The Simple Things
DRAGONS WE HAVE KNOWN AND LOVED
A quick primer on some of fiction’s most famous fire- breathers
SMAUG, THE HOBBIT
A combination of the non-flying wyrm and a wyvern, Smaug must be the dragoniest of fictional dragons and guards an enormous hoard of treasure in The Lonely Mountain, which Bilbo Baggins steals from.
ELLIOT, PETE’S DRAGON
Recently remade, but there’s nothing like the 1977 live-action animated version of this film in which Elliot helps an orphan, Pete, find a loving family away from the clutches of his evil foster parents. Get ready with the Kleenex as Pete tells his dragon bezzie he’s done his job and must find another little boy to help now.
THE HUNGARIAN HORNTAIL, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE
A mean, lean fire-breathing machine, this is the meanest of all the Potter universe dragons and the very picture of dragonish evil.
DROGON, RHAEGAL AND VISERION, GAME OF THRONES
As beautiful and badass as their ‘mother’, Daenerys Targaryen, this trio were the first dragons born for two centuries. With firebreathing, flying and magic on their CVs, they have an impressive skill set.
EUSTACE, THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWNTREADER
A slight pretender to the dragon throne, Eustace, a 10-year-old boy, enters CS Lewis’s Narnia tale a greedy and self-centred child. When he falls asleep on a dragon’s hoard, the greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart turn him into a dragon himself. This makes Eustace a much nicer person and he’s later returned to his less scaly self by Aslan.
TOOTHLESS, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
A force for good, Toothless originates in Cressida Cowell’s children’s tales (also a Dreamworks animation). A medium-sized, sooty-scaled Night Fury, known to swoop and strike lightning in the dead of night, Toothless is in fact kind and extremely loyal. He’s not toothless either, but has retractable teeth.