Dragons have captured the imagination of people all over the world and almost every culture has its own variation of the creature. Whether they breathe fire, fly, devour wayward travelers, or horde gold and ancient wisdom, dragons are a link between the beastial and the divine. Between the stories of JRR Tolkien and an entire generation that grew up on Dungeons & Dragons, dragons are inextricably linked to the fantasy genre. Every generation has seen a new and majestic iteration of these creatures. Here at I Love Halloween, we have our own favorites. Whether animated cartoon comedians or vicious beast at the head of conquering armies, these are our picks for the most interesting dragons in TV, movies, and video games.
Toothless - How to Train Your Dragon
A new generation of kids have been introduced to the wonders of dragons with the How to Train Your Dragon film series.
Based on a series of graphic novels, the stories focus on the relationship between Toothless and Hiccup, a young man from a Viking-like culture who raised Toothpess as his own. Toothless is a night fury dragon, a very rare type that can retract its teeth and has jet black skin. He can also breathe fire and echo locate. The pair go on a series of adventures to save and defend their home while renewing the bonds of friendship that keep them together. It’s a sweet story that has a lot of character growth and dynamic moments.
Viserion, Rhaegal, Drogon - Game of Thrones
The three dragons symbolize a lot of different aspects of the Game of Thrones world. They are the last remains of an old culture. A lot of Game of Thrones is based around the idea of reckoning with the past and dealing with oncoming conflict. In the past, dragons were plentiful and were used as part of the ruling families assertion of power. As dragons begin disappearing from the world, the ruling class became more unstable and infighting between prominent families became the norm.
We first meet Daenrys Targaryen, One of the last of that Royal bloodline, as a timid and naïve girl. As she is used as a political pawn, she starts learning confidence and power. Eventually she is able to awaken the dragon eggs that she was gifted as a dowery. The dragons become her children that she uses in her bid to reconquer and reclaim the world. Anyone who doubts her will or might quickly change their mind after seeing the three dragons bring fire and destruction down on them, in some of Game of Thrones’ best set pieces. These are the most popular dragons of the modern age, and we are looking forward to seeing them at their most majestic and terrible in the final season.
Mushu - Mulan
Not all dragons are fire-breathing nightmares from western mythology. China has a rich and varied tradition of dragon storytelling, which inspired the creation of the Mushu the guardian spirit from Mulan.
Voice by motormouth comedian Eddie Murphy, Mushu is a small and frail dragon given the task of keeping an eye on Mulan as she attempts to infiltrate the Chinese army. A comic relief character and the voice of reason, Mushu initially disapproves of Mulan‘s plan, but comes to her side numerous times over the course of the story and wins prestige for her and her family. We could all use a guardian spirit like Mushu, even if we wish he would take it down a notch.
Smaug - The Hobbit
No discussion of dragons would be complete without Smaug, the chiefest and greatest of calamities.
Nestled in the Misty Mountains in the Dwarves’ ancient home, Smaug jealously guards the vast riches of his stolen kingdom. He is the threat that Thorin Oakenshield and his company must face to reclaim their ancestral lands, and an entire generation of fans saw Smaug brought to hissing, snarling life by the performance of Benedict Cumberbatch.
Alduin - Skyrim
Alduin, the Bane of Kings, Ancient Shadow Unbound, known as the World Eater, is a mighty dragon that lived and ruled over Skyrim during ancient ages. The villain of one of the most popular and influential video games of all time, facing Alduin is the final task that the Dragonborn player has to complete to save the world. Arrogant, merciless, and violent, Alduin is a captivating menace and a terrifying opponent.
Hungarian Horntail - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The Hungarian Horntail is a terrifying dragon that Harry Potter must face during his trial at the Triwizard Tournament depicted in the book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
One of the most dynamic scenes in the story features Harry, who had been roped into the tournament as a way to assassinate him, facing off against this rare creature that he had to subdue in order to claim a prize in the center of the arena. It is the most vicious of the three dragons brought in for the Triwizard Tournament, and Harry almost gets killed, but after a breathtaking chase over the skies at Hogwarts, he is able to complete the challenge and advance is further into the tournament.
Maleficent - Sleeping Beauty
One of the earliest and most iconic Disney films of all time, Sleeping Beauty featured Maleficent, the evil witch who tormented Sleeping Beauty and put her into a death-like coma.
When Prince Charming attempted to confront Maleficent, she turned into a massive black dragon straight out of a nightmare. This terrifying image of a lone knight facing off against an Impossible beast of fire and hates has become one of the most iconic images in all the Disney canon. The Prince is able to defeat the dragon with the help of Sleeping Beauty’s fairy godmothers and Maleficent takes a plunge into a fiery doom.
Draco - Dragonheart
A personal favorite of mine, Draco is a dragon voiced by Sean Connery for the film Dragonheart. The last remaining dragon in the world, Draco gave his heart to save a boy prince who had later been corrupted by power and greed. Draco went into hiding, only to meet and befriend the fallen knight who had helped train the boy prince. They traveled the land, forming an unlikely friendship, until they had to return to the corrupted Prince and set the kingdom at peace. A symbol of nobility and honor are in a fallen age, Draco gives us the unforgettable oath of the knights:
A knight is sworn to valour,
His heart knows only virtue,
His blade defends the helpless,
His might upholds the weak,
His word speaks only truth,
dHis wrath undoes the wicked.
Did we miss any favorites? Let us know in the comments section.