The Mighty Dragon

A brief commentary on the myths, legends and culture that Dragons are a part of.

I have always been fascinated by Dragons. They take many different forms depending on culture and appear nearly worldwide in legends and mythology. They have a major presence in the fantasy genre, and I think it is no surprise why. A dragon is almost synonymous with fantasy and creativity. A beast born of imagination in more ways than one.

In China, a dragon is depicted like a long snake with a large mane and small legs. They often symbolize auspicious power, especially over water, often mentioned to control natural occurrences like the weather as pertains to things like rain, floods and typhoons. It also symbolizes raw power, strength, and often, good luck in honorable or worthy individuals. Their influence was so strong over the culture that many idioms and proverbs mention the fantastical beasts.

Another example of a dragon is found in Norse mythology. The dragon Fafnir was a terrifying beast that came into existence when a dwarf’s cursed greed got the better of him. He lorded over a huge treasure breathing a toxic gas over the land in which its hoard resided. Sigurd, or Siegfried in Germanic myth, was sent to slay the beast and ended up taking a bite of the dragon’s heart with conveyed special gifts. There are many more dragons mentioned in Norse mythology like Nidhogg or Jormungandr, the world serpent, but Fafnir shows a very different painting from the dragons of Chinese mythology.

A lot of fantasy stems from the English culture which had a great many “Wyverns” in its lore. Bignar Hill was said to be the den of a rather large dragon and “marks of its folds were seen on the hill”. Blue Ben of Klive was said to be a dragon named Blue Ben which the Devil used as a steed. Let’s not forget the green dragon of Herefordshire or the dragon of Loschy Hill in Yorkshire folklore. There are many and more, appearing in all kinds of myths and legends which inspired incredible stories of man versus beast. In my favorite version of dragons, the lore sets knights against these incredible creatures which surely no man can defeat.

knight-poem-story-photo-of-a-knight-looking-at-camera-main-image

What about the dragons of unknown origin or of world-spanning origins like the sea serpent? Almost every culture was afraid of running into a sea serpent out on the ocean deep. Were there dragons in the Abrahamic religions? Azazel was described so. How about Brazilian dragons? Yep. Boitata means fire serpent and was described with great fiery eyes which couldn’t be seen by day.

Dragons inspire the imagination, manifesting into our creative and intuitive works. It makes me wonder if somehow, someway, dragons really did exist. Since their presence is almost as all-encompassing on us as the water that makes us. They follow us in myth, legends, modern stories, and even poetry. They inspire idioms and proverbs, quotes, and art. I guess we’ll never really know if they existed in the physical world, but fantasy or reality, these creatures live on in our daily dreams. Incredible beasts of imagination with no real comparison but themselves.

Dragons

A hundred men sent to confront

A creature the king bade us hunt

Swords raised high, Ambitions blazing

Our task the stuff of heros made

Many things we would fight

On the road to become a knight

But nothing prepared for what came next

When we came upon the dragon’s nest

Stories of victories bold

Fantasies we had been told

No man could slay a beast like this

And live to tell the tale of it

Claws of diamond, rend men leal

As terror tore from them what’s real

It’s wings engulfed the light of sun

And roar proclaimed it’d just begun

Fire melted man and steal

While bodies crumpled under heel

Claw and fang tore limps apart

While dragon feasted, men lost heart

Swords snapped against its hide

And shields shattered as men died

No weapon of man would win this day

We were never hunters, only prey

If men were meant to slay a dragon

They wouldn’t be dragons

They are what they are

Because men are meant to dream

Vicious Avarice

Damian C. King or "Vicious Avarice" graduated with a BFA from VCU in 2010 and went on to become a prolific filmmaker in Hollywood over the past decade. Though he continues to produce features under his company Fantasy Forge Films, recently, he has reignited his passion for writing, focusing on poetry and fantasy novels. In January 2022, he published the children’s book “The Christmas Monster” which can be pre-ordered here (https://pegasuspublishers.com/books/coming-soon/the-christmas-monster). He looks forward to contributing to Malorie’s Adventures and asks all to keep an eye out for his future books which always carry with them a fantastical whimsy born of the imagination.

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