Think you’ve beaten Skyrim? Well, think again. You might have vanquished Alduin, been dubbed head of the Thieves’ Guild, anointed a Thane in every hold, and built all your homes into majestic manors which loom over the landscape, but unless you’ve killed these bosses, you can’t sign off on it just yet. As good a reason as any to head into the newly prettified world of Skyrim Special Edition. So stock up on potions, sharpen your sword, summon that Atronach, and get ready to take on these five fiends.
If you’re wondering where our Skyrim Special Edition review is, don’t fret: it’s on its way. We’ve locked Andy in a room with a flagon of mead, a wheel of cheese, and Skyrim Special Edition, so it will be heading your way as soon as he’s done slaying dragons and marvelling at the landscape.
Blackreach is a stunning cave underneath the Tower of Mzark, filled with luminous blue mushrooms, soft lighting, and towering Dwemer ruins. When I first walked in there it took my breath away, but little was I to know that trying out most of my shouts on the bright orb hanging from the ceiling would have such disastrous, fiery consequences. Blackreach has a hidden, level 50 dragon boss named Vulthuryol, who you can summon by yelling the Unrelenting Force Thu’um at the giant globe which hangs from the cavern ceiling. But there’s some good news too: if you summon him but decide you don’t fancy a fight, he’ll swoop around killing enemies in Blackreach until you initiate combat. Thanks Vulthuryol!
Karstaag the Frost Giant
Some of you might be in for a nostalgia trip here, as this boss is a throwback to Morrowind. If you're playing the original release, the ruins of Castle Karstaag can be found in the Dragonborn DLC in the north-west of Solstheim, and are in a bit of a sorry state. They’re now in a cave instead of their former, magnificently glacial form. During the events of Morrowind: Bloodmoon, the castle was lorded over by Karstaag, a frost giant, and his Riekling minions. But now all that remains is a solitary throne. If you find Karstaag’s skull at the back of the Glacial Cave and put it on his throne, you can get a brief glimpse of his ghost. And I mean brief, because he’s level 90 and will destroy you unless you prepare before charging in (I found this out the hard way).
He comes for us all, but this one can be specifically found in the Soul Cairn from the Dawnguard DLC. When you’ve been granted access to the Soul Cairn, gather three Reaper gem fragments. You can find them underneath the big purple crystals which, be warned, drain your health. As if that wasn’t incentive enough to stay as far away from the Reaper as possible, once you’ve got all three you’ll need to put them on the altar in the Reaper’s Lair, an ominous-looking black building. Once summoned, the hooded Reaper will spout green slime and has Bonemen minions, and his difficulty will increase depending on your level - so make sure you stock up on potions, decent armour, and weapons before you take him on.
A good quest for those of you who don’t like to search for things to do in Skyrim, the Ebony Warrior will seek you out himself. He likes a fair fight though, so he won’t come anywhere near you until you’re level 80. Once you reach it, however, he’ll hunt you down and challenge you to a duel to the death. You’ll soon be growing cold in a pool of your own blood if you’re not careful, as The Ebony Warrior is the real deal: he’s immune to a heap of shouts, he’s got similar perks and abilities to you, and he’s got 50% resistance to shock, frost, and fire damage. Plus he can cast spells. And he can use two dragon shouts: Disarm and Unrelenting Force. The Ebony Warrior is not an encounter for the faint hearted, but once beaten his enchanted armour, weapons, and jewelry are well worth the trouble.
BONUS: Strange orb
So this isn’t a boss exactly, but it’s certainly an encounter which you won’t want to miss. At the eastern-most edge of the map you’ll find the Dwemer ruin of Kagrenzel, which you should enter before simply following the hallway. Eventually you’ll reach a large chamber strewn with bandit corpses (that can’t be a bad sign, right?). There’s a strange light in the centre of the room, so go and touch it. I’m not going to tell you what happens next, but you should probably save your game beforehand. Have fun!