January 16th is “Appreciate a Dragon Day,” and what better day is there for fantasy lovers? The day was created by author Donita K. Paul in 2004 to celebrate the release of her book Dragon Spell. I’m not familiar with Paul’s works or dragons, but there are still plenty of awesome dragons to appreciate.
First off is Toothless, from How to Train Your Dragon. Although he’s a deadly Night Fury, he’s basically just a giant, scaly cat. Is there anyone who’s seen the movie and not wanted their own Toothless? Different from the other dragons on my list, Toothless doesn’t talk. Though he does have a distinct personality and is highly intelligent, he’s more animalistic. He isn’t magically bonded to Hiccup in any way; Hiccup has to work for his trust. But seriously, is there any bond greater than a kid and her dragon? That bond is tested in the sequel, when Toothless is made to do A Very Bad Thing, but then Hiccup saves his dragon from being brainwashed through sheer force of love. Maybe it’s cheesy, but I love that stuff. Gets me every time.
Next, we have Spyro the Dragon. He’s a spunky little purple dragon with his own game series, in which he must save an assortment of magical lands from various bad guys. Spyro gets major nostalgia points, especially since his games were some of the few I was actually good at. He’s mischievous and likes kicking butt, and doesn’t hesitate to sass his opponents. Think Bart Simpson in dragon form. There’s not much else I can think to say about Spyro, but I had to include him because he’s a childhood favorite. Spyro, on this day, I appreciate you!
And lastly, my all-time favorite dragon, is Saphira, from Christopher Paolini’s Inheritence Cycle. She, too, is a sassy dragon who loves her boy. Hm, I’m sensing a theme here. We’re first introduced to Saphira fresh out of her egg, when she mentally bonds with Eragon, her Dragon Rider. From there, an epic adventure ensues, and Saphira grows bigger, stronger, and sassier. I love Saphira’s personality. Naturally, she’s a fearsome dragon and fights many battles, but she’s also loving and kind towards Eragon and their friends. She calls Eragon her “Little One,” which is absolutely adorable. She is also capable of performing spontaneous magic that happens when she’s super feeling it, like in one poignant scene where she creates a beautiful crystal tomb for a slain character. I also appreciate that she doesn’t have all the answers; she’s growing into her role right alongside Eragon. Their journey is a very, very long one, but there are many silly and heartfelt moments interspersed between the battles and politics, and I just love that dragon/human bond.
There are tons of other dragons that aren’t on this list, and they all deserve some love and appreciation! Who is your favorite dragon? Keep them in your thoughts today, maybe crack open their book or power up that video game. And if you happen to find any mysterious, giant eggs waiting to be hatched, you know what to do!