"It's good to see the Blades fighting alongside the Dragonborn once again. To think we're treading in the footsteps of thousands years past."

Dragon Hunting is a repeatable quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The Dragonborn, with the aid of inducted Blades members (should they be available) must kill the dragon at one of the ten dragon lairs scattered throughout Skyrim, eleven if The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn is installed.


  1. Speak to Esbern
  2. Travel to the given lair location
  3. Defeat the dragon
  4. Return to Esbern


After inducting three followers into the Blades during the quest "Rebuilding the Blades," Delphine will mention Esbern is studying dragon lairs. Speaking to Esbern will start the miscellaneous quest "Ask Esbern about dragon lairs."

He explains that the Blades of the Second Era hunted down many dragons. They kept records "...of where the beasts lived." He states that only the Dragonborn "... can truly defeat these monsters," but they do not have to do it alone. Whenever the Dragonborn is ready to hunt one, they should come back and speak with him, and the Blades will help "... fulfill your destiny." This completes the miscellaneous quest.


The Blades fighting a dragon at Northwind Summit.

When Esbern is approached again after inducting three, he explains that he has discovered the location of a dragon lair. At this point, a new miscellaneous quest will appear, "Kill the Dragon in ... (Dragon lair location)."

Upon traveling to the indicated lair, all three Blades-Followers will be waiting to join the battle near the beginning of the path leading to the lair. The Hero may speak to them, or just carry on towards the lair, as they will follow.

Upon killing the dragon, the Blades-Followers leave, and a new miscellaneous quest named "Return to Esbern" will appear in the quest log. Returning to him will complete the quest.

Dragon researchEdit

After completing the first dragon hunt for Esbern, the mini quest "Dragon Research" is enabled. The Dragonborn may now bring a Dragon Scale and Dragon Bone to Esbern (which can be looted from the defeated dragon before returning). Esbern will then offer a unique potion to help in the fight against dragons, called Esbern's Potion.

Completing all dragon lairsEdit

Sky haven temple map

A Dragonguard map of Skyrim featuring Sky Haven Temple.

The "Dragon Hunting" quest can be repeated, for all ten dragon lairs present in Skyrim, by returning to Esbern and inquiring about another dragon location.

Once one of these "Dragon Hunting" quests is completed, after a few minutes, a sound will be heard (it is identical to the sound heard when a boss is defeated or a secret chest is discovered). This sound indicates that Esbern has obtained a new dragon lair location and may now send the Blades and the Dragonborn to hunt the dragon therein. Until then, if questioned about hunting dragons, he will say: "All is quiet now..."

Note: The time it takes for Esbern to provide a new location can differ, from immediately after completing one, to having to wait a couple of in-game days. Sleeping or using the "Wait" function does not affect how long a new location takes to become available.

After completing five dragon hunts with the Blades, and while exploring Skyrim, or on the way to a next dragon lair, an Ancient Dragon, one of the most powerful dragons will hunt the Dragonborn. This Ancient Dragon will circle above the Hero and remain there, hostile, even if the Dragonborn is hidden, and possess a high sneak skill, or using invisibility. However, if all the dragon lairs are marked "Cleared" before taking this quest for the first time, it is possible, after clearing the first one, for the Ancient Dragon to attack the Dragonborn sooner than expected, such as heading for a Word Wall's location, or if The Elder Scrolls V: Hearthfire is installed, at their homestead in Falkreath, the Pale, or Hjaalmarch.

Even if all ten lairs have been completed, Esbern will continue to provide the quest as the lairs will continue to respawn a dragon at them, even if they have already been visited and cleared previously.

Dragon lairs locationsEdit


Dragon Hunting – FreeformSkyHavenTempleB
IDJournal Entry
  • Objective 10: Kill the Dragon in <Alias=DragonLair>
  • Objective 20: Return to Esbern


  • If The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn is installed (and the quest "The Fate of the Skaal" completed), then Saering's Watch is a potential target for this quest.
  • This quest can be useful if Shearpoint is the target provided (and not visited prior to the quest) as it would not only provide assistance for killing the dragon, but also for the battle with the Dragon Priest, Krosis, who resides at the lair.
  • If another quest's objective has the same dragon for the target as the one that Esbern has given during this quest, defeating it will further both quests at the same time.


This section contains bugs related to Dragon Hunting. 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   If the targeted dragon has been killed already, one should wait for the dragon to respawn. Although, the quest may be impossible to complete, because the dragon may not respawn.
    •  PC(Fix)   This can be fixed by going to the dragon's corpse, opening the console, and type Resurrect <#>, replacing "#" with the "name" of the dragon that shows when clicking on the corpse with the console open. This will make the dragon respawn. Note that if the Dragonborn dies, the whole process will have to be restarted.
  • Waiting next to Esbern for a new dragon lair location may cause Esbern to never have the next hunting quest.
    • Leaving the area or loading a new area will fix this issue.
  • Dragon may spawn out of bounds beyond Skyrim's borders. In this event, the dragon will be suspended in the air far away and cannot interact with the world. It cannot be killed, even if health bar is depleted once the dragon is located.
    • After depleting the health bar of the dragon, it is possible to trigger a quest completion by leaving the area and entering a new load zone.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Dragon Hunting

  • Blades Recruits as Steward

    4 messages
    • Yes, I have already made Goldir my Steward. I made him my Steward *after* recruiting him to the Blades, therefore he now lives at my Heljarc...
    • I made Rayya my steward, then recruited to the blades and she is still a blade but when I dismiss her she goes back to Lakeview Manor instead...
  • Bug with Dragon Hunting

    4 messages
    • I know I'm replying to an old thread but I figure this is an appropriate addition to the conversation. I stumbled upon a dragon lair one t...
    • That happened to me a year ago. It's a bugged quest that you can't get rid of besides using commands or reloading a save.
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