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 Quick Walkthrough
 Detailed Walkthrough
Vampire Side: After obtaining Auriel's Bow, Serana tells you that it is time to confront her father. Head back to Volkihar Keep. Once inside, it is not possible to initiate dialogue with any of the other vampires, who will instead direct you to Lord Harkon. He can be found upstairs in the Volkihar Cathedral, where he awaits you and Serana in his Vampire Lord form. When you confront Lord Harkon, he will begin by insulting you for your disloyalty towards him. When Serana tells him that she will not let herself be sacrificed and that you are on her side, Lord Harkon will give recognition to your persuasive abilities by saying that "This dragon has fangs". He makes a final insult to Valerica, and chides Serana for becoming more like her mother. At this point, Lord Harkon will demand that you give him Auriel's Bow. If you refuse to give it to him, he will attack you. Likewise, if you give him the bow, he will betray you and attack. Because both dialogue options end in him attacking you, it is not recommended to give him Auriel's Bow, as it can be very useful during the battle.
Dawnguard Side: The Dawnguard side of this quest is much like the Vampire side, except that after acquiring the bow, Serana will tell you to head back to Isran. Once at Fort Dawnguard, talk to Isran, who will gather the rest of the Dawnguard. If you chose to become a vampire in order to gain access to the Soul Cairn, Isran will refuse to speak with you until you have been cured. You may obtain this cure from either Aela the Huntress (if you have progressed far enough in the Companions quest line), by turning you into werewolf, or from Falion in Morthal who can cure you entirely. See this article for details. After a short speech, everyone will head out to Castle Volkihar. Once you arrive there, the Dawnguard, including one armored troll, will start the attack on the castle, beginning with five vampires, a few Gargoyles and one Death hound who defend the outdoor approach to the castle. When they have been defeated, you will then lead the charge into Castle Volkihar, fighting the remaining vampires and Death hound. After all the vampires have been killed, follow Isran to a gated off doorway with a pull chain to the right of it. Pull it to raise the portcullis, then head up the steps and through the doors, where you will find Lord Harkon. The conversation with Lord Harkon on the Dawnguard side is somewhat different than the conversation on the Vampire side, mainly in the tone of the conversation and in Lord Harkon's dialogue with the player. Instead of insulting the player for their lack of loyalty, Lord Harkon will admit that it was only a matter of time before Serana would one day return with hatred in her heart. He then questions the player's allegiance to Serana by asking if she and Valerica are next after dealing with him. No matter what dialogue options you choose, Lord Harkon will eventually demand that you give him Auriel's Bow, where you are faced with the same choice.
Note: It might be a good idea to time your assault against Castle Volkihar so that it occurs during the day and you can take advantage of Sunhallowed Arrows used on the sun to help take down the vampires who attack on the outside.
 Fighting Lord Harkon
Fighting Lord Harkon is the same regardless of whether you are a member of the vampires or the Dawnguard. If you are not prepared, Lord Harkon can be a difficult opponent to defeat. If you gave him Auriel's Bow, then you will be at a slight disadvantage. As soon as he exits dialogue with you, Lord Harkon will immediately summon skeletons and gargoyles to kill you, and will continue to do so throughout the fight. However, Serana is quite capable of handling them on her own, which leaves you to focus solely on Lord Harkon. Lord Harkon will continuously move throughout the room, firing Vampiric Drainballs at you and will frequently turn into a swarm of bats. As you deplete his health, Lord Harkon will turn into a swarm of bats and will materialize at the altar. As he hovers over the altar, he will create an impregnable shield of Blood Magic until he regains his health. If you have Auriel's Bow, equip Sunhallowed arrows and fire at the shield, which will destroy it. Try not to waste Sunhallowed arrows during this fight, as Lord Harkon will do this repeatedly. When his health is low, he will begin to frequently turn into mist; simply follow him until he re-materializes. Once the killing blow is struck, Lord Harkon will turn into a swarm of bats and materialize by the altar one final time, where he makes a final cry to his daughter's betrayal, and then melts into a pile of red ash.
After the battle is over, Garan Marethi (if you are a vampire) or Isran (if you are a member of the Dawnguard) will enter the room, and will commend you for defeating Lord Harkon. He will then explain that there will be a new beginning for the Volkihar vampires or the Dawnguard, thus completing the Dawnguard questline. Serana will tell you that she will stay at Castle Volkihar or Fort Dawnguard, but will accompany you on your travels should you ask her.
- You can now use Auriel's Bow to its full potential, including using it to block out the sun once per day. While the sun is blocked out, you will not suffer from any of the penalties of sun damage during the day. After one day, the sun will return and you will need to shoot it again. Bloodcursed arrows are necessary for this function.
- A dialogue option with Serana will open up that allows you to turn Elven arrows into Bloodcursed arrows.
- The blacksmith associated with your chosen faction will stock an additional 200 Elven arrows, which you can convert into Sunhallowed or Bloodcursed arrows.
- Certain Volkihar Clan and Dawnguard side quests will become available.
- On the Dawnguard side, you can ask Serana to transform you into a Vampire Lord and/or convince her to give up her vampirism.
- On Lord Harkon's body you will find one of the only three sets of Vampire Royal Armor and Harkon's Sword, a unique katana.
- If you return to the Soul Cairn, Valerica will be amazed at Harkon's defeat and return to Castle Volkihar.
- Random encounters with members from the opposing faction in hold capitals and the wilderness will be less frequent. Random vampire attacks will only occur during an eclipse.
One achievement is unlocked when you complete this quest:
- Kindred JudgementDG (40 points/Silver)
- Killing Lord Harkon is necessary regardless of which faction you side with.
- You may sell the two Elder Scrolls to Dexion Evicus for 6000 gold after completing this quest if allied with the Dawnguard.
- During the battle, the music normally heard when battling dragons will play.
- When Lord Harkon's health is reduced to zero, he may become invincible, forcing you to reload a previous save from before entering Volkihar Cathedral to begin the fight again.
- Save the game and move your character, then reload the game. When it has been reloaded, Harkon's death scene will play.
- The Elder Scrolls may be stuck in your inventory after completing the final quest.
- Sometimes Lord Harkon will not take any damage from any attacks. Reloading a previous save will fix this. Saving before entering the final room of Castle Volkihar is recommended.
- If in stealth mode and unseen by Harkon during his dialogue with Serana, instead of speaking to you he will simply pause. Since you cannot leave the cathedral, the game will essentially be frozen. You have to either be seen by Harkon, which will trigger him to commence his dialogue with your character, or you can attack him. If you attack, you won't get the dialogue options, but the battle will play out normally.
- It is best to avoid using dragon shouts during the final battle. All sorts of bugs and collisions can occur, and on the PC, it may freeze or crash to desktop. When transitioning into bat form, hitting Harkon with Unrelenting Force may blast him into the scenery.
- If his script is already buggy and you work at it long enough, it is possible to summon Durnehviir into Volkihar Cathedral during the final battle. The game will immediately crash.
- Serana may stay locked in combat after Harkon dies, making it so dialogue is unavailable. Attack Serana until she goes down (or exit the room and initiate conversation), and she will speak.
- After entering Volkihar Cathedral to confront Lord Harkon, the Vampire Lord and the Revert Form powers no longer function.
- Sometimes after you've used Auriel's bow, it can cause your weapons to malfunction, resulting in you not being able to use them. This prevents you from being able to attack with either weapons or magic. Reloading to the latest saved game will fix this.
 Quest Stages
- The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 25, 30, 50, 55.
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