Intro To the Latest Series: Dragons Around the World

Hello, beloved readers! This week, I will be introduction a series of articles about dragons! Which are, like my favorite animal ever (except squirrels or cats), and one of my various obsessions (although most things that I write about are things that I am or have been extremely obsessed with at one point or another so, no surprise there. And yes, I am one of those people).

Although I am not a conspiracy theorist technically (I mean, do I think the government hides things from us based on their agenda? Yes, but the moon landing definitely happened, and I would rather live my life thinking about literature than potential crazy things going on. Plus, evidence is usually lacking or interpreted incorrectly and illogically, and I despise miscommunication, misinterpretation, and irrationality), I love making connections between things, and, lo and behold, pretty much every culture has stories about some type of dragon. Which can mean only one thing.

DRAGONS ARE REAL!

Now, do I think they’re living currently? Well, probably not, unless maybe there are ice dragons hibernating in Antartica or something. Or maybe they can live in volcanoes? However, there are many, many stories of dragons around the world. You can find legends in Asia, in Europe (think St. George and The Dragon), in Central America, and even in the Bible (and not just dragons of prophecy, like the one in Revelation). It’s common enough that it seems likely that dragons did exist at one point or another. However, before we can dive into this study, there are three questions we need to ask.

  1. What are dragons?
  2. Why did you decide to write about dragons and not, let’s say, Sasquatch and the Yeti? Or Unicorns?
  3. Will you write about named dragons? Like Azazel? Or Apophis? Or Kihawahine?

So…. Let’s explore my crazy theory.

What Are Dragons?

The nature of dragons is a complicated question. You see, there are many different types of dragons around the world, but each of them has their own distinctive characteristics, so it’s hard to figure out the best definition for dragons. For instance, not all dragons have wings or breathe fire. However, most dragons have serpent-like or lizard-like qualities. They’re usually long, scaly, and, well, generally reptilian. Of course, since most dragons fly, they probably have hollow bones, like a bird, but I’m not really interested in dragon anatomy (or any anatomy for that matter, which is why I decided against becoming a zoologist).

What a dragon can look like can depend on the part of the world you’re from. For example, most European dragons have wings, breathe fire, and are generally villainous while eastern dragons tend to be benevolent and more serpent-like, and they don’t have wings.

Of course, there are exceptions to the stereotypical European dragons, like wyrms, which don’t have legs or wings (usually). There are also creatures that are dragon-like but have traits of other, non-reptilian animals, like the basilisk/cockatrice. Dragons can even have feathers! Basically, a dragon is some kind of mystical, mysterious reptilian-esque creature.

Now, if you go to Wikipedia (which, yes, for scholarly essays isn’t the best idea, but when you’re writing about mystical creatures you got to use what you have), you’ll find a long list of dragon characters, types of dragons, and things that are put in the dragon category, but for the sake of my sanity and to go with the general consensus among the dragon community, I’m going to limit myself to writing about dragons of lore and try to match some types into specific categories.

Why dragons?

Because they’re cool. That’s why.

If you want a more thorough answer, it’s because I had a really cool idea for a series name. Plus, although there are many cool and awesome mythical creatures to discuss, dragons are one of the few that can be found worldwide. It’s interesting to explore how dragons are understood in different cultures, and the fact that they exist in different cultures kind of gives more credence to the idea that dragons existed.

Now, I do have future plans for a series on different types of faeries, but I figured I would start with dragons since the fae tend to group around Europe. I might also write about legendary ghosts (like La Llarona), which actually might have been a great idea for this month. Well, there’s always next year.

As for Sasquatch, I may think about it for the distant future, but, honestly, I’m not a fan. Same with aliens for that matter. I personally prefer the mystical, mythic, and magical, rather than furry or sciency. I love sci-fi books, just not little green men and UFOs.

Are you going to write about famous dragons?

So, there are a lot of famous dragons and dragons with names. Although I would love to write about every single dragon, that’s not really possible for two reasons: 1) I would eventually get bored and need to move onto something new and 2) It would be difficult to find enough information on every single recorded dragon of legend.

However, I do plan to mention famous dragons that fall into each species of dragon. I’m also going to do articles with a broader scope so that I can focus on some more specific ones, like the top 10 literary dragons, or dragons of the Bible. I will also try to do an article on Reptilian mythological gods, so that I can cover characters like Apophis or Kihawahine. I just need to figure out how I want to divide things up with that one.

What’s next?

So, what’s the plan? How are we going to do this? Well, I’m planning on doing these articles bi-weekly, since they do require more research. On off weeks, I’ll post various articles: poems, Character Corners, or My Favorite Things (keep an eye out for those if you want to find out how they work).

As for the dragon who will start off this whole shebang, our first guest with be: (Trumpet: Da da da daaaa)

The Standard Western Dragon!

These are the dragons we all know and love. They kidnap princesses and decimate kingdoms. They’re also super cunning, so you need to be on your guard when talking to them.

Tune in next week for the first instalment of Dragons Around the World!

Resources

“17 Most Popular Types of Dragons In Mythology” on Types Of List: https://typesoflist.com/dragons/

The Encyclopedia Britannica on Dragons: https://www.britannica.com/topic/dragon-mythological-creature

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