[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/FireEmblemHeath_2008.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[RuleOfCool Awesome]].]]

->''"The holy dragonmen, trailblazers of a new age\\
Riding the universe to force the evil to its cage"''
-->-- '''Music/RunningWild''', "Dragonmen"
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Let's face it: you can't get much more badass than a Dragon. They're huge. [[GiantFlyer They fly]]. They [[BreathWeapon breathe fire]]. They have [[SpikesOfVillainy weapons sticking out of nearly every part of their body]]. They're really, [[SapientSteed really smart]]. They're brutal and merciless in battle. They live for eternity, or at least a few thousand years, [[StrongerWithAge during which they only get stronger]]. They wield magic. Their tough scales make them both pretty and pretty ImmuneToBullets. (Well, it [[OurDragonsAreDifferent really depends]].)

As the most well-known mythological beast, dragons have always been treated like nuclear bombs in times of swords and wooden shields -- a quintessential incarnation of prestige, as well as terror.

Somewhere along the line ([[Literature/DragonridersOfPern 1967, to be exact]]), somebody got the idea that maybe these vicious, bloodthirsty beasts don't have to be so evil after all. Maybe underneath all those fangs and claws, they're just [[GentleGiant gentle, misunderstood]] creatures who might just be willing to fight on the side of the good guys if you're lucky. In fact, maybe they're [[ABoyAndHisX just looking for a friend]].

Thenceforth, there came the idea of a '''Dragon Rider''', a human (or humanoid) who is so mightily goddamn badass he can ride on the back of these beasts, often as a steed into battle. The concept exploded and gained popularity among fantasy authors, [[FollowTheLeader and now can be seen just about everywhere in modern fantasy literature and games]].

Dragon riders are usually characterized by a [[BondCreatures bond with the beast they ride]] which results in a [[{{Synchronization}} synchronous]] relationship between the two, a [[MindlinkMates telepathic link]], and no possibility that the two could ever be separated from each other without drastic consequences. They'd better get used to each other's company- they're stuck together for life!

The plausibility of this trope depends on how [[OurDragonsAreDifferent intelligent the dragons are in this setting]] as well as what exactly the rider brings to the table. In some cases, the human might fill some gap in the dragon's own abilities - an old-fashioned, unintelligent dragon might need a rider for direction, and a non-firebreather might benefit from having a wizard on its back - but most dragons are so all-around awesome that the human is redundant. That legendary magic sword of yours isn't going to do much good up there either unless it's [[{{BFS}} really really big, in which case the dragon himself might use it.]] If the dragon is just a particularly awesome, non-sapient animal, then the relationship is more comparable to that of a horse.

Much to the chagrin of dragon enthusiasts everywhere, even the more intelligent dragons are usually subservient to their riders (or at least seem to be/are treated as though they are). For example, in the FilmOfTheBook of the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'', when a dragon dies, their rider lives on, but when a rider dies, so does his dragon. [[note]]The series itself is better about this; many dragons die from grief, but not all - point of fact, Glaedr manages not to do this, if only to see [[BigBad Galbatorix]] dead.[[/note]]

This trope will keep coming back because dragons are cool and a dragon you can fly on [[RuleOfCool is cooler]].

May sometimes be called wyverns, a different dragon-like mythical creature.

Compare DragonKnight, GiantFlyer, BeastOfBattle, and HorseOfADifferentColor. Contrast ShoulderSizedDragon, a dragon that [[RussianReversal rides you!]] [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] the former name of the manned version of the UsefulNotes/SpaceX Dragon capsule (now called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_V2 Dragon V2]]), [[DoubleEntendre or with]] InterspeciesRomance.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Caro of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'', once she's able to control Friedrich's [[VoluntaryShapeshifting fully grown form]]. Friedrich allows Erio to ride him as well.
* The kingdom of Moss in ''Roleplay/RecordOfLodossWar'' has Dragon Riders as its chief defining characteristic. After she [[PutOnABus leaves the party]], one of the heroes, Shiris, marries their prince and becomes their leader.
* ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}'' has a variation; Cho Hakkai does have a pet dragon, but he's too small to ride--instead he shapeshifts into a ''jeep'', and they travel on him that way.
* The HumongousMecha ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' (from the series of the same name) could transform into a dragon, which was controlled in Dragon Rider fashion as opposed to the standard internal cockpit.
* ''Anime/MashinHeroWataruSeries'': Deformed mecha (not so humongous, 4~5 metres at most) is a standard weapon of choice in that world, the hero's mecha is a clay model he made for an art lesson which one of the 7 dragons of the second world took to fight other mecha. The cockpit is in hyperspace where the hero stands on a metal dragon statue and held on the two horns, where other mecha got more common cockpit controls with their own style(like bamboo sticks).
* There're some (albeit few) ''dragon riders'' riders in the aptly named hentai anime ''Anime/DragonRider''. Also, their dragons can turn into beautiful girls. And now, you know the rest of the story...
* In a similar vein the ISDA Dragonauts in ''Anime/DragonautTheResonance'' ride shapechanging dragons. Though theirs have conformal cockpit modules to cope with things like breathing in deep space.
* In ''Anime/AgnisPhilosophy'' (a graphical tech demo for the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series), Agni is seen riding the dragon she summoned at the end of the clip.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'': Tai is often seen riding [=MetalGreymon=] and [=WarGreymon=] (the latter is specifically a dragon). This could also apply to [[Anime/DigimonAdventure02 Davis and Ken]], [[Anime/DigimonTamers Takato]], and [[Anime/DigimonSavers Marcus Damon]]. ([[Anime/DigimonFrontier Takuya]] doesn't ride a dragon, he becomes one!)
* In the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime, trainers with Dragon-types can sometimes be seen riding them. Pokemon Hunter J had a Salamence, as did the magician Butler. Carlita had a Hydreigon in the 'Victini and Reshiram/Zekrom' movies. Lance has his Dragonite, which he rides in a couple of the games as well. And, of course, Ash and his Dragon-in-everything-but-official-type Charizard, along with Alain, Liza and Kiawe.
** In the ''Sun & Moon'' series, aside from Kiawe's aforementioned Charizard, and Sophocles riding a Metang, each member of the Ultra Guardians rides a Dragon-type; Ash rides a Garchomp, Lillie rides an Altaria, Mallow rides a Flygon, and Lana rides a Dragonair.
* Nearly every single character in ''LightNovel/SeikokuNoDragonar'' is a Dragon Rider, since it's a school for raising and riding Dragons.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'', Action Duels allow the duelist to ride the monsters that they summon. Considering the franchise's fascination with dragons, this trope is to be expected. In fact, Yuya ace monster is a dragon (Odd-Eyes Pendulum dragon, to be precise), and is seen riding it during the opening.
* A rather... interesting example in ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', whenever Jack and Yusei summon their respective Majestic Red/Star Dragon they go inside of its body. So we have Yusei, riding his [[CoolBike Duel Runner]] inside of a dragon.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhCapsuleMonsters'', all of the main characters except Yugi get dragons to ride on.
* ''Manga/MissKobayashisDragonMaid'':
** Kobayashi has ridden [[{{Weredragon}} Tohru]] on several occasions, but she doesn't like doing so that often because [[RealityEnsues riding on the back of a massive scaled creature flying at high speeds is really uncomfortable]].
** Kanna inverts it then plays it straight in the anime, first riding on Saikawa's back during the Christmas Party, and then giving Kobayashi a ride [[spoiler:to get to Tohru when she's fighting her father in the finale.]]
** Shouta rides Lucoa later on in the manga. Of course, Lucoa's dragon form is so massive that he barely appears as a speck on her forehead.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* In the ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh TCG'', Michael the Arch-Lightsworn is riding Judgment Dragon in his card art. This indicates that he is the true leader of the Lightsworn, as he has tamed their mightiest beast.
** Gaia the Fierce Knight also becomes this when [[FusionDance fused]] with Curse of Dragon to form Gaia the Dragon Champion. Similarly, Dark Blade + Pitch-Dark Dragon = Dark Blade the Dragon Knight. Paladin of White Dragon is also depicted this way.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' has the [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=193482 Kargan Dragonlord]], which uses the level up mechanic to start out as some random guy, who then gets a small dragon, then either upgrades or raises it to be a giant firebreathing one.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Hawkman}}'' has a Nazi villain called "White Dragon" who has this as his only superpower.
* Colossus of the ''ComicBook/XMen'' once pulled this off, in order to provide Cyclops and Wolverine with a flying rescue. How did he obtain a dragon? Well, he waited until it attacked him... but he's literally MadeOfIron, so it's okay.
** ComicBook/KittyPryde also has a pet alien dragon named Lockheed that occasionally has the ability to grow large enough to carry her and the other X-men.
* ''ComicBook/BlackMoonChronicles'': Dragon riders show up as mercenary forces on occasion. At the end of the series, the dragons wake up, recall that the pact was to last until the end of the world... which is due in a few weeks, so they torch the riders and cut in line through the portals to the new world Wis is running. The Emperor also has a huge dragon, but it's never seen to talk.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', George twice turns into a red dragon so he can fly several people to some inconvenient place. The problem is that he's too big to straddle, so whomever's riding him has to hang on as best he can�not a problem for the [[SuperStrength extremely strong]] Paul or even the Hunter, but a total impossibility for Ringo unless someone hangs onto him as well.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' fanfiction will occasionally make Harry himself a dragon-rider (most notably ''The Queen That Fell To Earth'' and its sequel). ''Fanfic/LikeARedHeadedStepchild'' has the entire Weasley clan ride dragons against the Death Eaters, and ''Fanfic/TheParselmouthOfGryffindor'' features a dragon-rider ''GiantSpider''.
* ''FanFic/AnonymoosesMonsterGirlSaga'' has the dragoons of Domdracveria, who ride wyverns. Wyverns, like all other monsters in the setting, have been transformed into {{Cute Monster Girl}}s, so the dragoons also marry their mounts. The wyverns can temporarily revert to their original monstrous forms to allow dragoons to ride them.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'' is about a young boy who finds a injured dragon and befriends it. There's quite a bit of dragon-riding in the process.
** Toothless needs a rider to [[spoiler:operate the stabilizer prosthetic which lets him fly.]] He's something like a draconic version of a proto-human: he demonstrates extremely high levels of 'people smarts', eventually comes to understand Hiccup's speech to a great extent, and is capable of abstract reasoning and problem-solving - when the other dragons were battling the Vikings, Toothless was attacking the ''catapults''. However, in other ways, he is very animal-like: he seems incapable of language or symbolic thinking, even to the point of being unable to recognize an artistic depiction of himself. For a comparison, see the 'stick drawing' scene, where Toothless doesn't understand that Hiccup is drawing a picture of him... but does understand that drawing in the dirt can be a bonding exercise, and that it would be disrespectful for one of them to step on the other's drawing.
** The other named dragons, Stormfly, Meatlug, Hookfang, and Barf and Belch, are ridden by Hiccup's first students.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' Donkey accidentally romances a female dragon, [[spoiler:then she escapes from the castle and provides him and Shrek speedy transportation to Duloc.]]
* Lydia, the [[VainSorceress villain]] of ''WesternAnimation/BarbieAndTheDiamondCastle'', has a loyal dragon as her main minion, and she occasionally rides on his back, especially when making her NotQuiteDead Entrance.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Mecha-King Ghidorah from ''Film/GodzillaVsKingGhidorah'' is an interesting variation in that one of the characters rides INSIDE of him. Of course, he is a [[OurDragonsAreDifferent giant, three-headed, mutated, cyborg dragon.]]
* ''Film/{{Avatar}}'''s [[OurDragonsAreDifferent four-winged pterosaur-things]] are powerful hunting mounts, and may [[BondCreatures bond]] to a single Na'vi for life, [[StrengthEqualsWorthiness after you fight them]].
** The common flying mounts in ''Avatar'' are the ''ikran'', or banshees. Bonding with one is seen as a rite of passage, and we see many Na'vi ride them (there are implications that most, if not all Na'vi have a banshee partner). The grand-daddy of all of ''Avatar'''s winged beasts in the aptly named Great Leonopteryx to humans, and ''Toruk'' to the Na'vi, which translates to "Last Shadow". Riding this creature (who looks even more [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragon-like]] than the banshees) requires such badassery that Na'vi history records only six examples of someone doing it. The previous Toruk Makto united the disparate Na'vi tribes at a time of great need. [[spoiler:This becomes a main plot point towards the end of the movie.]]
* Seems we're avoiding the mention of ''Film/{{Eragon}}'' as a matter of [[AdaptationOverdosed not really wanting yet another movie of it.]]
* In the 1989 film ''TheRailwayDragon'', Emily occasionally sits on the dragon's tail when he is standing or walking. It is not until leaving the Dragon's celebrations that she convinces him to let her ride on his back, which she loves and indeed the dragon (who hasn't flown in 100 years) enjoys it as well. In the 1992 sequel ''TheBirthdayDragon'', Emily rides on the dragon's back twice; first to the zoo to return all the animals the dragon brought her as a birthday present, and the second time for fun on the way back to the Dragon's home in the railway tunnel, as she and the dragon are now good friends (which is proved when the dragon catches her after she falls off his back during the flight).
* Obi-Wan in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' counts as this when he rides Boga, a [[OurDragonsAreDifferent varactyl]] while deployed to Utapau. Unfortunately, she falls with Obi-Wan when Order 66 occurs, but she survives the fall, according to the expanded material.
* Both protagonists, Atreyu and Bastian, get their share of flying the luckdragon Falkor in Film/TheNeverendingStory.

* The Valheru in Creator/RaymondEFeist's ''[[Literature/TheRiftwarCycle Riftwar]]'' series are [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy a race of Proud Warrior Guys]]. They are more commonly known as Dragon Lords for taming and riding dragons, across space, to wage war and plunder empires of other worlds.
* Daine in Creator/TamoraPierce's ''Literature/TheImmortals'' series does this once, but the dragons who allow her to ride them are looked down upon by the Dragonmeet. (They have a debt to repay her). In general, [[OurDragonsAreDifferent the dragons are far more educated and powerful than humans]], and [[SmugSnake are happy to show it off]].
* Dragons in the TropeCodifier ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'' form a personal, psychic bond with their riders (whom they choose) when they hatch and commit suicide without exception when their riders die (although a nesting Queen will remain alive until the day her eggs hatch). This goes the other way to a slightly lesser extent- it's considered a rare exception when a rider survives losing his dragon, and most of the ones that do end up committing suicide anyway. Those that don't end up an EmptyShell, even if they do find something else to live for. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] better than most other examples in that the dragons were genetically engineered specifically for that purpose. The [[LostColony colonists]] needed something to incinerate the Thread before it reached the ground and ate everything organic. It went something like this:
--> "oh shit, this stuff will eat everything if we let it land on our homesteads, we don't know when it will stop falling, and the technology we ''have'' been using to fight it is falling apart because we thought we would have a lot more time to build up the technology base necessary to replenish it; time to engineer ourselves a self-replenishing fighting force from the indigenous fire-breathing lifeforms that have already shown that they can and will defend our homes."
* The Nazgûls and their flying beasts in ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'' count as a precursory example.
** Although it's made fairly clear the mounts aren't dragons (which ''did'' exist in Middle-earth), but rather pterosaur-like creatures.
** In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion,'' Morgoth uses ''Balrogs'' mounted on dragons in several battles. However, prior to the War of Wrath, these were non-flying dragons.
* ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' copies ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'' pretty closely in this regard. There are a few interesting variances--for instance, humans who become riders tend to look slightly [[OurElvesAreBetter elvish]](perhaps because the spell that allows humans and elves to bond with dragons was cast by elves) after a while, and gain stronger-than-average magic power, making them decidedly less useless (especially since dragons in Literature/InheritanceCycle can't reliably use magic themselves, other than their innately magic abilities like breathing fire). Additionally, there is a lot of subtext that implies that while dragons in the wild are incredibly intelligent, it is only the ones that bond with elves/humans who have mastery over language and all the "civilized" attributes that entails, while the bonded elves/humans gain a ferocity and battle prowess of the dragon's natural killer instincts.
* Sha-ra from Literature/{{Phenomena}} used to be one, in fact, the 1st one! Well InUniverse anyway.
* Naomi Novik's ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' series features dragon riders in an AlternateHistory version of the Napoleonic Wars -- the dragons are used as living military airplanes or airships. Extremely maneuverable and [[SapientSteed self-aware]] airships, with [[BreathWeapon flamethrowers, water cannons, acid bombs]] or [[MakeMeWannaShout sonic generators]] (different dragon breeds have different military uses). It's ''awesome]''.
** Of course, the fact that the dragons are ''treated'' as living weapons rather than actual people [[FantasticRacism becomes a major issue]] from the second book onward. For instance, the dragons start demanding civil rights.
** This also happens to be the ''European'' mindset toward dragons (though this may be limited to Britain's citizens and non-aerial military divisions). Later books in the series point out that dragons are well-respected and active members of society in China, and that many African tribes view dragons as the reincarnated spirits of their ancestors.
* Averted in ''Literature/{{Cerberon}}'', unless you want to count Robert and Agnes riding on the back of Prince Aeronweyir, who's a dragon. They're only playing, since the Prince is fond of children. It's still [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming awesome]]. The dragons are only about the size of a human, and are the ultimate masters of the world. They can magically enlarge themselves to carry others (one is large enough to carry two people and the carriage they're riding in). There is no such thing as Dragon Riders in this world.
* Rhodry in the second ''{{Literature/Deverry}}'' series. As this dragon is not exactly a willing ally, he's needed to keep her under control. Also played with a bit as Rhodry tries unsuccessfully to find a way to fight from dragonback. He ends up simply using the dragon to frighten the horses of the enemy, something that is valuable in itself as the enemy are horse nomads. (And a powerful magician makes the horses on Rhodry's side immune to the fear effect.)
* The Wyrmberg sequence in Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'' mercilessly parodies this trope and its users, most especially Pern.
* Duly noted in [[http://lordofdragons.wikispaces.com this wiki]] concerning the [[spoiler:completely made up]] book series ''Literature/LordOfDragons''.
* Jane Yolen purposely [[AvertedTrope avoids this]] in her ''Literature/PitDragonChronicles''. The protagonist bonds with a baby dragon and excitedly wonders if he can ride it when it gets big enough, but another character informs him that a dragon might be able to bear him, but the scales would tear his skin. She also makes a cringe-inducing comment about treating men who'd tried riding even ''walking'' dragons. In a later book it's said that a dragon would probably cramp. At one point in the second book, the dragon does carry the boy... by flying while clutching a cloth under herself that the boy precariously hangs from. One of her claws is wrenched out of her toe by this exertion, though.
* Inverted in ''Bazil Broketail'', the first of a series of novels by Christopher Rowley. The named character is a dragon, with no wings but bipedal (and can't breathe fire either), but he has (like all war-dragons of his culture) a squire (called a "dragonboy") named Relkin, which is depicted on the cover as riding him. Dragonboys are not however dedicated riders, but attend the dragons (used to counter the bad guy's trolls and ogres) by doing things like camp chores, cooking and keeping their dragon's weapons and armor in fighting trim, as well as the occasional fighting by standing behind their dragons under the tail and engaging any infantry who try to flank the dragon.
* ''Literature/TheHalfbloodChronicles'':
** Parodied. One of the heroic Dragons gives a ride to a character who has just joined with the heroes. They both come away from the experience saying that it had to be the most uncomfortable way to travel imaginable.
** Shana, the half-elf protagonist of ''Literature/TheElvenbane'', was [[RaisedByWolves Raised By Dragons]] and occasionally rides her brother Keman. However, it's very uncomfortable.
* Creator/MercedesLackey's ''Literature/DragonJousters'' series features two warring countries each fielding jousters mounted on, you guessed it, dragons. The dragons in this series are small(ish), do not breathe fire, and are about as intelligent as the average apex predator. Only the dragons raised from the egg, so that they [[ABoyAndHisX imprint on their riders]], are ridden. The wild-caught dragons are kept passive by being continuously drugged and live a rather miserable existence. Thus, the protagonists are the ones who go through the effort of raising their own dragons.
* ''Literature/TheObsidianTrilogy'' by Creator/MercedesLackey and James Mallory features dragon riders, most notably the elf Jermayan in the later books. Bonus points because apparently if a dragon lacks a rider they can't mate, and they can only properly bond with one person in their lifetime (and when one dies, the other dies with them), but they're [[TheAgeless ageless]] before that (claw?), so that's all right. A rather funny note is that that the dragon Ancaladar has no problem with his link Jermayan riding him, but repeatedly states "I am not a horse" if others try. He still agrees to ferry children though after being guilt-tripped into it.
* Untwisted in ''Literature/HarryPotter'' of all places, when, in book 7, it turns out that trying to ride a dragon is a bad idea, and potentially hazardous to your health. They do ride one at one point, mostly by setting it free from where it was trapped and desperately hanging on as it flies off, but it was very old and blind and in very poor health, meaning that the possibility of crashing and dying was a greater worry for the would-be riders than that of being eaten.
* In ''Literature/DragonSlippers'', the dragons are more than happy to allow their human friends to ride... if they ask first, and ONLY friends. In later books, some of the dragons object, thinking it below them to carry humans.
* The world of Krynn, home setting of the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' saga, teems with intelligent flying dragons. Because the setting was developed during the 1980s to be a campaign world for ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' [[TabletopRPG tabletop roleplaying game]], the dragons were ColorCodedForYourConvenience into metallic dragons (good) and chromatic dragons (evil). Both sides, the Knights of Solamnia (followers of the good god Paladine, called the Platinum Dragon) and the Knights of Takhisis (followers of the evil Dragon Queen Takhisis) rode dragons into battle. Initially outnumbered, the side of good gained the upper hand once a famous smith, blessed by the gods, forged magical weapons called ''dragonlances'' for them. Dragonlances and dragon riders featured most notable in ''The Dragonlance Chronicles'' and the novel ''The Legend of Huma''. There's also a series of "Practical Guide" books set in the ''Dragonlance'' universe, starting with ''A Practical Guide To Dragons'' and later including ''A Practical Guide to Dragon '''Riding'''''. The number one lesson about dragon riding? Treat your dragon with respect because it ''knows'' it doesn't need you.
* ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' features a "luckdragon" as a mount. (He's described much like an Eastern dragon with the face of a lion, but has more of a dog's face in TheFilmOfTheBook.)
* Ged of the ''Literature/{{Earthsea}}'' series earns the title of Dragon Lord simply because he's one of the few humans the dragons will deign to ''speak'' with. So when the most ancient dragon gives him a lift home, it's a significant mark of honor.
* Subverted rather cruelly in Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''[[Literature/DarknessSeries Darkness]]'' sequence, where, while dragons are commonly used for aerial combat, they are nasty, foul-tempered, violent, and stupid creatures who have to be cruelly treated from birth in order to discourage them from killing their riders.
* The ''Literature/DragonKeeperChronicles'' by Donita K. Paul.
* The Cornelia Funke novel ''Literature/DragonRider'' is not as focused on this trope as one would expect. Though the main human character does in fact ride on the dragon's back, it's simply because this is the only way to transport him. Said dragon (Firedrake) is WalkingTheEarth, looking for a valley for the dragons to move to, and accquires the main human character as a TagalongKid, as he's a HeartwarmingOrphan who Firedrake decides to help. [[spoiler: However, it is stated that humans who bond with dragons and ride them do get some special powers, such as extended life and healing abilities, as they find out in a Pakistani village. Overall, though, this isn't too important to the plot.]] We learn more about why dragons sometimes need riders (whether humans or brownies) in the sequel, ''The Griffin's Feather''. Although the silver dragons are usually gentle, they can go beserk if they see anyone mistreating someone they care about, and need a rider calming them down in order to behave rationally. Also, the silver dragons can usually only fly by moonlight, but in an emergency where they have to fly day and night, riders can feed them moonflowers to give them the strength to keep going.
* In ''Literature/TheIronDragonsDaughter'', the dragons are mechanical beasts that are used as that 'verse's equivalent of fighter jets, complete with missiles. They are sapient, but their subservience is justified in that they cannot move, let alone fly or fight, without a pilot.
* In ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'', Xuanzang's horse gets eaten by a hungry dragon early in the pilgrimage to India. As penance, the dragon gets turned into a horse and is obliged to fill in for the horse it ate. Xuanzang never gets to ride the dragon in its natural dragon form, though.
* The dragons of [[Literature/TheElricSaga Melnibone]] and their riders are pretty much the island's military trump card...though limited by the fact that, by the time the stories are set at least, the dragons need a ''lot'' of sleep for every brief period of activity.
* ''Literature/{{Dragonsdale}}'' is basically one of those stories for horse-crazy preteen girls, [[HorseOfADifferentColor with a twist]].
* ''Nightpool'', ''The Ivory Lyre'', and ''The Dragonbards'' are about bards who form permanent emotional bonds with dragons. And ride them.
* Thomas Whitehead of ''Dragon Companion'' is just a humble librarian, until he stumbles into a fantasy world, befriends a dragon, and learns that librarians and Dragon Companions are among the highest-ranked individuals in his new world.
* Used as an aerial assault force by both the heroic and villainous wizards of Rick Cook's ''Literature/WizBiz'' series. Dragons in question are non-intelligent...but because of ''youth''; when they get too old (and too smart) they're released. And, as one minor character found out the hard way, while a flight of them may look beautiful in the sky, you ''do not'' want to be in the stables if you're not one of the riders.
* In ''[[Literature/ForgottenRealms Azure Bonds]]'', a red dragon + enlarge spell + haste = dead god.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', the Targaryens from Valyria rode dragons. The combination was potent enough that Aegon the Conqueror took over most of the continent of Westeros simply because he had three of them at his disposal while his opponents had never even ''seen'' a dragon before. However in the present-day time frame of the books (some 300 years after Aegon's landing) the dragons are now extinct. [[spoiler: At least until Danaerys Targaryen resurrects three seemingly-fossilized dragon eggs and begins planning an invasion of similar scope to her ancestors. However because the art of training a dragon has been lost, she has no idea how to do so. At the end of ''A Dance With Dragons'' she's finally managed to ride a dragon, though she hasn't yet mastered it. Nevertheless this act alone appears to have turned events in her favour.]]
* Subverted in Elizabeth Kerner's ''[[Literature/TalesOfKolmar Song in the Silence]]''. The humans are initially forbidden to cross into the dragon's territory, and killed on sight if they disobey. When a handful of humans eventually befriend the dragons, the dragons agree to be ridden for the sake of covering distance faster when emergencies come up. However, while it seems to work okay when the dragon is walking or running with a human just behind his or her head, flying like this makes for a very sore neck. The dragons have an easier time carrying humans in their hands while flying, but they have to keep the humans close to their scales to keep them from freezing, and landing while their forelegs are full is extremely difficult.
* Several people end up riding dragons in the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series. It's established early on that red dragons, the most intelligent, devious ones, would never stoop to letting a human ride them, so the eventual riders have to pull some tricks to do it. In the first book, [[BigBad Darken Rahl]] blackmails a red dragon named Scarlet into serving as his mount by stealing its egg. Later on, Richard, in exchange for saving that egg, is allowed to ride Scarlet for the rest of the book, and once more as a favor in the next book. Much later on, the villainous [[WitchSpecies Six]] uses Scarlet's hatchling as a mount, by taking Scarlet hostage.
* ''Literature/{{Havemercy}}'' features dragon riders pretty heavily, although the dragons are ClockPunk {{Magitek}} rather than biological creatures.
* Possibly inverted in one of the ''Literature/{{Nightside}}'' novels, when a pair of Chinese wizards are seen in a bar, having the tiny dragon familiars that ride around in their pockets fight one another. Possibly also a subversion, as it's rumored that the wizards are illusions created by the little dragons, who use the apparent presence of big badass ''humans'' to keep anyone from bothering them.
* ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheEmergedWorld'' features Dragon Knights, elite troops able to ride dragons in battle. When a dragon and a rider form a bond is forever, and Nihal is the only person who managed to tame a dragon who lost his rider. There are also the Azure Dragon Rider (riding the serpentine-looking Sea Dragons) and the Dark Dragon Riders like [[TheDragon Dola]], [[FaceHeelTurn Deinoforo]] and the CreepyTwins Dameion and Sameion.
* Attempted but subverted in the backstory of the ''[[Literature/RealmOfTheElderlings FitzChivalry]]'' novels by Robin Hobb. In this universe it is possible to make a dragon by carving it out of a special stone and then placing your essence into it, basically becoming the dragon. One dragon-maker tried to dodge this by making her carving that of a girl on a dragon and putting herself only into the girl. It didn't work, and the result is a chimera with the girl as just another part of the whole dragon. This is later played straight in the follow-up series "{{The Rain Wilds Chronicles}}", when a bunch of misfit teenagers have to figure out how to care for and bond with live, carnivorous, crippled dragons.
* The Skybax riders of ''{{Literature/Dinotopia}}'' combine this trope with PteroSoarer, with the riders flying on giant pterosaurs of the Quetzalcoatlus genus. Riders have no way to control their mounts, though they can lean in the saddle -- which is shaped so they must lie on their stomachs -- or speak to ask the skybax to move in one way or another.
* Two separate examples in the ''Literature/AgeOfFire'' series.
** In the first novel, dragons are being subjugated to be used as mounts, treated more like giant, firebreathing horses, complete with selective breeding. The later half of the book details their defeat.
** The second type is used by an actual dragon civilization. Humans bond with their dragons and get to ride on a saddle, but it's obvious that the dragon is in charge of that relationship.
* Turned on its head in the ''Literature/{{Dragonback}}'' novels, in which the alien K'da, who look very like wingless dragons, go from three-dimensional to two-dimensional and ride on humanoid hosts like {{Animated Tattoo}}s. They have a lot of abilities superior to human ones, which one host, Jack, notes with some discomfort -- they're very strong and fast, can leap far, see differently, and have strong retractile claws that let them cut through metal -- but they need to rest against a host's skin every six hours or they die. One of them notes that his kind make for good companions, servants, and friends to humanoids, they cannot be the masters. Also, if they've been with a human long enough, then they have telepathy with said human while riding him or her. K'da are also on the small side, explicitly unable to carry their human partners on their backs, though Draycos is able to climb trees and cliffs while Jack clings to his tail and is dragged up.
* Averted mostly in ''Literature/{{Fablehaven}}''. Dragons are proud creatures who view humans as mice and would die of shame if they were ridden by one. Subverted with Raxtus, who would let them ride him if he could, but his back is far too spiky to carry a rider. He carries humans in his claws. He also lampshades the trope, saying that if dragons relied solely on physics rather than using magic as support, they wouldn't get off the ground with or without a rider. It's eventually played straight in the final book, when Agad rides Camarat. According to Raxtus, this is only because the two are brothers[[note]] in the books, wizards like Agad are dragons who chose to permanently become human in exchange for greater magical powers[[/note]], and it's just this once.
* The protagonist in the ''Literature/AWizardInRhyme'' novels by Christopher Stasheff befriends a crippled dragon early on in the first novel (he accidentally summoned it while practicing magic looking for a light) and ends up riding it around and eventually magically repairs its wings and ends up riding it often throughout the rest of the novels due to their friendship.
* In ''[[Literature/CouncilWars The Emerald Sea]]'', there's one sapient dragon that reluctantly allows herself to be ridden by the main protagonist, who leads a squadron of nonsapient wyverns carrying human riders that are used along the lines of real life horses, with the obvious addition of being able to fly. The beasts fly from a specially designed sailing ship, in an obvious fantasy analog to modern aircraft carriers.
* ''Literature/AMemoryOfFlames'' is basically a huge deconstruction of this trope. People do ride dragons, in much the same way that knights rode horses, and the dragons themselves are similar to modern fantasy--they speak telepathically, can form bonds with humans, immortal, etc. The downside? The dragons ''hate'' their slavery, and are regularly drugged to keep them docile. The series kicks off just before a dragon manages to break free of its bonds...and the [[AnyoneCanDie total carnage that follows this.]]
* Both played straight and inverted in ''The Dragon Masters'' by Creator/JackVance. The humans of Aerlith are at war with the basics, a reptilian race from Coralyne, and both sides have subjected their prisoners of war to genetic engineering and use them as beasts of battle. The human armies ride into battle atop monstrous lizards, while the lizard armies use mutant apes.
* ''Literature/KindlingAshes'': There were a lot of them about twenty years pre-story. They were the best defense Auland had against the Ikjorians and the Firesouls want to become the next generation of them.
* In the picture book ''Zog'' by Julia Donaldson, Zog the dragon becomes a flying ambulance for a princess turned doctor.
* Lord Dunsany's The Book of Wonder, a 1912 collection of short stories features two dragon riders. One, a knight who threatens a dragon into becoming his steed (the dragon well knows how knights fare against dragons in tales). The other, a story about a teenage girl who is captured by a dragon who puts her under an enchantment. She rides him into the fabled lands of romance with pirates and elves, where she never ages.
* The how to draw book ''Dracopedia'' depicts an AlternateHistory where dragons of all kinds are commonplace throughout the globe. Part of this alternate history are the Dragonettes, small herbivorous dragons that look sort of like flying ''[[StockDinosaurs Gallimimuses]]'' and were trained to be used as steeds during many battles, including the American Civil War and World War I. Apparently, riding them is still commonplace even today, but only for recreational purposes, as it's stated that use of Dragonettes in war was slowly replaced by aircraft. Additionally, there's a [[ShoulderSizedDragon shoulder-sized variant]] called the "messenger" or "courier" Dragonette, which is depicted as the draconic equivalent to an InstantMessengerPigeon.
* In the climax of ''Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf'', final book of ''Literature/CompanionsCodex'', [[spoiler: Drizzt]] rides the copper dragon Ilnezhara in a dog-fight against [[spoiler: Tiago on Arauthator]], an ancient white dragon. In the background of this confrontation there is also [[spoiler: Tos'un Armgo who rides Arauthator's son Aurbangras]].
* Zach in ''Literature/AvalonWebOfMagic'', [[spoiler: after he bonds with Drake]].
* In ''Bad News'', a book in a SequelSeries to the ''Literature/SecretSeries'' known as ''The Bad Books'', the main character Clay becomes this, sort of. The book makes it clear that it's really more of a case of [[DogWalksYou Dragon Rides You]]. As it turns out, this is one case where the dragon is definitely ''not'' subservient to the master. In fact, the dragon would be deeply offended at the idea of any human "rider" being a master.
* In ''Literature/TheCrocodileGod,'' the Filipino-based {{Mythopoeia}} strongly references this, though as the Philippines are descended from seafaring Austronesians and the dragons in question are Asian-type {{Sea Monster}}s, it has a much different flavor than the usual trope.
-->''"The old days were when the dragons still lived, [[DinosaursAreDragons the crocodile’s ancestors.]] They carried us across the water, so [[LivingShip we did not need ships.]]"''

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** The Valyrians (including the Targaryens) built a massive empire by becoming this.
** Aegon the Conqueror and his sister-wives Visenya and Rhaenys unified six of the Seven Kingdoms by using their dragons to ''melt'' the castle of Harrenhal, burn 4,000 men at the Field of Fire, and offer little King Ronnel Arryn a dragonback ride. They inherited this from the former Valyrian Freehold where their family originated from. Aegon's personal dragon was Balerion "the Black Dread", the biggest dragon ever known. He forged the Iron Throne by melting down the swords of Aegon's enemies. In the books, Balerion's wingspan is said to have been so wide that entire towns fell under his shadow when he passed over. Queen Visenya Targaryen rode Vhagar, the smallest of the original three Targaryen dragons. But, according to a history Davos reads, Vhagar was still large enough to swallow a horse whole.
** Daenerys obviously aspires to be this when her dragons are grown. Like her ancestor Aegon the Conqueror, she will also need two other riders to get the full benefit of her three dragons. This becomes more problematic than she anticipated. The larger her dragons grow, the more difficult they are to keep under control. In the episode "The Dance Of Dragons", she finally takes flight upon Drogon and becomes the first dragon rider in over a century. After being reunited with Drogon in Season 6, she's taken to using him as her primary mount, even riding him into combat to destroy the Masters' fleet besieging Meereen.
** [[spoiler: The Night King becomes one after he kills Viserion and [[{{Dracolich}} raises him as a wight]].]]
** King Maegor Targaryen rode his father's dragon Balerion.
** Prince Aemond Targaryen rode Vhagar, the only remaining dragon brought over from Aegon's Conquest.
** Prince Daemon Targaryen rode Caraxes.
** King Aegon II Targaryen rode Sunfyre.
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'':
** ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'' provides an interesting example. The title character has a Chinese-style dragon as a [[BondCreatures Contract Beast]] and can summon it to perform either of his two [[FinishingMove finishing moves]] known as Final Vents, one for his normal form, and another for his [[SuperMode Survive form]]. However, the ''Rider'' usually refers to riding motorcycles, which is why, for Survive's Final Vent, the dragon [[MyHorseIsAMotorBike transforms into a motorcycle, lets Ryuki hop on and spits fireballs at the enemies before ramming them]]. In addition, though Ryuki can be and WAS translated as DragonKnight, it can also be read as Dragon Rider depending on the kanji, a helpful pun that transfers over to his first FinishingMove, the [[DivingKick Dragon Rider Kick]].
** And it's naturally extended to ''Series/KamenRiderDragonKnight'' and their {{Evil Twin}}s Ryuga and Onyx. (Except Ryuga[=/=]Onyx doesn't have Survive. Well, doesn't use it onscreen, at least, though what the Survive forms of all 13 Riders look like are AllThereInTheManual.)
** ''Series/KamenRiderWizard'' has his own Western-style dragon that he can summon. The catch is that he needs to combine his motorcycle with it as a RestrainingBolt and ride it that way; otherwise it'll be at least as destructive as whatever he's trying to fight.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' in the show of the same name learns that he's a Dragon Lord at the end of season two and thus can command the Great Dragon. Morgana can also command the dragons, though Aithusa's condition by the time she's large enough to ride means there's no riding her.
* In ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger'' and ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce'', four of the team's mecha can combine into a dragon that the Red Ranger's mecha can ride.
** ''Series/GoseiSentaiDairanger'' and ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' Season 2, though, invert it by having the Red Ranger's dragon mecha doing the riding (though after it changes into a humanoid Warrior Mode). Its mounts are an assault platform made by the other four Rangers' mecha and the SixthRanger's white tiger mecha.
** In the first season of Mighty Morphin (and therefore ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger''), Tommy/Burai seemed more inclined to ride on the Dragonzord's head or control it remotely than use its actual cockpit.
* ''Series/SpaceSheriffGavan'' has a dragon mecha, Denshi Seijuu Dol, which he rides on the head. In the [[Film/KaizokuSentaiGokaigerVsSpaceSheriffGavanTheMovie crossover movie]] with ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'', the Gokaigers' mecha Kanzen [=GokaiOh=] rides on Dol's back, while Gavan and Gokai Red stood on the dragon's head.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'', which partially [[JustifiedTrope justifies]] it by making most dragonriders warlords - the dragon is there ''precisely'' to show how awesome the general is to the troops (and the enemy). From a tactical perspective it is useful too - what general would not give his eyeteeth for an aerial view of the battle and the ability to get to trouble spots quickly?
** Plus, the Greater Dragonlances can be used only on dragonback, and are the only weapons that can instantly kill a dragon. They won the Dragon Wars all by themselves.
** ''Plus'', what general wouldn't want to ride a giant dragon that scares the crap out of any enemy troops? There's a constant threat of a giant flying reptile of mass destruction pouncing on you and ending your life!
* Partially subverted in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', where flavor text details how attempts to raise Wyverns as mounts always end painfully for the would be rider (this doesn't stop supplements from doing it in any number of ways however).
** The cover of ''Basic D&D's Master Player's Book'' shows a majestic king riding a gold dragon. He holds on by the hair on the back, and has a sword drawn, ready to fly into battle.
** Wyverns in ''D&D'' aren't actually dragons, but a distant relative. They also look like [[http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/eo_wyvern_med_dh292.jpg this]] ; note the scorpion-like stinger on the tail. The tail that folds up over the body, perfectly placed to skewer any would-be rider.
** Played straight with the fact that silver dragons and paladins are noted to get along fairly well together. Also partly avoids the redundancy part, as a dragon with an angry high-level paladin on its back is going to out-damage pretty much anything else that can take to the sky. Dragons, you see, are intelligent, strong, fast, tough warriors...that can cast spells. Paladins have touch-range healing spells... and as dragon riders, would by default be within touch-range of the dragon for the duration of the battle.
** The githyanki are noted to have an old pact with red dragons, who will occasionally deign to take them on as riders. How could one possibly augment the red dragon's general badassitude already? By adding ''PsychicPowers'', that's how.
** There's a Dragonrider prestige class in the all-dragons-all-the-time sourcebook ''Draconomicon'', and though it doesn't treat dragons as particularly different from other mounts, it does grant immunity to a dragon's frightful presence. Most of its abilities revolve around various tricks in aerial combat. Unfortunately, there's nothing about the class that helps a character actually ''get'' a dragon to ride and the suggestions earlier in the book are either the time-intensive sort that would have to be worked into the character's background or ridiculously expensive.
** The Dragon Samurai prestige class also gets a special ability that makes them better at riding dragons, and another that makes them better at convincing a dragon to let them ride him.
** One particularly tongue-in-cheek build involves a Halfling Paladin riding a Medium sized baby dragon paladin riding a older dragon paladin riding an even older dragons paladin all the way till you hit collosal (rhe largest size class) resulting in a charge attack that involves insane amounts of damage.
* ''Dragons'', one of the old Role Aides WritingAroundTrademarks D&D supplements from the 80s, used this trope while subverting many of its assumptions: in it, it was the '''dragons''' who hit upon the idea of carrying an (unwilling and terrified) human rider around, in mocking imitation of human knights. What started out as a joke among dragons who kept human servants (those opposable thumbs can be useful) eventually grew into something closer to a partnership, but with the human still very much the junior partner in the relationship. The humans got to ''pretend'' to other humans that they were badass dragon-tamers, a charade the dragons tolerate because it keeps their human serfs content to think the rider is the boss; the dragons found it handy, because having a human there to position a big pointy stick upright on their backs in aerial combat discourages other dragons from dive-bombing their rider-bearing opponents.
* One of the Steve Jackson Games ''TabletopGame/{{Munchkin}}'' expansion packs adds a bunch of mounts (Horse, Tiger, Wolf, Chicken). The Dragon is the most powerful mount, but cannot be upgraded, because "It already flies, breathes fire, etc...", making it more powerful than most mounts but less powerful than a fire-breathing flying tiger.
* Creator/GamesWorkshop games:
** ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' has Exodite Eldar Dragon Knights, who are essentially [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot space elves riding space dinosaurs and wielding laser lances]]. Although they haven’t had any rules since the 2nd Edition of the game, they do still appear in the background material ever now and again.
** ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'':
*** Many high level characters have the option of riding dragons into battle with each race getting their own type of dragon mount. There is only one Dragon available to the Empire, so only the Emperor gets to ride it. Undead generals can ride zombified dragons, while Chaos lords sometimes take to the skies on horribly mutated two-headed dragons. Orcs have access to Wyverns, which are more vicious but stupider and ignoble dragon offshoots, and [[LizardFolk Lizardmen]] generals instead get to ride the universe's equivalent to a Tyrannosaurus rex.
*** In the game's background material it is said that in past ages High Elf Dragon Princes used to regularly ride dragons into battle. In the time-period that the game takes place however, those dragons that remain have entered a deep hibernation that takes exceptional effort to wake them from, forcing the Dragon Princes to ride purebred elven steeds.
** ''TabletopGame/WarhammerAgeOfSigmar'':
*** The greatest of the Stormcast Eternals ride the mighty [[ArmoredDragons Stardrakes]] into battle.
*** It is considered a great test of an Ironjawz strength and bravery for them to defeat and ‘tame’ a Maw-krusha, great wyvern-like creatures that are even more destructive and have a worse temperament than the Orruks themselves.
* Dragons in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' are typically treated with caution. They range from magical beasts to high-level gods. However, the Sidereal Exalted's final Ride charm allows them to turn an Ally, Acquaintance, or Familiar into a Lesser Elemental Dragon and ride them like a mount. Afterward, the target either turns back and goes into a persistent vegetative state, or continues as a dragon from then on, per the Sidereal's decision.
* The ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' TCG has a few of these, although some of them are [[FusionDance fusions]] of two separate monsters (Gaia the Dragon Champion, Alligator's Sword Dragon). Michael, Lightsworn Lord is riding Judgment Dragon in his card art, indicating that he is the true leader of the Lightsworn, as he has tamed their mightiest beast.
* In ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' there are the storm riders, warrior women Venusians who ride on the backs of Mountain Demons, basically dragon sized pterosaurs.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Numenera}}'': The Angulan Knights ride xi-drakes, winged dragon-like reptiles. Xi-drakes are themselves intelligent creatures, and willingly serve the knights as steeds as part of a pact between the two groups.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' has Dragonkin, truck-sized Dragons that come in the full Chromatic and Metallic colors (complete with breath weapon, but no [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience alignment restrictions]].) that can form a PsychicLink with a humanoid whom can then ride them. They also have Opposable thumbs, meaning they can wield giant-sized weapons in battle. Of course, they're only found on the planet of Triaxus, so players hoping to get one for themselves will have some hurdles to jump.
** The time period of ''TabletopGame/{{Starfinder}}'' presented some new challenges to the Dragonkin of Triaxus. They rarely ride except in an atmosphere, but their bond works just fine, making them excellent StarFighter copilots.
* Surprisingly, ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' has a few of these. Some infantrymen, particularly in the Free Worlds League, are trained to ride Branth, alien creatures that just happen to look exactly like Dragons, and even have a poisonous BreathWeapon.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonsWake'' allows you to look at the trope from a different perspective. The player character is a young dragon and may choose to carry some of the other characters in certain situations.
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestMaskOfEternity'' has a Crystal Dragon you can ride if you find the Crystal Sceptre that controls it.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Lance of the Elite Four in ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' (and the champion of ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'' and their remakes). Also, any player character who teaches a Dragon-type (or a Pokemon that resembles a dragon without having the type like Charizard, Aerodactyl, or Gyarados) the moves Fly or Surf is doing this too.
** N in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'' as well. He flies off/touches down riding on either Reshiram or Zekrom depending on your version at least once during each game.
** In ''Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire'', the player can fly over the Hoenn region while on the backs of either Mega Latias or Mega Latios. They can do tricks, land anywhere in Hoenn, and even encounter Pokemon in the sky. In addition, at one point they have to ride the [[OlympusMons legendary dragon Rayquaza]] into space to battle Deoxys.
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'', the various [=HMs=] (special moves which you can use out of battle to pass obstacles or move more quickly) are replaced by the Ride Pager, which allows you to call up a number of rideable Pokémon. Fly is replaced by the ability for you to call a Charizard that flies you between various areas of Alola.
* The videogame ''VideoGame/{{Lair}}''. The dragons in ''Lair'' are not extremely intelligent, and probably could be safely used by humans, but main character Roan says that dragons choose their riders, and at points the dragons he rides are implied to understand what he is saying.
%%* The game ''VideoGame/{{Drakkhen}}''.
* Also, the game ''VideoGame/{{Drakan}}: Order of the Flame'' and its sequel, ''The Ancients' Gates''. Notable for their gameplay which balances the aerial dogfights and on-foot exploration very well.
* The Dragon Knights from the ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' series.
** An interesting interpretation of the "empathic link" shows up here as well. In order for the dragons to ''exist'', someone must use the Dragon True Rune. This rune does ''not'' grant absolute control over dragons, but ''does'' allow the wielder to favorably command some of them, hence the dragon riders. If the wielder of the True Rune dies, then so do all the dragons, unless someone else takes the rune.
* There is one portion of ''VideoGame/ADanceWithRogues'' that concludes with a very long-range flight on a white dragon. Unfortunately, the developers couldn't mess with the base ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' graphics enough to allow the character to ride a dragon onscreen.
** Though the Dreamcatcher campaign lets you do so, but that one was a far more scripting-intensive and not quite as well written story
* Dragon Riders are a recurring class in the ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' series. They're soldiers who ride non-fire-breathing dragons, usually only coming from a single country on the continent in question, and unlike most examples of this trope, they're generally very common in the enemy ranks. In most canons it's not specified where these dragons come from; the Archanea canon is the exception, stating that they're degenerated descendants of the Manakete tribes. Their appearance and build is inconsistent throughout the series: they had only two legs in the first three games, became quadrupeds through the SNES and GBA eras, became vaguely bipedal (with the front legs not touching the ground) in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance Path of Radiance]]'', returned to full quadruped status for ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn Radiant Dawn]]'' and the DS titles, and ''then'' returned to their original two-legged status in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' and onwards.
** As if that's not fun enough, the naming for the class and creatures is quite the convoluted headache outside of Japan. For ''Blazing Sword'', the first English release, they [[{{Woolseyism}} were renamed]] "Wyvern Riders" to distinguish them from the proper dragons which figured heavily into the plot of the game; ''Sacred Stones'' and ''Path of Radiance'' stuck to this. The Japanese version of ''The Sacred Stones'' introduced the "Wyvern Knight" class, ostensibly separate from the dragons of the Dragon Rider class and looking more like traditional wyverns; they were still called "Wyvern Knights" in the English version and the matter of their physical difference wasn't addressed. ''Radiant Dawn'''s translation discarded the "wyvern" name for the classes themselves, going with variations of "Dracoknight"; however, in dialogue the species are still called wyverns, again to differentiate from the game's fairly important actual dragons. This remained the case for ''Shadow Dragon'', the next release translated on the DS for the series; ''Fire Emblem Awakening'' reverted to the "wyvern" terminology entirely (as, once again, "actual" dragons feature prominently and are a ''very'' different sort of creature than the mounts). Ashnard from ''Path of Radiance'' should get special mention as, unlike the other examples in the series, [[spoiler:he rides an actual intelligent dragon albeit heavily drugged and forcibly enslaved.]]
** Throughout the series, dragon riders have had a consistent presence, but aren't the most common playable class; indeed, most of them can only be obtained through [[HeelFaceTurn recruiting them from the enemy]]. These are the playable or otherwise notable dragon rider characters from across the franchise:
*** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight'', ''VideoGame/FireEmblemMysteryOfTheEmblem'', and their remakes: Minerva and [[spoiler: Michalis (''New Mystery of the Emblem'' only)]] start as one. Caeda, Est, Palla, and Catria can promote to this, because [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness somehow pegasi become dragons]] (Macedon).
*** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar'': Altena, Areone and Travant (Thracia).
*** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade'': Zeiss, Melady, Gale and Narcian (Bern).
*** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade'': Heath (pictured above) and Vaida (Bern again).
*** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'': Valter, Glen and Cormag (Grado) are this by default. Tana and Vanessa can become this if promoted to the Wyvern Knight class (because again, somehow pegasi become dragons).
*** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance'' and ''VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn'': Jill and Haar (Daein) are playable in both games. In ''Path of Radiance'', Shiharam and [[BigBad Ashnard]] can be unlocked to use on the bonus Trial Maps.
*** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'': Cherche and her son Gerome primarily [[spoiler:(who thanks to TimeTravel actually ride the ''same'' dragon)]], but thanks to the class change and marriage systems, there can potentially be well over a dozen characters capable of using this class. Also notable for the fact that Manaketes Nowi and Tiki are capable of using it, which would make them dragons (in human form) riding dragons.
*** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'': Camilla and her retainer Beruka, as well as [[spoiler:Arthur's son Percy]] (Nohr). Uniquely for the franchise, one possible promotion for the Wyvern Rider class gets to ride ''undead'' dragons.
*** ''VideoGame/TearRingSaga'': Similar to the Archanea games before, Pegasi become Wyverns with Sasha, Mahter, Frau and Verna promoting to them and Raffin, a horseback character, being able to do do as well. The nation of Canaan also uses Dragon Riders, an alternate 1st-tier class with Prince Julius being a commander of them.
*** It's also worth noting that despite appearing to be fearsome and dangerous creatures, sporting sharp claws, spiked tails, and rows of teeth, the dragons themselves never actually attack! The rider always does ALL of the attacking. Compared to their 'sister' flying mount class, the Pegasus Knights, dragon riders have different stat distribution, providing greater HP, Attack and Defense compared to the Speed, Skill and Resistance afforded by pegasus knights, probably because they're bulkier creatures with more weight to throw around. Having mounts able to attack on their own would probably [[GameBreaker screw up the game balance]].
* ''VideoGame/DragonStrike'' is one of the first classical examples.
* ''DragonBreed'' has an interesting play on the trope. You play as Kayus, riding the dragon Bahamoot. Bahamoot is invincible, but Kayus is a OneHitPointWonder. Thus you must fly the dragon in a specific way so that its body can protect the rider against enemy shots.
* Variation in the ''VideoGame/WildArms'' series. The dragons you convince to help you save the world serve as your airship. The variation comes from the fact that they're MechanicalLifeforms [[TransformingMecha that transform into jet fighters]], so the heroes ride ''inside'' of them instead of on top of them.
** And yes, you do have dogfights against similar dragons, as well as some {{Flying Saucer}}s in a side quest you get from a paranormal investigator named [[Area51 Roswell]]. In ''VideoGame/WildArms3'' at least.
* Done well in ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'', where dragons hate humans as foolish weaklings. However, the dragon is dying and you need its help, so she makes a deal where she binds herself to you (with [[HeroicMime unfortunate side effects]]) to heal her. When on her back you serve no purpose as she's bad enough to take everything on. Your role is to hop off of her to take out ranged units (if they hit her while you're in the air, she throws you off after a couple hits).
** In ''Drakengard 2'', Legna is on much better terms with his rider, Nowe (having partially ''raised'' him); he accepts Nowe riding on his back because they get around faster that way.
** In ''Videogame/{{Drakengard 3}}'', Zero's original dragon Michael is killed in the prologue and is reincarnated into the adolescent dragon Mikhail, who she's something of an abusive (but ultimately loving) mother figure towards.
* In the ''VideoGame/PanzerDragoon'' series, the dragon needing a rider to activate its weapon systems is justified as the [[{{Precursors}} Ancients']] attempt to keep the dragon units from going nuts and killing everyone. Most of the games are rail shooters, with you on your dragon flying into a storm of enemy creatures and aircraft. The one non-SHMUP, an [[RolePlayingGame RPG]], still had dragonriding as a central concept, with the dragon serving as your GlobalAirship, and all random battles taking place in mid-air with you strafing around your enemy to dodge attacks.
* In ''VideoGame/BahamutLagoon'', you can only field as many squads as you have dragons to ride. Those squads ride in on the dragons, but after that the dragon is an independent unit in combat.
* In ''VideoGame/HypeTheTimeQuest'' there are a number of sequences involving dragon riding. You have to persuade the dragon to let you, though.
* The Acacia Dragoons from ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' ride dragons, but said dragons are rather small and silly-looking.
** DinosaursAreDragons, perhaps?
* ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime'' has an entire brigade of dragon riders as one of the enemy nation Airyglyph's armies.
* Well, if we're going that far, the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series has a lot of enemies that ride dragons, mostly as mid to late game enemies. They are extremely susceptible to anti-dragon techniques, implying that if the dragon dies, so does the rider.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} II'' had orc dragon-riders. As explained in [[Literature/DayOfTheDragon the novels]], they used an ArtifactOfDoom to control Alexstrasza, the dragon queen, and use her children as mounts.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' features several types of dragon that can be acquired as mounts. Normally they can't do anything that would make a dragon preferable to any other flying creature (although it does look cool to fly around on a dragon). The latest expansion offers short quests in which players can commandeer a more badass dragon - raining down fireballs and swallowing enemies whole.
** There's also Rend Blackhand, a dragon-riding boss. And in ''Wrath of the Lich King'', a few quests/fights with dragon-riding.
** In all their incarnations and regardless of whom they work for, training and riding dragons is the Dragonmaw Clan's orcish [[PlanetOfHats hat]]. They use a different category of dragon in each incarnation.
*** During the Second War, as part of the Old Horde they bent red dragons to their service by imprisoning their matriarch Alexstrasza the Dragon Queen. She eventually broke free (as [[SealedEvilInACan sealed objects]] [[SealedGoodInACan in cans]] are wont to do) and crippled the clan during a vengeful rampage.
*** As fel orcs of Kargath Bladefist's Fel Horde, they try the same trick with the Netherwing dragons of Outland, and their activities have encouraged a deep distrust of mortals among the Netherwing as a result. The Netherwing faction storyline involves ingratiating yourself with the Dragonmaw while releasing the Netherwing broodmother and sabotating their other operations. By the end you've all but disgraced the Dragonmaw in Illidan's eyes, but that's not the end of the Dragonmaw...
*** In ''Cataclysm'', the Dragonmaw are shown to be under the unwanted rule of Mor'ghor, a fel orc who ran the nether dragon-breeding operation back on Outland and now lords over the untainted Azerothian clan with an iron fist. Before and after his insurrection the Dragonmaw used and still use the same ArtifactOfDoom, the Demon Soul, that they enslaved the red dragons with. This time, however, they enslave black dragons, who are considered more AcceptableTargets, and catch their drakes in the wild to not repeat the mistake of the groups who came before them.
*** By the end of ''Mists of Pandaria'', the Dragonmaw have turned to the use of black proto-dragons, the dragon equivalent of cavemen, as the black dragons have been all but eliminated from the face of Azeroth. With Garrosh's defeat, they appear to have stopped this policy.
*** In the Warcraft novel ''War Crimes'', the Dragonmaw form an alliance with the Infinite dragons, and use them as voluntary mounts rather than enslaving them. Whether this will carry over into ''Warlords of Draenor'' remains to be seen.
** The Order of the Cloud Serpent is an entire organization of Pandaren who ride on Cloud Serpents, Pandaria's [[DragonsUpTheYinYang equivalent of dragons]]. Reaching Exalted reputation with them is necessary for you to be able to do the same, even if you have maximum flying skill. The intelligence of Cloud Serpents in comparison to other dragons is variable, as only supernatural ones like Tsulong or Yu-Lon are shown talking, but they're at least implied to be as intelligent as humans even if they can't speak.
** A special item made by the alchemy profession can be used to turn the player character ''into'' a dragon. Your friends can then ride you.
* The [[http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/View.php?view=OblivionMods.Detail&id=2774 Akatosh Mount]] GameMod for ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion.''
* ''VideoGame/PuzzleQuest: Challenge of the Warlords'' allows you to recruit the high elf dragon rider Elistara as a party member. Not to mention the young gold dragon Flicker. After a few optional quests, the two can agree to be rider and steed, and a conversation with another dragon implies that such an arrangement, usually lifelong for the rider, can be seen by the dragons as the equivalent of going outside to play.
** Players can also capture a wyvern to use as a mount, though they tend to make weak mounts (Despite being [[GoddamnBats a pain to fight against]])
* Judith from ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' rides around on a dragon that she befriended as a child.
* ''VideoGame/MasterOfMagic'' features draconian Doom Drake riders. Yes, that means dragons riding dragons. There's also a hero, Fang the Draconian, who rides on one.
** Orcs have wyvern riders.
* Some ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games make the Dragoon class fully-fledged Dragon Riders, although you rarely play as one. The most notable examples are...
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' where dragoons got their names from riding specially raised dragons called Wyverns, which TheEmperor saw as a threat to his flagship and poisoned them leaving the party to find the LastOfHisKind. The dragon can even be called to use its BreathWeapon in battle by using it as an item.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', had the Wind Drakes, one owned by Lenna called Hiryu that serves as aerial transport and a large part of her backstory and CharacterDevelopment as well as and another one owned by Krile.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has Kuja who rides a pretty badass silver dragon. Ironic, considering that he himself is TheDragon to Garland and appropriately that particular dragon belongs to Garland and his dragon riding privileges do get revoked.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', Bahamut transforms into a flying dragon when in Gestalt Mode, which Fang (a dragoon) can ride. In one scene Vanille and Fang use their weapons (a fishing rod and a spear, respectively) to basically lasso an dragon-like enemy monster to hitch a ride to the BigBad.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'', has two separate dragons obtainable as mounts, both a flying dragon and non-flying drake.
*** XIV also gives some hints as to the distant past. Man and dragon built a great civilization together. It implies the existence of this trope then, before the betrayal that shattered the civilization and started the war. [[spoiler:It sees a revival at the end of the Heavensward storyline; with Ser Aymeric of Ishgard riding upon the back of a dragon he'd befriended prior to the final battle in the epilogue.]]
* After you finish Draconia Bomb Factory in ''VideoGame/{{Alundra 2}}'', riding a dragon becomes your main method of transportation.
* The web RPG ''VideoGame/DragonFable'', from the creators of ''VideoGame/AdventureQuest'', features (as part of their main plot) the PlayerCharacter acquiring the [[EggMcguffin legendary egg]] of [[DragonsUpTheYinYang one of two dragons]] of prophecy, hatching it, and under ''certain'' conditions [[MakeMyMonsterGrow making the dragon grow to its adult size]] to do battle with gigantic fantasy monsters. [[EvilCounterpart The main villain]] has the ''other'' one... Adventure Quest itself has the Guardian Blade, Dragon Slayer, and [[{{Whatevermancy}} Dracomancer]] class, all of which can be used to summon dragons as an attack.
* Subverted by ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. You'd think that the Servant Rider would be able to ride dragons, but even at an A Rank of the riding ability, she is unable to ride dragons.
* [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] might be one, if one were to believe Yoshi is a dragon. Yoshi is a prime case of confusion via DinosaursAreDragons, however.
* In ''VideoGame/RuneScape'', the Dragon Riders are totally or mostly extinct. They were a lizard-like race called the Ilujanka, who left their world, Iaia, after being promised a cure for the infertility that plagued them, and were subsequently wiped out in the wars of Gielinor. The dragons of Gielinor were a replacement for the mounts they left on Iaia, the gurh.
* In ''VideoGame/SpaceHarrier'', you get to ride the good dragon Uriah during the {{bonus stage}}s [[spoiler:and the ending]].
* In ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe'' the Beat 'em Up formula is improved upon with ridable beasts. Blue and Red Dragons breathe fire, while that purple bird thing has that awkward tail swing.
* In ''VideoGame/TheFairylandStory'', Ptolemy can be seen riding atop the neck of the dragon Rodmey[[note]]the name has no official transliteration[[/note]] after every seventh round.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', the player character briefly gets to ride of the back of Odahviing toward the end of the game's main questline after defeating and trapping him (the game fades out just before you set off, so you as a player don't get to see the actual riding). In the ''Dragonborn'' DLC, both the player and [[BigBad Miraak]] ride dragons into battle.
** The Bend Will shout at full power gives you the ability to do this to any normal dragon encountered in the game. The fact that you can't actually control the dragon that much means it's nowhere near as useful as it sounds. In fact, all it really does is let you sit on the dragon while it attacks your enemies, so it's really no different than just having it as an ally. Whoever thought riding a dragon could be boring? (Unless you decided to mod it via [[LevelEditor Creation Kit]].)
* Inverted in ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'': when summoned into battle in [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI the first game]], the dragon [[{{Disney/Mulan}} Mushu]] rides on the human Sora. (Specifically, on his head.)
** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' Sora and the party fight a [[TheHeartless Heartless]] that used to be a wise dragon and through [[PressXToNotDie Reaction Commands]] they can get on it's back, though it's not so much riding as attacking from a better position.
* The finale of ''VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamland'' has Kirby and company take wing on the four dragons collectively known as Landia for an UnexpectedShmupLevel.
* The Miis in ''VideoGame/{{Miitopia}}'' can ride a dragon named Dominic to travel fastly through the Island of Miitopia. [[spoiler:They need to defeat it in the Dark Lord's castle first, though as it was BrainwashedAndCrazy before that.]]
* In ''VideoGame/KeioFlyingSquadron'', Rami flies into battle on her dragon, which is named [[StockAnimalName Spot]] (Pochi in the original Japanese).
* In the climax ([[SpoilerOpening and opening animation]]) of VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar the party ends up riding Nall.
* [[http://www.dragonspropheteurope.com/ Dragon's Prophet]] has this as the central mechanic, dragons can be ridden and fought aside.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Shantae}}'', one of these serve as the boss of the Twilight Palace. You can't damage him while he's in the air, so you'll need to ground him first [[spoiler:[[GoombaStomp by stomping on his head]] in Harpy form]].
* In ''VideoGame/DawnOfTheDragons'', the player character hatches, befriends, and eventually rides a newborn dragon into battle. The player character eventually gains a reputation as [[RedBaron "the dragon rider"]].
* [[AnIcePerson Sub-Zero]] manages to capture and tame a horde of ice dragons in his arcade ending for ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX''. He ends up giving each of the Lin Kuei one, and they become a clan of dragon riders so fearsome that just the mention of their reputation keeps enemies of the Earthrealm far away.
* These are the signature units of the Dragon Knights of Fevnir in ''Videogame/LostTechnology''.
* ''Videogame/{{Drakerider}}'', which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. It's [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]], since the dragon is a vicious and powerful monster who ''hates'' the arrangement. You don't control the dragon so much as keep a tight hold on its chains and make it face things you want to kill while praying it doesn't throw you off and eat you.
* ''VideoGame/TotalWarWarhammer'': Dragons show up as high-tier mounts for certain factions' Lord units: the Warriors of Chaos get mutated, two-headed Chaos Dragons, the Vampire Counts raise [[{{dracolich}} zombie dragons]] to serve as steeds, and the Wood Elves get Forest Dragons, with deer-like antlers draped with moss. The Orcs also get Wyverns, which have two less legs and aren't as large or powerful. These are some of the best mounts in the game, being able to bypass terrain obstacles or enemy units by flying and granting powerful combat bonuses to boot.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII'': The Dragonriders, massive armored knights with incredible strength who served as King Vendrick's royal guard, were said to ride wyrms into battle. But the time of the game proper, though, there are no wyrms to be found, though the knights still serve their absent king.
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'' has the [[BonusBoss Nameless King]], who rides into battle atop a massive wyvern called The King of the Storm. Although the Nameless King is much more dangerous ''after'' you [[BerserkButton slay his mount]].
* [[MemeticBadass Cacame Awemedinade]] from ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' is occasionally depicted in artwork riding his pet Zombie Wyvern into battle.

* In the [[RPGMechanicsVerse turn-based-strategy universe]] of ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'', [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dwagons]] [sic] are Stanley's most powerful units. They can operate solo, or warlords can ride them (granting leadership bonuses and the ability to selectively engage targets instead of simply attacking every enemy they encounter).
** Dwagon-mounted warlords could also contribute quite a bit of power directly. Some of them can take out one or more dwagons single-handedly.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Xykon rode a zombie dragon into the Battle of Azure City. It was also mentioned as being basically for show (and its bite attack) - after it was destroyed he just kept flying on his own anyway.
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Princess Voluptua]] will sometimes ride [[DinosaursAreDragons Hibachi the Dragon]] as a steed. Justified, because she is heir to the throne of the local space empire, and the dragons number among her subjects. She rides Hibachi mainly when she wants to look impressive or intimidate someone, as shown [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20070904.html here.]] He may take other passengers for her, as [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20091124.html here.]]
* Inverted and played straight in ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup''. According to legend, the earliest humans were raised by dragons who used them as steeds and hoped evolution would force them to grow wings. Legara utilizes dragon cavalry in it's war on the North.
* In an ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' filler, Dan rented a dragon on his 24th birthday so he could ride it.
* In ''Webcomic/GalacticMaximum'', [[http://maximumcomic.com/?strip_id=4 dragon support]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': [[AmoralAttorney Redglare]] travelled around by riding on her enormous dragon lusus, Pyralspite. Pyralspite also was actively used for offence when pursuing criminals, best seen when it tore apart Mindfang's fleet with considerable ease. Redglare's descendant Terezi never got to do this with her own dragon lusus, which was killed by a meteor shortly after hatching.
* Webcomic/KarateBears ride [[http://www.karatebears.com/2011/12/dragonian.html dragons]] too!
* Played straight for RuleOfFunny reasons [[http://www.missmab.com/Comics/Vol_1075.php here]] in ''[[Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures DMFA]]''.
* Wallas, BigBad of ''Webcomic/TheColorOfTheCrystal'', tends to ride a dragon into battle. It's even his EstablishingCharacterMoment.
* The Vel'Sharen clan of ''{{Webcomic/Drowtales}}'' uses these as both their clan symbol and their mounts, with the interesting twist that the dragons are technically other elves who generations ago were transformed into dragons. Earlier generations were often more humanoid and were able to fly, but life underground has made their wings vestigial and led to a decrease in their intelligence. Despite that they're still a fearsome mount and quite capable in combat.
* In ''Webcomic/TheFarSideofUtopia'' Kallisto Summers' dragon might just be an ethereal construct, but maybe don't mention that in earshot it or just might bite you. Doesn't stop her from using it as a means of transportation.
* After the TimeSkip in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' Gil rides down from an airship to where he's heard Agatha is on one of the "last great sky wyrms", having taken and tamed it after one of the Polar Ice Lords challenged him. Notably, it's completely capable of directing itself in a fight: when fighting Martellus he sets it on the mooks to concentrate on the serious opposition on foot.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'':
** Lindsay, codenamed Dragonrider, can do this on her dragon [[ShoutOut Pern]].
** Pern's normal form is the size of a housecat, but he can grow really big when he needs to. Like if someone is being mean to Lindsay.
* Subverted to some degree in a short story called "My life as a Dragon Rider". Basically it involves a farm boy who becomes a dragon rider after he passes the challenge of worth whitch is basically just staying on for a couple of minutes .How did it happen was a he a chosen one [[spoiler:nope he entered a pub and got into a fistfight with a guard .The fight somehow ends on a cliff where the farmboy is kicked over the edge lands on a dragon lands badly and gets stuck between two of its back spikes.]]
* [[http://neurologicalexcretions.blogspot.ca/2013/10/last-of-dragonriders.html This story]], which notably averts the MedievalStasis trope. Turns out dragon riding knights are a little past their prime in a WWI-style setting.
* In ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'', wyverns are used as mounts by the leaders of Hell [[spoiler: even being able to fly at several hundred kilometers per hour among other things, they are not very useful against fighter jets]]
* ''WebAnimation/{{Dreamscape}}'': Dylan is one when he summons his dragon partner Liz. Just to drive the point home, Liz even has reins!

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/DragonBooster'' animated series is basically about the dragon horseracing circuit. Though these are all various types of wingless dragons with magnetic powers that allow them to equip racing gear. The protagonist's is considered special in that it can grow flaps of skin and glide when powered up.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': Avatar Roku and Fire Lord Sozin rode dragons before [[spoiler: the latter started the custom of systematic dragon-slaying]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'':
** Korra herself becomes this briefly when [[spoiler: the Dragonbird she helped reunite saves her from Unalaq.]]
** [[spoiler:Zuko]] gained a dragon companion in his later years, named Druk. He serves as both a loyal pet and his main mode of transportation, much like Aang and Korra's {{Non Human Sidekick}}s.
* ''WesternAnimation/DragonFlyz'', the basic premise of the the entire cartoon. The intelligent of the protagonists' dragons varied as the plot demanded, with the enemy dragons always being stupid.
* ''WesternAnimation/DragonsRidersOfBerk''. Naturally, seeing how it takes place after ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon''.
* ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' has Dojo, a Chinese dragon with the ability to sense the {{MacGuffin}}s of the series and change size to anything from lizard-size to aircraft-size, and this usually serves as an international transportation method for the main characters. He's not much of a fighter though.
** Not much of a fighter until his one episode FaceHeelTurn that is.
* ''WesternAnimation/JaneAndTheDragon'' is, well, ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. Dragon is Jane's best friend and he allows her to ride him.
* Kale and her dragon Grimm in ''WesternAnimation/PrincessGwenevereAndTheJewelRiders'' (carrying in a "[[SublimeRhyme dragon wagon]]" that she's sitting in).
* Emmy and Max, usually with Cassie and Ord respectvely, on ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales'', during their visit to Dragon Land, a society of generally very friendly dragons. Enrique in the third season as well, finally giving the Siamese twin dragons Zak and Wheezie a regular rider. Played for laughs in that when Enrique first mounts Zak and Wheezie, he thinks he's going to ride them like a horse, not realizing that they can fly. This is not entirely unreasonable on Enrique's part, however, as the wings of dragons in Dragon Land are quite small, and they clearly rely on magic to power their flight as well.
* In the third pilot episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Ninjago}}'', the {{Ninja}} befriend the dragons guarding the Golden Weapons and ride them to the Underworld. The dragons are later shown as having become their pets, with Cole being particularly attached to "Rocky" despite his initial fear of dragons.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBackyardigans'' episode "Dragon Express" was about a team of dragon-riders that [[FlyingPostman worked as deliverymen]].
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Juvenile dragon Spike is often seen riding his surrogate older sister Twilight (she is a pony after all). Twilight doesn't mind carrying him around, barring one instance when he actually uses a bridle and treats her like a non-sapient steed in order to live out a heroic fantasy. "[[ShoutOut Hi-ho Twilight, away]]!" (She ''did'' decide to indulge him on that occasion, though.)