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Old 09-30-2003, 06:00 AM   #11
Hungry Ghoul
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The canonic value of my above given quote is not a matter for me to debate; but it is a later, post-LotR note, and is strenghtened by the fact that it does not contradict any published material.

The impression that there had been more than two dragons around need not be based on fact, and legends and rumours, especially of something dreadful, spread easily. Half the world had and still has legends of dragons, and we never had a single one to begin with.

However, Tolkien's letter to Naomi Mitchison, possibly, though not conclusively later than the Tale of Years note, might imply a number other than two, at least since these very two were not "active in far later times, close to our own". I also do not see why Tolkien's 'only two survived' statement should mean 'only two of that one kind survived BUT more of others'.
On the other hand, another possibility could arise if one were to reconcile those facts -- Scatha and Smaug were the only dragons (drakes, whatever) to survive the Fall of Angband, but were not incapable of producing new offspring, naturally "not of full primeval stature".

[ September 30, 2003: Message edited by: SharkŻ ]
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