25 Popular Dragons Paramount To Folklore, Art, and Culture

Dragons are mythical creatures that appear in many different cultures and time periods. They have been described as monsters, serpents, reptiles, or beasts, and they are usually thought to have wings and breathe fire. They are also said to have scales and claws, while some also have horns. Almost always they are said to be venomous, and some may have two or more heads. They may also have more than one tail and may have two, four, or more legs. There is something magical about dragons that has captured and filled people’s imaginations for thousands of years ever since we meet them even in stories written in antiquity. However, it’s not perfectly clear when stories of dragons first emerged, but we know that huge, flying serpents were described by the ancient Greeks and Sumerians.

For much of history, dragons were thought of like any other exotic animal: sometimes useful and protective, other times harmful and dangerous. That changed when Christianity spread across the globe, and dragons took on a decidedly sinister hue and came to represent Satan. Still, these fascinating magical creatures have continued to captivate our imagination through folklore, literature, and more recently films, television series, and video games. Here follow 25 Popular Dragons Paramount To Folklore, Art, and Culture that have probably touched you in one form or another.

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Feature image: Flickr; TNS Sofres



AlduinImage: flickr.com, Photo by Mike Prosser

Alduin, also known as both the World Eater or the Nordic god of destruction, is a dragon and the primary antagonist of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim video game. Alduin is a reviled force of evil that leaves even the bravest Nord warrior with quivering knees and pee-soaked undies. Hoping to trap him within the time stream, the ancients used an Elder Scroll to rid themselves of Alduin once and for all and inadvertently sent him into Skyrim’s future. Now he’s their main problem.



MaleficentImage: flickr.com, Photo by Jorge Figueroa

Maleficent, the main antagonist of Walt Disney’s 1959 film Sleeping Beauty, is one of the very few female dragons one can meet. She has a human form most of the time, but once she gets mad she can turn into a ferocious, fire-spitting dragon that makes her enemies run for their lives.


The Hungarian Horntail

The Hungarian HorntailImage: flickr.com, Phot by HumMelissa_Glee

The Hungarian Horntail is a dragon native to Hungary and is considered the most dangerous dragon breed. You know him from the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where it broke free from its chain and attacked Harry. The two of them fought in an exciting chase that spanned all around the castle grounds, almost causing Harry to fall to his death.



NidhoggImage: Wikipedia

In Norse mythology, Nidhogg is a dragon who gnaws at a root of the world tree, Yggdrasil. In historical Viking society, it was a term for a social stigma implying the loss of honor and the status of a villain.



WyvernImage: commons.wikimedia.org

The wyvern is a legendary creature with a dragon’s head and wings, a reptilian body, two legs, and a tail. It is particularly popular in British literature and is often associated with cold weather and ice.

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