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"Airborne fire breather; teeth like razors; claws like meat hooks; extremely fond of precious metals-"
"Yes, I know what a dragon is."
~ Bofur describing Smaug to Bilbo Baggins.
This man slayed countless Dragons and soaked in their blood. He used his Powers so often that his skin turned to scales, his teeth, sharpened into fangs. And he stopped being human all-together.
~ Zirconis explaining Acnologia's transformation.

Dragons are one of the most powerful (and popular) creatures in the magical world. In many works of fiction, Dragons are mostly portrayed as an antagonistic force, some being savage beasts while others are intelligent and are even able to communicate with humans. Some villains can also turn themselves into dragons using dark magic.

The physical appearance of dragons in fiction (either villainous/heroic ones) are not always the same between one another. Broadly speaking, dragons can be divided into the following groups depending on their physical appearances or other traits that they possess:

  • Western Dragons are typically depicted as huge, fire-breathing, scaly and horned lizard-like creatures with leathery bat-like wings, four legs and a long muscular tail. It is sometimes shown with feathered wings, crests, fiery manes, ivory spikes running down their spines and various exotic colorations. A dragon's blood often has magical properties. The typical dragon protects a cavern or castle filled with gold and treasure and is often associated with a great hero who tries to slay it. Though a winged creature, the dragon is generally to be found in its underground lair, a cave that identifies it as an ancient creature of earth.
  • Asian Dragons are typically portrayed as long, scaled serpentine creatures with four legs. Traditionally, they symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricanes and floods and are also a symbols of power, strength and good luck. They have also an extended range of supernatural powers, changing size or form (most are able to take on a human shape), flying among the clouds or hiding in water, forming clouds, turning into water, changing color to blend in with their surroundings as an effective form of camouflage or glowing in the dark.
  • Lesser Drakes is something of a catchall category including lesser draconian beings such as wyverns, worms/wyrms, lindworms, etc. which are generally smaller and more animal-like in minds and behaviors. Though not entirely accurate to being called dragons, lesser drakes are often considered distant kin of typical western dragons. These also include wyverns commonly depicted as dragons lacking forelegs due to their wings and modified front legs.

Notable dragons include Malefor (The Legend of Spyro/Skylanders), Shendu (Jackie Chan Adventures), Maleficent when she transforms (Sleeping Beauty), the Red/Green Death (How To Train Your Dragon), Deathwing and many other members of the Black Dragonflight (Warcraft 2/World of Warcraft: Cataclysm), Smaug (The Hobbit), Alduin (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim), Acnologia (Fairy Tail) and the Shadow Dragons (Dragon Ball GT).

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