Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Elder Dragon.

Elder Dragons are a type of dragon in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Their health pools and attack damage are considerably higher than the basic Fire Dragon and Frost Dragons. Elder dragons can use both Fire Breath and Frost Breath.

They are considered middle-class compared to other dragons, the strongest being the Legendary Dragon (if the add-on Dawnguard is installed) and the weakest being a generic dragon. Spawning on the world map, Elder Dragons can be encountered at levels as low as 22 and as high as 50.

Physical appearance[]

These dragons undergo a massive change in design from Frost to Elder. Not only are they larger, and obviously more intimidating, but they feature a more noticeable bronze colored body, with spots of black dotting the skin. 

Instead of a row of spines, or a sail, these dragons have a mere row of bony bumps dotting their spine, however, they essentially trade that for a meaner, more aggressive looking facial structure. They have two massive, curved horns on their heads, with a more angular, pointy face. 

Lastly, these dragons also possess the regular spaded tail that the generic and Frost dragons also have.


These dragons do not have a set elemental shout, instead using either a Fire Breath shout, or a Frost Breath shout. They are far more powerful than previous dragon variants in terms of attacks, both ranged and physical, meaning engaging these dragons is quite a battle if the Dragonborn does not have a set of armor capable of defense, or a weapon capable of quickly downing the dragon.

Essentially, one of the best strategies would be to try and keep the dragon still, while hammering it from afar, pelting it with any kind of arrow. Dragonrend is especially useful for this purpose and can easily give the Dragonborn the upperhand if used effectively.




This section contains bugs related to Elder 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  /  PS5  ,  XS  , 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   Rarely, if the Dragonborn slays an Elder Dragon, the body of the dead dragon will not dissolve nor the dragon soul absorbed, instead, after waking up from a sleep the Dragonborn will be staggered and then a "Dragon Soul Absorbed" animation will occur.
  •  360   Elder dragons may not die after the health bar is depleted.confirmation needed