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Old 10-29-2010, 07:13 AM   #1
Raynor
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Dragon appreciation thread

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The dragon had the trade-mark Of Fairie written upon him. In whatever world he had his being it was an Other-world. Fantasy, the making or glimpsing of Other-worlds, was a profound desire. I desired dragons with a profound desire.
Esteemed wights,

What are your opinions on dragons? Are they something that attracts you, interests you, impresses you? Or are there other magical creature which hold more sway over you?



Given the more open/lighthearted nature of this subforum, I though I could open this thread here.

In return: dragons!











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Old 10-29-2010, 07:37 AM   #2
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It's normal to be somewhat fascinated by dragons as they have been part of our culture for such a long time, and I'm not only refering to European culture, as they are part of the mythology of all civilizations that happened to stumble upon dinosaur bones or teeth.

And yeah, I love them too.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:03 AM   #3
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Dark-Eye Here comes the spoilsport

I find them awfully dull and unrealistic. The latter not only in the sense that "they breathe fire and are nearly immortal", but if their arrogance is supposed to reflect their superiority to humans, how can they be so stupid as to fall for flattery? Even I know better than that.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Aganzir View Post
I find them awfully dull and unrealistic. The latter not only in the sense that "they breathe fire and are nearly immortal", but if their arrogance is supposed to reflect their superiority to humans, how can they be so stupid as to fall for flattery? Even I know better than that.
Are you arguing that good guys in Ea never get fooled by words?:P
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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Are you arguing that good guys in Ea never get fooled by words?:P
No, I was using myself as an example of an arrogant and evil person, and pointing out that dragons fall for something I (like to think I) don't.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:35 AM   #6
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No, I was using myself as an example of an arrogant and evil person, and pointing out that dragons fall for something I (like to think I) don't.
Well, I don't know how much credibility we should lend to someone admitting to be on the side of evil himself

On the whole, each and everyone in Ea has a weakness:
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Every finite creature must have some weakness: that is some inadequacy to deal with some situations. It is not sinful when not willed, and when the creature does his best (even if it is not what should be done) as he sees it - with the conscious intent of serving Eru.)
If everyone carries a software bug, why should we qq about this or that one? Some have great inherent strength, other good persuasions, charisma, foresight, craftmanship, good moral values, faith etc, etc, and nobody has all of the good qualities, that is, nobody is perfect. Are we really in a position to judge a fault, on the grand scheme of things (could any finite being have that capacity, given that each one has an inherent weakness)? And comparing ourselves in the process with, excuse me, a dragon?
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:10 AM   #7
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Where is the last picture from, Raynor?

Looks like Dol Amroth in the background.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:16 AM   #8
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Where is the last picture from, Raynor?

Looks like Dol Amroth in the background.
To be honest, I had a saved gallery.

Depending on your free time, you could use TinEye to track it down

http://www.tineye.com/search/be687d7...a851943bf3515/

Meanwhile... where were we? Oh yeah, more dragons!

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Old 10-31-2010, 11:51 AM   #9
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Okay, Tolkien dragons might be different with their flaws and all (however, not many have a very distinct personality). It's most fantasy dragons (that are supposed to be perfect) that I can't stand. But I still think they all are quite boring. I mean, what's so fun about a talking lizard?
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:16 PM   #10
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however, not many have a very distinct personality
Well, I pretty much doubt that even the most erudite ant in the entire history of the ants could understand/evaluate the likes of Einstein, Gauss, Tolkien, Plato - or maybe even Jackie Chan, Angelina Jolie or Rudolf Nureyev. But we have the ant to blame for that
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that are supposed to be perfect
I don't quite subscribe to this tbh though. Majestic, imposing, maybe superior? Yes
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what's so fun about a talking lizard?
A being with more knowledge, power and range of perceptions than most of all the creatures ever imagined? :P Indeed, let's find something more bite-sized, they are more cute :P

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Old 10-31-2010, 01:57 PM   #11
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Tolkien's dragons are indeed nice and savoury and I love both Glaurung and Smaug. I've yet to see a detailed and convincing painting or image of one of Middle Earth's dragons though. Has anyone else?

The tendency among artists seems to be guana/dinosaur-like creatures that walk upright with strong legs even though Tolkien clearly described long and slithering serpent-like dragons.

Well, I quite like Alan Lee's Glaurung in CoH but the shape of the father of Dragons is only hinted in that one (which is probably for the best to be honest).
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:38 PM   #12
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Dragons rock. They rock really hard. Bestial ferocity, elemental firepower, cunning intelligence and magic all rolled into one - how much cooler can it get?
I'll have to come back to this once I'm no longer distracted by WW. Great thread, Raynor, and great pics (I love the white one best)!
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:14 AM   #13
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Silmaril

As a fellow dragon-obsessive, I thank you for posting this, Raynor. And sorry, Agan, but Dragons > Giant Spiders.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by skip spence View Post
The tendency among artists seems to be guana/dinosaur-like creatures that walk upright with strong legs even though Tolkien clearly described long and slithering serpent-like dragons.
That's.. a matter of contention (emphasis added):

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Originally Posted by Tolkien, St . Andrews, and Dragons, page 9
The original impression of The Hobbit in 1937 had contained no colored pictures, but the second English impression of the same year and the first American edition in 1938 included five colored pictures by Tolkien, one of which was entitled “O Smaug, the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities,” Bilbo Baggins’s words to the dragon in chapter 12—an illustration now more familiarly known as Conversation with Smaug and completed by Tolkien in July 1937.

In this familiar picture we see the dragon lying on his heap of treasure, with his belly toward the top of the pile, so that he is lying curled downwards, with his head resting on the hoard, smoke issuing from his nostrils and his ears pointed and alert, his right clawed foot extended.


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Old 11-02-2010, 04:57 AM   #15
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The tendency among artists seems to be guana/dinosaur-like creatures that walk upright with strong legs even though Tolkien clearly described long and slithering serpent-like dragons.
Quote:
In this familiar picture we see the dragon lying on his heap of treasure, with his belly toward the top of the pile, so that he is lying curled downwards, with his head resting on the hoard, smoke issuing from his nostrils and his ears pointed and alert, his right clawed foot extended.
That's.. a matter of contention (emphasis added):
You are referring to this painting I believe. In any case, I never claimed Tolkien's long-worms do not have legs, I only said that they did not walk upright like a dinosaur, rather crawled on the ground like a snake or possibly a lizard, at least in the case of Glaurung. And looking at Tolkien's Smaug, it kind of looks like he might have two pairs of legs (one of the hind legs can be guessed behind the pile of gold near his left wing?). But this is not a very convincing dragon anatomically, is it? You could imagine him walking/crawling like a lizard, but hardly flying... For that, the wings are much too small and positioned far too close to his head.

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Old 11-02-2010, 05:53 AM   #16
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But this is not a very convincing dragon anatomically, is it?
I don't think this is a pertinent issue tbh. Dragons can employ forces which are far outside the realm of normal humans, and they may very well use those forces when flying, or why not, walking. I don't think there is any part of them which is reducible to normal terms. True, a lizard of their size would likely not walk upon its legs, but crawl instead; but said lizard will also not be able to talk or breath fire, due to lacking the specific powers of the dragons. You might say that dragons have an irreducible complexity ^^



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Old 11-02-2010, 06:37 AM   #17
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Dragons can employ forces which are far outside the realm of normal humans, and they may very well use those forces when flying, or why not, walking.
Yes but Ray, your argument is beginning to look contrived. My point is that Tolkien describes long, crawling, serpent-like creatures and that artists typically miss or ignore this. But the images you've provided are not of ME dragons anyway, it seems...
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:55 AM   #18
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Admirably done, good Raynor! Here is a worthy thread. Not long ago I was asked the eternal question: if you could have anything, would you choose?

I replied, without hesitation: "A dragon."

In fact, the only thing I'd rather have is more dragons. A whole gang of them. What is the collective term for dragons anyway?
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:28 AM   #19
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Yes but Ray, your argument is beginning to look contrived.
Well, I don't bother explaining magic tbh; they are magical creature, I would expect their expression in the physical realm to be more than ordinary, starting from their anatomy if you will.
Quote:
My point is that Tolkien describes long, crawling, serpent-like creatures and that artists typically miss or ignore this.
Well, I don't know, if his own picture shows his first and famous dragon as having feet, then all the rest is not out of bounds tbh
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But the images you've provided are not of ME dragons anyway, it seems...
I agree, I chose to be more liberal in my selection of images, hence the subforum. Only to serve the purpose of the thread! Also, there are lots of common streaks in all the awesome visualizations of dragons, including Tolkien's
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What is the collective term for dragons anyway?
Dragonflight, wing of dragons, or, according to Anne McCaffrey, a weyr of dragons. My favorite is dragonflight ^^



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