TES5 Skyrim: The Throat of the World

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(as I prepare to take my leave of Sky Haven Temple to journey to High Hrothgar, Esbern elaborates on the final part of Alduin’s Wall)


Look, here. In the third panel.

The prophecy which brought the Akaviri to Tamriel in the first place, in search of the Dragonborn.

Here are the Akaviri – the Blades – you see their distinctive longswords.

Now they kneel, their ancient mission fulfilled, as the Last Dragonborn contends with Alduin at the end of time.

Are you paying attention, Delphine? You might learn something of our own history.

I know the prophecy by heart. Once all Blades knew it.

“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.”


Well, I’m going to look around some more. See what the old Blades left for us.


Yes… yes, that’s an execellent idea. Who knows what other lost treasures we might discover?

(I approach Esbern for further questions)


What’s so important about me being Dragonborn?


Haven’t you been paying attention to anything I’ve said? Only you can finally defeat Alduin and avert the end of the world!

If we can just find out what Shout the ancient Nords used, you may have a chance.

Or not. There’s no guarantee with prophecy. Merely hope.


Any advice for fighting dragons?


You’re in luck. There is a blessing the Blades used on the eve of battle. It’s supposed to prepare the mind for slaying dragons.

I doubt the blessing’s effects last for very long, so ask whenever you’re headed out, and I’ll perform the proper rights.

(I then approach Delphine)


What do you have against the Greybeards?


If they had their way, you’d do nothing but sit up on their mountain with them and talk to the sky, or whatever it is they do.

The Greybeards are so afraid of power that they won’t use it.

Think about it. Have they tried to stop the civil war, or done anything about Alduin?

No. And they’re afraid of you, of your power.

Trust me, there’s no need to be afraid. Think of Tiber Septim. Do you think he’d have founded the Empire if he’d listened to the Greybeards?


So this is all the Blades? Two people?


The Thalmor hunted us down, remember? It wasn’t exactly great for recruitment.

But we have a headquarters of a sort now. We’ll rebuild the Blades. Someday.


Maybe I can help you find new recruits.


If you find anyone you think would make a good recruit, I can certainly take a look at them.

Remember, though, being a Blade is a lifelong commitment. Their loyalty has to be with us once they’re in.

(I make the journey to High Hrothgar in good time, making the journey on what is now well-tread territory. I find Arngeir eating a meal)


Sky above, Voice within.


I need to learn the Shout used to defeat Alduin.


Where did you learn of that? Who have you been talking to?


Does it matter?


Yes. For matters of such gravity, we need to know where you stand. Or who you stand with.


I have nothing to hide. The Blades helped me find out about it.


The Blades! Of course. They specialize in meddling in matters they barely understand. Their reckless arrogance knows no bounds.

They have always sought to turn the Dragonborn from the path of wisdom.

Have you learned nothing from us? Would you simply be a tool in the hands of the Blades, to be used for their own purposes?


The Blades just want to defeat Alduin. Don’t you?


What I want is irrelevant. This Shout was used once before, was it not? And here we are again.

Have you considered that Alduin was not meant to be defeated?

Those who overthrew him in ancient times only postponed the day of reckoning, they did not stop it.

If the world is meant to end, so be it. Let it end and be reborn.


So you won’t help me?


No. Not now. Not until you return to the path of wisdom.

(Arngeir dismisses me, but just then the temple halls begin to shake, trembling at the sound of the Voice)


Arngeir. Rok los Dovahkiin, Strundu’ul. Rok fen tinvaak Paarthurnax.


(after a pause)

Dragonborn… wait.

Forgive me. I was… intemperate. I allowed my emotions to cloud my judgement. Master Einarth reminded me of my duty.

The decision whether or not to help you is not mine to make.


So, can you teach me this Shout?


No. I cannot teach it to you because I do not know it.

It is called “Dragonrend”, but its Words of Power are unknown to us.

We do not regret this loss. Dragonrend holds no place within the Way of the Voice.


I thought you knew all the Words of Power.


But not Dragonrend. The knowledge of that Shout was lost in the time before history began.

Perhaps only its creators ever knew it. But I am not the one to speak of it to you.


What’s so bad about Dragonrend?


It was created by those who had lived under the unimaginable cruelty of Alduin’s Dragon Cult.

Their whole lives were consumed with hatred for dragons, and they poured all their anger and hatred into this Shout.

When you learn a Shout, you take it into your very being. In a sense, you become the Shout.

In order to learn and use this Shout, you will be taking this evil into yourself.


If the Shout is lost, how can I defeat Alduin?


Only Paarthurnax, the master of our order, can answer that question, if he so chooses.


Who is Paarthurnax?


He is our leader. He surpasses us all in his mastery of the Way of the Voice.


Why haven’t I met Paarthurnax yet?


He lives in seclusion on the very peak of the mountain.

He speaks to us only rarely, and never to outsiders. Being allowed to see him is a great privilege.


How do I get to the top of the mountain to see him?


Only those whose Voice is strong can find the path. Come. We will teach you a Shout to open the way to Paarthurnax.

(I follow the Greybeards into the courtyard, where they lead me to a great stone archway that marks the start of the ascent to the peak of the mountain. Just beyond it, an deadly icy gale guards the path)

The path to Paarthurnax lies through this gate. I will show you how to open the way.




I will grant you my understanding of Clear Skies. This is your final gift from us, Dragonborn. Use it well.

(Arngeir bestows upon an me understanding of the Clear Skies Shout)

Clear Skies will blow away the mist, but only for a time.

The path to Paarthurnax is perilous, not to be embarked upon lightly.

Keep moving, stay focused on your goal, and you will reach the summit.

Use Clear Skies to open the way to Paarthurnax.

(I begin my ascent to the peak of the Throat of the World. I call out to the skies to clear with LOK VAH KOOR, and the perilous icy winds and mists of the peak part for my passing. After slaying some Ice Wraiths, I arrive at the site of an ancient Word Wall. As I approach, a roar rumbles overhead. A dragon!)


Drem Yol Lok. Greetings, wunduniik. I am Paarthurnax.

Who are you? What brings you to my strunmah… my mountain?


You’re the master of the Greybeards?


They see me as master. Wuth. Onik. Old and wise. It is true I am old…

Tell me. Why do you come here, volaan? Why do you intrude on my meditation?


I need to learn the Dragonrend Shout. Can you teach me?


Drem. Patience. There are formalities which must be observed, at the first meeting of two of the dov.

By long tradition, the elder speaks first.

Hear my Thu’um! Feel it in your bones. Match it, if you are Dovahkiin!


I have spoken. The Rotmulaag waits.

A gift, Dovahkiin. Yol. Understand Fire as the dov do.

(Paarthurnax grants me his understanding of YOL)

Now, show me what you can do. Greet me not as [Player Race], but as dovah!



(I breathe fire onto Paarthurnax. It doesn’t phase him)


Aaah… yes! Sossedov las mul. The dragonblood runs strong in you. It is long since I had the pleasure of speech with one of my own kind.

(Paarthurnax moves to his perch on the Word Wall)

So. You have made your way here, to me. No easy task for a joor… mortal. Even for one of the Dovah Sos. Dragonblood.

What would you ask of me?


Can you teach me the Dragonrend Shout?


Ah. I have expected you. Prodah.

You would not come all this way for tinvaak with an old dovah. No. You seek your weapon against Alduin.


How did you know I came for Dragonrend?


Alduin komeyt tiid. What else would you seek? Alduin and Dovahkiin return together.

But, I do not know the Thu’um you seek. Krosis. It cannot be known to me.

Your kind – joorre – mortals – created it as a weapon against the dov… the dragons.

Our hadrimme, our minds cannot even… comprehend its concepts.


How can I learn it, then?


Drem. All in good time. First, a question for you. Why do you want to learn this Thu’um?


I like this world. I don’t want it to end.


Pruzah. As good a reason as any. There are many who feel as you do, although not all.

Some would say that all things must end, so that the next can come to pass.

Perhaps this world is simply the Egg of the next kalpa? Lein vokiin? Would you stop the next world from being born?


The next world will have to take care of itself.


Paaz. A fair answer.

Ro fus… maybe you only balance the forces that work to quicken the end of this world.

Even we who ride the currents of Time cannot see past Time’s end. Wuldsetiid los tahrodiis.

Those who try to hasten the end, may delay it. Those who work to delay the end, may bring it closer.

But you have indulged my weakness for speech long enough. Krosis. Now I will answer your question.

Do you know why I live here, at the peak of the Monahven – what you name Throat of the World?


No. Dragons like mountains, right?


True. But few now remember that this was the very spot where Alduin was defeated by the ancient Tongues.

Vahrukt unslaad… perhaps none but me now remember how he was defeated.


Using the Dragonrend Shout, right?


Yes and no. Viik nuz ni kron. Alduin was not truly defeated, either. If he was, you would not be here today, seeking to… defeat him.

The Nords in those days used the Dragonrend Shout to cripple Alduin. But this was not enough. Ok mulaag unslaad.

It was the Kel – the Elder Scroll. They used it to… cast him adrift on the currents of Time.


An Elder Scroll? What’s that?


Hmm. How to explain in your tongue? The dov have words for such things that joorre do not.

It is an… artifact from outside time. It does not exist, but it has always existed. Rah wahlaan. They are… hmm… fragments of creation.

The Kelle… Elder Scrolls, as you name them, they have often been used for prophecy. Yes, your prophecy comes from an Elder Scroll.

But this is only a small part of their power. Zofaas suleyk.


Are you saying the ancient Nords sent Alduin forward in time?


Not intentionally. Some hoped he would be gone forever, forever lost. Meyye.

I knew better. Tiid bo amativ. Time flows ever onward. One day he would surface.

Which is why I have lived here. For thousands of mortal years I have waited. I knew where he would emerge but not when.


How does any of this help me?


Tiid krent. Time was… shattered here because of what the ancient Nords did to Alduin.

If you brought that Kel, that Elder Scroll back here… to the Tiid-Ahraan, the Time-Wound…

With the Elder Scroll that was used to break Time, you may be able to… cast yourself back. To the other end of the break.

You could learn Dragonrend from those who created it.

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