The ‘Draconis’ in Ira Draconis means ‘dragon(s)’ and I’ve held a special fascination for these mythical creatures for quite a while. They’re big, scaly, smart and dangerous. They’re cruel, wise, cunning and malicious. It’s like the people of the Middle Ages created the perfect villain, a character type that would be appreciated from then to now.
The fact that dragons evoke the image of dinosaurs has undoubtedly spread their appeal and who wouldn’t love a fire-breathing Tyrannosaurus with wings and a bad attitude? The concept of a giant reptilian macropredator is as alien as it is fantastic and fascinating. Though with many portrayals, the foreign aspect is downplayed somewhat. They are given the legs of a giant feline and neck/tail portions become serpentine. I subscribe to the belief that these are the best of the Western-style dragons, though I prefer dinosaurian heads (of which there is quite a variety) and thagomizers on the tails. But that’s just me.
The concept of a creature that is intrinsically better than humanity is also an interesting one. No matter what a protagonist seems to do, the dragon is going to be more intelligent, stronger and faster. The most poor humans seem to be able to hope is begrudging respect from a dragon who nonchalantly murder them with a well placed foot. Overcoming a naturally superior obstacle is a lovely plot course for any author to take, provided the dragon/obstacle is written well and eventually, well, loses.
In short, dragons are some of my favourite things that don’t exist. They’re exciting, dangerous and oh so clever. Care to share your dragon experience, literary or otherwise? Comment below and have a good day!