Paarthurnax or Blades? (Spoiler)

If you haven’t finished Skyrim, yet don’t read on. All others have, with the help of the greybeards, arranged a peace treaty between the Empire and the Stormcloaks. At the end of the summit you are approached by Esbern and Delphine who tell you that the Dragon Paarthurnax needs to die for his past crimes or they will no longer cooperate with you.


For me this is the hardest decision so far. Not because it has so much effect, which is doesn’t, but for the fact that I am supposed to kill an Ally someone who supported and helped so much.

During the Quest „Season Unending“, the arrangement of a temporary peace treaty, Delphine or Esbern approach you and tell you that they have learnt about Paarthurnax, the Dragon who is helping you and who happens to be the leader for the Greybeards.

The Blades

As we have learnt throughout the main quest The Blades have been formed as Dragonslayers, serving the Dragonborn. Later, I suppose due to lack of dragons, they evolved into an order of spies and commandos in service of the Emperor of Tamriel but lost their role as protectors. By the time of Skyrim events Esbern and Delphine are all that is left of the order. They returned to their original goal and approach the Dragonborn offering guidance and support.

„There are those that say the Blades still exist around us, in hiding from the Thalmor. Waiting as they have done time and time again, for a Dragonborn to return. For one to protect, for one to guide them.“ – exceprt from ‚The Rise and Fall of the Blades‘

Gaining Reputation with The Blades you will (would – don’t even think about it!) eventually be able to have your followers join the order and take them to Dragonhunts.


During the events of Skyrim they help you understand about the Dragons and return of Alduin. They accompany you to Sky Haven Temple, The Blade’s old base, when they learn that the leader of the Greybeards is Paarthurnax, one of Alduin’s Chief Leitenants and Alduin’s Brother. They see him as responsible for many of their ancestor’s deaths and demand you to kill him. They refuse to cooperate any further with you before have completed this Task.



  • Make your chocie Dragonborn. You’re either with us or against us.
  • Here’s the big picture. He helped Alduin enslave our ancestors. He may have betrayed Alduin in the end, but that makes him worse, not better.
  • We can’t afford to give Paarturnax the opportunity to betray us in turn, and return to his old master.
  • But our oath as blades binds us. Paarthurnax must die. There’s no excuse now that Alduin is dead.


  • I am afraid she’s right. I’m deeply sorry that this has to come between us.
  • But just as Paarthurnax’s later deed do not expiate his crimes, your deeds do not allow us to ignore our duty.
  • I hope you will return to us soon with the news that justice has finally been done.
  • With both Alduin and Paarthurnax dead, a dark chapter in history will finally be closed.

Esbern (got this when returning from Paarthurnax):

  • Justice can be harsh. But it is still justice. Paarthurnax deserves to die.
  • Paarthurnax was the author of many atrocities during the Dragon War – crimes great enough to be remembered for thousands fo years.
  • True, he turned traitor to Alduin and helped overthrow the Dragon Cult, but that does nto excse or expiate his previous deeds.
  • Wheter or not he has truly repented, or merely acted to survive himself, jsutice demands that he pay with his life.

I really don’t get The Blades, they claim to be serving you and yet try to force you into killing the Dragon. The Dragon who has stood up against Alduin, a dragon who has been waiting for thousands of years for Alduin’s Return, the Dragon that convinced the Greybeards to teach you the shouts, he taught you shouts himself, guided your way to learn Dragonrend during the original fight versus Alduin – which would also force him on the ground. He helped you kill his brother … what better Ally could anyone think of? Don’t forget you are a Dov yourself, without wings, but a Dov.

There you are the most powerful person in Skyrim, you saved the whole world, have legendary fighting abilities you were able to stop the war for a bit with your legendary speech skills but you cannot talk your servants out of this crazy idea … NO WAY!

Paarthurnax is more reasonable and makes some good points.


  • The Blades are wise not to trust me. Onikaan ni ov. I would not trust another dovah.
  • Dov wahlaan fah rel. We were made to dominate. The will to power is in our blood. You feel it in yourself, do you not?
  • I can be trusted. I know this. But they do not. Onikaan no ov dovah. It is always wise to mistrust a dovah.
  • I have overcome my nature only through meditation and long study of the Way of the Voice.
  • No day goes by where I am not tempted to return to my inborn nature. Zin krif horvut se suleyk.
  • What is better – to be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?


The only solution for me is to kill Delphine and Esbern to ensure that this Dragon stays alive, THAT should be an option. I read a comment where someone said „I want to steal their soul and enchant an item with it!“, yeah that sounds like something. Kill Esbern, steal his soul and beat Delphine with it!

How do we do that? Well the console is our friend. Using help „Esbern“ 0 and help „Delphine“ 0 you can find the actor IDs then you use setessential to make them mortal. Then you can release these self-righteous, double standard asses from their oath by sending them to Sovngarde. I am quite certain that The Blades have their own load of black chapters in their history.

  • setessential 0013358 0 : this will set Esbern killable
  • setessential 0013478 0 : this will set Delphine killable


142 Antworten auf „Paarthurnax or Blades? (Spoiler)“

    1. If you have it on pc there is a steam mod which let’s him live and the blades will eventually get over it
      (it’s called „the parthanax dilemma“)

    2. i didnt use console commands (mainly because the may cause bugs in your game forcing you to start over, i would know)
      but i have a better solution
      step 1. beat delphine and esbern and get them to follow you to the outside cliff of the skyhaven temple
      step 2. fus ro dah them off the edge and watch them rag doll off the side of the cliff
      step 3. laugh and enjoy
      if you hate them enough lead them to the throat of the world then FUS RO DAH, its worth the time if you hate them enough

      the blades suck ass and arent worth restoring(doing the quest all you get is crappy followers to hunt dragons with, thats dumb you can kill a dragon with an iron dagger you don’t need help heck you can do it naked with your fist your the biggest mofo in skyrim
      (i got 498 hours in skyrim still not done with it, oh what that dawnguard is here, guess skyrim wont get boring for a long time

  1. Dude, you’re my hero. Delphine has been a major annoyance for me since the moment she’d barged in on my questline. I was not going to go out of my way to kill her but now that she’s made the ultimatum about Paarthurnax which pissed me off to no end – and there’s no option to tell her to shove her ‚help‘ – killing her is the only way to go. Thanks.

    1. @Odia
      Ewww, shame on you! One day you are going to need a dragon and then what? 😀 They are your kind! Do you walk around in real life and beat baby seals, cubs and steal cookies of little kids? 😀 No worries I am just teasing! I am all for replaying a game, and try things, but even thn there are things I would not do 😀

  2. Hahaha, exacloy same here. When Delphine said something like :

    „Delphine: Make your chocie Dragonborn. You’re either with us or against us.“

    I just though – where is answer like :

    – Ok, Delphine, your ride is over, time to die.

    ??? 😀

          1. Yes yes the blades SUCK BUT IT IAS A,QUEST SO I MUST DO IT

            I CANNOT BARE TO LOOK BUT IM SAD DONT BE ASHAMED OF ME! If I don’t do the quest then how would I beat the game? If there’s still one quest left I,haven’t beat the game yet…

  3. OH I so like this alternative better. When Esbern first told me that option I flailed at my computer screen going, „WTF I AM NOT KILLING THE ONE DOV I CAN HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOU A$$WHIPE!“

    And then I tried for a good thirty minutes to get out of the stupid quest but there was only the option of killing Paarthurnax. So I told them to shove it and ignored the quest and proceeded to visit him to have a good ol‘ chat.

    And now the traitorous duo are going to die. >3

  4. I was thinking, with Paarthurnax having a vague tone regarding „No day goes by where I am not tempted to return to my inborn nature. Zin krif horvut se suleyk.“, what if it turns out Paarthurnax is the Dragon the legends and prophecies are referring to as the world ender, and it wasnt Alduin?
    Now I am very curious what „Zin krif horvut se suleyk“ at the end of the Paarthurnax dialogue „“No day goes by where I am not tempted…“ translates to.

    1. @Malzen
      Well, as I unerstand it, he explained it very well. The hunger for power lies within all dragons, and he is tempted to just go for it, but his thousand year long mediation and the way of the voice helps him overcome this tempation. Not like he was active during the time Alduin and the other dragons were gone. And yes if it turns out to be a problem, then we can still take action. But in my eyes he redeemed himself and earned a chance.

  5. why choose, I killed both the dragon and the blade, and I’ll move to the graybeard too, I’m dragonborn, no body tells me what to do! though thanks for helping me with killing Delphine.

  6. What really pisses me off is the fact that I did all the work clearing out Sky Haven Temple (yah, I guess it was originally theirs, like thousands of years ago) then they have the gall to tell me to get out since I refused to kill the dragon.

  7. I just ran across this line from Delphine „the Blades are sworn to protect the dragonborn, the greatest dragonslayer of all“…. yah, i guess unless the dragonborn gets into an argument with us, then he’s on his own

    1. @tb0067
      I don’t think paarthurnax is the problems, it is the attitude of the blades. You can probably target paarthrunax and type resurrect to ress him, but I suppose the greybeards will still hate you for it 😉 and you give in to these self righteous blade scum! 😀 (This is entirely my personal PoV, yours may be different)

      1. im not siding with the blades, i dont like them either, paarthurnax is cool. and besides, using commands i can get what items i want so its not like i’ll miss anything. and the greybeards are more interesting than the blades

      2. If not for the fact that I loved the Blades in Oblivion, I would not have killed Paarthurnax. But, I ended up doing it, just because I wanted to continue the questline and keep my loyalty to the Blades. I don’t miss Paarthurnax however, mostly because he was annoying with how he talked, and I never saw him anyway.

  8. What pisses me off is the fact that somewhere along the questline we are told by the greybeards that the blades are not what they seem to be. Having found some books about the blades i realized that the Blades just want dragons gone, doesn’t matter who the dragon is or how he lived his life, all must be gone. So ok ..Paarthurnax stayed behind, betrayed his brother, helped us kill him, tries his best to overcome his hunger for power, taught Dragonborn the ways of the voice (kept the power alive) and now he deserves to die? HELL NO. Thnx for telling me how to kill the blades. I prefer to keep alive a dragon who helped me through my quest line instead of 2 A@@holes who used me for the entire quest line. Omw to teach them a thing or two about the power of the voice and the dragon kin.

  9. For some reason I cant kill Esbern after setting him not essential.
    After I gave Alduin a beating I returned to Cloud Haven Tempel to kill them.
    Esbern gave me the Quest to kill our little dragon buddy. So i wanted to kill them
    noth for being stupid. It worked fine on Delphine, got nice finishing move on her and tossing her down
    the cliff with Unrelenting Force.
    But the console command doesn’t work on Esbern.

    1. the reason it doesnt work on esborn is because he is high ranking in magika anyone who is can block a bunch of things involving magic what you have to do is get a shield block and press the atack button to stun him by hitting him with your shield then use FUS RO DAH

  10. thanks pal. i just killed both blade assholes, captured their souls, fed on them and threw them down a cliff. made my mood for the day)

  11. I couldn’t bring myself to kill Paarthurnax and having the Greybeards hate me. But since I wanted to finish the Blade’s questline, I ended up using the following console command:

    setstage mqpaarthurnax 100

    It made the Paarthunax quest completed without actually killing him. Paarthunax is alive and well, I’m still in good term with the Greybeards and the Blades are convinced the job is done and are talking to me again. It’s a win-win situation.

    1. @Zomby
      Maybe it works for you, but I’d rather drop dead than giving in to the Blades. Their existence is to aid me in my task, yet they blackmail me to do stuff. If you think that is ok, then you can use the code above. It is a point where you are meant to decide for one way or the other, just that the game is giving only a proper way to handle the situation one way and we fix that. Stop being a douche and pick a side 😀

      1. Oh yeah, or, this is just a video game and „giving in to the blades“ doesn’t mean anything. Good job taking it too seriously, douchemaster.

        1. @lol
          At first, this site is about role playing games, of course it won’t matter outside the game. In fact I think you are taking the post too seriously, there is clearly a smiley at the end of the sentence.

          Some people are so dry that you might soak them in a joke for a month and it would not get through their skins.“ – Henry Ward Beecher

      2. or looking at it another way
        setstage mqpaarthurnax 100
        means you lied to them, told them you killed him(maybe bring dragonbone from somebody else you killed) and asked him to sit on the other side of the mountain. they can’t exactly climb all the way up there to check.

  12. Emrys aren’t you a littelbit hypocritical with your answer to Zomby?
    Since you are also using the console commands to kill the ones who are in contradiction with theirs
    own agenda. 😉
    But newer the less this is one the many flaws of the story line in Skyrim.
    It’is a pity that the story designers used a dualistic world view: Stormclocks – Imperium,
    Blades – Graybeards. You realy don’t have a choice.
    But to quote a very great man: The Bard
    (whom do you choose?)
    A very logical choce… Me.
    (what kind of chice is that?)
    As far as i’m concerned? An excellent one.

    1. I for sure wanted to provoke a little 😉 But the point is that these decisions are part of the game and I don’t like cheesing around them.
      The Console Commands are for an option that the Devs did not even think about, to rid Skyrim of the plague called „The Blades“ 😀
      I am not trying to please both factions, I am taking my stand and that is for sure at the side of Paarthurnax!

  13. Ma Personnage
    dislikes also the Blades and their genocideose agenda,
    like the nazi Stormcloaks, not to mention the totalitarian Imperials.
    I have a certain understanding for the Thalmor, but i dislike their
    attitude and methods. (vae victis)
    Imagine you can choose a Fort as an Base.
    Build and Equip an army out of the many conscriptable characters in the game,
    bind the College, the Companions and the Graybeards to it.
    Then get rid of the honorless Fractions and proclaim yourself to the Highking.
    This would be the game of the century.
    Enough of the dreaming of a second and better mount and blade.
    The same moment you type in a comand in the console of the game no matter what, you are making your own rules and change the Game in mechanics and options.
    My current solution is to let the Blades be, shall they die in their own hate,
    knowing that they are the last of their kind, and that the Blades end with them.
    They put my to the decision pro or aginst them, and i decide against their hate.

  14. i feel the exact same way the blades are total assholes for trying to kill the only good dragon besides odahving (that one you call with a shout if i misspelled hid name). The problem with me is that i play it on xbox so i dont have console to kill the blades. I guess im going to just have to ignore the quest. i got pissed and shouted delphine off the cliff though since i cant kill her without xbox. its so fucking stupid that you cant kill them but you can kill paarthurnax.

    1. Au contraire… You do need a PC […] THEN, you can USB your save game off xbox, put it on the pc, issue the commands, restore the game to the USB, load the game on your Xbox and voila!


  15. What a dilemma. To thwart the creatures known to end the world or defy the blades and safegaurd the 2nd strongest dragon. ‚Paarth has been teaching the Dragon speech and asisetd in ridding the world of Anduin (who never got his soul captured). My guess is Paarthurnax realized the end of times means for him also and this is his way of self-preserving his own being. And really, who knows, maybe the dragon born was born of Paarthenox and as he put it „the dragon born is his kin“, litterally.

    I think Bethesda should have given a few more moral/ethical decisions to make. It is really interesting to see the choices we make and ponder.

  16. I wish Bethesda had added a „Kill the Blades“ option to the Paarthurnax quest. I would kill the Blades each time. With both good *and* bad characters.

    Delphine claims the Blades are there to *serve* and *protect* the Dragonborn. But except for maybe one 3 minute period of the main quest they don’t actually help you but try to assert themselves as some sort of „superior“ to the Dragonborn, telling you what to do all the time. I never understood what made them think they could tell you what to do.

    Whereas Paarthurnax pretty much gives you useful information every single time you see him. Including telling you *exactly* how to learn Dragonrend, which the Blades barely knew anything of.

    So, between the Blades and Paarthurnax, Paarthurnax gets far more points for helpfulness than the Blades.

    Also, the Blades seem so blindly obsessed with their principles to the point of outright prejudicial hatred for dragons, no matter what. Paarthurnax so much as tells you he’s definitely a good guy, temptation notwithstanding, so the only reason the Blades give for you having to kill Paarthurnax is „he’s a dragon and we don’t like dragons.“ And all the rest is basically whining about stuff that happened literally in prehistory. That Paarthurnax had actually helped the ancient Nords fight against.

    In my opinion, they showed nothing more than arrogance and bossiness toward the Dragonborn, why the heck would he reasonably snuff out the life of a dragon who proved to be a good guy and, more importantly, more helpful than they were?

    Bethesda should have included the option to kill the Blades. They deserve it.

  17. I advise one to finish the greybeards storyline and meditation with Paarthurnax before killing him. It’s a real shame, there should be an option to tell him about them and their ideas, and then go to the blades later and lie that you have killed him. And then still be with the blades and paarthurnax.

  18. Yeah I plan on taking another option. Wait for construction kit, should be VERY soon, and mod it so there are more options.


    remove all checks for opposing faction, probably easiest,

    kill those two blades and restart blades with followers myself. Making followers that hang out at the temple give me the dragon locations from esberns diary or something.

    put in a quest to let the blades reconcile with your decision not to kill paarth, but still hunt other dragons, toss in a line about how „you’re killing the ones that refuse to live somewhat peacefully“.
    after all, the description of dragons as being cruel and power hungry by nature isn’t that different from any animal… or humans for that matter… why cant they get salvation as well?

    They WILL live in peace or they will be replaced. One of the first lines from delphines mouth is how they ’serve the dragonborn‘ well… time to own up to that part of it or serve me by giving me 1/30th of a skillup to my one-handed while you die mwahahahaha.

  19. I killed Paarthurnax. He’s obviously a bad guy. If you payed attention what your dragon friend said after killing Alduin, he referred to Paarthurnax as a tyrant about his way of the voice, and Paarthurnax flees saying something like „I’m free to rule“. Even the Greybeards act sinister, they seem to hold important info to The Dragonborn. Oh and The Blades hate The Thalmor, I think Blades is the logical side, and Empire too. Stormcloaks don’t want unified Skyrim thus they are bad guys.

    1. true, but you must consider the fact that the blades persue complete and total genocide, a act utterly wrong no matter how you look at it.

    2. Paarthurnax said no such thing. The Grevbeards say they only hold back knowledge that the the dragonborn isn’t ready for. And what Odahving said about Paarthurnax’s way of the voice being a tyranny is nothing more than an opinion, with no evidence to support it. So I don’t see how it’s an obvious choice.

  20. I think the best choice would be to add a „lie“ option. You could sell the blades on paarthunaax’s death if your speech craft is high enough. You beat the blades, trick paarthunaax and win the day. Unfortunately bethesda have no soul….

  21. I am very confused guys ,, what can I do ???? I know it’s my choice to kill paarthurnax or not . but . how I kill him however he lead me the way to become more powerful , also without him I would not get the dragonrend shout and defeat Alduin for the first time or even get the Elder Scroll !!!!!
    now I kill him ? and one more point please …. I did not see any crimes from paarthurnax in my life in skyrim , he just helped me ,, he seems to be good with me and never lead me bad way . and at the same time I can’t kill Delphine or Esbern … I I killed them . I……. Would be the only one who chalange Alduin? without any help ????? So complex …. review ….thanks so much

  22. I remembered one more thing guys ….. as you think .. when you find the elder scroll and read it when you reach paarthurnax’s place you retrieve the last time Alduin was defeated by the ancient people .. ok ok that’s the secret .. did you hear Alduin when he comes and said „my teeth on your nick paarthurnax“ ?????
    do you know what does that mean ?? that’s mean that Paarthurnax is an enemy for Alduin ,, also when you were in a chalange with Alduin . wasn’t Paarthurnax attacking him with you ?? and he has been hurt . and full of blood … Alduin was attacking him guys ,, Also I feel that when Delphine and Esbern said that Paarthurnax must die I felt that Esbern was wrong ,, do not forget that he is a mad man 🙂 think about that more and more .. and remember that delphine did not give you anything new , also after you found Esbern after hard working he did not give you important information about dragons back .. he just translated the wall …. and you faster go to the greybeards to give you the way to paarthurnax . .. good luck

  23. You know what… I killed Paarthurnax and absorbed his soul with Azura’a star, then i encanted my Daedric blade with his soul and killed Alduin. After that i told the blades i did it, got a blessing, some mead, and then Fus Ro Dahed their butts off a cliff. Then i made Daedric armor, Daedric helmet, Daedric gauntlets, and Daedric boots, with the souls of Arngeir, Borri, Einiarth, and Wulfgar. Then i made a sheild with General Tullius’s soul. Then i made a necklace with Ulfrick’s soul. So suck it Skyrim

  24. This is Terminator 2 all over again. Even though John Connor looked at the terminator as a great friend who helped him defeat a worse evil the truth was he couldn’t be trusted and had the potential to destroy the world. He had to die. It’s the same with Paarthunax. Even though he did some good deeds he never paid for his crimes and was a threat to the safety of the entire planet.

    1. @dragonslayer22
      Terminator 2 was about destroying the technology that would help build skynet. As such he had to get destroyed … I doubt they had done the same if he was an actual living thing.

  25. When you consider that Paarthurnax killed many oof your ancestors and when you have killed alduin, paarthurnax starts boasting about how he’ll have them follow him and his way of the voice (sounds like he just needed alduin out of the way) …then Od aah Viin tells you that He will follow you as he dont beleive in the TYRANNY of Paarthurnax’s way of the voice ….seems to me that Paarthurnax only helped defeat Alduin because the bastard wants to take his place …I say kill the lying Dov …. and honour the Blades whom you serve.

    1. @crusader58
      For one the Blades serve the Dov, not the other way around. Paarthurnax did not lie to us while they did. He was open to us and confessed that keeping him alive would mean a life long of temptations.

      „We were made to dominate … The will to power is in our blood. You feel it in yourself, do you not? I have overcome my nature only through meditation and long study of the Way of the Voice. No day goes by where I am not tempted to return to my inborn nature.“

      I support him, he has helped us, without him we’d not have ever killed Alduin and he has suffered/learnt/evolved all these years … It might become necessary to take him down at some time, but then it would be my decision and not The Blades one. Innocent until proven guilty!

    2. Actually, I think Odahviing (I think I spelled that correctly) thought of the way of the voice as tyranny because he was a little like Alduin in his thinking. It was his opinion that the way of the voice was tyranny. Also, Paarthurnax never says anything or even hints toward forcing the dragons to follow the way of the voice. He simply says that now that Alduin is dead the other dragons might be willing to consider peace or something like that. He’s giving them a choice. Also, didn’t you hear Paarthurnax’s little speech at the end about how Alduin was his brother and that the world will never be the same for him? Paarthurnax loved his brother. He did what had to be done, but was still sad that Alduin had to die. I think Paarthurnax deserves a second chance.

  26. >:( It’s easy to order someone else to go and kill someone you’ve never met or spoken to before.

    I hated the Blades for that as well.

    They want Paarthunax dead, they can bloody well go and kill him themselves.

    Good luck, you self-righteous and arrogant sacks of meat.

    1. @coldarkstare
      Or they haven’t been brainwashed like others 😀
      And since the Dov is a dragon, too you can run your char down a cliff right after you killed Paarthurnax, too. Else one could think that the hunger for power is strong within you. Considering you’d act as a slave to the Blades it would be your most mercifull end before the Blades decide they could get rid of you aswell.

  27. i have a question, would it be that sky haven temple will be accesible even though you did not kill paarthy?…..and i so don’t really like being told around by the blades…hmpf…blademasters without sense of sympathy for those who’ve repented their sins……i dare say i’ll cut them where they stand with my razor..

  28. For me personally, I usually find that leaving someone or some people alive to wallow in their misery is the ultimate punishment. Of course that is after I have gotten all the resources I can get from them first. Heh heh.

    So what I did was, When I first got the objective from Esbern. I then went and recruited three of my absolute least favourite followers into the blades. Got Esbern’s (albiet bugged) potion. And used console commands to finish the potion bit. Acquired the perk I should have gotten via console. Then went and talked to Paarthurnax. The reassured Arngier that I wasn’t going to kill Paarthurnax after talking to him. Then promptly killed off the three recruits I gave Delphine. Then just to add salt to the wound, I reanimated (using spell) the three recruits and had them attack both Delphine and Esbern while I aptly ransacked Sky Haven Temple for useful bits I could find.

    While In sneak mode, I then watched Delphine and Esbern beat the undead recruits then made a quiet exit to leave them back at square 1 with just those two making up the blades with absolutely nothing at their disposal, book, weapon, armor (except what was on their back) wise. As I figure, Im the dragonborn. And there is two of them. If they try anything I could disarm with a shout, Paarthurnax could shove em back and the Greybeards could tear them apart, without raising a finger.

  29. it is possible to complete this quest without killing Paarthurnax by using the console command

    setstage MQPaarthurnax 100

    Paarthurnax will remain alive, the Greybeards will still be hospitable, and the Blades will talk to you once more.

  30. I choose to go with Paarthurnax, mostly because the arrogance of the Blades was beyond my ability to take. And it first started off way towards when I first met her and the comment she made along the lines of „I have the Horn or Jurgen Windcaller, does that make me Dragonborn too?“ Now I know the point of it was the last trial to prove I was Dragonborn, but anyone with enough skill and ability could probably retrieve the Horn. I am glad she is gone and I have two Iron Daggers named Esbern and Delphine that I stuck on the weapon rack in Sky Haven Temple. I choose Iron because I did not see them as worthy of anything more expensive.

    1. Heh, I read at first that you havean x-bow, and wondered why you had trouble giving the blades what they deserve. But now I see that you were referring to xbox … since there is no console for it you’d need a mod I suppose.

  31. Fuck those blades. They pissed me off right from the beginning, i wasnt gonna killl at the beginning but when esbern told me to kill paarthurnax i was just like WTF FUCK NO then i went on this thread and i found out othere people chose paarthunax and i also saw how you can kill the blades with console then i fullon stabbed them shouted them off a cliff then spawned them again and killed them again, then i spawned like loads of dragons,giants and centurions and watched the brawl while on godmode

  32. Most important choices in Skyrim are in background. Dragons are only tools for Thalmor, the same is with Stormcloaks. Thalmor want to enslave all Tamriel and you can be tool for Thalmor or not. You can get expensive stuff from DB, but you also quarantining victory in future war for Thalmor. You can destroy Blades but they are most promising weapon to restoring Empire power and to fight with Thalmor in future. (aka Morrowind) Incoming war between Thalmor (elves) and Empire (humanity) is most important thing in Skyrim and your choices are most important for future of Tamriel. Thalmor is very different civilisation then Empire. In empire all races are living together. Thalmor, as you can read from the books, are mostly killing all humans in conquered territory, or at best enslaving them. Victorious Stormcloaks are no real power for Thalmor. They are just tool to divide and weaken Empire, which still have some real military power but only as a whole integral state.
    Sorry for my English, was using it last time around 20 years ago 🙂

    1. @Leo
      Your post is easy to understand and your english probably better than mine 😉 Thanks for the helpful info. Never paid much attention to the politics myself, it is just that I hate being pushed around by the Blades.

  33. I saw Delphine on a cliff outside High Hrothgar after the peace treaty..& the i used ‚Unrelenting Force‘ and pushed her off the cliff…!!!

  34. I agree with everyone that they need to die. I noticed the first time I played Oblivion that the Blades are a bunch of pompous assholes. I left the Amulet of Kings with these monkeys? They‘ re just as much to blame for the Oblivion Crisis as the Mythic Dawn. Also for the Aldmeri Dominion’s crushing defeat of the Legion. The hypocrites! Sworn to guide the Dragonborn my ass. I was the one doing all the work to keep their meddling butts safe. I should have let the Thalmor kill them instead of bringing the Thalmor after me (I really hate them too). It really was Delphine’s idea and they sent assassins after me. I’m gonna enjoy killing those meddlers.

  35. Yeah, but ONE Dovahkiin can probably fuck up the whole Thalmor army… I mean is not Dovahkiin „immortal“ beacause he is a dragon??? And does that make HIM a tool for the Thalmor?

    P.S. As with DB (Cicero), who left those two jokers in charge?!

  36. I am so happy that an overwhelming majority feels that Paarthurnax more than deserves to live (at the very least have more right than those a-holes Delphine and Esbern) and I couldn’t have put the reasons any better than what has already been said. Now I’m looking at mods to finish the story I have created in my head.
    -Before the quest I recruited my most talented, loyal, and noble companions into the Blades
    -Next, get all the possible perks I can from Delphine and Esbern
    -Then during the quest, give them a second chance to reconsider their resolve. If they refuse, I challenge them to a fair and just battle and defeat them in an honorable sword-to-sword combat.
    -Finally I would enact my companions as the new Blades faction who I know will not only reverse the arrogance and hypocrisy that has fallen upon the Blades, but also return the faction to their former glory.
    „Oh yeah it’s all coming together“ 🙂

  37. Guys, I have the best solution 4 all PC players
    On PC it is possible to complete this quest without killing Paarthurnax by using the console command setstage MQPaarthurnax 100. Paarthurnax will remain alive, the Greybeards will still be hospitable, and the Blades will talk to you once more.

  38. [. snip .] Kill the bloody dragon. I decided to reward the dragon with a trip to heaven. The blades are amazing. Go the blades!

  39. Well I am NOWHERE near that part of the game yet, but I already know not to kill an ally, especially one as scaly and helpful as a dragon!
    Only problem is I’m playing on the PS3 so I won’t be able to open console and make the Blades killable :/ So I’ll just have to ignore them

  40. Another thing that’s silly with the Blades‘ request is that they have not yet solved the dragon problem at large and they’re cutting you off if you don’t kill Paarthurnax right then? They get you this far, attend the peace conference, admonish the leaders for not putting their differences aside until the dragon problem is resolved, yet THEN refuse to help address the dragon problem… the very one they got uppity about everyone else ignoring… until you do this one thing? Buncha hypocrites they are.

    It’s also a bit of a shortcoming on Bethesda’s part. Such a choice would have been more meaningful toward the end.

  41. I am also playing on the PS3 system, I love Skyrim btw, but I was wondering, of you know someone with a jailbrocken PS3 system would they be able to modify the files so i can straight f**k those Blade a**holes up, they’re bugging the hell out of everytime i fast travel who do I see right behind my a**, Esbern is so annoying, he’ll walk up to me and „Delphine is worried about you“ then walk his happy a** back to wherever the hell he came from, going to speak my mind here for those of you that don’t like curse words go to another comment,

    Esbern is a total annoying fuck, so is Delphine but at-least she isn’t on my goddamn heels every-time I turn around, arrogant fucking Blade bitches (once again excuse me for the language, just wanted to speak my mind about how I fell about them, I coudn’t hold it in any longer) >:)

  42. Let’s see what the blades have done…in Skyrim and in other games and places:
    Daggerfall : FAIL to get the material to control the Golem, which proved how useless they were.
    Morrowind: Nothing, pretty much keep secrets and that sort of thing.
    Oblivion: They failed once again in their role of protecting the Emperor of Tamriel and in their role of protecting the Dragonborn, so useless they let the emperor and all of his relatives die.
    Skyrim: Not believing in you and forcing you to kill a dragon in Kynesgrove to prove that you’re Dragonborn. Send you to fight the Thalmor in the middle of the Thalmor embassy, and not coming with you. Made you cut your hand for opening the entrance to Sky Haven temple. Esbern could read Alduin’s wall, but he still had no clue of wtf was going on, he just tells you about a shout, this is where Paarthurnax comes in.

    Paarthurnax : Makes the Greybeards teach you a shout, and to be more respectull and approving of your actions. Teaches you a Fire Breath shout and tells you the story of him and the old Nord Heroes. Tells you about the Elder Scroll and the time Wound. And if that’s not enough, his events prior to Skyrim are :
    Teaching Men how to use the Thu’um to fight dragons. Start a rebellion against Alduin ( IF it wasn’t for this first rebellion, the world would have been eaten, and the Akaviri with it, the Blades wouldn’t even exist, so in a way, Paarthunax saved not only the Blades, but also their Akaviri ancestors) Fight Alduin with you once again and after Alduin’s defeat, he teaches his servants the Way of the Voice, which would eventually make them good.

    And then 2 old, weak and dying Blades, who YOU have helped A LOT, tell you to kill an extremely helpfull Paarthurnax or to GTFO Sky Haven temple, and that they won’t help you with dragonhunting or anything else. (It’s not like if the dragons were extremely hard to kill, I don’t need and I don’t want their help).

    From which you’ve read so far…I think the question Paarthurnax or Blades? Is pretty much anwsered.

  43. I think I know the reason why the Blades so desperately want to kill Paarthurnax. Paarthurnax is going to bring all dragons to the Way of the Voice. That means if he succeeds, dragons will become ally of human. Now, the Blades is dragon-slayers, isn’t it? If all dragons are good, do human need dragon-slayers? Probably not. The goal of Blades is to restore their glory, and Paarthurnax is the main obstacle. For that, they give direct order to kill him.

  44. ^ This. The Blades want everyone to think they’re awesome again. How can they if they don’t guard/kill Emperors or have a super secret spy club and are useless? Ooh! Kill dragons, we are affiliated with a person who does that! And „guard and serve the Dragonborn“ my ass. They’re either stupid or liars.

    tldr; Kill the Blades forever.

  45. the very first time esbern asked me to kill paarthurnax we were in the courtyard out back so i fus ro dah’d that old c#nt off the cliff, i think they know where i stand on the subject lol

  46. Haha some of the replies on here are hilarious „i fus ro dah’d that old c#nt off the cliff“ its a shame I wont ever be joining the blades, as soon as she said kill him I left.

    1. @Rowan
      Haha, yeah … love them, too. For me it was no real choice the first place and I was rather surprised (maybe a bit angry) that there was no ingame option to stop the blades. It is nice to see that I was not the only person who thinks that way and I have to chuckle at some of the great ideas players describe here.

  47. Arngeir also has some things to say about the Blades and their desire to kill Paarthurnax:

    Dragonborn: I need to learn the shout used to defeat Alduin.
    Arngeir: Where did you learn of that? Who have you been talking to?

    Either response the dragonborn gives leads to this:

    Arngeir: The Blades! Of course. They specialise in meddling with matters they barely understand. Their reckless arrogance knows no bounds. They have always sought to turn the Dragonborn from the path of wisdom. Have you learned nothing from us? Would you simply be a tool in the hands of the Blades, to be used for their own purposes?

    Either response the Dragonborn gives leads to Arngeir asking for forgivess for being intemperate.

    Arngeir then proceed to warn the Dragonborn that the Blades say that they serve the Dragonborn, but they do not and never have. Judging from your interactions with the Blades, this seems to be true.

    When Arngeir learns that the Blades are trying to blackmail the Dragonborn into killing Paarthurnax, his response is:

    Arngeir: Now you see why I warned you against them! Bloodthirsty barbarians!
    Dragonborn: Is it true what they said? Was he Alduin’s ally?
    Arngeir: Yes. But understand – during the days of Alduin’s rule, all dragons were his allies. Their was nothing else they could be. If not for Paarthurnax, Alduin could not have been overthrown. It was he who first taught men to use the Thu’um.

    If the dragonborn then says that Paarthurnax deserves to die, then Arngeir makes another point:

    Arngeir: The same could be said for any of us, could it not? Are you so guiltless as to stand in judgement upon Paarthurnax?

    This is true if you have done some of the daedric prince quests. Speaking of that, when the Blades asked me to kill Paarthurnax, I was reminded of some of the Daedric Princes ordering me to do similar things. Continuing on with Arngeir response:

    Arngeir: Listen to your inner Voice before acting. Do not allow the Blades to bully you into doing something you will later regret. After all, repentance is something you deny to Paarthurnax by meting out you so-called justice.

    What gives the Blades the right to deliver judgement upon Paarthurnax anyway?

    tl;dr: The Blades asking you to kill Paarthurnax is the equivalent of what Daedric Princes ask you to do.

  48. F*** the blades. How paranoid can they really be? I don’t think Paarthurnax is that stupid to even consider about dominating the world. If Alduin goes/went down then why wouldn’t he too? There are many dragonborn around, you are only one of them, so dragons trying the same as Alduin in the future would be really unwise of him, and Paarthurnax is not that dumb, damn those two idiot blades…Besides, I think Delphine and Esbern are only thinking about one thing, restoring the blades, nothing else matters. I don’t give a s*it whether they help me or not, angry with me or not!! I do what I believe is right.

    There should be a dialogue to ask Delphine this: „You want me to kill Paarthurnax? How come you serve the order of the blades so faithfully as dragon slayers, when your lord Tiber Septim himself was friends and trained by the very same dragon, Paarthurnax?“

    Leaving them in a shocked/confused state, trusting the dragonborn’s word and rebuilding the Blades as protectors of Paarthurnax/future dragons instead of slayers of them.

    Something like this. 😀

  49. The blades are arrogant fools. They do not serve the dragonborn like they say. The only thing they ever did to help me was lead me to Alduin’s wall, and teach the Call Odahviing shout to me, and that was all Esbern’s help. But Esbern showed his true colours when he asked me to kill Paarthurnax. Paarthurnax showed me the last word of Yol Toor Shul, and guided me to the Elder scroll, which led to my learning of the shout Joor Zah Frul.

    And as Paarthurnax said, is it better to be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort? being born good is good and all, but overcoming your evil nature through years of effort is a far greater redemption. Plus, while Alduin was trapped in time, Paarthurnax could have easily taken over from him, but no, he didn’t, he flew around The throat of the world for years. And, it is quite easy to see why he wants his own brother overthrown, and why he helped you defeat Alduin, because at the fight at the throat of the world, if you wear dragonplate or dragonscale armour, Alduin will say „The Dovah are weak!“ meaning Alduin might of hated his own kind.

  50. Personally I didn’t kill either one. You don’t get an achievement for doing it. And it’s impossible to kill the blades if youre on Ps3 or Xbox

  51. It would have been simple for Beth to add the choice to convince Delphine and Esbern that Paarth is a „good“ dragon and ally, via some more dialogs. But not only do we have one sole choice, killing Paarthurnax also lies along the lines of a backward mentality. The thing is that with this quest, Bethesda is calling for our views about justice as a whole, however it imposes its own views. That quest was designed under some twisted philosophy right from the beginning : vengeance IS NOT justice, as blind faith IS NOT an „agent“ of an evolving intelligence and reasoning (thus in opposition to human nature), on the contrary. They don’t even know the dragon but still want to kill him, like if they were some KKK members living during the US segregation era… Maybe Bethesda thought that we should be consensual about this „an eye for an eye“ philosophy in regards to justice, however it’s the exact opposite (redemption followed by forgiveness) that made us evolve. Human nature is NOT so deterministic as some psychopath want us to believe, even one person can evolve during his/her own life, as did Paarthurnax…

  52. It’s best to kill Paarthunax. He’s tempted to go back to his evil ways and better to let him die a good dragon than a bad one. Blades are assholes, but Greybeards are useless. Do you really want your badass character to mope around and practice shouting forever? Way of The Voice is useless to anything your character would want to do, and you don’t even need their help to get shouts tat you can look up online. Dragons, by birth and genetics, strive to rule man and kill so it’s genocide vs genocide. Morally it’s wrong, but Way of The voice is useless. At least the Blades evolve like they did in the past.

    He helped you and became a good dragon, so let him die as one. In the long run its the right choice.

  53. Way to go Bethesda. Forcing down a role-playing decision (good, evil, neutral) with only one option.

    There should have been four options when Delphine, and Esbern, confronted you with this (It happened to me right after defeating Alduin).

    — Your right, Paarthunax needs to die for his crimes.

    — No, I think „your“ usefulness has come to an end… [[Should set them as non-essential]]

    — (Persuade) After all he has done to help us, he deserves a second chance.

    — (Lie) Paarthunax is already dead by my hands.

    Obviously there should be an alternative option saying that you’ve already killed him if you did for whatever reason. Thats all it need Bethesda. A chance to properly play our characters alignment.

  54. Although I think the Blades are ignorant jerks, I like the idea of having a place for my 3 favorite in-game mages (Erandur, Illia, Aranea Ienith) to stay in one area.

    So, this is my solution (PC version only). You can imagine the dialogue (You tell Paarthunax that he will be spared but that the Greybeards must not tell the Blades that he survives. You go to the Blades and lie to them.) or any other dialogue you can think of.

    Type in Console:
    setstage MQPaarthurnax 100

    This finishes the quest and allows for additional Blades quests.

  55. They should give you a dialog option after completing the game, in like, a DLC;

    -„About Paarthurnax“
    -„You take orders from me. Paarthurnax lives. (Intimidate)“
    -„Don’t you think it would be useful having a dragon on our side? (Peruade)“

    Where failing the intimidate would cause them to attack you. ;D

    Ironic, when you consider the fact that you have two dragons at your disposal…

    1. YES! Skyrim is a near perfect game for me, but this quest is just sitting in my inbox, unfinished, because I’m playing on the PS3 and can’t work around it. I refuse to kill Paarthurnax. He’s such a nice old dragon, and I don’t agree with what the Blades stand for anyway. I’d click the s**t out of that persuade option.

      I just hope that sometime in the near future Bethesda releases a DLC for it. PLEASE!

  56. Yeah, I hate Beth for making me choose this option. Thankfully console commands are available on the p.c
    Although, I don’t agree with this „hate“ towards The Blades. They are an ancient Dragon slaying order from Akavir, their reasons are never made clear and are probably lost. They may have went through the same hardships as the early Nords of Skyrim. Esbern and Delphine are following ancient traditions that were handed down to them, much like any other faction in Skyrim.

    The dragons are also from there, and with their innate desire to rule over all, can you blame them? Who knows what kind of stuff happened. One can speculate all day.
    That said, I still couldn’t bring myself to kill Paar. The good he did with helping out the ‚firsts to use the voice‘ outweighs the bad. Then again, his motives for helping them were never made clear. Why would a creature who’s natural instinct is to enslave Humans help them? and then go against the Leader of your species?

    Would you trust a serial killer even if he saved a life? No, because his past is tied with his future, even if good deeds were accomplished. I think the only logical step is to have The Blades keep „tabs“ on Paar. Let him be, but if he acts to his former self, put him down.

  57. the blades are fucking sith! remember what darth anakin said at the end of ROTS(the best atrosity of the 3)? ‚if you are not with me, then you are my enemy.‘ evil sons o‘ bitches

  58. oh, and what’s the deal with delphine and esbern? are they just friends, co-workers, or is it one of those she’s-with-him-because-he’s-rich situations? FWBs?

  59. What pisses me off is that The Blades would let their bullshit interfere with saving the world. That as the only dragon born present, the player is the only one who CAN save the world. So IMO, if I told Esbern and Delphine to recreate events involving 2 Girls One Cup together, then they better damn well hop to and even bring their own damn cup.

    Don’t misunderstand, the Grey Beards are douches too. They are rude, barely helpful, and will refuse to help the player if Paarthurnax dies even though the world, the entire bloody world depends on the player’s success.

    After dealing with all the jerks in Skyrim, I wanted to join Alduin. Of course only to betray him and usurp his power.

  60. Wait, wait, wait… As far as I can remember, the first time I finished Skyrim, I didn’t have to kill Paarthurnax. I turned against the Blades, but they later on understood their mistake and told me I did the right thing letting the dragon live.
    But now, on my second run, I’m unable to let Paarthurnax live. What gives??

  61. I’m sure everyone has already made their choice by now, but in bethesdas defnce there is a reason the choice did not go two ways. I know it’s a sondbox and we all want to play the way we want, however the one thing more important than choice for the player is staying true to the lore. The world and it’s history is what makes the games so great. Im sure like in every other Elder Scrolls, save maybe arena the blades will have an important role in the next story. So letting you finish off the group would make no sense just like not killing Paarthunax by the end of the game results in his flying away leading the other dragons and giving into his urge for power. (if you disagree that claiming to „rule the others with his Thuum and making any who resisted hear it regardless.“ is evidence he gave in you are disollusional.“ Keep in mind that dragons are an ancient enemy of all other races and will always seek to enslave everyone weeker, it is writen right into the loading screen. They are not going to have the strongest one alive after Alduins death suddenly turn the others peaceful it goes against their role in the lore.
    The choice between killing Paathunax and letting him live was something I think we should concider ourselves lucky to have gotten. The emotional tug you get when you kill him knowing its for the best is the only party in the story I think was well done. There cant always be a happy ending or it would be completely boring, here’s hoping there are more moments like these in future installments.

  62. Thank you for this console command. First of all I’m a huge fan of Dragons and so I sought to conspired against my own. Using this cheat I found a quick way to put an end to the dragon attacks once and for all. Never having to kill a single dragon.

    After you complete your first task in Riverwood and get your mission to inform the Jarl of Whiterun about the dragon attack, go into the Inn and kill Delphine. Consider it a sacrifice to the dragons, but be prepared you’ll likely have to take out Ognar in the process. Also plan on using a health potion or two as Delphine will likely get one down before you can finish her off. Then get ready to make a run to Whiterun; the rest of the town will try to kill you. Surrender to the first Whiterun guard you see, pay the 40 gold fine and finish out your mission to inform the Jarl.

    From there on, the only down side is you won’t get your reward for recovering the Dragonstone, however the dragon will never appear at the watch tower. For some reason the Jarl’s housecarl goes missing when she dispatches troops to Riverwood, you’ll never become the Thane of Whiterun (own Breezehome), or get a dragon soul to unlock a shout. Fortunately there are console commands for that if you really want the shouts. I never cared much for any of the shouts, so I personal don’t miss doing the Dragonborn quest lines; which always seems to have lots of glitches especially with Esbern.

    I still have an house in Whiterun, joining up with the companions and doing that quest line will get you a bed and storage. I have really been enjoying exploring all Skyrim has to offer void of dragon attacks. Funny thing is everyone still talks about the threat of dragons. I smile every time they do, knowing that my sacrifice of Delphine has appeased them.

  63. Unfortunately you are all missing the point. The blades are descended descendents of the akavari and when they waged war against tamirel they stopped and swore they would lay down their lives for reman cryideal the first dragon born emperor at the end of the first era. The akavari come from dragon land to the east of tamirel and they cut through killing the regenade dragons from their own land so buy killing Parthanaxx you are helping the blades to for fill their mission started in the first era. Also the blades are correct not to trust parthunaxx because as a dragon he could revert to killing the races of tamirel becoming the destroyer of time recorded on alduin’s wall. What’s more do we know what parthunaxx’s name means so cold it could translate to killer of time. Just thought that I should point this out

  64. For all those who wish to slay Paarthurnax and become a tool for the Blades i remember of two girls running around Rorikstead that said „I had a dream that there was a good dragon (Paarthurmax). He was old and grey but he wasn’t scary.“ And just as Paarthurnax himself said „What is better – to be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?“. Besides would you kill your martial art master who teached everything he knew just because he was an ex-convict?

    Think about it Blades foot lickers.

  65. well I have a suggestion in which we will all enjoy, some of you dont like to use the console cuz of the very reason of it having a bug, well since they dont die, work your skills on them, just lure delphine out of the temple for a 1v1 match or get a friend for a 2v1, that way you can beat the crap out of them and get something out of it, since they dont die, you dont get the 1000 gold bounty, only the 40 gold assault bounty, which clears right off when she goes down

  66. Now the question is: Which is canon? Hopefully him living, I was ok with the blades at first but the moment they said to kill him I was all in for sending them on their asses. I just wish I knew BEFORE I made Lydia a Blade. At least SHE remains loyal to me. >:C

  67. LOL, I just kind of, you know, used console commands to spawn 10 alduins in the Blades hide out, they both cant die so they are going to be there for a LONG time. 😛

  68. Can’t able to open Esbern’s Door in Riften.

    In a cornered rat quest, my quest show me „talk to esbern“. I found esbern in ratway warrens in riften city and then i told him to open the door. After a lot conversation complete, he agreed to open the door. But, i can’t open it actually. What should i do? It was the major storyline quest for dragon born happen. I noticed some error since i talk to esbern, i can’t hear his conversation but i see some related subtitles like other quests.

  69. It’s truly a shame that the Blades are holding a grudge over a dragon that has been in hiding for centuries, not harming anyone. That should have been proof enough that he has changed, and that he should be forgiven. All living things make mistakes, guided to those mistakes, and so on. Does that mean everyone who has made a mistake should die? No. Those who lead him to that choice should, so long as they have stayed the way they were back then. Paarthurnax is the wisest living creature in Skyrim I have met, his wisdom and kindness is beyond any other. To kill such an old living thing is inexcusable. I really hope that Bethesda doesn’t make it canon of his death in the next TES game… My allegiance is with Paarthurnax more than anyone else in the game. It’s very hard to come by wisdom and kindness in any universe, even our own.

  70. I wish there was an option to refuse the Blade’s request and then to overpower them and to bring the two bastards to Paarthurnax so that they become the dragon’s sexual slaves. He could rape them while talking to you about history, the way of the voice .. all while they would be screaming like skinned pigs. Come on.. that would be perfect for a DLC

  71. Me being an Argonian, I couldn’t possibly imagine a closer friend other then Paarthurnax. He was evil once, but that changed. A christian example (Opposite change, same idea) would be Satan, once a good Angel, now…well ya know. Sure, i’m a dragon hunter, but Paarth is no Dragon, he is a brother. And who gives a giggity if he turns evil, he’ll be some other Dragonborn’s problem, maybe even another universe’s, just not mine.

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