Dragon Ball Z

The dragon from Dragon Ball Z!

When I was a kid, I was really into manga for a while. I learned to read comics backwards (as you do with manga) and I binge-watched a ton of anime series on television. I remember that my very favourite one was called ‘Dragon Balls’, which makes it quite obvious that my interest in dragons has been around for a very long time….

I guess that this is a bit of a stretch, because the show doesn’t really revolve around dragons. But i really enjoyed both reading and watching Dragon Ball Z as a kid, so I thought I might just write something about it anyway. The series picks up five years after the original Dragon Ball anime, and is about Goku. Along with his different companions, he defends the earth against danger – which could be anything from intergalactic space fighters to magical creatures.

In the Dragon Ball series, there are seven Dragon Balls. They look like crystal spheres, and all have a number of stars in them – number one to seven. They can’t be used for anything seperatly, but if they’re all united they will bring out the Eternal Dragon Shenron, who can grant wishes. I can still remember the first time Shenron appeared on the show, and I was blown away. He was a Eastern dragon, even though I wasn’t aware of that at the time, the kind that is sacred in Oriental mythologies. He was portrayed as kind hearted, altough he did have quite an aggressive temper. I thought he looked really cool, and that’s probably where my big interest of dragons began. A fun fact is also that ‘Shenron’ means ‘divine dragon’ – which relates to him being an Eastern dragon!

Another fun fact about Dragon Ball Z from my point of wiew is that when I first heard of it I actually thought it was a sport.. I did believe that dragons exsisted whan I was younger, so I figured it was some kind of ball game where the players were riding dragons. I do realize that it sounds very funny no, but I was convinced it was a real sport. Imagine finding online odds at the betting sites for Dragon Ball? That would be absolutely amazing!

 


The dragons of Westeros!

The mighty dragons of Westeros!

I don’ think that I have mentioned this on here before, but Game of Thrones is without a doubt my all-time favourite show. To me it’s just a series that has everything. Drama, excitement, a great plot – and of course dragons. I really like the way dragons are portrayed in the show, because it goes very well with how I imagine dragons were like if they ever existed. (A fair warning – spoilers ahead!)

In Game of Thrones, dragons are massive creatures that can breathe fire. They posess great power, and have the ability to burn entire cities to ashes single-handedly. They used to be ridden by dragon riders into war, where they were used to take over empires across both Essos and Westeros. The last surviving dragon known at the beginning of the show were the ones possesed by the Targaryen’s. They used dragons three hundred years before the War of the Five Kings, when they conquered and unified the Seven Kingdoms. When the last Targaryen dragon died, they were considered extinct.

But that would turn out not to be true, when Daenerys three dragons are born at the end of the first season. The dragons grow throughout the seasons, and are used in battle for the first time in the 7th season. When Danearys later tries to rescue Jon Snow frome the White Walkers, the dragon Viserion is killed in the battle. The Night King does however manage to bring the dragon back to life – but in form of a White Walker.

I think the White Walker-dragon is an interesting twist in the story. It does even out the odds for the upcoming war, but also the idea in itself is facsinating to me. Dragons has always been connected with fire, and now they’ve come up with something completely opposite of that. An interesting twist for sure, and I can’t wait to see what the 8th season will bring..

Unfortunately, I will have to wait at least another year for the next season to come. And the suspense is killing me. I have found something to entertain myself with until then though, and that thing is online casino. I’ve never been much of a gambler, but I do enjoy the excitement every now and then. I found a site called casinonodeposit.co.uk that is really good for someone like me, who doesn’t know the first thing about online casino. But I’ve found some great offers and reviews ther that has helped me – and I would really recommend it in order to make time pass until the new season of Game of Thrones!


Awesome sand dragon in Barcelona!

Hi again! So, I was in Barcelona with a friend the other day and I walked a bit on the beach. It was a bit too cold for me to enjoy a bath, so I stayed at the beach and soaked a bit in the sunshine and got some sand between my toes. At one point, we saw a really awesome sand sculpture and I decided to take a photo of it. It might not be the very best picture, since we were on the go. However, I think it’s a really cool sculpture of a dragon!

Just imagine all the time and hard work put down in that! I could imagine that it surely took a day or so, to get it up. I wonder where the creator got all the sand from, since it seems to contain of quite a bit of sand and buckets. The details are really well made, especially the fire piece in the mouth. I could not see what it was made of, unfortunately, but I think it is a very nice detail. Also, the wings are very thin in the top as well as the feathers behind the head. It must be quite hard to get the sand to stick and I wonder how long it will stay up. The sand will eventually dry out so I could imagine it to fall apart soon. However, it’s quite amazing to see this huge dragon sitting on the beach and walking past it.

It’s actually really large! I did not have the time to stand beside it, but it seemed like it was about knee height just in the head, and about 10 metres from the head to the tail across the sand. The body was even longer, since it’s bent. I was really surprised to see it, since it’s really not something you expect to see on a beach.

It would be awesome to see how it looks when it’s built, and I would really want to see the time laps of that. I would imagine it to be really cool to see it slowly grow, as it gets more and more sand and a bigger body. Just imagine all the small details carved in the sand such as the wings, the legs and not to mention the face! It’s surely a masterpiece and I’ll try to find a time laps video of it being built. Bye for now!


Dragons in our days

Lizards are also very much like dragons

Dragons are mostly connected to ancient times and pre-historical events. Knights, dinosaurs and vikings is more connected to dragons than cars, cellphones and television. But even if dragons them selves are not among us every day, their ancestors are. There are many animals that remind us about the dragon era, a long time ago.

Birds are similar to dragons in some waysBirds are seen every day, and is not seen that dragon-like. However, they are one of the animals that are as close to a dinosaur as we can come. From that, the step to dragons are not so big. Many dragons had, and have, feathers on their body just like some dinosaurs and just like the birds among us. So every time you see a bird, you might think of it as a small, fluffy relative to dragons.

Lizards are also very much like dragonsLizards is also a small dragon, I mean who haven’t seen one and waited for it to spit fire when their were small? They really look like a small dragon, at least some of them. Dragons are a kind of reptile and is often said to act a bit like a lizard. Look at the Chinese dragon and then at a lizard – the similarities are many.

Snakes - a small, wingless dragon?Snakes – of course I must mention snakes in a post about dragon relatives. It’s impossible to avoid this parable, since the two are very much alike. Many snakes are venomous, just like many of the dragons might have been, until some evolved the fire mechanism. They are also very flexible – the snakes use their flexibility to move and the dragons use ot to fly, hunt and survive. They both have a long tongue with split points and scale, so it’s understandable that some dragons might evolved to snakes. They might started to look for food on the ground and soon the eventual wings disappeared. The legs may have disappeared as soon as they did not need them, since all food was reachable from ground level.

I’m definitely not sure about this, but I like to think of it like this. It takes me a bit closer to the dragons and I can be enchanted just by looking at a bird or if I see a snake. Fantasies are what makes the world interesting – that’s why it’s so important.


Dragons in games

In my last post, I wrote about beautiful jewellery with dragons in them. I continued my search and bumped into the big world of games. Turns out, there is A LOT of dragons in the game world. Most of you probably knew it already, and so did I. But I could never expected it to be so much!

Dungeons and Dragons - the board gameWe all know about the classic Dungeons and Dragons, the board game that came to be a massive hit among so many people around the world. After its launch in 1974, it quickly began to climb up both the top lists and the wish lists. To many, it’s known to be the starting point to the era of our modern board games. It joins people and creates communities, as well as keeps friends together when they don’t meet up very often. It’s been an icon for board games, and it still is.

Next up is the classic card games. Not that the card games itself is connected to dragons, but many uses the motive of the dragon together with cards. It’s not rare to see a card magician, or just a card player, use their special deck with a dragon on the back. The dragon is strongly connected to magic and mystery, and sometimes also the unexplainable. Maybe this is one of the reasons that playing cards so often has a dragon on the back side, to enhance the mystical feeling of the unexplainable events of card games.

Not to forget the classic video games. Here you will find a lot of the dragons connected to games. Many of them are evil and seen as bad. Look at the classic video game World of Warcraft. The dragons in here are a very big and important part of the story, as they change the plot of the game a lot. They are close to the story and in a few places, your task is to slain them. But not only in WoW you find the dragons, also more child-friendly games has its dragons. For example, there is the very friendly dragon in How to Train Your Dragon, the online game based on the movie. Also in the spirit of Pete’s Dragon there is a few games and jigsaw puzzles.

As a way back to the card games and the casino spirit, there is also a lot of dragons in the general casino world. Craps, as I wrote about a bit earlier, has some inspiration from dragons as well. However, I was more thinking of the slots and video slots. It may be more usual for video games or board games to have dragons in them, but slots also got its share. For example, we have the dragon as a bonus symbol in the slot Koi Princess. It’s also asian inspired and infused with dragons, so the trend is strong even here. I found this at a site called freespins365.co.uk, which had a really good review of the Koi Princess slot. You can also see, if you look at the top list in the first link, that there are many casinos around. Many of them has a dragon infused games, but I found Koi Princess to be most interesting.

As you may see, there is a lot of dragons around us. The ones we see may not be the living versions, but at least it warms my heart to see that they are not forgotten. When a dragon is projected as good or helpful, like in Pete’s Dragon or the Koi Princess slot, it suddenly feels even better.


Beautiful jewellery with dragons

I’ve been browsing the web a bit tonight, just to relax a little. I came over some jewellery sites, that I really liked. I especially liked the jewellery with dragons on them, of course. Have you seen all the cool designs from Thomas Sabo? I just love that brand and I have a silverbracelet with a few charms on it. Off course – one of them is a dragon.

Yesterday I found this necklace and fell in love. Isn’t it just georgeous?

Dragonnecklace from Thomas Sabo...

Picture borrowed from www.thomassabo.com

I thought about ordering it but I guess I´ll have to save some money first. I really think it´s a beautiful piece of art. It´s made of sterling silver and has the perfect size for me. It looks similar to the smaller one I keep on my bracelet.

Anyhow, I found more stunning pieces. Look at this babies:

Dragon earrings

Picture borrowed from www.babysnake.se

I just loved the name at the store: Babysnake 🙂 Cool and cute at the same time and they had so many cool jewelries.

This earrings were made of sterling silver as well. I like oxidized silver, I think it gives the jewelry character. If it´s to shiny it´s to cute for my taste. And you don´t have to polish them as often when they are oxidized 😀 You could get a matching pendant as well.

It would be fun to sit down with a goldsmith and design my very own dragon.  Imagine an earring where the dragons tail winds among your ear and ends up in some kind of ear cuff. Or perhaps a flame from the dragons mouth. Combined with a tail hanging down from the ear. Can you imagine? Or am I lost in my thoughts again? 🙂

There are so many beautiful dragon designs out there. I just can’t get enough och this mystic creatures. So dark and powerful. My friends laugh at me and call me obsessed.. well, I like being obsessed. What makes your heart beat a bit extra?

 

 


Dragons as a symbol

Dragons have, as you might have seen by your self, become a symbol and a token. It’s wide spread among the world as a symbol of hope, power and magic. All around, you see dragons as lamps, tattoos, patterns at mugs – basically everywhere. It’s become a thing to have dragons everywhere.

Much may be because it’s strongly related to the Asian culture, with bright colours and long, beautiful patterns. It’s not a surprise that dragons are so popular, since it’s filled with magic and mystic. As said, now you can see dragons basically everywhere. Not because of hallucination, though. Dragons are displayed in many different forms and shapes, in many contexts and it’s mostly in a good way. More often than not, the dragons are added to give the context more power and a more magic touch to it.

Take for example playing cards, for Baccarat, Black Jack and poker. It’s often you see a really cool deck of cards with dragons on them, perhaps in an advanced pattern. Or if you’ve ever played the game with dices called Craps (which you can read more about here), you’ve probably seen there is lots of details with dragons in some places. Probably, it’s to give it more magic and mystic to it, but also to remind of the Asian culture with dice, cards and dominos where you might sometimes relate this to. Either way, dragons in the world of gambling and playing is very popular.


The dragon statue in Klagenfurt

There is a huge amount of dragon statues around the world. Today I would like to tell you about the fierce statue in Klagenfurt, Austria. In the 1330´s they found a large skull that they believed descended from a dragon. The skull was displayed at the town hall and many years later an artist used it as a modell to create such a “natural” image of a dragon as possible. It was an attempt to depict a creature they seriously thought  once existed. The result? A really cool statue. But not very realistic, huh?

The inspiration to the shape of the dragon named, among others, from another mysterious creature, “the Lindworm”. Have you heard of it? It should be asigned to an own post, but the Lindworm is more of a snake. A really huge one! It looks like a dragon but has no wings…

Anyway, the statue was completed in 1593. 39 years later they added a statue of Hercules with a swinging stick, aiming to kill the dragon. I didn’t´t managed to find out why they chose to do that so many years late tho. The creation is very cool where it stands in the middle of the square and I bet that it is a hot subject for photoshoots among tourists. I would love to go there myself one day to get to se this statue irl. Meanwhile, I have to settle with the webcam on their website for tourists 🙂

Funny fact years later it turned out that the scull actually belonged to woolly rhinoceros. To be honest, I have never heard about such a creature before so this gave me yet another animal to explore closer. One that actually has exists.

Can you imagine what amazing creatures who has walked around this earth long before us? In fact, I am sure that there are still many creatures left for us to explore. Species that we had not have time, or come to, discover yet.

For an example, what do you think is hidden in the deepest, darkest water. Far out of nowhere? A horrifying, but yet tantalizing, thought…

Have you seen a really cool dragon statue? Tell me about it, I just can´t get enough of them. Can you imagine how cool it would be to travel around the world just to see every single statue ever been made? Awesome!



The false facts about the Chinese dragon

Chinese dragon on festival

Most people have probably seen images and reconstructions of the Chinese dragon. Big, long, looks a little bit like a lizard, has no or very small wings and flies. Well, there is only one little flaw in that description, according to some of the books on the topic.

The Chinese dragon is probably one of the more famous ones and they are seen in many different contexts. Of course, there is the celebration of the Chinese new year where the dragon is in parades and at festivals. There is Mushu in Disney’s movie Mulan, and many other examples. But in some stories and context, the Chinese dragon flies. Even though is has really small wings, or sometimes no wings at all, it flies in movies, pictures and games like slots and video games. (More about slots and games is found here.)

Dragons may be mythological beings, but it doesn’t mean they are magical. They still apply to the laws of physics. This meaning, they cannot fly unless they have the wings for it. Obviously, the bumble bee disputes this, but the dragons are not really like a bumble bee. They need to have wings big enough to fly, if they are to fly.

So far, we know the Chinese dragon can’t fly, since it has wings way too small, if any wings at all. But the idea of it flying must come from somewhere, right?

Well, since the Chinese dragon is one of the more lissom ones, very flexible and also very strong, it can move very quickly. It can sometimes almost look like it’s flying when it quickly moves in the mountains, in the forest and wherever it is. With it being able to climb mountains very easily, it’s easy to understand that it might look like it’s flying.

So in conclusion, the Chinese dragon can not fly. It has very small, or no wings. However, it is very lithe and flexible, so it may look like it’s flying when it moves. Therefor it might have gotten the reputation that is now widely spread. Even a mythological being like the Chinese dragon must follow the laws of physics.


Dragons in different times

As I have written before – dragons have been around in many different cultures since a long time ago. Somehow, dragons came to be known all around the world – although in different times and places. How did time change the perspective of them? Are they the same now as they were before, and does that change differ anything from each other if you look at it for two different parts of the world?

In ”The book of imaginary beings”, writer Jorge Luis Borges says that ”We are ignorant of the meaning of the dragon in the same way that we are ignorant of the meaning of the universe, but there is something in the dragon’s image that fits man’s imagination, and this accounts for the dragon’s appearance in different places and periods”. I found this quote really interesting, and decided to try to dig into the subject a little deeper.

In a way, I find this to be really true. Each time and place seem to have their kind of dragons, that somehow reflects the time being. No matter if it´s Daenerys Targaryens fire breathing beasts in “Game of thrones” or the green friendly guy in “Pete’s dragon” – the dragons continue to show up in movies and books in different shapes and sizes. The more you look for dragons in culture history, the more you’ll find – often in places where you don’t expect to. You can even find them in 19th century posters promoting sobriety, in the shape of the “wine dragon”. For the most part, dragons have been assigned to be evil creatures. from Tolkien’s Smaug to the dragon with the golden skin in the story about the Greek hero Jason. All evil, most of them slain. Through the centuries, lots of dragon lifes has been claimed.

I wrote in the last post about that one common idea of how the idea of dragons came up was that people found dinosaur skeletons and created an image based on that. That might have been the case – but what made people from different parts of the world relate those findings to dragons? One theory is that dragons, in most cases, carry the resemblance of the three biggest predator threats – snakes, felines and birds of prey. That could be one explanation to why dragons popped up in different parts of the world during different time periods – all people simply had the inherited fear of the same things, which they combined to get something as terrifying as dragons.

Eastern dragons are mostly portrayed as fortune bringing creatures, in opposite to their relatives in the west. But according to some people – it doesn’t have to depend on cultural differences, but the difference in historic time. The Chinese culture, which is the oldest one, would have had more time to domesticate their dragons than the younger civilizations in the west would have. It’s an interesting thought, and to me it really does make sense. Dragons does seem to have gotten a lot more good-natured in the west lately. If you compare the dragons that are portrayed today with the ones from medieval times, they do seem a lot nicer today for the most part. During the medieval time, dragons were often used as a tool to scare people. Being scared of the same things could really unite people, and that’s what the stories about dragons was used for. Those be-winged beasts were also used as a symbol for power, evil, or simply the unknown. Dragons were used as a marker on maps to mark dangerous or un-explored areas – hence the expression “Here be dragons”.

So maybe it is time that makes the difference between how dragons are shown in different cultures – and not the cultures itself. An interesting thought, at least in my opinion. We don’t really know how dragons came to be – but maybe they are just a result of the fears all people have in common – although from different places of the world. As we have conquered those fears and grown as society, the perspective we used to have on dragons might have changed. Since those creatures have been around for longer time in China for example – their view on dragons have had more time to change, making their portraits of dragons so much more different than the ones in the west. At least, it could be.

 

petas-dragon

A screenshot from the re-make of “Pete’s dragon” (2016)