For those brave Tyrian heroes that have been a part of the Guild Wars universe over the past five years, our abilities have been tested and pushed to their limits time and again. We fought against the Charr, the Unseen Ones, the crazed guard of a former emperor, a fallen god, and the “Destroyers” who are as mysterious as their name leads on. Each foe was more difficult than the last with far more influence than before, but relatively speaking the worst, as they say, is yet to come. Guild Wars 2 will introduce enemies who are so strong that their power rivals that of the six gods themselves. These beings of immense power are known as the “Elder Dragons” and will be the primary antagonist of the GW2 series.

There has already been one expansion in the original Guild Wars series dedicated to the lore and exploits of these Elder Dragons. That expansion is none other than Guild Wars: Eye of the North. In it, you fight against the Great Destroyer who is nothing more than an underling for one of the Elder Dragons and his power was enough to nearly destroy Tyria. Put into perspective the fact that the Great Destroyer could be seen as nothing more than a lieutenant under a single Elder Dragon. That’s the kind of threat Tyria will be facing.

There are currently five known Elder Dragons and each one is at war not only with Tyria, but each other. We’ve met three already within the game: Primordus, Jormag, and Kralkatorrik. There are two additional dragons that do not have models within the game: Zhaitan and an unnamed dragon within the sea. Each of these dragons wields an untold amount of power and their awakening has brought nothing but destruction across the lands.

The Dragons Awaken

The five dragons awaken at different times. Here is a brief timeline of how events unfold.

  • 1079 AE: The War in Kryta
  • 1120 AE: Primordus Awakens, access to the Depths of Tyria is lost.
  • 1165 AE: Jormag Awakens, the Norn are forced to flee south.
  • 1219 AE: Zhaitan Awakens, Orr resurfaces, access to Cantha is lost.
  • 1278 AE: "Deep Sea Dragon" awakens.
  • 1320 AE: Kralkatorrik Awakens, access to Elona is lost to all but the Order of Whispers.
  • 1325 AE: Present Day Guild Wars 2

Zhaitan, the Undead Dragon

Zhaitan will be the primary antagonist at the start of Guild Wars 2 and rightfully so. He awakens in 1219 AE (131 years after Lion’s Arch is retaken and 106 years before the start of GW2) on the sunken peninsula that once contained the great human Kingdom of Orr. As he awakes he brings the landmass back from the seabed causing massive damage from the tidal waves to the nearby Corsairs calling the broken islands of Orr their home, as well as the coasts along southern Tyria (flooding Lion’s Arch in the process). Zhaitan then enslaves the walking undead of Orr and brings the Corsairs ships up out of the water and uses them to block access to the rest of the world. He essentially comes out with a bang.

Since he’s the first dragon players will do battle against it can be assumed that the primary goal of the game will be the assault of Orr and the push into Arah, where he is currently residing. Can you take down this fearsome dragon? We won’t find out until the game launches proper. Nothing much is known about him beyond his power to raise the dead and him being the first main enemy in the GW2 series.

Jormag, the Ice Dragon

Jormag awakens in 1165 within Drakkar Lake (he can currently be seen there in GW:EN) at which point he’ll begin assaulting the Norn within the Northern Shiverpeaks. The Norn will fall in battle due to the fact that they each want to fight alone against him and will lose their land having to flee to the Southern Shiverpeaks. The Norn are currently engaged in battle with Jormag and his minions in order to retake their homelands.

Interesting Fact: The Sons of Svanir are a Norn cult dedicated to Jormag and work against the forces of good. For those of you who have played through the norn storyline in GW:EN, the “Norn Bear” quest line is just a small taste of the kind of influence Jormag will have over his shapeshifting followers in Guild Wars 2.

Kralkatorrik, the Crystal Dragon

Kralkatorrik will be the latest dragon to awake when you begin the game, awakening in 1320 AE within the Grothmar Wardowns inside of the Charr Homeland (currently visible in that location). He’ll make his way from there through the land once known as Ascalon and into the Crystal Desert where he’ll reside within the location currently known as Glint’s Lair. On his flight south, he’ll leave behind the Dragonbrand, a large area of land turned to crystal where his retainers reside within.

Pictured above, The Shatterer is a dragon that terrorizes the Dragonbrand, a massive scar in the landscape left in the wake of Kralkatorrik's flight south into the Crystal Desert.

This brand will also cut the human stronghold Ebonhawke off from the rest of the former kingdom of Ascalon. Between the charr (who notably consider Gwen, one of Ebonhawk’s founders, to be a bloodthirsty villain), the minions of Kralkatorrik spilling out of the Brand, and the many ghosts of Ascalon’s great war with the charr, the people of Ebonhawke certainly face many challenges ahead.

Meanwhile, due to the Crystal Dragon’s presence in the desert, direct access to Elona has been cut off. However, the Crystal Desert itself is also of special significance in Tyrian history. It is here that adventurers formerly reached a state of Ascension with the help of Turai Ossa, enabling them to overcome not only the Mursaat, but the Titans which the Lich attempted to unleash upon Tyria. Going even further back, the Forgotten Ones, a race of snakelike creatures that predates the arrival of humans in Tyrian lore, were also known to inhabit the region.

 The “Unnamed Dragon” or Deep Sea Dragon

There is a dragon residing within the sea and no information is currently available on it, other than a short mention in the following interview:

The DSD (Deep Sea Dragon) is a fave on the boards primarily because we’ve been so quiet about it. Part of the reason for our reticence is that it does not yet have as much direct impact on our five primary races. I mean, you have four impossibly huge and deadly dragons to start with, and you want a fifth? Oooookay.

In the Design Manifesto Video, toward the end a large deep sea monster was shown that was not the deep sea dragon.

Primordus, the Fire Dragon

Primordus resides within the depths of Tyria (seen awakening in the final cinematic in GW:EN) and is the first to awaken in 1120 AE. His forces previously attempted to invade Tyria, led by the Great Destroyer (a simple minion within his vast army), but were defeated by a group of adventurers and the Dwarves after making a great sacrifice to turn themselves to stone to fight the Great Destroyer.

After he awakens the stone guardians guard the exits from the depths keeping Primordus and his minions locked deep away within the bowels of Tyria. Surprisingly, not much else is known and Primordus will not be the main dragon at the start of the game that players will face off against.

Well that’s the Eldar Dragons in Guild Wars 2. Are you excited to fight these beasts or are you worried that the forces of Tyria won’t be enough to defeat them all? Come to the Ten Ton Hammer community forums and share your thoughts.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars 2 Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.