The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has easily become one of the most successful games of this century, and one of the reasons why is its dragons. The expansive world already immerses its players, but the chance of a dragon swooping down and disrupting a leisurely walk makes it all the better. After all, who doesn't love a scaly beast coming claws first to say hello? While the game boasts quite a few random dragons, it also has its fair share of named beasts with specific backstories. Some of them were great warriors in a war with the humans, and others were just interested in a bit of necromancy. It is only once the player interacts with the dragons that they can learn more of their secrets.
With the main antagonist being a dragon bent on destroying the world, the game still makes them fascinating and appealing characters. Part of that bias might be the dragon soul in the body of the main character, but that's a small detail. This is a Tamriel full of real, breathing dragons, and considering they had been deemed extinct, it's monumentally impressive. Each dragon, with its colorful scales, unique crests, and differing powers, is gorgeous and powerful; however, some are clearly more powerful than others. The deeper the Dragonborn delves into Skyrim, the more they see how even among scaly legends, there are weaker links. Here is Every Dragon Ranked From Weakest To Most Powerful:
When a player's Skyrim adventure begins, they immediately learn of dragon threats to the land as Alduin is raising the dragons of legends to attack people once more. In earlier levels, though, the game is nice enough not to try and decimate the player. Other than specific, named dragons, only low-level, brown dragons will spawn for quite a while.
These dragons are only level 10 and can only use frost or fire breath, making them fairly basic and easy to battle with. Even better, though, in a pinch, they're even easier to evade. These are easily the weakest dragons in the game.
Mirmulnir, a gorgeous scaly friend, isn't very friendly at all. After all, he's the dark-scaled demon that flew off from Helgen towards Whiterun. His existence is why the Dragonborn is sent on a mission into the world.
When the player finally reaches Whiterun, everyone is skeptical about the claims of dragons coming back to life. Those doubts are quelled, though, when Whiterun guards frantically run inside talking about a dragon destroying the watchtower. Mirmulnir looks intimidating, but it's only his choice in positioning that puts him a grade above the average brown dragon. With only fire flames and a watchtower perch, he's still not a very hard dragon to fight.
Despite the fact that these dragons come from the Dragonborn DLC, they aren't nearly as big a deal as they act. Relonikiv and Kruziikrel sound intimidating, but considering that they're used as soul fodder, they're basically brainless drones since they give up their lives the second Miraak asks them to.
Moreover, if the Dragonborn is intent on interacting with them, they can swiftly use a simple shout to turn them to their side; they aren't exactly strong-willed. Though they're big beasts equipped with large souls, Relonikiv and Kruziikrel are serious pushovers. If a player wants to fight them they can, but it's not really worth their time.
When Skyrim's hero reaches a certain level, some of the dragons decide to upgrade themselves. Blood dragons generally start appearing around level 18, though rare situations can have them spawn at level 1. These green beauties are stronger than their brown dragon counterparts as they have more health, can also perform dragon shouts, and are a bit more persistent in following a target. If the Dragonborn is trying to lose a blood dragon, they'll have to put a lot more effort into it.
Though not the most intimidating thing in Skyrim, these blood dragons can pack a punch if the player isn't careful, especially during those early levels before the hero bulks up.
Once Alduin's plans start being put into motion, he starts deliberately resurrecting dragons from specific mounds across the map. These dragons are named, and effectively, are members of his army instead of just random encounters. One of these dragons is Vuljotnaak, a flying lizard that comes from Whiterun Hold, found flying between Fort Sungard and Broken Fang Cave.
While many of Alduin's resurrected baddies are fairly strong, Vuljotnaak is likely the weakest; he's basically just a brown dragon with a fancy name. He can only shoot fire or frost and doesn't appear in any particularly unique or troublesome battleground. On the plus side, though, if the Dragonborn has the shout “Bend Will,” he can be ridden.
Though it doesn't have a unique name, the Skeletal Dragon is a unique creature that can only be found in one place: Labyrinthian. During the College of Winterhold “Staff of Magnus” mission, this big guy is the guardian of the dungeon. He, along with eight other skeletons, are necromancy-ed creatures left to protect the place.
While this dragon isn't much different from the common brown dragon, his danger levels depend on the player, since a ranged character being trapped in the smaller chamber with several enemies could get difficult. For a tankier player, though, it could be over fairly quickly. Either way, it's a wholly unique fight that could give some Dragonborn's trouble.
Nahagliiv isn't marginally more dangerous because he's very powerful (this ember dragon is pretty on par with brown or blood dragons), but his danger comes with his location. Unlike most dragons that are found by caves, forts, or ancient tombs, Nahagliiv is situated on the hill above Rorikstead, which is an innocent town full of civilians that the player might impact in the process of fighting Nahagliiv.
With fire breath at his side, Nahagliiv is an undoubted menace to Rorikstead. Whether it is he or the Dragonborn that decimates the villagers in the heat of battle, fighting him can cause a lot of serious turmoil.
Though the Dragonborn gains experience and levels, the game isn't foolish enough to have its dragons stalemate. When the Dragonborn reaches level 30, these frosty monsters will start spawning on the map. Unlike previous dragons, Frost Dragons have a serious bias toward frost, can perform icy shouts, and have much higher levels of health. For any characters dependent on stamina and have no cold resistance, these ice lizards can cause major issues, especially because they have the chance to appear in groups of two.
Their downfall, though, is the fact that they have a weakness to fire. Anyone with a few fireballs on them will have a much easier time against any Frost Dragon.
During Skyrim's main quest line, the player eventually meets a member of The Blades named Delphine. Once the protectors of the emperor, The Blades were originally dragon hunters and Alduin's return has brought that side of their order out again.
To show the player the full extent of Alduin's machinations, Delphine takes the Dragonborn to Kynesgrove, a burial mound in Eastmarch hold. There, Alduin summons Sahloknir, a powerful Frost Dragon, and commands him to attack. Sahloknir can use fire and frost, as well as a few shouts. Like all Frost Dragons, this scaly guy eats at a player's stamina, and although he's not the most powerful dragon, he's also nothing to snuff at.
While most dragons are fairly easy finds, there is one that is a secret boss in a hidden location. Vulthuryol can only be found in the old Dwemer capital Blackreach, a massive underground cavern full of ancient architecture and treasures. Many fetch-quest weary fans will frustratingly remember this as the best place to collect 30 Crimson Nirnroot for “A Return To Your Roots.”
However, Vulthuryol is found in the center building. By using Unrelenting Force on an orb hovering over the building, the Dragonborn can summon him, and as a level 50 dragon, he is quite formidable. Meanwhile, though, he never attacks first and he is confined underground.
As the player begins to level up more and more, the foes only become more intimidating as Elder Dragons appear at level 40. They are capable of using a few shouts, fire, and ice. While their weaker counterparts are easier to knock out in a few shots, Elder Dragons have a larger health pool, more armor, and will take a lot more hits than the average scaly beast.
However, Elder Dragons are hardly the strongest lizards out there. If a player stays smart and alert, they'll put up a good fight, but nothing more.
When Alduin starts resurrecting his scaly buddies, most of them just attack the local area, however, there is one special case when it comes to Viinturuth. Though he comes out of a burial mound by Anga's Mill in Eastmarch, he will travel beyond there in search of the Dragonborn. Once he finds the player, he becomes very aggressive. Attacking with fire or ice, it's hard to disengage from Viinturuth once he's been found.
Though Viinturuth doesn't have the most powerful dragon abilities, his sheer determination and violence make him a bit harder to deal with. He could do a lot of damage to an unsuspecting Dragonborn.
Alduin knew that if he wanted to mount his attack on the humans, he'd need an army, and like any good general, he needed a second-in-command. In his spree of resurrecting dragons, Alduin also reawakened his lieutenant, Odahviing, but unfortunately for Alduin, Odahviing isn't very loyal.
When the Dragonborn captures Odahviing during the main storyline, Odahviing trades Alduin's location for his own safety. Then, he takes the player immediately to Alduin's temple, Skuldafn, which is only reachable by flight. With Odahviing's shifting loyalties aside, he is a high-ranking, high-leveled dragon who can rip apart his enemies.
Once the Dragonborn reaches level 35, they should cautiously watch the skies for bright tans and red. These dragons are generally around level 50, have huge health bars, great powers, and can burn, freeze, or shout at their enemies.
While they don't seem too different from their Elder Dragon counterparts, players shouldn't be fooled as their health and damage output have been greatly increased. If a hero isn't careful, they could easily lose hours of gameplay if just one of these scaly monsters catches them off guard.
After fighting so many dragons in Skyrim, it's no surprise that the Dragonborn DLC ups the ante by having even more intimidating reptiles than ever before. Krosulhah appears fairly early in the DLC, warning Miraak that he wants the Dragonborn gone. As Miraak is the first Dragonborn, the most powerful of his kind, that's a serious threat.
Overall, Krosulhah has fairly well-rounded, powerful stats. One of his advantages is catching the player off guard right as they exit Nchardak. A complete Miraak zealot, Krosulhah will still sing his praises even if Bend Will is used on him. Though he's not too dangerous, the Dragonborn should still take a fight with him seriously.
While some dragons have an interest in fire or shouting, Durnehviir had an interest in necromancy, which lead him to a group called the Ideal Masters. Though they promised to teach him necromancy, they made him swear to protect the Soul Cairn and Valerica in exchange, but Durnehviir was tricked since Valerica was an immortal vampire, which meant he'd never be able to leave.
During the Dawnguard DLC, the player will encounter Durnehviir, bitter and devoted to the Soul Cairn. He can even summon Boneman to assist him. The catch is, though, that Durnehviir's tie to the Soul Cairn means he can never truly perish, so he'll reappear eventually, making him truly immortal.
These dragons may be cute, but heroes shouldn't let that fool them. While the most sweet looking of lizards, Revered Dragons are some of the most dangerous. They can start appearing in the game as early as level 33, even though they tend to be more like level 60. They breathe fire, drain vitality, and can even shout Unrelenting Force right back at the Dragonborn. With a damaging bite, versatile attacks, and a hefty health bar, players should be weary.
Even for high level heroes, they should be smart and cautious when it comes to these dragons as drain vitality attacks can do more damage than one might expect.
Among all the dragons, Alduin is easily the most menacing. With his sharp, all-black scales and spikes, he exudes peril and darkness. Alduin the World-Eater means business in his plots to take over Skyrim and the world, and he's not pleased about the Dragonborn getting in the way.
This fiesty reptile boasts six shouts and a large amount of health. He has a 50% resistance to all damage sources and can shoot meteors at the hero. As many fans of Skyrim are slow-pokes, sometimes fighting Alduin at the end can feel underwhelming. However, that hardly makes him any less of an intimidating, powerful dragon.
Though Numinex ultimately comes to a humiliating end, his reign was legendary as wherever he went, danger followed: entire villages burnt to a crisp, countless brave soldiers were gobbled up whole, and a whole empire was spooked. Many people thought no one could stop the beast, and that's an impressive resume.
Eventually, though, King Olaf One-Eye shouted him down and locked him away in Dragonsreach, where he remained until he passed on. Then, the king mounted his head on the wall. Many years have passed since then, but if the Dragonborn got to fight Numinex, it would be one epic battle.
The Dawnguard DLC is fairly beloved by fans, and one of its greatest additions is putting Legendary Dragons into the game. Incredibly dangerous, these creatures don't appear until beyond level 78. However, they are level 75 themselves, making them some of the most powerful things left to fight at such high levels.
Much like Revered Dragons, these reptiles can breathe fire and ice and drain the vitality of their foes – that's a fairly aggressive combination of attacks. With an even larger health bar and damage output, they are by far the fiercest dragon type to exist. Unless a player is absolutely ready for a fight, they should do everything in their power to steer clear.
What's better than one super powerful, aggressive dragon? Two, of course! The Dawnguard DLC delivers in spades with the addition of Voslaarum and Naaslaarum, two dragons who are always together. The Dragonborn can find this dynamic duo in the Forgotten Vale, and if the player walks on the large frozen lake towards a word wall, the two will erupt from underneath the ice to begin attacking.
These two scaly monsters specialize in draining vitality, so the faster they are beaten, the better. With how much stamina and magicka they drain, even the strongest of heroes could be overpowered. They will also dive under the water and resurface at any time, which adds another complication to them.
Paarthurnax may not be the strongest dragon, but he is the most powerful since he is easily the wisest and most rational of his kind. That kind of levity has survived Paarthurnax through the years and has lead him to choose the world over his own people. Though teaching humans how to dragon speak was treason, he did it to protect future generations, human or dragon.
If a Dragonborn does decide to fight Paarthurnax, he's no slouch, but against Dragonbane and Dragonrend, he is still outmatched. The kind of wisdom such an old, thoughtful creature can share is far more valuable, though, which makes him worth more to Skyrim than any other creature alive.
Where would you rank the dragons of Skyrim on this list? Let us know in the comments below!