With J.R.R.Tolkien´s Smaug being probably the most famous of their kind, dragons are the indispensable propriety of many fantasy novels and movies. However, there was a time in the past when people actually believed that dragons were once really walking the surface of the Earth. This belief was driven by the findings of dinosaurs´ bones or even complete skeletons. It´s no surprise that people thought of dragons when looking on these remains of the biggest creatures that ever existed. During the ages, many legends and popular dragon myths were created and these became a basis for modern fantasy stories. In China, dragons are even the real center of the culture. Thanks to its very old history, the mythology of dragons is quite well established and we can expect similar attributes of all dragons we can meet in the theater or in the book. But how well do you know this mythology? In the following list, 10 popular myths about dragons are listed. Enjoy!
Image Credit: Playbuzz
10. There is only one dragon species
Image Credit: Youtube
Not at all! In most works of a popular culture, dragons have many sub-species. There are dragons looking like giant snakes, gargoyles, hydras, wyverns or basilisks. In a popular AD&D game setting, there are so many types of dragons with their own personalities and powers that it can be a stand-alone scientific discipline.
9. No dragons in ancient Europe?
Image Credit: Pinterest
In a common knowledge, ancient European cultures are usually not connected to dragon mythology. But the opposite is the truth, there were at least four dragon species in an ancient Greek mythology – marine dragons, fire-breathing dragons, serpents and Dracaenae, the female dragon monster.
8. Every dragon can breathe the fire
Image Credit: Dragons Wikia
Maybe the most common of popular dragon myths is that all dragons can breathe the fire. It is the most characteristic of all dragon species ability. But there are many dragon types in different mythologies and not all of them can do this iconic fire-breathing.
7. Dragons were always enemies
Image Credit: Fanpop
In western cultural areas, it´s usual to depict dragons as terrible monsters who want only to destroy. But in many other cultures, dragons are rather helpers and protectors who want the best for good people and use their powers to help us. This is one of famous dragon myths which is definitely wrong!
6. Dragons are semi-divine
Image Credit: WallDevil
It is sometimes thought that semi-divine level is the highest one dragons ever achieved in the dragon mythology. In fact, there are many cultures which considered dragons as gods. Asian cultures are the first example. Also in the Central America, the dragon was worshiped as a god. In particular, some mesoamerican cultures worshiped Quetzalcoatl – the feathered serpent.
5. A good weapon is the only way to kill a dragon
Image Credit: Wired
In many popular dragon myths and on their quest to save a princess, noble knights usually slew the dragon´s head with a sharp sword, St. George killed „his“ dragon with a lance and Smaug was killed by the Black Arrow. But weapons are not always necessary to win a battle with such a powerful monster. For example, there is a story about killing a dragon with poisoned cakes in the Bible.
4. All the dragons can fly
Image Credit: On Mark Productions
It´s the same as with dragons breathing fire, there is a single picture of a dragon – a lizard type creature with wings that can breathe fire. But this comes from famous dragon myths known in the west. In other cultures, dragons can look different. In Japanese dragon mythology, dragons look like snakes and do not have wings.
3. All the dragons can hypnotize you with their speech
Image Credit: USA Today
OK, it´s the same river once again. And we all know from where it comes, right? If Smaug can talk and intoxicate you with his words, it doesn´t mean that all dragons can do it. Some of them can´t even talk…
2. The legend of St. George killing the dragon is of British origin
Image Credit: Wikipedia
The most famous of all popular dragon myths is that of a Roman soldier St. George who slew a dragon. It is very popular in Britain so it is sometimes considered to be purely British legend but it is not true at all. In fact, the legend has the eastern origin and almost every western culture has it implemented in its mythology.
1. The secret Order of the Dragon?
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Among popular dragon myths, there is one which talks about a secret organization called Order of the Dragon. Who the were? Weren´t they dragons in a human form? Don´t worry, they were not although the order really existed. It was a chivalry order founded by Sigismund, the Holy Roman Emperor in early 15th century. Their purpose was the protection the west against Ottomans and they had a dragon as their seal.
So, it was the list of famous dragon myths. If you liked it, you should try another of our lists, Top 10 Unbelievable Facts About Monsters, with some interesting information inside.