Morgoth’s Drakes

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ancalagon the Black.

Among Morgoth's most deadly creations were the Great Worms called Dragons. These majestic beasts existed as three kinds: those that slithered, those that walked, and those that flew. Of each kind there were two types: Cold-drakes, the most common, who fought with great strength of fang and claw, and the Fire-drakes (Urulóki), who blasted foes with breath of green and scarlet flame. Though gifted with intelligence, they had flaws of gluttony, vanity, wrath and sometimes cowardice. Their blood was black and poisonous and they often exuded an overpowering stench of sulphur and slime. All were protected by scales that hardened as they aged. An adult dragon’s scales were nearly impenetrable, though all suffered from a weakness of the scales of the underbelly.

Considered the Father of Dragons, Glaurung the Fire-drake was the greatest terror of his time, though he was not as powerful as the later winged race of dragons. In his youth he issued from Angband’s gates at night and defiled the fields of Ard-galen. Because Glaurung’s scales were not grown to full strength he wasn’t able to resist the arrows of the elven cavalry of Prince Fingon, and was driven back. He did not appear again for well-nigh two hundred years. When he did it was at the forefront of Morgoth’s Host at the onset of the Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame). Glaurung assisted in the scouring of Ard-galen (which thereafter became known as Anfauglith, the Gasping Dust), the destruction of Dorthonion, and the lifting of the Siege of Angband. Glaurung led the sack of Nargothrond, cast his spell on Turin Turambar and Nienor, and was eventually slain by Turin at Cabed-en-Aras.

The mightiest Dragon that ever lived was named Ancalagon the Black, the first of the winged Fire-drakes. He and others like him stormed out of Angband as a last line of defense of Morgoth's realm during the War of Wrath that ended the First Age. He was slain in battle by Earendil, and destroyed the towers of Thangorodrim when he fell. The rest of the winged drakes were slain or fled and the histories of Middle-earth speak little more of them until the Third Age of the Sun.

The last of the great firedrakes. In the twenty-eighth century of the Third Age, the greatest Dragon of that time came from the North guided by rumor of the hoarded wealth of the Dwarven kingdom under Mount Erebor. This was the famous winged Fire-drake called Smaug the Golden. Smaug laid waste the Dwarf-kingdom and for two centuries guarded the hoarded wealth unchallenged. Yet, in the year 2941, a company of twelve Dwarves and the Hobbit-burglar Bilbo Baggins aroused the great Worm. The wrath of Smaug mistakenly led him to Lake Town (Esgaroth on the Long Lake), where he was slain by Bard the Bowman who hit his weak spot with the Black Arrow. But not before Smaug set the town ablaze.


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