If there was ever a word that would be considered the most associated with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, that word is “dragon.” The driving force behind the main story of Skyrim, dragons, within the Elder Scrolls universe, are some of the most powerful beings that can exist on Mundus or the mortal plane. It is assumed that every dragon is named, but few names are carved into legend.
Long-time fans of the franchise have even met some of the most famous dragons face-to-face. This is especially true in the Elsweyr DLC for Elder Scrolls Online, which pits players against the strongest dragons in history. Here are ten examples of dragons whose names are known or will be known in the annals of Tamriel’s history.
10 Naaslaarum Of Skyrim
One of the more recent examples to become famous in the lore of the Elder Scrolls, Naaslaarum is one of the guardians of the Forgotten Vale. The beast fulfills this duty with its identical twin, Volsaarum. Introduced in the Dawnguard DLC, the dragons were wholly unique at the time for their ability to swim, as when the Dragonborn first meets them, they burst forth from a frozen lake. They are also an example of the, at the time, newly introduced Revered Dragons, notable for their beak-like maws, lack of teeth, Drain Life shout, and their large amphibian-like eyes. It is unknown why they were chosen to guard the last known bastion of the Snow Elves, but perhaps that will be revealed in time.
9 Mirmulnir, First Slain Dragon Of The Last Dragonborn
Mirmulnir (meaning “Allegiance Strong Hunt”) is average for the type of dragon he is, yet above average for the feat he has accomplished. All that is known is that he disappeared after being last seen in the Reach in 2E 212. This means, as far as the lore can tell, that he was not successfully hunted by the Blades and has lived all that time until Alduin’s return. As of this writing, he does go down in history as being the first dragon that the prophecized Last Dragonborn kills during the setting of Skyrim. He will always be notable to most fans since he was likely their first dragon fight and the fear in his dying words only foretold of the further dragon slaying that was sure to follow.
8 Skakmat, The Familiar
The strangely named, Skakmat (literally “checkmate” in Danish) is a rather enigmatic figure in Elder Scrolls lore. Firstly, he does not appear in any mainline games. Skakmat is only mentioned in a strategy guide for The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall which is aptly titled: The Daggerfall Chronicles. That does not lessen his fame though.
He was notorious in the Iliac Bay as a familiar to a powerful magic user named Nulfaga. She used him to try and shape the politics of Daggerfall. Most notably, by commanding Skakmat to intervene in the Battle of Cryngaine Field in hopes of stopping the foretold murder of her son, King Lysandus.
7 Numinex Of Dragonsreach
Most Skyrim fans know of the dragon skull that rests above the throne of Whiterun in Dragonsreach. However, only attentive players will be able to remember that the dragon was known as Numinex. The entire building of Dragonsreach was built to keep the mighty beast as the personal pet of Olaf One-Eye, the jarl of Whiterun who had shouted him into complacency. Numinex was considered a scourge during his life in the First Era, so his defeat was quite a historical event. His name cannot be perfectly translated into English from Dovah, but most accepted translations fall on “Now-Man-Cruelty”.
6 Odahviing, Lieutenant Of Alduin
Odahviing (Snow-Hunter-Wing in English) was one of Alduin’s prolific soldiers during the Dragon War of the Merethic Era. After being killed, he lied dormant, but since his soul was not consumed, he was reawakened by Alduin in the Fourth Era to continue work as a lieutenant. He would later be captured by the Dragonborn in a trap laid at Dragonsreach, making a pact to aid the Dovahkiin in exchange for sparing him. Once the Dragonborn defeats Alduin, he becomes a lifelong companion to the hero, coming to their aid whenever he is called, no doubt only adding more to his renown in the years to follow.
5 Nafaalilargus, The Proud Jewel Of The Imperial Crown
Tiber Septim, or Talos if referred by his divine name, is one of Tamrielic history’s most famous Dragonborn. He was one of the only mortal beings capable of killing a dragon. Given that, it is strange to believe that any dragon would claim to be a soldier in the man’s employ, let alone an ally. Nafaalilargus is one such dragon, though. No reason is ever given, but according to lore, Nafaalilargus is weaker than most of his kind and has relied on the protection of mortals for most of his life. Despite this fact, he was used by Tiber Septim. The Dovah even refers to himself as “the Proud Jewel of the Imperial Crown.” Nevertheless, in 2E 864, he was defeated and seemingly killed by Cyrus during the events of The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard. However, since Cyrus was not a Dragonborn, it is presumed Nafaalilargus still lives.
4 Kaalgrontiid, The Dark Aeon
“Champion-Bind-Time”, or “Kaalgrontiid” translated in English, is an elder dragon of the rare jade variety that holds a larger than average size. He is most famous for his attempt at becoming equal to Akatosh. He attempted to do this by taking his horde of dragons across Elsweyr to search for a way to dominate the Moon’s power, taking it as his own.
For this crime, he was tricked and imprisoned in the Halls of Colossus by a Khajiit hero named Khunzar-ri. Kaalgrontiid and his flock would not resurface again until the events of The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr and Dragonhold, wherein he was freed accidentally by Abnur Tharn. The jade dragon would reignite his foiled plans for a while, eventually being defeated by the Vestige.
3 Durnehviir, The Necromancer
It is unknown if “Durnehviir” was his true name when he was alive, but if so, it would have been a fearsome one to have, especially when it translates to “Curse-Never-Dying”. This Dovah was always different from his brethren, for even though he was considered a formidable fighter, his interest always lied with necromancy. As such, he was inevitably drawn to beings known as the Ideal Masters; rulers of the Soul Cairn. He made a pact with them to gain power in exchange for guarding a prisoner named Valerica, until her death. Unfortunately, Durnehviir was not aware that Valerica was a vampire, thus, he was imposed within the Soul Cairn for the rest of eternity. He would not be freed until the Last Dragonborn defeated him in combat to free Valerica. With his charge liberated, despite his efforts, Durnehviir was free of his pact and aided the Dragonborn whenever they called from that day onward.
2 Paarthurnaax, The Teacher
Paarthurnaax is one of the oldest dragons in the Elder Scrolls universe and a key ally that aids the Last Dragonborn in defeating Alduin during the events of Skyrim. During the Merethic Era, when dragons ruled over men, Paarthurnaax was a close lieutenant and brother to Alduin, helping him commit various crimes against humanity. However, whether it was Alduin’s false claim of godhood, or the beseechment of Kyne, Paarthurnaax eventually switched sides, along with other sympathetic Dov, and they taught humanity the Thu’um to fight back against the dragons. This eventually led to the Nord heroes creating a shout of their own which helped them trap and banish Alduin from Mundus. With the aid of an Elder Scroll, he was sent forward in time to the Fourth Era.
1 Alduin, The World Eater
Alduin is known throughout the ages as the World Eater, The Twilight God, and The First Dragon. Little needs to be said to explain why he is famous. Alduin is a harbinger for the apocalypse and is said to be key in the process that will reshape the world afterwords. However, in his hubris and pride in being worshipped, he shirked his duty in the Merethic Era, instead, becoming a cruel tyrant to not only humanity, but most dragon-kind as well. As of the events of Skyrim, he was defeated by the Last Dragonborn during his time in Sovngarde. His existence was seemingly snuffed out, being defeated by a Dovahkiin, but Esbern, an elder member of the Blades, speculates that Alduin’s role as “World Eater” means he can never truly die and that he will be present at the “true” end of the world.