Since this year marks the start of the Year of the Dragon, it is a perfect time to take a look at one of fantasy's most popular and feared creatures; used in literature, cinema, video games and more. Here is a rundown of my favourite dragons:
Hungarian Horntail, Welsh Green, Swedish Short-Snout, Chinese Fireball
from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
What I admire most about Rowling's dragons is that they are animals first and foremost. There is no real intelligence beyond that of a predator. They can't speak, and they do not hoard gold. They are every bit as dangerous as a wild animal, and rightly so. Extra kudos for creating variations in dragon species that weren't traditional (fire dragon, ice dragon etc.)
Toothless the Night Fury
from How to Train your Dragon
Look at that face. How adorable is that? The guys who made How to Train your Dragon combined a fire breathing monstrosity with a LOLcat and created quite possibly the cutest fantasy creature ever.
Alduin the World Eater
from The Elder Scrolles V: Skyrim
Possibly one of the most terrifying dragons you can have the misfortune of meeting. Alduin is the son of Akatosh, the dragon god of time, and is responsible for resurrecting all dragons in Skyrim. Whenever you see or hear in, there is only one option - run. Run, and keep running. Run and hope he doesn't find you.
Y Ddraig Coch
National symbol of Wales
Come on, you didn't think I'd talk about dragons without mentioning this beauty? As one of the only countries in the world that has a dragon as a national symbol, Wales is quite unique. The dragon was said to be the battle standard of King Arthur (though it's more likely to have been a standard for one of the Roman legions that settled in Wales)
Why are dragons so popular in cultures all over the world? What's your favourite dragon?