Name Meaning: Basil the Great Heart
Titles: Wings of Peace, The Greatest Dragon of All Time
Realm: The Great Tree of Avalon
Featured in: Merlin’s Dragon by T.A. Barron
Basilgarrad, or simply Basil to his friends, is a dragon with a remarkable history behind him never mind those closest to him. As the title of his featured book might suggest, Basil is a close friend of Merlin the wizard, specifically the Merlin told of in T.A. Barron’s The Lost Years of Merlin and The Great Tree of Avalon series. More to the point, it was the book Merlin’s Dragon, that begun the trilogy that used the same name. As a whole, the books are in order of: The Lost Years of Merlin Series, Merlin’s Dragon Trilogy, and The Great Tree of Avalon Trilogy though are so incredibly well written that one doesn’t need to strictly read any particular one to understand the gist of what is occurring in any one novel.
Though it certainly does help.
Especially considering that all of the books are a fantastical read the likes of which I’ve yet to see of any writer in this age. I say this because of T.A. Barron’s imagination that lead to an imagining of Avalon I doubt any one else could conceive let alone define so that it makes some lick of sense.
Avalon, in the works of T.A. Barron is both a place… and a tree. See, the basic backstory of Avalon summed up in as few words as possible is that Merlin planted a seed given to him by powers beyond our mortal comprehension and from that tree grew Avalon: The World Between All Worlds. Avalon itself is split into three distinctive sections: its roots, its trunk, and its branches. The seven roots are the… “Midgard” as it were of Avalon, the various realms that mortal creatures inhabit and are only divided based on whichever of the seven elements empowers their respected environments.
It was deep in the reaches of one root, which properly translated is named “Woodroot” where Basil was hatched from an egg no bigger than a baby’s pinky nail. Throughout his journey to save the life of Merlin the wizard, Basil was tasked to take a swallow of each respected realms soil, its essence, into himself. Something that he didn’t understand at the time but did so regardless and it was a good thing he had, for surely he’d never become what he truly was meant to be.
Upon his hatching, Basil was a creature that no one, not even those who’ve lived long enough to seen just about everything, could name. For you see, despite living for quite some time before his adventure that led to the saving of Merlin and Avalon. Like, no bigger than a butterfly tiny. Like, he looked more like a common lizard with crumpled leafs for wings than a proper dragon of any sort. It was until he saved Merlin’s life and the wizard rewarded him by growing him to Basil’s adult size that the truth of his nature was revealed.
Basilgarrad is not a mere dragon but the first, the last, and likely the only of his kind to ever exist. Whereas most dragons were either of fire or water, Basilgarrad is of élano, the sum of all seven sacred elements combined into one, the most powerful magic to be found in any world, and the very life’s blood of Avalon itself. As a élanodragon, Basilgarrad is incredibly long lived to a point where he will likely be the last living thing on Avalon before the world itself crumbled. His scales are infused with that same emerald green energies, are incredibly sturdy to a point where they can withstand practically anything. Yet what makes Basilgarrad a sight amongst most dragons is his gargantuan size.
Though never outright stated, Basil has been described as being large enough to swallow a village with ease, his chest making most hillsides look small, and earholes large enough for a full grown man to climb into with frightening ease. In point of fact, it has been described on many a page that Basil’s great wings are large enough to literally engulf a fire dragon and toss them away like they were nothing more than fluffs of cotton. A single smack of his tail was all that was needed to completely level a generous length of forest.
Needless to say, Basilgarrad is, if nothing else, the world’s largest dragon.
Yet there is one unbelievable quirk that Basilgarrad possesses. One that actually earned him his original name of Basil and that quirk is his ability to cast smells. Yes, whereas Merlin can cast spells, Basil, the Wings of Peace, can cast forth smells. From the sweet tang of lemongrass to the deliciously sweet scents of freshly poured honey, so long as Basil himself has smelled it, he can recreate it perfectly and in enough abundance to fool even a giant when he was but the size of a butterfly.
However, despite all of Basil’s incredible prowess and feats, nothing is more renown about him than the size of his heart. Whether at his tinier size or his mountainous large stature, Basil has a heart greater than the world itself and cares about everyone in it from the small and meek to the large and gruff. Admittedly, Basil tends to look after the littler ones first before anyone else but considering the majority of his life had been spent at such a size himself, he has a better perspective of what such a life can entail.
While I did say that I was torn between having Kazul or Shimmer as being made in film, I can say wholeheartedly that I would pay top dollar to see Basilgarrad be brought to life be it through a live action or animated retelling. However, I sincerely doubt such a thing could occur simply for the sheer enormity that is the entirety of the Avalon book series that is, at the time of this writing, a sum total of eleven books, not including one informative guide.
Goodness knows how many movies that would become considering the popular trend of stretching out one book into multiple films as of late…
Still… if anyone can do it, Disney could…