Dragons

Nicholas Palazzo

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!

Indeed. When Bilbo calls Smaug "Chiefest a d Greatest of Calamaties", it is an echo of Ancalagon the Black.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I've begun working on a clay sculpture of Glaurung. It doesn't look like much now because I've just barely covered the armature in clay, but I hope to have all the modeling done by the session on February 13. After that, the sculpture will take a few months to dry enough to be fired and painted.

Would you guys be interested in some photos of the process, or would you rather just see the piece when it is finished?

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MithLuin

Well-Known Member
The creative episode on Dragons was Session 4 - Episode 22.
Tolkien seemed to enjoy serpentine dragons. Corey Olsen's first impression of dragons as a child were dinosaurs, and thus when he later saw D&D monster designs, he found them to be proper dragons. Trish Lambert's first experience of dragons was Maleficent from Disney's Sleeping Beauty.

First question: Did Morgoth start with a physical creature (prehistoric dinosaur-like creature, giant snake, etc), and then invest it with an evil spirit, or is the form of Glaurung created 'from scratch'? Glaurung is a high ranking Maia (not 'merely' an animal).
  • Digression - Embodied maiar who use their bodies (ie, eat, breed) are embodied in a different way from Valar/Maiar who appear physically. Discussion of the difference between Melian, the Istari, and Glaurung
Creation of Draugluin and Boldog are the precursors to the creation of Glaurung. Morgoth invests his own power into Glaurung. Glaurung was originally a Maia of Lorien; he is now embodied as a dragon at the end of Season 4. Morgoth transforms Glaurung into a dragon, imbuing him with power and abilities (like breathing fire) and then curses him to never be sated.

Glaurung is below Sauron and Gothmog in the hierarchy of Angband. He is a 'recent convert' to Morgoth. He's greedy ('dragon-sickness'=possessive desire for treasure, without surcease). His interest in the silmarils is apparent. He is only called 'Glaurung' after he becomes a dragon.

Dragon abilities linked to physical attributes: Large and strong - Pummel and destroy Laketown, can take out Erebor. Long of body for crossing chasm. Thick, scaled hide - difficult to pierce. Massive - more tank than speed in battle. Fire-breathing. Oviporous - dragons lay eggs.
  • Slow and lumbering? Or fleet of foot? He can certainly get up to speed, but agility/ quick change of direction unnecessary.
  • Body does not drag on ground - slot of dead vegetation is not gouged up earth
  • Long tail
  • Legs - lizard-like, not feline. Body clears the ground, but is not too high
Still a juvenile, but body is full-grown
  • Monster is bigger/more powerful than starting point, but large/more-or-less full size
  • Adds fire-breathing (in Season 4)
  • After Season 4:
    • Hide --> Leathery to Scales (full armor)
    • Color changes --> Dark/drab to golden
    • Dragon's voice
Welsh flag:

Trish Lambert suggested this image:
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Nick suggested a Spinosaur:
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or a rage drake:
2630

Leonine body types are rejected (avoid too much leg). Body structure should be more reptilian (lizard).

Lots of positive comments about this image:
2631
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I don’t think very much of the backstory discussed in this session will come out in the show. It’s more for our reference so we better understand Glaurung’s character.
I can roll with that. I thought it was that we were going to talk about all that onscreen.

Looking at speed, he could be very quick "off the ball" and very hard to stop once he gets going, a bit like Reggie White, the late NFL defensive end. White was 6'5", 300 lbs, could bench-press 425 lbs, and could run 40 yards in 4.69 seconds. Teams couldn’t run at him because he could chase down backs and stop them in their tracks. In the pass rush, White could bull-rush offensive tackles, go around them, you name it. Unfortunately I can't show any clips.
 
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MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Glaurung will be a surprise when he appears in Episode 13. We do have permission to show the-maia-who-will-become-Glaurung earlier in the season, but we have not worked that idea into the scripts yet. Any backstory that is going to come out will likely happen in later seasons as it is relevant. The audience may be curious why Glaurung is such a wild card who clearly doesn't serve Morgoth very directly....and we may use some of this backstory to tell that story. But only if it comes up, in flashback.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Lots of positive comments about this image:
2631
I believe I suggested this... I'm happy there is some support for it, although I perhaps think that the features that signal Chinese Dragon too much could be toned down.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Well, etymologically all elvish words for Dragon are connected with snake, so it must have had some importance to JRRT...
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Those were my first Dragons...

Nowadays i think dinosaur-dragons are a bit out of date... after Jurassic Park!

Today i'm more going towards Dragons as demonic entities, which is very Tolkien i think.


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Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I haven't posted an update on the Glaurung sculpture in a while, so here he is.

If it seems like progress has been slow, that's because I started out working too fast for a sculpture with so many undercuts, and he back of his body started cracking and falling off the armature. That was a little terrifying, but I managed to fix it, and now I'm making sure to give the clay time to dry before adding more.

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Darnok

Member
Very cool! If you could, i would consider making the face a bit longer. The current face it fine, but it almost looks too human, and takes away a bit from the more "awe-inspiring" side of Dragons. Maybe Something more pointed, with an almost beak-like (though, not a beak) effect? 2737
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I quite like the more "human" expression on smaugs face... i think it makes him relatable and gives him character
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Very cool! If you could, i would consider making the face a bit longer. The current face it fine, but it almost looks too human, and takes away a bit from the more "awe-inspiring" side of Dragons. Maybe Something more pointed, with an almost beak-like (though, not a beak) effect? View attachment 2737
Thanks for the feedback. As I’m carving the scales in greater detail, the whole sculpture is naturally getting thinner, and I think the face already looks a little longer.
27442745
Also, those nubs on the top of the head are not the horns; they’re placeholders. I haven’t added the horns or ears yet because they would be in my way as I carve detail on the back and left legs. Those will make the face appear longer as well.

I did, however, intentionally choose to make Glaurung’s face kind of short. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always imagined the faces of Dragons in Middle-earth evolving to become longer over time. Smaug’s face would be more like the Dragons in the illustration you posted, and Ancalagon would be somewhere in the middle. Maybe it’s just my aesthetic preference; I prefer longer-faced Dragons, and I’ve always thought of Smaug as a more handsome and elegant Dragon than Glaurung.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the feedback. As I’m carving the scales in greater detail, the whole sculpture is naturally getting thinner, and I think the face already looks a little longer.
View attachment 2744View attachment 2745
Also, those nubs on the top of the head are not the horns; they’re placeholders. I haven’t added the horns or ears yet because they would be in my way as I carve detail on the back and left legs. Those will make the face appear longer as well.

I did, however, intentionally choose to make Glaurung’s face kind of short. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always imagined the faces of Dragons in Middle-earth evolving to become longer over time. Smaug’s face would be more like the Dragons in the illustration you posted, and Ancalagon would be somewhere in the middle. Maybe it’s just my aesthetic preference; I prefer longer-faced Dragons, and I’ve always thought of Smaug as a more handsome and elegant Dragon than Glaurung.
The sculpture reminds me of Draco, the dragon voiced by Sean Connery in Dragonheart.

 
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