|This page is currently being rewritten as part of the Skyrim Quest Redesign Project.
The page is being rewritten and checked in several stages. All users are welcome to make changes to the page. If you make a change that is relevant to the project, please update this template accordingly, and make sure you have observed the project guidelines.
 Quick Walkthrough
- Talk to Paarthurnax, Arngeir, or Esbern.
- Talk to the Jarl of Whiterun.
- Prepare a trap for Odahviing.
- Call Odahviing to Dragonsreach.
- Weaken and trap Odahviing.
- Interrogate Odahviing.
 Detailed Walkthrough
 The Civil War
When you have defeated Alduin, he will fly off. You must track down one of his minions to find Alduin again. Speak with Paarthurnax, Arngeir, or Esbern to proceed. When the topic is discussed, they will all tell you that Dragonsreach was once used to capture a dragon. If you decide to speak with Esbern, you will start the optional quest Paarthurnax. Go to Whiterun and speak with the Jarl of Whiterun. Depending on your progress in the civil war, there are several options for what can happen next:
- If the civil war has not been settled for either side, the Jarl will at first be hesitant and tell you he can't capture a dragon with the ongoing war threatening his hold. You have to get both sides to agree with a truce by speaking to both Ulfric Stormcloak and General Tullius. This starts the quest Season Unending, which will now have to be completed before you can proceed with The Fallen.
- If the civil war has been settled for either the Imperials or the Stormcloaks, the Jarl will allow you permission upon speaking with him. This option actually becomes possible once either side of the civil war controls at least eight of the nine Holds: if you have joined the Stormcloaks, you must have started or completed the "Liberate Haafingar" objective of Liberation of Skyrim; and if you have joined the Imperials, you have must have started or completed the "Regain Eastmarch" objective of Reunification of Skyrim.
- If you choose to complete Paarthurnax by killing Paarthurnax before the peace negotiations, this will anger Arngeir to the point where he refuses to talk to you. This means you will have no way of negotiating the truce, meaning you must instead end the civil war through battle.
 Dragon Captive
After the peace treaty negotiations have been completed (see the quest Season Unending for further details), you will learn that you can use a Shout to summon a dragon, as all dragon names are Words of Power. Esbern has uncovered the name of one dragon in their records, Odahviing. Upon telling you the name of the dragon, you will automatically learn a new Call Dragon shout. If you did not have to do Season Unending, you are instead sent to Paarthurnax, who provides you with the same information as Esbern, including the same Call Dragon shout. In this case, you are told that Season Unending has been completed at the moment when you learn the shout, even if you had never actually started that quest.
Go to Dragonsreach to prepare and spring the trap with the help of Jarl Balgruuf or Jarl Vignar Gray-Mane, depending on the current allegiance of Whiterun. The area you need to go is located behind the throne room and up the stairs (you can just follow the Jarl). Tell the Jarl you're ready, then use the Call Dragon shout by holding it down for a moment. Odahviing will appear after a short delay and attack, being curious to test your power. Fight him, and draw him closer to the doors you came in through using the shout Dragonrend. Climb the stairs that start near the doors, or simply back up towards the rear of the room, and a large wooden yoke will drop down and snap around his neck, holding him in place. You can then interrogate him and he will start talking to you.
At this point, you can get him to tell you where Alduin has gone, a former temple of the Dragon Cult called Skuldafn Temple. Interrogate him further and he will reveal to you that it is impossible to get to Skuldafn without wings, and that he will take you if you release him. Before you accept his offer, make sure you have everything you need for a long mission, as you will not be able to leave Skuldafn until after you have completed the next quests. Also note that your follower(s) will not be able to accompany you. When you are ready, talk to a guard on the upper level to release Odahviing. He will not fly away, so talk to the now-freed Odahviing for the flight to Skuldafn.
One achievement is unlocked when you complete this quest:
- Farengar may come out and talk with Odahviing while you have him in captivity, and attempt to collect samples, resulting in a rather humorous scene.
- The shout button must be pressed for a slightly longer time than previous shouts required, to get the name of the dragon out and actually cause him to appear.
- When Odahviing appears, your shout cooldown, which would normally be 300 seconds, is reset to zero. Any further shouts will be subject to the normal cooldown.
- If you have a small bounty when trying to release the dragon, all the guard will say is "Wait, I know you," and no other dialogue will appear. Simply pull the release chain yourself.
- If Odahviing kills the guard that is supposed to release him, just pull the chain yourself.
- Do not attack Odahviing when he is trapped. He will not respond, but when he is released, he will become hostile again.
- Followers may keep Odahviing busy with a skirmish where he lands, preventing him from walking into the trap.
- If you have started the Stormcloaks beginning quests, but gone no further in them, you may be unable to start a conversation with Ulfric or General Tullius until you get farther along in the quest line. It is not known if this is the same with the Imperial quest line.
- At stage 50 of the quest (defeated Alduin), the quest Paarthurnax will begin, though it will not be displayed in your journal.
|To meet our site's higher standard of quality, this article or section may require cleanup. The user who placed this here had the following concern:
entries needs testing and the worst ones should be removed - and the colorful icons only belong next to bug solutions
To leave a message about the cleanup for this article, please add it to this article's
- Odahviing may stop moving and become invincible once you get him through the doorway.
- When Odahviing is captured, he will not talk to you. There is no option of talking to him, and he remains an enemy. This occurs after Vignar Gray-Mane has become Jarl but the Companions questline has not been started. Even after becoming Jarl, Vignar spends most of his time in Jorrvaskr. Simply do the first Companions mission and Vignar will leave the building. Once you get back to the Porch to summon Odahviing, Vignar will be there and the dragon will be captured properly.
- In some cases, when the player speaks with Paarthurnax about Odahviing, then heads directly to the Jarl of Whiterun and defeats Odahviing without agreeing to start the next quest, the quest marker will direct the player to return to Esbern to receive information on how to lure Odahviing and will not clear indefinitely.
- Odahviing sometimes becomes hostile after releasing him. To fix this, simply exit the Great Porch, wait a few hours inside Dragonsreach, and return to Odahviing.
- After trapping Odahviing, you may fall through the ground and in turn be stuck under the map. This seems to be caused by standing under or near Odahviing when the trap is dropped into place. To fix this, simply fast travel, then come back.
- Farengar will not appear if you have killed him, but the NPCs present will still register him as being there, trying to obtain a blood sample or some scales from Odahviing. The NPCs will say their dialogue for this scene, but Farengar not be present to speak his lines.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.2.4 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Odahviing may get stuck at the entrance to the courtyard and be unable to move forward toward the trap.
- Odahviing will only fly around Dragonsreach and it'll be impossible to attack or interact with him. To solve this, exit the Great Porch, wait for 20 hours, then re-enter.
- If Cicero is your ally, you will need to dismiss him before calling Odahviing. Cicero will not obey your order to stand back, which causes Odahviing to not walk far enough into the porch to become trapped.
- Sometimes the soldiers will simply not spring the trap. It seems that earlier version had Odahviing taking damage, but he has become invincible since some patch. On the PC, this can be solved via the console. Open the console and setstage to 180 when Odahviing is in the trap area. He will get trapped and you can continue as normal.
 Quest Stages
- The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 1, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 27, 40, 125, 180, 230, 240
|Prev: Alduin's Bane||Up: Main Quest||Next: The World-Eater's Eyrie|