Smaug and the fires of imagination

smaug SMALL

My seven-year-old son and I are reading (or re-reading, in my case) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein. We are nearing the end of the Mirkwood Forest stage of the journey, and will soon be to the part where they first encounter Smaug, the fearsome dragon. Ethan has gotten really excited about the book, and is chomping at the bit for Smaug to make an appearance.

As we’ve been reading, I couldn’t help but remember how disappointed I was in the way Rankin-Bass envisioned Smaug in their 1980 version of The Hobbit. A little too cat-like for my tastes. And a furry back??? What the heck was that about?

I’d always imagined Smaug as more of a cross between the dragons the great Ray Harryhausen did, and the dragon that appeared in the 1981 film Dragonslayer. Instead they give me one that’s only slightly more menacing in appearance than the Luck Dragon from Neverending Story!

All that being said, I found myself doodling a dragon recently in a meeting, and the first thing that popped into my head was, “Now that’s my Smaug!” Unfortunately, where I started my doodle on the paper will not allow me to finish a full body sketch of him, but I hope you’ll enjoy the small part I was able to do.

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4 Responses to “Smaug and the fires of imagination”

  1. tim Says:

    reminds me of some of my old drawings..I really ned to get back to drawing again!

  2. inknform Says:

    Funny you mentioned the Luck Dragon from The Neverending Story, b/c thats just what I pictured too. No doubt that rendition of Smaug in the Rankin-Bass version inspired TNS.

    But, great job on the upper half of Smaug nonetheless! He’s much easier on the eyes…in a menacing sort of way ;)

  3. satyask Says:

    Nice!!

  4. Chris M Says:

    That’s an awesome (in every sense) picture of Smaug. It’s pretty much what I imagine when I read The Hobbit, except that you’ve managed to give the character depth that I hadn’t imagined.

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