Whilst there are going to be a fair few book reviews, it’s not the only thing that I am going to post about this month (although I do love that I might have persuaded some people to go and give the Pern series a read, it’s really good and you totally should and thanks to those people who have visited me/commented it’s making me really happy! *breathes again*).

Today I am going to list some of the common breeds of dragon, along with a bit of information about them.

Breeds - European DragonEuropean/Western Dragon: This is probably the image that comes to mind when we think of a dragon, a long scaly body, four legs, two bat like wing, and a wedge shaped head at the end of a long neck. Unless you live in Asia, this is the most common form of dragon that we see. These dragons were usually portrayed as evil in ancient tails, like in George and the Dragon, but in more modern times they have been seen as clever and patient, although they still have enough violent capability to eat you, your sheep, your town, and then set you on fire for good measure (see Smaug for a great example of this). The main variation in these dragons is colour, which can be any shades of the rainbow, although it will often be appropriate to the environment they live in – a mountain dragon with be a brown/grey of the rocks, whereas an ice dragon will likely be white or pale blue.

 

 

Breeds - Eastern Dragon Chinese/Eastern Dragon: The dragon which is most common in Asia, these dragons have similar reptilian features of a long serpentine body with scales, with four little legs and claws, but they have no wings. Despite this, they have an ability to fly. The main variations in Eastern dragons are the number of toes the dragon possesses, which can be 3, 4 or 5, which differs depending on region. 3 toe dragon are from Japan, 4 from Indonesia or Korea, and 5 from China. The Chinese call dragons Lung, and then split them up based on the jobs that each dragon does, protecting the heavens, the earth, the waters and rivers, of the precious metals and gem of the underworld. Eastern dragons are shown as being kind, wise and intelligent, and are considered a symbol of power. So much so that only the Emperor made it law that only he could wear the symbol of the five-toed dragon on his clothes.

 

Drake: Drake is a common term when talking about dragons, but what is actually refers to changes from source to source. What I have come to term drake is a smaller cousin to the dragon, with a generally European like draconic appearance, but not all of the abilities of their large counterparts, and they also tend to be noticeably smaller. Sometimes they have wings and can fly, but most of the time they may not have wings. Breathing fire is also thought to be a rarer ability among them than their dragon cousins, who all display that ability. Sometimes Drake can refer to a dragon that has not yet grown up, but for the most part they are their own, slightly different, creatures.

 

Breeds - WyrmWyrm: Often refereed to as the primordial dragon, or the dragon ancestor, this is a snake like lizard who has neither wings nor claws. When looking at them they do have the appearance of a snake, but the act far more like a dragon, hence why they are thought to be an ancestor of dragons. Said to prefer water, they tend to live in wells or other dark and slightly damp places, and are very good at burrowing and can move as fast as a snake can. The next step up from a Wyrm is called a Lindworm, which has the addition of two short legs and claws, which is said to be even faster than the Wyrm.

 

Breeds - AmphiptereAmphiptere: A dragon that has wings, but no claws or legs. Often they have feathered crests and may even have feathered wings instead of the usual bat-like appendages. The most famous Amphiptere is Quetzalcoatl, the feathered deity of Mexico, who was part of their mythology and deeply ingrained into their religion. Statues of feathered serpents heads can still be seen in Mexico today. Amphiptere’s in general are from tropical regions and thus have brightly coloured scales and feathers, like those of modern tropical birds such as parrots.

 

Wyvern: Seem to be related to European dragons, or at least that is where they are most widely seen. The only real difference between a European dragon and a Wyvern is the number of legs: Wyvern’s only have two back legs, and no front legs. Wyverns have been depicted in the heraldry and banners of European knight for hundreds of years, and it appears to have been a sign of strength of those who choose to add it to their banner. One other difference is that their tail is always barbed, which has given rise to the suspicion that maybe these dragons were venomous, like a scorpion.

 

And there you go, some bits of information about the most common dragon types as I see them. Of course the problem with types of dragon is that it tends to change from setting to setting, since nothing (apart from the first two classic pictures of dragons, east v west) is set in tone and authors will write them to fit their own setting, which is fine and makes for a lot of interesting reading if you are interested in the subject.

Hope everyone else is having as much fun with the A to Z challenge as I am!

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