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Lazy Dragon

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Awww. Sleeping like a little hatchling.
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A lot of dragons in fiction are lazy creatures who don't do much apart from guarding their hoards.

This typically translates into a sleeping dragon who has been slumbering from millennia (though he will probably get woken up during the plot's unfolding, and that's probably bad news). Their long (sometimes millennia-long) sleep may be handwaved as dragons being so long-lived that a century-long nap is a reasonable hibernation time for them. In some settings this will be linked to the dragons' age, with younger specimens being more active in the world but spending longer and longer periods of time sleeping or idling in their lairs as they age.

On the other hand, more comedic examples will take full advantage of the comedic potential of these gigantic hellbeasts acting like grouchy old men who never want to go out.

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May be based on the Truth in Television that snakes (on whom the earlier European dragons were based) and, indeed, most reptiles, are prone to laying down for hours on end to conserve energy or to warm themselves up.

Naturally a subtrope of Our Dragons Are Different. Often combined with Orcus on His Throne and All-Powerful Bystander, depending on the power level, intelligence and general monstrosity of dragons in the setting. On the other hand, very rarely related to Dragon Their Feet, despite the names' similarities.


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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, Senshi tells Team Touden that dragons the size of The Red Dragon only wake once a month to go hunting. The rest of the time they stay asleep to maintain their massive bodies.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: The card Slumbering Dragon depicts a dragon curled up and asleep in its lair while two figures sneak past. It enters play unable to attack and can only do so after the opposing player attacks with a creature card they control, symbolizing the dragon only waking up after being attacked first.

    Comic Books 
  • Saga: When Gwendolyn, Sophia, and Lying Cat travel to the planet Demimonde NSFW': in search of dragon spunk (long story), they find the last male dragon not just constantly lounging, but... auto-fellating.

    Fanfic 
  • Child of the Storm: Vándlat (Hope-Death) a.k.a. 'Dave' the Elder Wyrm has spent effectively the entirety of the last million years asleep, which Harry taunts him about while also suggesting that he's a coward. Vándlat's account, by contrast, is that until Harry turned up he hadn't sensed anything worth waking up for.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfics:
    • In The Lazy Dragon of Dragonvale, the titular character is lazy even compared to other dragons. He was the last of his clutch to hatch and the last to leave home (and only because his mother got fed up with him loafing around and literally tossed him out), and spends as much time sleeping as he can manage. Rather than pillaging villages, he decides to found a village of his own simply because he was in a nice spot for one and finding a pre-existing village was far too much work. Most of the story revolves around him sleeping in one spot until a problem arises, waking up to deal with it and going back to sleep.
    • In Sharing the Night, dragons are born as fairly active creatures but spend increasingly long periods asleep and increasingly short ones awake as they age. Young adults, like the dragon seen in "Dragonshy", only sleep for a century or so at a time between periods of activity, but the truly ancient ones never wake at all. Aging dragons, instead of dying, simply find a good spot to sleep and stay there, letting plants and dirt gather over their slumbering forms until they become parts of the landscape. It's implied that a very large portion of Equestria, if not its entirety, lays on the backs of hundreds upon hundreds of sleeping, dreaming dragons.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Godzilla: In his later, more heroic film appearances, Godzilla often has to be convinced to bother saving the planet from the Monster of the Week.

    Literature 
  • Beowulf: In the second part of the epic, the dragon Beowulf had to face is described as having been sleeping on its hoard within its lair, only awakening when a thief snuck inside and stole a goblet from its treasure.
  • In The Elric Saga, dragons need a lot of sleep, sleeping months or years after a few weeks of activity.
  • Fighting Fantasy: The War Dragon spends most of his time asleep one his hoard. But when he is awake, you will sorely miss when he was napping...
  • The Firebringer Trilogy: Dragons spend most of their very long lives asleep, but are able to watch the goings-on of the world through their dreams, as the main character discovers to his dismay in the third book.
  • In Harry Potter, Hogwarts School's Canis Latinicus motto translates as "Never tickle a sleeping dragon", alluding to the idea of long-slumbering dragons who may turn fierce when woken up but are safe otherwise. However, the dragons actually seen in the books later on don't reflect this trope.
  • The Hobbit's Smaug appears to have simply been sitting on his gold for an exceedingly long time until he is enraged by Bilbo stealing from him and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. This is almost certainly an allusion to Beowulf, where much the same happens, as Tolkien was a scholar of English literature and is know to have studied and translated Beowulf specifically.
  • The Wandering Inn: Teriarch is quite lazy, preferring to contact his sole human friend, Lady Reinhart, through spells rather than actually visiting her. He does offer to fly to Magnolia's manor when he learns she is in danger (she's actually safe, and makes fun of the very idea he'd get out and do something), but retracts it as soon as he learns she's in no imminent peril.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In 1st Edition Advanced D&D, all dragons encountered inside their lairs had a percentage chance of being discovered while asleep. This ranged from a low of 5% for Bahamut the Platinum Dragon to a high of 60% for a white dragon.
    • The Slayer's Guide to Dragons mentions how dragons must sleep for long periods of time, especially as they grow older. The oldest are only awake for fifteen minutes of every day, which means they spend nearly 99% of their time asleep. The book explains that dragons will take long naps to balance out this ratio.
  • Warhammer: In the modern day, dragons need to spend extremely long periods of time asleep; this was not always so, but for poorly understood reasons, possibly linked to the cooling of the volcanic mountains where they lived, they were afflicted by a species-wide state of chronic torpor. The majority of the dragon species is in perpetual hibernation deep beneath the mountains of Caledor, in the high elven homeland, waking only briefly when certain magical songs are sung, and even the dragons who live among other factions or on their own in the rest of the world spend most of their time asleep in their lairs.

    Video Games 
  • Fire Emblem: Tiki the manakete — a dragon-descended human capable of taking dragon form — has been known to sleep for millennia at a time throughout the long history of the setting. Fire Emblem Awakening portrays her as a Sleepyhead as a joke on her tendency for millennial naps.
  • Nightmare Ned: Played for Black Comedy. In the Attic/Basement level, at one point you come across a dragon head mounted on the wall... but then you see that she's actually just sleeping, and the rest of her body is visible near the wall. Despite this grisly introduction, she's actually really friendly. Waking her up will prompt her to tell you poems (albeit somewhat macabre ones) with a cheerful Granny Classic voice.
  • Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs: The only thing that the elderly dragon Ba'kari wants to do is sleep peacefully for the next couple centuries. This causes certain complications for two feuding factions when the area they start fighting over turns out to be his home and their battling wakes him up, forcing them to deal with a dragon highly irritated at his new neighbors that won't let him sleep in peace.
  • In Super Mario Odyssey, the Ruined Dragon can be found after his boss fight lounging in his boss arena and complaining about being tired. Though this is in large part because he spent so much energy in the fight against Mario.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Dragonshy", a dragon only poses a passive threat because of the smoke it breathes out while sleeping. It spends most of the episode asleep on its hoard — it's stated it will keep sleeping for a century if left undisturbed — and the biggest reaction it has to the ponies before Rainbow Dash kicks it in the snout is to yawn, stretch and go right back to sleep. Not even quakes on the mountain it nests in are enough to wake it.
  • The Tom and Jerry Nutcracker feature film has a sequence where Tom finds himself in a cave inhabited by numerous sleeping dragons (whom he naturally wakes up to disastrous effect).

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