Forums » Elder Scrolls

The Dragonborn & Domination

    • 149 posts
    November 16, 2013 10:59 PM EST

    I'm been mulling over a line that Paarthurnax speaks to the Dragonborn, after bringing up the Blade's desire to kill him:

    "Dov wahlaan fah rel. We were made to dominate. The will to power is in our blood. You feel it in yourself, do you not?" (Credit: UESP)

    I'm certain that many people here are aware of this, that dragons inherently seek power and that those of the dragonblood shares this nature. But what are the true implications of this in regards to Skyrim's Dragonborn?


    Reman Cyrodiil and Tiber Septim both managed to subdue and unite the provinces of Tamriel, each founding  imperial dynasties in the process. Both of these men were Dragonborn. In fact, most recorded Dragonborns throughout history have been either prominent figures or powerful rulers. This "will to power" that those of the dragonblood inherently possess appears to be very potent, making those who have it capable of incredible ascendancy. Even Alduin can be seen as a terrifying exemplification of this.

    ...So what of the last Dragonborn? If this nature of domination is so powerful, what is he (or she) capable of? How does it affect the Dragonborn as a person? Does the dragonblood shape the conscience or temperament of one who possess it (perhaps akin to a mental condition or illness)? Should it be revered or vilified?

    I'm curious to hear people's thoughts on this subject.

    • 69 posts
    November 16, 2013 11:01 PM EST

    No the last Dragon-born prefers to be everyones errand boy to being a first class general like Talos.

    • 149 posts
    November 16, 2013 11:15 PM EST

    Haha, true enough. I'm speaking more from a lore perspective than actual gameplay, though.

    • 130 posts
    November 16, 2013 11:20 PM EST

    This idea would make for some interesting characters. Characters struggling to fight the urge to conquer.

    • 149 posts
    November 16, 2013 11:33 PM EST

    That was sort of my thinking. I don't know if it is an urge to "conquer" that the Dragonborn would face, or rather strong temptations to act in the interest of their own power or position.

    • 291 posts
    November 17, 2013 12:20 AM EST

    Hmm, that's an interesting thought indeed.

    I think it would be unsurprising, then, for us to later discover the last Dragonborn made a bid for the position of High King/Queen in the moot.

    It's unfortunate that the gameplay doesn't reflect this, but the Dragonborn would naturally be predisposed to leadership.  Power and desire to dominate (rule) doesn't necessarily mean complete self-interest.  If you want to look at it another way, the dragon soul influencing the Dragonborn would more likely suggest "power is truth" rather than "might is right".  

    Those are two completely different notions though they sound the same.  "Power is truth" implies that because I am the most powerful in a group, I am obviously the leader.  "Might is right" implies, instead, that because I am the most powerful, I can do whatever I want.  For dragons, I imagine both concepts apply; but for a Dragonborn, who is also part human, the former is likely to apply.  Unless you're a sociopath, it's very difficult to just do whatever you want because you have power.  Ultimately, you will somehow factor in the needs of others, especially since the last Dragonborn is reportedly so very helpful and heroic.

    • 133 posts
    August 1, 2014 5:06 PM EDT
    I suppose it depends if your character is that sort of guy. I mean my character is a bosmer ranger, patient, calculating, deadly, a true force of nature. He's not arrogant but because he was shaped by the wilderness he believes he's more capable than others. He dousnt look down on anyone like the dragons do. He wouldn't really want to rule anyone or anything. However you may choose an altmer power house who would think because of his power he's superior. I don't think the dragonblood is relevant, it can only influence you if you let it. Oh okan, here's an off topic suggestion, maybe in your story DOTE you could have chase experiancing this inborn domination thing which could lead to some inner turmoil. Just a suggestion.
    • 149 posts
    August 2, 2014 8:45 AM EDT
    You bring up something I've been conscious of since the beginning. I'm trying to have Chase possess a subtle element in his character that has him desire control. It's offset, though, by other gentle and compassionate qualities.

    Remember the end of Chapter 20? It is an example of this very theme. :)

    I originally brought up this discussion because I wanted to use it in my writing. I have a unique personal take on the subject. At a young age I was diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder). I've learned that the condition affects more than just my short term memory retention. It impacts my personality and the way I perceive the world.

    With that in mind, I started seeing the dragon blood in a similar manner. A dragonborn may think that he/she is a control freak beacuse it is their inborn personality, when in fact their state of being dragonborn is the root cause. It influences how they act and how they think.
    • 41 posts
    August 2, 2014 12:52 PM EDT
    Whenever a player goes on a random killing spree, that's the dragon taking control.
    • 360 posts
    August 2, 2014 1:18 PM EDT

    He's capable of using the Resto-Glitch. Therein lies his power.

    • 21 posts
    August 2, 2014 1:19 PM EDT

    It's certainly an interesting thought, something that I've though about a few times actually. I imagine that my character would probably feel some sort of inner conflict, with one side being more of who he really his and the other side being the dragonblood that wants to dominate over others, and I can imagine that maybe most characters that are Dragonborn have this inner conflict to some extent at least.

    • 31 posts
    August 2, 2014 1:40 PM EDT

    It's a very interesting though but many of you failed to realize that all or most or at least one of your characters already has shown his dragon hunger for power and dominance many times over. The Dragonborn in all rights is a dragon, but just stuck in a mortal form bound to certain power and restricted access to other dragons. Ohdaviing made a comment about this when you captured him, ''You may have the thu'um of a dova but you do not have the wings.'' Or something of the sort, Talvas seemed to misplace my notes again. Anyway, back to my first line. 

    You have already conquered Skyrim of sorts and filled your need for power already. Have you not been made the leader of the Companions? The Dark Brotherhood? The College of Winterhold? Thieves Guild? Volkihar Clan? And have you not been made Thane of multiple holds? However you see to fit your character these are all things he can accomplish whether it be story driven or not. They're there so that your need for power is satisfied...and for your enjoyment of course.

    • 149 posts
    August 2, 2014 4:18 PM EDT

    Ha, I actually thought about this quite early on. In an ironic sort of way, it really does make sense.

    It's almost as though Paarthurnax's quote gives justification for all the crap the dragonborn manages to do.

    • 31 posts
    August 2, 2014 4:30 PM EDT

    Right? Lol but could you imagine the confusion our poor characters have...join all these factions and within days to a week at most you become leader...he/she probably is just like 'What is going on in my life? Couple months ago I was a damn prisoner.'

    • 856 posts
    August 2, 2014 4:34 PM EDT

    I always had a problem with my character becoming the 'leader' of everything. That's why when I played the main quest, my character did not engage in any other major quest-line. I also made a different character for each of the 'guilds'.

    But I do agree with the character having similarities to dragons; my MQ character sought power, hoarded items, etc, much like a dragon.

    • 31 posts
    August 2, 2014 4:38 PM EDT

    I face the same, and I limit every character I have depending on race, personality, and skills. Only one of my characters would enter a certain faction and at times none at all.

    • 1439 posts
    August 2, 2014 4:55 PM EDT
    The only way I would have my character join every faction is if, say, they are the leader of a bid for the throne of the High King, they would need as many allies, and as much respect as possible.
    • 31 posts
    August 2, 2014 5:02 PM EDT

    That would work, i'd have that dreadful apprentice of mine micro-manage it all anyhow.

    • 856 posts
    August 2, 2014 5:04 PM EDT

    I had a character that was 'making a bid'; I went the 'thane of many holds' route.

    • 1439 posts
    August 2, 2014 5:05 PM EDT
    And then I had my character age by levels.
    • 55 posts
    October 28, 2014 7:05 PM EDT

    Another excuse if you can call it that to join almost all the factions is to play as a bard. There was a bard build a while back which used this sort of playstyle in an excellent way (I forget the name of the build). A support character for companions in a way, collecting their stories on the way to the top. The key thing is that your different companions become the leaders of the different guilds, thanes etc.

    I tried it, and its fun if you can keep them alive  

    • 641 posts
    October 29, 2014 5:37 AM EDT

    With great power comes great responsibility.

    • 641 posts
    October 29, 2014 5:48 AM EDT

    Also remember when the Greybeards say many people see the dragon blood as a curse?

    • 10 posts
    November 1, 2014 10:02 PM EDT
    One thing that's consistent is that through almost any playthrough by almost any player the Dragonborn NEVER questions their right to power. You don't even have the option to refuse a leadership position and almost never express doubts concerning your ability to handle that responsibility. The only thing that could drive someone to become head of every guild or Thane of every hold is a lust for power, conscious or not.