National Reading Movement

Famous Dragons in Literature

The favourite creature of the fantasy genre is, of course, the ferocious dragon. From the most evil to the most loyal, here are some famous dragons and the books they are from!

Smaug from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien



Smaug is one of the most notorious and ferocious dragons in literature. Drawn to the enormous wealth amassed by the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain, he decides to invade the mountain and claim it as his own, killing many along the way.

Years later, our protagonist Bilbo and a company of Dwarves embark on a mission to steal back the Arkenstone (the king’s jewel which is lying in Smaug’s lair), and reclaim the mountain from the fiery beast.

“I kill where I wish and none dare resist.”


Eustace Scrubb from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis

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One of the best character developments from the Chronicles of Narnia has to do with the character growth of Eustace Scrubb, and it all started with his “dragoning”.

One day on an unexplored island, the sulky and self-centered Eustace Scrubb, instead of helping out in a mission, finds himself in a dead dragon’s lair with a hoard of gold and jewels. Greedily, he steals the treasure and puts on a beautiful bracelet. Because of this dragon-like behaviour, he turns into one! Eustace relishes the power at first, but soon realises that he is truly a monster, and from then on, embarks on a journey of redemption. 

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”


Saphira from Eragon by Christopher Paolini

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Saphira is the wise, fearless, loyal and somewhat vain blue dragon from Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle series.

In the first book, Eragon, a simple farmer, discovers a rare blue stone which he tries to sell for food. One day, the stone hatches and out comes Saphira. An immediate telepathic bond is forged between them and as it turns out, Eragon is chosen to become a Dragon Rider. Throughout the series, Saphira serves as Eragon’s guide and together, they take on monsters and magicians in their travels beyond.

“I’m healthy as an ox. And you?”

“To compare myself with a bovine would be both ridiculous and insulting, but I’m fit as ever, if that is what you are asking.”


Long Danzi from Dragonkeeper by Carole Wilkinson

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Next up is Long Danzi, the last remaining dragon of the Han Dynasty, who is in danger of being killed by the cruel Emperor. A nameless orphan saves the dragon’s life and escapes along with him. They are then pursued by a ruthless dragon hunter and a powerful sorcerer.

Long Danzi helps the orphan, who believes she is not even worth of a name, to find within herself the strength and courage to protect him and his mysterious purple stone. An inspirational read!

“It is because of its emptiness that the cup is useful.”


Drogon, Rhaegal & Viserion from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

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We can’t talk about dragons without bringing up George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. A key part of the story is the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen to assume the Iron Throne, which means ruling the continent of Westeros. All the Houses in this brutal fantasy have their own strengths, and the Targaryens’ are their dragons.

Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion are three dragons born out of old magic to Daenerys Targaryen, and they become her fierce defenders as they mature, accompanying her in her conquests.

“Dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.”