Lore:Olaf One-Eye

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High King Olaf One-Eye
SR-npc-Olaf One-Eye.jpg
High King Olaf One-Eye in Sovngarde
Race Nord Gender Male
Died 1E 452
Reign 1E 420-
1E 452
Previous Ruler Borgas
Next Ruler Kjoric the White
Resided in Whiterun
Appears in Skyrim

King Olaf One-Eye was a First Era Nord Jarl of Whiterun (and later High King of Skyrim) famous for imprisoning the Dragon Numinex within his palace, which was dubbed Dragonsreach in honor of this feat. Olaf purportedly confronted the dragon with some of his troops on top of Mount Anthor, where he used the Thu'um to aid him in a duel which ended in Numinex's defeat. Olaf then conveyed the dragon back to Whiterun where he imprisoned it in his castle. Numinex was purportedly imprisoned there until his death.[1] After death, the dragon's skull was kept as a trophy, and was still on the wall above the throne in Dragonsreach, where it has remained into modern times.[2]

Due to his fame, Olaf was eventually named High King of Skyrim.[1] However, his reign, which started in 1E 420 and lasted 32 years,[3] saw its share of controversy. Notably, the bard Svaknir wrote a scathing verse decrying him as a fraud and a tyrant.[1][4] Olaf responded by imprisoning the bard and destroying every copy of the verse which could be found. Ancient bard texts, perhaps inspired by Svaknir, claimed that Olaf and his men came upon a weakened Numinex and captured the dragon without significant effort, and fabricated the orthodox tale to ensure his place as Jarl and possibly to aid in his bid to become High King.[1] Believers of the non orthodox account would speculate just how exactly Olaf pulled off the feat of imprisoning Numinex, some of the theories were that Olaf came upon Numinex while he was asleep, others that he struck a deal with him, and some theories even went as far as to speculate that Olaf himself was the Dragon Numinex who was able to polymorph between human and dragon forms.[5] An effigy of Olaf is ritually burned in Solitude as part of an annual festival known as "The Burning of King Olaf".[6] However, Olaf is still remembered in Skyrim for reuniting the province after the War of Succession and for conquering The Reach.[3]

In 4E 201, in an effort to recover King Olaf's Verse, a lost part of the Poetic Edda, Viarmo the headmaster of the Bards College had the Last Dragonborn plunder Olaf's tomb in Dead Men's Respite to find it, and thus earn membership at the College. The Dragonborn accompanied by the restless spirit of Svankir the bard fought the draugr that once was the High King of Skyrim, and was able to defeat him which allowed Svankir’s spirit to finally rest.[5] Later that year, the Last Dragonborn upon arriving to Sovngarde encountered both Svankir and Olaf in the Nordic afterlife. Olaf while still critical of his works as a bard, had come to respect Svankir as an honest enemy, who he hoped to welcome as a friend.[7]


See Also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d Olaf and the DragonAdonato Leotelli
  2. ^ Proventus Avenicci's dialogue in Skyrim.
  3. ^ a b The plaque commemorating Olaf outside the Palace of the Kings in Windhelm
  4. ^ King Olaf's Verse
  5. ^ a b Tending the Flames faction quest in Skyrim
  6. ^ Walking the World, Vol XISpatior Munius
  7. ^ Dragonslayer quest in Skyrim