The ultimate battle of movie dragons! | Virgin Media
The ultimate battle of movie dragons!

The ultimate battle of movie dragons!

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In the movies, as in life, dragons come in all shapes, sizes and temperaments, ranging from your huge, scary, village-destroying dragons (looking at you, Smaug) to your cute-and-cuddly friend-for-life dragons, such as super-adorable Elliot in Pete’s Dragon (coming to Sky Cinema from Friday 7th April). If you’re pitting one fire-breather against the other, it helps to know your Hungarian Horntails from your Vermithrax Pejoratives, so we've put together a list of nine scary and not-so-scary movie dragons and rated their abilities accordingly.


Dragon: Elliot

Film: Pete's Dragon (2016)

Firepower: 8/10. Surprisingly awesome.

Fighting skills: 7/10. Combining fire-power with an impressive flying agility, Elliot is more than capable of handling himself and can comfortably defeat any would-be attackers.

Fearsomeness: 3/10. His green fur and adorable dog-like appearance are kind of the opposite of terrifying.

Friendship factor: 10/10. As dragons go, Elliot is the best friend a boy could ask for. They made two movies about him, after all.

Hiding ability: 10/10. Elliot's special dragon move is that he can turn himself invisible. Ideal for hiding when you're being pursued by small-minded military types. Beat that, Smaug!

Pete’s Dragon is on Sky Cinema from Friday 7th April

Dragon: Smaug

Film: The Hobbit Trilogy (2012-2014)

Firepower: 10/10. The deadly dragon is the ultimate fire-breather, laying waste to the whole of Laketown.

Fearsomeness: 9/10. He's not called Smaug the Terrible for nothing.

Fighting skills: 6/10. Oh, sure, he's great in the skies, but his enormous size puts him at something of a disadvantage when he's in a cramped space, giving the diminutive Hobbit the upper hand.

Friendship factor: 1/10. With his velvet-draped voice (courtesy of Benedict Cumberbatch) and obvious intelligence, you might think that Smaug would make a very agreeable dragon buddy. However, you would be wrong, as Smaug would sooner burn your house down than take you for a ride on his back.

Greed: 9/10. Smaug has a distinct weakness for gold and hordes it in quantities that would make Scrooge McDuck jealous. He can also be distracted by sparkly objects.

Dragon: Hungarian Horntail

Film: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Firepower: 6/10. Dangerous, yes, but not exactly destructive. As long as you keep the Hungarian Horntail away from flammable objects (like, say, a broomstick), you'll probably be fine.

Fearsomeness: 8/10. With his horned head, spike-encrusted spine and sharp, snapping mouth, the Hungarian Horntail is pretty scary. You wouldn't want to pet one, let's put it that way.

Fighting skills: 9/10. The Hungarian Horntail proves a formidable opponent when Harry Potter faces one during the Tri-Wizard tournament, displaying nimble flying ability and precision targeting.

Friendship factor: 1/10. One does not befriend a Hungarian Horntail. You're thinking of Norbert, the Norwegian Ridgeback.

Self-preservation: 4/10. The Hungarian Horntail's main weakness is an inability to judge how badly it will get hurt if it smashes into things.

Watch the complete Harry Potter collection now on Virgin Movies

Dragon: Falkor the Luckdragon

Film: The Neverending Story (1984)

Firepower: 4/10. Still, at least it's colourful. How many other dragons can breathe blue fire, eh?

Fearsomeness: 1/10. Like Elliot in Pete's Dragon, Falkor is more like a giant, furry puppy. He responds particularly well to an affectionate scratch behind the ear.

Fighting skills: 6/10. Falkor's not much of a fighter, but if you want him to see off a bunch of bullies, he can put on a convincing display.

Friendship factor: 10/10. Proving once again that a boy's best friend is his dragon, Falkor is loyal to a fault.

Special skills: 9/10. As well as possessing the remarkable streak of good luck that gives his species its name, Falkor also has the ability to sleep while in flight. Impressive.

Dragon: Vermithrax Pejorative

Film: Dragonslayer (1981)

Firepower: 9/10. Capable of roasting a man alive at ten paces. Ouch.

Fearsomeness: 9/10. Given that he terrorizes villages and preys on virgin girls selected by lottery, Vermithrax Pejorative is indeed a scary piece of work. A dragon to frighten your children with.

Fighting skills: 10/10. You don't survive for 400 years without knowing a thing or two about fighting.

Friendship factor: 1/10. This is one dragon that won't be coming round for tea. Unless it's to roast and eat your entire family.

Coolness: 8/10. Let's face it, if you had a dragon, you'd definitely name it Vermithrax Pejorative. Coolest dragon name ever.

Dragon: Toothless

Film: How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Firepower: 5/10. Less of a fire-breather and more of an electro-bolt-shooter, the Night Fury is short on fiery spectacle but makes up for it with destructive impact.

Fearsomeness: 5/10. It's all a matter of perspective. On the one hand, the Night Fury looks a lot like an adorable giant kitten. On the other hand, it can take down a dragon ten times its size. Let's just say you wouldn't want to rile one.

Fighting skills: 10/10. Once trained, the Night Fury is an exceptional fighting dragon, boasting speed, agility, firepower and night-time stealth mode.

Friendship factor: 8/10. Toothless is a loyal and devoted dragon for the most part, but he does have a worrying susceptibility to hypnosis and mind-control. Warning: the sequel is extremely traumatic in this regard.

Cuteness: 10/10. Did we mention that Toothless looks like an adorable giant kitten?

How to Train Your Dragon is available now on Netflix

Dragon: Draco

Film: Dragonheart (1996)

Firepower: 7/10. Fit for purpose.

Fearsomeness: 8/10. Draco is a traditional-looking dragon and strikes the appropriate amount of fear into any given populace, which comes in handy for the dragon-slaying scam he has going with his companion Bowen (Dennis Quaid).

Fighting skills: 7/10. Aside from breathing fire and biting, Draco is also a dab hand at using his spiky tail as a swat.

Friendship factor: 9/10. Dragonheart is basically the dragon equivalent of a buddy movie, with Draco as the Danny Glover to Bowen's Mel Gibson.

Nobility: 9/10. Despite his penchant for con-tricks, Draco is a wise and noble dragon who once gave a part of his heart to save a man's life. Unfortunately, the man in question goes on to become a monstrous tyrant, proving that dragons can occasionally be poor judges of character.

Dragon: Maleficent

Film: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Firepower: 9/10. Maleficent's green flame is destructive, dangerous and distinctive. Like the wicked queen in her original, human form, it possesses of a sort of evil, bewitching beauty.

Fearsomeness: 10/10. Sleeping Beauty might look like a romantic fairy-tale on the surface, but Maleficent is genuinely terrifying and is guaranteed to give small children dragon-based nightmares for years. Thanks a lot, Disney.

Fighting skills: 5/10. Despite channelling “all the powers of Hell”, Maleficent's fighting skills are actually a bit rusty. Firstly, her aim is so poor that she never so much as singes Prince Philip and secondly, she has the self-preservation skills of a Hungarian Horntail and fatally misjudges the weight-bearing capacity of a rocky outcrop.

Friendship factor: 2/10. Yeah, that's not happening.

Transformation powers: 5/10. Maleficent's ability to transform herself from a disturbingly sexy woman into a giant scary dragon is undoubtedly impressive. Whether she can transform herself back again is another matter.

Dragon: Mushu

Film: Mulan (1998)

Firepower: 2/10. Due to his tiny size, Mushu's flame capacity is roughly akin to striking three matches together at the same time. You want to light a fire to cook breakfast? Fine. You want a village destroyed? Forget it.

Fearsomeness: 3/10. What Mushu lacks in size, he makes up for in ingenuity. He can cast a pretty intimidating silhouette and does a passable impression of a Stone Dragon.

Fighting skills: 2/10. Not too great. Mushu is easily trampled, which is just one of the many drawbacks of being a pint-sized dragon.

Friendship factor: 9/10. Mushu's bravery belies his diminutive stature and his heart is as big as all outdoors. A faithful companion through thick and thin.

Wisecracking ability: 9/10. Second only to Robin Williams' Genie in the wise-cracking animated sidekick stakes, Eddie Murphy's Mushu talks a mile a minute and is very, very funny. If it's a battle of sarcastic quips you're after, Mushu is your dragon.