Dragons

Kathrin

Active Member
I'd love them to have dragon shaped siege equipment they can have a whole merchandise line of dragon themed war equipment :D Yeeaah probably better if the metal dragons never appear. (Maybe some rogue smiths can experiment with it and fail miserably). But regarding how dragons look in general, we only have three or four dragons as references, and there must have been lots and lots of dragons from the first ones to Smaug. Of course it shouldn't be too wonky and just be any kind of dragon inspired by all mythologies and all animals, but it'd be boring if there were only the "Hobbit-Smaug"-type dragons, sometimes with or without wings in slightly different colors. About animals: I meant rather that, for example, the head could be inspired more by a crocodile's or a dinosaur's or a snake's or could be even slightly beak-like, the general build and number of legs could vary etc. I totally agree that feathered wings are much too close to the giant eagles and should be off limits.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I'd love them to have dragon shaped siege equipment they can have a whole merchandise line of dragon themed war equipment :D Yeeaah probably better if the metal dragons never appear. (Maybe some rogue smiths can experiment with it and fail miserably). But regarding how dragons look in general, we only have three or four dragons as references, and there must have been lots and lots of dragons from the first ones to Smaug. Of course it shouldn't be too wonky and just be any kind of dragon inspired by all mythologies and all animals, but it'd be boring if there were only the "Hobbit-Smaug"-type dragons, sometimes with or without wings in slightly different colors. About animals: I meant rather that, for example, the head could be inspired more by a crocodile's or a dinosaur's or a snake's or could be even slightly beak-like, the general build and number of legs could vary etc. I totally agree that feathered wings are much too close to the giant eagles and should be off limits.
I think they only get siege equipment by Gondolin, since of the Elven cities, Nargothrond is underground with an easily-accessed bridge and Menegroth is destroyed twice by the Dwarves and the Feanoreans. Gondolin is the only one that would need siege equipment.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I think they only get siege equipment by Gondolin, since of the Elven cities, Nargothrond is underground with an easily-accessed bridge and Menegroth is destroyed twice by the Dwarves and the Feanoreans. Gondolin is the only one that would need siege equipment.
I'm not sure who "they" are here, but there are plenty of fortifications in Beleriand which would require siege equipment to take out.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I think the camps around mithrim will become forts at one point, minas tirith is a fortress, there should be fortresses in the ered wethrin, the falas and vinyamar should be fortresses, the feanorian outposts in ard galen should be fortresses, there should be feanorian fortresses in dorthonion, on lake helevorn, in maedhros march and later on Amon Ereb... if i was Morgoth i'd see to develop some siege equipment, such as towers, rams, catapults,trebuchets, ladders, large screens and gabion walls, maybe some sort of roofed troop-transport or moveable shelter, ships prows, drills, siege bows...

I can see many possibilities for a dragon-motif in the designs for these, eben without "dragon-tanks"...
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Maedhros builds a fortress atop Himring. Surely Morgoth knows of this. We may or may not show its fall (in the aftermath of Unnumbered Tears), but it seems quite likely siege equipment would be involved. Same with the other more minor Fëanorean outposts and fortresses Haerangil mentions. I'm not sure if the outpost on Amon Ereb will ever be besieged (it's pretty far south), but if so, it would be in the final overrunning of Beleriand.

Sauron takes the island fortress of Minas Tirith on Tol Sirion in the aftermath of the Battle of Sudden Flame. I don't know what that will look like, but we will almost certainly show its fall.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
So, the Hosts have requested that Glaurung move quickly. They think that for him to be menacing without wings, he needs to be able to get right on top of his enemies, not be ponderously slow-moving. So, that's something to consider in our design concepts!


Also, coincidentally, Jenny Dolfen has recently depicted the scene where Fingon's archers confront Glaurung:
https://goldseven.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/then-fingon-rode-against-him/



She stated that she was inspired by the fat Glaurung of Inger Edelfeldt as well as Ilon Wikland's depiction of Katla, and also made this comment:
"When I was younger, I always drew [dragons] like sleek and pretty snakes, and I couldn't imagine how to turn them into ugly brutes, until I looked closely at crocodiles and analysed why they scare me so much. ;) "​
And as long as we're referencing Tolkien's own artwork, there's always this dragon:
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I don't know about Tolkien's artwork, dragon looks tangled up in his own coils.

On his mobility, maybe he's faster when he's younger, before he really bulks up? Because it does take him a long time to cross Teiglin and heave his bulk across before Turin stabs him.

Moving slow isn't necessarily a sign of lack of threat; slasher movie villains like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees rarely move faster than walking speed. It's to emphasize that the killer will always keep coming after their target, no matter how much they run.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I don't know about Tolkien's artwork, dragon looks tangled up in his own coils.

On his mobility, maybe he's faster when he's younger, before he really bulks up? Because it does take him a long time to cross Teiglin and heave his bulk across before Turin stabs him.

Moving slow isn't necessarily a sign of lack of threat; slasher movie villains like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees rarely move faster than walking speed; it's to emphasize that the killer will always keep coming after their target, no matter how fast they go.
The crossing of the Teiglin doesn't actually take all that long. Just long enough to dislodge a stone and for Turin to stab him. Given that we don't know how long Glaurung is, the scene described doesn't give us much indication of Glaurung's speed.

The slow, threatening walk is indeed terrifying against trapped victims. I just don't think it will have the same effect when we're talking about a wingless dragon attacking mounted elves.
 

Kathrin

Active Member
I did some doodling for fun about glaurung, and of course this is a lot more cartoony than the realism needed for film adaptation. I tried to find a balance between "facial expression" and believable dragon but I think I didn't quite pull it off, its too much like a character for animation. But I still think Glaurung should be something of a real character, not just a particularly big and scary beast. (although I like the idea of a very bizzare monstrosity like that roger Garland one but I have the impression that would be a challenge to make that one into a real sentient character)

Here I've drawn him quite smirky but I'm actually not sure, is he very "earnestly evil" or does he kinda have a "playful/mischievous side"? What I wanted to get at is that I imagine him to be able to be expressive, so there would have to be some "human" influence in the facial expressions.

Also I'm not sure about the body type, which basically, as all of you have discussed already, is about what animal to pair with "dragon attributes" I'm personally leaning away from the tank version/giant heavy reptile (very heavy beast that'll squash/bite everything to death) and more towards a heavy but agile, very fast and strong creature that'll attack explosively, and is kinda already a prototype of a winged dragon, just from how it moves and what its strength in combat is. Then the wings would be an upgrade and not a complete 180 turn. So the ones that were proposed here are very reptilian, with legs besides the body and very long, tube like bodies, but I wonder if you could have a dragon that has a bit more of a runner-build, that could actually sprint... he would have to, right? Otherwise I kinda have trouble to see Glaurung as giant force he is. (but still very intrigued with the roger garland drawing, but maybe there could be some "mutated" version of a more mobile creature). I think nobody really wants the snake dragon, they are fun to draw but tough to imagine playing the Glaurung role.

Also a question I thought of: What do you reckon how fire breathing works in this world? Is it the GoT style giant flamethrower, or a bit more subdued, or is it very hot air that sets everything on fire, or some kind of magical fire? How hot is it about? Not that important I was just wondering.

anyway just things that went through my head while I was doodleing.


glaurung development.png
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Very neat! I will have to wait until I am on my computer to get a look at your notes, but I understand the tension between creating an animated dragon with personality and semi-human facial expressions. . .and trying to make it look like a realistic-looking beast. I think your sketches certainly have a personality, leaning in the smarmy direction. That built-in smile is creepy!

Corey Olsen's preferences were for a crocodilian tank-like dragon with cautions against leonine legs. But, not everyone shares that preference! So, certainly, if you find a different body type more believable, go for it in your designs.
 

Kathrin

Active Member
Very neat! I will have to wait until I am on my computer to get a look at your notes, but I understand the tension between creating an animated dragon with personality and semi-human facial expressions. . .and trying to make it look like a realistic-looking beast. I think your sketches certainly have a personality, leaning in the smarmy direction. That built-in smile is creepy!

Corey Olsen's preferences were for a crocodilian tank-like dragon with cautions against leonine legs. But, not everyone shares that preference! So, certainly, if you find a different body type more believable, go for it in your designs.
The notes are mostly what I already wrote :) Yeah but I think maybe that tension between those two extremer models can be resolved somewhere in the middle I dunno... (or sth crazy that goes in a completely different direction) and yeah then there's preference, but whatcha gonna do.
 

Kathrin

Active Member
I love to draw snakey but he's even tougher to believe than the full tank reptile version... Well I'll go back to the workshop maybe I'll get to sth. satisfying eventually.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I’m not sure why it has to be believable. The later dragons, I mean Smaug (not Ancalagon!), they should me more believable but I think the First Age stuff is a bit different.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
It has to be horrifying and intimidating... that would be my premise..

Ancalagon maybe more than Galaurung...
Glaurungs Horror maybe should be exactly thar he is NOT completely unhuman... i think the humanesque reminiscence in him should be the horrifying element..

While Ancalagon... to me the exact opposite! He is Leviatan and Behemoth above everything else... a different category of fear!
 
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