Dragon Tales: A St Georges Day Top Ten

by Charlotte.Barnes on April 21, 2012

red dragon artAccording to legend, a fearsome dragon once reigned over the city of Silene and demanded livestock from the people every day. When no more sheep or cows could be found, the dragon demanded young maidens instead. It is said that the women were chosen by drawing lots and one day the princess of the city was chosen. As she made her way to the dragon’s lair, St George is said to have happened by and swore to slay the dragon and save the princess. Riding on horseback and armed with a lance and a sword, Saint George slew the dragon with one strike and escorted the princess back to the city triumphant.

Since this story began, the tale of Saint George and the Dragon has been adapted and re-told numerous times and is one of the most famous stories involving a dragon. These mythical beasts have captured imaginations for centuries and so we’ve gathered together some of the most well-known, and feared, of all fictional dragons in literature, film and television.

{Image credited to Jennifer Miller}

Jabberwocky – Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

A terrifying dragon-like beast that is first referenced in the poem of the same name, the jabberwocky is a large, scaly creature that is said to have ‘the jaws that bite, the claws that catch!” Recently the Jabberwocky was seen in the 2010 film of Alice in Wonderland fighting on the side of the Red Queen.

Smaug – The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

Smaug was one of the last dragons to live in Middle-Earth and was also one of the most destructive and aggressive. Obsessed with a mountain of gold and gems he had taken from the surrounding kingdoms, Smaug became enraged when the hobbit Bilbo took a cup from his collection. In his anger he attacked a nearby town and was eventually slain by Bard the Bowman.

Elliot – Pete’s Dragon by Malcolm Marmorstein/Disney

The first of the friendly dragons on our list, Elliot goes to show that not all dragons are bad-tempered and mean. This colourful cartoon character, who could turn invisible whenever he chose, befriends a lonely orphan and helps him find a new home and a loving family before flying off into the sunset to find another lost soul to assist.

Norbert – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

Baby dragons can still breathe fire, as we all learned from Hagrid’s pet dragon Norbert after he hatched from his egg. This rather adorable dragon is a Norwegian Ridgeback and, as an illegal ‘pet’ in the eyes of the authorities, is almost taken away by the Ministry of Magic. Luckily, Harry and his friends send Norbert off to Romania instead to live in the wild with his own kind.

Toothless – by Cressida Cowell

From the book ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, Toothless is the hunting dragon of the story’s hero, Hiccup. Described as a Common or Garden Dragon, Toothless and Hiccup do not get on straightaway as Hiccup is not your typical Viking. Thoughtful and smart, Hiccup prefers to think before he acts and Toothless doesn’t know what to make of him, but, through a series of adventures and battles, they soon become best of friends.

Falkor – The Never-Ending Story by Michael Andreas Helmuth Ende

Falkor is similar to Oriental dragons in terms of shape and unlike typical Western dragons, has no wings. Instead he is covered in white fur and scales and appears to ‘swim’ through the air. Falkor is a luckdragon and carries his companions on their quests through Fantasia using his unlimited ‘good luck’ when necessary.

Mushu – Mulan by Disney

Mushu is a red Chinese dragon who aids Mulan on her quest and helps keep her true identity a secret. Although he is able to breathe fire like normal dragons, Mushu’s small size means that he can only create small bursts of flame. Because he doesn’t have wings, Mushu relies on speed to get around and it seems he is fairly invulnerable, as he gets squashed by people and horses and buried in an avalanche, but recovers almost immediately.

Puff the Magic Dragon – Leonard Lipton and Peter Yarrow

Most people of a certain age will remember Peter, Paul and Mary’s popular song that was released in 1963 and told the story of a dragon named Puff and a little boy who became his friend. As the song goes, the boy grows up and leaves his childhood friend behind in ‘the land of Honalee.’

Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty by Disney

Our first female dragon and certainly one of the scariest, Maleficent was an evil fairy who cursed the princess Aurora in the Disney film Sleeping Beauty. When the handsome prince attempted to rescue the princess, Maleficent transformed into a huge black dragon breathing green fire. With the help of three good fairies, the prince is able to wound the dragon and cause her to fall off the edge of a cliff.

The Soup Dragon – The Clangers by Smallfilms

In a world where pink mice who whistle live on the moon, a dragon that dishes out soup is nothing strange. The five members of the Clangers clan would eat the green soup provided by the Soup Dragon in this popular 70s television show. Unlike most of the dragons on this list, the Soup Dragon didn’t fly or breathe fire but instead helped the Clangers on their adventures and eventually had a Baby Soup Dragon to make soup with.

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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: Top Tens  

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