Dragon Shouts (), also referred to as Shouts or Thu'um in the Dragon language, are an ancient form of magic prominently used in Skyrim during the late Merethic and early First Era, but has gradually become obscured. Shouts use the vocalization of specific "words of power" to create powerful magical effects, usually for offensive purposes. Each Shout is made up of three words. However, one or two words of a given Shout may be used, but the effect is correspondingly less powerful compared to the full force of the whole shout.
Dragons are able to master and use their Thu'um at will, as this sacred language is their natural language, inborn into their souls from the moment of their creation (when dragons shout, breathing fire or frost at each other with the Thu'um they are actually having a deadly verbal debate). Mortals are only able to learn and use the Thu'um through a long process of meditation and the practice of the words. There are exceptions to this: rare individuals who are known as Dragonborn, exist with the bodies of mortals but the souls of dragons. The Dragonborn is able to intuitively learn Shouts, using the absorbed Souls of dragons to gain the dragons' understanding of the words. As shown during "The Way of the Voice," they can also absorb knowledge from other individuals who have mastered specific words.
A minority of other characters also have the ability to use Dragon Shouts, such as a small group of monks known as the Greybeards, who live in seclusion inside of the fortress of High Hrothgar. This fortress is located near the top of the mountain known as the Throat of the World, which is said to be the highest peak in all of Tamriel. The Greybeards use their Thu'um to meditate, as well as praise and worship the Divines. However, their beliefs differ from the Blades, who believe that the Thu'um should be used as a weapon in the battle against dragons.
There are twenty Shouts in Skyrim, the Dawnguard expansion adds three new Shouts, and the Dragonborn expansion adds four more. The Dragonborn learns the shouts which are inscribed on Word Walls found on ancient Nordic ruins, and are unlocked with dragon souls. There are a select few, however, that are given by the Greybeards as a reward for completing quests for the Greybeards along the main quest. Dragon souls are gained by slaying dragons and absorbing their souls. Each word of power requires one dragon soul to be unlocked. Because each shout contains three words of power, it requires three Dragon Souls to be completely unlocked, thus enabling its full power.
These Shouts have powerful effects and provide the user with a variety of abilities. For instance, one shout sends foes hurling away, another shout allows for traveling a relatively long distance almost instantly. Others also project spells of fire or ice, inflicting heavy damage to opponents. The Dragonborn can use a partially unlocked Shout (only one or two words unlocked). The more words used in a shout, the longer it will take for the shout ability to recharge (the recharge time is displayed by the blinking outline of the compass).
Significant events involving Dragon Shouts[edit | edit source]
- Kyne, the Nordic aspect of Kynareth, was the one who granted the power to use the Thu'um to the mortal races of men. Paarthurnax was then the first to teach mortals to use the Thu'um.
- The ancient Nord heroes Felldir the Old, Gormlaith Golden-Hilt, and Hakon One-Eye contrived the Dragonrend shout and used it in conjunction with an Elder Scroll in an attempt to defeat Alduin. By this act, Alduin was cast adrift through time, which gave the winning edge to mankind in its battle against the dragons, and brought about the end of the Dragon War.
- Skyrim Conquests. During Skyrim Conquests and the founding of the Nordic Empire, the great Nord war chiefs—Derek the Tall, Jorg Helmbolg, Hoag Merkiller—were all Tongues.
- After the great Nord army's defeat against the Dunmeri Tribunal at Red Mountain, Jurgen Windcaller converted to pacifism and founded the Way of the Voice to be thereafter practiced and taught by the Greybeards.
- The Greybeards study shouts and are the primary institution for studying the Thu'um among mortals.
- General Tiber Septim was known to have been Dragonborn, possessing the natural ability to use shouts.
- Ulfric Stormcloak studied and apparently used the Thu'um to disable the previous High King of Skyrim in order to kill him. This was part of Ulfric's effort to show that the Empire was unfit to rule, supporting the cause of the Stormcloaks, the Nordic rebel force named after him. He also used shouts to retake Markarth from the Forsworn who had taken control of the city during the Great War.
- The Last Dragonborn defeated Alduin and was recognized by the other dragons as the dominant Dovah in Mundus during the Fourth Era.
Locating Shouts[edit | edit source]
After finishing The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, Arngeir can be asked, "Have you located any Words of Power?" The location will be added to the map and a miscellaneous quest will be added to the journal. It is to be noted that if Paarthurnax is killed, then Arngeir will no longer give out the locations of the words of power.
After shouting in a specific area, a courier may deliver a letter, which reveals the location of a nearby Word Wall, although it may be a location that has already been visited.
- Note: While the locations of the three Word Walls for each shout are fixed, the words are not locked to a specific wall. Therefore, traveling to any of the walls related to one shout will always gain the Dragonborn the first, second, and third words in order.
Learning Shouts[edit | edit source]
Once a new shout has been discovered, a dragon soul is required to unlock it. Access the shouts sub-menu from the magic menu. Locked shouts are grayed out. In the bottom right corner of the menu is the number of dragon souls available to use. These accumulate as dragons are killed.
According to the Greybeards, a Dragonborn absorbs the knowledge of the words from the dragon's soul. Fully unlocking a shout requires the use of one dragon soul for each word of power learned, with each shout being composed of three words.
Unlocking shouts[edit | edit source]
To unlock a shout, select it and press the corresponding button.
- Xbox 360 / Xbox One: Press (x)
- PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4: Press (square)
- PC: Press the "R" key.
- Nintendo Switch: Press the Y button on the right joycon.
Shouts[edit | edit source]
|Dragon Shout||Word of Power||Translation||Cooldown||Word Wall Location|
|Animal Allegiance||A Shout for help from the beasts of the wild, who come to fight in your defense.|
Ysgramor's Tomb – during "Glory of the Dead"
|Aura Whisper||Your Voice is not a Shout, but a whisper, revealing the life forces of any and all.|
|Battle Fury||Your Thu'um enchants your nearby allies' weapons, allowing them to attack faster.|
All words learned during "Lost Legacy"
|Become Ethereal||The Thu'um reaches out to the Void, changing your form to one that cannot harm, or be harmed.|
Lost Valley Redoubt
Ustengrav – during "The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller"
|Bend Will||Your voice bends the very stones to your will. As it gains power, animals, people, and even dragons must do your bidding.|
|Hah||Mind||90||Learned from Hermaeus Mora|
|Dov||Dragon||120||Learned from Hermaeus Mora|
|Call Dragon||Odahviing! Hear my Voice and come forth. I summon you in my time of need.|
|Od||Snow||5||Sky Haven Temple or High Hrothgar
All words learned during "The Fallen"
|Call of Valor||The valiant of Sovngarde hear your Voice, and journey beyond space and time to lend aid.|
All words learned during "Dragonslayer"
|Clear Skies||Skyrim itself yields before the Thu'um, as you clear away fog and inclement weather.|
All words learned during "The Throat of the World"
|Cyclone||Your Thu'um creates a whirling cyclone that sows chaos among your enemies.|
Kolbjorn Barrow – during "Unearthed"
White Ridge Sanctum
|Disarm||Shout defies steel, as you rip the weapon from an opponent's grasp.|
Snow Veil Sanctum – during "Speaking With Silence"
|Dismay||And the weak shall fear the Thu'um, and flee in Terror.|
|Faas||Fear||40||Dead Crone Rock|
Lost Tongue Overlook
Shalidor's Maze in Labyrinthian
|Dragon Aspect||Once a day, take on the mighty aspect of a dragon, delivering colossal blows, with an armored hide, and more powerful shouts.|
|Mul||Strength||5||Apocrypha, Waking Dreams Chapter VI|
Temple of Miraak
|Dragonrend||Your Voice lashes out at a dragon's very soul, forcing the beast to land.|
|Joor||Mortal||10||Throat of the World – during "Alduin's Bane"|
|Drain Vitality||Coax both magical and mortal energies from your hapless opponent.|
Dimhollow Crypt – during "Awakening"
Forgotten Vale – during "Touching the Sky"
|Elemental Fury||The Thu'um imbues your arms with the speed of wind, allowing for faster weapon strikes.|
Statue to Meridia
|Fire Breath||Inhale air, exhale flame, and behold the Thu'um as inferno.|
|Yol||Fire||30||Dustman's Cairn – during "Proving Honor"|
Throat of the World – during "The Throat of the World"
|Frost Breath||Your breath is winter, your Thu'um a blizzard.|
|Ice Form||Your Thu'um freezes an opponent solid.|
Saarthal – during "Under Saarthal"
|Kyne's Peace||The Voice soothes wild beasts, who lose their desire to fight or flee.|
Shroud Hearth Barrow
|Marked for Death||Speak, and let your Voice herald doom, as an opponent's armor and lifeforce are weakened.|
Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary – during "With Friends Like These..." or "Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!"
|Soul Tear||Your Thu'um cuts through flesh and shatters soul, commanding the will of the fallen.|
|Rii||Essence||5||Each word learned from Durnehviir after he is summoned|
|Slow Time||Shout at time, and command it to obey, as the world around you stands still.|
Korvanjund – during "The Jagged Crown"
Labyrinthian – during "The Staff of Magnus"
|Storm Call||A Shout to the skies, a cry to the clouds, that awakens the destructive force of Skyrim's lightning.|
High Gate Ruins
Skuldafn – during "The World-Eater's Eyrie"
|Summon Durnehviir||Durnehviir! Hear my Voice and come forth from the Soul Cairn. I summon you in my time of need.|
|Dur||Curse||5||All words learned from Durnehviir in the Soul Cairn.|
|Throw Voice||The Thu'um is heard, but its source unknown, fooling those into seeking it out.|
Shearpoint – All words learned at once
|Unrelenting Force||Your Voice is raw power, pushing aside anything - or anyone - who stands in your path.|
|Fus||Force||15||Bleak Falls Barrow|
|Ro||Balance||20||High Hrothgar – during "The Way of the Voice"|
|Dah||Push||45||High Hrothgar – during "The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller"|
|Whirlwind Sprint||The Thu'um rushes forward, carrying you in its wake with the speed of a tempest.|
|Wuld||Whirlwind||20||Dead Men's Respite|
High Hrothgar – during "The Way of the Voice"
[edit | edit source]
|Dragon Shout||Word of Power||Translation||Location|
|Devour Soul||Used by Miraak during the battle between him and the Last Dragonborn in Apocrypha to instantly kill dragons and absorb their souls. Uniquely, it is the only shout with four words.|
|Zii||Spirit||Observed when fighting Miraak in Apocrypha.|
|Alduin's roar||Used by Alduin to summon a storm that rains meteors down from the sky. This is the only shout with no words associated with it; instead, Alduin's roar is what seems to produce the storm.|
|N/A||N/A||Observed during the encounter with Alduin at Helgen during Unbound, at the Throat of the World during "Alduin's Bane" and in Sovngarde during "Dragonslayer." Can be countered with Clear Skies. As of Online, the shout can be translated as "Jiid So Daan," Or "Moon Sorrow Doom."[source?]|
|MQAlduinSlenTiidVo[note 1]||Used by Alduin to resurrect Nahagliiv, Sahloknir, Viinturuth and Vuljotnaak from their burial sites.|
|Slen||Flesh||Observed at Rorikstead Resurrection, Kynesgrove Resurrection, Yorgrim Resurrection and Great Henge Resurrection dragon burial sites.|
|Vo||"Un-" prefix. (opposite of. e.g. unkind, unlikeable)|
|Open[note 2]||A single word used by Borri during the quest "The Way of the Voice," in order to quickly open a gate.|
|Bex||Open||Observed at High Hrothgar.|
|Phantom Form||This shout is used by the Greybeards to summon a spectral clone of themselves for the Dragonborn to practice Unrelenting Force on.|
|Fiik||Mirror||Observed inside High Hrothgar during "The Way of the Voice."|
|ResurrectionShout||Used by Alduin to resurrect long dead dragons from their burial sites.|
|"MQFakeWord"||"MQFakeWord"||Observed at several Dragon Burial Mounds throughout Skyrim.|
|Return to Nirn||Used by Tsun to return the Dragonborn to Nirn (specifically Skyrim) after the defeat of Alduin in Sovngarde.|
|Nahl||Living||Observed by the player in Sovngarde.|
|Soul Cairn Summon||This shout is used by Durnehviir to summon a Boneman, a Mistman and a Wrathman from the Soul Cairn.|
|Diil||Undead||Observed when Durnehviir is in combat.|
|Soul Fog||Used by Alduin to summon a dense fog that doubles as a soul snare.|
|Ven||Wind||Observed by the player in Sovngarde.|
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Using a shout in a city may prompt a guard to run up to the Dragonborn and request that they stop, stating that it is making people nervous, although this will never create a bounty. A bounty will only occur if the shout harms someone.
- Shouts are able to damage an enemy without the usage of Magicka or Stamina.
- Storm Call will strike any character within range, regardless of if they are hostile/friendly characters; followers are also subject to being harmed by the Shout.
- It is possible to learn the first two words of Whirlwind Sprint before going to High Hrothgar. If learned before going to High Hrothgar, the Greybeards will teach the second or third word of Whirlwind Sprint.
- All three words of the Throw Voice shout are learned at a single Word Wall.
- Throw Voice and Storm Call are the only shouts which are guarded by Dragon Priests.
- The locations are shout specific not word specific, meaning they can be visited in any order and the words will be learned in the proper sequence.
- Summon Spectral Clone has voice files (tested with all races) and is available through Console Commands. The ID for the words of power are 0002F2CC for Fiik, 0002F2CD for Lo, and 0002F2CE for Sah.
- With Dawnguard, Soul Cairn Summon is also available through console commands, with the IDs for the words of power being 01a162, 01a163, and 01a164.
- When using this shout, however, the Dragonborn will not say the words (tested with Nord and Altmer) and it will only summon 1 creature from the Soul Cairn.
- 44 Dragon Souls are needed to unlock every shout in the vanilla game. 13 Shouts require the full three souls to unlock, four Shouts (Call Dragon, Call of Valor, Clear Skies, Dragonrend) are learned automatically without needing to acquire any Dragon Souls, the first words of two Shouts (Fire Breath and Whirlwind Sprint) are learned automatically, but require two more souls each to fully unlock; and Unrelenting Force requires only one soul, which is used automatically when Mirmulnir dies, with the other two words being learned automatically through completion of the first act.
- All Shouts can be "sheathed" by pressing Square (PS3) or X (360) right after the first Word.
- With the Dawnguard and Dragonborn add-ons, 65 dragon souls are needed to unlock all dragon shouts. This does not include shouts learned from external sources (The Greybeards or Hermaeus Mora).
- There are another four versions of the Drain Vitality shout in addition to the original. The four shouts, with consecutive editor ids (
DLC1DragonDrainVitalityShout02, 03, 04,and
05), deal 1, 2, 3, and 4 damage per second, respectively, for 20 seconds. The two shouts used by the Revered and Legendary dragons have editor ids of
DLC1DragonDrainVitalityShout07, dealing 5 and 7 damage per second, respectively, for 20 seconds.
- There is a dragon shout named Amiibo in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition that is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch platform.
- Dwarven Centurions have a "Steam Breath" power that the game engine considers as a shout. The Dragonborn can possess a variant of this with the Breath of Nchuak, which is only available with the helmet "Visage of Mzund." This is a special apparel from the Dragonborn addition.
Bugs[edit | edit source]
This section contains bugs related to Dragon Shouts. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- Rarely, a dragon shout will not work, and the Dragonborn will sound as if something is caught in their throat before the first word can be spoken.
- Sometimes, it is possible for a Word Wall to produce no word. The only fix for this is to reload a save.
- There is a chance of, after shouting, it will not be possible to change said shout to another, and it will display something along the lines of, "you cannot switch shouts in the middle of one." To fix it, save and restart your console. Another potential fix is to switch to a power rather than a shout, as this seems to "unlock" the shout menu, allowing a different shout to be selected.
- Shouts, like "Drain Vitality," may duplicate more than once. Saving before approaching the Word Wall may fix the bug if reloaded. This will cause the shout to show numerical values for each stat it drains along with a max cool down of 12 seconds and each duplicate will be stronger than the previous(For as much as four times) but not as strong as the original.
- While in combat, the Dragonborn will shout the words, but no effect will occur. In the following time after, they cannot use spells, shout, or interact, but can attack with a weapon.
Occasionally, a dragon shout may not work with no sound being played and the Dragonborn will be unable to use shouts or powers, with the shouts tab saying you cannot change shouts during one.
- A fix for this is to sheath a currently equipped weapon, and upon the sheathing animation finishing, the first word of the shout will be automatically used.
Achievements[edit | edit source]
|Words of Power|
Learn all three words of a shout
Learn 20 shouts
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr
- The Elder Scrolls Online: Scalebreaker
- The Elder Scrolls Online: Dragonhold
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The shout is listed in Creation Kit as a topic response with ID "MQAlduinSlenTiidVo" and says "Slen Tiid Vo!" with the script note attached: "the Shout he's using to resurrect the dragon Sahloknir. Maximum intensity. Enunciate each word -- almost pausing between them." It is only a shout from a lore-focused perspective; it is not a game mechanic.
- The word is listed in Creation Kit as a topic response with the script note attached: "Word of power, means "open!"" It is only a shout from a lore-focused perspective; it is not a game mechanic.