So I’m working through a section of the book right now where one of the central characters has their first encounter with a Dragon. Like most fantasy readers, I love dragons. smaugTo me they are quintessentially epic fantasy. But they come in many varying shapes, sizes, characteristics, and abilities, and every person conjures a different mental image during their first run-in with a dragon in a particular book.

The first time I see the word “dragon” in a book I’m reading, Smaug the terrible immediately comes to mind. I was raised on Tolkien and The Hobbit, and it has obviously made a lasting impression. I’m curious what each of your first experiences was with dragons, and what image pops into your head when encountering one in text before the author inserts any description. I’m currently working out the finer points about how the dragons in The Kingdoms of the Core will look and act and hoping to get some input from the reading community.

Another decision point in writing dragons into fiction is what abilities they will have. Are they intelligent? Can they speak to the human(like) characters?  Can they fly? Breath fire? Mind-control? etc. I’ve always been more impacted by fantasy that is lighter on the magic and heavier on narrative, plot, world, character arcs, etc., and so I lean more toward a dragon that isn’t casting mind-control spells over cities and the like. drogonNothing against magic-heavy fantasy – TKOTC will definitely have magic in it, but more of the A Song of Ice and Fire or The Lord of the Rings variety, where it is introduced in small doses with particular characters and builds over time to be something very important. Would love to hear your thoughts on that as well, but back to the dragons.

What features of dragons are the most appealing to you, and which dragon from literature is your quintessential dragon?