The Dragon Paradox
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 Published On Mar 29, 2024

"Dragons aren't real in the same way that fish aren't real" – JRR Tolkien

The problem started with a book.

Actually, I suppose it started with a show, “Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real,” that I watched, enraptured, late one school-night. And you could say it made me a little… obsessed — not just with dragons, but with the paradox right there in the show’s title. If dragons aren’t real, the show asked, how does seemingly every culture, no matter how far apart, have legends of the same creature?

…It's a question that kind of ruined my life.

0:00 The Dragon Paradox
0:47 Dragonology Changed Me
2:00 Dragon Taxonomy is a Nightmare
3:46 Sympathy for the Dragon
5:46 Searching for Answers
7:38 The Dungeons in the Details
9:42 Dragons (and Fish) Don’t Exist
10:42 ‘May Contain Ranting’
12:59 Gotta Classify ‘Em All
14:51 Fantasy vs. Reality
17:48 The Answer (sorta)
19:18 A Fantasy Made Real

Media Shown: Dragonology, Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real/Dragons World, How to Train Your Dragon, HTTYD 2, HTTYD: The Hidden World, House of the Dragon, Delicious in Dungeon (anime), Dungeon Meshi (Manga), Game of Thrones, Shang-Chi, Sekiro, Puff the Magic Dragon, Shrek, Spirited Away, Beowulf, The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug, Dungeons and Dragons (Cartoon), D&D (Movie), The Dragon Prince, The Pagemaster, Dragon Tales, Pete’s Dragon, Mulan, The Flight of Dragons, Jack the Giant Slayer, Die Nibelungen, Twilight Princess, Pokémon Anime, Pokémon Generations, Pokémon Emerald, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Pokémon Sapphire & Ruby

Music Used: Dreamers (Licensed from Storyblocks), Spyro (Title Theme), Demon Dragon (Tear of the Kingdom), Around the Fire (Skyrim), Wind Guide You (Skyrim), Main Theme (Metro 2033), Sky Above, Voice Within (Skyrim), Some Place we Called Home (This War of Mine), Purified Dragon (Breath of the Wild), The Gathering Storm (Skyrim), Komorebi (Gris), Rhizome (Cloud Gardens)

♫ Additional Music by Karl Casey @ White Bat Audio
The Night He Came Home

Copyright Disclaimer: Under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education, and research. All video/image content is edited under fair use rights for reasons of commentary.

An Instinct for Dragons by David E Jones
Dragonology by Dugald Steer
A Natural History of Dragons by Livia Gershon:
Why Dragons Legends are Everywhere by James Burch:
Natural History of Dragons from American Museum of History:
Where Did Dragons Come From by Joseph Stromberg:
Phylogenetic Taxonomy:
Tree of Life Diagram by Leonard Eisenberg:

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