Archive for October, 2013

Allegory of the Dragon

Posted: October 5, 2013 by zacharyandgillian in October 2013



Dragons always remind me of what is sacred.  Much over-popularized in games and movies, dragons once occupied a holy place in the mythology of nerds.  Part of the namesake of the most ancient of basement entertainments, dragons were the quintessential “better half” of Dungeons and Dragons.  For every role-player began their adventure traipsing through dungeons, but few would ever lay eyes on a dragon.

Not for long, at least.

Dragons are the most majestic of lore.  Kings of Fantasy.  They are Benevolent Overseers of Moral Perfection, such as Dragonheart’s Draco – protecting the Knight’s Code and having faith in man.  They are Malevolent Usurpers of Perverse Degradation, such as the well told tale of Smaug.  But in each case, they are larger than life.  Singular in their greatness.  In 15 years of playing Dungeons and Dragons, travelling through countless countrysides, I can safely say I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve set (imaginary) eyes on one.

Each time, whether I was 16 or 26, it caught my breath.  They were the pinnacle.  The 7 figure salary of the role-player.

It is strange that they should be so, however.  There are a slew of other mythical beasts just as strange and terrifying.  If not more.  Certainly, titans and sprites, pixies, and the undead should compare.  Dragons, when stripped of their divine aura, are really just big lizards with wings that spit fire.  They are made up of components other animals that we master and cage on a regular basis.

Fantasy, as a genre, has become more acceptable over the years.  With it, so has the metaphorical inflation rate – dragons are far more common.   It has eroded the divinity of the creature, while keeping its scales and talons.

But I like that.  No matter how familiar a dragon becomes, it will always maintain its sense of nobility, presence for me.  But I like that as more come to know draconic glory through tale and song, it becomes a more familiar beast.

We are dragons.  Sacred by our own right – benevolent or perverse.  Some of us sit on mountains of treasure that was never truly ours to begin with, while others fight for the glory and equality of our world.  And as media spreads the word of our greatness further and faster, we are revealed as the fleshy contraptions of biology and chemistry that we are.

We have not become less sacred.  Just more understood.