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Beowulf (in the foreground) battling the Dragon (in the back).

The Dragon is the third and final enemy in the Old English epic poem Beowulf, one of the earliest known works of fiction.

Biography

Fifty years after Beowulf's famous battle with Grendel and Grendel's Mother, he faces the dragon after it is awoken by a slave stealing a jewel-encrusted cup from its lair. The beast attacks Beowolf's homeland, forcing him to take action by going into its lair with his thanes.

In the end, all of Beowulf's thanes run away with the exception of faithful Wiguf. Beowulf dies in battle with the beast, but he does allow Wiguf to deliver the killing blow. After Beowulf's death, the dragon, which measured at 25 alens (50 feet long), was dumped unceremoniously into the sea. Its treasure is buried with Beowulf on Wiglaf's orders, and Wiglaf, who is Beowulf's heir, ascends the throne thereafter.

The Dragon is the first example of a fire-breathing dragon in literature.

Film Adaptation

I'm something you left behind... FATHER!!
~ The Golden Man/Dragon to Beowulf

The Dragon

The Dragon appears as the secondary antagonist in the 2007 film adaptation of the same name. He is also known as the Golden Man and is the son of Beowulf and Grendel's Mother. He first takes the form of a man colored in gold, then takes the appearance of a dragon that bears his father's appearance. Beowulf succeeds in killing the beast, and when it dies, it transforms into a young golden-skinned boy. But traditionally, the dragon had no relation to neither Beowulf, nor Grendel's mother, but was an entirely different enemy altogether.

Trivia

  • In the original book, the Dragon was disturbed by the slave stealing its cup, which this was the inspiration of Smaug in the Hobbit. Unlike the story, however, the horn that was left behind was taken instead.

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Cthulhu Mythos Villains | Trevor Henderson Villains | Creepypasta Villains | SCP Foundation Villains

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See Also
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