In the story that I am writing, a soldier was left alone after an ambush that attacked his troops. He went alone to the destination that later on discoverd thats is a nest dragons.

I always noticed in the movies or games a single dragon exists next to the nest. Where is the other one? If we assumed that it's female dragon, where is the male?.
My main problem is:

how could the soldier steal the egg from the nest while the male and female dragons exists ? for example the male is hunting for food and the female is protecting the eggs. and after then soldier run away with one egg .. the mother would go and search for the soldier especially because it smell him ? and leave the other eggs unprotectd ?

  • $\begingroup$ I think that they are always placed next to the nest in order to make it more picturesque. Who says that it have to be female? It is very likely that one parent is guarding the nest while the other is looking for food. When it comes to setting eggs it could be any time really because with creatures this size we can presume that hatching period is 6, 9 or even more months. Also I don't see why winter would change anything since fire is coming from inside of the dragon where temperature is constant. $\endgroup$ – w_builder May 8 '15 at 7:41
  • $\begingroup$ @w_builder maybe the rain willl make the dragon feel cold and hard to breath fire especially if it was in a battle for 1 or 2 hours ?. In the movies and games they only present one dragon. so I can add two dragons male and female fighting together destroying a city right ? $\endgroup$ – Moudiz May 8 '15 at 7:51
  • $\begingroup$ Well my guess is that one is more than enough for the medieval-sized city. But it is your story :) $\endgroup$ – w_builder May 8 '15 at 8:19
  • $\begingroup$ @w_builder well thats my question if a dragon is attacking a city where is the other one ? $\endgroup$ – Moudiz May 8 '15 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ Moudiz I like the premise of your question but there are too many questions asked at once. Can you focus just on nesting habits? I think that would be a good place to start. $\endgroup$ – James May 8 '15 at 13:56

It is for dramatic effects. In fact, I would state that what happens is just the opposite, they put the nest next to the dragon.

The idea is to give the reader/viewer a context in which they know the dragon has to be near, but is not seen yet. The reader begins to imagine that will appear after that rock, or that it is hiding under the dark ceiling. It serves to gradually build up the tension of the narration.

A variation of this is when the hero sets a trap for the dragon, the tension here being the risk of the dragon discovering the trap too soon (note that there are no stories were the trap is built and the dragon just fails to pass just by that spot).

That's why there are no story in which the hero, which already was searching for the dragon, accidentally stumbles with it when both the hero and the dragon go to take a swim at the river, and just kills it there. Not much tension here.

  • $\begingroup$ its true about what you said , but my hero knows that his heading for the dragon eggs , but My concern and my question .. why only we see one dragon ? is it odd or weird to add the 2 dragons protecting/searching for the eggs and attacking the cities ? $\endgroup$ – Moudiz May 8 '15 at 10:21
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Well, I would say that slaying one "10.000 HP" dragon is more dramatic than killing two "5.000 HP" dragons, because once the hero kills the first one, killing the other is kinda "the same, but against less enemies". If you want to kill two dragons and keep the tension running, you make the first a "5.000 HP" one and the second a "10.000 HP" one, with enough physical differences for the viewer to notice that it is not the same challenge again. Usually, when the hero enters the dragon lair, he has already finished minor challenges and is searching for the "10.000 HP" one $\endgroup$ – SJuan76 May 8 '15 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ The idea is to give the reader/viewer a context in which they know the dragon has to be near... I think you hit the nail on the head with that. If you look at props in a film which serve no obvious purpose, the point of the prop is to make you make certain assumptions. This technique is sometimes used in an ironically opposite sense in horror films to surprise the viewer (surprise! monster isn't in closet, but behind you instead!). Needless to say, if you see a dragon nest, you're almost surely going to see an angry mother dragon shortly thereafter. $\endgroup$ – Neil May 8 '15 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ wasnt there a scene in Dragon heart where the hero kind of just killed a dragon in the river ? $\endgroup$ – Magic-Mouse May 11 '15 at 8:12

Answer for current main problem

You may assume that the mother will search for the soldier if you want.

If you are assuming that both parent care for the offspring, she can wait for the male (or call him) and leave him with the other eggs. Realistically, If the egg was taken by a predatory animal, the egg would have been eaten already, but if the dragons killed every predator that destroys their eggs, the predators would learn to avoid dragon nests, so revenge may be a justifiable strategy for dragons (and if their instinct is not too inelastic, the mother will protect her eggs when she'll see that they are whole by now).

If dragons had much to do with humans, they could have instinct that tells them to pursue a man that has taken their egg. It seems to be realistic that the man will understand that the dragon wants the egg back.

Even solitary dragon can hunt egg-thief if most predators are already afraid of dragon revenge. On the other hand, this strategy may also not be used if you assume that most eggs-thieves will not learn or that the dragons are to primitive to use such strategy even by instinct. Similarly, even if dragons have much to do with humans, their instinct may make them do something else like killing the human or escaping (with or without other eggs). Once again, you may assume what you want.

If dragons are intelligent, the problems changes. (But I'm thinking that you have in mind an idealistic view of dragons as animals.) Now the dragons should understand that killing humans is immoral and humans should understand that killing adult and unhatched dragons is immoral, so they should find a peaceful solution. This may be easy if there is no deep-rooted hostility.

Answer for original question

You may assume anything.

Dragons may be like cats and crocodiles (females care for the young), like three-spined stickleback (males care), the pair may hunt and guard nest in turns (that would also justify one dragon attacking a city without its mate) or they may guard nest together for the most time (and attack together when they recognize a city as a threat).

They may lay eggs in the spring, in the winter (for example because then they will hatch in the spring, but maybe hunting in the winter is easier), in the autumn or in the summer. The eggs may hatch immediately (ovoviviparity), in one day (rather for some magical reasons), in weeks, months, years or thousands of years (magic would make it easier to justify again).

Cold may make dragon fire weaker or not and it may even make it stronger (for example if better cooling of one part allows for making another part hotter).


Dragons are solitary creatures of extreme longevity. They meet and breed very rarely and it takes a relatively short time. Courting and mating may be a half-year affair out of five centuries. Afterwards, the male departs back to his own premises and the female takes care of the eggs.

The younglings are forced to leave the nest and live on their own within a year since hatching. So your chance to encounter a pair of dragons is one in a thousand, a chance of encountering the female with young ones - two in a thousand. The rest of the time the dragon will forage or guard own nest/hoard.

And even then, dragons rarely seek each other actively - possibly the male and the female meet each other while hunting, and they never appear as a pair by any of the two nests, meeting only halfway - so you're likely never to meet more than one adult dragon near any nest.

  • $\begingroup$ Why the dragons does hunt in pair or guard in pair ? Are there any animals in our real world acts like the dragons? Does guard or meet like dragons? $\endgroup$ – Moudiz May 8 '15 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Moudiz: There are no animals of similar longevity, but sea turtles take decades to mature, then mate once in 2-4 years, after which the female lays eggs on the beach and leaves them unattended (some species of sea turtle - the same beach where the female was hatched). $\endgroup$ – SF. May 8 '15 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Moudiz: Lore has it that dragons are very distrustful, greedy and protective about their hoard; so no dragon would trust leaving his/her hoard to another dragon (which would surely take the opportunity to steal it). Same about food, hunting together is a recipe for conflict over the prey. To avoid the fights they minimize contact and remain solitary as much as possible. They definitely don't form a family. $\endgroup$ – SF. May 8 '15 at 10:46

In the stories dragons are huge, powerful, egocentric, greedy and territorial.

They don't like to share. And they sleep for large amount of time unless they are fighting territories.

Their inability to cooperate is often their downfall. If there were more dragons cooperating, humanity would not have a chance.

Take a look at Archana Evolved by Monte Cook, in his books the dragons have created a race they cannot control as a spawn between dragon and daemon. The dragons are retiring the area and consider it lost because they cannot cooperate about defeating this common enemy.

When the giants are capturing the area and are killing the enemy the greedy dragons return to claim their land they consider the giants took from them.


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