Top 10 Dragons in Harry Potter
Dragon Species in Harry Potter
While we saw a young Norbert in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, it wasn't until book four (Goblet of Fire) that they played a large role in the series, serving as the first obstacle in the Triwizard Tournament. Later, a dragon would also prove crucial towards Harry, Ron, and Hermione's escape during their infiltration of Gringotts bank, once again showcasing their power and ferocity.
Dragons are naturally resilient to magic, often taking multiple casters for a spell to have any effect, and the Ministry of Magic classifies them as XXXXX, the highest danger ranking among magical creatures. Additionally, several dragon components are essential to magic; dragon heartstring is a common wand core, dragon hide can craft spell-resistant armor, and Dumbledore discovered 12 different uses for dragon's blood. But with dozens of winged reptiles running rampant, which beasts reign supreme? These are the ten strongest Harry Potter dragons!
10. Common Welsh Green
Average Size: 18 ft
One of the smallest dragons, the Common Welsh measures under 20 feet and is easily distinguished by its emerald hues. During the Triwizard Tournament, Beauxbatons representative Fleur Delacour lucked out by facing this smaller foe, enchanting it into a magical slumber to steal its egg.
Welsh greens aren't as aggressive as their larger counterparts and prefer smaller prey like sheep over humans, but the infamous Ilfracombe Incident involved an aggressive Welsh attacking Muggles at a beach. Fortunately, it was stopped by the vacationing Toke wizard family, who earned the Order of Merlin First Class award for their bravery.
9. Hebridean Black
Average Size: 30 ft
Both larger and more aggressive than its fellow British Isles dragon (the Common Welsh), the Hebridean Black demands a sizable territory. Its ebon scales and piercing purple eyes grant a ferocious appearance, but the Scottish MacFusty clan has long been tasked with overseeing the Hebrideans, safeguarding the world from any potential havoc.
8. Antipodean Opaleye
Average Size: 40 ft
Unlike most dragons, who live in mountains, the Antipodean Opaleye prefers to dwell in valleys. Fortunately, this Australian native is one of the less aggressive reptiles, but what it lacks in belligerence, it makes up for in size, measuring a fierce 40 feet. Like several dragon species, females tend to be larger than males; a series of kangaroo deaths in the 1970s are believed to be the handiwork of a male Opaleye whose territory had been usurped by a female.
7. Romanian Longhorn
Average Size: 40 ft
Not only is this green dragon long, it's notably bulky and muscular, possessing horns that stick straight out. Longhorns prefer to first impale their prey, then roast them with their fire breath, making them daunting foes. That said, their numbers have declined due to the prominence of their horns as potion ingredients.
6. Swedish Short-Snout
Average Size: 22 ft
The beast that Cedric Diggory faced in the Triwizard tournament, the Short-Snout is a small and rarely-seen silver-blue dragon. Don't let its size fool you: Short-Snouts are renowned for both their agility and for having the strongest flames of any dragon, burning hot enough to produce blue fire.
In the film version of Goblet of Fire, the Short-Snout strangely bears a yellow coloring as opposed to its official azure hues.
5. Peruvian Vipertooth
Average Size: 15 ft
While the Vipertooth is the smallest dragon, it's easily one of the most deadly. They're remarkably stealthy, and despite a comparatively diminutive size, they have a particular hunger for human flesh. Even worse, they're the fastest of all dragons, and their fangs are venomous.
Vipertooths are also responsible for the outbreak of the Dragon Pox disease that killed Harry's paternal grandparents, Fleamont and Euphemia Potter.
4. Chinese Fireball
Average Size: 25 ft
Victor Krum's opponent in the first Triwizard task, Chinese Fireballs aren't exceptionally large, but they're aggressive monsters sometimes called Liondragons (need a new mascot, Gryffindor?). Fireballs are easily angered, and they're noted to be surprisingly agile and clever; some are even willing to share territory with up to two kin, occasionally even cooperating to take down larger threats.
In the movie, Barty Crouch Sr.'s reaction to Krum drawing the Fireball implies he considers the Fireball to be the second-deadliest of the four dragons used for the competition.
3. Norwegian Ridgeback
Average Size: Unknown
Ridgebacks don't have an official size, but they'red noted to resemble Hungarian Hornbacks, who measure at a fierce 50 feet. Hagrid's baby dragon, Norbert (later revealed to be a female and dubbed Norberta) belongs to this species. Ridgebacks aren't as hostile as some dragons, but they bear venomous fangs, prefer hunting large mammals, and develop the ability to shoot flames earlier than any other species.
The Ridgeback's name likely references the infamous lion-hunting Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed, a fitting metaphor considering the troubles Norbert causes Harry and friends (who belong to lion-themed Gryffindor).
2. Ukrainian Ironbelly
Average Size: 60 ft
The largest of all dragons, Ukrainian Ironbellys possess scales as strong as steel and produce scorching flames, though they're notably slower in flight compared to other species. The goblins of Gingotts Bank employed an Ironbelly to guard their vault, though it eventually escaped in the aftermath of our heroes' infiltration during Deathly Hallows.
In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander mentions he previously worked with Ironbellys, which undoubtedly wasn't an easy task.
1. Hungarian Horntail
Average Size: 50 ft
Considered the most dangerous of all dragon types, Hungarian Horntails are large, territorial, agile, and can shoot flames farther than other breeds. Harry faced one in the Triwizard Tournament, and despite his talents as a Quidditch Seeker and possession of the immensely-fast Firebolt broomstick, the Horntail nearly killed him in their aerial battle.
No doubt about it—with their well-rounded abilities and combative temperament, Horntails are the most dangerous dragons of all.
Which dragon do you prefer?
Harry Potter World's Dragon Challenge
Dragons stand as some of the strongest creatures in Harry Potter, and are such a recognizable part of the franchise that theme park "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" devoted two separate roller coasters to them (which interlocked as they "battle"), one based on the Horntail and one on the Fireball. Despite positive reception from fans, these rides closed in 2017, but they're still a fun testament to the prominence of dragons in Harry Potter.
Dragons are featured elsewhere across the series as a form the powerful spell Fiendfyre can take, a rare Patronus shape, and the literal translation of Draco Malfoy's first name. But for now, as we eagerly await more dragon tidbits from J.K. Rowling, vote for your favorite titan and I'll see you at our next Harry Potter countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill