Hello everybody! Welcome back to Fluff About Fantasy. Today, I’m going to try something new. We’re going to talk about dragons.
Dragons!!! Get excited.
Thursday night, my boyfriend and I were throwing around some ideas for fantastical short stories. I’m trying to get back on the fantasy writing horse after a very busy half a semester. We were swapping various ideas, and at one point, we settled on the discussion of dragons. I have always been fascinated by dragons. They’re a very protective mythological creature, and I’ve always seen their strength as something to be celebrated. Their physical form captivates me; I own five different dragon statues ranging from small, singular dragons to entire families in which the father’s wings surrounds his mate and his child.
I am also highly interested in the concept of dragon shapeshifters in which very sexy mortal men can turn into dragons in romance novels, but that is a story for another day.
Anyway, Daniel and I were swapping some awesome images of different kinds of dragons, and he mentioned that one of them was called a Leviathan. I had never heard of one before, and he gave me a basic explanation of the creature (see below!). But when he mentioned drakes later and I still didn’t know what he was talking about….
He pulled out a figurative blackboard (literally, in asterics. *pulls out a blackboard*) and said, “Cady. It’s time for a comprehensive training on dragons and classifications.”
I was so ready for this. It’s so much fun to see my boyfriend nerd out over things we can be fascinated by together. And I’m excited to share that information with you for your fantasy writing endeavors. This article will be a short list of the types that we discussed and some basic information. I’m hoping to expand it as I explore the topic more. But its current form will be a good list to start with and hopefully inspire you to write new stories or go do some research of your own.
Dragon Classifications: A Partial List
Chinese Dragons: In Chinese culture, dragons traditionally symbolize power and strength throughout Chinese mythology, folklore, and East Asian Culture. A variety of dragons can represent balance, intense power over the elements, and luck. Chinese dragons usually have long serpentine bodies and are often brightly colored. Although they are without wings, many have the ability of magical flight.
Leviathans: An oceanic behemoth, much like the kraken, in the form of a sea monster. Originates from Jewish belief and is referenced in the Hebrew Bible. Often depicted as an aquatic dragon.
European Dragons: Usually consist of the modern conception of dragons. Large bodies, flaming breath, and reptilian wings characterize this form. In traditional folklore, these dragons’ blood contains magical properties that can poison or heal depending on the dragon or the story. Generally found in an underground lair.
Drakes: Smaller lizard-like creatures usually portrayed as wingless. An example of these would be the Komodo dragon, a minotaur lizard originating in Indonesia. Tend to keep low to the ground.
Wyverns: No forelegs or arms traditionally with a tail often ending in a diamond- or arrow-shaped tip. Faster, more aggressive than territorial as opposed to drakes and European dragons.
Nāga: Originates from India and is common to all cultures influenced by Hinduism. May have several heads depending on their rank. Traditionally have no arms or legs and more resemble large snakes, but the ones that do have limbs look similar to Chinese dragons.
Slavic Dragons: Resemble the European dragons, but are multi-headed. Represent evil.