The youth and adults alike have a fascination for dragons. Over the years this legendary creature has become the most famous of all mythical creatures. Dragons were repeatedly used in literature from mythology, fairy tales, film, video games and role-playing games of pop culture. Although dragons first appeared in myths approximately 4000 B.C., a part of our mind wants to believe that they might have once existed. The appearance of real dragons in the shape of dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex reinforced our belief in this mythical creature.
Dragons are typically depicted as large and powerful serpent or reptile with magical or spiritual qualities. It appears in legends around the world but different cultures have different perceptions. European dragons were often malevolent and associated with evil which is the natural enemy of humanity. While Asian were perceive to be benevolent and spiritual, representative of the forces of nature. The two traditions although different have evolved separately, but have influenced each other through cross-cultural contact in the recent centuries.
Dragon iconography started in the early days. The dragon symbols are found on many artefacts notably in the category of personal objects. Most of them are accoutrements pertaining to the hunt or war. Dragon motifs are used as talisman. Objects with dragon symbols are popularly believe to provide the wearer with protection against imaginary dangers. Even the Viking warriors were fanatics of the dragon figureheads. They installed the prows of their long ships with dragon figures. With the dragon leading their assault people were frightened and scared leading them to submission.
Dragons are featured in numerous works of literature. From the classics, like the Old English epic Beowulf and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen to the story of Saint George
slaying the dragon. In modern literature it is commonly featured within the fantasy genre. Prominent works include J.R.R Tolkien’s Silmarillion and The Hobbit. Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, George R. R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels and Christopher Paolini’s tetralogy Inheritance Cycle.
Dragons have also been popular in other forms of media such as tv shows, movies and video games. These forms of media are reaching more people giving the modern depiction of the dragon more widespread. Movies like Dragonheart and Eragon depicted dragons as good beings which saved human lives. Dragons are heavily used in the popular role playing game system Dungeons & Dragons, this served as inspiration for many other dragon games. Dragons have evolved over the years. Today, they are no longer viewed as evil manifestation but seen in a different role, from human friends and companions to keepers of wisdom and power.
Everybody loves dragons. It proves to be a very effective marketing tool because dragon iconography has a volcanic promotional appeal. It has a tremendous impact. Promotional products with dragon motifs are very popular from clothing, accessories, home items, drinkwares, hobbies, toys and stationery. Even simple images of dragons have succeeded in capturing the global market and launching multi-billion dollar consumer empires. Owing to its success, many brands these days are coming up with unique and innovative ways of using the dragon iconography in their brand.
Dragons are our constant companions in books, movies and computer games. This mythical creature became most recognisable and loved from legend and fantasy. Dragons became an important ingredient that ensures success in literature for every age. People irrespective of age love dragons because they open up their imaginations. Dragons preserve our childhood and help keep us believing in magic. They give us all wings and allow our imaginations to take flight.