This mythical creature has been known for its tremendous size, fire-blowing abilities, guardianship of vast sums of gold and treasures whilst being seen as a creature of courage and intelligence. It is also known for having strong links with the elements, particularly with Earth. There are many famous dragons throughout the world each with their own history. Here are a few of the most famous to wet your appetite.
The ‘Lambton Worm of Durham’ was known for its size, draping itself around Worm Hill, Durham, Scotland. For many years it was believed to guard the hill and the surrounding area, often laying waste the woodland according to folklore. The dragon had been in many battles and was hacked to pieces, but has always managed by mysterious powers to heal again. Eventually it was killed by Sir John Lambton by the River Wear and it was believed that he had taken to wearing armour covered in knife blades on the advice of local witch. The battle was frantic between man and beast with the dragon coiling itself around the attacker which was to be the cause of its death. Sir John then continued to fight the dragon cutting it into small pieces. It seems that the advice of the witch was invaluable when making his armour but more so as there was one final point which ensured that the dragon would not heal from the many cuts. As Sir John cut the dragon into pieces the witch advised him to throw each piece into the River Wear. Bit-by-bit the dragon was washed away unable to reform.
The ‘Dragon of Loschy Hill’ in Yorkshire was slain by Peter Loschy. This dragon was known for having a deadly tongue with a poisonous lethal outcome and teeth that were reputed to be equal to the size of pitchfork prongs. When Peter Loschy attacked the dragon he hacked away at the tongue until it was dead, whilst his faithful hound carried the pieces away. It is said that the hound was so happy to serve his master that after completing the task he licked his master’s face. Alas this served as an ill-omen for both of them, with the poison taking hold.
In Orkney, off mainland Scotland (UK), the ‘Meister Stoor Worm’ menaced the local people but was finally overcome when an unnamed local threw a blazing pitch tipped with a spearhead down the throat. According to legend the corpse of the dragon was huge, so big in fact that as it was dying it spat it’s teeth out which became the Faroes and it’s body became Iceland.
St George (patron saint of England UK), and his overpowering of the dragon has long been considered to be one of the main existing symbols of the Christian attempt and to some degree success to outlaw and defeat Paganism which was heavily practised. He defeated the dragon to rescue the king’s daughter from becoming the dragon’s tribute, and as a result is believed to have converted the people to Christianity. This famous encounter has further symbolism, just like the dragons released by Merlin from beneath Vortigern’s Tower. Here the idea that the people and the land itself would, unless tamed, become uncontrollable was depicted. The fear of chaos was strong during this time, and therefore exorcising darkness often seen to be central to Pagan beliefs was attacked. Defeating the dragon in some stories allows regeneration of the land, of the seasons, of relationships and whole countries. The power shown in resistance by the dragon and the reason for the battle would often lead to a bitter struggle but an achievement made all the more greater by such trials of faith. Only the true believer was thought to be capable of such outcomes, and therefore such battles were often also associated with the monarchy and the church.