Dragon Lovers discussion

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Dragons: good or evil?

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message 1: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (authorjejohnson) | 5 comments Hello everyone! I've always wondered about dragons' roles in books and movies and how they're portrayed. In the older stories, dragons are usually considered something evil (i.e. St. George and the Dragon, Smaug in LOTR, the dragon in Beowulf, even the dragons in the Harry Potter series).
Yet in newer stories they can be good, (Saphira in Eragon for one, and even some of the dragons in the Earthsea series). So I want to know what you think: Do you see dragons as evil, bad characters or do you see them as good, helpful or friendly characters? Or do you see them as both? Just curious ;)
By the way, I see them as both, depending on the dragon (just like people, they can be good or evil). But in general, I see them as good.
-Jenna


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

hear, hear!


message 3: by Austin (last edited Aug 19, 2009 09:26PM) (new)

Austin (501stlegionnaire) | 13 comments Dragons are like people. That's how they should always be. They have emotions and are intelligent beings so they can be both good or bad but I always prefer and love dragons that are good.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

That's true. They are not mindless, savage animals( as many prefer to think of them) they are intellligent beings that make descisions, for the good or for the bad.


message 5: by Austin (last edited Aug 20, 2009 09:20PM) (new)

Austin (501stlegionnaire) | 13 comments However, I can't seem to find any good books with these types of dragons. The Age Of Fire series by E.E. Knight is one good one and the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini is another. James Maxey's Dragon Age series has both good and bad dragons. I might try Jo Walton's Tooth And Claw. Do any of you know any others? I want dragons that could talk or mindspeak.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

The Age of Fire series is one of the best.

The last book of the Immortals Quartet has a civilisation of dragons, but it only takes up a few chapters.


message 7: by Austin (new)

Austin (501stlegionnaire) | 13 comments Yes the Age of Fire series is the best and Dragon Rule is coming up this winter. There is supposedly 6 books in the series. I'll check out Immortals Quartet. Thanks.


message 8: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (authorjejohnson) | 5 comments Hey guys, thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to check them out too.
Jenna


message 9: by Kevis (last edited Aug 21, 2009 05:18PM) (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) I think Dragons have been stereotypically considered evil because of the mythology that surrounds them. In Western culture, dragons were always malicious and evil. This may have a great deal to do with the biblical representation of the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

However, in the East, primarily Asia, dragons were thought of as spirits of good luck. To meet a dragon was to portend wondrous things to happen to an individual. Hence the reason there is so much symbolism of dragons in Asian culture.

I think it's inaccurate to say that dragons are not inherently evil since dragons traditionally have always been represented in our culture as something to fear. The concept that dragons can be good or bad just like people is a uniquely modern one. As society changes, so does its taste. Writers today want to change the stereotype of dragons and that is okay. But that is an entirely new concept in literature that has only started to take hold within the last half 30 or 40 years.

Incidentally, in my own fantasy novel, I decided to feature both kinds of dragons. I think it's very interesting to be able to showcase the traditional evil dragon alongside the newly reinterpreted good one.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

True,
originaly they were considered evil because they represented the unknown. The beyond. The undefinable. Man has an inborn fear of what he cannot put in a catergory and preside over. And to them, the unknown must be evil so henceforth it must be destroyed.


message 11: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (authorjejohnson) | 5 comments I agree Kevis, about the dragon being traditionally portrayed as a symbol of evil. It has been for centuries. So have ravens, spiders, bats and of course witches. But we all know that more often than not, these things are considered "evil" because they either symbolize something associated with evil or death (the raven hung out around battle fields because they are carrion birds and they were clever enough to figure out that a battle meant food), or they are thought to practice something evil (witches were considered evil mainly because they didn't adhere to the strict Christian beliefs of earlier times).
It's nice to know that we are slowly applying more deep thought to these once traditional beliefs and coming out of it with an understanding that not all that is mysterious and strange is bad :).
-Jenna


message 12: by Austin (new)

Austin (501stlegionnaire) | 13 comments What really matters to me is that I wish all dragons are intelligent. I want them to be able to talk, mindspeak, think, and other things humans can do. A great disappointment to me was Chris Bunch's Dragonmaster trilogy. I thought that the dragons could talk however they were treated as dumb animals instead.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Dragons are wonderful animals. They can be quite friendly and helpful, depending to their personalities. They are just like people. They can vary, depending how they are treated or how they live. Some may have been raised into a family of darkness that may only know evil. If a dragon is chased and fought and wanted dead, it may not have a liking for the ones who try to hurt it. Many times this is sadly the case, as most people do not see dragons as the amazing creatures they are. Instead, they are viewed as horrible pests that cause destruction. This is only because of what people have done to them.


message 14: by Austin (new)

Austin (501stlegionnaire) | 13 comments Yes, dragons and humans must live together in harmony.


message 15: by F.J. (new)

F.J. Hansen (fjhansen) | 5 comments Personally, I prefer dragons who are honorable and friendly. But, it is inevitable that some will choose to be not so friendly, though they would have, to them, a very good reason not to be. Just like Humans.

Austin:
I recommend the Dragon Companion trilogy by Don Callander, about a real world librarian who his whisked to a fantasy world and becomes companion to a dragon.

Also, there's a book that has just become available, Draconia: Forging Trust, which revolves around a world inhabited by dragons and Humans who come to the planet to set up a colony.


message 16: by Shiloh (new)

Shiloh (mementomordi) Austin wrote: "However, I can't seem to find any good books with these types of dragons. The Age Of Fire series by E.E. Knight is one good one and the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini is another. James M..."

There is a collection of short stories called "The Dragon Book". This book features stories from some major names in sci-fi and fantasy among the authors are Garth Nix, Tamora Pierce, and Jonathan Stroud. Because it is multiple short stories (all about dragons of course) so it features 'good' dragons, 'bad' dragons, alien dragons and animal dragons and even depressed dragons. I highly recommend it!


message 17: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (authorjejohnson) | 5 comments I feature both good and evil dragons in my books. One Kruel in particular descends from a tribe of humans who were cursed and transformed (so they tend to have human characteristics - greed, compassion, anger, etc.) My dragons are definitely thinkers, but not all of them could be considered good guys ;)


message 18: by Ricardo (new)

Ricardo Chévere (dragonwriter) | 4 comments Austin wrote: "However, I can't seem to find any good books with these types of dragons. The Age Of Fire series by E.E. Knight is one good one and the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini is another. James M..."

Hello Austin,
Maybe you should try my series, DRAGONS, and its two already published titles, The Essential Ties and The Fury. My take on dragons is completely new, different and fresh; nothing like it has ever been written before. But, don't take my word for it and check it out right here on Goodreads, or on Shelfari or Facebook. Most authors are bound by their human condition, seeing everything through the eyes of a human; in my novel, I look at the world through the eyes of dragons who are not bound by our human virtues, rules, morals or history. So, take a look at my version; I think you'll like it.


message 19: by Dragon (new)

Dragon | 5 comments Mod
I think dragons can be both.

As said above, dragons are like people. They have emotions and there are naturally good and bad dragons!

BUT! There are ways to make a dragon good or evil.
Good: Giving gold or items, praising, successful tames
EVIL: Hitting with a sword, failed tames, hopping on before a tame. Stealing gold makes them evil as well


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Dragons can be either they are like people


message 21: by Christian (new)

Christian Rowe | 1 comments I agree they can be both yet also think that those that harm people must have been betrayed by a human before so that formed it's hatred toward people


message 22: by Ethan (new)

Ethan | 2 comments i have no clue if there good or evil but i believe that they have a sense of emotion and feeling some could be compasionate and others could be cruel


message 23: by Ethan (new)

Ethan | 2 comments i wish they were real so humans and animals could connect with them


message 24: by Samuel (new)

Samuel Hill | 2 comments Austin wrote: "Yes, dragons and humans must live together in harmony. "

While there remain humans who seek to destroy rather than to learn about the unknown, humans and dragons can never live in harmony. If there are dragons alive in this day and age, I believe that they are living in remote places away from humans. Not in fear of humans, but to keep themselves alive.

My view on dragons is that they are neither good nor bad. They are more vastly intelligent beings than humans could ever or will ever be. humans are the most destructive creatures on earth and when we eventually die, dragons will be one of the many species of intelligent life to come out and heal earth from the sickness that humans have given her.


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