Beyond This Place, There be Dragons~
Topics: The Hobbit, Dragon, Smaug / Pages: 4 (975 words) / Published: Feb 17th, 2014

Here There Be…Dragons

A dragon is a reptilian creature that is usually represented as an extremely large scaly creature, complete with claws, leather wings, fire-breathing capacities, and a rather long neck.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary claims the word comes from the Anglo-French word dragun, which comes from Latin dracon-, which stems from the Greek word kimono (just kidding). No, the word stems from drakōn, which translates as serpent. There are many divisions and classifications of dragons, depending on the geography and/or the period in time. There are your medieval western dragons that were generally regarded as large pests, or terrifying monster. These are the dragons that would breathe fire, kidnap maidens, and battle knights in armor. Like ravens, they tended to strew their nests, or more likely caves, with gold and precious gems.

Although a more modern work of literature, one example of such a dragon would be the dragon Smaug from J.R.R. Tolkein’s ‘The Hobbit’:

There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep; thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, and wisps of smoke, but his fires were low in slumber. Beneath him, under all his limbs and his huge coiled tail, and about him on all sides stretching away across the unseen floors, lay countless piles of precious things, gold wrought and unwrought, gems and jewels, and silver red-stained in the ruddy light. Smaug lay, with wings folded like an immeasurable bat, turned partly on one side, so that the hobbit could see his underparts and his long pale belly crusted with gems and fragments of gold from his long lying on his costly bed.
-J.R.R. Tolkein, ‘The Hobbit’

Dragons in Greek mythology, and Western culture as a whole, were generally regarded at worst as evil incarnate, or at best, as an insurmountable obstacle to be bested by a particular hero or legend. In Asia, dragons were

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