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Divine light not necessary.
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Dragons are almost universally depicted as beings of great power and majesty, to be revered or reviled depending on the story or culture in question. However, there are dragons in particular that are depicted as servants of the gods or something close to them, if not outright gods themselves. While their exact morality and status can differ, these dragons can range in power from that of a "mere" Physical God, to even that of Powers That Be. The latter depiction is particularly common in the religions of East Asian cultures, which through cultural exchange have often influenced Western portrayals of dragons in fiction. Draconic deities often tend to be associated with the ocean, storms, or both in particular.

This trope is Older Than Dirt as the Chinese have revered dragons for millennia, with the oldest known dragon depiction in the world dating back to the fifth millennium BC, during the time of the Neolithic Yangshao culture.

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A subtrope of both Our Dragons Are Different and Our Gods Are Different. Compare Dragons Are Demonic, which they can fall under if they're also evil. A descendant of a divine dragon and a non-dragon may be a Semi-Divine (or full Divine Parentage) variant of Dragon Ancestry. This may be associated with Feathered Dragons due to the cultural connotations of feathered wings. See also Kirin and The Four Gods.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon has many godly Dragon Digimon:
    • The Four Great Dragons are a group of Mega-level Dragon Digimon based on the Dragon Kings of Chinese mythology comparable to gods, and include Azulongmon (Also a member of the Digimon Sovereigns and guardian of the eastern Digital World), Goldramon, Magnadramon, and the wicked Megidramon.
    • Huanglongmon, the leader of the Digimon Sovereigns tasked with defending the Digital World, is a giant golden dragon who normally resides in the Digiworld's center. Like his fellow Sovereigns, unlike the one Digicore held by most Digimon, they have about twelve.
  • Akatsuki no Yona: The four dragons (blue, white, green, and gold) are essentially gods that descended into human forms to continue serving their master, a red dragon who became a human king. Now they reincarnate continuously except for Zeno into humans, mutating them (turning hands and legs into draconic limbs) until such time as the red dragon's descendant comes looking for them.
  • Collecting the titular items in Dragon Ball will summon Shenron, a dragon whose name literally means "Divine Dragon" (rendered "Eternal Dragon" in most dubs). Shenron was created by Kami, i.e. God, although it turns out Kami is a title in this setting. This is then subverted in Dragon Ball Z when it turns out Kami is from the planet Namek, and the Dragon Balls are alien in origin and not divine. This is then double subverted in Dragon Ball Super, when it turns out the Namekian Dragon Balls in turn were based on the Super Dragon Balls, which were created by the Dragon God Zalama to grant the wishes of the gods.
  • Mashin Hero Wataru Series: Ryujinmaru is of the classic Eastern Dragon type. He's a dragon deity tasked in accompanying The Savior, in this case, Wataru on the quest to save Souzaizan. He's also the dragon that gives Wataru rides in the sky in all opening sequences.
  • Lucoa (a.k.a. Quetzalcoatl) from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid used to be a goddess worshiped by the Aztecs, but after an incident involving cursed alcohol and her sister she was stripped of her divinity and demoted to being a dragon.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Two of the three Egyptian God monsters are Slifer the Sky Dragon and The Winged Dragon of Ra.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has the Crimson Dragon, with the power to protect the world. There are also the Signer Dragons, each of which has some of Crimson Dragon's power and shares that power with those who are worthy.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers has Voltaire, a massive black and red humanoid dragon who acts as the benevolent guardian deity of the planet Alzus. Caro (the only known person who can summon him) compares her relationship to him as that of a priestess praying for divine aid.
  • Haiku from Spirited Away turns out to be the dragon god of the Kohaku River.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Gamebooks 
  • Lone Wolf has Nyxator, not a literal god, but the first living thing on Magnamund and a devoted servant of the sun god, Kai. He also recorded his vast wisdom into the seven lorestones to guide future generations.

    Literature 
  • Several of Tom Holt's novels include appearances by one or another of the Dragon Kings of Chinese Mythology, most prominently in Nothing But Blue Skies. In Holt's version, their number includes the Dragon King of the South East, who speaks with an Australian accent and is usually depicted with a jade surfboard in one hand and a can of beer in the other.
  • The Dresden Files has two types of dragons. One are Smaug-tier, relative weaklings to Dragons referenced with the capital "D." Dragons are semi-divine ancient powerhouses not dissimilar from the Chinese myths of Dragons. They used to work in service of God and when the seasons needed changing or continents need to be moved, it was their purview. As humanity's beliefs have changed, they stepped back and allowed others to take their roles. One of the remaining Dragons, Ferrovax, is still incredibly powerful, boasting his true form not the human disguise he wore would break the hero's mind. According to the author, he can take on the respective strongest servant of both Mab, the Fairy Queen of Winter, and Titania, the Fairy Queen of Summer, at the same time as easily as Mike Tyson in his prime taking down a thirteen-year old girl.
  • The "drive of dragons" Calvin claims to have seen in A Wind in the Door turn out to be cherubim.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Dragon worship originated in China and is highly complex with a mythology spanning thousands of years. Dragon cults remain some of the most influential Chinese folk religions today despite most Chinese people being irreligious, they maintain these spiritual practises as cultural customs. Dragons are seen as icons of Han nationalism and symbols for China in general. Chinese dragons have spread across Asia and are called "dragons" but they are really nothing like European dragons at all.
    • The Four Dragon Kings of Chinese Mythology, who represent each of the four seas of the world. They are capable of attaining a human form, and are believed to control all forms of moving water and the weather. Their combined form is the Dragon King or Dragon God.
    • Since the Four Dragon Kings represent the four cardinal directions, the Yellow Dragon represents the center. It is the zoomorphic incarnation of the Yellow Emperor, who is the ancestor to the Huaxia people - a tribal confederation of people along the Yellow River who in turn became the ancestors to the (Han) Chinese people. The Yellow Dragon along with the Dragon King represent the watery and chthonic forces presided over by the Five Forms of the Highest Deity (the fivefold manifestation of the supreme God of Heaven), or their zoomorphic incarnation.
    • Chinese dragons are seen as manifestations of yang or masculine energy while Chinese phoenixes are seen as manifestations of yin or feminine energy so it is customary at Chinese weddings to have some artwork of a dragon and phoenix together. In some Chinese provinces, the bride is given golden dragon and phoenix bangles to wish for a harmonious marriage. If these practises are skipped they might be seen as a bad omen for a future failed marriage.
  • Qinglong or the Azure Dragon of the Four Gods is seen in Japan as a protector of the eastern gate of Kyoto as well as a protector of cities in general alongside its fellow deities. It is also seen as the embodiment of spring and Wood. Their leader Huanglong, or the Yellow Dragon, represents the changing seasons and the Earth itself.
  • Japanese Mythology has the god of storms Ryujin, who is depicted as a great dragon. His daughter Otohime is considered one of the grandmothers of Emperor Jimmu, the mythical first Emperor of Japan.
  • Tiamat, the primordial goddess of the ocean in Mesopotamian Mythology, is often depicted as a dragon.
  • The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl was often depicted as a feathered serpent, and more modern depictions describe him as akin to a dragon.
  • Inverted in Christianity, which frequently associates dragons with Satan. However, the seraphim (highest order of angels) are traditionally depicted as dragon-like creatures with four heads and six wings. Slightly related are several legends about dragon-taming saints, which usually end with angry locals killing the now harmless dragon over the saint's protests.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The dragons have their own pantheon of draconic deities. Two of them, Bahamut and Tiamat, are also worshiped by humans in the Forgotten Realms. Tiamat is the goddess of greed and Always Chaotic Evil chromatic dragons, while her brother Bahamut is god of Always Lawful Good metallic dragons, justice, and strength. In Dragonlance, they are known as Paladine and Takhisis, and are the rulers of the good and evil gods, respectively.
    • And then there is Io, the Ninefold Dragon and creator of all dragonkind, including Bahamut and Tiamat. Depending on which edition and setting, it can range in power from Greater Deity to Overdeity, and credited with creating the multiverse and the source of magic.
    • D&D Rules Cyclopedia. In the BECMI (Basic/Expert/Companion/Master/Immortals) D&D system, the dragons of each alignment (Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic) have their own ruler (Diamond, Opal and Pearl respectively), with the Great One (Ruler of All Dragonkind) ruling over them. Each of these ruling dragons is an Immortal (the BECMI equivalent of a deity).
    • Eberron: The setting's Creation Story holds that the three Progenitor Dragons created the enigmatic Draconic Prophecy, destroyed the world in their fight to control it, and used their bodies to rebuild the planet: Siberys became the planetery ring, Eberron became the planet's surface to restore life to the world, and Khyber became the monster-infested realm Beneath the Earth.
  • Pathfinder:
    • As in D&D, a specific set of draconic deities exists — Apsu, the Lawful Good ruler of metallic dragons, and Dahak, the Lawful Evil god of destruction that even the chromatics despise.
    • Several types of dragons native to the Upper Planes fit the bill in their own right, such as the Lawful Good paradise dragons, who seek to create havens where other mortals may be sheltered from the evil and chaos of the wider world; the Chaotic Good butterfly-winged havoc dragons, who seek to create carefree wonderlands of whimsy and delight for the benefit of all; and the Neutral Good, feathered-winged and golden-scaled sirrushes, servants of the sun goddess Sarenrae who seek to bring peace and redemption to all beings.
  • In Warhammer 40,000 Mag'ladroth the Void Dragon, one of the C'tan, is theorized to be the Machine God that the Mechanicus worship.
  • As Dark Sun lacks true deities the Sorcerer King of Tyr, who is draconic, would qualify as they are the closest thing the setting has to gods.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: In addition to Slifer and Ra, there are several other dragon monsters that are depicted as holy or godlike. For example, Judgment Dragon, Ancient Sacred Wyvern, and Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King.
  • In The Dark Eye the Twelve Gods share the Alveran, the paradise, with the six High Dragons. It can be argued who is allowing whom to stay.

    Video Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Akatosh, the chief deity and God of Time in the Imperial "Nine Divines" religion, takes the form of a dragon. The First Cyrodiilic Empire was founded when he (and the other Aedra who would become the Divines) lent their aid to the races of Men under St. Alessia (the "Slave Queen") against their Ayleid (Wild Elf) masters (who were primarily Daedra worshipers to boot). Upon their victory, Akatosh made a pact with mankind, sealed by joining his blood with Alessia and placing her soul within the Amulet of Kings, that the Divines would give mankind their patronage in exchange for their worship. Since that day, all legitimate Cyrodiilic Emperors have been "Dragonborn," in the sense that they are (metaphysically) descended from Akatosh and Alessia and help to seal the barrier between Mundus (the mortal plane) and Oblivion (the realm of the Daedra). During the darkest hour of the Oblivion Crisis, Mehrunes Dagon (the Daedric Price of Destruction) successfully took form in Mundus, threatening to destroy all creation. Martin Septim, the last in the line of these Dragonborn Emperors, shattered the Amulet of Kings and summoned Akatosh to Mundus, where he, in the form of a massive dragon, would banish Dagon.
    • The dragons of the ES universe (most famous for their appearance in Skyrim), are the "children" of Akatosh. They are lesser Aedra, making them a form of divinity loosely akin to angelic beings.) They have been worshiped by cultures throughout Nirn, from the ancient Atmorans (ancestors of the modern Nords), to the ancient Nords, and to the Ka Po' Tun "Tiger Folk" of Akavir. The first two groups created the "Dragon Cults," in which the Dragon Priests held as much power as kings, ruling in the stead of the aloof dragons they worshiped. In Atmora, the priests demanded tribute and set down laws and codes of living that kept peace between dragons and men. This carried over to Skyrim, but they became much more aggressive and authoritarian in their leadership. (Eventually, the ancient Nords rebelled and, combined with a later Akaviri invasion, nearly drove the dragons to extinction.) The dragons practice a Language of Magic, the "Thu'um" which allows for some small scale Reality Warping by "shouting" elements into existence. The dragons themselves are The Ageless, and while they can be slain by any capable individual, they possess Resurrective Immortality and can be brought back to life by another dragon unless their soul is absorbed by another dragon (or Dragonborn). Despite their divine origins, dragons are creatures of aggression and domination, and it's in their blood to be cruel and contemptuous. However, they can fight against their baser nature, as best exemplified by Paarthurnax.
    • The most (in)famous dragon is Alduin the "World Eater", the "first born" of Akatosh who has the duty of "eating" the world at the end of every cycle of time. While he has performed this duty to end past cycles (known as "kalpas"), Alduin prefers "ruling" the world to "ending" it, leading to trouble. During the ancient war between the Nords and the dragons, three Nord heroes used an Elder Scroll to banish him into the stream of time. He emerges during the events of Skyrim, resurrecting his fallen brethren with plans to take over the world once more.
    • As noted above, there also exist those known as "Dragonborn". These are rare mortals blessed by Akatosh with the Aedric souls of dragons. They are intended to be the natural predators of dragons, slaying them and absorbing their souls in order to maintain a balance. They have an innate understanding of the Thu'um, allowing them to use it without the years of practice it typically takes mortals to learn. The Player Character in Skyrim is a famous example, being the so-called "Last Dragonborn".
  • In the Pokémon series, many box legendaries are worshiped as deities.
    • Rayquaza and the creation trio (Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina) are Dragon types, and the creation trio in particular are considered the embodiment of the physical universe.
    • Generation 7 introduces Necrozma, a Pokémon that initially brought light to the alternate world of Ultra Megalopolis, where it was revered as a deity, and took the form of a large dragon made of light with golden armor referred to as "Ultra Necrozma". The citizens of Ultra Megalopolis caused it to revert to the black form it's commonly seen in after managing to break off pieces of its prism body, which become the Z-Crystals and Sparkling Stones used to create Z-Rings. It's also one of the most powerful Pokemon in the game with stats that surpass Arceus (The creator of the universe), and is one of the most frustratingly difficult boss fights in the series if you're unprepared.
  • Dragons in the Fire Emblem franchise are often revered and compared to deities in numerous games:
    • In the Archanea games, Naga the leader of the Divine Dragons is worshipped as a male god, but without the dragon traits. In truth, Naga is a female dragon who leads the Divine Dragons, while immensely powerful, and having power based in holy magic, Naga is not a god, and there are many things she cannot do. Tiki, Naga's daughter, and one of the last remaining Divine Dragons, is also mistaken for a goddess during the time when she was brainwashed by Gharnef.
    • In Gaiden, the god of Power, Duma, seemingly an actual god, resembles a decaying cyclopean dragon. Both he and Mila, his counterpart, are revealed in Shadows of Valentia to be exiled members of the Divine Dragon Tribe.
    • In the Jugdral duology, the beings that gave the Crusaders their power were dragons who gave their blood to counter the Lopt Empire, in particular dragons of the Divine Dragon tribe, including Naga and Forseti, the latter being worshipped as the Wind God of Silesse. On the opposite side, Loptyr himself was revered as a deity by the Loptyrian Empire, usually as a figure dedicated to vengeance against Grannevale, however the Maira Loptyrians worshipped Loptyr as benevolent figure.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Naga is worshiped by Ylisse opposing Grima, the Fell Dragon worshipped by the Grimleal of Plegia, though neither are truly gods because they lack the power of creation among other things. Curiously Valm, despite being the future form of the continent of Gaiden, has abandoned the worship of Duma, and now worships Tiki instead, who is now part of the Naga religion as "The Voice" due to being Naga's daughter and being over 3000 years old.
    • Anankos from Fire Emblem Fates is one of the First Dragons, and a deity with control over light and darkness, water, and fate. Among his other powers are the ability to raise the bodies of the dead as his undead servants, the ability to grant eternal life and the eternal survival of one's bloodline, the ability to easily travel between worlds, and the ability to grant the power to use Dragon Veins using his blood. However, by the time of the game he has devolved into madness like so many other First Dragons, and in Revelation the Avatar and company are forced to put him down.
    • Besides the playable divine dragons, Askr, Embla, Nifl, and Múspell are known dragons in Fire Emblem Heroes and are worshiped by their royalty.
  • Zig-Zagged in the Dragon Age series: regular dragons are mindless beasts hunted to near extinction in modern times. However, at the height of the Tevinter Imperium, most humans worshiped seven draconic Old Gods (and there are still holdouts of the dragon cult to this day), who had been fully sentient and actively communicated with their priesthood. The ancient elves also associated dragons with Mythal, the queen of their pantheon.
  • The most powerful god in Gensokyo in the Touhou series is the unnamed dragon god, who is worshiped by both humans and youkai alike as a creator god found in the ocean, sky, and rain. It also serves as a protector deity. Akyuu describes it as so large that it's thicker than a thousand year old tree, and so long that it could blot out the sky. In terms of power, she mentions that its cry is said to part the sky and create thunderstorms, and that just by moving it can create earthquakes. It can also easily move between Gensokyo, hell, heaven, and the Netherworld without being stopped by the Great Hakurei Barrier. Its last appearance was when the Barrier was first erected in 1885, where the youkai sages managed to placate the dragon god by staking their very existences swearing eternal peace towards it.
  • WarCraft: Dragons were uplifted by the Titans into immortal guardians of the principles of Azeroth. Red dragons represent Life, green dragons represent Dreams, blue dragons represent Magic, bronze dragons represent Time, and black dragons represent Earth. While normal dragons are pretty powerful, the five leaders of the flights are gods in all but name.
    • Despite their divine origins, Neltharion (AKA Deathwing) and the Black Dragonflight are much closer to another trope by the time the series actually takes place. Because of their connection to the earth, they were easy to corrupt by the subterranean Old Gods and turned into pawns. They serve as frequent antagonists, and Deathwing nearly destroyed the entire world in Cataclysm.
  • Ōkami
    • Yomigami, the dragon god of rejuvenation who grants Ammy (And later Chibiterasu via his seahorse children in Ōkamiden), the Rejuvenation brushstroke.
    • Orochi, Amaterasu's Arch-Enemy, has as his goal becoming the god of the underworld through the maidens sacrificed to him every year prior to his sealing by Nagi, and his true form especially gives off the appearance of a divine being by being covered in golden armor.
  • The main Shin Megami Tensei franchise and its numerous spinoffs count many draconic deities among its number, including Otohime and Huang Long.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de has the White Dragon pictured above, a god representing purity and virtue that likes to live in rivers while in the form of a giant fish, and directly serves Shangdi, the Jade Emperor. Their more malevolent (but not completely evil) counterpart, the Black Dragon, represents endings and death, and both are required to be in harmony for Serenity to reign in their combined form of Yinlong. Both are so powerful that they have two pairs of Light and Dark Kirins respectively that are second only to them in terms of power.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has Valoo, the Sky Spirit and the patron deity of the Rito tribe, and the source of their ability to fly through his scales.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has the three dragons Faron, Eldin, and Lanayru, who were directly tasked with protecting the surface world by the Goddess Hylia, and grant Link portions of the Song of the Hero needed to fully power up the Master Sword.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has Dinraal, Naydra, and Farosh, who are three dragons who serve the Goddess Hylia by guarding the Springs of Power.
  • Luxaren Allure has the people of Parvian worship dragons, or as they call them, the Ageless.
  • The dragons in Breath of Fire IV are essentially immortal gods, which were summoned by mortals to act as the world's protectors.
  • Dragons are a major part of the religion of Ashan, setting of some of the Heroes of Might and Magic games. The dragon Asha is worshipped as the Goddess of Order creator of the world, while her brother, Urgash the dragon of Chaos, is despised as a Satanic Archetype. When the two fought one another during the Mythic Age, Asha was seriously wounded, so she spawned six more dragons (representing the six elements, fire, water, earth, air, light and darkness) to protect the world if Urgash should reappear, and now slumbers within one of the planet's moons, regaining her strength.
  • The Water Dragon is a major goddess in the Celestial Bureaucracy of Jade Empire, being responsible for equal distribution of rainfall across the world, and the safe passage of dead souls to the afterlife.
  • In the Lunar series, the Four Dragons were created by the Goddess Althena as guardians of Lunar and humans hold them in awe. The Four Dragons form a sort of magical bulwark around the Goddess, and they judge the worthiness of humans who aspire to be the Goddess' hero, the Dragonmaster.
  • The Nexus Clash backstory has three Great Dragons that occasionally intervened at pivotal points to shake up the wars between the Powers That Be. One of these was briefly in the game as That One Boss, but they're mostly left to be deliberately mysterious.
  • In the Diablo franchise, Necromancers revere a deity called Trag'oul, who represents the Balance Between Good and Evil and treats both the philosophies of angels and demons as dangerous extremes. He is described as a dragon whose body is formed from star-light, carrying the world of Sanctuary upon his spine.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Dragons were the original Firebenders. Because of that, they were respected and revered by the Sun Warriors and their later incarnation, the Fire Nation. However, Fire Lord Sozin created dragon hunting and they were driven to extinction. Thankfully, two were saved by Iroh and were being protected by the Sun Warriors. These two help Aang and Zuko learn the true way of Firebending.
  • In Season 3 of Dreamworks Dragons: Race to the Edge, it is revealed that there is a ninja-like tribe called the Defenders of the Wing. Like Berk they do not see Dragons as mindless animals, but they take it a step further and practically worship them. They do so out of respect for the Great Protector, an Eruptodon that eats the lava from their local volcano, keeping their village safe. Because of this, they tend to hold a strong animosity to anyone they would perceive as any kind of threat to dragons, especially Hiccup and the riders, seeing dragon riding as a form of "enslavement".

Alternative Title(s): Dragon God, Angelic Dragon, Divine Dragon

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