Is Godzilla Technically a Dragon? The Discourse Unfolds on Twitter

Tor Books’ blog is currently wrapping up a stirring and fiery Dragon Week and, after publishing a Top 5 Deadliest Dragons article, Tor took to Twitter to ask the essential question: Which is the deadlier dragon, Smaug or Godzilla?

What furious kaiju hell did they release?


Which is the deadlier dragon?*

*retweeted for typo

— Tor Books (@torbooks) July 9, 2019

The choices were between Smaug and Godzilla, two seemingly obvious dragons. But…is Godzilla a dragon? This, it would seem, is not settled discourse!

Is Godzilla a dragon, or a lizard-monster-dinosaur hybrid? What constitutes a dragon? Do atomic “fire” breathing land walkers qualify at all?


Multiple dragons and dragon-type creatures spit or breathe various deadly substances like fire, acid, ice, venom. Godzilla definitely spits. Hmmm.

Smaug isn’t without his detractors, either.

NEVERMIND. No one gets to be a dragon!


Oh wait.

A new challenger approaches!

From medievalist Sarah Durn, via an excellent feature on io9:

The dragon deity Ryūjin is considered the god of sea in Ryūjin shinkō, an offshoot of Japanese Shinto. There’s even the Dragon Palace at the bottom of the sea further connecting Japanese dragons to the oceans that surround the island nation. […] Though based in part on Japanese dragons like Ryūjin, Godzilla takes on a new composite form—just as Godzilla is an entirely new form of destruction.

Godzilla is not only a dragon, they’re based on one of the original dragons.

In the end, this is what Twitter decided:

Nearly 70 years and you still can’t keep Godzilla down. The King of Monsters reigns supreme!


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