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What's the easiest way to pull a flying dragon?

While walking around, I sometimes see a dragon flying overhead, but no matter what I try, they don't appear to see me and won't initiate combat. I like to tell myself it's because they're scared of me, however there's probably more to it than that. There are other times, there appears to be no problem getting them to fight me.

I've tried hitting them with arrows, but leading them can be quite difficult. Is there another way to get a dragon to fight me consistently?

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marked as duplicate by Mr Smooth, Doozer Blake, badp Nov 27 '11 at 20:30

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

At some point in the main quest you will get a way to force dragons to ground

the Dragonrend shout

This is probably the most reliable way of getting dragons to fight you.

The exact quest you need to do for this is

Alduin's Bane, after you got the Elder Scroll from Blackreach

Though I also had some luck with summoning a Flame Atronach and using Lightning Bolt myself on the Dragon. At some point they always came down and fought me.

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