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Were there any good European dragons?

Discussion in 'European Mythology' started by Theweirdtophat, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. Theweirdtophat

    Theweirdtophat Well-Known Member

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    I see that asian especially chinese dragons tend to be good and wise but European dragons tend to be bad and malicious. Why? Some have said there are exceptions with European dragons but most are depicted as guardians or terrorize people. Some have said many used to be depicted as good, but were later made evil when Christianity showed up. Some depicted Celtic, Welsh and Serbian dragons to be good, but I can't seem to find many resources or links. If anyone knows, please let me know.
     
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  2. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Draco from Dragonheart?
     
  3. Theweirdtophat

    Theweirdtophat Well-Known Member

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    lol No. I was referring to mythology, not modern fiction. xD

    Some have said that dragons were just neutral for the most part. Some say dragons only became after Christianity, but there were some sources in ancient greece and norse sagas showing dragons to be bad or at least animalistic and dangerous. I don't know if I ever saw a asian dragon to be bad, although I'm sure there are some but they seem to be almost considered to be on par with angels as far as power and goodness go.

    I was just wondering if there were exceptions and if there were any good European dragons from any country in Europe.
     
  4. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    Some mythological stories with dragons out of Wales, about pagans, Christians or Saxxons often use dragon imagery representing two sides of the conflict, one good and one evil. But they aren't really named characters, merely symbols. For the most part European dragons were, at best, symbols of destructive nature, beastial nature, or incarnations of evil. Even before Christianity gained dominance.
     
  5. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Yes, agree with this. Y Ddraig Goch (The traditional red dragon of Wales) is an example of positive symbology, and mythically it slew an invading white dragon, protecting the homeland.
    Greek myths commonly included bestial (rather than evil) dragons, some of whom were used by the Gods as especially powerful guard dogs (effectively) to protect sacred objects - for example, the Nemean Dragon.
     
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  6. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

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    A 19th-century farmer in Wales said that the little ones were "as bad as foxes for the hens", so I suppose not!
     
  7. Theweirdtophat

    Theweirdtophat Well-Known Member

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    I heard a Serbian dragon called a zmaj is a good dragon but lusts after women. The welsh dragon is an exception. I wonder why some thought European dragons were made evil by Christianity but there are many stories of dragons doing harsh things or being neutral, usually guarding something even before Christianity
     
  8. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Based on admittedly limited reading, it was around 2 concepts;
    1. Dragons began to represent evil, rather than simply being bestial/dangerous. For example, a shark is dangerous, but we wouldn't call it evil, per se.
    2. There was increased universality in how dragons (and serpents) were portrayed, rather than variance.

    I have read some things around dragons representing paganism from a symbological point of view, but no idea on the veracity of that.
     
  9. Theweirdtophat

    Theweirdtophat Well-Known Member

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    True. I wonder, was there any European dragon doing something remotely similar to what an Asian Dragon would do. I don't see too many stories of Asian dragons doing harsh things but I'm sure there's exceptions. Does anyone know?
     
  10. buddhist

    buddhist Well-Known Member

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  11. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know, the Chinese stories of human-dragon conflict usually start with someone trying to steal a dragon's eggs, so they do seem to be benevolent. They are obviously like the Indian nagas and similar ones in SE Asia: mostly benevolent and associated with water.
     
  12. Theweirdtophat

    Theweirdtophat Well-Known Member

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    What I find interesting is european dragons are usually animalize but the asian dragons usually are intelligent. Why would Christians and others make dragons evil if dragons were usually animalize and neutral. Why are asian dragons more benevolent? Do you think it's a misconception that Christians made dragons evil, and european dragons used to be good, even though there's stories of dragons being dangerous even before Christianity?

    Asian dragons seem to be involved with water while european dragons tend to be involved with fire. Why the polar opposite difference? Are there any dangerous asian dragons or benevolent european dragons. The Serbian and Welsh one is the only one I can think of.
     
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