Tag: dragon

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.


Dragons in different mythologies

I’ve been writing about dragons from both the english and the chinese culture now, as well as the dragons seen in movies. Obvioulsy, dragons has been part of the myths and stories in different parts of the world for a long time – and no one really knows where they first come from. They have been part of the Chinese culture for a very long time, but they have been around for quite a while in other parts of the world too – like in europe, where dragons are common in stories and myths as well. But we may never know exactly where the dragons originals came from, or who came up with them first.

One very common idea of how the dragons were “invented” is that somewhere, a long time ago, people came across a dinosaur skeleton. Not knowing that dinosaurs used to walk the earth, I can see why they found it quite frightening. Other people think that the idea for the dragons came up after seeing crocodiles or some other kind of large reptiles. However, it is hard to make out what inspired the dragons, ecpecially since they look different in different kulturs and mythologies. Like I wrote in the post about dragons in chinese culture, the dragons there looked mostly like snakes – long and slim. In European mythology though, most dragons have legs and wings, and doesn’t look that much like snakes.

In Southern Europe, they believed in what is called the “Greek dragon”. In Greece, the first mention of a dragon is from the Iliad – where Agamemnon is said to have a blue dragon motif on his sword belt as well as on his chest plate. But the greek word for dragon can also mean snake, so there is a possibility that it actually were images of stakes that Agamemnon carried. But since this was the first mention of the word “dragon”, the name “Greek dragon” stuck around. In another greek book, called On Animals, there was a type of dragon that inhabited Ethiopia. That dragon hunted elephants, and could grow to a length of 180 feet, or 55 meters. In Eastern Europe though, they believed that dragons had three heads, and usually the heads were believed to grow back if not all three heads are cut off at once.

But there are some things that the Southern and Eastern Europe mythology have in common. The dragons were scaly, and some of them could breathe fire. The dragons were also believed to have magic powers, which came from something called “drakonita”. This was like a small stone, placed in the förehead or inside the head of the dragon. You could pick it out and use its magic, but in that case it would have to be removed while the dragon was alive. The stone has a bit of resemblance to the pearls that can be seen with dragons in the chinese mythology.

So even if the dragons are a bit different in the different cultures, they do have a lot in common. We will probably never know who came up with the idea of dragons first, but it’s internsting to see that people from opposite sides of the world believed in pretty much the same thing. Did the word simply spread by stories, or is there some other reason that the entire world used to believe in dragons? Maybe they actually did exist for a while?