I was playing the main questline for Skyrim until I encounter my first dragon. When I killed it, nothing happened. I didn't absorb his soul.

I thought it was some sort of bug so I posted about it on another website. They say I should try completing the Dragonborn DLC and see if that helps (I have Skyrim Legendary Editon).

I'm now up to the last do the Dragonborn mission. In this mission you have to kill Miraak. And I kill the first dragon that's supposed to heal Mirrak but all he does is stand there. I'm certain this has to do with the fact that I cant absorb dragon souls. (Note: I used console commands to unlock the Bend Will shouts because I cant absorb dragon souls).

As I said I have Skyrim Legendary Edition.

  • Are you running any mods? What are your mod load orders (matters because DLC are just "official mods")? Do you have the correct load order? The "beating Dragonborn" solution is just utterly stupid. You should NOT need to do that at all. If you can't absorb the first dragon's soul, then there's something else wrong. It is usually mod related.
    – Nelson
    Sep 25, 2016 at 9:06
  • Ive never used mods. Sep 25, 2016 at 19:00
  • It is remarkable that here the OP can't absorb souls, whereas the OP of the duplicate absorbs all of them. Still, the crucial part seems to be the fact that Miraak remains ethereal.
    – Joachim
    Sep 8, 2019 at 8:33

2 Answers 2


Purely quoting from the wiki, It appears you've ran into the following bug.

  • If too much damage is dealt to Miraak in the final battle, he will be unable to fully replenish his health and will be stuck in ethereal form, unable to be attacked or killed and thus unable to be defeated. This can happen at any of the three times he replenishes his health using a dragon's soul. The easiest way to avoid this is to restart the fight and use a less powerful weapon to chip away at his health.

  • Turning invisible and waiting until you are hidden forces ethereal to end as it only works if he is in combat.

  • Another fix to this, is to get back on Sahrotaar after getting off in front of Miraak. Then attack the dragons flying around instead of him. This will force him to absorb them when they reach zero health, and thus stop him from taking the ghost form. After both dragons are dead, start attacking Miraak. At some point, he'll absorb Sahrotaar after forcing him to land. There will be a small drop to the ground, but only of a few feet. the Dragonborn will get back up and can finish him off.

Not being able to absorb dragon souls is a issue with the associated skeleton file, if you have any dragon or mesh/texure replaces this would be most likely the issue. If you are running without virtual folder just go into data\meshes\ and delete whatever comes up for Dragon or Mirrak in the sub folders. Original and DLC assets are packed into .bsa files, things that end up im folders like "\meshes" or "\textures\" are in most cases only overrides created by mods (this goes for fallout games as well). If you are using ModManagers or ModOrganizers "Virtual Directory" feature you would have to disable any plugins and troubleshoot the Game this way. Sometimes this issue occurs when the animation for "riding a dragon" fails but this is also a issue with skeleton replacers.

  • The asker has said in comments that they've never used mods.
    – DCShannon
    Sep 26, 2016 at 18:46
  • +Stygian i tried the meshes thing but i only found stuff for hearthfire Sep 30, 2016 at 4:38

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