"Why don't you hold onto Shadowmere a while longer? He's a fine steed, and hasn't been ridden nearly as much as he should lately."
For this horse in other games, see Shadowmere.

Shadowmere is a horse in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, originally owned by Lucien Lachance. Astrid lets the Dragonborn borrow Shadowmere to travel to the Dawnstar Sanctuary for the quest The Cure for Madness. She then gives him to the Dragonborn as a reward for completing the quest. Shadowmere spawns from a pool outside the Falkreath Sanctuary, follows the Dragonborn when they Fast Travel, and can provide aid during combat.


During "The Cure for Madness," the Sanctuary-Leader Astrid wants the Dragonborn to follow Cicero, the Night Mother's Keeper, to the Dawnstar Sanctuary as swiftly as possible. To that end, she gives them Shadowmere, whom she calls "one of us." The horse's first appearance outside the Sanctuary is very dramatic, and clearly shows that Shadowmere is no common horse, as it appears out of dark water and smoke, and has glowing red eyes.

Shadowmere follows the Dragonborn everywhere that he or she goes out in the open. If the Dragonborn fast travels anywhere, Shadowmere will appear there.


Astrid calls Shadowmere a "he", although Shadowmere is identified as a "she" by Lucien Lachance in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Astrid is known to sometimes switch between calling Shadowmere a she and he, but never within the same conversation. The spectral assassin version of Lachance will also call it a he when Lachance sees the horse.



  • If the Spectral Assassin is summoned, who is the spirit of Lucien Lachance, he greets Shadowmere as an old friend.
  • Unlike its previous incarnation, Shadowmere can be killed by long falls or in combat. Shadowmere will however respawn around ten days later, at the location of death.
    • Shadowmere will not respawn in this location if killed in a body of water. In that case, he will respawn in the pool outside the Falkreath Sanctuary.
  • A handprint of the Black Hand can be seen on either side of Shadowmere.
  • While Shadowmere may appear to be pure black, it is actually a very dark reddish brown.
  • Shadowmere is not immune to all spells and can be killed if Destruction spells are used against him at a faster rate than his health regeneration.
  • Shadowmere can be killed by the Instant Kill effect of the Wabbajack.
  • If Shadowmere is not approached at all until "Death Incarnate", it will already be fighting the Penitus Oculatus by the time the Dragonborn returns to the Sanctuary.


  • Sometimes, after mounting Shadowmere the Dragonborn will float in the air in the sitting position, still controlling Shadowmere, giving the impression of becoming Shadowmere. The Dragonborn will also move and rock back and forth while floating in the air. This seemed to happen only at the Peryite Shrine, Riften Stables, and just outside Whiterun.
  • On occasion, Shadowmere will not rise from the pool, making him impossible to ride. This is caused by the scripted event commanding the rise never occurring. Luring enemies near him might cause Shadowmere to attack, fixing this bug (e.g. during the quest Death Incarnate).
    • Solution: Fast travel to where the last horse was bought then fast traveling back to the sanctuary. Should this fail, visiting all of the stables before going back to the sanctuary may work.
  •  360    PS3   Shadowmere may spontaneously die with no evident cause.
  • Shadowmere can appear in Sovngarde during the fight with Alduin.
  • Shadowmere may disappear from the game entirely, however the spectral assassin still makes comments as if he were still present.
  • Shadowmere may fall through the ground and disappear forever.
  • Rarely, when Shadowmere spawns close to the Dragonborn after fast traveling, the camera view is in Shadowmere's view, and this makes playing impossible.
  • If 'No One Escapes Cidhna Mine' was completed and the Dragonborn sided with the forsworn, Shadowmere will attack all friendly forsworn.
  •  360  PS3  Shadowmere may not respawn after death. This is unknown whether or not this is a glitch.
  • Shadowmere may attack Serana if her magic hits him


Start a Discussion Discussions about Shadowmere (Skyrim)

  • Which horse is better? Arvak or Shadowmere?

    64 messages
    • Above, I wrote: > you can fast travel anywhere and the horse should be there when you arrive.   This failed once.  I was overburdened...
    • Tl:dr, Arvak is a very convenient horse but Shadowmere is a very useful house. Late to the party but this was one of the top Google hits I ...
  • Shadowmere MIA

    2 messages
    • So, I mounted a horse in Riften for five seconds or so to see what it would do to Shdaowmere and he disappeared. I haven't seen him sin...
    • Shadowmere should be where you left him. I got Frost in my last save and then lost Shadowmere for a wh...
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