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Not to be confused with Ancient Wyvern.
"The murk shifts and stirs... Yet another stands before us... Then so be it. For the curse of life, is the curse of want. And so, you peer... Into the fog, in hope of answers."
— Ancient Dragon

The Ancient Dragon is an optional boss in Dark Souls II.


The Ancient Dragon is a massive dragon that speaks telepathically to the player. It is neutral to the player until it is attacked a couple of times.

Speaking to the Ancient Dragon will give the player the Ashen Mist Heart, an object allowing the player to cross into the memories of the dead.


Little is known of the mysterious dragon dwelling atop the Dragon Shrine. It offers the Bearer of the Curse the Ashen Mist Heart, allowing them to peer into the memories of things long deceased. Ironically, this very item casts doubts about the dragon's true identity and origins. It can be used in Freja's arena to enter the memory of an Ancient Dragon, where one can find the dragon's soul. The Ancient Dragon atop the Shrine however, upon defeat, will drop a Soul of a Giant.

Further doubts surrounding the dragon's origins are raised by Nashandra and Sweet Shalquoir. Nashandra refers to the dragon as a "false deity" and a "prop". Sweet Shalquoir claims there is "A great creature far to the east. A colossal thing, with the strength to match its size. Or something playing the part at least." This suggests that the Ancient Dragon is not a true dragon.

Rumors abound in Drangleic about the king's brother, Lord Aldia, who tried to create a dragon. Perhaps the existence of the Ancient Dragon, and its dubious origins, are testament to his success.


The Dragon is found at the very top of the Dragon Shrine in a large, open arena past the Dragon Knights and Drakekeepers. Note that enemies may follow the player to the Ancient Dragon if they are not dispatched.


Going hand in hand with its size, the Ancient Dragon has a huge amount of health and will most likely kill the player in one shot with every attack unless the player has high Fire defense or a very high stability shield. Its most dangerous and most common attack is when it flies up and breathes fire on to the floor, covering a large area.

The startup for this attack is obvious, however, so once one sees the attack coming, they can run away. When it lands, the forward fire breath can be baited out by standing somewhere in front of it. This allows the player to run behind the dragon's head and land a few hits.

Another strategy is staying near its tail, it gives a constant direction to run to and most of the flame attacks won't reach the player when they are at the end of it. It does, however, have a tail slam that inflicts a lot of damage, but it's easily avoided.

It is possible to almost become immune to its fire attacks by achieving a 890 fire defense.

Summons may be targeted as they enter the fight, making it hard for the player to reliably summon two phantoms.

An excellent strategy to overcome this dragon is to head straight for the back feet. Once there, the best place to stay is right between the middle and inner toes, in such a situation, the dragon will use his stomp attack almost exclusively. When he stomps, simply sprint to the other foot and continue. It is possible for him to use his inner flame attack. But this is easily avoided by simply walking away from the foot in which you were perched.



  • Flame Breath: A straight forward fire breath that sweeps from left to right.
  • Stomp: The dragon attempts to stomp the player with its hind or front legs, depending on where the player is.
  • Bite: The dragon will attempt to bite the player, sweeping from right to left.
  • Tail Slam: When the player is at the tip of the tail, the dragon will raise it and slam it into the ground twice.
  • Flying Flame Breath: The dragon will fly up and breath fire onto the arena, covering a large area.
  • Inner Flame: If the player remains beneath the dragon, the dragon will look between its forelegs and blow fire at the player.



Physical Defenses
Physical Defense Strike Defense Slash Defense Thrust Defense
??? ??? ??? ???
Elemental Defenses
Magic Defense Fire Defense Lightning Defense Dark Defense
??? ??? ??? ???
Poison Resist Bleed Resist Can be Backstabbed Can be Parried
??? ??? No No

These stats have been estimated through various formulae, and as such, may not be precise.


Item Ashen Mist Heart.png
Ashen Mist Heart
Soul of a Giant.png
Soul of a Giant      
Petrified Dragon Bone.png
Petrified Dragon Bone
Drop Rate Guaranteed
(if not spoken to before attacking)
Guaranteed Guaranteed



  • Ironically, to get the real Ancient Dragon Soul, the player must talk to the Dragon and receive the Ashen Mist Heart. The player will then have to head to The Duke's Dear Freja's arena to enter the Dragon Memories area.
  • The Ancient Dragon has more HP than most other bosses.
  • In the announcement trailer, the Ancient Dragon has a third eye in the middle of the other two, similar to Kalameet and is also noticeably smaller than he is in-game. In the final version, however, this design appeared to have been cut.



Dark Souls 2 - Ancient Dragon (Melee) Power Stance



Dark Souls II Soundtrack OST - Ancient Dragon


Aava, the King's PetAfflicted Graverobber, Ancient Soldier Varg, and Cerah the Old Explorer
Aldia, Scholar of the First SinAncient DragonBelfry Gargoyles
Burnt Ivory KingCovetous DemonDarklurkerDemon of SongDragonrider
Elana, the Squalid QueenExecutioner's ChariotFlexile SentryFume Knight
Giant LordGuardian DragonLooking Glass KnightLost Sinner
Lud, the King's Pet & Zallen, the King's PetMytha, the Baneful QueenNashandra
Old DragonslayerOld Iron KingProwling Magus and Congregation
Royal Rat AuthorityRoyal Rat VanguardRuin SentinelsScorpioness NajkaSinh, the Slumbering Dragon
Sir AlonneSkeleton LordsSmelter Demon
Smelter Demon (Iron Passage)The Duke's Dear FrejaThe Last Giant
The PursuerThe RottenThrone Watcher and Defender
Velstadt, the Royal AegisVendrick