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8 February 2014
Are dragons anthropomorphic?

This is a question I started asking myself today.  Why?  I have no idea. But since it seems like a good question I thought I'd share my thoughts here.

So what does Wikipedia say about it:

Anthropomorphism, or personification, is attribution of human form or other characteristics to anything other than a human being. Examples include depicting deities with human form and ascribing human emotions or motives to forces of nature, such as hurricanes or earthquakes.

Of note on the Wikipedia article is John Tenniel's depiction of the Rabbit in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  I've just started reading this to my daughter and it's the first illustration in the book.

Here not only does the Rabbit talk but he dresses much like a human too.  Which leads me to wonder is talking enough to be classed as anthropomorphic?  

Mr and Mrs Beaver in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe act like humans and live in a very human home and so to me are obviously anthropomorphic creatures. But is Aslan?

Surely Aslan is just a talking lion; a rather large, magical, talking lion but there's nothing more about him that suggests human like qualities.

 Even the Owls of Ga'Hoole wear armour, write, live in houses etc

Bacl the question of Aslan and if there's a question of Aslan what of Draco?

Draco is probably my favourite movie dragon from my favourite dragon movie; Dragonheart.

So how much different. I ask you, is Draco to say Toothless? Toothless, from How to Train your Dragon, can't talk but he does manage to communicate with Hiccup and it would seem he can understand the boy as well.  But where Toothless comes across like a dog, albeit with wings and scales, Draco is represented as a much more human like being.  One that would sacrifice a part of himself to save another no less.  Is that act of self sacrifice a human act?

Or does a dragon have to be more human-esque to be considered anthropomorphic?  Do they have to be bipedal? Wear armour? Carry a weapon?

I don't have the answer. It's just a question I've been pondering today as I work on other things.

Maybe you have an opinion you'd like to share.


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