|Location||The Ratway, then Sky Haven Temple|
|Primary Skills||Conjuration, Restoration, Alteration, Destruction|
|Faction(s)||CrimeFactionRift; FavorExcludedFaction; TownRiftenFaction; WIAdditem03ExclusionFaction; all friends in here|
Esbern, an elderly Nord conjurer, is a chronicler and agent of the Blades who has survived the investigations of the Thalmor by hiding in Riften's Ratway. Long obsessed with the foretold return of the dragon Alduin, the World-Eater, Esbern serves as your mentor, guide, and advisor. Despite this, once he learns of Paarthurnax's existence, he will demand that you slay him and will refuse you any aid until you have done so.
Esbern wears miner's clothes initially, but changes into mourner's clothes once you reach Sky Haven Temple with a pair of boots, and carries an ebony dagger and a selection of lower-class items and gold. In combat, he relies on mainly Destruction spells, and occasionally summons leveled atronachs.
Esbern knows the following spells:
- Conjure Flame Atronach, Conjure Frost Atronach, Conjure Storm Atronach
- Fireball, Firebolt, Flame Cloak
- Fast Healing, Steadfast Ward
 Related Quests
- A Cornered Rat: Locate Esbern.
- Alduin's Wall: Locate the prophecy within Sky Haven Temple.
- Season Unending: Enforce a ceasefire to secure Dragonsreach.
- Paarthurnax: Deal with a potential threat.
- Dragon Hunting: Kill a dragon at its lair.
- Dragon Research: Help Esbern complete his research on dragons.
- If you have not started any quests involving him, he will simply open the porthole and tell you to go away, promptly closing it afterwards.
- After arriving at Sky Haven Temple, Esbern can grant the Dragonslayer's Blessing which gives a 10% increased Critical Hit Chance vs. dragons for five days.
- Esbern is voiced by Max von Sydow.
- He can be a very useful follower. After you free him from his cell during A Cornered Rat, he will be an invincible follower, and will remain so as long as you avoid Delphine (and therefore Riverwood).
- Alternatively, you can take him to Delphine and have them both follow you for two invincible followers. You may also have a regular follower with you.
- There is also a male Nord in Oblivion with the name Esbern. As Skyrim takes place 200 years after Oblivion, and the Thalmor's dossier on Esbern states he is in his late 70s, the two cannot possibly be the same person.
- The Dragon Infusion perk in the Dragon Research quest is bugged; see that page for details.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.9 of the Official Skyrim Patch.
- When you first meet Esbern during A Cornered Rat as part of the main quest, sometimes his voice will be missing and/or he doesn't answer the door. Visit this page for details and possible solutions.
- When killing a dragon (particularly if you have begun Rebuilding the Blades) the miscellaneous objective 'Return to Esbern' may initiate in your quest log. This is part of the repeatable Dragon Hunting quest, but speaking to Esbern will not actually complete the quest.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.2.5 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch. See that page for details on manually completing the quest via console for PC.
- After arriving in Sky Haven Temple, Esbern may not engage in the correct dialogue to activate or complete any of his quests.
- If you tell Esbern to wait somewhere, he may disappear when you return for him.
- After being escorted to Sky Haven Temple, Esbern might appear wherever you fast travel.
- To fix this, you must unpatch your Skyrim game. It only appears on patch 1.5 and after the Alduin's Wall quest.
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