Ah, Skyrim’s Ebony Warrior. Much of his lore never made it into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, thus his character is shrouded in mystery. So, who is the Ebony Warrior? How can he be defeated? And how does his presence transform the game?
The Ebony Warrior’s arrival came as part of the Dawnguard DLC. Only Karstaag, Miraak and Arngeir are stronger than him, making the warrior one of Skyrim’s “toughest baddies”.
Once your character reaches level 80, you’ll find the Ebony Warrior waiting in any of the game’s main cities. You may choose to not fight him straight away, but he will continue to wait until you are ready. Once you are ready, he will rightfully exclaim that “the time has come”. You will then be directed to the Last Vigil for the quest.
How do you defeat the warrior?
The Ebony Warrior has a wide range of skills that will overwhelm even the toughest of players during combat. His shout paralyses for 15 seconds, his ebony shield is fire-resistant, his ebony sword of vampirism steals 25 health points with each hit, and his ebony armour has health regenerative properties.
Additionally, he is a Redguard with various enchantments upon his impressive armour. This makes him 50% resistant to most of your combat efforts, including fire, frost, and shock.
Up close and personal, the Ebony Warrior will opt for melee combat. If you try to flee, he will then go for his ebony bow which drains you of 30 health and stamina points per hit. With that in mind, spells will not prove useful and staying near to the warrior is a risk. Therefore, stealth is the best way to approach – and beat – the Ebony Warrior.
Luckily, the Last Vigil is spacious, meaning a player can position themselves to take the warrior down from a distance using arrows. Otherwise, the Unrelenting Force Shout is the way forward. Absorb enchantments, and Shouts such as Slow Time and Call Dragon, will prove useful for this particular fight too.
The Ebony Warrior can be forced off of the cliffside within the arena. This will deal a great amount of damage. However, make sure to damage him again before he gets back on his feet. Otherwise, the fall damage is negated.
For a player who is feeling extra stealthy – and possesses the Perfect Touch and Misdirection perks – a more amusing way to counteract the Ebony Warrior is by pick-pocketing his items before or during combat.
Who is the Ebony Warrior, and what does he want?
Once a player defeats the Ebony Warrior, they might be left wondering exactly who the warrior is. While Skyrim’s lore is intense, very little of it tells us about the Ebony Warrior directly. Reddit users theorise over and over again about his background: could he be the in-game God, Reymon Ebonarm? A reference to Morrowind’s Gaenor?
One particular fan theory that seems reasonable is that the Ebony Warrior could be Ebonhorn, the Redguard God of War. Therefore, making the Dragonborn seem like a worthy opponent. Regardless, none of these theories have ever come to fruition in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and its lore. Many view the Ebony Warrior as a mirror of the Dragonborn and leave it there.
It appears that the Ebony Warrior’s true motive may never be unveiled.