The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
First recorded in c. I 265; still extant
Other Names
Ultimately from the Greek drakon, meaning 'serpent'


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  • Updated 5 June 2008
  • Updates planned: 1


The Worms of Morgoth

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Mighty reptilian creatures who ranked among the most feared of the servants of the Dark Lord. Of the origins of dragons, no tale tells; the first of them to be seen was Glaurung, Father of Dragons, who issued from Angband in the middle of the First Age. After Glaurung came many others to strike fear into Elves and Men for the next three ages.

Ancalagon the Black The greatest of the flying Dragons, who took part in the final defence of Angband during the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age. After a long and terrible battle in the air, Ancalagon was slain by Eärendil, and his fall destroyed the mountains of Thangorodrim.
Glaurung the Golden The first of the Dragons to be seen, Glaurung ravaged Beleriand throughout much of the First Age. He fought in the Dagor Bragollach and the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and later led the defeat of the forces of Nargothrond. Passing northwards to attack the Men of Brethil, he was ambushed and slain by Túrin Turambar.
Scatha the Worm During the Third Age, the wastes to the north of Middle-earth became infested with Dragons, especially of the kind known as Cold-drakes. Scatha was one of these, a monster that plundered the gold of the Dwarves who lived in the Grey Mountains, but was slain by Fram of the Éothéod.
Smaug the Golden Another of the Dragons out of the northern wastes, it was Smaug who famously descended on Erebor in III 2770, driving out the Dwarves into the wilderness. After the sack of the Lonely Mountain, the Dragon remained within for more than a hundred and seventy years. When Thorin Oakenshield returned to reclaim his grandfather's kingdom, the chain of events that followed led to Smaug being shot and killed by Bard the Bowman of Esgaroth.

Dragons have powers of intelligence and speech, and many are also able to cast the dragon-spell, a bewildering confusion that affects any who gaze into the eye of the creature.

The dragons were not destroyed at the end of the Third Age; some are said to have survived to our own time, but the great worms and drakes of the Elder Days are no more.

See also...

Amon Ethir, Ancalagon, Azaghâl, Balin, Balrogs, Bane of Glaurung, Bard I, Bardings, Barrel-rider, Bilbo Baggins, Black Arrow, Black Sword of Brethil, Black Thorn of Brethil, Bofur, Borin, [See the full list...]

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