Tag: Smaug

Happy Grouch Day! Six of the Grouchiest People in Fiction!

According to Sesame Street Magazine, October 15th is National Grouch Day—a day for all Grouches to celebrate their way of life.

 

National Grouch Day

Image Via Facebook

 

Since Sesame Street Magazine taught me everything I know, we’re going to celebrate National Grouch Day the only way we here at Bookstr know how—by making lists.

 

 

6-Ebenezer Scrooge

 

Ebenezer Scrooge

Image Via The Imaginative Conservative

 

The quintessential grouch, Ebenezer Scrooge is a cheap old miser who brings misery wherever he goes.

 

The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice

 

That’s a nice way of saying he’s a grouch. A miserable, old, grouch. Literally A Christmas Carol is about him “warming his cold heart”, a poetic way of saying him becoming less a dick.

 

Bah Humbug

Image Via Your WDW Store

 

A less talented writer would make A Christmas Carol an anatomy lesson about Scrooge getting that stick out of his butt, but (pun intended) luckily Charles Dickens is a talented writer. He gives us a wonderful story, retold countless times, about this cold-hearted grouch warming up into a bright happy person during one of the coldest nights in winter.

 

5-The Grinch

 

The Grinch

 

What is it with stories about grouches becoming better people being set on Christmas? Is it because Christmas is so cold and authors can’t resist the irony of a grouch shedding their cold heart on one of the coldest days in the year?

Either way, the Grinch is a Grouch. In fact, he looks like Oscar the Grouch!

 

Grinch and Oscar

Image Via Elise Skidmore

 

And don’t blame his grouchiness on the face he has a medical condition—his heart is literally “too sizes too small”—and don’t give me that nonsense that the Whos were mean to him. That’s only in the Jim Carrey movie, and we’re talking about Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas here, so you can…

 

 

His hatred of a holiday stems from one fact and one fact only: he hates seeing other people happy. Talk about a grouch!

 

 

4-Argus Filch

 

Argus Filch

Image Via The Harry Potter Lexicon

 

For all you Harry Potter fans and all you Hermione fans and all you David Bradley fans.

 

Argus Filch-movie

Image Via PopSugar

 

When we first meet Filch, he’s quite an unpleasant person. He hates children, students in particular, and it’s quite a strange hatred seeing as he works in a school. I don’t know, maybe the pay is good.

Still, he barks “What are you doing?!” so much you’d think he’d have ground that gravelly voice of his into dust. Be wary, from the students who sneak out at night to the ones who forgot to wipe their feet! Actually, revise that, even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you should still avoid him.

Miserable all the time, he’s rather sadistic, taking this unnerving delight in dishing out punishment to the students of Hogwarts. Look, and re-read, how much he enjoyed punishing young Harry in the first book when Harry was only eleven!

The only thing he seems to love is his cat, Mrs. Norris, but everyone loves cats.

 

Image Via Odor Klenz

 

Granted, as we learn more about him, his grouchiness becomes more understandable. He’s harassed by Peeves, the Poltergeist, and he’s a squib, meaning he can’t perform magic. He also evacuated all the students in the Battle of Hogwarts and, despite being unable to perform magic, fought against the Death Eaters. So you know what? Maybe he’s not too bad…

 

Slick

Image Via Reddit

 

He’s actually pretty cool, but still a major grouch.

 

3-Walder Frey

 

For all you Game of Thrones fans and all you David Bradley fans, Walder Frey.

 

Argus Frey?

Image Via ImgFlip

 

Ignoring his part in the Red Wedding, Walder Frey is still a prick.

After farting his way after Ser Edmure Tully’s call to arms because he wants to arrive when the battle is done, Walder Frey is immediately a prick and it only gets worse from there. When Catelyn Stark meets with him, we find that he’s not a nice old man at all. Toothless and wrinkled, he sits in his chair and brags about how he is still sexually active. With 28 kids roaming around, you’d think he’d care about at least one of them.

 

Walder Frey

Image Via A Song of Ice and Fire Wiki

 

Not a chance. Even at the age of 91, Walder Frey is as self-serving as ever. Being the leader of his house, no one trusts him or his family. Thus, instead of making amends, Walder sees fit to complain about this and continue to deserve the contempt of noble houses throughout Westeros.

He’s a miserable person to be around. A real grouch.

And you know what? I’m not going to ignore the Red Wedding.

 

Walder Frey

Image Via Imgflip

 

This man orchestrated it because some dude snubbed his ugly daughter and he wanted to get ahead in life. Screw you, you miserable old fart.

 

 

2-Smaug

 

Smaug
Image Via Smithsonian Magazine

 

Smaug is small. He’s a tiny dragon, but that’s no excuse for being such a grouchy ball of flames.

 

Smaug

HE’S ALSO LAZY / Image Via The One Ring.Net

 

After destroying a kingdom just for the money, he then spends the next 150 years in a mountain. Mass murder for money he doesn’t plan to do anything with? Talk about a miser!

 

Bilbo

Image Via Pipedia

 

I think we can all agree that Bilbo is the happiest man in the world, at least in The Hobbit!

 

Smaug and Bilbo

Someone drew this! / Image Via PInterest

 

When Bilbo visits Smaugh, what does Smaug do? Well, he’s amused by him, but ultimately he just wants to be left alone. What a grouch.

And then he burns a town down because he wants to be alone. What a grouch. A mass-murdering grouch.

 

 

1-Captain Ahab

 

Captain Ahab
Image Via The Guardian

 

A megalomaniac fanatic, Captain Ahab is obsessed with capturing a whale because on a previous voyage the whale bit off his leg.

That’s it. Moby Dick, a book big enough to break someone’s jaw, is about how instead of calling it quits, instead of moving on, Captain Ahab wears a prosthetic leg made out of whalebone and intends to turn the whale who bit him into bones.

Get over it dude.

 

Everything you need to know about Captain Ahab
Image Via Shmoop

And it wouldn’t be so bad if Ahab was the least bit likable. But he isn’t. His only drive in his life to find and kill the Whale. He forces his crew to support his insane mission just so he can kill a whale.

Three hundred pages just looking for a whale while his crew suffers, and he doesn’t stop and think “Maybe I should be considerate to the crew who is risking their lives for my stupid obsession”. That thought doesn’t even pass through his head.

 

Captain Ahab endangers his crew yet again

GET OVER IT DUDE / Image Via Consortiumnews

 

Even when his ship is destroyed and he and what’s left on his crew is on the boat, he’s still chasing after a whale. GET OVER IT DUDE!

You weren’t even nice, Ahab, you were just a real grouch. You’re going to jump for joy when this grouch is dragged to the bottom of the sea by the very thing he’s been trying to kill.

DIE YOU GROUCHY GROUCHY MAN!

 

 

…HAPPY GROUCH DAY!

 

 

Image Via Muppet Wiki – Fandom

The Top Ten Best Dragon Books in Fantasy Literature!

They’re big and terrible. They’re small and cute. They’re at once terrifying and majestic. Dragons have been an enduring fixation of literature pretty much ever since storytelling was invented. They can take many forms in narrative, from simple monsters to evil but intelligent villains to helpful allies to god-like divine beings. But one thing is clear: dragons are awesome and they’re extremely fun to read about. Here are the top 10 best books featuring these fire-breathing behemoths, showcasing dragons of every shape and size in all their glory for your viewing pleasure.

10. ‘Tea with the Black Dragon’ by R.A. MacAvoy

 

image via Amazon

Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy is a Hugo nominated fantasy novel that has a classic premise: girl meets boy and boy turns about to be a dragon. Martha’s daughter, Elizabeth, is in trouble in San Francisco and Martha hurries into the strange city to help her missing child. But when she arrives, the only person who knows where Elizabeth might be is the mysterious stranger Mayland Long. Did we mention Mr. Long can transform into a dragon? Its up to these two to find Elizabeth, even as Martha begins to feel romantic feelings for her newfound dragon companion.

 

9. ‘Three hearts and three lions’ by Poul Anderson

Image via Amazon

Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson tells of a man transported into a world of fantasy. Holger Carlsten is a Resistance fighter fighting against the Nazis during World War II but when he’s wounded in battle, the luckless engineer finds himself transported to another world. Against a medieval backdrop, he finds himself in a battle where the forces of Law fight against Chaos. Monsters abound this land, including werewolves, giants, trolls, faeries, and yes: dragons. Revered as a Champion, Holger must take up arms and join the brave knights, ready to slay some dragons (alongside other fearsome beasts) as the leader of the forces of Law.

8. ‘His Majesty’s Dragon’ by Naomi Novik 

Image via amazon

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik tells a historically accurate account of the Napoleonic Wars, with an added twist: dragons! Yes, this is an alternate history novel where dragons are used as the main force of combat, adding a thrilling new element to the tides of war sweeping Europe. When Captain Will Laurence finds an unhatched dragon egg, his life is turned upside down when the dragon hatches and imprints on him. Joining the Aerial Corps, Laurence and his dragon, Temeraine, must take to the skies to defend Britain from France’s own dragon armies.

 

7. ‘The Great Zoo of China’ by Matthew Reilly 

Image via Amazon 

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly is basically Jurassic Park but with dragons! For years, China has been keeping the existence of live dragons a secret but is preparing to unveil them to the world is the first ever dragon zoo. A small group of V.I.P.s are brought into the zoo to see the beasts first hand and inspect the safety of the place. Because, surely, nothing can go wrong? Right? Just kidding. Get ready for tons of action and lots of dragon destruction when things spiral out of control.

6. ‘Tooth and Claw’ by Jo Walton

Image via Amazon

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton is a unique twist on dragon literature. Told from the point of view of dragons themselves, this is a world of politics, family, and relationships but instead of humans, everyone is a dragon. In a society where the weak are literally eaten and the strong thrive as tyrants, this is a story like no other, as it showcases what the reality of a dragon’s world is truly like.

 

5. ‘The Hero and the crown’ by Robin McKinely 

Image via Amazon

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinely is a rich young adult novel full of feminist themes and a terrifying dragon as the main antagonist. Aerin is an outcast in her own kingdom, a woman looked down upon for being rumored to be the spawn of a witch. Determined to earn her birthright, she decides to slay a dragon but modern dragons are a far cry from the terrible beasts of old. They’re just vermin and although certainly formidable, they’re nothing but pests. Until the day a knight rides into the castle and reports the return of a great dragon from the old days. Maur, said to be as big as a mountain, has returned and is ransacking the kingdom. Seeing her chance, Aerin rides off with only her horse as a companion to face Maur and slay him.

 

4. ‘Dragonsbane’ by Barbara Hambly 

Image via Amazon

Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly focuses on a young prince who must join forces with a retired dragon slayer and a witch who can’t use her magic quite right. Joining forces to form a ragtag dragon slaying “crew”, the trio must journey forth to slay the terrible beast or die trying.

 

3. ‘Dragon Keeper’ by Robin Hobb


Image via Amazon

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb tells of a resurgence of dragons into a world that hates and fears them, yet might need them to save it. Telling of a young boy who travels up river to find a dragon egg in order to breed more dragons to defend his land, they find a set of newly hatched but injured baby dragons. With the help of quirky companions, the boy must ferry these dragons their new home across the wilds, with no hope of return but everything riding on his journey back.

 

2. ‘Earthsea’ by Ursula K. Le Guin 

Image via Amazon

Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin needs no introduction. Some of the most acclaimed works in fantasy literature, the world of Earthsea features a unique setting (an island archipelago) and people of color as the protagonists. Dragons are a huge component of the setting, from fearsome Western style monsters to more refined, almost Eastern style of creatures. This is one series that is a classic for a reason and you should dig into for certain, especially as a dragon lover.

1. ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien 

image via Amazon

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien began many a person’s love of dragons and fantasy. Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit who enjoys a comfortable life when he finds himself yanked from his sleepy little town by the wizard Gandalf and a group of dwarves. Together, they set across Middle-earth to seal the great dragon Smaug’s treasure from his lair in the Lonely Mountain. Smaug himself is an inspired creation and the highlight of the book but the rest is a classic adventure tale and one that will surely please any fantasy lover even today!

Featured Image Via LOTR Wiki 

Top 5 Best Dragons in Fantasy Literature

Dragons! Just that name is insanely cool. The name dragon conjures images of huge beasts, filling the air with their mighty roars as they rain fire upon castles, do battle with knights, or kidnapping princesses. Dragons have filled our collective imaginations for a long time and their continued popularity means we’ll see many more iterations of these grand beasts continue to pop up. Below, we count down 5 of the best dragons to grace fantasy literature, from the big to the bigger.

Smaug the dragon towers over Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) atop his hoard of treasure in the Hobbit's film adaptation

Image Via The Verge.

1. Smaug: ‘The Hobbit’

One of the most famous dragons in literature and one who had a profound impact on dragon depictions going forward, Smaug from ‘The Hobbit‘ is a magnificent creation. A wicked creature, Smaug invaded the dwarven kingdom of Erebor, driving the native dwarves out and taking the mountain for himself. He resides in the stronghold for many years, until the events of the novel, where thirteen dwarves, Bilbo Baggins, and Gandalf venture to the mountain to plunder his treasure. Unfortunately, Bilbo’s stealing is noticed and enraged, Smaug emerges from his lair to attack the nearby village of Laketown. While laying siege to it, he is shot down by a man called Bard, who pierces his one weak point: a small patch in his jewel encrusted underbelly. Smaug is slain, allowing the dwarves to claim the treasure, but Smaug’s legacy lives on, both in the further novels of the Middle-Earth universe and in real life. As a fun fact, Smaug’s wealth is estimated to be 62 billion according to Forbes, making him the wealthiest fictional characters of all time.

 

 

 

 

A Hungarian horntail, a dragon, flies against the sky and breathes fire

Image Via Pottermore

2. Hungarian Horntail: ‘harry Potter’

Dragons play a minor but memorable role in the Harry Potter universe. For the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament in The Goblet of Fire the chosen students must steal a golden egg from a dragon’s nest. Harry goes up against the Hungarian Horntail, unfortunately for him as the Horntails are incredibly aggressive and ferocious. Harry, however, manages to outmaneuver the beast by calling in his trusty broomstick and snatches the egg from the creature’s nest. The dragon sequence was greatly expanded for the film adaptation, where the Horntail breaks loose and chases Harry across Hogwarts. In either case, the Horntail certainly made its mark as a memorable obstacle and beast.

Beowulf blocks the dragon's fire as he does battle with the beast
Image Via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

3. The Dragon: ‘Beowulf’

The final act of the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf chronicles the titular character’s battle with a dragon. The dragon is awakened when a slave steals a jeweled cup from its lair and it begins terrorizing the countryside. Beowulf, now old, takes up arms nonetheless to fight the monster. Scaling to its lair, Beowulf’s men abandon him at the sight of the dragon, leaving only Beowulf’s companion Wiglaf with their master. Beowulf receives a mortal wound during the epic battle, but Wiglaf impales the dragon through the belly, weakening it, and Beowulf finishes it off by slicing off its head. The dragon receives no characterization but is a memorable role both killing Beowulf and being the earliest recorded instance of a dragons layer in English literature.

The three dragons of Game of Thrones sitting with their master, Daenyrus, on an island

Image Via Game Thrones Wiki

 

 

 

 

4. Drogon, Viserion, Rhaegal: ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’

Dragons play a pivotal role in the Song of Ice and Fire universe, being almost akin to weapons of mass destruction. Raised by the Targaryens, dragons possess enough power to raise entire cities to the ground and House Targaryen used them to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. But when the House was overthrown, all the dragons were killed. However, Daenyrus Targaryen receives three petrified dragon eggs as a gift much later on, which she manages to hatch into three living dragons. Naming them Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegel, the dragons could grow into weapons Daenyrus could use to fulfill her destiny: to conquer the Seven Kingdoms as her ancestors once did. But it won’t be easy, as numerous people want the dragons for themselves and as they grow, the dragons are increasingly difficult to control.

Falkor looks upon the viewer as he lies down on the desert sands in the movie adaptation of the Neverending Story

Image Via Syfy.com

 

 

 

 

5. Falkor: ‘The Neverending story’

Falkor is a friendly luck dragon and friend to  The Neverending Story’s protagonists, Atreyu and Bastian. He resembles a Chinese dragon crossed with a dog, being furry and elongated, a contrast to most other depictions of dragons throughout literature. True to his name, Falkor has incredible luck in everything he does, such as when he locates Atreyu in the midst of a raging storm against all odds. He provides assistance to the protagonists in the book, carrying them across the vast landscapes of Fantasia and offering them wisdom where he can. Falkor is lovable, much like a big dog, and becomes a beloved companion to readers and the fictional universe alike.

 

What dragons are some of your favorites? Tell us in the comments!

 

Featured Image Via Variety