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7 Dragon Lore And Facts In Elder Scrolls

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Dragons may have made their grand entry in Skyrim, but they have a long history in Elder Scrolls legend.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim brought an intriguing new gameplay aspect to video game fans: dragons. In Skyrim, players must constantly combat a variety of dragons before confronting the World-Eater Alduin, the most powerful dragon of them.

Dragons, on the other hand, have been a part in Elder Scrolls world long before Skyrim was released, and they play an important role in the franchise’s narrative, appearing in games such as Redguard and The Elder Scrolls Online. But what exactly are dragons? They are much more than massive lizards. Here are some facts about these legendary beasts from The Elder Scrolls universe that fans should be aware of.

They Cannot Be Killed

Skyrim Alduin resurrecting Sahlokniir

Dragons, as revealed in The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, are immortal. Their bodies can be destroyed, but their souls remain attached to them, allowing Alduin to resurrect them during the Fourth Era. The ancient Dragon Cult erected the dragon burial mounds that can be found throughout Penalty Kick Online, knowing that their lords will return one day.

If a dragon is killed by another dragon—or a mortal Dragonborn—the dragon’s soul is absorbed by the killer, and the dragon is thus destroyed forever. Such dragons have no chance of resurrecting.

They Have An Insatiable Lust For Power

Skyrim dragon breathing fire in flight

Dragons have an innate desire to dominate, are extremely proud, and are unable of resisting a challenge. They previously ruled the planet and were hell-bent on subjugating any non-dragon civilization. They had little ambition to rule but wanted everyone to submit to them and gave authority to their most devoted followers for no other reason than to gratify their intrinsic urge to dominate.

Any Dragonborn can feel this desire for power. It fueled Miraak’s desire to dominate Solstheim and bend dragon will, fueled Tiber Septim’s desire to conquer all of Tamriel, and may have pushed the Last Dragonborn down some dark paths in their quest for dominance.

Dragons Were Originally Peaceful & Benevolent

Skyrim Dragon at Ancient's Ascent, on a word wall

Dragons were not always the malevolent force that The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim portrays them to be. They spoke only at times of true need as rulers of all Mundus. And their priests ruled fairly and kept peace between dragons and mortals.

However, their leader Alduin became enamored with his unique position and became a tyrant. Prompting his Nord subjects to revolt against the dragons in what became known as the Dragon War. Some dragons aided humanity during the war, most notably Paarthurnax, who taught humans how to use the Thu’um.

They Are As Old As Time – Literally

Skyrim Alduin over Helgen

Dragons are considered to be the children of Akatosh, the God of Time. Who were created in his likeness at the beginning of time. Their souls are shards of time, and they are unaffected by its passage. As a result, dragons do not breed; they have existed since the dawn of time. And while their bodies can be destroyed, their souls linger on, either attached to their corpses or absorbed by another dragon.

Alduin, the greatest of dragons, is known as ‘the World Eater’. Because his goal is to consume the world so that a new one can begin. As such, Alduin is in charge of overseeing the cycles of time, a responsibility he abandoned in favor of conquest. After being beaten in The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Arngeir hints that he may return one day to complete his true purpose and usher in the next world.

Dragons Were Worshiped By The Ancient Nords

Skyrim dragon priest

When dragons ruled Mundus, dragon priests wielded influence over the Atmorans and Nords by establishing a formidable religion dedicated to their devotion. Dragons were primarily venerated by the ancient Nords, along with a number of other animal gods.

The Atmoran Dragon Cult was initially benign, but as Tamriel progressed. They became totalitarian and, together with the dragons, enslaved the inhabitants as slaves. After the Dragon War, remnants of the old cult survived. And traces of it can still be found in Skyrim’s ancient Nordic ruins.

They Once Lived All Over Tamriel

Elder Scrolls Online Nahlahfaar landed

Dragons are frequently identified with Skyrim due to their importance in that game. But they were previously common throughout Tamriel, living in mountain lairs or sanctuaries. A dragon dwelt in a sanctuary safeguarded by the Akatosh Chantry. Who venerated it as a symbol of their divinity, during the Third Era, but it was murdered by a dragonslayer.

Dragons also played an important role in Elsweyr’s history. With a powerful group of dragons striving to rule it for their own purposes. Their leader, Kaalgrontiid, fought the Vestige with the help of a dragon named Nahfahlaar during the Second Era. Nahfahlaar later served as a devoted vassal of Tiber Septim and inspired the Empire’s insignia, although he was eventually slain on Stros M’Kai by Cyrus the Redguard in The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard.

They Survived Until the Fourth Era

Skyrim Paarthurnax on the word wall

The dragon population rapidly declined after their defeat in the Dragon War, as they were murdered one by one. When the Akaviri arrived in Tamriel during the First Era, they set about exterminating the dragons. And by the Fourth Era, they were widely believed to be extinct.

Some dragons, however, managed to live until the Fourth Era. Aside from Skyrim’s Paarthurnax, the in-game book Twin Secrets reveals that a dragon dwelt within Red Mountain after the eruption and was slain by the book’s author. It’s possible that many more dragons exist in Tamriel, hiding out in remote regions.

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