What if there really were dragons?
Dragon legends: the mythical animals in the check
Have you ever seen a kite? Haha, of course not. Dragons are fantasy beings, everyone knows that in kindergarten at the latest. And yet you could all safely describe a kite, right?
So let's go: Dragons are huge, usually have wings and a snake-like body covered by scaly armor plates. In addition, the creatures fight with paws, claws, giant teeth! They can also spit fire and do magic - really fantastic!
Dragons were more than just mythical creatures
In fact, people used to believe in just such monsters. In Mesopotamia, for example, archaeologists discovered 6,000-year-old stone images showing the mythical creatures. The ancient Greeks came up with a name for this: drakon means something like "the staring gaze".
Even the Bible describes a sea monster with a heart of stone, the Leviathan, as evil incarnate. Last but not least, even naturalists believed into the 17th century that dragons actually existed - although logically they had never seen one either.
Perseus - the flying hero
- Kite type: Cetus is a snake dragon from the sea with a high crest and tusks
- Dragonslayer: Perseus, son of the god Zeus
- Tension: exciting
- Horror: not very scary
- Romance: very romantic
Chained to a cliff, Princess Andromeda stands before the waves of the sea. The monster Cetus must appear at any moment. The sea god Poseidon sends it to devour the princess. Perseus flies by. He borrowed the flying sandals from his friend Hermes.
As soon as Andromeda has complained of her suffering, the gigantic serpent dragon emerges from the sea like a monster wave - but without noticing Perseus. Zack, the hero stabs the monster right in the heart with his sword. Not only did he save the princess, he also fell in love with her straight away ...
Guilt is the monster!
After all, the monsters served as the perfect scapegoats when something went wrong. Did a drought plague the land? Then it must have been a dragon. A flood, a murder, a plague?
Sure, there was a monster behind it! "Evidence" for such fantasies could be found quickly: In 1335, for example, people in the city of Klagenfurt in Austria discovered a dragon skull. At least that's what they believed. In truth, as it turned out later, it was the bones of a woolly rhinoceros that went extinct in the last ice age.
Always new horror stories caused fear and horror, all over the world: In France, for example, the six-legged, fire-breathing Tarasque was up to mischief, it was said. Or in Central America, the feathered snake god Quetzalcoatl made the sky blaze with his flames. He was both feared and adored for this.
Siegfried - the bold fighter
- Kite type: Fafnir belongs to the fire-breathing dragons and is a treasure keeper with scale armor
- Dragonslayer: Siegfried, royal hero
- Tension: very exciting
- Horror: very scary
- Romance: not very romantic
The dragon Fafnir keeps a treasure. Siegfried, a young, strong hero, wants to steal it from him and therefore attacks the fire-breathing monster. He kills it with a sword blow in the stomach. Some say he even stabbed the monster's eyes out at first.
Whatever: since dragon blood is supposed to make you invulnerable, Siegfried bathes in it - only he doesn't notice that a linden leaf has fallen on his back. So he remains vulnerable at this point. What will one day cost him his life ... But that's another story.
Fantastic stories from brave dragon fighters
In principle, it was and still applies: No terrible dragon without a courageous dragon fighter! According to legends, they ventured to the scariest places: in dark forests, lonely caves - exactly where the dragons lived. The heroes fought for their lives and exposed themselves to great dangers!
Because every dragon had special properties: According to an English legend, the body of the Lambton worm, for example, grew back together when it was cut up. The Guivre from France killed with his terrible bad breath. And the bunyip from Australia could enchant people in no time!
After all, if the courageous men succeeded in slaying a dragon, they were rewarded, for example with treasures or with the young women who had been held captive by the monsters. So much for the evil dragons. Fortunately, some good beings also fly and meander through the sagas and stories of this earth.
The fire-breathing but lovable dragon lady from the film "Shrek", for example, the lucky dragon Fuchur from the "Neverending Story" or "The little dragon coconut" from the children's book series of the same name.
Saint George - the divine warrior
- Kite type: a serpentine, winged, diabolical monster
- Dragonslayer: Saint George
- Tension: not very exciting
- Horror: creepy
- Romance: romantic
A dragon ravages the fields of a kingdom with its poisonous breath. To appease him, the farmers sacrifice two sheep every day. When there are no sheep left, the children are given to him. In the end, only the king's daughter is left. They are tied to a stake in front of the swamps where the beast lives.
But before the dragon appears, a rider gallops along - Georg. When the king's daughter complains of her suffering, he unties her. Immediately afterwards the decaying monster rushes up. Georg is disgusted, can hardly look and sticks the lance in the throat of the dragon.
In gratitude for the salvation, the whole kingdom converts to the Christian faith at George's request and is baptized.
Real lucky dragons
In China, dragons have always been revered as a good luck charm. According to the Chinese horoscope, whoever was born in the "year of the dragon" is considered a winner, particularly powerful and powerful.
And that's exactly what Chinese dragons look like: They are made up of parts of different animals - have a neck like a snake, a head like a camel, horns like a roebuck, ears like a cow, a body like a shell, scales like a Fish, claws like an eagle, eyes like the devil and paws like a tiger.
Even nowadays they keep mingling with people. Really true - as giant dolls or lanterns at the Chinese New Year celebrations.
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