Dragons

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
that would look disgusting... i like the Idea!

Question is: Do we HAVE to go for a more natural/animal look? I mean... technically the dragons are something like demon-possessed Mutants right? So they can look weird and unnatural...

legless Dragons... i think we have them in Lost tales, but they don#t appear inh later texts anymore. I still think we could have them on and off... but not for any of the great, named Dragons.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I like the slime idea but remember he's a fire dragon.
ALso, I don't want us to lose the snake look.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
"Slime lizards" are, of course, salamanders - which have some dragon-y connotations, as well.

While we are clearly creating a new creature (not directly based on anything in the natural world), there should be 'hints' of real organisms - particularly in the bone structure of how this thing is put together. No one is going to believe that the Babylonian dragon can actually walk around with those legs - as soon as you see an image like that start moving, it's just going to look...fake.

Think about the wings of Peter Jackson's Fell Beasts that the Nazgul rode. Did they seem...weirdly big? Did they look funny when they showed them wrapping around stone structures when they had landed? If you got that impression, it's almost definitely because they have an extra joint that you wouldn't see in, say, bats. Which is fine - they aren't bats, they're magical flying whatevers, but that's the point - any changes in realism can give the creature an...odd...look, and you have to be subtle with it, or the audience is going to see the CGI, not the effect.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I thought that both Glaurung and Smaug left some kind of poisonous slime trail wherever they crawled, that horribly defiled rivers and killed everything. Glaurung is also apparently surrounded by a cloud of heat or fumes, or at least produces poisonous fumes whenever he gets wet. Even when dry, his stench was enough to overwhelm one of Turin's three companions, right?
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
"Slime lizards" are, of course, salamanders - which have some dragon-y connotations, as well.

While we are clearly creating a new creature (not directly based on anything in the natural world), there should be 'hints' of real organisms - particularly in the bone structure of how this thing is put together. No one is going to believe that the Babylonian dragon can actually walk around with those legs - as soon as you see an image like that start moving, it's just going to look...fake.

Think about the wings of Peter Jackson's Fell Beasts that the Nazgul rode. Did they seem...weirdly big? Did they look funny when they showed them wrapping around stone structures when they had landed? If you got that impression, it's almost definitely because they have an extra joint that you wouldn't see in, say, bats. Which is fine - they aren't bats, they're magical flying whatevers, but that's the point - any changes in realism can give the creature an...odd...look, and you have to be subtle with it, or the audience is going to see the CGI, not the effect.
If anything, I'd be concerned about the wings being too small for the creature. Quetzacoatlus had an immense wingspan for a much lighter creature, and scientists were not sure it could take off on its own.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Well, yes, it's hard for anything that big to be airborne. But six fingers is unnatural ;).

Unnatural in a minor way you can get away with.

Too unnatural, and the mind of the audience will automatically label it a fake. They'll see the CGI.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I believe cold drake just means they can't breathe fire...

so we do have
-winged fire drakes
-winged cold drakes
-fire worms
-cold worms

does Worm include dragons with snake body but four feet? I think it does... but we still have both varieties, those with serpentine body and small feet and those without feet , do we?

Of all Dragons Tolkien painted Glaurung looks the most weird and has the most creatures thrown in... maybe because he's the archfather of all other varieties? To me the insect-element makes him seem even more creepy and disgusting by the way... i think we should keep that!

what do i mean by human-serpent-face

well more humanoid than this:View attachment 1284

but more animal-like than most of these:
View attachment 1285

though of the latter i like some elements here and there... because the more human-look makes them more scary...
There's also Saphira from Eragon.


that would look disgusting... i like the Idea!

Question is: Do we HAVE to go for a more natural/animal look? I mean... technically the dragons are something like demon-possessed Mutants right? So they can look weird and unnatural...

legless Dragons... i think we have them in Lost tales, but they don#t appear inh later texts anymore. I still think we could have them on and off... but not for any of the great, named Dragons.
It should be something that looks like it could function, no great deformities; it shouldn't look diseased and non-functional, like Brundlefly in The Fly (I'm not posting a picture of that).
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
He has a nice mimic...

But i'm pretty sure that's not what were going for.

Personally my favourite dragon of all times is good old Vermithrax from 1981 movie "dragonslayer"

 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I would say that with winged dragons, the wing membrane should stretch to the hind legs, and even past them to the base of the tail. A narrow wing membrane that only connects at the shoulder is really implausible, even for a magical demon-monster that's too heavy to fly without magic. Also, let's avoid feathers.

I'm fine with legless or two-legged dragons, not for Smaug or any First Age Dragon but as a kind of degeneration that happens over time as the Dragon generations become further removed from Glaurung and the other Dragons that had Umaia spirits. I imagine cold-drakes were also a manifestation of that waning, so I don't imagine them existing until the Second Age (but if we need a First Age cold-drake then we should go for it).
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I'd prefer four legs plus two wings, if at all possible, for Ancalagon, Smaug, and most flying Dragons before the Third Age. I read that the reason that wasn't done in The Hobbit movies is that the animators tried and couldn't get a four-legged dragon to look as good as they wanted it. Since we won't actually animate or film this, and our budget is infinite, I'd like to just pretend our animators will be better than Weta's. :p
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I'd prefer four legs plus two wings, if at all possible, for Ancalagon, Smaug, and most flying Dragons before the Third Age. I read that the reason that wasn't done in The Hobbit movies is that the animators tried and couldn't get a four-legged dragon to look as good as they wanted it. Since we won't actually animate or film this, and our budget is infinite, I'd like to just pretend our animators will be better than Weta's. :p
As I recall, they felt that the arms as wings design looked more threatening and predatory. I think, however, that stance and configuration adjustments can achieve the same effect.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I think cold-drakes are just drakes thatbdont spit fire... we possibly have them as a sideline. I guess melkor first bred firedrakes like Glaurung from a demon-serpent he hatchet and later caught some great eagles to experiment on them to get knowledge ofvtheir ability to fly... but all he got wereveventually winged dragons that spit no fire. So he mixed firewotms with winged dragons and endep up with more varieties of dragon, including hot winged dragons AND cold worms. The two dragons that escape the last battle and who presumably will become the parents of the dragons of the northern wast from which smaug com3s could then be a hot and a cold one and a winged and a worm one, so in later ages their offspring will hsve all possible varieties...
 

Kathrin

Active Member
I generally love when there are all kinds of animal features in dragons, so that not every one is the same kind of winged lizard. Snakes, bats, birds, lizards, crocodiles, dinosaurs come to mind, but everything can be a dragon, really. If Morgoth bred and developed dragons over a long time, we really can have a lot of permutations of dragons. The fire- and colddrakes, maybe wyverns and smaller dragons, everything! (I really like dragons) At one time I think there's a story where Morgoth experimented with firedrakes and dragons made of metal. So... TRANSFORMER DRAGONS? (JUuust kidding.) But really, there's something about him experimenting with how to combine specifically bred animals and these evil spirits, and that maybe first Melkor didnt succeed to break nature as much as to be able to imbue these creatures with these spirits and thus had to make metal constructions (there's that Saruman thing :D) Okay I'mma stop rambling about dragons :D

And: the most important question. Do we have wereworms?
...okay, sorry. I'll see myself out.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
We still can have flame-serpents as a weapon-type and dragon-shaped siege engines as a nod to that earlier version, but i would keep these separate from REAL dragons..
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Smallish Dragons, Dragons without front legs or without back legs, and linnorm-type Dragons could all be the result of Dragonkind waning over the Second and especially the Third Age.


I would rather not have any mechanical Dragons at all. It's very far from the later concepts of what Morgoth's armies look like. Not even Sauron, the lover of machines, has mecha.

I'd also prefer to avoid bird features in Dragons, because birds are so strongly associated with Manwe. The bird wings=good, bat wings=bad dichotomy is often a cliche in fantasy, but it really seems fitting for Arda.

"Wereworms" are... whatever we want them to be? Either nothing but a confused hobbit fairy tale, or else a type of real Dragon. I'd just prefer they don't shapeshift or have any humanoid body parts, and aren't anything like sandworms.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Right. Instead of mechanical dragons i'd rather have troop-transports, siege-towers, maybe some primitive flame-throwers in SHAPE of dragons, but only in the way in which Grond had a wolf's head. Then i wouldn't use any mecha until second Age Númenor...

Wereworms live in the deserts of the east, so even IF they exist, we will never meet them (not if we change our mind and DO some episodes in Hildorien or Cuivienen... whixh seems unlikely at the moment). However i doubt they are shapeshifters... the Werewolves are not in Tolkien, so wgy should the wereWORMS be? I suggest theyre just some sort of lesser dragon-worms...

About dragons and eagles... i never suggested feathers of bird-features in dragon-kind! Of course theyre reptiloan and have bat-wings! I wish to follow JRRTs own illustrations as close as possible...
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Of course, modern birds are descendants of dinosaurs, so the scaly lizard /feathery bird distinction isn't as sharp as you might think ;) But yes, certainly I would like to see reptilian dragons here, and not take any 'feathery' elements from Chinese (or other) art.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Birds are just a different sideline, but i'll not start another hair-splitting side discussion again..

I just suggested to use the scene where Morgoth catches some Eagles to get acess to their secret of flying before we get winged dragons, not to make our dragons look like eagles or birds! That was a misunderstanding..
 
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