11 Awesome Dragons In Popular Culture And Art
Dragons are mythical creatures that appear in many different cultures and time periods. However, it’s not perfectly clear when stories of dragons first emerged, but we know that huge, flying serpents were described by the ancient Greeks and Sumerians. For much of history, dragons were thought of like any other exotic animal: sometimes useful and protective, other times harmful and dangerous. That changed when Christianity spread across the globe, and dragons took on a decidedly sinister hue and came to represent Satan. Still, these fascinating magical creatures have continued to captivate our imagination through folklore, literature, and more recently films, television series, and video games. Here follow 11 pretty awesome ones that have probably touched you in one form or another. Written by Theodoros II
Are you old enough to remember The NeverEnding Story (1984) and Falkor? He’s the only fuzzy dragon in history who in reality was more of a large and incredibly loyal dog than a dragon. What kid who grew up in the ’80’s didn’t dream of a pet like Falkor?
Arguably the most famous dragon of all antiquity, the Lernaean Hydra was a serpentine water monster with reptilian traits in Greek mythology and art. According to Hesiod, the Hydra was the offspring of two other famous monsters of antiquity, Typhon and Echidna. It possessed many heads and each time one was lost, it was replaced by two more. It had poisonous breath and blood so virulent that even its scent was deadly, but it found its match in Heracles, who killed her as the second of his Twelve Labors.
Charizard is a draconic, bipedal Pokémon and easily the most valuable Pokémon of them all (suck it, Mewtwo). Charizard was near unstoppable in the card game, and if you are a Pokémon fan, then you definitely know that every time he made his appearance in the deck, there were drama and tears.
In the amazing world of Tolkien, Smaug is a “great” fire drake of the Third Age, considered to be the last “great” dragon to exist in Middle Earth. Drawn to the enormous wealth amassed by the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain during the reign of King Thrór, he laid waste to the neighboring city of Dale and captured the Lonely Mountain, driving the surviving Dwarves into exile. Even though his origin is unknown, some believe he was one of the very few survivors of the War of Wrath.
Even though most dragons are intimidating, furious, and spit fire, Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon is the most harmless and innocent one you could ever meet. You won’t meet many kids who love and become emotionally attached to a dragon, that’s for sure.
Other than being a kind-heartened and loving dragon, Draco from Dragonheart (1996) is the last of his kind. However, the best part is that he sounds just like Sir Sean Connery. What more could you ask for from a dragon?
King Ghidorah is a kaiju (a film genre that features monsters) monster that first appeared in Toho’s 1964 film Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. He’s considered Godzilla’s nemesis and is particularly famous in Japan.
Easily the least intimidating dragon on this list, Mushu makes up for what he lacks in size and power with his awesome style and friendliness. What would Mulan do without Mushu, right?
FIN FANG FOOM
Probably the most famous dragon in the comic book world, Fin Fang Foom first appeared in Strange Tales #89 (October 1961) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The dragon has also appeared in associated Marvel merchandise including animated television series, toys, trading cards, and video games, while IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time ranked Fin Fang Foom #99. Not bad for a dragon who invaded the world of superheroes.
Sometimes dragons and humans are friends, and there’s no doubt that Saphira Bjartskular is Eragon’s greatest ally. The two telepathically bonded immediately after Saphira was born, and they have each other’s backs throughout Paolini’s expansive series. Though the books are a great read, you may find yourself more than a little wistful that you’ve never mind-melded with a dragon. For the record, Saphira was the only female dragon known to exist during the time of Eragon II, aside from Eldunari.
Drogon from Game of Thrones is one of the dragons born in the Dothraki Sea, along with Viserion and Rhaegal. He is named after Daenerys’ late husband, Khal Drogo, and is distinguished by his black and red scales and red-black wings. He is the largest and most aggressive of the three hatchlings and became particularly popular thanks to the amazing success of the TV series.