Dragons of Europe: The Firedrake!


Existing specifically in German mythology, firedrakes usually live in caves and are almost always guarding treasure. They breathe fire,mostly to defend their hoards from treasure-hunters. The dragon that Beowulf defeats toward the end of the epic poem is a firedrake. Also, the infamous Smaug,from J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit, is one as well. Tolkien confirmed in a letter that Smaug was the last of his kind, the last of the “great fire-drakes of Middle-earth”. Firedrakes are described by Tolkien as being more like giant scaled serpents with wings instead of appearing as dragons do today with more of a defined limbed body. They often grew to immense size.


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