Real Name: Unknown
Titles: The Last
Realm: England, Time Period Unspecified (Alternate World)
Featured in: Dragonheart (1996)
Voiced By: Sir Sean Connery
To many, I’m sure that my choice of Draco from the film Dragonheart being my number one favorite dragon in modern media is hardly that surprising. Though Draco was not the first dragon I had seen put to film, he was the first one I had seen in theaters as a child. The film Dragonheart takes place in an age where mankind has grown to fear and hate dragons and though he was not initially so, Draco would eventually become the last dragon on earth thanks to a sacrifice he thought worth making.
For in the world of Dragonheart, when mankind was young and the dragons already old, the wisest of them took pity on man and made all the dragons vow to forever watch over man. Upon his death, that dragon became the first of many stars that alit the night sky in the form of distinctive constellations, the first being the actual Draco constellation itself, and thus was born the Draconic Heaven.
However, as with mankind, such Paradise is not without its entry fee and Draco, seeking to earn his way into Heaven lest his very soul vanish into the ether as though it had never been, done what few dragons had ever done before. He shared his life force, a piece of his own great heart, with a dying boy in the hope to reunite man and dragon but his sacrifice became his sin.
The young prince, who had been a great and priceless gift, destroyed it utterly and what was to become the hope of dragons became their doom. The boy’s teacher, a knight of the Old Code named Bowen, saw the reveal of the boy’s blackened soul as a result of the dragon’s heart in the prince’s chest. So spitting on the very code that he had himself upheld so dearly, Bowen began a crusade against dragons and killed all but the last of them.
Though Bowen searched long and far for Draco, he would not immediately recognize them upon their second meeting due mostly to the fact that the dragon had been hidden in the darkness of his cave and cleverly lied to the knight by telling the truth. Draco was the last dragon on earth. That Bowen never thought that he would be the dragon he had been hunting for did not occur to him until later. When a chance encounter revealed the scar hidden beneath Draco’s scales and the fear evident in the wretched wretch king’s face.
For a time, Draco and Bowen had entered into what has to be the strangest form of partnership I have ever seen between man and dragon. Draco, sick and tired of lurking in caves and sulking about in darkness, and Bowen, whose purse would soon be emptied at the death of his last quarry, made a deal with each other. Draco would ransack any potentially wealthy village and Bowen would “slay” him, conveniently over a large lake for Draco’s body to disappear into. Thus, Bowen would earn his gold and Draco would at last be allowed to fly in the light of day once more.
As mentioned above, Draco’s name is in fact a nickname bestowed upon him by Bowen. This came about after an argument between the two of them led to Draco revealing that he had a name but was not one that could be pronounced by humans. Bowen then decided to name him Draco for the very constellation and Draco gladly took the name as a fond and bitter reminder of what he had hoped to gain and what he had supposedly lost.
For there was more to his sharing a heart with the wretched king Einon than anyone truly knew. For though the two shared each other’s pains, no matter the distance between them or the size/scope of the injuries themselves, it was within Draco’s half that the life force was held. For Einon to die and his tyranny to be put to an end, Draco would have to die first.
I shan’t say anymore of the movie itself but I will go on to say that while there have been many a dragon in films, novels, or even video games, there has never been nor will there ever likely be a dragon the likes of Draco. For though he is not predominate in the film itself anymore than one would expect given its age and story, in those moments that he was on screen, Draco was well and truly alive. You could see it in the way that he moved on land or sky, the way that his face twisted into self-revulsion at his own folly and smile when hope was at last in hand, and in his voice.