu'um Masters failed.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: If you join the Stormcloaks and the Dark Brotherhood, you can bring about the secession of Skyrim from the Empire and even kill the Emperor, as part of a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Empire for that petty Imperial captain ordering your execution at Helgen, even after it was brought to her attention that you weren't on the list.
  • Doom Magnet: Everywhere the Dragonborn goes, expect trouble to follow. Some characters refer to you as "doom-driven", emphasizing this nature of the Dovahkiin. The mere act of the Dragonborn showing up in an area can lead to the collapse of ages-long plots by villains and bringing about the (often violent) resurgence, collapse, or changing of any number of guilds and organizations. Not to mention that both dragon attacks and the Dawnguard DLC's random vampire attacks will only happen when the Dragonborn shows up. The best way to prevent either from happening to someone you like is to stay the Oblivion away from them.
  • The Dragon: Unrelated to being Dragonborn, this crops up in a few places when the Dovahkiin...
    • Becomes one to General Tullius or Ulfric Stormcloak at the end of the Civil War questline.
    • Becomes one to Hermaeus Mora at the end of the Dragonborn DLC. It's made clear that, according to Mora, the Dragonborn doesn't have much choice about it. But the Chieftain of the Skaal points out that Akatosh deliberately created them for a higher purpose, so there may still be wriggle-room.
    • Becomes one to the Night Mother as her Listener during the Dark Brotherhood questline.
  • Dragon Rider:
    • Near the end of the main quest, the Dragonborn does this after releasing Odahviing.
    • In Dragonborn, they learn the Bend Will shout that allows them to command dragons into their service and use them as mounts.
  • The Dragonslayer: A natural part of being Dragonborn. The Dragonborn is described as being the ultimate dragonslayer, because they don't just kill the dragon's body; they also absorb the dragon's soul upon its death, thus preventing it from being resurrected.
  • The Dreaded: Dragonborn, being the only mortals capable of truly killing a dragon, are actually mentioned as being something the dragons fear above all else. Case in point, the music that plays during your fights with dragons is titled on the soundtrack as "One They Fear."
    • Literally invoked by the first dragon you face, Mirmulnir, when he realises far too late just what you are.
    Mirmulnir: Dovahkiin?! No!
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Often.
    • Playing any race other than Nord tends to lead to this, but Khajiit, Argonian, Altmer, and Dunmer Dragonborn in particular will still get talked down to by guards and some NPCs, even after defeating Alduin.
    • The Blades, despite supposedly being sworn to serve the Dragonborn, often treat them as an indentured servant and demand they perform tasks for them.
    • Due to ambient dialogue being randomized, guards will often mock and talk down to you regardless of your titles and status, such as "So you can cast a few spells, am I supposed to be impressed?" even if you're the Archmage of the College, and "Now I remember, you're that new member of the Companions... so, you do what? Fetch the mead?" after you've eradicated the Silver Hand and been named Harbinger.
    • Averted in a few rare circumstances. For example, when entering the College of Winterhold, you're normally expected to make a show of magical aptitude, but if you simply tell Faralda that you're the Dragonborn and fire off a Shout, she'll enthusiastically let you through. And in Hearthfire, it turns out that yes, simply being the Dragonborn is all the cred you need to adopt children at Honorhall.
    • Played straight to some degree in the Dragonborn DLC by Telvanni Master Wizard Neloth, who doesn't think much of the Dragonborn even if they're the Archmage of the College of Winterhold and/or saved Solstheim from First Dragonborn Miraak, and is especially unimpressed if the Dragonborn shows off Shouts in his presence. Subverted later on when he becomes grudgingly respectful of the Dragonborn once they claim the Staff of Magnus, recovers the Oghma Infinium and the Black Books, defeats Miraak and earns the patronage of Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora, and if the Dragonborn has done enough favours for him to be recognized as a member of House Telvanni.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In Bethesda's official live-action trailer, as the citizens of a city are shown fleeing in terror from a dragon attack, the Dragonborn's reaction is to merely clench his fist for a moment, draw his sword and calmly proceed to march through the fray, before staring down the dragon without flinching. While the race and class are left up to the player in-game, this is overall a rather fitting depiction since upon seeing a dragon, the Dragonborn will (likely) end up running towards the danger.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": In the Legion campaign, you're primarily addressed by your rank, starting at Auxiliary and working your way up to Legate.
  • Extreme Omnivore:
    • With the Dawnguard DLC, a perk allows you to devour any living creature in werewolf form to sustain the transformation, including bears, spiders, Falmer, giants, mudcrabs, etc.
    • Eating alchemy ingredients is the most obvious way to learn their traits. Said ingredients include stuff like various teeth, claws, antlers, pearls, barnacles, elemental salts, and human hearts and flesh.
  • Fantastic Racism: If you meet up with Brunwulf Free-Winter, you have the option of saying that Skyrim is for Nords alone. Strangely enough, you get this option even if you're not a Nord.
  • Featureless Protagonist: As in every Elder Scrolls game.
  • Femme Fatale: Very possible for a female Dragonborn of any non-beast race.
  • Fight Magnet: Bandits, wild animals, vampires, dragons... Whenever the Dragonborn tries to get from point A to point B, someone or something
will want a piece of them. There's a reason why Nords became a Proud Warrior Race.
  • Folk Hero: In-Universe. The bards even composed a song called "The Dragonborn Comes," foretelling your arrival. You may occasionally encounter wandering minstrels who will sing it at your request.
  • Food Chain of Evil:
    • Though not necessarily evil themselves, the Dragonborn does sit at the top of one of these, being the only natural predator of dragons.
    • This can be taken further by becoming a Vampire Lord, as you essentially become The Ageless predator of mortal and immortal beings of all kinds.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Some optional dialogue can have the Dragonborn potentially express this opinion on The Forsworn, believing whether or not they unjustly lost their lands became irrelevant when they retaliated by killing people indiscrimiately without even caring enough to check if their victims have anything to do with their grievances.
  • Friend to All Children:
    • The Dragonborn can be played this way, even joining in a game of hide and seek or tag. You can also subvert this trope, using magic and shouts to cheat at the games.
    • In Hearthfire, they can offer to adopt orphaned children, after hearing how they've been forced to live in abject poverty. Sadly, the number of children is limited to two, even though there are a lot more than that in need of homes.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: As a vampire, it's perfectly possible to only drink blood from bandits and other enemies, and even feeding on NPCs does not seem to cause them any real harm. You can even become a Vampire Lord without siding with the evil Volkihar vampires.
  • Fur Against Fang: Played straight if the Dragonborn is a werewolf and sides with the Dawnguard against Lord Harkon.
  • Genius Bruiser: Potentially; you can easily wear heavy armors, use insanely powerful weapons and be really good in hand-to-hand combat, yet also be a skilled mage, alchemist and/or enchanter.
  • Genius Ditz:
    • Can invoke this with the Greybeards, saying you have no idea how you can learn new Thu'um quickly, you just do it.
    • If you join the College of Winterhold but haven't specialized in magic thus far, you essentially are acknowledged as being the least skilled with magic, but potentially one of the most powerful.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: Or Lady of Adventure depending on the player's gender. The Dragonborn is frequently referred to as an adventurer, despite potentially being rich enough to not need to continue to explore Draugr-infested crypts or Dwemer ruins for anything other than fun.
  • Gentleman Thief: The Thieves' Guild questline actually encourages you to be one, with penalties for murdering people during robberies; the desired outcome being to simply break in, get the goods and get back out again without anyone the wiser. The gentleman aspect comes even more into play considering you might be at the point where you have several thousand Septims sitting comfortably in your back pocket, meaning you honestly don't need to steal to make a living.
  • Gentleman Wizard: Becoming the Archmage of the College and Thane of numerous Holds means you are essentially not only a respected member of the magical community in Tamriel, but also part of Skyrim's elite society.
  • Good Is Not Nice: It's entirely possible to be a genuinely heroic figure who wants to help as many people as you can, while being a total asshole to all of them.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Can be played like this. And probably will be, given that the usual means of dealing with people that think it's a good idea to mess with you and/or Skyrim's civilian population involves destructive magic and/or remorseless pieces of metal.
  • Good Parents: As part of their Multiple-Choice Past, the Dragonborn can tell Serana in the Dawnguard DLC that they have a very close and healthy relationship with their parents, who are still alive, and are eager to see them again. Serana, who does not have such a thing, admires this and responds by telling the Dragonborn that they are a good son/daughter.
    • It's also very easy to play as one with the Hearthfire DLC. The Dragonborn can often play games with their children, come back from their travels with gifts, and just show them strong love in general.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: If you get married and go to sleep with your spouse (either because you're at the house or you're traveling with them), you get the "Lover's Comfort" buff, where the Dragonborn is in such a good mood that skill-building becomes a lot easier for a while. The buff is unavailable if your Dragonborn is a werewolf, but the possibility of it implies this trope regardless.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: If you wish, the Dragonborn can have a plethora of manly scars.
  • Glamour Failure:
    • After becoming a werewolf, city guards will comment that the Dragonborn appears to have fur growing out of their ears and a wolfish grin. This happens even if you are an Argonian, whose ears and facial expressions shouldn't be readily apparent in the first place, or if you're a Khajiit, and have furry ears anyway. Oddly, a glitch can cause them to make comments of this nature even if you cure your lycanthropy as part of the Companions questline.
    • If you're a vampire, people start commenting on your pale skin and hungry eyes.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Dragonborn isn't one, but some people unfamiliar with the specific lore surrounding the Dragonborn think they are one. They are this trope in a spiritual sense since they have the body of a mortal but the soul of a dragon.
    Hadvar: Dragonborn, huh? So was it your ma or your pa that was the dragon?
  • Handicapped Badass: Your Dragonborn can appear to be missing an eye or be completely blind if you wish, though this doesn't affect gameplay in any way.
  • Happily Married: Entirely possible to invoke this, although some potential spouses are rather sour.
  • Harbinger of Impending Doom: Alduin's Wall shows that "The Prophecy of the Dragonborn" foretold all of the events of the previous games, which were signs that would herald the coming of the Last Dragonborn.
  • Hellish Horse: The Dragonborn can gain possession of Shadowmere if they decide to join the Dark Brotherhood. In Dawnguard, they can also learn to summon a purple-flaming skeletal horse named Arvak after finding its skull in the Soul Cairn.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Played with; regardless of the name you pick, you're usually addressed or mentioned as "the Dragonborn" or "Dovahkiin," but your name will frequently appear written in notes and journals. The reason for this is obvious.
  • The Hero: What kind of hero is up to you.
  • Heroic Willpower: Neloth expresses surprise when the Dragonborn manages to overcome the Miraak enthrallment should you opt to touch the All-Maker stone near Raven Rock that he was observing. It's likely because the Dragonborn is no ordinary mortal.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Even if you're the nicest, most heroic guy imaginable, you'll still get a bounty on par with murder if you're exposed as a werewolf or vampire lord. One wonders why...
  • Hired Guns: Various NPCs will occasionally refer to the Dragonborn as a travelling sellsword.
  • Horny Vikings: A Nordic Dragonborn will find themselves embracing many beloved Viking clichés.
  • Horrifying Hero: Potentially. You can perfectly rely on things such as Necromancy or weapons and artifacts you got from Daedric Princes, dress in black armors with Spikes of Villainy, and/or become a vampire or a werewolf, and still be a genuinely heroic character. This is even more present in Dawnguard, where you can become a Vampire Lord even if you side with the unambiguously good, vampire-hunting Dawnguard. (You will have to cure yourself whenever you need to complete their quests, but you can turn yourself back into one after it's done.)
  • Humanoid Abomination:
    • Is viewed as one by the dragons, being a mortal who somehow possesses the soul of a dragon and is able to permanently kill them, then proceed to use their souls as fuel.
    • Technically could be considered one even outside of the dragons' perspective. After progressing far enough in the game, the Dragonborn essentially has a multitude of dragon souls inside their body, which are used to fuel their Reality Warping ability. And a Vampire Lord Dragonborn adds to this the bonus of being an immortal undead with a One-Winged Angel form.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind:
    • Given how the Dragonborn is of the same kith as dragons, this is to be expected.
    • Most vampires you encounter are hostile, so being one yourself invokes this trope. Being a werewolf can result in this too (mostly in the Sinding/Hircine quest).
    • Thalmor can invoke this in both directions if you're an Altmer. Once you hit the Thalmor Embassy, they'll start sending execution squads after you, which will only happen to a Dragonborn who has the patience to not brutally murder Thalmor they encounter beforehand.
    • Literally occurs in Dragonborn, where you hunt down Miraak, the very first Dragonborn.
  • I Am Your Opponent: The Dragonborn towards dragonkind.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: In Dawnguard, if the Dovahkiin accepts Lord Harkon's offer of Vampire Lordship and ends up killing him.
  • I Have Many Names:
    • Aside from the name you give your character, you have the title "Dragonborn" (obviously), "Dovahkiin" (Dragonborn in dragon language), the title "Stormcrown" and "Ysmir, the Dragon of The North" by the Greybeards, and "Qahnaarin" ("Vanquisher"), given by Durnehviir in the Dawnguard DLC. The Stormcloaks and Empire will also give you titles that effectively serve as your name while working for them, and once you become the leader of some of the various factions, most members of that faction will address you by your title there.
    • If you side with the Stormcloaks in the Civil War questline, you're given several names as you progress: Ice-Veins, Bone-Breaker, Snow-Hammer, and finally, Stormblade.
  • Iconic Outfit: As shown above, publicity images commonly depict the Dragonborn as a Barbarian Hero wearing a horned Iron Helmet, Studded Armour and Iron Gloves and Boots, with the Iron Helmet alone often being used to represent the character.
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • One of the Daedric quests allows you to become a cannibal.
    • "Human Flesh" is also an alchemical ingredient, and the most obvious method of discovering an ingredient's first trait is eating it.
    • Furthermore, the most effective method of healing oneself in werewolf form is to take a bite out of some dead human enemies.
    • You can choose to play as a Bosmer, an elf race which is believed to practice ritual cannibalism.
  • Inept Mage: Evoking this trope, it is possible to become Archmage of Winterhold even if you're not specialized in magic at all. You do need to cast a couple spells during the questline, but they are all quite basic and some can be replicated with staves. The mages don't seem to care whether you're using magical or mundane ways of carving a bloody path through their enemies. Then again, you do wield an ancient form of magic only known by about five other people in all of Skyrim, and indeed one of the ways to gain entry to the College is to tell Faralda that you're Dragonborn and prove it by Shouting at her.
  • Informed Attractiveness:
    • People won't be gushing over you, but you'll occasionally hear some NPC banter that paints you as good-looking regardless of your appearance, even if you're non-human, covered in dirt, brutally scarred, partially blind, and clad in dragon bones. Then again, given that Skyrim is a land of Blood Knights, these might well be sexy traits as far as the locals are concerned.
    • Some very complimentary examples from Narri of Falkreath:
      To a male Dragonborn: Shor's bones, a handsome man in Falkreath!
      To a female Dragonborn: You're going to have the men around here wrapped around your finger in no time.
    • Put on the Amulet of Mara, which indicates that you're interested in getting married, and listen to assorted NPCs comment about how someone like you should already have been snapped up. Then again, you are the Dragonborn, and potentially have quite a long list of other respectablenote  titles as well.
    • In Riverwood, Alvor the Blacksmith's wife might mention to a female Dragonborn that she's very pretty... and to stay away from her husband.
    • Inverted if you approach a male Dunmer while naked:
      You aren't as attractive as you're like to believe.
  • Instant Expert: Happens in three ways:
    • The first way is what effectively makes the Dragonborn so special. Instead of having to spend years on mastering the Thu'um, you can simply absorb a dragon's soul and use those to master a known word of power. This does have its limits; the Dragonborn does not absorb a full understanding of the Dragon Language itself, something Alduin mocks you about at one point. Similarly, Arngeir only realises this when you tell him that you had no clue what any of the Greybeards actually were saying during your initiation ceremony.
    • The second way is with the skills themselves: If you read enough skill books and possess enough money to buy training sessions, you can easily go from being a complete novice in a skill to being fairly passable in it in the course of an in-game afternoon. It's also funny when one considers the perk system; if, for example, the Dragonborn decides to take the Dragon Smithing perk, they instantly know how to forge armors from dragon scales and bones, despite the fact that no one in Tamriel knows how to do this (given that until very recently, there were no dragons around!).
    • The perk tree works in a way such that you can save all of your perks and use them when you deem the skill necessary. This can result in a novice who barely knows how to aim with a bow at a deer becoming a master huntsman who can land a killshot on a elite Thalmor Justicar from several miles away.
  • Interspecies Romance: Possible for any Dragonborn. If playing as a Khajiit or a Bosmer, this is the only sort of romance you will be able to have (without the assistance of console commands or mods), because there are no marriageable members of those races in the base game.
  • Irony: The Dovahkiin can invoke this if they go with Ralof during the intro. Prior, an Imperial captain (over Hadvar's objection) commanded that you be beheaded despite being innocent of any crime except being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That said, guess who is one of the very first Imperials you can kill as soon as you enter Helgen Keep? And, for bonus points, the first weapon you can get your hands on is an axe.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The Dark Brotherhood questline invokes this on your character. While your dialogue options choose how they respond to the quests to kill people, the early victims you're sent against are varying shades of unpleasant jerks who have done something to deserve their fate, with the exception of one victim who may be a Mercy Kill for how miserable his life has become. However, as the questline continues, your victims become less and less deserving, and by the time you're into the end of the questline you're killing perfectly good and innocent people who do not even have contracts on them, but killing them gets you closer to the actual target of the contract.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Depending on what you do through the game. By the end of it, you can be a cannibal, a Dark Brotherhood assassin, The Dragon for several evil Daedric Princes, master of the Thieves' Guild, and Lord of Skyrim's most powerful Vampire Clan, yet still only be known and praised as the savior of Skyrim. The only possible forms of comeuppance you can receive are sub-optimal quest results, making various enemies, and the occasional Game Over.
    • In a more in-universe case, the Dragonborn can potentially make promises to the various Daedric Princes, meaning that in death they would serve them in some way, and yet they won't live up to his end of the bargain in the end. For instance, as the Champion of Nocturnal, they would guard over the Twilight Sepulcher for some years, or as a Champion of Hircine, they would spend eternity in Hircine's hunting grounds. However, because they are Dragonborn, their soul belongs to Akatosh before all others. Even if soul trapped and not a Nord, the Dragonborn's final reward will always be Sovngarde, no matter who believes they have a claim on the Dragonborn's soul.
  • Kavorka Man: Quite possibly. You can play as a butt-ugly old guy or lady and still get people wanting to marry you in all nine holds.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect:
    • Despite most Nords being wary of magic, this is actually mostly averted if you play a Dragonborn that specializes mainly (or entirely) in magic; while NPCs may often tell you to be careful with whatever spell you've equipped, they will otherwise treat you as fairly as they would a non-magic based Dragonborn.
    • Furthermore, you can use your status as The Archmage to gain entry to Sovngarde, with Tsun saying that the "clever arts" are still well respected there. That's right, skill with magic grants you access to a warrior heaven.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: In the Stormcloak campaign, you're given a series of nicknames by the men, analogous to the Legion ranks. Stormcloak troops will refer to you by these nicknames.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Entirely possible to do, and even probable if you are playing a thief archetype. Interestingly, while hot property is limited to designated fences for proper sale, there's nothing stopping you from gifting hot property for miscellaneous "I'd love it if you could find me one of those" quests.
    • The Dragonborn's background also makes your kleptomaniac tendencies a Justified Trope. You are a Dragonborn, you see, a mortal born with the soul of a dragon. Paarthurnax explains that this not only grants you access to the dragons' Thu'um, but it also makes you prone to draconic personality flaws, like wanting to fight over anything and being driven to dominate - and, apparently, also kinda making you want to gather your own Dragon Hoard. In this case, it could be said all gamers are Dragonborn: killing every monster you come across, completing every quest you come across (including and especially ones that will give you perks like land ownership in return), and taking all the stuff you come across are practically ingrained in gamer culture from the time one can first hold a controller.
  • The Lad-ette: A female Dovahkiin can chug mead and get into fistfights at the tavern...
  • Lady of War: ... or a female Dovahkiin can effectively be one of these.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • The Book of the Dragonborn heavily implies you are the Last Dragonborn. Confirmed in Dragonborn, because while you are the last natural, intended one in the line, the First Dragonborn has been biding his time in Apocrypha and seeking his return.
    • In a metaphorical sense, since the Dragonborn are said to have been created by Akatosh and you are the last one in the line, the Dragonborn could be considered the lastborn offspring of Akatosh, as opposed to Alduin who is the firstborn.
  • Lightning Bruiser: In werewolf form, you can do a sprint slash; you sprint towards your foe, then do a power attack while still sprinting. Fully perked, the werewolf sprint attack maxes out at 960 damages at level 46—which is several times stronger than a hit from maxed Legendary daedric warhammer without fortify restoration abuse. If you have Dawnguard, the werewolf form also has a pretty respectable scaled armor rating that maxes out at 400 and when combined with some passive magic resistance could practically make you impervious to damages. One combination that absolutely qualifies for this trope, however, is the Elemental Fury shout combined with the orc racial power, berserker rage. Elemental Fury increases your attack speed, doubling it at max power, while berserker rage doubles your attack damage while cutting the damage you take in half. This combination renders any and all melee engagements moot; your enemies may as well be fighting an avalanche.
  • Like Brother and Sister: The Dragonborn and Serana can easily end up as this, especially if the Dragonborn becomes a Vampire Lord.
  • Living Legend:
    • The Dragonborn is revered by the Nords as a legendary figure and hero. Esbern and Paarthurnax later reveal that the player actually is the Dragonborn who was prophesied in the Elder Scrolls to defeat Alduin.
    • As the player rises through the ranks, they can become this to the side chosen in the Civil War storyline.
  • Magic Knight:
    • No matter what race the Dragonborn is, they can use at least some form of basic magic. The Thu'um Shouts further solidify this; even a Dragonborn who never expends any magicka will still be blasting enemies with their Voice.
    • Should the Dragonborn decide to focus solely on magic, smithing and enchanting, they can end up as a Mage decked out in heavily enchanted armour that reduces the magicka cost to nearly zero, allowing them to constantly fling fireballs at their enemies.
  • Magnetic Hero: Although you can only have one follower with you at a time, there are 49 available and you can potentially recruit them all.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Thu'um is literally called a Shout and can give you several different abilities. Check the Make Me Wanna Shout entry in Tropes H to M of the main pages for a full list of what the Dragonborn can potentially do with the Thu'um.
  • Mama Bear/Papa Wolf: If the Dragonborn adopts children in the Hearthfire DLC and lives in one of the custom-built houses, one of their duties is to protect them from invaders and other dangerous enemies.
  • Master Poisoner: The Alchemy skill revolves around this, although you can also use it to make potions to buff your own skills.
  • Match Maker Quest:
    • You get to help a few couples get together in the quest "The Book of Love".
    • While the above one is easy to miss, likely one of the first quests you'll do in the game is help either Sven or Faendal court Camilla by framing the rival suitor. But you also have the option of outing the suitor who asked you to do the framing... and/or marrying Camilla yourself if you've done other things beforehand.
  • Meaningful Name: While most refer to you as "Dragonborn", the name Dovahkiin can be broken down into "Dov Ah Kiin", fitting with the dragon naming conventions of three words joined to form their names. This alternate spelling produces the translation "Dragonkind Hunter Born" or "Born Hunter of Dragonkind", a very apt description.
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe, the Dragonborn is a legendary figure and a paragon of what it means to be a Nord (even if they're not a Nord). As you complete questlines and gain authority and rank in various factions, city guards and some other NPCs will comment they've heard about your exploits.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Swords, daggers, maces, hammers, axes, staves, pickaxes, all of varying designs and variably one or two-handed.
  • Mugging the Monster: It's remarkable how many people think attacking you is a good idea. You can actually get ambushed by a thief in a random instance and have the option to dismiss them entirely:
    Dragonborn: I don't have time for this.
    Thief: Don't you walk away from me!
  • Multiple-Choice Past:
    • Although it's left blank for the player to make up, you can make a couple of in-game suggestions about it. In Cidhna Mine, you can claim your family is still alive but in another part of Tamriel, and in another quest you might tell Eola you've already indulged in cannibalism. However, since this is optional dialogue and can also be refuted in the same conversations, it's not set in stone.
    • In Dawnguard, Serana will ask you about your family. As noted elsewhere in this folder, you have a few options for what to tell her about your parents.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much:
    • By no means required, but entirely possible. Listing the ways to invoke it for each race would be a page unto itself. Particularly ironic examples include a Nord joining the Legion or an Imperial joining the Stormcloaks.
    • The Altmer, Bosmer and Khajiit are the most extreme cases, as for them, it is effectively required — the main storyline involves direct action against the Thalmor who rule over their respective homelands.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Dragonborn, of course. But Stormblade/Legate, Harbinger of the Companions, Archmage of the College of Winterhold, Guildmaster of the Thieves' Guild, and Listener of the Dark Brotherhood can also count.
  • Nice Guy/Nice Girl:
    • You can be one by helping every helpless civilian you find on your travels, giving mercy to enemies who ask for it, donating money to beggars, and playing games with children.
    • With the Hearthfire DLC, the Dragonborn can adopt up to two orphans, giving them a loving home where they will be attended by your housecarls and stewards while you're off keeping Skyrim safe.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: As the game progresses and you complete guild questlines, main quests, civil war, and sidequests, the player will rapidly become an example of this trope. You already start off as part-dragon, which is coupled with your race of choice. Once the guild questlines are finished, you can add Viking champion/Legate, Archmage, mentor of another Viking guild, thief, assassin, priest, bard, champion of multiple deities and Daedric princes, ally of the Forsworn, Thane of all nine holds, and werewolf/vampirenote  to the list.
  • Nominal Hero: At the end of the day, the Dragonborn will save Skyrim annd defeat Alduin, even if they pledge allegiance to the Thieves Guild, the Dark Brotherhood, and the vampire's side in the Dawnguard DLC, and all around act like a uncaring bastard. In the end, as "evil" as a Dragonborn can be they are still going against a being who is going to end the world if not stopped, after all.
  • No-Sell: Bugs notwithstanding, werewolves are completely immune to disease or being infected with vampirism; conversely, vampires have that same immunity to disease and cannot contract lycanthropy.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: At the end of Dragonborn, Hermaeus Mora appoints the Dragonborn as their new Dragon, although it's made very clear that the Dragonborn actually does not have much of a choice in the matter. Likewise, what Mora does to Miraak is their demonstration of why it's not clever to try and play The Starscream in your Daedric boss' realm.
  • Non Human Side Kick: On top of any human/mer followers, you can have a dog as a follower, or an Armored Troll (with "Dawnguard") or a Riekling, or a Dwemer Spider/Sphere (with "Dragonborn"). During Clavicus Vile's Daedric quest, you also have Barbas, a Daedra assuming the form of a dog as a temporary follower.
  • Not So Different:
    • Paarthurnax notes that the Dragonborn has the same innate urge to kill, destroy and conquer as all dragons do.
    • With Alduin. How does Alduin grow stronger? By devouring the souls of dead mortals. How does the Dragonborn's Thu'um become stronger? By consuming the souls of dead dragons.
    • With Miraak. A Dragonborn who has amassed an army of loyal followers, become one of the most powerful individuals in the land, slain multiple Dragons and proven they are not afraid to stand up to Daedric Princes? Sound at all familiar?
    • How does one summon a dragon? By calling forth their name via the Thu'um. How did the Greybeards summon the Dragonborn to High Hrothgar to begin their training? By doing the exact same thing!
  • Occult Detective:
    • Various quests have the Dragonborn having to deal with witches, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, necromancers, Daedric Princes, and all manner of arcane creatures.
    • The Clairvoyance spell will direct you to your current quest target.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Potentially, between the Dragonborn and Paarthurnax.
    • The Dawnguard DLC allows you to befriend Serana, a friendly vampire, even if you are a member of the violently anti-vampire Dawnguard faction.
    • More humorously, NPCs like Rolff Stone-Fist and Uthgerd the Unbroken will also become your friends after you beat them up in a brawl, even if you oppose everything they stand for and never interact with them in any meaningful way again.
  • Oh, Crap!: The reaction of various dragons when they realise who you are.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: All the guards will give you shit over releasing Odahviing, even though you had a perfectly good reason to do it. Even if you later used Odahviing to win the Civil War (which is the whole reason that the current guards have their jobs), or just used him then and there to kill a hostile dragon, they'll still call you out on it.
    Guard: Releasing a captured dragon. I don't think I'll ever understand that one...
  • One-Man Army:
    • The Dragonborn's path is full of hundreds of enemies, including wild animals, giants, bandits, golems, undead, Thalmor, and, of course, dragons. And none of them will survive the encounter. At higher levels it is entirely possible for a player to enter a room with half a dozen enemies and casually take them all out with one attack, or even all out at once with a Thu'um or other spell. And several quests have people sending you out to forts and caves and tombs to liberate them from bandits or undead, and you'll do it with ease. This is seen most prominently in the Civil War quests, in which one quest to liberate a fort from the enemy gives you the option to to barge in alone instead of a more conventional ambush tactic.
      Dragonborn: I have a better plan. You wait here, and I'll take care of it.
    • Also of note, the song "Dragonborn" contains choice lyrics like "And the tale, boldly told, of the one / Who was kin to both wyrm and the races of man / With a power to rival the sun" and "Mighty Thu'um, like a blade, cut through enemies all / As the Dragonborn issued his roar!"
  • One-Winged Angel: Werewolf and Vampire Lord forms allow the player to pull this, taking on a monstrous but powerful form to shred enemies with their bare claws and (if a Vampire Lord) dark magics.
  • Only in It for the Money: Quite possible with any Dragonborn, but comes out most when playing a Thief archetype combined with the right dialogue options. Especially if you join the Thieves' Guild.
  • Open Secret: Guards will occasionally mention they know that you're in the Thieves' Guild, or a member of the Dark Brotherhood (including suspecting that you killed the Emperor himself), but never confront you about it because they lack direct evidence - and also because they're terrified of you.
  • Pals with Jesus: The Dragonborn can undertake quests from various Daedric Princes and eventually becomes recognised as their respective Champion. Given the Daedric Princes' rather indifferent (if not outright hostile) attitude towards most mortals in Nirn, being considered not completely useless is a pretty big accomplishment.
  • Part-Time Hero: The Dragonborn can be played as such.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Averted if playing as an Altmer, which turns the infiltration of the Thalmor Embassy into a doddle. Instead of keeping a low profile, the Dragonborn can casually walk up to people, barking orders. Since everyone is so afraid of the Thalmor, they don't dare ask any questions.
  • Parental Abandonment: As part of their Multiple-Choice Past, the Dragonborn can tell Serana in the Dawnguard DLC that they are an orphan, who grew up alone and never knew their parents.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: You have at your command the Thu'um, the elemental forces of magic, and mastery over all types of weapons and styles of using them. Special mention must go to Storm Call. Run into a town or fort full of enemies, Shout out the words to Storm Call, and watch blasts of lightning rain down on your enemies until there's nothing left for them to strike.
  • Pet the Dog: A literal example. Over the course of your travels, you can rescue stray dogs from enemies.
  • Physical God: The Dragonborn is essentially The Elder Scrolls's universe's equivalent of a demigod.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Choosing to play as a Breton, the smallest of the playable races, does nothing to lessen the Dragonborn's lethality as a fighter.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Serana. Despite all of the Ship Tease, Serana cannot be married. She will take your advice about being cured of vampirism (with the right dialogue options), follow you to the death, and even join an organization of vampire-hunters to side with you, but if you ask her to marry you, she will be flattered, but turn down any marriage proposal and still remain on incredibly-friendly terms with the PC.
  • Primal Stance: Drops into this when Sneaking.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: They can have this attitude, whether they're a Nord or not.
    Jarl of Whiterun: Alduin... The World Eater? But if he has come, then surely it is the end?
    Dragonborn: Maybe, but I intend to die fighting!
    Jarl of Whiterun: Spoken like a true Nord!/No Nord could have spoken better! I stand with you, Dragonborn!
  • Professional Killer: Very possible with a Dragonborn that joins the Dark Brotherhood. Can be most prevalent during your first meeting with Amaund Motierre.
    Motierre: The real reason I'm speaking with a cutthroat in the bowels of this detestable crypt. For I seek the assassination of... the Emperor.
    Dragonborn: Leaders rise and fall. Business is business.
  • Psychotic Smirk: After becoming a werewolf, guards claim that the Dragonborn has a disturbing wolfish grin.
  • Rags to Riches: Can become a Thane to multiple Jarls of Skyrim, and unless you're actually trying not to, you'll probably end up with gold coming out of your ears, especially if you earn the Prowler's Profit perk, which lets you discover tons of gold and precious stones in every chest and urn out there in Skyrim, and it's all yours for the taking. Appropriately, you start with rags in your inventory prior to having your restraints cut.
  • Rated M for Manly: Your job description is hunting dragons and, essentially, eating their souls. The Dragonborn basically lives this trope.
  • Real Men Love Jesus:
    • You can wear an amulet of any god, pray at their shrines regularly, and serve any temple, should you wish.
    • You're not limited to the divines only. Completing the Sacred Trials of Kyne and selecting "I don't believe in the Nine" can make you a Real Man (or Woman) who loves the Old Nordic Gods.
    • Joining the Stormcloaks ostensibly makes you a Real Man (or Woman) who loves Talos exclusively.
    • In Hearthfire, you can build an altar with shrines to each of the Nine Divines in the cellar of your house, which is technically illegal in Tamriel under the terms of the White-Gold Concordat. Not that anyone in Skyrim seems to particularly care.
    • Or should you choose, you can pledge yourself to one (or more) of the Daedric Princes and become their Champion.
    • You can have a conversation with a Thalmor Justiciar on the road that eventually leads to the Thalmor basically asking "You wouldn't happen to worship Talos, now would you?" All of the ensuing dialogue options have you claiming that yes, you do, with the closest to the contrary being just remaining silent (which the Justiciar interprets as a guilty silence).
  • Reality Warper: As with all those capable of the Thu'um. You literally yell at the world using the power and language that shapes it, and it changes at your command.
  • Really Moves Around: They can own up to five houses (eight with Hearthfire) in just as many different locations, and nothing is really forcing them to make any one of them their permanent residence. They can impose this upon their family, as well. The fact that each Hold is a different jurisdiction makes this a viable means to escape law enforcement.
  • Red Baron: The Dragonborn (Dovahkiin), "The One They Fear", Stormcrown, Ysmir the Dragon of the North, Qahnaarin (Vanquisher) and for those who join the Stormcloaks, "Stormblade".
  • Reluctant Warrior: Can be played as one, although it's rather hard to do much of the time considering bandits, Falmer, necromancers and the like are everywhere.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: Hapless emigrant from the heartland province that gets caught up in a trap meant for the leader of a rebel faction against an Empire that has seen better days discovers that they are actually a demigod and essentially the divine affirmation of the continuation of existence made flesh, determinant of an entire province's future political relations, and vanquisher of a really mean dragon. Or reality's total-reset function gone awry. Or some dragon mantling the godly essence of that function and letting the power go to their head. Elder Scrolls lore metaphysics gets complicated like that...
  • Rightful King Returns: In a metaphorical sense, this is how the Greybeards view the re-emergence of the Dragonborn, lamenting that that the "Storm Crown" had been forced to languish without a worthy brow to rest upon for far too long.
  • Science Hero: If you specialize in alchemy, enchanting, and smithing, you can compensate for a lack of combat and magical skill by carrying around poisons and weapons that can drop giants and armor that makes you nearly invulnerable. All made by your own hands, of course.
  • Self-Made Man: Hearthfire allows you to become this by building a manor and all of its furniture with your own bare hands. In addition, the Dragonborn pretty much has to earn all their money, though most often by driving a sword or lightning bolt though their foes to get said money in the first place.
  • Semi-Divine: The Dragonborn is a dragon soul in the shell of a mortal mind and body. In lore terms, dragons are "Children of Akatosh", or more technically subgradient fragments of Akatosh, who is the god of time and is associated with draconic imagery. This confluence does enable or augment certain Shouts not normally usable by dragons or fully mortal Thu'um practitioners: Dragonrend is both harmful and outright unusable by full dragons-in-body, and not quite enough to weaken Alduin with just one regular mortal Shouter; with a Dragonborn, they intrinsically know it because they have a mortal mindset and only need to learn the Words of Power, and by nature of being Dragonborn, they can single-voicedly knock Alduin out of the sky and render him vulnerable. Dragon Aspect is "wearing your dragon-ness on the outside" essentially; a mortal Tongue could not because they are not Dragonborn, and a Dragon already is naturally a dragon on the outside.
  • Ship Tease: While the Dragonborn has the opportunity to marry a great many potential spouses, they have the most romantic subtext with Serana, who, ironically, they can't marry. During the final confrontation with Lord Harkon, there's even an option for a Dawnguard-aligned Dragonborn to tell him that they won't hurt Serana because "She means too much to me."
  • Silent Protagonist: Actually averted: the Dragonborn doesn't talk normally (though they do have dialogue options), but they are actually voiced. Besides performing dragon Shouts, the Throw Voice power has you actually throw out a variety of insults at your enemiesnote . And, as in previous installments of the Elder Scrolls series, the Dragonborn can always opt to be silent throughout the Dark Brotherhood questline.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Farengar Secret-Fire says this if you ask about him about his work with the Dragon Stone.
  • Sociopathic Hero: With plenty of opportunities for Kick the Dog moments while still being nominally part of the 'good-aligned' factions, the Dragonborn can rival the heroes of Greek Mythology in this if the player is so inclined (or even if they aren't; killing people to get what you want is often the simplest course of action in some quests). Paarthurnax implies that this is a result of being Dragonborn, giving them an inborn drive to dominate.
  • Spanner in the Works: To several factions/people (assuming you don't discover the relevant documents in some cases).
    • Given that you really can't ally with the Thalmor without mods, you're pretty much guaranteed to be foiling their plans left and right, potentially with little to no knowledge that you're doing so.
      • They started a costly civil war to keep the Empire in turmoil and unable to consolidate its power in time for the inevitable second war between them. If you don't discover the dossier revealing their role, you either reunify the Empire, thus giving the Empire an opportunity to reconsolidate its own power and prepare for this war, or you unify Skyrim in the name of a bunch of proud warriors who have some serious beef with the Thalmor.
      • They are attempting to hunt down Talos worshipers by catching them in the act. Should you place Torygg's war horn on the Altar of Talos, you will probably kill a couple of Thalmor Inquisitors who try to kill you for doing so. You do find plans on their corpses, though.
      • They have captured one of the sons of the Gray-Mane family an are torturing him for information. You break in and free him because you're friends with that family. You might even unintentionally make this easier if you found Northwatch Keep early on before starting "Missing In Action" and killed all the Thalmor guards there for whatever reason, leaving only a small group of soldiers remaining inside.
      • And all of this is not even considering the possibility that you could simply kill a bunch of Thalmor agents on the road for no particular reason, or to take their things. And while you can't get into the Embassy grounds normally, it's possible to just break into the outer barracks of the Embassy and kill and loot the guards inside. Further, if you've won the Civil War or finished Season Unending, its possible to kill Elenwen if you can get inside her building somehow.
    • In the Dark Brotherhood, you upend Astrid's plans to be the "family don" simply by stumbling into the Night Mother's crypt when attempting to spy on Cicero. Alternately, you upend the entire guild's plans to keep existing by killing Astrid instead of one of her chosen targets during your recruitment, then following Commander Maro's instructions to wipe out the rest of them.
    • In the Thieves' Guild, you thwart Karliah's plan to kill Mercer by walking into the ambush room first. Karliah shoots you instead. However, as this particular chain of events is the Wham Episode of this questline that makes her your ally and Mercer your enemy, she uses this setback to turn right back around and orchestrate Mercer's death. Basically, by being a spanner in the works for Karliah, you become a spanner in the works for Mercer.
    • You can also potentially infuriate an NPC without even knowing you did it, leading them to send the Dark Brotherhood after you (even if you're the Listener).
    • You are also indirectly responsible for the civil war continuing. You just happened to be caught sneaking into Skyrim and were set to be executed alongside Ulfric Stormcloak, but because you're the last Dragonborn, Alduin came after you as soon as he was free from being stuck outside of time. He interrupts your execution and sets to destroying everything he sees, destroying Helgen and causing a distraction that allows Ulfric to flee to freedom and to continue the war.
  • The Starscream: In Dawnguard, the Dovahkiin can become this to Lord Harkon.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Have a female Altmer or Orc and make her attractive and you'll tower over almost everybody.
  • The Stoic: The Dark Brotherhood questline once again gives the option of staying completely silent during most conversations.
  • Super Mode: In the Dragonborn DLC, you will gain a "Dragon Aspect" power which allows you to crank your Thu'um powers Up to Eleven and involves some glowy ethereal spines and horns on your character model to visualize its activity.
  • Super Senses: The Aura Whisper shout. The Dragonborn is also implied to be the only one who can see the glowing eyes of a vampire; other mortals see an ill-defined "hunger" in a vampire's eyes, but the glow is only obvious to the Dragonborn. Similarly, if we assume that the Dragonborn's vision going dark and the Words of Power starting to glow is not merely a gameplay mechanic, but an actual physical reaction of their Aedric soul's proximity to a Word Wall, this would explain why scholars have remained unaware of their true function for millennia. Indeed, in-game books note a slight blue glow to some of the ancient words in the Word Walls, but never mention anything special happening.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While still The Hero, the Dragonborn shifts into this role at various points in Dawnguard, since most of the story is centered around Serana.
  • Sweet Tooth: The fact that Skyrim has no shortage of various dessert foods (sweet rolls among them) the Dragonborn can munch on makes it very easy for them to go by this trope.
  • Token Minority:
    • If you play as a non-Nord Dragonborn who joins the Stormcloaks.
    • Also a lesser case if joining the Companions with a non-Nord Dragonborn, as they have an Imperial and a Dunmer in their ranks.
    • When joining the Dawnguard as a elf, Beleval will note that you and her are the only elves, there. They're more diverse than many factions. In addition to Nords, the leader is a Redguard, a couple Bretons, an Imperial, and a couple Orcs, in addition to Beleval's Bosmer.
  • Took a Level in Badass: You start off as a unlucky prisoner who crossed the border at a bad time, then almost got beheaded. The rest of the game sees you becoming the Dragonborn to save the world.
  • Tribal Facepaint: Should you choose.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: First, take a deep breath. Ready? Here we go. Over the course of the game, you may become: The Last Dragonborn, Stormcrown, Dragon of the North, Thane of Whiterun, Thane of Eastmarch, Thane of Hjaalmarch, Thane of The Reach, Thane of Haafingar, Thane of Falkreath, Thane of The Rift, Thane of The Pale, Thane of Winterhold, Archmage of the College of Winterhold, Guildmaster of the Thieves' Guild, Nightingale (also of the Thieves' Guild, and Champion of Nocturnal), Harbinger of the Companions, Listener of the Dark Brotherhood, Lord/Lady of Clan Volkihar or member of the Dawnguard, Stormblade of the Stormcloaks or Legate of the Imperial Legion, Champion of Hermaeus Mora, Champion of Boethiah, Champion of Molag Bal, Champion of Malacath, Member of House Telvanni, Qahnaarin (the Vanquisher), and Chief of the Rieklings of Thirsk Hall.
  • True Companions: During their time in Cidhna Mine, they can say that they consider the friends they've made in Skyrim to be the only family they need.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: A Dragonborn with a maxed Smithing skill will put even Eorlund Gray-Mane to shame: that puny-looking iron dagger they just crafted? Go ahead and swing it at that giant over there and watch them fall to the ground after a couple hits. This humble steel shield? It could probably withstand a meteor shower. You want some Daedric armor? Sure, just give them a few ebony ingots and a Daedra heart and they'll craft it for you in a matter of hours. At level 100 Smithing, the Dragonborn basically rediscovers how to craft dragonbone/scale armor all by themselves.
  • Uncle Pennybags: No matter how you play, there's a good chance you'll end up with tens of thousands of gold before you know it. Fortunately, there's an almost unlimited amount of moments where you can just throw money at people to help with their problems, especially if you get the Investor perk.
  • The Undead: You can become a vampire, if you so choose.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Most missions/sidequests/questlines are completely separate and don't overlap. That means that even if you've become Harbinger of the Companions, single-handedly stopped the resurrection of Potema, become the Thane of multiple Holds, and revealed yourself as the Dragonborn and absorbed the souls of dragons, you still need to undergo a petty quest to "prove yourself" worthy enough to join other factions. Somewhat justified in that being an adventurer alone (even the Dragonborn) isn't enough to indicate that you're willing to follow orders or maintain confidentiality; however, this justification does not help the cases where you merely have to prove that you're strong enough to fight. That said, there are a few notable aversions. For example, if you've completed the Wolf Queen questline and started the "Mind of Madness" questline, you may speak with Falk Firebeard and, though he's reluctant to allow anyone passage into the haunted and abandoned wing of the Blue Palace, he will make an exception just for you. It especially gets ridiculous when you're challenged by some random thief or an overconfident enemy like Ancano's aide, whom you encounter after getting the Staff of Magnus, and you clearly demonstrate that they prove to be mere cannon fodder.
  • Unkempt Beauty: It's possible to invoke this by creating a female Dragonborn with messy hair. Given that this takes place in Skyrim, it's rather appropriate.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: For most people, the sight of a dragon attacking the town would be the stuff of nightmares. For the Dragonborn, it's more of a nuisance than anything else. Back to work.
  • Unwitting Pawn: At the end of his Daedric quest and Dragonborn, Hermaeus Mora claims that he's been watching the Dragonborn for some time and subtly grooming them for becoming his champion. Even if you are openly defiant towards him, he tells you that this doesn't change anything and you're already his champion, even if you don't know it yet.
  • Villain Protagonist: In the Dark Brotherhood questline, in some of the Daedric quests, and if you take the vampires' side in Dawnguard.
  • Warrior Poet: Joining the Bards' College can qualify you. Not that it changes anything.
  • Warrior Therapist: Can potentially be one toward Serana in Dawnguard, depending on how you interact with her.
  • Weather Manipulation: The Dragonborn after obtaining the "Clear Skies" and "Storm Call" Shouts.
    • In Dawnguard, they can actually gain partial control of the sun itself, causing it to either to become their own personal Kill Sat or blocking it out completely to cause a temporary artificial night.
  • What the Hell Are You?: Some of the Whiterun Guards have this reaction upon witnessing the Dragonborn absorbing Mirmulnir's soul and demonstrate the Thu'um, before realising that the individual in front of them must be a Dragonborn.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Hearthfire, your spouse may express their frustration at being left at home with the children in the wilderness fending off wild animal attacks while you're off adventuring.
  • Wild Card: You can tip the balance of power in the Skyrim Civil War, whether for the Legion or Stormcloaks.
  • Worthy Opponent: Considered this by many powerful adversaries:
    • To Alduin, who eventually concedes that the Dragonborn is the only real threat he's encountered so far.
    • Hermaeus Mora directly invokes this if you remain defiant to him throughout all conversations. "You will be a worthy adversary, or (Miraak's) successor, as the tides of fate decree."
    • Durnehviir goes so far as to honor-name you Qahnaarin, the Vanquisher for besting him in battle.
    • Miraak himself calls you much stronger than he thought possible, and a great many of his lines are compliments to you.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Unarmed kill animations include choke slams, suplexes, chokeholds, and in one case an overhead body slam that drops the enemy on their head as of the 1.5 update.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: "In their tongue, he is Dovahkiin - Dragonborn!"
  • Youngest Child Wins: The Dragonborn is the last in the long line of mortals to be gifted with the Dragonsblood by Akatosh and the subject of an ancient prophecy to defeat Alduin, the firstborn son of Akatosh.
    • In Dragonborn, the Dragonborn is sent to defeat Miraak, the first Dragonborn. The latter even suspects that Hermaeus Mora pitted them against each other simply because because he found bookending them amusing.
  • Your Soul Is Mine:
    • A rare heroic variation, absorbing the souls of fallen dragons. Can also be done by filling soul gems, which are used to enchant or replenish already enchanted items. The Dawnguard DLC introduces a Dragon Shout that rips souls from enemies, turning them into undead thralls.
    • Amusingly, it is also difficult to say which deity, if any, has claim to the Dragonborn's own soul after their death as most of the Powers That Be end up favoring them in some fashionnote . The chief claim likely belongs to Akatosh since, as a Dovah, the Dragonborn is essentially Akatosh's son/daughter.


    Dragons and Dragon Priests 

Tropes relating to all Dragons

  • Abusive Precursors: The dragons ruled over ancient man in Skyrim and the rest of Tamriel with an iron fist, until they were defeated and Alduin was sent forward in time.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: The dragon kill-cam involves them snatching their victim up in their mouth before shaking them around and then tossing them away like a dog with a chew toy.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Within each Dragon is the innate desire to dominate and destroy, although their baser instincts can be overcome with a lot of Heroic Willpower. Paarthurnax muses that their kinship means that those same desires also run in the Dragonborn.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: All in all, the dragons seem pretty happy at the end of the main quest that Alduin is dead... or whatever he is.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: How dragon hierarchy works. When a scuffle ensues over pecking order position, a dragon either wins the fight, submits, or dies. Alduin's violation of this understood system (a system he put in place, no less!) by fleeing is what engenders doubts of his supremacy after the Dragonborn Shouts him about the head and wings atop the Throat of The World.
  • Badass Baritone: All the dragons that you hear talk have deep, booming voices.
  • Brown Note: The Dragonrend shout - Joor Zah Frul (Mortal, Finite, Temporary) - is this to all dragons, as it imposes on them the concept of mortality, which they are unable to grasp. Dragonrend makes dragons unable to fly and stuns them temporarily. It also lifts Alduin's complete immunity to damage.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: All dragons have deep voices and most of them are evil.
  • Honor Before Reason: A true dovah that is unwilling to submit will stand and fight to the death, even against an opponent obviously and overwhelmingly superior. The fact that Alduin flees from a battle with you makes the rest of the dragons question his right to rule.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Whenever a Dragon has the misfortune of incurring the hostility of the Dragonborn.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side:
    • A staple of Dragon culture. Dragons greatly respect strength and those who prove to be a Worthy Opponent. One of their traditions holds that when two dov greet each other for the first time, they will test the Thu'um on each other, as a means to both demonstrate their power and to size each other up.
    • This belief is best shown when Alduin flees battle with the Dragonborn. Afterwards, Odahviing reveals that many Dragons have begun questioning his right to rule and are considering defecting or leaving altogether.
  • I Know Your True Name: Played with. Calling a dragon's name will usually reach out to them and they will appear shortly after. This is how you call out to Odahviing and how the Greybeards summon you, since you have the soul of a Dragon. However, the name doesn't hold any power over the dragon; rather it's the act of calling their name with the Thu'um that summons them. Dragons consider it a personal challenge to call out to each other with the Thu'um, and being dragons after all, they will usually accept. You are no exception, what with that quest marker hanging around in your journal, nagging you.
  • Immortals Fear Death:
    • The inability of a dragon to fully comprehend a mortal existence is exactly why Dragonrend is their Kryptonite Factor.
    • They are also terrified of Dragonborns since they devour dragon souls, which would negate their existence altogether. There's also the fact that Alduin can revive dragons that still have their souls, even if they've been dead for the better half of a millennium.
  • Language of Magic: The Thu'um is a power that allows dragons to bend reality to their whim through the power of their words alone: a dragon doesn't breathe fire so much as command it into being. A common idiom is that a battle between two dragons is actually an impassioned debate.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The original wielders of the Thu'um.
  • Might Makes Right: Dragons believe this so strongly, there is absolutely no difference in their mindset between being powerful and being correct. That is why all of them follow Alduin: whatever their personal thoughts on humans, Alduin is the strongest and as such, his views on humanity and the subjugation thereof are correct. It's also why Odahviing defects later on in the story, it's after the Dovahkiin has bested Alduin in combat, proving that even Alduin has a bigger fish.
  • Monogender Monsters: All dragons seen so far are male. Justified, as they have no need or capability to reproduce sexually - according to a Dremora, "they just were, and are". Female dragons do exist if you troll the more obscure lore; the Jills usually spend their, ahem, time maintaining the timestream at their father Akatosh's behest.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: According to the Greybeards and Paarthurnax, many Dragons rebelled against Alduin's plans and fought for humanity during the Dragon War, only to be wiped out afterwards by the Blades.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Their power comes from speaking Words of Power.
  • Outside-Context Problem: How they are perceived by the people of Skyrim. Before their arrival, the Dragons were mostly treated as a non-existent myth.
  • Poirot Speak: Language is very intrinsic to the Dragons, and as such they tend to switch between Tamrielic and Dovahzul regularly.
  • Proud Warrior Race: A lot of them have this attitude. It is the general opinion of the dragons that they must stand and fight no matter how powerful their enemy is, even if that enemy is a foe capable of killing them permanently (i.e. you). The dovah also have a tradition where, upon the first meeting between two dragons, they must use their respective Voices upon one another. To put it in perspective, the dragon equivalent of a handshake is to punch the other guy in the face.
  • Quizzical Tilt: When conversing with a dragon, they will tilt their head while facing their interlocutor.
  • Rise from Your Grave: The Dragons aren't just coming back. They're coming back to life. That said, a few such as Paarthurnax have managed to survive since Alduin's previous attack, without being resurrected.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: It is repeatedly said that many of the Dragons are intelligent, peaceful creatures, if naturally inclined to be destructive and cruel, and want no part of Alduin's plans; but if they openly defy him, he'll surely kill them since he is obviously stronger than any of them. Indeed, many times you'll see dragons flying around that are not hostile unless you engage them, as a dragon's pride is at stake when it comes to fighting a Dragonborn. Special mention for the trope goes to Durnehviir in the Dawnguard expansion, who yearns to return to Tamriel but has spent so many centuries in the Soul Cairn that now he can only enjoy the temporary summonings you invoke; and Numinex, the dragon trapped in Dragonsreach by Olaf One-eye. Paarthurnax mentions that he visited once, and Numinex had been in captivity for so long at that point that he no longer remembered his own name.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Paarthurnax and several other Dragons are mentioned as having fought on humanity's side during the Dragon War.
  • Verbal Weakness: Thanks to the Reality Warper power of the Thu'um, Dragons absolutely cannot hear the Dragonrend shout - as it momentarily makes them everything they are not.

"What is better? To be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?"
Voiced by: Charles Martinet

An ancient dragon who turned against Alduin and aids the Dovahkiin.

  • Apologises a Lot: Peppers his dialogue with the word "Krosis", which means "sorrow" in dragon tongue and is the language's equivalent of "sorry."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: His question on morality. When confronted by a Dovahkiin who is undecided about killing him, Paarthurnax does nothing to argue for his own life and in fact says that killing him is probably the most pragmatic option... but then he just asks the quote to the right.
  • Ascended Demon: He is a dragon, naturally, and as he himself states, has the desire to dominate and destroy. He even states:
    Paarthurnax: "Dov wahlaan fah rel(Dragons were created for domination). We were made to dominate. The will to power is in our blood. You feel it in yourself, do you not? I can be trusted. I know this. But they do not. Onikaan ni ov dovah(Wisdom is not trusting a dragon). It is always wise to mistrust a dovah. I have overcome my nature only through meditation and long study of the Way of the Voice. No day goes by where I am not tempted to return to my inborn nature. Zin krif horvut se suleyk(Honor is fighting the lure of power). What is better - to be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?"
  • The Atoner: He admits that dragons seek power, and that his punishment for his past evil deeds is to spend every waking moment fighting the power-hungry nature boiling inside of him. He's been doing that for several thousand years already by the time you meet him.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: The epilogue after defeating Alduin in Sovngarde, set on the Throat of the World, is essentially the dragon equivalent of acknowledging that he is now the effective ruler of the dragons. He's also leading the rest of the dragons in an obituary for Alduin.
  • Badass Baritone: Which may surprise people who realize that his actor is best known as the voice of Mario.
  • Big Brother Worship: As a child of Akatosh, he's technically an elder brother to the Dragonborn, who may see him this way if the player is so inclined.
  • Big Good: In the main questline.
  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to Alduin's Cain.
  • Cool Old Guy: As he was Alduin's right-hand dragon, this means he's several thousand years old. Unlike the other dragons, he was never killed and resurrected, and it shows; his wings are tattered and his horns are broken. He's also the only dragon in the game who is personable towards the player.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Downplayed, but he has a dry sort of wit.
    "They [the Greybeards] see me as master. Wuth. Onik. Old and wise. It's true I am old."

    "You would not come all this way for tinvaak [conversation] with an old dovah."

    Dragonborn: I didn't come here to debate philosophy with you.
    Paarthurnax: (laughs) You have much to learn of the dov, then.
  • Defector from Decadence: Turned against Alduin a while ago.
  • The Dragon: Pun not intended; he was formerly this for Alduin.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: It's suggested that the reason he turned against Alduin is that his big brother had abandoned his duty as the harbinger of the apocalypse and had just become petty and cruel. Paarthurnax wasn't a fan, so he abandoned his draconic ways to discover the Way of the Voice. Nordic legend has it that he had misgivings about Alduin and when Kyne/Kynareth visited him, he turned against Alduin. Then, with Kyne, he helped teach them the Thu'um. After that, he turned to the Way of the Voice and it helped calm him and keep him on the side of good.
  • Face Death with Dignity: If confronted with the fact that you've been ordered to kill him, he outright admits that the Blades are right not to trust him, and that killing him would be the "safer" path for everyone because the urge to dominate is in his blood, as is with all dragons. He's only become "good" because he took time, every day for thousands of years, for meditating and suppressing his nature. It doesn't fade, either: he's gotten better at keeping it in check, but it hasn't weakened.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Used to be Alduin's Dragon, but defected before Alduin's first defeat.
  • The Mentor: Trains the Greybeards and the Last Dragonborn in the Way of the Voice, allowing specific shouts to become much more powerful. Also offers guidance at any opportunity along the main quest.
  • Mr. Exposition: He explains a lot of the story when you meet him. He later apologizes for this, as it's been quite a while he's been able to talk to another dovah.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Domination and ego are in a dragon's inherent nature. Apparently, you can't even be a dragon without those traits in your blood (the Dragonborn counts, too). But he's tried to find another way, and says he will try to teach other dragons to do it, too. Odahviing confides in the player that, while he wishes Paarthurnax luck, he doesn't think it'll work out because the Way of the Voice runs so contrary to the usual Dragon beliefs.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His name means "Ambition Overlord Cruelty."
  • Nice Guy: As much as a dragon can be, at least.
  • Not So Different: Points this out to the Dovahkiin; being born with the soul of a dragon, the Dovahkiin has the same innate urge to kill, destroy, and conquer as any other dragon.
  • Odd Friendship: With the Dragonborn, potentially.
  • Poirot Speak: In the ancient tongue of the dragons, no less! He does this because he craves conversation; between Numinex's death and Alduin's return, he hasn't had a chance to speak to another dragon. He does realize that this means he has to explain every other word he speaks, but asks you to let him indulge himself for a bit, and is grateful that you do.
  • Properly Paranoid: He believed that Alduin wasn't defeated in the past, knowing that the Elder Scroll would send him 'adrift' in time, but that it would not be permanent. As such, he waited where he knew Alduin would emerge, but aware he had no clue when. It took thousands of years.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: For the Greybeards, and he also promises to be this for the rest of the dragons after Alduin dies.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: He's been hiding on the Throat Of the World for thousands of years because he's a dragon, and he did horrible things during the reign of the dragons over man - things that humans will possibly never forgive. Driven home by the Blades, who demand that you kill Paarthunax for what he did millennia ago, even though he's also the reason mankind is still breathing.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Invoked; when the Blades ask the player to kill him in spite of the fact he's reformed and has helped the player, Paarthurnax says the Blades are absolutely right not to trust him, as he has certainly done a lot of evil things, and even if he is reformed the urge to dominate and destroy is in the blood of a dragon, and he fights the pull to give into those urges every day. He pretty much says that if he were in their situation, he wouldn't trust himself either.
  • Token Heroic Orc: He's the only good dragon seen in the game.
  • True Companions: Paarthurnax names the old Nord heroes to whom he taught the Thu'um as his "friends." Considering the timeless nature of the dovah and their desire for conquest and domination, merely naming a mortal a "friend" tells you how much they meant to him, and vice versa.
  • Verbal Tic: Paarthurnax frequently slips into Dovahzul, the dragon language, while talking to mortals. He usually catches himself while doing so and offers a quick translation of what he meant to say. Words that he knows you understand, like "dovah," remain untranslated, and sometimes he'll spout an entire phrase in his tongue (while apparently talking to himself) that he doesn't bother translating.
  • Visual Pun: Despite being a dragon, he still could qualify for the technicalities of the order's namesake; the spikes along his chin are overgrown from age and mottled grey in color, resembling a beard.

"As for myself, you've proven your mastery twice over. Thuri, Dovahkiin. I gladly acknowledge the power of your Thu'um."
Voiced by: Charles Dennis

Alduin's right-hand dragon. He ultimately changes sides and helps the Dovahkiin.

  • Afraid of Needles: Isn't afraid of taking on the Dragonborn, who fireballs him, shoots arrows into him, repeatedly stabs him, and blasts him in the face with a draconic Brown Note, but he freaks out and spews fire in a panic when Farengar attempts to retrieve some samples of scale and skin tissue.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: His name means "Snow Hunter Wing" or "Winged Snow Hunter."
  • Big "NO!": Once the Dragonsreach trap's yoke slams down on him and entraps him by the neck, he expresses his despair by exclaiming "Nid!" which is Draconic for "No!"
  • The Dragon:
    • To Alduin. For a while.
    • Becomes a literal one to you after the end of the main quest.
  • Graceful Loser: Once he's yoked into the Dragonsreach trap, he admits it was his own fault for getting into his current predicament, and salutes the Dragonborn for their "low cunning".
  • Hot-Blooded: Even for a dragon. It's why Paarthurnax recommends challenging him in particular when made privvy to the plan to trap a dragon to interrogate because of his eagerness for a challenge.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: After you Shout Alduin about the head and wings the first time atop High Hrothgar, Odahviing and other dragons engender doubts about the supremacy of Alduin amongst themselves. Odahviing only helps the player because he wants to know who is more worthy as leader.
  • I Gave My Word: Played with. He acts offended when you question if he can be trusted, saying he has done nothing to earn your distrust. The player can point out he just tried to trick you into letting him go without telling you everything about Skuldafn, such as how it can only be reached by flying.
  • I Know Your True Name: How he's summoned. It's not so much that he's compelled to, but calling a dragon's true name is tantamount to a challenge, and he's not about to back down when you just fought off Alduin himself. Later, he comes as a matter of respect.
  • Playing with Fire: Fire Breath is his go-to Shout for combat (or for dealing with mages trying to get skin samples off him).
  • Poirot Speak: Like Paarthurnax. It seems that Paarthurnax has a better command of the mortals' tongue, because Odie's speech sounds kinda stilted. Of course, Paarthurnax has been interacting with the various Greybeards over the millennia, while Odahviing has been a pile of bones entombed in a dragon burial mound and probably didn't interact with mortals much beyond domination before the Dragon War.
  • Red Is Heroic: The one red dragon in the vanilla game is the one to pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: He pledges allegiance to the Dragonborn at the end of the main questline, but is otherwise still as proud and combative as any other dragon.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Once you gain his allegiance, you can summon him to fight alongside you by Shouting his name.

"Dovahkiin? No!"

The first dragon the Dovahkiin officially takes on in the main storyline. You fight him during the quest "Dragon Rising" at the Western Watchtower near Whiterun.

  • Awesome Mc Coolname: His name means "Allegiance Strong Hunt."
  • Big "NO!": Right as you finish him off.
  • Irony: Being a survivor of both the Dragon War and the Akaviri dragonslaying, you'd think he'd have a beaten down appearance like Paarthurnax instead of looking like he was resurrected yesterday.
  • Oh, Crap!: What prompts his Big "NO!" as you kill him, realising too late that he's facing a Dragonborn.
  • The Remnant: According to the Atlas of Dragons book, he is one of a very small number of dragons under Alduin's command that survived both the Dragon War and the Akaviri Dragonguard reavings.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: As noted above, he survived the Dragon War and being hunted by both the Akaviri Dragonslayers and the Blades for several millennia... only to be killed by an unwitting Dragonborn and a handful of Whiterun guards.
  • Warmup Boss: The first dragon you fight, the weakest dragon you fight, and you get a compliment of guards to help take him down.
  • Worthy Opponent: Calls out that you and the Whiterun guards are such and make for good sport.

"I am Sahloknir! Hear my Voice and despair!"

Another named dragon, encountered at the end of "A Blade In The Dark."

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Arrogantly declares that the Dragonborn's Voice is no match for his own.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: His name translates into "Phantom Sky Hunt."
  • Blood Knight: Even by dragon standards. When too injured to fly (which can mean dropping to the ground sprawled out or skidding along the ground for God knows how far,) his response is to get back up and give a Badass Boast.
    So it's to be a real fight then? Good!
  • Rise from Your Grave: He is the first visible indication that this is what is happening to the rest of the dragons.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Moments after being resurrected by Alduin, he's killed again permanently by the Dragonborn.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Alduin.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: If you put off the "Blade In The Dark" quest for long enough, he'll spawn as an Ancient Dragon, with absurdly high stats. Note that he'll spawn as the strongest possible dragon that is allowed by the game to spawn at the current player character's level; as such, he will spawn as a Blood Dragon at level 14, or an Ancient Dragon at level 36.
  • Worthy Opponent: Considers the Dragonborn one.


A Serpentine Dragon bound to Miraak's will, he serves as Miraak's personal mount and literal The Dragon.


See Skyrim: DLC

Named Dragons

The other named dragons that aren't major players in the storyline.

  • Awesome Mc Coolname:
    • Nahagliiv: "Fury Burn Wither"
    • Vuljotnaak: "Dark Maw Eat"
    • Vulthuryol: "Dark Overlord Fire"
    • Viinturuth: "Shine Hammer Rage"
    • Krosulhah: "Sorcerer Day Mind"
    • Kruziikrel: "Ancient Dominate"
    • Relonkiv: "Dominate Wise"
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: There is exactly zero explanation for Vulthuryol's presence in Blackreach, which is probably the last place you'd expect to find a dragon.
  • Guide Dang It!: Good luck finding Vulthuryol without a guide; he's summoned by using Unrelenting Force on the sun orb in Blackreach.
  • Mini-Boss: Just another dragon, technically, for all of them.

The Dragon Priests

During the Dragons' reign over Mundus in the Merethic Era, they had mortal followers known as the Dragon Cult, led by powerful mages known as Dragon Priests. Although the Cult itself is long dead, Alduin's return has caused several of these Dragon Priests to rise from their graves and terrorize Skyrim. The eight most powerful Priests each possess a mask imbued with powerful magics.

For Miraak, the Dragon Priest who serves as the antagonist for Dragonborn, see the DLC character page.

  • Ambition Is Evil: Ahzidal's hunger for power led him to extreme ends, up to and including becoming a Dragon Priest with all the villainy that implies... and that still wasn't enough to sate him.
  • And I Must Scream: Otar the Mad has been sealed in a coffin since his death.
  • Arch-Enemy: Morokei to Savos Aren and Vahlok to Miraak.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: One theory is that Morokei never died, since he was around well before Alduin started bringing back the Dragon Priests, even wandering into Morrowind to capture the Staff of Magnus.
  • The Caligula: They all count to some degree, but Hevnoraak and Rahgot are the most clear examples.
  • Compelling Voice: Hevnoraak could make anyone do anything he wanted with his Voice.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Hevnoraak was very fond of this, especially due to the fact that his Compelling Voice ensured his victims wouldn't resist.
  • The Dragon: One could argue that Nahkriin is this to Alduin, as he's the lord of Skuldafn and guards Alduin's portal to Sovngarde.
  • Dual Boss: Krosis isn't locked in a dungeon like most Dragon Priests. His coffin is set right in front of a Word Wall guarded by a dragon, and there is zero warning he's there. Even if you know he's there, it's all-too easy to wander too close and trigger him, forcing you to fight both him and the dragon.
  • Elite Mooks: At high enough levels, nameless Dragon Priests can start showing up as dungeon bosses in place of Draugr. They're every bit as tough as the named ones, but don't drop masks when killed.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Within the Dragon Cult itself; when Rahgot ordered his followers to commit mass suicide including the children, his alchemist Froda argued that it would more honourable to die from the blades of their foes than take the easy way out by drinking poison. Rahgot's response was to grant her request personally.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: Every time Morokei speaks, a wave of chilling air blows through his lair, draining your magicka bar.
  • Flunky Boss: Rahgot summons a pack of Draugr Deathlords to help him fight you.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: The Skaal believe themselves the heirs of the Guardian, the Dragon Priest Vahlok.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Ahzidal is the magical equivalent, being renowned as the first great Nord enchanter and one of the greatest enchanters in history, period. In his tomb, you can unearth several of Ahzidal's relics, each bestowed with a unique enchantment that cannot be replicated by the player, and wearing the full set grants you a boost to your Enchanting skill.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Somewhat unintentionally with Krosis. Dragon Priests are programmed to retreat from threats while attacking at range with their staffs. In every other instance, the priest is trapped in a room and can only go so far. Krosis is outside and thus can retreat for great distances if he isn't obstructed, plus you're on a cliff which can't be climbed up if he decides to run down it.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Most Dragon Priests are encountered as part of another quest or have their own mini-quests as the game's way of saying "if you explore this dungeon, you're going to fight something really nasty". This is not the case for Dukaan, Volsung, or Krosis, with the first two inhabiting otherwise unassuming Nordic tombs and attacking out of the blue, and the latter being entombed at a random dragon lair.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation:
    • Otar's backstory; he used to be a good leader until after a certain victory, when he started hearing voices in his head.
    • Ahzidal's pursuit of knowledge eventually led him to seek it from the planes of Oblivion; if the Black Book in his tomb is any indication, he got it from Hermaeus Mora. However, he did not come away with his sanity intact.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: What their sidequest generally boils down to- find and kill the eight major Dragon Priests scattered throughout Skyrim, take their masks, and repair the shrine.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Vahlok is remembered by the Skaal as "The Guardian", a mythical figure who fought Miraak the Traitor for days on end and eventually triumphed, Miraak escaping death only through Herma-Mora's help. Yet he was still a Dragon Priest and therefore a member of the horribly oppressive Dragon Cult.
    • Of course, the Vahlok's reign in Solstheim is remembered well by the Skaal, so he might simply be their Token Good Teammate.
  • MacGuffin Guardian: Morokei holds the Staff of Magnus, the object which you need to defeat Ancano.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Masked and evil.
  • Mask of Power: All of them except Vahlok; the eight in the main game also unlock a ninth.
  • Magic Staff: Frequently seen wielding staffs.
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe example with Vahlok. Go look at the list of Badass traits Miraak has. Then remember that, according to legend, Vahlok is the one who beat him - Miraak only escaped being killed because Herma-Mora snatched him out of Nirn. The Skaal remember him as a heroic figure called "The Guardian" because of it.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Hevnoraak (Brutal), Krosis (Sorrow), Morokei (Glorious), Rahgot (Rage), Nahkriin (Vengeance), Volsung (Horror/Air Horror), Vokun (Shadow), and Konahrik (Warlord).
    • And in the Dragonborn DLC there are Dukaan (Dishonor), Ahzidal (Bitter Destroyer), Vahlok (Guardian), and Zahkriisos (Bloody Sword). The only possible exception is, ironically, the Big Bad Miraak (Allegiance Guide), until you remember what Miraak can do to dragons: Guide their Allegiance to him.
  • No Body Left Behind: Dragon Priests disintegrate into ashes when killed, leaving behind only their armor.
  • Our Liches Are Different: In fact, they're different even from the series' standard liches in that they don't make use of phylacteries. They're more akin to draugr with powerful magical abilities.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: According to an old legend, Vahlok's fight with Miraak was so destructive that it caused part of Skyrim to break off and become Solstheim.
  • Power Floats: They hover about a foot off the ground.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Nord enchanter who eventually became the Dragon Priest Ahzidal had his home in the city of Saarthal. Then the Snow Elves happened, leading him to swear revenge on them and take on his Meaningful Rename. He got that revenge through Ysgramor's Companions by outfitting them with enchanted weaponry.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Hevnoraak, Otar the Mad, and Morokei. Otar doubly so, since they not only entombed him but then put extra locks on the tomb to make sure he wouldn't be crawling out of it without help.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: Morokei, who was sealed by Savos Aren in a duel with the ghosts of two of his colleagues, whom Aren killed, resurrected, and enthralled to keep Morokei from wreaking havoc on Skyrim.
  • Sinister Minister: Their cruelty soon rivaled that of the dragons. Some of the descriptions of the Dragon War and preceding times suggests the cruelty of the Tamrielic Dragon Cults was worse than that of the dragons themselves.
  • Sixth Ranger: Dragonborn introduces three new Dragon Priests aside from the main antagonist - Ahzidal, Dukaan, and Zahkriisos. They live in Solstheim, not Skyrim, and their masks have entirely different appearances from the base eight, as well as having a specific Fire, Ice, Lightning between the three of them.
  • Token Good Teammate: Vahlok. The Skaal regard his rule to be a time of peace and prosperity and, unlike the priests of Skyrim, he was remembered as a wise and just leader. This contrasts with all the other Dragon Priests. Although that doesn't stop him from trying to kill you when he awakens, like the others.
    • The Dragon Priests of Skyrim could arguably be considered Token Evil Teammates to the Dragon Priests as a whole: some of the lore implies that the Dragon Priests back in Atmora (where the Nords came from) weren't nearly as evil as the ones you fight in Skyrim.
  • Trap Master: Vahlok's Boss Room is littered with flame traps, and since he'll constantly be trying to keep his distance to make you run into them.
  • The Unfought: Collecting all eight Dragon Priest masks and placing them on a shrine deep in Labyrinthian unlocks a ninth mask, Konahrik. One of its effects is to summon a Dragon Priest as an ally, possibly Konahrik himself.
  • The Voiceless: None of the Dragon Priests speak outside of Nahkriin, Hevnoraak, and Morokei, and Nahkriin only speaks in Dovahzul while Hevnoraak's one line of dialogue is easily missed.
  • Walking the Earth: Morokei apparently traveled to Morrowind to get the Staff of Magnus, which is a scary thought.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Not the usual kind, but there is a very high chance that players accidentally stumble upon Krosis at low level and get fireballed to death before they know what they just fought.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When Rahgot forced his followers to commit mass suicide, not even the children were spared.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: Inverted - Vahlok the Jailor is remembered as "The Guardian" who defeated "The Traitor" (Miraak). Vahlok means "Guardian" in Dovahzul.

    Heroes of Skyrim 
Gormlaith, Hakon, and Felldir are the ancient Nord heroes who helped to overthrow the dragons in the Dragon War. After Gormlaith was killed, Felldir used the Elder Scroll to banish Alduin.

Gormlaith Golden-Hilt
Voiced by: Lynda Carter

  • Action Girl: She tells Hakon that she's killed six dragons in one day, a claim that even the Dragonborn likely cannot make.
  • Badass Boast: She plays this off against a dragon she takes down.
    Know that it was Gormlaith Golden-Hilt who sent you down to your death.
  • Blood Knight:
    Hakon: Have you no thought beyond the blooding of your blade?
    Gormlaith: What else is there?
  • Brother–Sister Team: She refers to Hakon One-Eye as "brother", although whether in the literal or figurative sense is never made clear.
  • Fearless Fool: Comes across like this, especially in regards to her approach to Alduin.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: One of the first human users of the Thu'um. When summoned as an ally, she favors Dismay and Unrelenting Force in particular.
  • The Worf Effect: Her brief introduction has her cutting down a Dragon in only a few hits to establish her Badass cred. She is then slaughtered by Alduin when she and the other Heroes attempt to kill him conventionally, which prompts Hakon and Felldir to use the Elder Scroll to send him forward in time.

Hakon One-Eye
Voiced by: Paul Ganus

  • An Axe to Grind: "Feel the bite of my axe!"
  • Brother–Sister Team: He is Gormlaith Golden-Hilt's brother.
  • Badass Beard: You didn't expect one of the greatest Nordic heroes to not have a glorious, bushy beard, now did you?
  • Big "NO!": Let one out when Alduin killed Gormlaith.
  • Enemy Mine: In Dragonborn, Miraak claims that Hakon tried to secure his help to defeat Alduin, but he refused.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With you when you take out Alduin.
    Hakon: I'll look for you, friend, when at last you return to Shor's Hall. The honour will be ours when you join the ranks of Sovngarde!
  • Handicapped Badass: By dint of being blind in one eye.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: One of the first human users of the Thu'um. Hakon wields quite a few Shouts, including Disarm, Unrelenting Force, and Frost Breath.

Felldir the Old
Voiced by: Paul Eiding

  • The Atoner: For sending Alduin forward in time.
    Felldir: Our ancient debt for Alduin's reprieve is now repaid. The long night has ended.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He seems to be the nominal leader of the three.
  • Badass Beard: A long, tied one, not unlike the beard worn by Arngeir.
  • Badass Long Robe: He's one of the few NPCs that sport Greybeard robes, indicating that he may have been one himself.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When Gormlaith was killed and Hakon wounded, he resorted to using an Elder Scroll to send Alduin forward in time. In-universe, this is treated as the equivalent of using a tactical nuke to kill a mosquito.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: As one of the first human users of the Thu'um. Mainly sticks to Frost Breath, but he also uses Unrelenting Force on occasion.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: His response to banishing Alduin into the future is "May the spirits have mercy on our souls."
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "YOU! ARE! BANISHED!"



The Greybeards

"Meyz nu Ysmir, Dovahsebrom. Dahmaan dar rok!"Translation: 

A small group of hermits who live in High Hrothgar high atop the Throat of the World. They are human practitioners of the Thu'um, and call the Dragonborn to test their abilities and teach them to hone their skills. To the Greybeards, practicing the Thu'um is a form of worship to honor the gods (particularly Kynareth and Akatosh, who gave the gift of dragon blood to humans), but they also consider it a responsibility and honor to train the Dragonborn.

  • The Archmage: The Voice is its own type of magic, and the Greybeards are the masters of it.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Despite being very powerful with the Voice, they refuse to take part in the conflicts of Skyrim, and while they eventually help the Dragonborn hold peace negotiations for a temporary truce to the war, they do it with gritted teeth.
    • If questioned about their neutrality, Arngeir will explain that Jurgen Windcaller, the original founder of their order, suffered a terrible defeat in battle despite his mastery of the Thu'um. Upon meditating on why this happened, he came to the conclusion that he had misused the power of the Thu'um, which should only be used to glorify and honor the Nordic gods. The Greybeards follow his "Way of the Voice" philosophy to distance themselves from the rest of the world in meditative seclusion.
    • In addition, contrary to what Delphine claims, Arngeir implicitly encourages the Dovahkiin to act against Alduin; his logic is that the Way of the Voice applies to the Greybeards, because their power was granted by Kynareth and they have chosen to undergo intense study to refine it. The Dovahkiin, on the other hand, was made by Akatosh and was likely made for a specific duty which they must fulfill. Arngeir suggests that rather than follow their teachings, as long as the Dragonborn uses the Voice for selfless reasons and to honor the Gods, they will remain true to the Way.
    • The Level Cap, before patch 1.9, was 81; this was the level at which one would fight the Ebony Warrior. The least powerful of the Greybeards, Einarth, is level 90, Wulfarth and Borri are level 100 each, and the most powerful, Arngeir himself, is level 150, matched potentially only by Miraak.
  • Badass Beard: Justified out of sheer practicality, since they live atop a very tall, windy, snow-covered mountain. It's also one of the main ways to tell them apart, since each has a different beard style: Arngeir's is knotted, Einarth's is the longest, Borri's is the shortest, and Wulfgar's is the thickest.
  • Badass Longrobe: The Greybeards' robes are unique among the different styles worn by the game's various practitioners of magic.
  • Barefisted Monk: The Greybeards don't carry physical weaponry (their Shouts are usually more than enough to wipe out anything that threatens them); but in the unlikely event that something survives their voices, they will pummel it to death in short order with bare hands augmented by Elemental Fury.
  • Cool Old Guy: Due to pacifism and self-reflection being at the core of their philosophy, they are naturally one of the most affable factions in the game, welcoming the Dragonborn and treating them with respect and even deference. They only truly become angry if the Dragonborn decides to slay Paarthurnax. Should that happen, the doors of High Hrothgar will be barred to them forever.
  • The Dividual: Because they can't speak without doing tremendous damage, it's impossible to have any meaningful conversation with any Greybeard other than Arngeir, so we know very little about the other three as people and from a narrative standpoint they essentially function as one character. They have individual schedules, but in any important scene involving the Greybeards, all four are always seen together and Arngeir always speaks for them as a whole.
  • Elemental Powers: If you try to take them on in battle, they're fond of Frost Breath, Fire Breath, Ice Form and Elemental Fury.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: It's debatable as to whether or not this is deliberate, but the concept of a reclusive and secretive monastic society living in seclusion on the top of a high snowy mountain from a young age and possessing mystical powers obtained from years of meditation recalls Tibetan Buddhist monks and the mysticism surrounding them.
  • Foil: To the Blades, and the reason the two groups don't get along. The Greybeards prefer to study and meditate on the dragons; they consider the Blades to be violent meddlers in things they don't understand, what with how they want all dragons dead and destroyed. The Blades, on the other hand (or at least Delphine), consider the Greybeards to be cowards afraid of their own power; they are convinced that it would be better if the Greybeards put that power to use making a difference in the world, rather than living in seclusion and never using it. Their treatment of the Dragonborn also drastically contrasts; the Greybeards offer council when asked but leave the Dragonborn to their own devices to pursue their destiny as they see fit, while the Blades steer the Dragonborn in the direction they believe is best and withdraw their help if the Dragonborn refuses to listen to them.
  • Handicapped Badass: Their voices are so powerful that each Greybeard must take a vow of silence so as not to destroy half their temple by uttering the wrong word by accident. While they're not physically handicapped, they're all essentially mutes until they need to fight. Arngeir typically acts as their voice, but when he becomes petulant over your association with the Blades, Einarth whispers one sentence at him to change his mind. The building shakes when he speaks.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: As master practitioners of the Thu'um, this is to be expected. The distant thunderclaps and frequent storms around the peak of the Throat of the World aren't natural weather, but the Greybeards practicing. When they summon the Dragonborn for training, the strength of their combined Voices shakes all of Skyrim itself.
  • The Mentor: The Greybeard Order was founded to safeguard the knowledge of the Thu'um for mankind. For this reason, whenever a Dragonborn emerges in the world, they summon them for training at High Hrothgar.
  • Mundane Utility: Knowing almost every single Thu'um in the book means that they also have a few for pretty mundane tasks, like Bex for opening a gate.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: They don't necessarily approve of everything the Dragonborn does, but they inevitably support them because Paathurnax has seen fit to do so and they follow his wisdom. But they do, of course, take exception to killing Paarthurnax.
  • Old Master: Due to it taking a lifetime to master the Thu'um, all Greybeards shown in the game are old men. It is, however, mentioned that training begins at a very young age, such as Ulfric Stormcloak being one of those chosen when he was a boy.
  • Power Echoes: Their Voices are so powerful that they hardly ever speak. However, if you speak to them yourself, they will greet you with a whispered "Dovahkiin." The resulting echo from their Voices causes the entire mountain to shake. When they first summon you from the world to High Hrothgar, the might of their collective voices reverberating through Tamriel causes the whole of Skyrim to shudder.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: In his youth, Ulfric Stormcloak was one of the rare individuals permitted to study at their monastery and learn to use the Thu'um, even intending to become a Greybeard himself, but left to fight the War when he grew frustrated with the Greybeard's insistence on remaining neutral. While they understood his reasons for leaving their order at the time, they were not happy to learn years later of his flagrant misuse of the Voice, during the duel in which he killed High King Torygg.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Sensing the death of Mirmulnir as proof of the return of the Dragonborn, the Greybeards proceed to summon the Dragonborn to High Hrothgar for training. The summons itself is so powerful, the ground literally shakes and it's implied that it was heard across all of Skyrim.
  • Wizard Beard: They typically wear these, which double as a Badass Beard.
  • You Are Not Ready: They could teach you a lot more Words of Power than they do, along with a lot of other knowledge about dragons, but feel the Dragonborn needs to learn such things on their own in their own time. Arngeir makes it clear that the Greybeards feel that the process of seeking out and acquiring Words of Power will present the Dragonborn with the training and experience to use the Thu'um with respect and responsibility. They'll point you in the right direction if you ask, but nothing beyond that.

"We have felt the whisper of a Word... Give me your map, and I will show you where its echo can be found."

The only member of the Greybeards who communicates normally, as the Voices of his fellows are too powerful; a word out of place from them could rip you apart.

  • Berserk Button: When the player mentions that they have been in contact with the Blades, Arngeir refuses to help any more "until you have returned to the path of wisdom". Even though he relents and apologises when one of the other Greybeards reminds him that they are not meant to make judgments of that sort, it is clear that he really dislikes the Blades. Turns out he has a good reason for that...
    • He has a second, but less overt one: Dragonrend. When you ask him about it, he immediately responds with a flat, disapproving demand to know who told you about that shout, and refuses to tell you anything about the Shout at first because Dragonrend is based entirely around hatred for all of dragonkind.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Some of the things he says are in a rather snide tone, mostly when you do nothing during a situation when you're supposed to actually do something! A perfect example of this would be when you're supposed to approach Einarth to learn a new shout; if you don't do it immediately, Arngeir says in a very impatient tone, "Master Einarth is waiting...".
    • This also definitely applies to any mention of the Blades, in a mixed tone of slight hatred and condescension.
  • Irony: He points it out during the negotiations for a peace treaty - how men of war and violence (Tullius and Ulfric) are now being called to High Hrothgar: a sacred place whose very stones are dedicated to peace and tranquility.
  • The Mentor: To you, the Dragonborn. Likely the best example in the game if you don't kill Paarthurnax, where he even gives the ending speech of the main quest.
  • So Proud of You: He has a moment of this if you tell him that the Blades want you to kill Paarthurnax and that you have no intention of doing so. He praises your wisdom and says that you have learned a great deal in the time that he's known you.
  • Voice for the Voiceless: He speaks for the rest of the Greybeards because he's the only one of them with enough control of the Thu'um to speak without killing a normal person.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After Arngeir threatens to withhold aid for the Dragonborn simply for being in contact with the Blades, Einarth angrily rebukes him for making decisions without consulting his fellow Greybeards, as well as standing in the way of the Dragonborn's destiny.
    • Arngeir himself will drop a massive one on the Dragonborn if they choose to kill Paarthurnax.


See above in the "Dragons" section for the full list for Paarthurnax.

Einarth, Borri, and Wulfgar


The other members of the Greybeards, they usually don't speak because of their destructive Voices.

  • He Who Must Not Be Heard: They try to speak as little as possible. For example, the initiation ceremony with all four Greybeards speaking at once is implied to be incredibly dangerous, taxing the Dovahkiin. And every time they greet you with a simple "Dovahkiin" the temple can be heard shaking. More specifically, they just whisper the word when greeting you and it still sounds like half the temple's gonna come crashing down at any moment. When Einarth reproaches Arngeir for withholding aid after you reveal you've associated with the Blades, the entire temple shakes during the duration of his admonishment.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Einarth breaks his normal silence to angrily rebuke Arngeir, using the dragon tongue, for forgetting his duty to guide the Dragonborn.
    Einarth: Arngeir. Rok/Rek los Dovahkiin, Strundu'ul. Rok/Rek fen tinvaak Paarthurnax.translation 
  • Sweet Tooth: Wulfgar is implied to be this, as he always carries a jar of honey (one of the surprisingly few to be found in Skyrim) that you can pickpocket off him.

    The Blades 

The Blades

This order of monastic warriors can trace their origins to the Akaviri invaders in the latter part of the First Era, who eventually bent knee to the Dragonborn known as Reman Cyrodiil. Originally an order of dragon hunters, the Blades are sworn to find, and then "guide and guard" any Dragonborn on the Mundus. The Dragonborn eventually known as Tiber Septim repurposed them into a combination of a spy agency and a royal bodyguard cadre when he became Emperor of the first truly pan-Tamrielic empire. After the passing of the Septim dynasty, they returned to seeking the next Dragonborn, but still rendered spy services to the Empire. They correctly deemed the Thalmor to be the biggest threat, but even they still vastly underestimated how dire a threat the Thalmor are. As a result, they were decimated by Thalmor hit squads preceding and during the Great War, and one of the terms of the White-Gold Concordat is the disbanding of the organization. Despite these hardships, a few Blades still survive and remain faithful to the cause.

  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with swordswoman Delphine and spellcaster Esbern.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: As their origins are traced to the Akaviri Dragonguard, their symbol of membership is an Akaviri-style katana.
  • Loophole Abuse: The reformation of the Blades if the Stormcloaks win the Civil War, since the terms for the White-Gold Concordat specify that the Blades must dissolve within the Empire. Due to Skyrim seceding from the Empire, this means they no longer have to follow the terms of the treaty, while the Empire and Aldmeri Dominion lose jurisdiction to enforce it.
  • Meaningful Name: The Sleeping Giant Inn's name becomes very fitting due to being one of the hideouts.
  • The Order: Were this for centuries, until they were forced to dissolve and go into hiding after the Great War.
  • Order Reborn: The Dragonborn can help to reestablish the order in Skyrim, since combating the re-emergence of the Dragons takes priority over adhering to the terms of the White-Gold Concordat. That it's also a giant middle finger to the Thalmor is merely a bonus.
  • Praetorian Guard: This was one of their purposes after Tiber Septim enlisted them.
  • The Remnant: They've been utterly smashed by the Thalmor before and during the Great War. The declaration of war by the Thalmor involved presenting Emperor Mede with the severed heads of all Blades operatives within the Aldmeri Dominion's territory at the time, and their numbers went downhill from there. Cloud Ruler Temple, their headquarters, got sacked (but only after the Blades destroyed as much as they could to deny the Thalmor intel), and the Blades are now outlawed by the White-Gold Concordat. Nevertheless, a few Blades keep on fighting.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Their oath as dragonslayers apparently takes precedence over their oath to guide and guard the Dragonborn, as they'll refuse to have anything to do with them until the Dragonborn kills Paarthurnax for crimes that outdate the Blades themselves.
  • The Spymaster: The other duty that the Blades carried out for the Emperor.
  • Trigger Happy: The Blades are accused of this by Arngeir, who believes they've let blind hatred allow them to commit near-genocide against the species, despite the reality being that some Dragons are non-hostile or even fought on humanity's side during the Dragon War. He is proven right when the Blades command the Dragonborn to kill Paarthurnax.

"But no one wanted to believe... believe they even existed. And when the truth finally dawns, it dawns in fire."
Voiced by: Max von Sydow

  • Ax-Crazy: Subverted. He plays this up to deter unwanted visitors. It doesn't hurt (help?) that he has several neighbors that are straight-up crazy.
  • Badass Baritone: His voice is at once deep, calm and soothing. Helps that it's Max von Sydow voicing him.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's spent a long time studying the prophecies of Alduin and the Dragonborn. When the Dragonborn finds him to bring him to meet Delphine, he first spends several minutes packing up what he deems his most essential books.
  • Bald of Awesome: Whether or not his baldness is from age, he's still good enough to take on Thalmor hit-squads by himself.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He's quite eccentric, especially when you first meet him.
  • The Cloud Cuckoolander Was Right: As Delphine lampshades, it turns out that all of Esbern's fanaticism over the prophecy of Alduin and the Dragonborn and the end of the world was spot-on. Esbern's attitude when you meet him and tell him what's going on is likewise, "I knew it, I've said it for years!"
  • Cool Old Guy: According to the Thalmor's research on him, he's over 70 years old. He's still very badass.
  • Crazy-Prepared: As the Blades' archivist, he used to be obsessed with studying the original Dragonslaying campaigns for which the Blades were created. Since the dragons were all dead (or believed to be myth in the first place), everybody though he was just some eccentric old fool. Then guess what happens...
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: "I used to dream of it. In the dream I was standing someplace high up, a tower, or a mountain. It was always just before dawn. The whole world was in darkness. Then came the flash of light just on the horizon within the clouds that marked the border between worlds. It could have been lightning but there was no thunder. In the dream, the sense of foreboding grew. But, I could never wake up. Then, it came again, this time more distinct, closer, definitely not lightning now it was orange, brilliant orange, the color of hearth and dawn. And a sound too, distinct and indistinct, not thunder but something else, something uh, I should recognize but in the dream I cannot place it. I want to leave my high place to seek shelter. From what, uh, I don't yet know. In the manner of dreams I cannot escape. I'm forced to wait and watch. Then, finally, realization and horror arrive together. The orange is flame, heat. The sound, a roar, a challenge in their ancient tongue. And now it's too late for escape. The dragon's upon me, fire and darkness descending like a thunderbolt. And not just any dragon, but the dragon, Alduin, the World-Eater! The dragon who devours both the living and the dead! And then, I would wake up and hope that it was just a dream but know that it was not."
  • Eccentric Mentor: He's just a little off-kilter...
  • Friend in the Black Market: He's hired the Thieves Guild to protect his location, though as far as they're concerned, he's just some old weirdo living further in the Ratways and they're willing to give his location to anyone who pays them off, including the Thalmor.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Once you find him, he follows you until you meet up with Delphine, acting as an honorary second follower. Feel free to take your time getting to Riverwood, because he's no slouch in battle, plus he's marked as essential so he can't die.
  • Hypocrite: During the peace treaty negotiations in "Season Unending", he tells Tullius and Ulfric to put their grudges aside to fight a greater threat, but won't do the same with his grudge against Paarthurnax, though he at least isn't as blindly hateful about it as Delphine.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: He looks a lot like his voice actor, Max von Sydow.
  • Last of His Kind: One of the last members of the Blades.
  • Non-Action Guy: Despite his powerful magic, according to the Thalmor dossier, he was not a field agent when the Blades were active. Instead, he was in charge of planning and coordinating things from behind the scenes, and was evidently good at it.
  • Playing with Fire: His offense consists of Fireball, Firebolt, and Flame Cloak.
  • Properly Paranoid: First met in Riften's Ratway, hiding among beggars and madmen behind a heavy iron door with roughly half a dozen locks (and he'll open a sliding panel and shout at you in his best "homicidally crazy old man" voice if you try to speak to him before you learn precisely who he is). Not two minutes after the Dovahkiin confirms his identity, the Thalmor arrive to have him killed, and up to two citizens casually wandering Riften reveal themselves as Thalmor spies when you leave the city.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Tullius and Ulfric during the peace treaty negotiations, telling them that while they're busy arguing over the terms of a temporary truce, Alduin is in Sovngarde, growing stronger by devouring the souls of the men they've slain in the war, and they're being petty for not seeing the threat greater than either of them and not putting aside their differences to try and stop it.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • The Blue to Delphine's Red. While Esbern is presented at first as a Cloudcuckoolander conspiracy theorist, once things really get going, he's far more calm and intellectual, not to mention respectful of the Greybeards. By contrast, Delphine is more of an outright Jerkass to both the Dragonborn and the Greybeards, and is less interested in the knowledge of the dragons than she is in killing them.
    • He's also got a bit more rational and reasonable stance towards killing Paarthurnax, while Delphine is emotional and cruel about it. To Delphine, it's just about another dragon whose time to die has come, and she sees the player as going soft for not doing it. Esbern, however, acknowledges that Paarthurnax has reformed and has been of aid to mankind, but maintains that his good deeds do not excuse the evil ones he did in the past and so appropriate justice is still due. His oath as a Blade forces him, somewhat reluctantly, to deny the player aid in the meantime.
  • Summon Magic: He can summon all three types of elemental atronach.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: The Sorcerer to Delphine's Sword.
  • Warrior Poet: His room is filled with books, he admires ancient art and architecture so much that he almost has to be dragged away from it (and can identify the technique and period), and he's completely dismayed when he discovers neither you nor anyone else knows much about dragon lore. He's still a member of a clan of dragon hunters who can more than defend himself when enemies arrive.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: He tried to convince his colleagues that The End Is Nigh based on the old prophecies. It went about as well as you'd expect. Of course, he turned out to be right, but by then not many people were left to listen to him, courtesy of the Thalmor.

Voiced by: Joan Allen

  • Action Girl: She has killed entire teams of Thalmor assassins by herself.
  • Almighty Janitor: An unwary player that gets caught stealing something from the Sleeping Giant Inn or committing assault in there on their first playthrough might find that Delphine is very quick to cut them to pieces for a tavern waitress. Turns out there's much more to her than it seems.
  • Badass Normal: She retrieved the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller from Ustengrav without the power of the Voice - that means she got past the burning floors and the time-sensitive gates using nothing but her own wits. That, or else she somehow managed to use the back entrance and closed it on her way out, which still involves slaughtering a bunch of Draugr.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Skirts perilously close to this in her first meeting with the Dovahkiin. While she does say that she's still trying to establish whether you're a true Dragonborn or not, she knows for a fact that the person she's talking to (in a tone more suited for addressing an unusually stupid child) has taken down at least one twenty-foot long, flying lizard that breathes fire. And then possibly ate its soul.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She's very possibly one of the first NPCs you'll meet in the game since she lives in Riverwood, the first town you visit. Only later do you realize that she's more than the local innkeeper.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Believes the Thalmor are behind everything, including the dragons' return. A mission to their embassy indicates they know nothing.
    • She also follows Esbern's lead in thinking Paarthurnax is evil and absolutely must die. She is a bit more a jerkass about it, to the point of threatening to violate her oaths to the Blades if the Dovahkiin doesn't kill Paarthurnax.
    • Note that according to the Atlas of Dragons, the Blades have known Paarthurnax was on the Throat of the World, "under the protection of the Greybeards," for centuries. The Blades as a whole have been waiting for an opportunity to "exact justice" on him for a long time.
  • Cool Old Lady: It's not apparent at first, but she's in her late fifties. And still kicks plenty of ass.
  • Dual Wielding: Blades Swords
  • Expecting Someone Taller: You can tell her this upon meeting her in the basement of the Sleeping Giant Inn.
  • Hot-Blooded: She's quite eager to fight dragons and just a touch hot-headed.
  • Interface Spoiler: Astute first-time players might notice that Delphine, a seemingly unimportant NPC, is the first NPC they would feasibly run into, has a unique voice actress or actor. Of course, she turns out to be main storyline-relevant later on.
  • Jerkass: She's rather rude and demanding, especially on your first meeting. She tricks you into a meeting and demands a demonstration to verify the Dragonborn's identity, but without giving you a reason why she should be indulged. If you demand she explain herself, she snaps at you that she'll decide when to do that, offhandedly saying you would be dead already if she didn't like the look of you. If you decide to simply ignore her and leave, she'll mention that she should kill you, but decides she won't. Justified, as she doesn't trust you and has the Thalmor after her head every sleeping and waking moment. That said, she comes across as more friendly and humble if you talk to her about her background after proving your status as the Dragonborn, and isn't nearly as bad as, say, Colonel Moore.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Slips into this at the end of the main quest, when Esbern says she's been worried about you since they heard you flew out of Whiterun on the back of the dragon. She's relieved to see you safe and happy to hear Alduin has been defeated. Still that little issue with Paarthurnax holding her back, though.
  • Meaningful Name: In Greek mythology, Delphinius was an epithet of Apollo, referring to the fact that he slew the dragon guardian of the Oracle of Delphi.
  • Older Than They Look: Her official Thalmor dossier states that she's in her 50s, but she could pass for ten years younger at least. She's a Breton, a race that descends from man/elf hybrids, so extended lifespan from (diluted) elven ancestry plays a part.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She's a Breton woman, which is the tiniest race/gender combination in the game. But as stated before, she's also a pretty damn good fighter.
  • Properly Paranoid: The Thalmor have free reign over pretty much all of Tamriel, meaning the Blades are all hunted. Her dossier pretty much indicates that the only chance the Thalmor have in killing her is overwhelming force, she's just that good.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Esbern's Blue. While Esbern is presented at first as a Cloudcuckoolander conspiracy theorist, once things get going, he's far more calm and intellectual, not to mention respectful of the Greybeards. By contrast, Delphine is more of an outright Jerkass to both the Dragonborn and the Greybeards, and is less interested in the knowledge of the dragons than she is in killing them.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: The Sword to Esbern's Sorcerer.
  • Trust Password: Her note she leaves in place of the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller tells the Dragonborn to ask for the "attic room" in the Sleeping Giant Inn; as it doesn't really exist publically, she knows you're the real deal when you ask for it.
  • Tsundere: After she warms up to the Dragonborn, she still is this.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Even after everything you do for her, which includes: helping her slay a dragon, spying on the Thalmor, rescuing her associate, opening up the Blades' old base of operations, and bringing new recruits to the order, she'll refuse to have any more dealings with you should you not kill Paarthurnax. She denies this if you speak to her after finishing the main quest, though. She claims that she is certainly not ungrateful for all you've done for them and the world by defeating Alduin, but she must keep to her oath as a Blade and so still must deny you aid until you kill Paarthurnax.
    • A mix between this and Revenge Before Reason is her insistence that Paarthurnax must be killed, even though Paarthurnax is the sole reason that humanity is not still enslaved by the dragons. He's also spent the last few thousand years peacefully meditating on a mountaintop, teaching the Greybeards how to use the Voice, and waiting for Alduin to show up so that he can help defeat Alduin again. Once the Dragonborn bests Alduin, Paarthurnax even vows to do his utmost to teach his fellow dragons how to coexist peacefully with other races. Doesn't matter. Paarthurnax is a dragon; therefore, he must die.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Unlike Esbern, who at least acknowledges what Paarthurnax has done for mortals, Delphine's only real reason for wanting Paarthurnax dead is because he's a dragon, though she tries to justify it through his past crimes and argues that he could always go bad again.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: While she's absolutely correct in claiming that the dragons attacking Skyrim (and the first one appearing just in time to stop Ulfric from being executed) benefits the Thalmor, she's wrong in suspecting they're behind their return. After finding out that the Thalmor suspected the same thing from the Blades, she muses that they've been fighting so long, both sides have become as paranoid as each other.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: More or less says this is the case for Paarthurnax.
    Delphine: There's one more thing: We know about Paarthurnax.
    Dragonborn: Turns out he's a dragon. But he helped me.
    Delphine: That's fine. We needed his help. Now we don't.

Acilius Bolar

A member of the Blades who was hunted down by Thalmor prior to the game's start. He leaves his blade (Bolar's Oathblade) and Bolar's Writ inside Bloated Man's Grotto to whomever finds it.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: From the writ: "I go forth to meet my death with honor. If you are worthy, take up my blade and do the same."
  • Last Stand: Did this right after wrote his last writ to prevent Thalmor from desecrating the ancient place.
  • Never Found the Body: He performed a Last Stand and is almost certainly no longer around. The question now is, "Did he get a Dying Moment of Awesome or get captured by Thalmor?" We don't see any corpses, either Bolar's or Thalmor, outside Bloated Man's Grotto, nor do we find any dossier concerning him.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Bloated Man's Grotto is also used for the quest "Ill Met by Moonlight"; if you never visit it before starting the quest, Bolar's Oathblade is gone for good, and you'll have no clue he ever existed.
  • Posthumous Character: He performed his Last Stand right after he wrote his last will. By time you go to Bloated Man's Grotto, he is long gone.
  • Sole Survivor: Of the fall of Cloud Ruler Temple to the Thalmor, before they tracked him down at Bloated Man's Grotto.


A patron of the Nightgate Inn in the Pale, drinking bad memories of the war away.
  • Properly Paranoid: He's hidden away from the Thalmor, rightfully worried they'd kill him if they found him. He'll attack a player wearing Thalmor robes on sight, and he also keeps a dagger next to his bed.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: The innkeeper Hadring mentions that Fultheim is drinking "A lifetime of bad memories away". With Fultheim's blades' sword and his collection of books on warfare, it's easy to see what his memories are about.


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