Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Blood Dragon.

Blood Dragons are a type of dragon in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. They are the first named species of dragon the Dragonborn will encounter, which begin appearing after reaching Level 18.

Physical appearance[]

Blood dragons are bigger, faster, and stronger than their generic brown cousins. They are also significantly more reptilian, being a vibrant green color, with much smaller, smoother scales, and vertically-slit yellow eyes. They feature a wide frill in place of horns, and a dorsal fin in place of spines. Their tail frill is also a leaf-like fin instead of the usual diamond shape seen on other dragons.



The dragon will begin by staying airborne, making sweeping dives or hovering in place to use its breath. A melee-focused character should find cover and stock up on healing items in case they get caught in a blast, as it can cut their health down quickly (Frost Breath is especially dangerous to melee fighters, as it cuts their stamina and slows their movement). When the dragon hovers or circles above, using a bow to chip away at its health can be effective.

A magic-focused character may find combat with these dragons easier, as Lesser Ward can be sufficient to block or absorb a breath attack, if they have enough magicka. Once it stops attacking, respond with spells: Flames or Firebolt for frost breath dragons, and Frostbite fire breath dragons, as they take more damage against the opposite type. This may not be effective at long range.


Whenever the dragon lands, either run up and use melee attacks, or attack it with spells from a distance. Stay away from its head, as it will continually bite or breathe fire or frost, which can easily be fatal. However, even when it is not facing the Dragonborn, the dragon can still beat its wings or swing its tail to deal substantial damage.

Once the dragon falls below half-health, it can no longer maintain flight and will crash to the ground. If one is a melee-focused character, strafe around it and keep attacking, dodging when necessary. Power attacks will stagger the dragon and cancel its attacks.

If the Dragonborn is a mage, Oakflesh or Stoneflesh can be beneficial. Strafe around the dragon, continually firing the appropriate spell, and pausing when necessary to heal or let magicka regenerate. Wards can be very useful here, especially with the Ward Absorb perk, which will completely refill magicka with a single breath attack.



This section contains bugs related to Blood Dragon (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  PC   360   PS3   NX   Sometimes, a blood dragon's texture will not load properly until it is killed.
  • As with other types of dragon, a blood dragon may give no soul when killed (when this happens, the dragon's body is not turned into a skeleton).