Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title
Published Title Score Editor's Choice
Published Title Score

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition

Dragon Rising

Scott Peers

This page details the Dragon Rising main story quest of Skyrim, including where to follow Irileth to the Western Watchtower, and how to kill the dragon Mirmulnir.

Dragon Rising, Skyrim.

Quest Info Description
Objective Investigate a dragon sighting near Whiterun.
Quest Giver Jarl Balgruuf the Greater
Location(s) Dragonsreach, The Western Watchtower outside Whiterun
Prerequesite Bleak Falls Barrow
Next Quest The Way of the Voice
Reward Dragon Shout, Axe of Whiterun, Thaneship Whiterun, Lydia follower.

Quest Overview

1.Talk to Jarl Balgruuf.

  1. Meet Irileth near the Western Watchtower.

  2. Kill Mirmulnir, a dragon.

  3. (Optional) Use your new Shout power.

  4. Report back to Jarl Balgruuf.

Follow Irileth and Defeat the Dragon Mirmulnir

This quest starts immediately after Bleak Falls Barrow. The first objective is to speak with Jarl Balgruuf. Follow everyone up the stairs where the Jarl will be waiting to hear the report of a guard who claims to have seen the dragon near Whiterun. Jarl Balgruuf will hear the report from the guard and then instruct Irileth to go to the western watchtower to confront the dragon. After the meeting, you’ll receive the Iron Armor of Minor Illusion as a reward for your efforts in the barrow. The armor is good for Illusionists, but better off sold for everyone else, unless you don’t have anything as good or better at this point.

You’ll be joining Irileth in confronting the dragon, so follow her through the keep and down the steps of Whiterun to the main gates. Irileth will address a few soldiers here, and you’ll need to follow them out the gates, then onto the western watchtower. You’ll see the flames at the tower as you approach. Search for survivors when you arrive, then wait for the guard to call that the dragon is incoming. You can take cover in the tower, or meet the dragon in the open field. Either way, you’ll need to use ranged attacks initially, as the dragon will fly around the tower and spam fire breathing attacks.

(1 of 2) Speak with Jarl Balgruuf in Dragonsreach.

Speak with Jarl Balgruuf in Dragonsreach. (left), Approach the tower with Irileth and the guards. (right)

How to Defeat Mirmulnir

To damage the dragon in the sky, you can use a bow to fire arrows, or alternatively any ranged spells that you may have learnt at this point. Flames will already be in your arsenal of spells, but any ranged destructive spell will do. Be sure to aim where the dragon is flying to get a hit, rather than directly at it. Alternatively you can wait for it to stop before shooting, but the dragon stopping indicates an incoming fire attack, so this is more dangerous. The guards will help with shooting the dragon, so it will slowly lose health even if you’re not able to hit it much in the sky.

After some time, the dragon will fly down and land next to some of the guards. A fire breath attack will soon follow, but as soon as this is over you’ll have a chance to enter melee combat. Try to attack the dragon from behind to avoid its bite, or hit the head repeatedly if you think you can tank it, as this will inflict the most damage. You’ll almost certainly be hit during these melee phases, but you can always retreat to the tower for a heal if necessary. Using one of your new melee weapons will frost damage will inflict extra harm, so be sure to equip one of those if you kept them from the previous quests.

The fight is fairly simple from here; just rinse and repeat based on the flow of battle from sky to land, altering your attacks from ranged to melee as you go, while healing as you take cover when necessary. You have the aid of the guards and Irileth, so the dragon will still take damage if you’re out of the fight for a bit. Once the dragon is dead, you’ll earn the Dragon Soul achievement.

Trophy/Achievement Icon

Dragon Soul

Absorb a dragon soul

Trophy icon

(1 of 3) You’ll need to shoot the dragon in the sky or use spells until it lands.

Inspect the Dragon and Use Unrelenting Force

You’ll need to inspect the dragon once you’ve killed it, thereby absorbing its power. This will allow you to activate and use the Unrelenting Force shout, which you learnt from Bleak Falls Barrow.. You should use the shout (facing away from any allies) to complete the optional objective for the quest. The guards will then speak to you about the possibility of you being a Dragonborn, but Irileth is less convinced. Either way, you can now return to Dragonsreach to speak with Jarl Balgruuf.

As you approach Whiterun, you’ll hear a strange shout echo through the land. Jarl Balgruuf will explain that this was the Greybeards summoning you to High Hrothgar, now that you’ve been recognized as Dragonborn. The Jarl will make you a thane of Whiterun and reward you with the Axe of Whiterun. The quest will complete here, but as you leave the keep you’ll be introduced to your new Housecarl, Lydia. She’ll stay in Dragonsreach most of the time, but you can ask her to join you on adventures from now on.

No Comments
Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, XB 360, XB One
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    11 November 2021
  • Last Updated
    7 November 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Greg Wright

Share this free guide:

Skyrim is the homeland of the Nords, a fierce and proud warrior people who are well suited for the bitter cold and mountainous terrain which defines the land. Now scarred by civil war, Skyrim faces its darkest days with the return of the legendary dragons and their leader, the World-Eater Alduin. The future of Skyrim and even the lands beyond hangs in the balance, as the people await the prophesized Dragonborn, a hero born with the power of The Voice and the only one who can contend with the dragons. You are that Dragonborn; your task is to investigate why the dragons are returning, and discover a way to defeat them. At the same time, you’re free to explore Skyrim at your own pace, uncovering its many wonders along the way.

Version 1.2

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account: