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The Elder Scrolls[edit]

Somebody give me a good reason for why information about the concept of "dovahkiin" from The Elder Scrolls belongs here OTHER THAN "Dovahkiin translates as Dragonborn". (talk) 03:51, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

If it's absolutely essential to include that information on this page, then a hatnote should suffice. (talk) 13:03, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Dragonborns - Serbian mythology[edit]

by Radomir Ristic
In the folk beliefs of the Serbian people there are some very interesting myths which tell us how some people gained their unusual powers, intelligence, strength etc. Actually, it is believed by the Serbian people that almost every Serbian hero throughout the history was a dragonborn. That is how people have explained their heroic acts, wisdom and powers.
In Serbian mythology we can clearly see that there are at least three different kinds of Dragons. The first kind would be the dragons identified with meteors in the night sky; they are considered to be the personifications of fire. The second kind are reptile dragons or serpent dragons who are very similar to those we can find in the legends of western Europe. People believe these can be very dangerous. In most cases they are winged serpents, possessing a high amount of intelligence and behaving similar as dragonborns, actually sharing the same capabilities. The third kind of Dragons are the dragonborns (srb. zmajeviti) themselves.

Various heroes, historical or fictional, mainly from the Kosovo epic cycle, were presumed to be sons of dragons. Some of the highest in this genealogy were the Despot, Stefan Lazarević, Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk [the fiery dragon wolf], Vasa Čarapić, Zmaj od Avale [the dragon of Avala], and Stojan Čupić, Zmaj od Noćaja, [the dragon of Noćaj]. Other heroes bestowed with dragon-like attributes included Miloš Obilić, Banović Strahinja, Ljutica Bogdan and King Marko. Despot Stefan Lazarević (1377-1427) was the son of the famous Knez, or Prince, Lazar, the man who led the Serbian army into the fateful battle with the Ottomans in 1389 at the Battle of Kosovo. However, the popular belief was that his actual origins were from the dragon of Jastrebac. The legend of his origin morphed into an epic poem, featuring the dragon child, Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk, who kills the dragon of Jastrebac because of Vuk’s relationship with Milica, the wife of Prince Lazar. Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk, in reality was Despot Vuk Branković (1471-1485), believed to be a descendant of a dragon. As Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk lived some 50 years after the death of Stefan Lazarević, it is evident that the folk tales frequently altered historical facts for their own agendas.

These folk tales also presented Stefan Lazarević as a unique personality, a traveller who disguised himself as a beggar who monitored how people lived, punishing evil and rewarding righteousness. When the Hungarian King, Sigismund, renewed an old chivalric order called the “Order of the Dragon”, the Societas Draconistrarum, Stefan was the first to sign up. This might be one of the reasons for his mythical dragon status in the imaginations of the Serbian people. Stefan’s battles against the Turks are described as fearsome victories, while his failure to win the final battle to drive the Ottoman’s out of Serbia was widely attributed to the withdrawal of divine help. All his children and heirs became dragons in Serbian folklore, and copious tales about their mythical powers survive to this day, notably in Bosnia and Herzegovina and along the Adriatic coast.

Although not historically factual, these legends thus turned many locations in Serbia into dwellings of new, benign breeds of dragons. These dragons were unlike the malign dragons featured in many legends across Europe, where Christian tradition commonly identified dragons with Satan. In Serbian folk tradition, dragons are mostly good creatures that have an obligation to help people. On the other hand, Ala or Aždaja, was the dragons’ worst enemy. In Serbian folklore it brought storms, wind, and other bad weather that could ruin crops. The dragon responsible for stopping Ala, or Aždaja, with his fiery beams was often imagined as a long-tailed bird that left traces of light emanating from its tail on the night sky, as it ascended to perform its mission.

Ala’s opponent was also thought to be a large fish, in some parts of Serbia. It was usually depicted as an old carp, which was never able to be seen by man, who would over the years transform into a dragon. Thus, in some parts of Serbia, the carp became honoured as a sacred beast. The natural habitat of Serbian dragons was typically considered to be on mountaintops, such as Jastrebac near Kruševac, rivers, mountain streams, or the woods. Many of these places still bear the name “Zmajevac” Dragons were also known for their busy love lives. Sometimes the blame for bad weather was placed onto a dragon being detained in some fair lady’s chamber. People often demanded that these ladies end their relationships with the dragons, so they could get back to fighting against malevolent dragons and black birds. However, love affairs between dragons and ladies were allowed and even encouraged, because of the dragon children that would subsequently be born from the affairs.

These children were called “zmajeviti” [dragonborn], and possessed magical attributes. During storms, according to legends, they would fall asleep and their souls would fly up in the clouds to scare off daemons. During their trances, family or friends would gather around their sleeping bodies and wave swords over them, in the attempt to defend them from Aždaha. They would later wake up, tired and often wounded, completely unaware of the great battle that they had fought. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:59, 13 October 2012 (UTC)