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Drem Yol Lok. Greetings. I am Paarthurnax.
~ Paarthurnax introducing himself

Paarthurnax is the deuteragonist of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Paarthurnax is a dragon who is the leader of the Greybeards, and the younger brother of Alduin. He resides on the Throat of the World, awaiting Dovahkiin. He teaches the Dovahkiin powers, and guides her/him through his quest. Paarthurnax is voiced by Charles Martinet, who is most well known for providing the voice of Mario.


Paarthurnax was originally a lieutenant to his eldest brother as were all dragons, for Alduin was the first among them and dragon values place a great deal of import on linage since they are the children of the god Akatosh. Eventually, Paarthurnax began to question his brother's designs on the world and the destruction of the mortal races. Paarthurnax observed value in the mortal races, it was also no secret that Alduin devoured the souls of the dead to grow even more powerful for it was an ability and privilege many of his kin envied. With the knowledge that mortals were being killed for no other reason than to satisfy Alduin desire for power, Paarthurnax eventually decided to deviate from his in-born desires to serve Alduin and instead secretly taught the Nord's of Skyrim how to speak as a dragon did, in so doing creating a process that humans could use to harness the power of the dragon's for a dragon's words all manifest the power they use. Alduin was fought and defeated by three Nords, Hakon One-Eye, Gormlaith Golden-Hilt, and Felldir the Old. However, despite Hakon, Gormlaith and Felldir's combined use of the dragon tongue, along with their own created word with-in the language Dragonrend, they could not defeat him, only ground and wound him so Felldir used an Elder Scroll to banish Alduin through the gates of time.

After Alduin's defeat, his kin were all hunted down to near extinction, the exception being Paarthurnax, who had ingratiated himself to the Nord sages who came to be known as the Greybeards. The Greybeards guarded the tall mountain known as The Throat of the World, Skyrim's tallest peak and site of Alduin's banishment. The mountain was considered sacred and with the Greybeards keeping watch for errant travelers, with their monastery acting as a massive gate-way/blockade up the mountain steep path, the summit of the mountain was secured and Paarthurnax's lair was safe. Paarthurnax spent the year teaching new Greybeards the Way of Peace, a dogma which resulted in the members learning the dragon tongue but also never to use it for personal ends rather as either a meditative honing of spirit or if situation called for it as a form of personal defense. Alduin fell into myth and legend and it was said he would return at the end of days.


Alduin returns in the Third Era, sent forward in time from the moment of his banishment. Alduin attacks a small village being used for prisoner execution with the player character included in the line-up. The player was set to be executed as well for boarder crossing, a crime which might have only been a few gold or light prison time to work-off but since the player's arrival was at the same time as a rebel group's last stand in the area he/she is brought in with the rest of the prisoners with the soldiers not wishing to risk who was and was not back-up. Alduin returns just as the player is about to be killed and the attack allows the player to flee the area, either with Hadvar, a soldier remorseful of needing to harm a possible innocent or Ralof one of the rebels who considers the player a brother/sister in arms after having escaped summery execution. Either way the player escapes and is sent to give word to the near-by city of Whiterun to warn them of Alduin's return. With Whiterun short-handed on those who could actually handle a dragon Balgruuf the Greater, ruler of the city, conscripts the player to help fight a dragon attack at their southern outpost. Upon slaying the beast, the player will find they are Dovahkiin, Dragonborn and descended from a union between mortal and dragon, with the battle with the dragon having awakened the power in their ancestral blood-line. The power of the Dovahkiin blood-line allows the player to be the only know mortal capable of killing a dragon permanently and devouring their soul, or rather life-force, and in so doing taking the dragon's power into her/himself just as Alduin did to slain mortals.

Revelations to the player being the Dovahkiin soon sends them on a quest to The Throat of the World to train with the Greybeards in the way of the voice, which soon enough leads to the meeting of the Dovahkiin and Paarthurnax. Paarthurnax reveals the history of Alduin to the Dovahkiin and of how he had come to teach the Way of the Voice. Paarthurnax still opposes his brother and wishes to protect the mortals and so he teaches the Dovahkiin shouts and that an Elder Scroll may again hold the key to vanquishing Alduin however not with the power of the Scroll it self but rather the knowledge it could give. As the Dragonrend was constructed by mortals who used the Dragon Tongue to give words to their hatred of what the dragons were doing to them its words were un-utterable to Dovahkiin and to all dragons, however, knowing it would allow the Dovahkiin to rob any dragon, even Alduin, of their flight for a time, thus taking away the dragons' biggest tactical advantage.

Once the Dovahkiin acquires and Elder Scroll and uses it to witness Alduin's banishment and the words for Dragonrend, used to ground him, Alduin arrives to do battle with the Dovahkiin himself. Paarthurnax flies out to do fight his brother in the air to give the Dovahkiin a chance to use Dragonrend on him. Upon the Dovahkiin's use of Dragonrend and battling to a standstill, Alduin shakes off the effects of Dragonrend to fly off to Sovngarde to replenish his power by eating the ghosts of the mortal dead. The Dovahkiin organizes a truce with the help of the Greybeards to prevent the civil war still raging is Skyrim due to the rebels' escape and come up with a treating while the dragons are tended to.

After the meeting the last of The Blades, former body-guards of the royal family and dragon slayers, posses an option for fighting Alduin in Sovngarde and vanquishing him once and for all. The head of order Esbern and his loyal compatriot Delphine tell the Dovahkiin that they had discovered the name of a dragon. Esbern says that calling out to it will allow him to hear the Dovahkiin where-ever he is and with dragons being creatures of pride, he will be compelled to show up, taking it as a sign of challenge. Esbern gives the Dovahkiin the name of the dragon as Odahviing. Paarthurnax confirms that Odahviing was one of the few dragons who knew the way to Sovngarde other than Paarthurnax and he would surely be able to direct the Donahkiin there. Before leaving to summon Odahviing though Delphine tells the Dovahkiin that they also learned Paarthurnax is still alive and he needs to be killed for helping Alduin back in the old days. Delphine feels that whether or not Paarthurnax has changed he is still one of the oldest dragons from the era when dragons lorded over and killed the mortals races for shear amusement and as such he represents what The Blades were made to stop and besides that that Paarthurnax simply represented a major security issue if allowed to roam free. As of this moment the Dovahkiin can chose to either honor the request or ignore it and receives the mission, "Paarthurnax".

The Dovahkiin will do battle with Odahviing and trap him in an ancient dragon-snare housed in Whiterun castle. Odahviing states that he will not harm the Dovahkiin or the people of Whiterun and fly to Sovngarde with the Dovahkiin if he was freed, with no other way their except by flight, he Dovahkiin must agree and releases Odahviing and the two fly off to Sovngarde to defeat Alduin. Odahviing refuses to openly challenge his brother, stating that while many dragons, himself included, had begun to question Alduin's right to rule them if he could be beaten by a mortal in open combat, that none were ready to openly oppose him. He, however, wishes the Dovahkiin well before flying off.


The Dovahkiin will fight and eventually defeat Alduin and be returned to Skyrim.

  • If the Dovahkiiin chose to spare Paarthurnax, he will be with all the remaining dragons waiting for her/him upon the return to Skyrim. While not all the dragons consider the Dovahkiin an ally, like Paarthurnax and Odahviing, do they all view the battle as indisputable proof that Alduin was not fit to lead them and that the Dovahkiin was deserving of their tempered respect. Paarthurnax takes up the reigns of his brethren and tries to teach them the Way of Peace as well and flies off with his kin.
  • If the Dovahkiin kills Paarthurnax prior to the main story's completion, the same events follow save, that Paarthurnax is not at the Dovahkiin's return to Skyrim and as such will not be around to try to teach dragons the Way of Peace; Instead The Dovahkiin is made one of the Blades and the leader of their order. The Blades will resolve to settle the dragon issue by going from region to region slaying them with the Dragonborn to finish off the dragons and assure that they stay defeated for all time.


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