Durnehviir is among the most unique and powerful dragons in Skyrim. He’s an immortal species forever bound to the undead world, Soul Cairn.
Although he’s introduced as your enemy, he’ll soon turn into your ally and will acknowledge you as the Dragonborn after you defeat him in a combat.
To summon Durnehviir, you must first unlock the “Summon Durnehviir” dragon shout. You can unlock the shout only after defeating him.
Then, unlock the words of the dragon shout. Finally, equip the shout and use it while aiming towards the land to summon him successfully.
However, it is a challenging feat to unlock the summoning of Durnehviir shout. You’ll have to complete the Beyond Death questline from the Dawngaurd DLC expansion.
This questline is among the latter few quests from the main campaign. Let’s discuss!
Step 1: Complete Beyond Death Questline
As talked earlier, you must first complete the Beyond Death questline from the Dawnguard DLC.
Since it’s the ninth quest from the main campaign, you’ll need to progress through the story quite a bit to get the summoning ability.
You can complete this questline regardless of the faction you wish to support. i.e., Dawnguards or the vampire faction.
In this quest, you must venture through Soul Cairn with Serana to rescue her mother, Valerica. Towards the end of the mission, you’ll also have to defeat Durnehviir, the undead dragon.
As he’s immortal, he will rise from the dead as soon as you leave the Boneyard arena. But this time, he won’t be hostile.
Instead, he will teach you the Summon Durnehviir dragon shout and asks you to summon him on the land of the living.
Step 2: Unlock the Shout
Next, like any other dragon shout, you’ll have to unlock the Summon Durnheviir shout by spending Dragon Souls.
Open the Shouts menu and unlock the shout entirely by spending three Dragon souls.
Step 3: Summon Durnehviir.
All there’s left to do is summon the dragon. You can either summon him within the Soul Cairn or return to Skyrim and summon him there.
Either way, equip the summoning Dragon Shout and aim at the ground. Press and hold the Dragon shout button to summon Durnehviir.
After summoning him, he will fly around in the sky or aid you in combat.
You can also check out our video guide below for a clearer picture,
Why Should You Summon Durnehviir?
In my opinion, Durnehviir is comparatively a better summonable dragon than Odaviing.
He has powerful and unique abilities such as Frost Breath, Drain Vitality, and also the ability to call forth the undead from Soul Cairn.
Unlike Odaviing, summoning Durnehviir is instantaneous and also very convenient. You can also summon him in small areas and settlements like in Solstheim.
Besides being a formidable ally, he also teaches you a word of the Soul Tear dragon shout every time you summon him. You can summon him three times to learn all the words of the shout.
How to Learn Soul Tear Shout Quickly?
After calling Durnehviir, you’ll have to go through a 300-second timer to be able to summon him again. This can get tedious if you’re trying to unlock the Soul Tear shout quickly.
You can, however, skip past the cooldown timer by skipping two in-game hours via the Wait feature.