by T. Mack
I don’t watch HBO’s Game of Thrones. Yes, I know it’s “really great” and “epic” and “one of the best shows to ever grace television screens” or whatever. But the series also features a particular brand of ultra-violence to which I prefer not to expose myself. So I don’t watch the show. I do, however, binge-watch clips on YouTube of scenes that feature the character, Daenerys Targaryen. Why?! Because she’s the frakking Mother of Dragons! That’s why! And because dragons are AMAZING!
If I’m being honest, I have to admit that my love of dragons doesn’t run quite as deep as my love of werewolves, which I featured back in May. And it doesn’t come close to my love of witches, which I get to discuss in August. However, dragons do hold a special place in my heart. They always have and-I suspect-always will.
Since I was small, I always enjoyed stories that featured dragons. I believe Disney’s Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite in large part because Maleficient becomes an enormous dragon at the end. The original, animated Disney film, Pete’s Dragon, was another movie that I couldn’t seem to get enough of as a child. In retrospect, both those films were lacking in superior story elements. In fact, an argument could be made that they’re both quite bad, especially Pete’s Dragon. However, I think my young mind always overlooked that because… dragons!
Even now, I can’t seem to stop paying attention to dragons. I only watch Game of Thrones clips to see the Mother of Dragons and her scaly “offspring.” I absolutely adored both How to Train Your Dragon films. And though I was unwilling to sit through Peter Jackson’s over-inflated Hobbit trilogy, you better believe I took the time to watch the scenes featuring Smaug.
This month I’m forced to take a look at why dragons intrigue me so much. And now that I’m thinking about it, I realize there are more reasons that I thought. After all, dragons are majestic and powerful. They’re fearsome to behold, but also beautiful. They are giants whose entire existence caters to battle. Everything about a dragon is built for either offense (their claws, tail, mighty wings, and especially their fire) or defense (their nearly impenetrable scales). And as if all that wasn’t enough, they are also cunning. Dragons are not stupid creatures. At least, I’ve never seen or heard them portrayed that way. They are never dumb beasts to be dispatched easily. They are predators, clever and cunning. Or in the more fanciful tales, they are wise counselors, ancient creatures that have obtained the knowledge of ages and do not easily grant it to foolish mortals. Speaking of mortals, dragons are darn near made of fire and stone. They are creatures who do not die and pass away as others do. They remain, like mountains, like seas. Yes, they can be killed, but it is an unlikely thing for men to kill a dragon. And even if they manage it, many more men will be taken down than the one, single dragon.
I’m not a scholar of dragons or dragon lore. I don’t know their history in stories or the most popular and enduring dragon tales of the twentieth or any other century. However, I do know that I admire dragons. I admire their intelligence, their beauty, their ferocity, and their majesty. I enjoy stories that feature them, whether they guard a mountain of gold or the last egg of their species, whether they speak as men do or simply roar flames the way a more basic beast would growl. It doesn’t bother me if the dragons befriend humans or eat them for dinner. Either way, I am intrigued. Either way, I will take note. Because no matter what kind of dragon it is, a dragon is badass.
What are your favorite dragons and dragon tales? And are you like me… Do you dig dragons over unicorns and mermaids any day? Take to the comments and let me know.