Legends of giant, flying, fire-breathing dragons have graced the pop culture landscape for centuries, from medieval manuscripts to the much-anticipated Peter Jackson film “The Hobbit.” These harbingers of disaster were rumored to guard treasure while wreaking havoc upon the land, and stories of the legendary heroes who rose to fight them have been depicted in countless books, films and even video games. But what if these mythical creatures were more than just a myth?
The one-hour special, Dragon Wars: Fire and Fury, premiering Sunday, December 9, 2012, at 8 PM, transports viewers to a fantasy world to understand the truth behind these fabled beasts with a unique approach to documentary storytelling – animation.
Through a mix of live action sequences and cutting-edge CGI, famous dragon tales are brought roaring to life in the modern world, including the legend of Beowulf, the Scandinavian warrior king, and Fafnir, the vengeful dragon that inspired Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” Experts weigh in on the credibility of these and other fables, providing additional historical context. Guided by art historian Dr. Janina Ramirez, we’ll examine the roots of the dragon’s origin and see how its image has been used for thousands of years.
Not just fairy-tale characters, but real people have described witnessing battles with fiery monsters. An Anglo-Saxon monk wrote, “There came dreadful forewarnings over the land of the Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully: these were immense sheets of light rushing through the air, and whirlwinds, and fiery dragons flying across the firmament.” To this day, a sword that is believed to have slain a dragon resides in a holy place, and an historical document attests to the defeat of a monster by a noble knight.
While dragons may have never existed, it’s certain they’ve held a prominent place throughout history.
Tune in to Dragon Wars: Fire and Fury Sunday, December 9, 2012, 8 PM ET/PT