Dragons have long captured our imagination as readers of myth and fantasy lore. These powerful beasts of legend have long been depicted as monstrous creatures of great destructive power, often at odds with men. But another depiction of dragons have them gifted with near divine powers. In this alternative view, dragons are actually beneficial creatures who work hand in hand with mortal men. These men often have a strong and inseparable bond with their dragons akin to a horse and his rider. These men are often known as Dragon Riders. And in the following article, the traits of the quintessential Dragon Rider is elaborated upon. Dragon Riders usually have most of them, but the quintessential Dragon Rider has all of them.
A strong bond with his dragon.
A good Dragon Rider must have a deep and inseparable bond with his dragon. They must be depicted as someone who completely understands the creature and have established a deep bond of mutual trust. This trait is best illustrated in the excellent prologue of J.D. Hallowell’s book Dragon Fate (War of the Blades Book 1). The bond between Dragon Rider and dragon is highlighted in a very excellent, if slightly deceptive way, as the old Dragon Rider refers to his dragon as “Love.” The reader is led to believe that “Love” is a human female until she makes her dramatic appearance and tears off some limbs and heads, literally.
Fair to good skill with blades and other weaponry.
Dragon Riders are also depicted as adept at using the basic weapons of fantasy like the sword, spear, etc. Dragon Riders should be comfortable with weaponry for good reason. The fantasy lands they inhabit are far from peaceful, and such skills would be essential for survival. The old Dragon Rider in War of the Blades Book 1 does not deviate from the norm here as well, as he is shown drawing a saber of some kind, ready to fight for his life.
Proficiency with magic.
This is a trait that is sometimes there, sometimes not so. The Dragon Rider can be depicted as someone who has some proficiency in the magic arts to complement their fighting skill. Wielding magic skills can only make the Dragon Rider more formidable, and is not such a reach, as being able to communicate with a dragon and forge a lifetime bond is surely a form of magic in itself. The old Dragon Rider in the book is also highlighted as having this skill: the first scene shows him light a fire to keep him warm all by himself with no assistance from a flint or firewood. He also attempts to put up a magic shield before a poison arrow mercilessly cuts him down.
The Dragon Rider in War of the Blades Book 1 possesses all the traits of a quintessential Dragon Rider. It’s just a shame that he meets an untimely demise in the prologue of the book. Then again, what better way to draw us into Hallowell’s world of dragons?
About the Author
I’m a 50-ish father and husband who is fortunate enough to have lived an interesting and active life. I’ve had one two-book fantasy series, War of the Blades, published, and I have several other fantasy and SF projects in the works. I like to keep many irons in the fire at once, so my work experiences include such diverse occupations as automotive mechanic, cowboy, photographer, psychiatric tech, paralegal assistant, bouncer, and medical billing clerk. I studied martial arts for over 30 years. I’ve been a soldier and an emergency medical technician, and I served as the chief of a volunteer ambulance squad. I was a diamond courier for a while, and later owned a working kennel where I trained dogs for law enforcement as well as personal protection, and most recently, I’ve trained one service dog, for myself. I don’t get around much now (I’ve been shot, stabbed, blown up, bludgeoned, poisoned, and even had harsh language directed toward me, if you can believe it, and it takes its toll), but I write whenever I can. I have pretty wide-ranging interests and hobbies, including, but not limited to, history, archery, paleontology, cooking, RPGs (the games, not the weapons) and making jewelry. I live on the Space Coast of Florida with my wife, my son, and my Great Dane service dog, until I can convince the rest of my family and friends to move to Arizona.
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