Tolkien Gateway

Dragons

Revision as of 18:59, 18 September 2007 by 60.190.223.77 (Talk)
"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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"Never laugh at live dragons."
Bilbo Baggins, Inside Information, The Hobbit
Scouring the Mountain by Ted Nasmith.

Dragons were created by Morgoth out of fire and sorcery sometime before the First Age of the Sun, when Glaurung first appeared.

Taxonomy

Tolkien designed his own taxonomic system for dragons, based on two factors:

Means of locomotion

  • Some dragons (Scatha) had no legs, or front legs alone, and crawled like snakes.
  • Others (Glaurung) walked on four legs, like a Komodo dragon or some other lizard.
  • A third type (Ancalagon, Smaug) could both walk on four legs and fly using wings. Winged-dragons only first appeared during the War of Wrath, the battle that ended the First Age, so all dragons introduced before the end of the First Age couldn't fly (such as Glaurung), although breeds of wingless dragons did survive into later ages.

Fire breathing