More dragons than the green!
The Green Dragon Friday lecture series continues, this time with a talk about dragons! Miss Pycella held this one Friday May 18 2018.
Please let me know if you’d like to sign up for a lecture yourself! Green Dragon Friday is a hobbit roleplaying event held on the LOTRO Laurelin server, every Friday between 2:30PM – 4:30PM servertime. Format-wise, GDF lectures should last no more than 10-15 minutes when delivered by in-game text messages in /say chat. This means that the lectures are rarely exhaustive treatments, but rather quick talks to whet the audience’s appetite to topics of hobbit interest.
A lecture on dragons
It seems that the Shire hobbits are fascinated about dragons! We have the Dragon’s Breath ale and pipeweed, we have dragon fizzers, kites, we have the Green Dragon… That’s a lot of dragon-y things here in the Shire. And they say that the Old Mad Baggins met a dragon himself That’s why I wanted to give you a dragon lecture. Here are my notes for the lecture I gave at the GDF on 18th May, at the Green Dragon Anniversary after-party. Enjoy!
The characteristics of a dragon
The only dragon we hobbits know is the Green Dragon inn, a merry place. But in the tales that we have heard from outside Shire borders, the dragons are not this nice. So, let’s start with the characteristics of a dragon.
They are wormlike, hundreds of years old, malicious, greedy, fiery… Hmmm. I don’t want to be rude, but they have a lot in common with Lobelia, actually! But I guess the dragons are hotter than her. Quite a bit. And larger too. Some of them crawl on the ground like snakes. But the War of the Wrath that took place in the First Age introduced a new type of dragons: the winged ones that could fly. These dragons also could breathe fire, and they were terrible! But not all dragons could do that, and those were the Cold-drakes. But wings or not, fire or not, all dragons were dangerous! They were intelligent, and their gaze and speech held a hypnotic power known as the dragon-spell. They had sharp, huge teeth, horns, and a tough scale armour. And as mentioned, they were greedy. They love to take naps on treasure, preferably on a pile of gold. But as the old saying goes: “every worm has a weak spot”. It’s usually the chest and the belly. I think the belly is my weakness too… ((There are some food stains over this part of the text.)) Better!
The origin of dragons and some notable dragons
So, where did the dragons come from, you might wonder. According to the ancient tales, an ill-mannered rascal called Morgoth probably created the dragons for his evil purposes. He already had created orcs for his army, but they were not enough, so he rolled in the dragons.
The first of Morgoth’s dragons was Glaurung who is also known as the Great Worm, the Father of Dragons. There could be a mother of dragons too, but that might be a different story… Glaurung took part in various battles, spreading terror and devastation anywhere he went. But not only his strength and scorching breath did bad things: his dragon-spell also led to tragedy. It was Glaurung’s lies that led a longshanks lad called Túrin Turambar to his sorrowful fate. Glaurung’s spell was partly the reason why Túrin and his sister kill themselves. Well, Glaurung died himself too, pierced by Túrin’s blade. It’s a long story, worth of a separate lecture.
There were other notable dragons too. The greatest of the winged dragons was Ancalagon the Black. Its name means “Rushing Jaws” or “Biting-storm”. He appeared during the War of Wrath, in the battle between the Valar (the good guys) and that evil Master Morgoth. Just when the Valar were winning, Morgoth unleashed the winged dragons, his ultimate weapon, and Ancalagon was with them. Luckily, the Valar had this sky pierate called Eärendil, who sailed the skies with a mighty ship, with a shiny jool Silmaril on his brow. This pierate slew Ancalagon who fell and crashed some towers as he fell from the sky. Go sky pierates!
Also, there was Scatha the Worm who lived in the Grey Mountains in the Third Age. Scatha possessed a great hoard he had stolen from the dwarves. There was also the Beast of Gondolin, a great fire-drake of Morgoth. It was quite a beast: it carried balrogs upon its back during the Fall of Gondolin.
And of course, the dragon that the Old Mad Baggins says he met… Smaug. He was presumably bred in Angband during the First Age, and in the Third Age, he attacked the Lonely Mountain and the town of Dale. That’s a town somewhere east from Bree, I think. He took the treasure from the mountain dwarves and drove them to exile. According to the tales, the then-not-so-old Mad Baggins travelled with some dwarves and the grey wizard to reclaim the treasure from that dragon. Smaug was quite upset that someone wanted the gold pile he liked to nap on and attacked. But there was a weak spot in his left breast, and Bilbo told about it to a person who was skilled with the bow. No, it was not our Nevermiss Any, but a longshanks lad called Bard! He shot an arrow right into that bare spot in Smaug’s armour, and so the beast fell.
Are there still dragons?
Since that day, we haven’t heard of any dragons. But there still might be some lesser ones, roaming in dark places… Whatever the case, let’s hope they stay there and don’t bother the free peoples! Dragon tales and Dragon ales are enough for me. The only dragon I need is the green one.