I'm going to do a series on all things fantasy... first one will be 'dragons' because it's really fascinating comparing different things from dragon fiction. Besides, the dragons themselves are so beautiful and graceful and I'd like to think that's what the serpents in the Garden of Eden look like before Satan used one to deceive Eve. So...yeah.
For this post, I think I'll make a list of common characteristics of dragons and/or their riders found in most stories, and some pictures at the end.
1. In all dragon stories that I've read the dragon and its rider (if it had one) were able to communicate with their thoughts.
2. The dragon chooses its rider, not vice versa.
3. For some, the dragon dies when the rider dies, but the rider doesn't die when the dragon does. In others, when the rider dies the dragon doesn't and the rider doesn't die when the dragon dies. They just feel extreme pain (it's like the other half of them has died). It pretty much depends on the story.
4. Another reoccurring characteristic is that dragons mature at a way faster rate then people. It can take them a few months to grow into adult (or almost adult) dragons.
5. They all hatch from eggs.
6. Even the dragon can disagree with his/her rider, it will usually do what the rider wants against his/her better judgement.
The dragon can be found in many books, and I think the reason why it's so common as a legendary animal is not just because it's so powerful, but because of the bond it shares with its rider and the gift it gives the human-- the power to fly.
Who hasn't dreamed of flying at one time or another?
And let's face it. It would be very nice to have a dragon to sic on those you do not particularly like. Of course, a nice person would never do that. Ahem, just saying.