Elder Scrolls Dragon Shouts
Dragon shouts (THUUM or Thu’um in the Dragon language) are an ancient form of magic prominently used in Skyrim during the late Merethic and early First Era, but has gradually become obscure.
The Dragonborn is able to use the language of the dragons to great effect due to his/her ability to absorb the souls of dragons.
A minority of non-player characters also have the ability to use dragon shouts, such as a small group of monks known as the Greybeards, who reside in the fortress of High Hrothgar atop the Throat of the World.
There are twenty shouts in Skyrim†. Each shout is performed by the vocalization of specific words of power. Shouts are learned on the Word Walls of old ruins, and are unlocked with Dragon Souls. There are a select few however, that are unlocked for you by simply completing quests for the Greybeards along the main storyline. Dragon Souls are gained by slaying dragons and absorbing their souls. Each Shout consists of three words of power, and each word of power requires one Dragon Soul to be unlocked. Hence, each shout requires three words of power and 3 Dragon Souls to be used at full power.
These shouts have powerful effects and provide the user with a variety of abilities. For instance, one shout sends foes hurling away from you, another shout allows you to sprint a short distance almost instantly, and yet another lets you conjure forth spells of ice or fire, doing heavy damage. A player with only a partly unlocked shout (only one or two words unlocked) can use it, but the shout grows stronger with each word learned. The second and third words will also usually increase the recharge time of the shout, limiting the use of the shout.
† = Skyrim without any add-ons. The Dawnguard expansion adds three new shouts, and the Dragonborn expansion adds four new shouts.
Significant events involving Dragon Shouts
Kynareth was the one who granted the power to use the Thu’um to the mortal races of men. Paarthurnax was then the first to teach mortals to use the Thu’um.
The Nord heroes Felldir the Old, Gormlaith Golden-Hilt, and Hakon One-Eye contrive the Dragonrend shout and use it and an Elder Scroll to partially defeat Alduin by casting him adrift in time, marking the turning point in mankind’s favor during the Dragon War.
The Greybeards study shouts and are the primary institution for studying the Thu’um among mortals.
Akatosh first facilitated the creation of dragon souled and blooded mortals, mortal dov (dragonkind), or dragonborns, by granting the Alessian Bloodline the power of the Dragons (i.e. the ability to use the Thu’um naturally, to steal the power of a dragon by absorbing its soul as it dies).
After the great Nord army defeat against the Dunmer at Red Mountain, Jurgen Windcaller converted to pacifism and founded the Way of the Voice to be thereafter practiced and taught by the Greybeards.
General Talos was known to have been Dragonborn, possessing the natural ability to use shouts.
Ulfric Stormcloak studied and then used the power of Shouts (Thu’um) to disable the previous High King of Skyrim in order to kill him. This was part of Ulfric’s effort to show that the empire was unfit to rule, supporting the cause of the Stormcloaks, the Nordic rebel force named after him. He also used Shouts to retake Markarth from the Forsworn who had taken control during the Great War.
The Dragonborn in Skyrim defeated Alduin and was recognized by the other dragons as the dominant dov in Mundus.
After finishing “The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller”, Arngeir can be asked “Have you located any Words of Power?”. The location will be added to your map and a Miscellaneous quest will be added to your journal.
After shouting in a populated area, a courier may hand you a Letter from A Friend, which reveals the location of a nearby Word Wall, although it may be a location you have already been to.
The first word of the shout is always the first to learn, so traveling to the default location of a shout’s second word, will only learn the first word, and the locations will differ. All three locations will hold all three words, but it isn’t always precisely that word if one is already known.
Once a new shout has been discovered, a Dragon soul is required to unlock it. Access the Shouts sub-menu from the Magic menu. Locked shouts are grayed out. In the bottom right corner of the menu is the number of Dragon Souls available to use. These accumulate as you kill dragons.
According to the Greybeards, a Dragonborn absorbs the knowledge of the words from the dragon’s soul. Fully unlocking a shout requires the use of one dragon soul for each word of power learned, with each shout being composed of 3 words.
To unlock the shout, hover over it and press the correct button for your system.
Xbox 360: Press 40px-Button x
PlayStation 3: Press 40px-PS3 Square
PC: Press the Z key.
Dragon Shouts not available to player
Dragon Shout Word of Power Translation Effect Location
Resurrect Dead Dragon
SLEN Flesh This shout is used by Alduin to resurrect long dead dragons from their burial sites. Observed at Dragon Burial Mound near Kynesgrove and several others throughout Skyrim.
Meteor Storm †
N/A N/A This shout is used by Alduin to summon a storm that rains meteors down from the sky. Observed during encounter with Alduin at Helgen, and later during Alduin’s Bane and Dragonslayer.
Summon Spectral Clone
FIIK Mirror This shout is used by Greybeards to summon a spectral clone of themselves for Dovahkiin to practice Unrelenting Force on. Observed inside High Hrothgar during The Way of the Voice.
VEN Wind This shout is used by Alduin to summon a dense fog that doubles as a soul snare. Observed by the player in Sovngarde.
Return to Nirn
NAHL Living This shout is used by Tsun to return the Dragonborn to Tamriel after the defeat of Alduin in Sovngarde. Observed by the player in Sovngarde.
Soul Cairn Summon
DIIL Undead This shout is used by Durnehviir to summon a Boneman, a Mistman and a Wrathman from the Soul Cairn. Observed when Durnehviir is in combat.
† Meteor Storm is the only shout with no words associated with it. During both encounters of this shout, Alduin’s roar is what seems to produce the storm.
First word of the Clone shout
Clone being summoned by Greybeard using Summon Spectral Clone
The Clone summoned by Greybeard for Dovahkiin to attack with Unrelenting Force
Power of the Unrelenting Force shout
Using a shout in a city may prompt a guard to run up to the Dragonborn and request that they stop, stating that it’s making people nervous.
Storm Call will strike friendly NPC’s, including followers.
It is possible to learn the first word of Whirlwind Sprint before going to High Hrothgar If learned before going to High Hrothgar, the Greybeards will teach the second word of Whirlwind Sprint.
All three words of Throw Voice are learned at a single word wall.
The locations are shout specific not word specific, meaning you can visit the locations in the reverse order as listed and learn the words in the proper sequence.
Words of Power
Learn all three words of a shout
Points 10 Game points
Thu’um Master (Achievement)
Learn 20 shouts
Points 40 Game points