ARTICLES, Dragons, Fantasy Creatures

Dragons: Real or Fables?

I have always been fascinated by dragons, with their intimidating stature, their massive wings, and the ability to breathe fire. Dragons are usually attracted to things that are shiny, especially gold, and can be seen hording it in their caves. They enjoy sleeping for long periods of time and are quickly enraged when disturbed from their slumber.

Dragons are featured in numerous areas of media, ranging from video games, television shows, and movies, examples are the dragon Toothless the night fury from the film, How to Train Your Dragon, Smaug the fire dragon from the film, The Hobbit Chronicles.

The Origin of Dragons

The origin of the word “dragon” derives from the Latin word draconem, which means a large serpent dragon. Historians believe that the word also has French origins from the 13th Century from the Greek word δράκων, meaning great serpent sea fish. Dragons are depicted in mythology as evil vengeful monsters to be feared by all, yet in Chinese culture, the word “dragon” is associated with good fortune.

Dragons
Dragons

Dragons are supernatural creatures that are depicted as highly intelligent beings, with four limbs, and wings granting them flight, or for some superfine creatures are given wings but can’t fly/ Starting in the Middle-Ages, dragons have been recorded in legends sending destruction upon humanity by breathing fire. Other stories show dragons sharing their knowledge with others but only for a price.

Dragons Related to Dinosaurs

Some people wonder if dragons ever existed and if so, where they might originate from. Some scientists argue that dragons might be descendants of dinosaurs, as archeologists are still discovering fossils to understand the history of disnatures. According to Joseph Stromberg at the Smithsonian, it is easy for archeologists to incorrectly misidentify or label creatures wrong, thus proving that modern creatures can be descendants of dragons.

Dragons
Dragons

Chang Qu,  a Chinese historian from the 4th century B.C., mislabeled such a fossils thinking that they were dragon fossils when instead they belonged to crocodiles, goannas, or whales.

The Nile Crocodile is from Saharan, Africa but originated in the Mediterranean Sea swimming from Italy or Greece. They are fast swimmers and can grow up to eighteen feet in length. The goanna is from Australia and resemble large lizards. Like dragons, goannas are featured in Aboriginal folklore, described as being intimidating creatures with sharp claws. Whale bones leave no traces of their origin except for living ones documented in the wild.

Etymology of Dragons

During the ancient Mesopotamian era (3100 BC), dragons were featured in Greek poetry, artwork, and literature. These stories described dragons as having the body and head of a lion but the legs, tail, and wings of a bird. Many believed these great beasts were associated with the god Ishkut. During the Neo-Assyrian Period (911 BC–609 BC), the creatures copied the Mesopotamian image, yet added two horns and a scorpion’s tail.

Modern depictions

Dragons are featured in numerous forms of media, such as film, television, video games, and literature. In literature, J.R.R is known for introducing the formidable dragon, Smaug, featured in his novel, The Hobbit. In later novels, The Lord of the Rings. Dragons are known for carrying Ringwraths. Dragons are typically seen in fantasy and associated with magic rather than being associated with science fiction, but dragons are featured in both.

Dragons
Dragons

Dragons are used in games as an antagonist for the mighty hero to slay within the fantasy adventure. Some are used a final boss for the party to fight. which is common in the table top role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Even in video games, dragons can be used to challenge the hero’s skills.

In the film, How to Train Your Dragon, an animated series from DreamWorks, dragons were once fearsome creatures targeted by Vikings, yet Hiccup the male protagonist of the series, wants to learn more about the mysterious creatures. He learns to befriend Toothless, a night fury, becomes an advocate for them and wanting to protect them.

Dragons
Dragons

Furthermore, dragons can be a benevolent creature defending those it cares for, or it can be a tremendous beast used as a symbol for power. Dragons have been depicted throughout history and continue to be represented in medias. Common in art, film, television, and other forms of entertainment.

Burned it!
Emberly

 

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