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When you read the phrase “dragon magic” what comes to mind?

I’m working on a piece that deliberately caters to old tropes of fantasy and trying to work within the old expectations to create something that feels fresh by the characters that live within the world and the magic they use. I’ve got one of my magic systems fairly well developed, but I’m curious what people think when they hear “dragon magic.”


Symbiotic relationships between wizards and dragons. Like that cartoon movie the Flight of Dragons. So, like the dragons themselves are the magic and act as a familiar to the wizards. Something like that.
I think modern fantasy has moved in the direction of making dragons animals or deities rather than magical beings so doing more “dragons as embodiments of magic” would be pretty old school.

Insolent Lad

Dragon Magic is a pretty nebulous term. One could fit practically anything into it! I've gone two completely different directions with dragons myself, in two distinct created worlds. In the one where most of my stories are set, dragons are nothing more (nor less) than highly intelligent animals. Maybe smarter than humans. Quite willing to make deals with wizards and such, but not dealing directly in magic themselves (and none, at least so far, have any magical ability).

However, in my much more whimsical Greenmeadows universe, dragons are quite magical beings, able to shift to human form, breathing the traditional fire, four legs plus wings, and all the other stuff I eschew in my more logical primary world. Although I've introduced none, it is entirely likely that there are dragon sorcerers. In other words, they are rather human, just larger and greedier.
I know in my world Dragons are just as magically inclined as any other race(which is to say "very") but if you're trying to go for an old-school feel maybe have dragons use demonic sorcery and possibly even be a type of demon. In older stories Dragons were seen as an embodiment of evil, at least western dragons were anyways. Hellfire breath, cast shadows as they fly, inhumanely clever and greedy, really effing big, that sort of thing. And in old-school thought, like actually folklore old, magic itself was demonic.
Humans using dragons things. Like humans using dragon fire. Or wearing a glove of long, sharp dragon claws. Maybe use pieces of dragons for spells and rituals. Any fire like magic. Maybe flying ability. Maybe the ability to calm and tame a dragon.
The Mystical sound of "Dragon Magic" is really incredible. The very first thing i thought of was dragons using magic, but almost at the same time was humans(or elves) channeling magic from a dragon to do their will. As to what the average person would think; I have found the power of suggestion to be very strong indeed, and most readers will probably accept whatever you tell them, regardless of whether it even has anything to do with dragons.
I would imagine wizards taking on the characteristics of dragons, e.g. fire breath, scales, wings, etc. Also, summoning dragons.
The first thing I think of when I hear dragon magic is what the others said: dragons using magic, or people using dragon things or dragons themselves for magic, or people channeling dragons in their magic. Standard fantasy stuff, based on Western dragons, more or less.

The second thing I think of is Asian dragons. Those have positive connotations. Not only that, in eastern Asia, a dragon is really a nature spirit. Trees are dragons. Rivers are dragons. The dragon is their spiritual essence.
(If you've seen Spirited Away, remember the dragon that turned out to be a polluted river?)

Using that concept of dragon gives you a whole other dimension to work with. Dragon magic could be, very recognizably, a form of nature magic. It could be something like using the Force in Star Wars (which is a concept based on Asian martial arts, so that brings it full circle).
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Frodo Baggins is still alive to this very day
I'm working with dragons as well. In this Dragons are at the center of magic, but when it come time to decide what they can actually do... Fireball.
Elemental Powers, accumulation of stuff, standard dragon stuff.


"Dragon magic" means to me magic that dragons do. Same thing for "Human magic", "Elf Magic", Dwarf magic," etc. Without knowing the magic system in place dragons can either use magic and/or be a source of magic.
I agree with the others. For me, 'dragon magic' references the magic that dragons perform. In my mind, something as large and tough as a dragon doesn't need to prove to others how big and strong he is (some of the biggest guys I know are some of the gentlest), so the magic most used wouldn't be the 'destroy the entire village with one spell' type magic, although I think a dragon would be capable of such a thing. So for me, a dragon (and his/her magic) is an immensely powerful yet meek thing.


With dragons being different from world to world, the term "Dragon Magic" can mean nothing to godly. Some examples of others' dragons could help. I'm sure there are some examples of none traditional dragons floating about around here.