A large lizard- or serpent-like creature, conceived in some traditions as evil causing great misfortune to the people is often recognized as Dragons. Breathing fire, these creatures are believed to have wings and a barbed tail. Before the man realized that the large bones unearthed were from dinosaurs, they believed that these skeletons were proof of the existence of dragons or other mythological creatures.
Even in the mythological tales- dragons such as dragon kholkikos, piasa bird, fafnir, kukulkan, akhekh, mushussu, druk, stoor worm, vishap, and ryujin are considered some of the deadliest types of dragons harming the innocent public. While most myths include dragons as wicked, there are several where dragons are beneficent. But discussing dragons always makes us wonder- whether these creatures lived or are pure myths.
Here are a few speculations from where the Dragon myth could have originated.
The early predictions involved misinterpretation of fossil remains of dinosaurs. This theory came from Chang Qu, a Chinese historian who mistakenly named a dinosaur remains a dragon back in the 4th century. The fossil remains now placed in Sichuan Province are actually of Stegosaurus. The large remains were 30 feet in length and 14 feet tall, thus it was common to name the unknown as mythology.
Other speculations could be evolved from the Nile crocodile, the Goanna, whales, and of course the human imaginations. In ancient times, the universal fear manifested the folklores and the myth of dragons. Experts believe that the early prediction of dragons could be originated in Asian countries such as China and India.
The name dragon comes from the Greek word drakōn which means large serpents. That’s the reason why the Western or the European tales have a dragon of enormous size and a scaly body. While the western dragons are huge, the Eastern and Chinese dragons are relatively smaller creatures, with no wings and horns. They are considered as friends of humans. That is why the Chinese new year is celebrated as the start of the Year of the Dragon.
Things changed with the spread of Christianity, which considered dragons as a representation of Satan. But this is also ignited the popularity of dragons around the world, especially through Leviathan — the massive monster described in detail in the Bible.
Though people easily pictured a dragon according to their ideas and descriptions, their portrayal is indeed very dramatic. Some dragons have wings while others don’t. Some dragons can speak and breathe fire while the rest could not. Some are only a few feet long; others span miles. And just like this several depictions of the dragon were popularised in various cultures across the world.
Indo-European legends have a routine story pattern of a monster and the hero. In such tales, a monster, very frequently in dragon form threatens human livelihoods – frequently young, marriageable girls. This provokes economic, political, and populace crises. The hero as often portrays possesses supernatural ailment, either a flying horse like Pegasus or a magic sword just like the Greek hero Hercules who battled with the multi-headed Hydra in the marshes of Lerna. The monster isn’t constantly draconian but had serpent-like characteristics, possibly living in the sea. Or it is able to lurk deep inside a few rocky chasms just like the Python, slain with the aid of using the Apollo together along with his arrows.
Such stories symbolize the eternal war between good and evil. The extra testimonies are frequently used to provide an explanation of how special peoples were capable of such heroic tasks with the aid of conquering hard territory and locating smart approaches to conquer great perils and make name for themselves.
Dragons In Modern Times
While myths about the creature remained, Dragons continue to capture people’s imagination through fantasy books and movies. The famous modern Literature includes works like The Hobbit, and Silmarillion written by J.R.R. Tolkien, the Harry Potter novels by J.K Rowling, and A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin. Movies such as Eragon, Dragonheart, Puff the Magic Dragon, and Beowulf are among the most hit.
Such a cinematic approach mostly portrays a dragon in a devilish form devouring the lives of innocent people. But in the majority of such cameos, dragons are not the main villain of the game, in fact, the pawns of the king. While there are rest where Dragons are portrayed in heroic character serving a savior for terrified people. Merlin, Dragonslayer, Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, Pete’s Dragon, and Shrek are a few of them.
If we keep the theological and mythological questions aside, there are few people who believe in the literal existence of dragons as people believe in the existence of Bigfoot or werewolves, for instance. Though this belief is also not justified in this digital era of smartphones where the existence of such a giant being couldn’t go unnoticed.
A dragon is often portrayed as a very monstrous being having noble qualities. It’s a myth in itself of how such vicious beings sometimes have mesmerizing qualities, however, dragons in their true form could be considered a coat with several arms.