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Author Topic: What's your favourite type of dragons?  (Read 9474 times)
Sara
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« on: November 10, 2007, 11:44:41 pm »

Now, I don't mean type as in element or color.  What do you draw your favourite ideas about dragons from?  Dungeons & Dragons?  Ancient European stories and legends?  Chinese mythology?  A particular modern or not-so-modern author?

I personally tend towards a sort of mix between the typical modern fantasy dragons as intelligent inherently magical creatures with a particular fondness for shiny objects, and Anne McCaffrey's Pernese dragons.  I do love her fire lizards. gold teeth
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Kisaoda
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2007, 12:00:38 am »

I love the Western feel and look, but I detest how they went from intelligent (and at times benevolent) beings to feral beasts feared by all of Christendom.  Not that dragons couldn't be wild and stupid, but when an entire Age applied the word "dragon" to Satan, it doesn't take long before it becomes a feared word. 

Nordic and Slavic mythology also have an appealing approach to dragons.  But that still would be considered Western, neh?
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Sara
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2007, 12:12:18 am »

Aw that's not very fair to Christianity, but I refuse to turn this to a religious discussion.  So please, no one respond to that comment on Christianity, either to agree or disagree, thank you. gold smile

Quote from: Kisaoda
Nordic and Slavic mythology also have an appealing approach to dragons.  But that still would be considered Western, neh?

Well when you get right down to it, they all count as "dragons", so I wouldn't say you can't say Nordic and Slavic instead of just Western. gold tongue  I don't really know anything about them, actually.
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Nonq
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2007, 01:22:55 am »

 black smile
I'd have to say my fascination with dragons started with Smaug from The Hobbit.... the pictures i formed in my head of the giant dragon sitting atop a pile of gold was awe inspiring... ever since then i've collected little statues of dragons that i have all around my room (only about 5 right now I'm not 'that' crazy about em) I've made it a point to see every movie i can with dragons in it but i must say I'm not to impressed with most of them ... I don't see dragons as Animals or giant Lizards... they are magical creatures that hold more power than any mystical creature out there... and they're more intelligent.

The Inheritance Trilogy is doing a good job of putting the power back into dragons...they way it should be ... but the movie that came out was ...an abysmal failure compared to the books
 black smile
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Kisaoda
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2007, 01:25:36 am »

Aw that's not very fair to Christianity, but I refuse to turn this to a religious discussion. 

Forgive me, as I didn't mean to lump the religion with the Church of the time.  It was more of the institution than the actual doctrine which pushed the association.  That, along with local superstition, is what made the term fearful.  I have nothing against Christian dogma (Catholic or otherwise).  silver teeth

Well when you get right down to it, they all count as "dragons", so I wouldn't say you can't say Nordic and Slavic instead of just Western.

Yes, I suppose 'dragon' is a rather broad term.  Nordic myth generally shows them as creatures of greed slain to achieve glory...not much unlike the Western European outlook.  Fáfnir is an excellent example.  Slavic dragons, or zmey, walked on hind legs, usually with multiple heads (usually three).  While zmey are usually depicted as something to be slain, there are also several examples of benevolence, so it balances out.
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Sara
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2007, 01:28:16 am »

Yes, I suppose 'dragon' is a rather broad term.  Nordic myth generally shows them as creatures of greed slain to achieve glory...not much unlike the Western European outlook.  Fáfnir is an excellent example.  Slavic dragons, or zmey, walked on hind legs, usually with multiple heads (usually three).  While zmey are usually depicted as something to be slain, there are also several examples of benevolence, so it balances out.

Ah, so Slavic dragons are sort of like somewhat anthropomorphized versions of creatures similar to, say Cereberus or the Hydra, or more like the Chimera? (As you probably picked up, most of my mythos knowledge is Greek. gold smile)
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Meishkajay
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2007, 02:10:57 pm »

the dragons I paint tend to have more of a water feel to them. They are western in general appearance, but if you were to look at their scales, you would see the roundness of a water creature.
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2007, 04:01:52 pm »

I admire all kinds of dragons... Slavic, Nordic, Chinese, Japanese... They're all so interesting. Especially when you start combining elements of ones with others, and seeing where they end up.

For example - there's an Asian-style dragon in "The Last Unicorn." But it's a fire-breather, and not like the typical Asian benevolent dragons. It's both Western and Eastern.

I had a lecture on dragons a few months ago, so I could go on for aaaaaaaages.  red grin
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Kisaoda
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2007, 05:12:43 pm »

I should probably also add that as far as modern depiction is concerned, I also appreciate tweaks to the generic idea of how a dragon should look.  A dragon in a snowy and frigid region may have fur on its legs and neck.  Or perhaps a more tropical dragon would carry feathers on its wings rather than scales.  Anything that shows the dragon as an adaptable creature subject to its environment makes it seem that perhaps this creature is plausible in the animal kingdom of myth.
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Aurethrider
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2007, 06:53:55 pm »

Anne McKaffrey's dragons have adapted to their part of the Universe, and human society has evolved around them.   So dragons are wonderfully adaptive, occording to their Conceptualisation ( a bit like fertilisation, only Enshelled.)  Dragons and people are very individualistic.
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Sara
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2007, 07:04:55 pm »

Anne McKaffrey's dragons have adapted to their part of the Universe, and human society has evolved around them.   So dragons are wonderfully adaptive, occording to their Conceptualisation ( a bit like fertilisation, only Enshelled.)  Dragons and people are very individualistic.

Human society evolved around the dragons?  Methinks you need a bit more background of Pern's history. gold wink
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2007, 07:08:35 pm »

They didn't?  What about all the Guilds, the need to defend against Thread and so on?  What's your take on it?
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Sara
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2007, 07:17:10 pm »

They didn't?  What about all the Guilds, the need to defend against Thread and so on?  What's your take on it?

The humans developed the Holds and the dragons as a defense against Thread.  There were no dragons before the first colonists arrived, only fire lizards.  Didn't you know? gold smile  If anything, human society evolved around Thread.
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Kisaoda
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2007, 07:34:09 pm »

The humans developed the Holds and the dragons as a defense against Thread.  There were no dragons before the first colonists arrived, only fire lizards.  Didn't you know? gold smile  If anything, human society evolved around Thread.

I haven't read as far back as the first Turns or Hold development, but I'm aware of the backstory.  I was first introduced to Pern through the Dragonsinger trilogy, what with Menolly and her firelizards.  I wouldn't mind a firelizard for a pet at all.   silver teeth
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Sara
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2007, 07:39:09 pm »

I haven't read as far back as the first Turns or Hold development, but I'm aware of the backstory.  I was first introduced to Pern through the Dragonsinger trilogy, what with Menolly and her firelizards.  I wouldn't mind a firelizard for a pet at all.   silver teeth

I want one as a pet badly enough that I plan to someday build a lifelike mechanical AI-driven one that I can have. gold teeth

The story of the founding of Pernese society is covered in Dragonsdawn.  A warning, though, if you want to read it: Most of McCaffrey's Pern books are targetted at young adults.  Dragonsdawn has some content (mostly violence) and language that is not at all suitable for younger people, and it is much darker than the majority of her other books.  Quite possibly the darkest of all other books by her that I've read.  And I've read a lot of them. gold wink
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