Lauren Davis from SF webzine io9 explores why, “in a media landscape overstuffed with dragons, do we still care so much about Smaug?”.
This was first published last month, and I missed it at the time, but it’s a very worthwhile read that delves into (among other things) the literary origins of Tolkien’s dragons — the story of Fafnir, and, of course, Beowulf. Follow the link at the bottom to read the complete article.
Why Smaug still matters
“A dragon is no idle fancy,” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in his lecture “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics.” Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.”