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When do Dragons Spawn in Skyrim?

When do Dragons Spawn in Skyrim?

Dragons densely populate the lands of Skyrim. But if you’re new to the game then you might find it quizzical why you haven’t encountered a dragon. At least since the opening cutscene. In this article, we’ll discuss when exactly you’ll start to encounter dragons and how often they spawn in the game.

Dragons begin spawning in Skyrim after you kill your first dragon during the Main Story Quest. Dragon Rising is the name of the quest. It is the second major quest that your character is given. After completing the quest random Dragons will begin spawning in the open world for you to fight.

For someone who has just started playing Skyrim, interactions with dragons can seem limited. However, later in the game, you will find several different and varied dragons to fight. If you wish to know more about this, consider reading on!

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When Do Dragons Start Spawning in Skyrim?

Fighting Dragons in Skyrim
Fighting Dragons in Skyrim

If you’re wondering when Dragons start spawning in Skyrim then the answer is quite simple. Dragons start properly spawning in the open world after you complete the second major story quest called Dragon Rising.

This is the point in the story when you kill your very first dragon. This is perhaps the weakest dragon that you will fight throughout the game. These legendary beasts will be far tougher as you continue to encounter them after this point. So urge that you be as prepared as you possibly can be.

The natural progression of your Main Story Quests will lead you to the city of Whiterun where you will encounter the Jarl of Whiterun. He’s the individual that you will have to complete quests for to obtain the ability to fight more random dragons out in the open world.

How to Complete the Dragon Rising Quest?

Jarl Balgruuf of Whiterun
Jarl Balgruuf of Whiterun

A little background might help you identify this quest when going through the game yourself. Throughout your questing mentions of dragons will begin to happen quite frequently. This and various magical occurrences throughout the world will unintentionally cause a dragon to be summoned.

Irileth and Farengar are two NPCs that will accompany you to the planning room just beyond the Dragonsreach. This is the grand manor of the Jarl of Whiterun and it is here that you will encounter the Jarl within his quarters. After speaking to Jarl, he will tell you of the encroaching problem of the dragons.

The Jarl will give you an Iron Helmet of Minor Destruction, which is a good early-game item to have as you quest around. Once you’ve finished talking to the Jarl, you will be tasked with meeting Irileth outside of town. You must head to the Western Watchtower, which is a little further away from the city of Whiterun.

You won’t find a Watchtower there, however, instead a watchtower’s ruins will greet you. The dragon has already laid waste to the structure and everything that surrounds it. This is a great introduction to just how powerful these beasts can be. And makes it even more epic when we kill it.

The Dragon’s name is Mirmulnir, and he appears soon after we reach the Watchtower Ruins. Your objective is to kill Mirmulnir. This should give you both the ability to absorb Dragon Souls, and will unlock the spawning of Dragons throughout the open world.

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Best Strategies to Defeat Mirmulnir

Mirmulnir - The dragon of in Whiterun's Watchtower
Mirmulnir – The dragon in Whiterun’s Watchtower

Mirmulnir is perhaps the weakest dragon in the game. However, he can still be a challenge if you’re a relatively new player. Or if you are not experienced in the Elder Scrolls combat system. Nonetheless, we’d say do not fear, we’ll give you some good tips to help you through your first of many dragon encounters.

Most dragons have thick dragon hides. Mirmulnir, however, is quite a weakling because even iron arrows will be able to easily pierce through his defenses. They will also do quite a bit of damage. So if you’re looking to inflict a good amount of damage early into the fight then use iron arrows.

The dragon does have a penchant to fly everywhere, and this can be annoying if you’re a melee fighter. Keep a bow and arrow with you for these circumstances. Fire arrows work especially well in this encounter. Just make sure that you have a decent command of archery. If archery isn’t your strong suit then we’ll recommend a few other ways to take the beast down.

Mirmulnir will occasionally slam onto the ground and will breathe fire onto you. Either make sure that you’re not in range of getting hit by his fire. Or make sure that you have an affinity with Magicka, and can use restorative spells to get yourself topped off.

In terms of the spells you can bring, Mirmulnir is vulnerable to ice-based magic. So if you’ve got a few ice-based spells then you’ll be able to bring down Mirmulnir quite quickly and efficiently. With help from Irileth’s men, Mirmulnir’s strength will slowly ebb and finally cause her to fall.

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  • Talk to Jarl of Whiterun
  • Meet Irileth near the Western Watchtower or the Watchtower ruins.
  • Kill the dragon, Mirmulnir.
  • Investigate the dragon, Mirmulnir.
  • Return to Jarl Balgruuf.
  • Use your newly learned Dragon Shout power.
  • You will now encounter Dragons out in the open world.

When you start Skyrim, you might assume that you will be encountering tons of dragons right off the bat. However, when this doesn’t happen you can get quite worried. Don’t fret though, since as we explained after the second major mission Dragon Rising you will face many random dragons out in the open world.

Just be prepared when the battle does begin. Good luck with your dragon hunting!