|“|| Bofur: Airborne fire breather, teeth like razors, claws like meat hooks. Extremely fond of precious metals. |
Bilbo: Yes, I know what a dragon is.
|~ Bofur, describing the dragon Smaug to Bilbo Baggins.|
Dragons are one of the most powerful creatures in the magical world, but some of them use magic for evil purposes and to take over the world. Some villains can also turn into dragons using dark magic or power based dragons.
The physical appearance of dragons in fiction (either villainous/heroic ones) are not always the same between one ans another. Broadly speaking, dragons can be divided into following groups depends on their physical appearance or other traits that they possesses:
- Western Dragons are typically depicted as huge, fire-breathing, scaly, and horned lizard-like creatures with leathery, bat-like wings; four legs; and a long muscular tail. It is sometimes shown with feathered wings, crests, fiery manes, ivory spikes running down its spine, and various exotic colorations. A dragon's blood often has magical properties. The typical dragon protects a cavern or castle filled with gold and treasure, and is often associated with a great hero who tries to slay it. Though a winged creature, the dragon is generally to be found in its underground lair, a cave that identifies it as an ancient creature of earth.
- Asian Dragons are typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs. Traditionally, they symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods, and are also a symbols of power, strength, and good luck. They have also extended range of supernatural powers, chancing size or form (most are able to take human shape), fly among the clouds or hide in water, form clouds, turn into water, change color as an ability to blend in with their surroundings as an effective form of camouflage or glow in the dark.
- Lesser Drakes is something of a catch-all category, including the lesser dragon-like beings, such as a wyvern, worm/wyrm, lindworm, etc., which are generally smaller and more animal-like in mind and behavior. Though not entirely accurate to being called dragons, lesser drakes often considered distant kin of typical western dragons. These also includes wyverns whom commonly depicted as dragons which lacks forelegs due to their wings are modified front legs.
Notable dragons include Malefor (The Legend of Spyro/Skylanders), Shendu (Jackie Chan Adventures), Maleficent when she transforms (Sleeping Beauty), Red/Green Death (How To Train Your Dragon), Deathwing and many other members of the Black Dragonflight (Warcraft 2 and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm), Smaug (The Hobbit), Alduin (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim), and the Shadow Dragons (Dragon Ball GT).