Dragons Today – My Sightings of These Critters

Dragon head painting on column Wat Nokor, 8th century,  Cambodia
WAT NOKOR, CAMBODIA – FEB 9, 2015 – Dragon head painting on column Wat Nokor, 8th century, Cambodia

Other posts in the Dragons series:

In Jeanne Larsen’s novel “Silk Road,”dragons are mythical creatures

that are revered by cultures that exist along the Silk Road trade routes. They are majestic creatures with the ability to breathe fire. The dragons in the novel are seen as symbols of strength and protection, and they play a significant role in the spiritual beliefs and practices of the people along the Silk Road.  

 Aided by ghosts, goddesses, dragons, and her own determination, the heroine becomes a courtesan, a musician, a runaway, a wandering swordswoman, a poet, and more .. Larsen has used a dazzling diversity of prose styles to adroitly demonstrate how history is transmuted through the centuries into something not quite true, yet not entirely false…
— “Publishers Weekly”

What could be better than Patrick O’Brian’s heroic nautical tales of the Napoleonic era? Of course, Napoleon & dragons!

Temeraire is dragon in a series of fantasy novels written by Naomi Novik. The series, follows the adventures of Captain Will Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire, in an alternate history where dragons coexist with humans and are used in aerial warfare.

Temeraire is a rare and valuable dragon, known as a Celestial Dragon, which are distinguished by their intelligence and beauty. His egg, captured by the British Navy, hatches and the ultra-precocious dragon bonds with Captain Will Laurence as a companion and literal battle wingman.

In the background, Wilberforce and others, including Laurence’s father, are trying to end the slave trade. They now face ethical questions about how sentient, fully conscious dragons should be treated. 

The series explores themes of loyalty, duty, and the ethical treatment of sentient creatures, but thru plot, not demoguery. The relationship between Temeraire and Laurence serves as a commentary on the treatment of animals in war, and raises questions about the morality of using living creatures as weapons (Are you listening US Navy?)

Temeraire’s character arc is also interesting as he starts to question the ways of the society he was born into and starts to rebel against the society’s norm of dragons being mere machines of war. He develops his own sense of morality and starts to push for more rights and better treatment of dragons. After visiting China, he also discovers cooking and develops a gourmet’s aversion to the raw carcasses normally given to dragons in favor of stewed or grilled meats with spices.

2 oft neglected movies with unusual takes on dragons These are not your great-great-grandmothers’ dragons

Dragonheart – Sean Connery & Dennis Quad

Bowen, a dragonslayer, encounters Draco. The two team up to form a travelling duo that perform an act. Bowen supposedly “slays” Draco and then collects a reward from the town or village that he protects by killing the dragon who had been “terrorizing” them.


Jabberwocky stars Michael Palin as Dennis, a cooper’s apprentice, who is forced through comedic misfortunes to hunt a terrible dragon. While a comedy, it actually depicts medieval life as struggling in the mud, filth and crumbling masonry — more realistically than many Hollywood epics. You learn not to sleep under the castle walls. Then there’s the King’s food-taster who, on discovering some plaster in a dish, declares it “Norman,11th… no, 12th Century.”

The film is Gilliam’s solo directorial debut, after he co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Jones

Finally, what would be the scientific classification of dragons?

One conjecture I found:

Domain – Eukarya
Kingdom – Draconalia
Phylum – Chordata
Sub-Phylum – Vertebrata
Class – Dracos
Subclass – Monotreme or Therian (egg laying or live young)
Order – Wyrm
Family – Dracoedeae

Genus – Draconus
Species – Rex  

But this ignores the problem of distinguishing among the many different dragons we’ve encountered above, so expect a variety of families, perhaps even orders.

By Cascoly

I've been exploring and leading trips for over 40 years. climbing & trekkng in the Alps, Andes, North American mountain ranges and the Himalaya. I'm retired from mountaineering now but world travels in Europe, Africa & Asia continue to expand my portfolio. Besides private travel, I now focus on escorting trips to India & Turkey. Other interests include wide reading in history and vegetable gardening / cooking. You can download digital images here, or find images at https://steve-estvanik.pixels.com. We have many thousands of images we haven't displayed yet; so, if you have a special need or request please contact us