Dragons, the legendary and frightening beasts that dominate the skies of Skyrim, are perhaps the most important part of the game. The Dragonborn can't fulfill his destiny without crossing paths with one of these magnificent creatures, and so they must learn early on how to fight and deal with them. Not much is known about the dragons, but what we do know is surprisingly hard to find even within The Elder Scrolls games.
We're here to share 10 facts about these feared beasts that even the most die hard fans of Skyrim may not have ever heard of. Buckle up, because there might be some spoilers up ahead for those who have yet to finish the game.
10 They Ruled Over Humans
Once upon a time, the dragons were in fact the main rulers in Skyrim. They dominated over humankind, which they had reduced to mere slaves. Dragons generally disliked humans, and had they been given a chance, would have most likely eradicated them.
Meanwhile, humans accepted the dragons as god-like beings, which they worshiped as the heads of the pantheon. However, eventually humankind grew weary of being treated so cruelly by their dragon overlords and the Dragon War broke out, pitting the two sides against each other.
9 Some Helped Humans Learn Shouts
Initially when the Dragon War broke out, humans were severely outmatched by their dragon overlords. Most likely they would have been completely destroyed had Kyne and Paarthurnax not stepped in to help humankind. Paarthurnax betrayed his brother Alduin and sided with humans instead, along with a few other dragons.
He taught humans the first Dragon Shouts, and through this humankind was able to develop Dragonrend, a powerful shout that allowed them to force the dragons to land.
8 They Are God-Like
It has been highly debated how dragons originally came to be. There have been no real sightings of dragon eggs, which might mean they simply come to existence. According to the College of Whispers, the dragons are in fact god-like creatures that are close to Aedra in nature.
This would mean that they aren't exactly animals and beasts, which is proven by their sheer intelligence and capacity in developing their own language. Not just that, dragons are immortal by nature, another feature of a deity-like being.
7 They Once Disappeared Completely
In the aftermath of the Dragon War, anyone part of the so-called Dragon Cult were forced into hiding and any supporters that couldn't escape were overthrown or killed. It's believed many dragons fled, while some were put into tombs by supporters of the Dragon Cult.
The last sightings before the events of Skyrim took place during Tiber Septim's rule, when he promised the last remaining dragons his protection so long as they would serve him unconditionally. However, dragons were still killed regardless of his promise, especially by a faction called the Blades.
6 Their Priests Were Promised Great Power For Obedience
Back when dragons still ruled over humankind, they used high ranked humans known as Dragon Priests as their vessels of power. These priests were in charge of ensuring their rule was unchallenged across all of Tamriel.
In exchange for their service to the dragons, these priests were granted powerful magical abilities, weapons and most importantly their masks which you can also find in Skyrim after fighting one of these creatures. Many of them have since become undead lich-like beings awaiting Alduin's return in eternal sleep.
5 They Were Once Ruled By Vampiric Snakes
The Tsaesci were a snake-like species of vampiric creatures that inhabited the continent of Akavir. There are many theories about their lives and culture, but some knowledge is more than plausible. It's said that these creatures once ruled over dragons themselves, using them as servants and mounts in battle.
This is a pretty crazy thought, given that dragons are deity-like creatures and enslaved humankind in Tamriel. Dragons then eventually flew west to Skyrim, and this is how they first arrived to the continent.
4 They Can Sabotage Your Quests
Many of your encounters with dragons in Skyrim will take place in burial grounds or dragon lairs where these creatures are often guarding a word wall. However, there are a few random and more or less scripted encounters that will take place after you've completed certain parts of the main quest.
Most importantly, don't ever think that dragons won't follow you and hunt you down, especially at higher levels. They can attack cities and even kill characters needed for a quest, which can truly ruin your adventures in Skyrim.
3 They Don't Just Dominate The Skies
The majority of your encounters in Skyrim will take place outside in large areas where the dragons have space to land and attack you on ground. However, just because you happen to venture underground doesn't mean that you're safe.
There's the Skeletal Dragon found in the Labyrinthian who will take you by surprise, as well as a special dragon in Blackreach, underneath Alftand known as Vulthuryol. You can summon him by using a shout on the large glowing orb at the center of the area.
2 Their Language Is Highly Complex
The scribbles found on word walls are not just random scratch marks. Thu'um, the language of the dragons, is highly intelligent and developed, with its own grammatical rules and set of vocabulary. The language was created from scratch, when Todd Howard wanted it to look like the claw marks of a dragon.
Indeed, the Thu'um written on stone are designed in a way that it would be possible for a dragon to write them with its claws, and in a way that separate words can be distinguished.
1 When They Fight, They Argue
There are times when two dragons will attack each other and engage in a fierce battle. The sight is impressive, to say the least, and while to us it might look like two beasts unleashing ice, fire and fury open each other, they're actually in a heated argument. This is because each attack is a Shout, which in sense is a word and has a meaning.
So technically, the two dragons are trying to shout each other down, much like we would be trying to shout someone into silence during a debate.