I decided to write a little short story about dragon slaying. It’s not much, more of an exercise, really. However, I have reached a bit of a problem… How does one kill a dragon?
The most recent I have seen which involves dragon slaying is somewhere in the season finale of Game of Thrones. I’m trying my best to be vague here for I might be skirting around spoiler territory.
However, in other literary sources, it would seem that there are other weapons that has been used to slay dragons – even sheep bombs.
1. A spear to the Eye or a Giant Arrow. Well, true, a dragon’s eyes are not armored, therefore hitting it in the eye would seem like a good choice. However, it would mean that the slayer has got to be a very good aim. In a heated battle, a dragon would probably not be sitting in one spot, so hitting that tiny target would be difficult. In Greek mythology, Apollo killed the giant serpent Python with his arrows.
2. Turning to Stone. In Greek mythology, Perseus managed to kill the giant sea serpent Cetus by using Medusa’s recently cut off head to turn it to stone. The sea serpent then sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
3. A sword stab. Beuwulf managed to kill a black dragon with his sword, but he unfortunately was also wounded in the process, and died.
4. Alcohol. In Japanese mythology, Susanoo managed to kill the eight-headed Orochi by first making Orochi’s many heads drink liquor, and when the dragon got drunk, Susanoo then cuts the serpent, killing it.
5. Sea Foam. This has got to be one of the strangest weapon used to kill a dragon I have seen so far. In Ancient Indian Vedic Religious lore, a gigantic demon dragon Vritra was slain by Indra with the use of a Sea Foam. Why? Well, when they first fought, it ended in a draw, and an agreement was made that Indra will not attack the dragon during the day or night, and will not use a weapon made of metal, wood or stone, or anything dry or wet. Indra, however, found a loophole. He attacked at twilight (between day and night) and used a sea foam (neither wet nor dry, but both). The sea foam is further imbued with godly powers by the god Vishnu.
6. Explosive Sheep. A Polish myth tells a tale of a man named Krakus who killed a green dragon by smearing a sheep with sulfur, and then fed it to the dragon. The dragon in his attempt to quench the thirst the sheep caused, made him drink and drink the river water until he exploded.
7. Magic Girdle. Saint George managed to make a dragon docile by strapping a girdle around it. I am frankly not familiar with this method, though I am familiar with Saint George’s legend of killing a dragon. After making the citizens of the Libyan City of Silene convert to Christianity, Saint George then slew the dragon.
8. Shiny Object. In British folk-lore, Gerolde managed to kill a dragon by temporarily blinding it with his shiny suit of armor. His dragon-slaying days, however, was cut short, when he faced a second dragon while wearing a coat made of fabrics and garlands which he received as tokens for slaying the first dragon. The coat covered his shiny armor, and so was burnt to a crisp by the next dragon he faced.
9. Poisonous Deserts. Daniel managed to kill a dragon by serving it barley cakes made of pitch, fat and hair. The dragon eats the cakes, and its stomach bursts, killing it.
10. A Bull for Bait. In Austria, a lindwurm (serpentine dragon) was killed by a band of knights who set up a trap by using a bull. They wrapped barbed wire around the bull, sent it into the lindwurm’s lair, and once it ate the bull, the wurm was caught like fish on a line. They then dragged the creature out and slew it.
Well, that turned out to be an interesting research, and I somehow have a better idea on how to make my main character go about his dragon-slaying task… Maybe. It just goes to show that slaying dragons does not always have to involve going all out and facing it toe-to-toe. There are other creative means.
In conclusion, how should one go about killing a giant dragon? Well, not by directly stabbing it, that’s for sure. Beowulf’s death is a good enough example on how not to go about killing a dragon that way. However, trapping, poisoning, or maybe using some kind of bait would be a more realistic approach, specially if we have no access to supernatural or magical abilities, such as a magical girdle or a gorgon’s head.If you got the skill or weapon, then firing at the dragon’s weakpoint (eye, or a loose scale perhaps), may also work, specially if the bolt or arrow can be fired with a tremendous strength.
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