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What is so fabulous about Smaug?

Luna's sixth Call for Papers, Not the Fellowship. Dragons Welcome! is now in pre-order and will be released on Tuesday 14th of June. Artwork, by Jay Johnstone. Here is a chance to discover the 11 brilliant papers you will find in the book, in reverse order of appearance.

Today, we would like to introduce you to A J Dalton, presenting the paper: "What is so fabulous about Smaug?"


This article explores the literary tradition of the dragon in order to show how that tradition informs Tolkien’s creation of Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit. Starting with a consideration of the Satanic dragon in the Bible’s Book of Revelation, the article then goes on to show how the confrontation between the knight and dragon in the legend of ‘St George and the Dragon’ (as early as the fourth century CE) is a simple retelling or reworking of the confrontation between Heaven’s ‘white knight’ and the dragon in the Book of Revelation. Then the article moves to an analysis of the (‘Christian’ and Satanic) dragon and its thematic functions in the poem Beowulf, closely followed by a consideration of Tolkien’s own essay and study concerning the dragon in his 1936 lecture ‘Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics’. The final sections of the article draw clear and specific parallels between the dragon in Beowulf and Smaug in The Hobbit, in order to help the reader then interpret and further appreciate the novel’s ‘fabulous’ themes and lessons.

About A J Dalton:

A J Dalton (the ‘A’ is for Adam) is a prize-winning author of science fiction and fantasy. He has published twelve books to date, including The Book of Orm, The Book of Angels, The Book of Dragons and The Book of Witcheswith Kristell Ink, the Empire of the Saviours trilogy with Gollancz, I am a Small God with Admanga Publishing, and The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy with Luna Press Publishing. His website is, where there is much to entertain fans of SFF.

Not the Fellowship. Dragons Welcome!

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