Welcome to Here be Dragons Day 12.
Release day for Serving the Serpent is edging closer and so today I wanted to spend a little time looking at Celtic dragon lore and legend. My dragons in Serving the Serpent have many of the qualities of Celtic dragons, understandable I suppose as those dragon stories were ones I read or heard in my early years.
Celtic dragons are fearsome beasts with four legs, a long tail and the power to breath fire or poisonous gas at their foes. They come in various colours but all of them are fierce and determined. Each dragon collects a hoard of treasure. In many legends the dragon sleeps on a bed of gold and gems.
In the UK dragons are often associated with the land; even the rocks are sometimes called the bones of the dragon. I am sure you remember the scene in Excalibur when the great wizard Merlin conjures the mist known as the dragon’s breath.
In Celtic legend dragons are regarded as the most powerful of creatures linking heaven and earth. This idea is behind the motif so often seen in Celtic art of the serpent swallowing it’s tail.
Some versions of the dragons have more than one head. A truly scary prospect. Luckily most do not. In Celtic legends dragons have the ability to speak with humans and strangely some are poets or bards. They have a great appreciation for poetry and music, so much so it can lull them to sleep. In many legends dragons spend a great deal of time asleep and dreaming.
As a child I enjoyed dragon stories and read as many as I could. I enjoyed the opportunity to write a dragon tale of my own. Tomorrow I’ll be looking at the battles between dragons and humans and how some of them turned out.
Thanks for reading.