Bethesda Game Studios are champions at creating worlds that people want to play in and explore for hundreds of hours. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is arguably their most successful release and has taken the world by storm. We've seen multiple version of the game on multiple platforms. Did we mention that it's also coming to the Nintendo Switch? It will also support amiibo functionality as they showed swiping a Link amiibo on the dock results in the player receiving a chest in Skyrim that contains a Breath of the Wild costume as well as the legendary Master Sword.
Bethesda Game Studios has slowly grown into a studio respected for their craft and creation of grand and expansive role-playing games. There's a reason Skyrim seems to make its way to every single platform and continues to sell millions of copies. The world Bethesda creates is full of rich lore and tons of stories regarding how Tamriel came to be. In Skyrim, you play as a Dovahkiin (Dragonborn) on a quest to restore order in the land of Skyrim. There is plenty of well-hidden information regarding where these Dovahkiin came from and how it was passed through generations. Let's now take a look at just 15 of the possible hundreds of things you never knew about Dovahkiin in the world of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
The molding between human and beast is a part of the Dovhakiin that makes them so special. On the surface, they seem to simply be humans that are in tune and able to communicate with dragons. That isn't actually the case it seems. Dovahkiin are imbued with both the soul and blood of a dragon. They still reside in the body of a human and also maintain the same frailties as other normal humans. Plenty of times in science fiction we've seen hybrids between human and beast, but we've rarely seen it put into practice in this fashion. If someone has the blood and soul of an animal, but most of the makings of a human it creates interesting narrative plot points. It will be really incredible when/if other game developers test out this type of human hybrid and take it in new and bold directions.
Dovahkiin is simply the ancient word for Dragonborn. Those select individuals who have been infused with the blood and soul of dragons. Dovahkiin also means dragon-kind-hunter-born and thus has two meanings. It isn't directly communicated if these two different meanings refer to two types of special human beings or if they're simply different describers of the same phenomenon. Considering how long the second meaning is it isn't surprising Bethesda Game Studios went with the term Dragonborn throughout Skyrim. This type of lore in terms of language is somewhat based in reality considering when we research older languages they seemed to put an emphasis on stringing together words for clearer understanding. Sometimes making things a little longer can also make them easier.
Cyrodil is not only an important place in the world of Tamriel in terms of political and sociological power, but it also holds connections to two very distinct Dovhakiin. The first of these famed Dragonborn is Alessia. She was the slave queen of Cyrodil during the First Era, and also famously created a covenant with Akatosh. Reman Cyrodil is the second of these two Dovahkiin and was the ruler of Cyrodil during the First Era. He drew respect and praise for successfully thwarting the Akaviri invasion during his reign of Cyrodil. When it comes to those who are chosen, even though there seem to be some connecting characteristics, dragon blood and their souls care not about moral conviction. It seems that leadership skills and other undefined features are common among those born as Dovahkiin.
People in the world of Tamriel often wonder when the next Dragonborn will appear. Oddly enough players control the last Dragonborn in Skyrim. A person imbued with fantastical powers and assigned to stop Alduin the World-Eater before it's too late. The main character of Skyrim is referred to specifically at many points in the game as the last Dragonborn. This is odd considering there's not a whole lot of clarification as to why exactly this lineage of super-powered humans is suddenly coming to an end. Players also have the opportunity to defeat the first ever Dragonborn Miraak, which is cool considering they're the bookends of this mysterious lineage of individuals. Is this the last time we will see a Dragonborn? The next entry in the series will likely take place in a new area, but that doesn't mean we couldn't interact with the next of kin.
A common misconception about the Dovahkiin is that they're immortal. This has to partially do with the myths surrounding the immortality of dragons and how the Dovahkiin are imbued with both the blood and soul of dragons. Another reason for this misconception has to do with Miraak. He disappeared for ages and many thought that he lived eternally. This wasn't, in fact, true and simply hid away until he was ultimately slain by the last Dragonborn. The Dovahkiin are immune to everything a normal human would be immune to. They're not immortal, they're not invulnerable. So the next time a guy is shouted Thu'um words at you just know that you have the slightest chance of taking them in a fight. Though, we're not responsible for any outcome that may result in your bodily injury or death.
Every video game that entails lore to some capacity tends to include some type of ancient prophecy that's had a profound effect on the world as is. In Skyrim, it doesn't navigate away from this trope in the slightest. The Prophecy of the Dragonborn states when Alduin the World-Eater wakes, so to will The Last Dragonborn. The credit for this prophecy most often references the Elder Scrolls but sometimes is associated with the ancient Akaviri. This prophecy is the framework for the entire main quest line of Skyrim. It sets up the players journey and explains how this Dragonborn suddenly appears during a very dire time. The prophecy itself is simplistic and kind of boring. It would have been interesting if Bethesda Game Studios injected a little more originality and flavor, but oh well.
Wouldn't it be nice to have the ability to immediately learn any language you want? Dovahkiin are automatically imbued with the ability to speak the ancient language of the dragons, Thu'um. The main mechanic in Skyrim revolves around the consuming of defeated dragon souls by the last Dragonborn. When these powerful souls are consumed the player learns new words, which unlock powerful actions. It's weird that Dovahkiin are able to speak the ancient tongue but don't know any words. The equivalent of this in terms of real world parallels is being gifted a frame for a car but having to get all of the individual parts and learning how to put them together in hopes of creating something functional. I know this may seem like an odd addition to this piece, but you'd be surprised by the number of players who gloss over the narrative.
Cults are as interesting as they are terrifying. The Greybeards are simply a group of powerful speakers of Thu'um that choose to live in silence and use their powers when needed most. They're a strange group of monks who live high in the mountains of Skyrim and call upon the name of the next Dragonborn. Though they're a key part of Skyrim's main questline, it doesn't seem that many players care to stick around and learn more about these grumpy old mutes. The Greybeards in many ways are responsible for the legacy of Tiber Septim, one of the most important names in Elder Scrolls history. After being silent for years, the Greybeards called upon Tiber Septim and invited him to High Hrothgar where he was ushered in as Dovahkiin.
The Daedra seem to have an influence over many parts of Tamriel which is actually quite troubling. The beauty of Daedric gods is that they prey on the insecurities of man and thus feel no sympathy or pity for any actions they may have brought into reality. We've previously talked about how Dragonborn can be those with a high moral compass and compassion, but can also be slave owners and tyrants. This means that there have been numerous occasions in which a Dovahkiin has formed a strong alliance with a Daedric princes and/or princes. It is still unclear if Daedric princes claim the souls of those select Dovahkiin in the same manner in which they do with their other servants. Imagine having the power of the Dragonborn as well as the Daedra? We know that power consumes man, and thus is their weakness.
Miraak is a name that should sound really familiar. He was a Dragon Priest, but more importantly, is known for being the first ever Dovahkiin. Instead of working towards defeating Alduin, he chose to partner with the Daedric Prince Herbaceous Mora. This led to a conflict between Miraak and the dragon cult he once led and was a part of. His reign swiftly came to an end as Miraak was defeated by dragons. Miraak then retreated to Apocrypha and hid for years and years. It wasn't until the Fourth Era where Miraak is finally defeated once and for all. Miraak is found by the last Dragonborn, and after an interesting encounter is defeated. This was an interesting plot point considering you caused a legacy to end by destroying its beginning. It was a fantastic way to bring those two ends together and create a climactic end.
One of the most confusing and hard to nail down aspects of the Dovahkiin is specifically how the select few are chosen. The process holds no restrictions in terms of someone's race or their gender. This is probably due to the fact that dragons don't really concern themselves with the idea of gender or race that much. We know that they are very picky though. It is very rare for two Dragonborn to exist at the same point in time. If you were to count the number of total Dragonborn, including those who were never confirmed but strongly suggested it would still be lower than you'd expect. Some Dragonborn were more notable than others probably due to their position of power, willingness to accomplish things, and so on. It is also believed that gift of Dovahkiin is bestowed to those favored by Akatosh.
The Blades are an often overlooked but extremely important part of the legacy of Dovahkiin. They're the protectors, the watchers, the security. They praise the Dragonborn as being the ultimate dragon slayers and understand their importance to the world. The Greybeards see the Blades as a band of scummy assassins who are looking to shape the Dovahkiin around their own agenda. When we were first introduced to the Greybeards in Skyrim, we knew there was going to be some sort of analog. These guys were old, tiresome, and unexciting. The Blades provide the player with a support group of highly skilled warriors who want the Dovahkiin to succeed at any cost. It's great that the game introduces you to two groups closely tied to the Dragonborn and it is up to the player to decide who they believe and/or follow most.
Tiber Septim is a very important man, some may argue the most important influence on Tamriel as a whole. It's no surprise that a man who would grow to become what Tiber Septim did would become a Dovahkiin. He had tremendous influence over the land and was the first Emperor of the Septim Empire. There are many theories circulating about how he came into power and was able to change as many things as he did. One theory suggests that he transcended and was able to manipulate the world of Elder Scrolls to provide him with everything he ever wanted. This is based on the theory that Elder Scrolls as a whole takes place in a dream of a godly being. This theory isn't too crazy considering if you make a list of the greatest accomplishments you could complete in the world of Tamriel, Tiber Septim did.
There's a long lineage of those gifted with the title of Dovahkiin. Most if not all of them have been recorded and their stories are often recalled as timeless tales of legends. However, there is one individual who was strongly considered to be a Dovahkiin but unfortunately, it was never proved or confirmed and has been left as a mystery. Mankar Camoran, the leader of the Mythic Dawn, was an individual who apparently possessed the ability to "speak another tongue" or "speak fire." Camoran was also said to have worn the Amulet of the Kings which was only worn by those infused with the blood of a dragon. Like previously stated, it was never proven either way if Mankar Camoran was indeed a Dragonborn, but all of the evidence suggests he was indeed a Dovahkiin.
There are seven notable Dovahkiin in the entire history of Tamriel. We've discussed many of them and their backgrounds. They seem to stem from all walks of life, all races, and most importantly every direction of the moral compass. We still don't have a clear answer as to how many Dragonborn in total there have been. We assume that the number is quite low and the Dovahkiin is born through desperation or need. That being said, what if there were Dragonborn who simply never knew, or even worse, rejected the responsibility or power? It would be great to get some more defined answers considering it seems that we've seen the last of the Dovahkiin. What if Miraak was the reason they existed, and thus once the Last Dragonborn kills him, he completes the prophecy as well as the loop?