Now My Wings Fit

Is the protagonist of Skyrim really the last Dragonborn?

One of the hallmarks of The Elder Scrolls series is that the player character is referred to with a title. In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the hero was the Nerevarine. In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the hero was the Hero of Kvatch or the Champion of Cyrodiil. In the latest mainline instalment, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the player character is known as the Last Dragonborn, the prophesied hero destined to defeat Alduin at the end of the world. Yet is the player character of Skyrim truly the last Dragonborn?


The Last Dragonborn, as depicted in promotional material; picture from

Dragonborn (or Dohvakiin) in the universe of The Elder Scrolls are individuals born with the soul of a dragon, granted to them by the Divine Akatosh. The entire Septim line, which dominated the Cyrodiilic Empire throughout the entirety of the Third Era consisted solely of Dragonborn. So reliant was the Septim Empire on the installation of a Dragonborn on the Ruby Throne that when this tradition was threatened, it was enough to begin the Oblivion Crisis. The first Dragonborn, Miraak, lived thousands of years before Tiber Septim, the first of the Septim dynasty, and the Last Dragonborn – the player character of Skyrim – lives two hundred years after the death of Martin Septim, the last. So while the Septim Empire was dominated by Dragonborn, it does not have monopoly on those blessed with the blood of dragons. Why, then, are we led to believe that the player character of Skyrim is the last Dragonborn?

The most definitive reference we have to the player character of Skyrim being the last Dragonborn is the prophecy which details their destiny in defeating Alduin. During the main quest, Esbern tells the PC that the Last Dragonborn is the one who will face off against Alduin at the end of the world. Yet when the PC faces off against Alduin during the quest Dragonslayer, the world does not end. If the PC returns to Arngeir after defeating Alduin, Arngeir will tell them that it is likely that Alduin isn’t dead, and will return at some point in the future to end the world. The PC, then, did not fulfil the prophecy. In this case, can the character who is known as the Last Dragonborn as described the prophecy, in fact be the Last Dragonborn, when they did not fulfil the prophecy which describes them as being so? In other words, is it possible that there will be another Dragonborn on Tamriel after the Dragonborn who is the PC in Skyrim?


The Last Dragonborn depicted on Alduin’s Wall; picture from’s_Wall_(Lore)

As I have already mentioned, Dragonborn are made when they are blessed by Akatosh, yet the process is a mystery worthy of the Divines themselves. Prior Emeline Madrine, in Book of the Dragonborn, says: “being Dragonborn is not a simple matter of heredity – being the blessing of Akatosh Himself, it is beyond our understanding exactly how and why it is bestowed”. If the creation of a Dragonborn is such a mystery, then, it is entirely conceivable that there could be another Dragonborn after the protagonist of Skyrim.

The issue that arises if we accept the possibility of Akatosh blessing another after the protagonist of Skyrim is that of the prophecy. The prophecy is reproduced in Book of the Dragonborn, and reads thusly:

When misrule takes its place at the eight corners of the world
When the Brass Tower walks and Time is reshaped
When the thrice-blessed fail and the Red Tower trembles
When the Dragonborn Ruler loses his throne, and the White Tower falls
When the Snow Tower lies sundered, kingless, bleeding
The World-Eater wakes, and the Wheel turns upon the Last Dragonborn.

The events alluded to in the prophecy are the same as those which appear on Alduin’s Wall, which are the events of the five main titles in The Elder Scrolls series to date. Thus, it would seem that the ‘Wheel turning upon the Last Dragonborn’ has to happen in the third century of the Fourth Era, as this is the point in time when “the Snow Tower lies sundered, kingless, bleeding”, in the midst of Skyrim’s Civil War. I would argue that it is entirely possible that the prophecy is vague enough that there could indeed be another Dragonborn in the history of Tamriel. It is further possible that ‘Last Dragonborn’ is merely a title, and other Dragonborn will exist but they will never themselves face a reincarnated Alduin. Yet another possibility is that the protagonist of Skyrim will be the last Dragonborn to die, though there will be other Dragonborn before this happens, particularly if the PC ends up spending countless years in Apocrypha after the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn.

In either case, the Last Dragonborn is not the last Dragonborn who will appear. This, I believe, is the far more likely scenario than that Akatosh will never bestow the Dragonblood to anyone else ever again.



System: Zwëihander, Grim and Perilous

Name: Noa
Race: Gnome
Racial Trait: Dungeons Deep
Archetype: Commoner
Profession: Rat Catcher
Season of Birth: Spring
Dooming: The serpent is in the garden
Age group: Middle Aged
Distinguishing marks: Big ears; long sideburns
Build: Slender
Height: 4″8
Weight: 100lbs
Hair colour: Chestnut
Eye colour: Black
Upbringing: Militant
Social class: Lowborn
Drawback: Veteran’s Leg
— Order: Impiety
— Chaos: Heresy


Noa comes from a family with a long history of military service, yet their continued enlistment into the army was not due to loyalty to the rulers of the land, nor a desire for personal glory; rather, soldiers in the army were paid well, and so it was as profitable a job as they were likely to get, given their feeble position within society.

Noa followed this family tradition. She served for many years, until she suffered a devastating injury where her leg was butchered and she could not attain successful surgery on the battlefield. Her life in the army over, Noa found herself at a loss of what to do with her life next. Her skills were few and far between, especially with the drawbacks that came with her injury, and so she turned to the city and took up as a rat catcher.

Yet she longed to return to the army, and so sought magic capable of fixing her leg. Unfortunately, the city is a dangerous place, and the only way she could find information about such magic was through an organisation called the Red Brand, to whom she became indebted when they told her about a wizard who could help her. This proved to be the turning point in Noa’s life: the wizard was nothing more than a charlatan, incapable of fixing Noa’s leg. With nothing gained from the experience, Noa found herself unable to repay her debt to the Red Brand. She was called into their offices, only to find that she was not the only one who had found themselves in a similar predicament. With this fateful meeting, Noa’s true adventure began…

Wanda (Phoebe Elsinbinder)

System: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Screenshot from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Phoebe Elsinbinder was born just after the destruction of the Crystal Tower on the Summerset Isles 200 years before the events of Skyrim. Her father, enraged by the lack of Imperial support afforded to the Isles during the Oblivion Crisis, took it upon himself to stand up for the Altmer in the years that followed. In practice, this led to him seeking and attaining a fairly high-profile position within the Third Aldmeri Dominion.

Phoebe herself grew up on the Summerset Isles, and received an education befitting the child of a high-ranking Thalmor. Perhaps this education was too sophisticated, for she was afforded the opportunity to learn about the various races and cultures of Tamriel, and developed her own ideas of how the world should work – ideas which were vastly different from those of her father.

She developed her own philosophy: that each race should have autonomy over their own province without fear of invasion. While she does not believe that the Imperials have any right to their Empire, neither, does she believe, do the Thalmor.

When the Great War began, Phoebe could no longer stomach the thought of living under the Thalmor. She decided, instead, to make her leave from the Summerset Isles, to live a new and simple life away from her family. She chose to travel to Skyrim, to live among the Nords who are so proud of their land.

Phoebe traveled to Skyrim and docked at Solitude, but quickly left for the countryside. She changed her name to Wanda and looked after herself as best she could, before she found herself tired of travelling with no company or goal.

After a month in the wilds of Skyrim, she stumbled across a small town in Eastmarch called Darkwater Crossing. There, she met Annekke Crag-Jumper, who agreed to take her on as an apprentice. With Annekke, Wanda learned how to mine ore effectively, and how to smith weapons and armour from raw materials.

Two weeks after Wanda had arrived in Darkwater Crossing, Annekke received a letter from an adventurer claiming to have recovered some mysterious and powerful ore from Rorikstead in Whiterun which he was willing to lend to Annekke for an appraisal. Annekke tasked Wanda with collecting the ore from the adventurer just outside of Darkwater Crossing. Unfortunately, both Wanda and the ‘adventurer’ were caught in an Imperial ambush and captured.

Je Suis Un Short-Arse

I want a dog I
can ride into battle. Like
a pug, or something

Did Dumbledore’s plan require the Potters’ deaths?

NB: Throughout this post I have used in-text citations to chapters in the Harry Potter books. These citations follow the format of the book’s title in abbreviated form followed by the chapter number. For example, (PS1) would be a reference to the first chapter of Philosopher’s Stone.

In many ways, the Harry Potter series is really about Albus Dumbledore. The series follows the struggle between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort, but in this struggle Harry is in fact more of a passive participant than he might at first seem. The active agent on the side of the light is, overwhelmingly, Dumbledore. After all, Harry’s involvement and role in the fight against Voldemort was put upon him; he did not seek out such an important role. Rather, the fight against Voldemort and the events of the entire series follow the plans of Albus Dumbledore.


The Daily Prophet declares Dumbledore to be dangerous; picture from

Dumbledore’s plan was to eradicate Voldemort, at all costs. Indeed, he even sacrifices his own life for that very cause. Yet as we find out in Snape’s memories, he also planned – from the very beginning of the series – to sacrifice Harry’s life for that cause as well (DH33). I shall argue that Harry was not the only Potter whom Dumbledore sacrificed for the opportunity to defeat Voldemort.

I would like to point out that I do not believe that Dumbledore initially wished for the Potters to die, yet neither do I believe that he was ever unwilling to sacrifice them ‘for the greater good’. My theory is this: once the prophecy had been given, Dumbledore reasoned that the only way to defeat Voldemort was to allow the deaths of the Potters.

To argue this, I would like to point out some of the things that we know about Dumbledore both as a man and as to his actions throughout the series:

  • Dumbledore is a master manipulator and will use anyone in any way to achieve his overall goal of defeating Voldemort
  • Dumbledore knew of the prophecy and its contents (OOTP37)
  • Dumbledore knew that Voldemort knew of the prophecy and its contents (DH33)
  • Dumbledore knew that Voldemort had decided that Harry was the subject of the prophecy, and so would target the Potters to prevent the fulfillment of the prophecy (OOTP37)
  • Knowing that the Potters were under threat, Dumbledore suggested that they hide from Voldemort using a Fidelius Charm (POA10)
  • Dumbledore’s every action within Harry’s life was designed to bring him to the point where Harry could defeat Voldemort (DH33)

Thus, with these points in mind, I would argue that Dumbledore would go to any lengths to ensure that Harry becomes the perfect weapon for defeating Voldemort.


The final showdown between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort; picture taken from

Before the prophecy is given, there are seemingly many ways in which Voldemort could be defeated. After the prophecy is given, there is only one: he needs to be killed by the subject of the prophecy, whoever that is. That subject could either be Harry Potter or Neville Longbottom, but Dumbledore is aware through Snape’s double-agency that Voldemort has already decided that the subject will be Harry (DH33).

Dumbledore now has a clear path to defeating Voldemort: use Harry Potter as the ultimate weapon against the Dark Lord. Yet there remains a problem, in that Harry is only one year old. How can a child so young be expected to kill Voldemort? What’s more, Voldemort is actively seeking to nullify the prophecy by making sure that Harry doesn’t survive long enough to become a threat. Dumbledore’s only solution is to find a way to protect Harry until he is old enough to defeat Voldemort.

It is at this point that Dumbledore decides to use Old Magic to protect Harry. He informs the Potters that they and their infant son are in danger, and advises that they go into hiding through use of a Fidelius Charm. Yet for Dumbledore’s plan to succeed, the Charm needs to be circumvented. At this point, the Marauders are already aware that there is a traitor in their midst. Dumbledore offers to be the Potters’ Secret Keeper, making out that he is worried about them using Sirius as their Secret Keeper for fear that said traitor would be able to betray the Potters’ location to Voldemort (POA10). Surely it is Dumbledore’s worry over the prospect of him being the Potters’ Secret Keeper that influences Sirius to tell James to change the Secret Keeper to Peter at the last minute (POA19). It is certainly no stretch of the imagination to believe that Dumbledore knew that Peter was in fact the traitor, and that influencing Sirius to step down as the Secret Keeper would result in Peter’s eventual betrayal of the Potters.


Voldemort arrives at Godric’s Hollow in 1981; picture taken from

Once the fragile Fidelius Charm is in place, it is simply a matter of waiting. Peter will eventually tell Voldemort where the Potters are, Voldemort will then attack the Potters, and Harry will be placed under the protection of Old Magic in the form of his parents’ sacrifice which will keep him safe from Voldemort until he is old enough to be Dumbledore’s ultimate weapon in the Wizarding War.

In this sense, the Potters’ deaths become integral to Dumbledore’s plan once the prophecy has been given. While it would no doubt not have been Dumbledore’s first course of action, it did indeed become his only course of action, and at that point he would not have hesitated in following it through. And, in the end, Dumbledore’s plan worked.

A Mouse, a Phone, and a Flash Drive

Had laptop four years.
Just found third USB port.
I am a big dumb.

(All My Hopes and Dreams Are) Written on the Back of a Beer Mat

I can already see it, faded and worn, in a scrapbook, on a notice board, on a wall somewhere far from here in time and space and whenever he looks at it he gets a little bit happy and a little bit sad, but what’s the point of looking back? You’re still alive. This sentimental bric-a-brac is proof you’ve lived, but you’ve still got living to do. What’s the point of looking back?

The Colour of Her Hair

Summer left, without
my permission. And I did
not even notice.

She Caught Her By the Mouth

Sometimes, when you change the pronouns in
a song, you forget that they’re not the
original pronouns in the song.

How Old Am I?

I dropped my reading
glasses cause I was
trying to sit down
with my walking stick.

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