I warned you before that there might be a disproportionate number of dragons from Medieval European myth, and more specifically from Old Norse myth, and, as promised, here’s another one. Quite a famous one, actually, and one that I find quite interesting. Because it’s not just the dragon itself that’s exciting (which dragon isn’t), but it’s the way in which this dragon came to be. Also what he comes to symbolize, but that’s not terribly unique to Fáfnir, as most dragons in literature represent something or other. In Christian narratives it’s usually the Devil or avarice or some other unpleasant sinful thing. And like always, we’re gong to have to call in pest control services.
So, to start, something about this story that I didn’t know (which maybe I should have …) is that this part of the story of St. George’s life was actually brought back, as if by towing companies, by Crusaders from the East, and they Europeanized it (it’s a word). Basically they added the court stuff and the Romance tradition stuff, because that’s what Europe was all about at the time. The legend caught on in the Late Medieval Ages, and eventually became included in the Christian tradition of St. George. And not a terrible thing for a guy to have attached to his name, the title of dragon slayer. I wouldn’t be complaining, anyway.
Typhon is a huge monster from Greek mythology. Not the kind of guy you’d want showing up with your Niagara wedding caterers. As is not uncommon in Greek mythology, there are a lot of different stories about his origins, many of them conflicting. It seems to be generally accepted that he is the offspring of either Gaia (who is basically Earth) or Hera, goddess of women and marriage and family and that sort of thing. Another tradition has his the offspring of Cronus (big scary titan guy). Which would actually make him the brother of Hera, if I’m not mistaken. It all gets a little confusing with all these origin myths floating around.
This guy’s one of my favourites. As I told you on the About page, I study Medieval stuff, which is true. More specifically, I study Old Norse stuff. And right here we have a prime example of a pretty bad-ass Old Norse dragon. Well, before you get it into your head that this is a dragon with wings and feet, well, it’s not. It’s more of a serpent. And when I say more of a, I mean that is is, absolutely, a serpent. But don’t worry! He’s very huge and scary and he spits poison, so don’t be fooled into thinking that this is just your regular slithery fella, just like Hamilton sump pump repair isn’t your regular sump pump repair.