Dragons are some of the most popular and loved creatures, and people are just crazy over them. Of course, they don't exist in real life, but it has never caused any reduction in our love for them. Technically, dragons are like super creatures, and they are huge serpent-like beings that possess different supernatural powers. In the common culture, dragons are usually portrayed as large four-legged creatures, which have gigantic wings to help the fly, have very thick skin and powerful muscles, and have unique powers like breathing fire and all. In many instances, dragons resemble snakelike creatures that have very long bodies, and when they fly, it might look like a train is running.
Experts have coined the term snakelike dragons for them. This longness associated with dragons is justified as in cultures from where they originally emerged (Chinese, Korean, and Japanese culture mainly), the word dragon literally means "long". Dragons are an essential and indispensable part of many cultures as well, and you'll find that many countries have different artefacts and statues, and many of them have references and visuals of dragons, like Chine, Japan, South Korea, Korea, and other different countries in Southeast Asia.
If you read more about them in detail, then you'll find that dragons in Asian and Southeast Asian cultures are depicted as creatures with good intelligence levels and not like mindless masculine beasts. In Eastern culture, they are often wingless, have four legs, and look like snakes. While in western culture, the idea of dragons is mainly formed on the basis of an already established idea of eastern culture and eastern tradition. In western culture, dragons are usually depicted as monsters with giant claws that kill people, and they are often tamed and domesticated by heroes and saints, just like in the common legend of Saint George and the Dragon.
When talking about the origin of this mythical animal, there are no concrete sources or stories that can prove when dragons first emerged. However, looking into scriptures and old texts tells us that they are as old as the ancient Greeks and Sumerians. Since then, you'll find a lot of mention and information in our history and mythology about these fantastic beasts that are the perfect examples of masculine power. There is a lot of confusion and contradiction about dragons in different cultures and ideologies. In some places, this creature is depicted as a sinister beast that represents Satan, and they can do nothing but harm. Knights and Saints put their life in danger to kill them or tame them, and the only thing they want is to wreak havoc.
At the same time, there is no shortage of texts and beliefs that portray the dragon as a holy creature that has come down from heaven, is very useful and intelligent, and wants to protect us from evil mythological powers. You'll find people debating and fighting over the true nature of dragons and their relevance in different cultures. The word dragon surely is pretty powerful and has great importance in popular culture. Dragons are pretty famous, and nobody can deny that. Regardless of what fiction you like and where you are from, people will not believe you if you say you don't know what a dragon is.
When somebody says the word dragon, most of us can easily picture it. However, that picture is not the same for everybody, as the depiction and portrayal of dragons in different sources vary strongly. You might picture a dragon as a cute cartoon-like creature from child-friendly video games, or you might visualise a gigantic beast from movies and video games. Regardless of the different ways in which people think about dragons, one thing is for sure, that the word dragon indeed stirs a lot of emotions.
Some might consider them evil, and some might think of them as heavenly creatures. This debate is never going to end. Dragons are super interesting, and they have been a vital source of inspiration for different entertainment sources. Read further and get to know more about the way dragon has influenced popular entertainment and culture.
Are dragons Real?
One of the most famous dragon questions that arise is "Are dragons real, or is it just a myth?". Most people will happily accept that a dragon is nothing more than a fantasy creation created for entertainment reasons, and nothing like this ever existed. However, some people do not agree with this and believe that dragons exist. You will get all sorts of theories and scientific explanations from them to support their belief.
Most of the people who believe that dragons are real usually connect dragons with dinosaurs, whose existence is scientifically proven. Around the 4th century BC, a Chinese scholar claimed that he found dragon bones deep buried in the land, resulting in many questions. But we know that dinosaurs vanished from the earth around 65 million years ago, and it is believed that humans didn't really exist until 3 million years ago, so nothing can be concretely said about the relevance of such dragon theories. Still, the big question on the existence of dragons has never stopped them from influencing different cultures.
As you must have already guessed, the Chinese culture is highly inspired by dragons, and the emperors in early times considered the dragon as a symbol of power and imperialism. Different kings and dynasties who ruled China associated the dragon with their boldness and royalty, they worshipped dragons, and even today, you'll find dragons in many religious sites and places in Southeast Asia. A major part of modern-day China was ruled by the Han Dynasty from 202 BC to 220 AD. The founder of the Han Dynasty, Liu Bang, claimed that he was conceived when his mother dreamt of a dragon.
Now let's talk a little about the modern world, about which we have concrete scientific proofs and findings. Only some centuries back, sailors and Chinese traders who sailed on trade routes near Indonesia claimed that they had seen dragons. This led to many rumours amongst people, and many started believing that Asian dragons had again come to life.
However, this misconception too was soon rendered false as explorers and researchers found out that the creatures the Chinese traders saw were not actually dragons but a special type of monitor lizards called Komodo Dragon. The Komodo Dragon is a living animal that kind of looks like an actual dragon. You will read more about it further in this article.
Another animal that led to an increase in dragon myths is the Nile Crocodile. It is a reptile native to sub-Saharan Africa that can grow up to 18 feet in length. It sometimes walks with its trunk risen off the ground and looks like a dragon. Modern animals like these have also played an important part in gaining public attention towards them and dragons.
People fascinated by dragons show interest in these animals. Some wealthy dragon lovers even go to great lengths to try to bring them home and make them pets.
These were rumours like these that made people believe in dragons, and their interest in these creatures increased. This then led to the creation of different legends and tales about dragons, and they became an indispensable part of the fantasy world just like the myths about Centaurs and other mythical beasts.
The Chinese love for anything dragon related
China and dragons, both of these words are strongly interconnected whenever you think about them. Dragon has a very strong importance in Chinese culture and mythology. The level of importance Chinese culture and mythology gives to the dragons is just unmatchable. Different Chinese rulers made dragons their symbols of imperialism and rule. From ancient times, the Chinese considered the dragon a mighty and great creature and respected it.
The Chinese had (and still have) a very positive outlook towards the fire breathing beast. They considered it a lucky and heavenly creature. Different omens and superstitions were related to dragons in China. The dragon was connected with bringing rain, granting wishes, and blessing the earth. The Qing dynasty was the last imperial dynasty to rule China. They adopted a Chinese Dragon as their official flag.
The dragon on their flag is called the Azure. Qing ruled China till 1912, which is just around 100 years ago. It is a clear indication of the importance the dragon gets in China, even in the modern era. The Chinese dragon is a very contrasting creature in comparison to its western counterpart. For Example, the Chinese dragons, or the east Asian dragons, is usually depicted a snakelike and long creature.
That's the reason why giant snakes are often connected with dragons. The western dragons are mammal-like creatures that look like dinosaurs and aren't usually very long in length, unlike Asian Dragons and Chinese Dragons. The Chinese dragon has certain peculiar and exciting features. For Example, its head is very aggressive and fiery-looking, the dragon's teeth are countless, and its hands and legs have powerful claws.
In popular entertainment as well, dragons are often associated with Chinese culture. Chinese gowns and dresses often have dragon motifs in books, movies and video games, and dragon robes are given as gifts to nobles and important officials. Under British Rule, the Hong Kong coat of arms had a huge dragon, which shows that even the westerners in the modern world respected the Chinese dragon.
In different paintings of Chan Buddhism, you can spot dragons flying behind clouds in the sky, representing the truth and the difficulty we face in seeing it clearly.
The dragon is an important part of Chinese art as well. A lot of Chinese paintings, vases, and statues are inspired by the dragon, and if you visit any Chinese household, then it is very unlikely that you'll not find anything that is related to a dragon.
The Chinese fantasy is strongly connected to the dragon, and it is never going to change. In this part of the world myths about faries and other popular western creatures are not as popular.
Dragons of Asia
Culture and the importance of the Dragons
The dragon has been an important figure in East Asian culture and lifestyle for millenniums. For around 4,000 years, the Asian dragons have been considered the symbols of power and truth by the religious groups and traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Many believe that they should be worshipped, and they bring rain and joy. The dragon is connected with the famous concept of Yin and Yang as well.
It is linked with yang as it represents the masculine and male concept of light and action, in contrast to its relatedness with yin, as the dragon is also associated with the feline concept of darkness and coolness. In Korea, there is a special low-lying mountain on the east side of Seoul, which is in the shape of a blue dragon, and on the western side of the capital is a high mountain called the White Tiger.
Not only in Korea but in other cultures as well, the tiger is often connected and related to the dragon. The reason behind this is quite apparent, the dragon is the mightiest and the most powerful creature one can think of in the fantasy world, and the tiger is also regarded as the noblest and the most powerful animal in the real animal world. Dragons have importance in Japanese culture as well.
There is a famous pond in the imperial garden of Kyoto, Japan, and according to a popular legend, a dragon king used to live in that pond. When droughts happened, the monks used to pray in the garden to please the dragon king to bring joy in the form of rain. For centuries, there has been a famous legend in Malaysia that a dragon guards a precious jewel in Mount Kinabalu.
The legend says that many people have tried to steal that precious pearl, but the dragon is brilliant and smart. He lives on the top of the mountain and has been protecting the jewel for centuries. If Vietnamese, "Hạ Long" literally means "descending dragon", it is said that the Vietnamese people had dragon ancestors, and they are their descendants.
There is another popular legend that says that dragons arrived on earth from the moon. Asian cultures love dragons but the stories about magical unicorns and the like are almost non existent.
Popular entertainment with Dragons
You will find dragons and its reference in different parts and forms of entertainment history. Most of the information that people possess on dragons has come from different sources of entertainment like books, movies, web series, fantasy computer games, stories, and others. The dragon is like a very tempting and attractive element for all the entertainment creators out there, thanks to the awesomeness and mysteriousness this creature possess.
The dragon is like a very powerful figure, and you can use it any way you find comfortable. It is seen in popular entertainment creations that the dragon is portrayed in different forms and formats. Sometimes you'll see the dragon as the heroic figure representing goodness and fighting its way to glory. And sometimes, you'll see it given a sinister character, and the hero will fight with it till its last breath to overcome the gigantic beast.
In short, the dragon is just too good an idea to be left alone by people, and you'll find it is in the themes of different fantasy-based entertainment products. It has been the theme of various books, like the original 7 Game of Thrones books, the trilogy by Tolkien, and other many medieval volumes. The bulk of East Asian fantasy cinema includes dragon reference, and you can see it in popular movies like Shang-Chi, the famous Dragon Ball series, the Pokemon series, and others.
One thing which can be said with surety is that the dragon is going to stay as one of the most iconic figures in fantasy entertainment, more movies will be made on it, and writers will keep on writing books based on them. Entertainment about mythical creatures like mermaids is considered pure fun. Dragons are way more than just fun and games in these cultures.
Popular online games with Dragons
Talking about entertainment is never complete without the mention of video games. Some people say the games are going to rule the entertainment industry soon, as video games are getting more and more advanced, and the developers are putting in exciting features and crystal-clear graphics.
Fantasy games always have been the most popular video games for decades, and no good fantasy game is complete without a dragon in it. Every gamer likes to play a game where he gets the role of a brave knight who has decided to slay the mighty snakelike dragons hidden deep inside the caves and mountains.
Or you may want to control the powerful black dragons that breathe fire and maintain peace on land and sea both. There are a wide variety of video games based on the popular "Dragons" theme and below we have listed a few of the most relevant titles:
Game developers adopted the dragon-inspired theme for creating games years ago, and it can be seen through classic titles like Mario. Latest PC and Console games like "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" and "Dragon Age: Inquisition" are totally based on fantasy worlds where you get to play with dragons. Not just PC and Console games, but mobile games like Dragon City, Dragonvale, and Dragon Mania are entering the territory as well.
Dragons from Pokemon
Pokemon is a fantasy world and media franchise that is popular among kids and youngsters. It is all based on different fantasy creatures called pokemon. Humans exist in the pokemon world and catch these pokemon. They tame them and train them to fight against other pokemon. Pokemon has been a popular source of entertainment for more than 25 years, and it has various media references and types, including cartoon series, games, and cinematic movies.
Dragons have a huge importance in the pokemon world. As you learn more about pokemon and watch the series, you'll find out that dragons are like the most powerful types of pokemon and give a lot of power to their masters. Technically, the dragon is not an individual pokemon in the fantasy universe, and it is a type of pokemon. Different pokemon fall under this type, like the Dragonite, Druddigon, Rayquaza, Charizard, and Mega Charizard. In the Pokemon universe, the dragon type pokemon are the most powerful and surpass other pokemon types in terms of attack, defence, and power stats.
The dragon-type pokemon are tough to find and are challenging to train. It is a very long process to train and upgrade a dragon pokemon, and the masters who use them are very powerful and hard to defeat.
You can say that the dragon pokemon are like deities in the animated universe, thanks to dragons' cultural and mythical importance in general. Stories and mythical beasts like Pegasus is not used as much in the popular fantasy franchise.
SEE THE DRAGONS
Popular dragons in movies
Movies are considered one of the best sources of entertainment, and people just love them. All of us have grown watching different movies and tv shows, and dragons have been the most notable character from all the fantasy and mythological movies. You will find the dragon presence in different types of movies and television shows.
For Example, the popular TV Series Game Of Thrones is based on different clans fighting with each other to rule the kingdom, and the most powerful contender is the one who has dragons. Popular movies with dragons include The Hobbit, the Harry Potter series, which literally every kid has seen, Dragonslayer, and Godzilla.
Along with the above-mentioned movies and TV shows, there are dragons in cartoon movies and animated titles as well. Disney is termed as the best and the most popular media creator for children movies, and you are likely to find a dragon in many of Disney's fantasy titles, like The Reluctant Dragon, the Sleeping Beauty, The Sword In The Stone, Dragonslayer, and Pete's Dragon. If you are into fantasy and want to watch a dragon movie, then you'll have an extensive collection of titles to choose from.
A lot of the dragon movies are also often tied to the wizards fantasy.
Books about Dragons and Fantasy
Just like media, books are also a widely adored source of entertainment, and they too have been strongly influenced by the dragon theme. To check how much the fire breathing beasts have influenced the fantasy books, simply step into any book store, and you'll find a lot of dragon books in the fantasy section, and we are sure of it.
Books have a special connection with them, mainly because the bulk of cultural information and work we have on dragons dates back centuries, and at that time, books and paper was the only source of storing information. You will find dragon references in very old and ancient books dating back to 1,400 BCE.
For Example, in the "Epic of Gilgamesh," there is a story about a dragon being slain. When talking about books, some of the most popular titles that come to mind are the classics, the Game of Thrones series, and The Hobbit Trilogy, and do you know what the similarity between the two series is? Dragons!
Both of these books series are fantasy masterpieces, and they include very strong and detailed dragon stories and references.
Dragon King of the World
As dragon-influenced culture is mainly dominant in the eastern parts of Asia, it is understandable that most books and print media about them are published in this part of the world. Manga comics have a huge fanbase, and they rule the hearts of their readers.
One very famous manga comic book is Dragon King Of The World. As the name clearly indicates, it is a fantasy based manga comic filled with a lot of action, martial art fights, mighty dragons, and other supernatural elements. Authored by Bo Yi Chong, Dragon King Of The World is very trendy among fantasy lovers, and it is being published for years.
If you are a manga lover as well, then make sure you read these thunder-loaded comics.
Bearded Dragons aka Komodo Dragon
With a rich history, majestic wings, fire breath, and powerful claws, dragons are intriguing our minds from very long ago. Thanks to these mysterious powers and mythological references, we humans are strongly attracted towards dragons more than we are to other animals, and it is totally justified. As it is not possible to see them in their actual form now, we have decided to go with the next best alternative, to see other animals that resemble their qualities, visual qualities at least.
The Komodo Dragon and the Bearded Dragon are the reptiles today that look almost like a dragon, and this is what makes them so attractive and popular. The Komodo Dragons are found only in Indonesia, and they look very similar to an actual dragon. In earlier times, people believed that Komodo Dragons were real dragons, which then strongly influenced the western perception of them.
Komodo Dragons are so popular that many people try to keep them as pets. However, they are a protected species, and it is illegal to keep them personally in private ownership. Still, many cases have come to light where people have tried to do so. Some say that these unique lizard-like creatures have come from heaven, we are not sure of that, but scientists have proved that they have been thriving upon the Indonesian islands for millions of years. They are pretty big in size and can be up to 5 feet long. You can see them in zoos. These are very popular, and most big zoos keep them, Another reptile that resembles the dragon is the Bearded Dragon.
It's an omnivore lizard that has 8 different species in existence today, and its head is what makes it so special. The head of a bearded dragon is exactly similar to the head of a dragon, as seen in many movies. With an array of spikes, it also has a "beard of spikes" under its chin, giving it the name "bearded". Unlike the Komodo Dragon, the Bearded Dragon is a pretty homely and gentle animal, and as they are considered as symbols of actual dragons from history, many people love to keep them as pets in their homes, which is totally legal.
This unique lizard will give you the perfect look of a real and living dragon. However, you might miss the wings a little too much.
Chinese Dragon Statue
In Chinese history, the dragon has its special significance, which we have well understood now. It is the inspiration for a lot of artwork and craftsmanship in the Chinese subcontinent. You will find different paintings and robes with dragon-inspired themes and designed easily in Chinese art stores. But, the best and the most detailed form of artwork that truly portrays and expresses the beauty of these beautiful beasts are Chinese Dragon Statues.
For centuries in history, Chinese nobles and imperials have adored these beautiful statues carved out of jade, stone, wood, and metals. If you look closely, then the dragon is a pretty complicated and difficult thing to even draw, let alone carve out into a statue. It takes expert and skilled sculptors months to create a beautiful Chinese Dragon Statue.
You can find them in art stores and galleries easily, and you are likely to find them in every good art collection. As the Chinese consider the dragon a symbol of power and auspiciousness, these statues have been a part of the Chinese royal courts for ages.
Even now, you'll find these statues in many homes and buildings, royally scintillating goodness and positivity.
Warm and Dragon Wishes
Shazzy Davies author of the article.