Two hundred years have passed since the Oblivion Crisis, and it is now the year 4E 201. The High King of Skyrim lies dead, killed by Ulfric Stormcloak in a duel. A Civil War rages in the land. A rebel faction known as the Stormcloaks wishes for Skyrim to secede from the Empire. However, their cause is not supported by all of the land's people and leaders; many still support the Imperial Army. The war has reached a stalemate. This schism is the final event in a prophecy of the Elder Scrolls. It is foretold that this conflict will lead to the return of the Dragons, led by Alduin, the Nordic God of Destruction, also known as the World-Eater.
- Unbound – Escape the village of Helgen, which is under attack by Alduin.
- Before the Storm – Journey to Whiterun and speak with Jarl Balgruuf about the dragon attack.
- Bleak Falls Barrow – Delve into an Ancient Nordic Ruins to recover the Dragonstone, a map of dragon burial sites.
- Dragon Rising – Fight and kill your first Dragon at the Western Watchtower.
- The Way of the Voice – Journey to High Hrothgar and meet with the mysterious Greybeards.
- The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller – Journey to a set of Ancient Nordic Ruins to recover the horn of the Greybeards' founder.
- A Blade in the Dark – Meet with Delphine, One of the last survivors of the Blades and learn more about the Dragon threat.
- Diplomatic Immunity – Infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy to find out what the Aldmeri Dominion knows about the Dragons.
- A Cornered Rat – Journey through the Ratway of Riften to find the other member of the Blades before the Thalmor do.
- Alduin's Wall – Journey to Sky Haven Temple with the Blades to learn the secret of Alduin's Wall.
- The Throat of the World – Meet with the leader of the Greybeards, the dragon Paarthurnax, to learn how to defeat Alduin.
- Elder Knowledge – Delve into Blackreach in search of one of the fabled Elder Scrolls to learn the shout needed to defeat Alduin.
- Alduin's Bane – Battle Alduin with Paarthurnax at the top of the Throat of the World.
- Season Unending – Negotiate a peace treaty between the Imperial Legion and the Stormcloaks.[note 1]
- Paarthurnax – Kill Paarthurnax for the Blades.[note 2]
- The Fallen – Prepare a trap for Odahviing, the right-hand dragon of Alduin, at Dragonsreach.
- The World-Eater's Eyrie – Pursue Alduin through an Ancient Dragon Temple to the realm of Sovngarde.
- Sovngarde – Journey through Sovngarde to the Hall of Valor to enlist the help of three ancient heroes to fight Alduin.
- Dragonslayer – Destroy Alduin and end his threat to Tamriel.
- Epilogue – Return to Nirn and reap the rewards of your triumph.[note 3]
- Season Unending is only available if the player has not yet completed the Civil War questline. The quest is otherwise bypassed.
- Paarthurnax is completely optional. In order to continue the Blades storyline, players must complete this quest. If Paarthurnax still lives after Dragonslayer, the quest will vanish from the quest journal, but if he is killed it will reappear. If you want to speak about Alduin's defeat with Paarthurnax and the Greybeards, and join the Blades too, it is recommended to kill Paarthurnax after Alduin.
Note: Arranged in order of appearance
- Helgen Keep
- Bleak Falls Barrow
- Western Watchtower
- High Hrothgar
- Sleeping Giant Inn
- Katla's Farm
- Thalmor Embassy
- Sky Haven Temple
- Throat of the World
- College of Winterhold
- Septimus Signus' Outpost
- Balgruuf the Greater – Involved in "Before the Storm," "Bleak Falls Barrow," "Dragon Rising," "The Way of the Voice," "Season Unending," and "The Fallen."
- Ralof – Involved in "Unbound" and "Before the Storm" if followed.
- Hadvar – Involved in "Unbound" and "Before the Storm" if followed.
- Odahviing – Involved in "The Fallen," "The World-Eater's Eyrie," and "Epilogue."
- Hakon One-Eye – Involved in "Alduin's Bane," "Sovngarde," and "Dragonslayer."
- Felldir the Old – Involved in "Alduin's Bane," "Sovngarde," and "Dragonslayer."
- Gormlaith Golden-Hilt – Involved in "Alduin's Bane," "Sovngarde," and Dragonslayer."
- Irileth – Involved in "Before the Storm," "Bleak Falls Barrow," "Dragon Rising," and "The Fallen."
- Farengar Secret-Fire – Involved in "Bleak Falls Barrow," "Dragon Rising," and "The Fallen."
- Iddra – Involved in "A Blade in the Dark."
- Malborn – Involved in "Diplomatic Immunity."
- Guests at Thalmor Embassy – Involved in "Diplomatic Immunity."
- Tsun – Involved in "Sovngarde" and "Dragonslayer."
- Ysgramor – Involved in "Sovngarde."
- Gerdur – Involved in "Before the Storm" if Ralof is followed.
- Alvor – Involved in "Before the Storm" if Hadvar is followed.
- Brynjolf – Involved in "A Cornered Rat."
- Dirge – Involved in "A Cornered Rat."
- Orgnar – May be involved in "The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller."
- Septimus Signus – Involved in "Elder Knowledge."
- Urag gro-Shub – May be involved in "Elder Knowledge."
- Faralda – May be involved in "Elder Knowledge."
- Vignar Gray-Mane – May be involved in "Season Unending" and "The Fallen"
- Alduin – Primary Antagonist.
- Elenwen – Major Antagonist.
- Mirmulnir – Minor Antagonist.
- Sahloknir – Minor Antagonist.
- Imperial Captain – Minor Antagonist if Ralof is followed.
- Rulindil – Minor Antagonist in the Thalmor Embassy.
- Gissur – Minor Antagonist in the Thalmor Embassy.
- Tsavani – First encountered in Thalmor Embassy, attacks the player in the Ratway
- Drahff – Minor Antagonist in the Ratways if the Ratway was not entered prior to "A Cornered Rat."
- Hewnon Black-Skeever – Minor Antagonist in the Ratways if the Ratway was not entered prior to "A Cornered Rat."
- Gian the Fist – Minor Antagonist in the Ratways if the Ratway was not entered prior to "A Cornered Rat."
- Sulla Trebatius – If not killed before "Elder Knowledge."
- Umana – If not killed before "Elder Knowledge."
- J'darr – If not killed before "Elder Knowledge."
- Nahkriin – Minor Antagonist. Found in Skuldafn.
- Falmer – At Alftand.
- Draugr – At Bleak Falls Barrow, Ustengrav, and Skuldafn.
- Bandits – Found at Bleak Falls Barrow and Ustengrav.
- Conjurer – Found at Ustengrav.
- Animunculi – At Alftand.
- Frostbite Spider – At Helgen Keep, Bleak Falls Barrow, Ustengrav, and Alftand.
- Chaurus – At Alftand.
- Imperial Soldier – If Ralof is followed in Helgen.
- Stormcloaks – If Hadvar was followed in Helgen.
- Dragons – At Skuldafn.
- Map of Skyrim
- Quests – Other Quests in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Quests – The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- Quests – The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- Quests – The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- Quests – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- Quests – The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles (expansion)
- Daedric Quests – Quests initiated by Daedric Princes
- Radiant Quests – Randomized and sometimes repeatable quests.
- Quests (Online) – The Elder Scrolls Online
- This quest only occurs if the Civil War is currently ongoing.
- This quest may be left indefinitely uncompleted as its completion has no effect on the rest of Act III, however it must be completed to start "Rebuilding the Blades."
- Not an actual quest; this refers to the time immediately after Alduin has been killed, at the end of "Dragonslayer."
|Skyrim Main Quests|
|Act I||Unbound • Before the Storm • Bleak Falls Barrow • Dragon Rising • The Way of the Voice |
The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
|Act II||A Blade in the Dark • Diplomatic Immunity • A Cornered Rat • Alduin's Wall • The Throat of the World |
Elder Knowledge • Alduin's Bane
|Act III||Season Unending • The Fallen • The World-Eater's Eyrie • Sovngarde |
Dragonslayer • Epilogue