From legend and mythology to The Hobbit and A Game of Thrones, the dragon is a perennial favorite in the fantasy genre.
With its fiery breath, scaly armour, and baleful, malevolent stare, the dragon became the ultimate symbol of evil and corruption in European folklore and mythology. Often serving as a stand-in for Satan, or the power of evil gods, dragons spread death and hopelessness throughout the land. Only heroes of uncommon valour, courageousness, and purity could hope to battle these monsters and emerge victorious. Those that did became legends. They became dragonslayers. The list of dragonslayers is small, but it is filled with great and legendary names. Hercules, Beowulf, Cuchulain, Sigfried, Lancelot, and Saint George all battled to the death with dragons. Other heroes such as the Danish King Frotho, the French Saint Mercurialis, the Polish champion Krak, and the Russian warrior Dobrynya Nikitch might be less well known to western readers, but also fought and defeated dragons. This book will retell the greatest legends of this select group of warriors, while examining the myth of the dragonslayer in a historical, mythological, and even theological context.
About the Author
Joseph A McCullough is the author of several non-fiction books including A Pocket History of Ireland and Osprey's Zombies: A Hunter's Guide. In addition, his fantasy short stories have appeared in various books and magazines such as Black Gate, Lords of Swords, and Adventure Mystery Tales. He also co-wrote The Grey Mountains, a supplement for the Middle-Earth Role-Playing game. The author lives in Oxford, England.
Table of Contents
Cadmus, Founder of Thebes
Hercules and Ladon, the Hundred-Headed Dragon
Daniel of the Lion's Den
Sigurd the Völsung
St. George and the Dragon
Pope Sylvester I
St. Carantoc and King Arthur
John Lambton and the Lambton Worm
Dieudonné de Gozon, Draconis Extinctor
Lord Albrecht Trut
Dobrynya Nikitich and Zmey Gorynych
Dragonslayers form Around the World
Manabozho and the Fiery Serpents
Pitaka and the Taniwha