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I offer you my blood. Take it, and you will walk as a lion among sheep. Men will tremble at your approach, and you will never fear death again.
~ Lord Harkon to the Dragonborn

Lord Harkon is the main antagonist of The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, the first DLC add-on for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. He is a Nord vampire and the leader of the Volkihar Clan, a powerful vampire family. In addition, he is the father of Serana and the former husband of Valerica.

Background

According to Harkon himself, he was once a mighty king with a vast domain, but his greatest fear was his own mortality, so he pledged himself to Molag Bal, and sacrificed 1,000 innocents in his name, and Molag Bal rewarded him by turning him and his family into pure-blood vampires.

Over years of ruling Volkihar, he discovered a prophecy, "the Tyranny of the Sun" that if enacted, would block out the sun and allow vampires to roam freely during the day. He became so obsessed over fulfilling this prophecy, that he pushed aside everything in his life, including his family, to enact the prophecy. In order to enact the prophecy, he required an ancient weapon called Auriel's Bow, and the blood of a Daughter of Coldharbour, he would then put the blood on an Elven arrow and use the bow to shoot it at the sun. Since his daughter, Serana was a Daughter of Coldharbour, he wanted to use her blood.

In order to protect Serana from Harkon, his wife Valerica locked her in Dimhollow Crypt along with the Elder Scroll of Sun, and escaped to the Soul Cairn with the Elder Scroll of Blood. Enraged by Valerica's betrayal, Harkon commanded his vampires to look for them. Unfortunately, after centuries of searching, no one was able to find them, and Harkon eventually lost hope. However, he remembered Valerica's betrayal, and would make her answer dearly for it if he ever saw her again.

The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard

After a group of vampires attacks and destroys the Hall of the Vigilants, the Dragonborn reports to Fort Dawnguard, where Isran, the leader of the Dawnguard, and a Vigilant named Tolan reveal that the vampires were looking for something important deep within Dimhollow Crypt. The Dragonborn heads off to Dimhollow, and defeats several vampires within the cave. Eventually, the Dragonborn solves a puzzle and opens an ancient sarcophagus, freeing a mysterious woman who is later revealed to be Lord Harkon's daughter, Serana.

After the Dragonborn finds Serana and returns her to Castle Volkihar, Harkon offers to make them a Vampire Lord and join his vampire clan. If the Dragonborn accepts his offer, Harkon will teach them the basics on being a Vampire Lord. However, if the Dragonborn rejects his offer, Harkon will banish them from Castle Volkihar.

If the Dragonborn sides with the vampires, Harkon first orders the Dragonborn to help Garan Marethi retrieve and fill the Bloodstone Chalice at Redwater Den. Afterwards, he sends the Dragonborn and Serana to find someone who can read the Elder Scroll, they soon find a Moth Priest named Dexion Evicus, who is capable of reading Elder Scrolls, and bring him back to the castle. They then discover that two additional Elder Scrolls are needed to fulfill the prophecy, the Elder Scrolls of Blood and Dragon. Harkon then sends the Dragonborn and Serana to find them.

The Dragonborn and Serana eventually realize that Harkon's plan to block out the sun will doom both mortals and vampires, as it would bring too much attention to vampires, and they would be wiped out by mortals, while mortals would suffer without sunlight. Once the Elder Scrolls have been deciphered and Auriel's Bow has been obtained, the Dragonborn and Serana go back to Castle Volkihar to face Harkon, where they battle and slay him, putting an end to his tyranny for good.

If the Dragonborn sides with the Dawnguard, the storyline plays out almost exactly the same, except that Dexion Evicus is escorted to Fort Dawnguard instead of Castle Volkihar, and that a majority of the Dawnguard members will participate in a massive assault on Castle Volkihar. Serana and the Dragonborn will still battle and slay Harkon, putting an end to his tyranny for good.

Trivia

  • While his family are all vampire lords, Harkon is the only member to visibly assume his vampire lord form.
  • No matter which side the Dragonborn chooses during Bloodline, Harkon will always be the main antagonist in the end.
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