Draugr are ancient Nordic warriors who have been reanimated. Most draugr were followers of dragon priests in ancient times. When these priests died, their followers were killed, reanimated, and then sealed into the tomb where they would periodically awaken in order to worship the priests and transfer energy to them to maintain their undead state. Some draugr instead guard nobility and treasures buried in barrows and tombs. They often rest in catacombs or sarcophagi to awaken and fight when disturbed or alerted.
Appearance and Types
Despite the advanced embalming techniques of the ancient Nords, time has taken its toll on draugr's physical appearance. Their soft tissues are severely decomposed, and their armor does little to conceal the fact that much of their flesh is rotting away, exposing the underlying skeletal structure. All draugr have piercing blue eyes. Male and female draugr appear at similar rates, but at higher levels, males far outnumber females. Higher rank draugr are clearly recognizable by their increasingly more impressive helmets and equipment. The Draugr Deathlords and Death Overlords will almost always carry ebony equipment and are most recognizable by their unobtainable versions of the ancient Nord helmets.
The specific variety of draugr that you meet is generally level-dependent. However, this also depends on the location at which they're encountered. In addition, draugr may be spellcasters, archers, one-handed melee fighters, or two-handed melee fighters; this is unspecified by their names, which only indicate their class. Draugr that begin appearing early in the game are equipped with ancient Nordic weapons, which are similar in strength to steel weaponry, and ancient Nord armor, similar in quality to iron armor, which is unlootable. The more powerful draugr that appear at higher levels often use ebony weapons and equipment, and may have the ability to use one or more Dragon Shouts in combat, including Unrelenting Force, Disarm, and sometimes even Frost Breath.
For information about dead, static draugr which can be looted, see this page.
Eliminate weaker types before fighting the stronger ones. Archers can deal a lot of damage during a battle; but they often shoot from a distance, sometimes making it easy to hide or take cover from them while dealing with nearer enemies. Stronger draugr can be very dangerous to most players, and should be attacked from a distance when possible. If you are a mage, avoid the use of frost spells.
You can often perform a sneak attack on a draugr sleeping in its alcove and kill it before it is able to attack. Even if you fail to kill it immediately, you should have time for one or two more hits while it climbs out of its resting place. Remaining undetected, even by sleeping draugr, can be challenging, as they are quite sensitive, and this increases with stronger versions. Dragon priests, who guard some Nordic ruins, are extremely dangerous opponents, but can often be defeated from a distance by using the Invisibility and Muffle effects to evade detection.
When engaging with high level draugr that use the Unrelenting Force and Disarm shouts, you may wish to save frequently in case a treasured weapon is thrown such that you cannot find it again. Wards (including the ward effect that the unique shield Spellbreaker provides when blocking) will render harmless any shout, from draugr or other sources.
Draugr are unable to attack and have no defenses while the animation plays as they emerge from their tomb. Attacking them during this time can quickly eliminate them before they can strike.
|Curalmil||The end boss of Forsaken Cave. At higher levels, he may be a dragon priest.|
|GatekeeperDB||Encountered in the Temple of Miraak after learning a word of the Dragon Aspect dragon shout.|
|Guardian Saerek||One of the two boss-level draugr encountered in Ragnvald|
|Guardian Torsten||One of the two boss-level draugr encountered in Ragnvald|
|Halldir||The end boss of Halldir's Cairn|
|Jyrik Gauldurson||The eldest of the Gauldurson brothers, encountered in Saarthal|
|King Olaf One-Eye||The final boss of Dead Men's Respite|
|Mikrul Gauldurson||The youngest of the Gauldurson brothers, encountered in Folgunthur|
|Red Eagle||A boss-level draugr encountered in Rebel's Cairn, during the related quest. At higher levels, he may be a dragon priest.|
|Sigdis Gauldurson||The middle Gauldurson brother, encountered in Geirmund's Hall|
|Warlord Gathrik||The end boss of Ironbind Barrow. At higher levels, he may be a dragon priest.|
In addition to using the Thu'um, draugr often shout in the dragon language during combat. Some of these phrases include:
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With the installation of the Hearthfire plug-in, you have the ability to create draugr statues in the trophy room addition of any homestead, should you choose to build it. Available options include a draugr in the midst of sheathing its sword on a large base, and a draugr nocking an arrow to its bow on a small base. The materials needed for each option are:
|Large Base Draugr||Small Base Draugr|
- All draugr belong to the Creature Faction and the DraugrFaction. The Draugr Thrall belongs to the dunFolgunthurThrallFaction as well.
- Dragons and draugr are considered enemies, even though dragon priests are allies to both.
- This issue has been addressed by the Unofficial Skyrim Patch; dragons and draugr are no longer hostile to one another.
- For historical information, see the Lore article.