MiddleEarthBlog: Of Dragons


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Of Dragons

  It is said that the Valar did not have the power to create new life but Melkor is credited to bringing about the existence of two different races on Middle Earth, the Orcs and Dragons. He didn't actually create either race out of nothingness. What he did was to take a certain race or species and through the use of dark and terrible magic pervert it. Orcs were said to have come from captive Elves held in the dungeons of Melkors fortress Angband. As for Dragons I have not been able to discover what beast he used for this transformation but transform he did. After seeing the strength of the Elves he felt that Orcs alone would not be sufficient to aid him in their defeat so he begat the race of Dragons.There were two types : (Glaurung) which were flightless and (Ancalagon) which had wings and thus the power of flight.Smaug of course was Ancalagon.Winged-dragons only first appeared during the War of Wrath, the battle that ended the First Age, so all dragons introduced before the end of the First Age couldn't fly (such as Glaurung), although breeds of wingless dragons did survive into later ages.Also there were fire breathers and those that breathed Frost. The father of Dragons was named Glaurung who was slain by Turin Turambur. The one Dragon that most Tolkien fans are familiar with is of course Smaug. In the late Third Age the dragons bred in the Northern Waste and Withered Heath north of the Ered Mithrin, stirred by the return of the King, and began to make war with the Dwarves around year 2570 , DainI and Fror of Durins Folk were killed by a great cold-drake in 2589). It was perhaps in these wars that dragons swallowed four of the Seven Dwarf rings. The dragons also shared a love of treasure (especially gold), subtle intelligence, immense cunning, great physical strength, and a hypnotic power called "dragon-spell". The best way to talk to a dragon under the circumstances of this spell (when it was questioning you) was to not directly give it the information it wanted, as this would compromise you and your friends, but not to flat out deny it an answer, because this would anger it to violence. Therefore, the best way to talk to the dragon is to be vague and speak in riddles- apparently dragons find it hard to resist wasting time with riddles. When Bilbo is in the cave he answers Smaugs questions about who he is using terms like Barrel Rider and the Lucky number and through these what seemed to be clever riddles Smaug knew he had come to Laketown and was one of thirteen others ( Dwarves, He could tell by their smell) and because of these clues decided to destroy Laketown, he really was quite the clever Dragon. He of course was slain by Bard the Bowman but he was not the last Dragon Gandalftold Frodo that "there is not now any dragon left on earth in which the old fire is hot enough [to melt the Rings of Power]", indicating the presence of other, lesser dragons. An interesting aside; Dragons always slept with one eye open if they felt or found anything suspicious around their treasure cave and knew each bit of their treasure down to the smallest bit.

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