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The WyvernThere is no difference whatsoever between a wyvern's head and a dragon's, but there is considerable difference between a wyvern and a dragon, at any rate in English heraldry, though the wyvern appears to be more frequently met with under the name of a dragon in other countries. The wyvern has only two legs, the body curling away into the tail, and is usually represented resting upon its legs and tail.
Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, A Complete Guide to Heraldry, 1909

Wyverns are a specific type of draconic monster, usually depicted as creatures similar to typical western dragons without forelegs, leaving their wings and legs as their only limbs. Depending on the work, they may either be a specific type of dragon or creatures related to but distinct from true dragons.

Wyverns originate from the heraldry of the British Isles, where since the sixteenth century a distinction was drawn between dragons with two legs and dragons with four (unlike in continental Europe, where this distinction was not typically made). British folklore, however, tended to use "dragon" and "wyvern" fairly interchangeably, sometimes even for creatures with no wings or, indeed, no limbs of any kind at all.

In modern fiction, wyverns are usually distinguished from other types of dragon by a number of traits in addition to their limb count:

  • They are usually bipeds in the same manner as birds and other bipedal dinosaurs, although they may also be shown walking on all fours like bats or pterosaurs.
  • They are typically venomous in some form; they're most often given a venomous, scorpion-like stinger at the end of their tails, but a venomous bite or toxic breath may also appear instead of or alongside stinging tails. Note here that "wyvern" comes from the same linguistic root as "viper".
  • They tend to be less intelligent and more animalistic than other types of dragon, rarely being capable of speech even when "true dragons" speak fluently. Even when capable of speech, they tend to be portrayed as fairly stupid.
  • They rarely if ever possess a Breath Weapon outside of the aforementioned toxic breath, and are rarely depicted with Dragon Hoards.
  • They're generally a good deal weaker than true dragons (if they have any advantage at all, it will usually be in agility). Game settings home to both typically have wyverns as common Mooks, mounts, or wandering monsters, while Western and Eastern dragons tend to show up as powerful, unique bosses and campaign-ending villains.

Note that it is not uncommon in modern fiction for dragons to have this body plan but still be described as dragons and not really fit most of the other criteria such as low intelligence, birdlike postures and so on — Smaug in the last two Hobbit movies, the dragons in A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones and Reign of Fire, Vermithrax Pejorative from Dragonslayer and King Ghidorah are all examples of this. As a rule of thumb, if the work itself calls them dragons and not wyverns, then they're probably not wyverns for the purposes of this trope.

Compare other recurring types of dragons or draconic creatures, such as drakes (typically quadrupeds with weak or non-existent wings) and amphipteres (serpentine, winged and legless), which may sometimes be classified alongside wyverns as part of a category of "lesser dragons".

Subtrope of Our Dragons Are Different, and consequently of Our Monsters Are Different. Wyverns are often part of a Dragon Variety Pack. For less fantastic creatures with similar depictions, compare Kidnapping Bird of Prey and Terror-dactyl.

Given that wyverns are by definition fictional, No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Anime & Manga 
  • 3×3 Eyes:
    • Yoriko's thought-projection beast can take the form of a lean bird-like wyvern with multiple wings and a large chest cavity when she thinks of speed.
    • During the attack on Amara right before Ushas' death by fatigue Benares sends in a massive, toad-like wyvern with four wings and a fiery breath which defeats most defenders before being slain by Amara. Contrasting Ya Long, a previously seen dragon-like monster resembling a traditional, four-legged dragon.
  • Bakugan: Wyvern (or Wavern in the English dub) is a White One, an attributeless and mutated Bakugan, along with her Evil Twin brother Naga. Both Wyvern and Naga are bipedal dragons with bat-like arm-wings, so they fit the description of typical wyverns.
  • Digimon:
    • The Vorvomon and Jazamon lines all consist of dragons with two legs and two wings. The Vorvomon line is made of ore and magma, while the Jazamon one is robotic.
    • The Dragon Knight Dynasmon is based on wyverns, but it's a very nominal connection. It is said by official data to "possess the power of the wyvern" and its most powerful attack is called Breath of Wyvern. Other than that, Dynasmon looks very humanoid, with two legs, two arms and two wings.
  • The Fairy Tail anime features Wyverns as unique creatures: they are similar to Dragons in syze and appearence, have wings for forearms and seems to be both more feral and unable to make use of magic for either attack or defense. Worth noting though that certain Dragons such as Grandine or the black Dragon from the Eclipse Gate have the body structure of a Wyvern but are still referred to as Dragons.
  • High School D×D:
    • "Dividing Wyvern Fairy" is a technique which Issei develops in volume 16, summoning wyvern-like spirits that can wield the shard of the white dragon Albion's "Divide" power embedded in his armour (which is normally too incompatible with his own red dragon "Boost" powers to use safely). Later he learns how to have the wyverns switch between white and red forms, and to combine into a duplicate of his armour which can be worn by his allies.
    • In volume 21 it's revealed that Albion was once a poisonous dragon named Gwiber (a Welsh figure cognate with "wyvern"), but became disgusted by his abilities and sealed them away. When he comes to accept his old name he unlocks the original version of Dividing Wyvern Fairy, equipped with a poison which can kill even gods.
  • Knight's & Magic: The Vyver is a colossal wyvern-shaped battleship which serves as the secret weapon of the Zaloudek Kingdom. In addition to the levitation technology common to Zaloudek airships, its designer also managed to reverse-engineer Ernesti's rocket thruster designs, allowing it to travel at incredible speed and blast enemy bases apart before they know what's happening.
  • Monster Musume: Wyverns are a type of dragonewt whose wings are their arms, much like harpies. Because of this, they can fly, unlike regular dragonewts.
  • Record of Lodoss War: Wyverns are relatively small (read: elephant-sized), unintelligent, non-fiery, two-legged dragons that are domesticated and flown by knights.
  • Saint Seiya: Dragon-themed Cloths appear in the form of the Dragon Bronze Cloth (which represents an eastern long) and the God Warrior Cloths of Siegfried (representing a two-headed Fafnir) and Fafner (representing the Nidhogg). Meanwhile the Wyvern Surplice appears among those of the Three Judges of Hell, the three strongest Specters, namely worn by Radhamantys. The Surplice depicts the Wyvern as a monstrous, multi-horned two-legged dragon with protuding fangs.
  • In Medieval art, wyverns are one of the most common types of dragons depicted. The four-legged two-winged dragon was rare in artwork until the 1400s, at which point it became increasingly popular. Many heraldic coat of arms originally depicted dragons with two legs, only to be changed years later when the four-legged dragon became more popular.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Wyverns appear rarely under the drake creature type, which contains animalistic, two-winged and two-legged creatures related to true dragons. Wyverns in particular are distinguished by their bipedal gaits, whereas most other drakes used their wings as a second pair of walking limbs like bats do. Specific wyverns in the game include sabertoothed wyverns and thunder-making ones. Most are aligned with Blue or Red mana.
    • Though not dragons or drakes, the "pterosaurs" of Ixalan resemble feathered wyverns or really ugly birds.

    Fan Works 
  • Besides the Will of Evil: Wyverns were among the monsters created by Reiziger during the Deer War and which become part of his forces again when he returns. They resemble cobras with dragon wings and blue fire burning in their mouths, eyes, and a slit along their backs.
  • Carpetbaggers: The dragon which Edmund frees from the Witch's lingering power is established to be a wyvern, bearing two legs instead of four, which makes for less comfortable riding.
  • Nobledark Imperium: "Wyvern" is the term used for shards of the Void Dragon, most of which were broken off in his battle against the other C'Tan sixty-odd million years ago. They only retain a small fraction of the power and majesty of the original being — they typically have only one pair of legs instead of the Void Dragon's four, and are little more than ravening animals whereas their progenitor is one of the most brilliant minds in the universe. However, given the sheer scale of a full C'Tan, wyverns are still terrible, terrifying monster to anything that isn't some kind of god, and are impossible to meaningfully hurt with anything other than C'Tan tech.
  • Wyvern: Taylor gains Lung's canonic ability to turn into a dragon, and her alternate form has red and golden scales, clawed hind legs, sharp teeth, and winged forearms; people are quite insistent at pointing out that she's a wyvern and not a dragon. Unlike most wyverns, she also breathes fire.

    Films — Animation 
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Deadly Nadders share several characteristics with classical wyverns, being very birdlike, four-limbed bipedal dragons with tails bristling with (non-poisonous) blades.
    • Monstrous Nightmares also have two legs and two wings, but they move about on all fours, similar to a bat or pterosaur.

  • The Avatar Chronicles: Wyverns are present in Epic as monsters resembling weaker, four-limbed dragons — weaker here being a relative term; wyverns are powerful enemies and entirely capable of delivering a Total Party Kill against groups of low-level characters, but they're nowhere near as strong as the game's nearly unkillable dragons. They're also among the monsters that can be summoned in the training arena, and the main characters practice against wyverns in order to work out a good way to kill Inry'aat the Red Dragon, as wyverns and dragons use the same in-game attacking algorithms.
  • A Companion To Wolves: Wyverns have wings but they're vestigial, and are sometimes trained by trolls.
  • Council Wars: Wyverns were genetically engineered alongside their Greater Dragon relatives in the 21st Century by Disney Genegeneers, and like them are only able to fly at all because of muscles and bones made from incredibly strong and light "bioextruded carbon-nanotube". While Greater Dragons are sapient, wyverns are about as smart as a horse.
  • Dracopedia: Wyverns are winged, armless dragons with tails ending in poisonous stingers — the North American species can kill an ox with a single sting. They're highly aggressive predators, and considered to be the most dangerous dragons to common people; this, combined with their tendency to live in packs, has led to them being referred to as dragon wolves. Wyvern packs are capable of successfully competing with the much larger and stronger, but solitary, great dragons, and wyverns often prey on smaller dragon species. Most are bipedal, but the Asian species moves on all fours like a bat.
  • The Firebringer Trilogy: Wyverns are wingless, serpentine creatures with two legs at their front, grow extra heads in extreme old age, and have venomous stingers on their tails. They claim to be cousins of the red dragons, but the red dragons deny this relationship.
  • Imagine Someday: "True" dragons died out a long time ago, but wyverns appear in the story. They don't like being mistaken for their four-legged cousins and unlike many of the other examples here have no magic powers to speak of.
  • Ology Series: Wyverns appear as a dragon species in Dragonology, where in something of a break from tradition they're the single largest species of dragon in the world and mainly live in Africa, where they hunt elephants and rhinoceri in much the same manner as eagles hunting marmots.
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree: Wyverns are a weak variety of Western dragons with two legs, two wings, and eyes resembling burning coals, and serve the High Westerns as Mooks.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Wyverns, mentioned and described in supplemental material, resemble smaller versions of the setting's winged, four-limbed dragons but cannot breathe fire, and inhabit the swamps and jungles of Sothoryos. There is speculation in-universe that the Valyrians may have bred the first dragons from wyvern stock. The fire-breathing dragons all originate from the volcanic area of the Valyrian peninsula, so this is presumably the source of that ability, whether through breeding or some kind of magic.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle: Wyverns are slightly smaller than a barn, two-legged and two-winged, and technically sapient, though most aren't terribly bright. True dragons also exist, and are much bigger and much more powerful.
  • Trash of the Count's Family: Wyverns are related to dragons, but are much less intelligent and don't seem to be able to use magic. They're used as mounts by the Wyvern Riders of the Paerun Kingdom.
  • Villains by Necessity: The wyvern in Kimi's story is described as black, over forty feet long with its very lengthy tail, standing up on her hind legs like a bird. She had spines in a crest on her head too, and spat yellow poison mist.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Merlin (2008): Wyverns appear in "Eye of the Phoenix". They're a lot smaller than dragons and act more like a pack of intelligent, but not sapient, animals. Strangely, despite being called wyverns, they have four legs. Gwaine mentions that they are distant cousins of the dragons, but it seems wyverns are at least closely related enough that a dragonlord may command them.

    Myths & Folklore 
  • Biblical seraphim (as well as predecessors in other mythologies such as the egyptian goddess Wajdet and the dragons that carried Medea's chariot) can be considered the Ur-Example: they're dragons that are nothing but wings and no legs.
  • Wyverns feature fairly often in English folk tales, where the term is often used fairly interchangeably with "dragon". In British heraldry, however, dragons and wyverns were considered to be distinct creatures and sharply distinguished from one another, although this view wasn't shared in continental Europe.
    • The Mordiford Wyvern was killed by a convict named Carston in exchange for his freedom. Carston hid inside a barrel coated with spikes, and when the dragon tried to eat him it ended up impaling itself. However, its blood trickled in and poisoned Carston to death.
    • In a similar story, the Sockburn Wyvern was slain by John Conyers, who wore a set of spiky armor so that the wyvern impaled itself while it was trying to crush him to death, and Conyers then hacked it to pieces with his falchion.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 13th Age: Wyverns are not considered dragons at all (they have the Beast type instead of the Dragon type), although many of them work for the Three. It's a toss-up whether smart wyverns want to associate themselves with the Three or stay far away from those true dragon snobs.
  • Arduin: In addition to regular wyverns, the game has tryverns, wyverns with three heads and three tails, and wyvergons, fat and wingless wyverns that breathe a petrifying gas.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Wyverns are mid-level monsters under the dragon creature type, although not true dragons and lacking a Breath Weapon. They have scorpion-like stingers that inject a deadly venom and are much smaller than true dragons, although considering the sizes dragons reach on adulthood wyverns are still large enough to comfortably fly off with a cow in their talons. They are also much less intelligent and much more bestial than true dragons, although they are smart enough to occasionally serve their more powerful relatives as minions.
    • Wyvern drakes, described in Dragon #170, are hybrids of wyverns and evil true dragons, largely resembling wyverns with heads colored like their dragon parent. They're smarter than full wyverns, enough so as to speak their other parent's language, and can use their dragon parent's Breath Weapon as well.
    • Tiamat, god of the chromatic dragons (evil-aligned true dragons) appears as an enormous dragon with five heads, one for each of the species she rules over. Interestingly, she also has a wyvern's poisonous tail, despite wyverns being neither true dragons nor exactly evil. Some settings explain this as Tiamat being an Anthropomorphic Personification of dragons' potential for savagery, with her wyvern traits making her the dragon equivalent of a Beast Man.
  • Godforsaken: Wyverns are aggressive lesser cousins of dragons. Their bodies are about the size of a heavy horse but their wingspan makes them seem much larger. Lacking a dragon's fiery breath or other magical abilities, wyverns rely on their strong flight and deadly stinger to catch and kill their prey, typically humanoids or large animals. Wyverns have four limbs — two legs used for clumsy walking and two arm-wings used for flight and balance.
  • GURPS: GURPS Dragons and GURPS Fantasy Bestiary include four-limbed wyverns as one of the several subtypes of dragons they describe. They have no breath weapons but possess poisonous barbs at the end of their long tails. They are clumsy walkers but frighteningly fast fliers, and thus prefer to attack targets from the air. They're largely animals, although smart ones, and Dragons notes that all-dragon campaigns might use them as pets or attack dogs for dragon characters. GURPS Fantasy Bestiary describes wyverns as dragon-like, but as not actually being dragons. Variations include one able to shoot quills from its tail. GURPS Dragons notes their origins in medieval heraldry, and speculates that, since explicit wyverns appear almost always in heraldry, modern fantasy wyverns likely originated from game designers noticing them in crests and coats of arms and deciding they looked interesting enough to include as in-game creatures.
  • Pathfinder uses effectively the same kind of wyvern that D&D does — stupid, aggressive and evil relations of true dragons with no breath weapons but with deadly stingers at the end of their tails. Most art, notably, depicts wyverns with two stingers, splayed at the tips of their tails.
    • The Dahak's Teeth archipelago is home to a unique breed of wyverns distinguished by forked tails ending in two distinct stingers and by being able to breathe out clouds of noxious, blistering gas. These used to be normal wyverns until Aashaq, a red dragon cleric of the draconic god of destruction, claimed the islands as her territory and magically altered its native wyverns into a race of personal minions.
    • Pseudowyverns are diminutive relatives of true wyverns not much larger than a hawk, which can be taken as Familiars by spellcasters. Like their bigger cousins, they're ill-tempered and not too intelligent, speaking Draconic crudely and with a screeching accent most other dragons find highly unpleasant.
    • Wyverns can interbreed with true dragons just fine, although true dragons can in practice breed with just about anything; dragon/wyvern interbreeding in the ancient past is thought to have resulted in the creation of the drakes, another type of dragons resembling large wyverns without stingers but with their draconic progenitors' elemental breaths. This trope is especially embodied in the jungle drakes, which unlike other drakes still possess a stinger and can deliver a potent venom through both that and their bites. In the modern day, the normally foul-tempered drakes and wyverns still display a degree of deference and cooperativeness towards one another, and wyverns are sometimes classified as part of the greater drake family.
    • Wyverns are also related to amphipteres, similarly animalistic lesser dragons who go one further than wyverns and have no limbs whatsoever save for their wings. They have piercing tails like wyverns do, although they do not possess poison and instead use their tail blades as slashing, whiplike weapons.
  • RuneQuest: Wyverns are two-legged, dragon-like creatures with long tails ending in venomous stingers. They come into being when True Dragons dream lustful dreams, which manifest as lustful dream dragons that thereafter mate and produce wyverns. The resulting creatures can breed true and often establish independent populations afterwards. Different populations of wyverns can be very different in behavior, as each tends to inherit the behavioral quirks of their True Dragon progenitor.
  • Shadowrun: Wyverns resemble smaller — but still quite big; they head alone is as long as a man is tall — dragon-like creatures without forelegs, with a frill around their heads and a highly venomous stinger at the end of their tails. They're animals lacking the immense intelligence of true dragons, and aggressive predators. Two distinct species exist, one North American and one European, and they belong to the same genus as feathered serpents. Young dragons of any species, notably, look remarkably like wyverns — wings, no forelegs, stubby legs and stinger-tipped tails — only taking on their full draconic forms after a sort of metamorphosis, which has fueled in-universe speculation that wyverns may simply be dragons who failed to mature.
  • Warhammer:
    • Warhammer: Wyverns are often raised by Orcs as war mounts. They are about as smart as horses and are smaller and much less powerful than true dragons, from which they're also distinguished by their smaller size, poisonous sting and vicious temperament. Notable specimens include Skullmuncha, the steed of the legendary Orc warlord Azhag the Slaughterer, and the Beast, a seemingly immortal wyvern fought and slain several times by the Bretonnian knight Calard of Garamont.
    • Warhammer 40,000: Wyvachs are eagle-sized alien creatures with serpentine bodies, batlike wings, taloned feet, long tails, spiny crests along their backs and birdlike beaks. They're cunning and clever creatures, albeit still animals, and can form powerful bonds with human pyskers.
    • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: While they lack poison, Maw-krushas are massive, if dim, wyvern-like creatures used by the toughest Orruk Ironjawz Megabosses as mounts. On the ground, they walk on all fours in a manner similar to pterosaurs, attacking their enemies with the powerful fists of their winged forelimbs. Despite their bulk and relatively small wingspan, Maw-krushas are capable of slow and clumsy flight, much to the amazement of the scholars of more civilized races, some of whom believe that such a feat is only possible because gravity itself doesn't want to mess with the bad-tempered creatures.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Land wyverns are a wingless subspecies of wyvern, and are most often associated with the Orc and Goblin tribes living in the subterranean ruins of the Dwarf city of Karak Azgal.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Wonders:
    • Wyvern riders appear as a mounted units in the goblin roster in the first two games. They do not have the dragons descriptor, unlike true dragons and hydras, and have poisonous attacks while being immune to poison themselves.
    • Age of Wonders 3: Wyverns are reclassified as true dragons and serve as minions to their greater kin, with one type of wyvern existing as a mirror of each of the five types of dragons — fire, ice, gold, obsidian and bone. Unusually, these wyverns do have six limbs — their forelegs are simply minuscule, atrophied things with no practical use.
  • Anbennar: The wyvern is the national animal of the Duchy of Verne, tracing back to its legendary founder Armoc Vernid who was the first wyvern rider in history. While wyverns are long gone, the modern Duchy of Verne still looks fondly on its glorious wyvern-riding days, and it's possible to bring them back.
  • Ancient Empires: The first game features wyverns as flying fire-breathing units. The sequel has dragons instead. They are virtually identical in function, being the most powerful and most expensive unit. Due to their flight, they are not slowed down by any terrain (but still benefit from its defensive bonuses).
  • ARK: Survival Evolved: Wyverns are monsters introduced in the Scorched Earth map and also present in the Ragnarok and Extinction maps. They are smaller and weaker relatives of the dragon boss monster, and can be tamed and ridden as mounts if raised from the egg. They come in several variants:
    • Common wyverns come in fire, poison, lightning and ice variants, distinguished by their scale colors and associated Breath Weapons.
    • Forest Wyverns are a specific kind that only spawns during the Forest Titan fight, does not attack and largely serves as a source of convenient mounts during the fight.
    • Alpha wyverns are larger, stronger and rarer variants of common fire wyverns.
    • Zombie wyverns are undead wyverns that spawned during the 2016 Halloween event. Dodo wyverns, which spawned during the same event, had birdlike beaks and could use the breath weapons of the regular fire, poison and lightning variants.
  • Armies of Exigo: The Lizardmen use two-legged, two-winged Wyverns as air support. They breathe poison and slow the attack speed of targeted units.
  • Dark Souls: While the true dragons are long gone by the time of the franchise, various four-limbed dragons collectively referred to as wyverns show up at various points in the franchise. While still very large and powerful creatures by human standards, these wyverns are still of much lesser power and intellect than their mighty progenitors that used to rule the world.
  • Digimon Linkz: Jazamon's evolution line consists of entirely mechanical wyverns that look like futuristic jet planes and can fly at supersonic speeds. Vorvomon's evolution line are wyverns made of fiery volcanic rock.
  • Dota 2: Auroth the Winter Wyvern is one of the many playable heroes. She fits the body type of a two-legged dragon with wings, but unlike the common depiction of wyverns, she is rather intelligent (leading to her being described as a "Bookwurm") and polite, and has an ice-elemental Breath Weapon. She is also occasionally referred to as a dragon by other characters, which suggests that wyverns are considered a type of dragon in this universe.
  • Drakengard 3: Wyverns look similar to dragons (which in this setting are of the western kind but without forelegs) but lack legs, resembling flying serpents. They also seem to lack intelligence and the ability to speak, unlike the sapient dragons. The otherwise very kind and friendly Mikhail despises wyverns and openly wants to kill them all.
  • Dragon Age: Wyverns are "cousins" of sorts to the series' true dragons. They can't fly or breath fire — they're more like wingless hulking, Komodo dragon-esque beasts than anything else — but they're just as vicious and they spit deadly poison (which particularly adventurous nobles use to brew a Fantastic Drug). They will often attack in small packs, indicating a degree of high animal intelligence. They can also be tamed — Duke Prosper has a very large pet wyvern named Leopold.
  • Dragon Quest: In the localizations of the first, third, and seventh games, the creatures with the head and wings of a condor and the body of a snake are called Wyverns, while in the Japanese games, they have always been known as Chimaeras, which is the name used in all localizations starting with VIII. In IV, Terrorflyers have a Palette Swap also called Wyverns or Ryverns.
  • EverQuest: Wyverns are bipedal dragonoids whose wings extend from their shoulders to their claws at the end of their arms. They stand about 8 feet tall, and are usually more intelligent than drakes and wurms. Among dragon society, Wyverns usually rank below Dragons themselves.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Wyverns are common Demonic Spiders in the game, being depicted as bipedal dragonic beings who either attack with their claws or with wind attacks. They have a rather high chance of Critical Hits and often appear in swarms. Most of them are Rider-class enemies, so are weak to Assassin-class Servants. While wyverns do have the Dragon trait, they are much smaller and less dangerous than actual dragons in the game.
  • Final Fantasy: Wyverns appear throughout the franchise as the typical two-legged winged dragons, with some physical variability in different games.
    • Final Fantasy XII: Wyverns are two-legged, multi-winged dragons that fly over the Yensan Sandsea. They and their variants are unique among the game's draconic enemies for being flying monsters. Older Wyverns are called Bellwyverns and are found on the Cerobi Steppe while a feathered variant found in the Nam-Yensa called the Wyvern Lord is a mid-game mark. The Aeronite, found in the Pharos of Ridorana, breathes poison and controls its altitude by storing and releasing steam.
    • Final Fantasy XIII: Wyverns and their variants are large reptilian monsters with huge wings and A Head at Each End. The front head is smaller and spits venom to cause status effects before it turns around and bites with the rear head for heavy damage. The Garuda Interceptor and Kalavinka Striker are cyborg versions that use electrical attacks instead.
  • Fire Emblem: Both two-legged and four-legged wyvern varieties have been depicted in the series — usually the four-legged kind is tame and can be used as a mount, while the two-legged kind is wilder and has the ability to breathe fire (though this isn't always depicted). The Japanese term hiryuunote  is sometimes translated as "wyverns" and sometimes as "dragons", though they are clearly distinct from the sapient dragons that tend to play a major role in Fire Emblem plots.
    • Mystery of the Emblem features feral wyverns as enemies, which have both a high Speed stat and the highest movement speed of any unit in the series (12 squares where the normal maximum is 8). It's also revealed that these wyverns once were sapient dragons, being one of the tribes who failed to escape degeneration; there's even a hidden shop which sells a wyvern Dragonstone, allowing a playable manakete to transform into a wyvern. In Japan, this is one of the only times that the english word wyvern is actually used, being mentioned as the proper name for the species of dragon.
    • The usual promotion path for mounted characters (Japanese names first, English in brackets if available) is Dragon Rider -> Dragon Knight (Wyvern Rider) -> Dragon Master (Wyvern Lord). Sometimes the Dragon Knight is also available as a promotion for the Pegasus Knight class.
    • The Sacred Stones notably allows a Dragon Knight to promote into either Dragon Master or "Wyvern Knight". The latter has that name in both English and Japanese, and is the only class in that game to ride a two-legged mount rather than a four-legged one. Conversely the Dragon Rider class, which appears in only two games, starts with a two-legged mount and switches it for a four-legged one on promotion.
  • God of War Ragnarök: Wyverns appear as enemies as mounts and beasts of war of the Einherjar. They are smaller and more agile than the traditional dragons found in the other games and have birdlike features, such as a beak and feathers in the neck.
  • n Guild Wars 2: Wyverns look like tiny (1-3x the size of a human) dragons that breathe fire or electricity; some adults have goat horns. While actual dragons exist and are quite important to the plot of the game, wyverns are unrelated to them and instead are a flying relative of drakes, a common environmental enemy that resemble alligators.
  • Hexen has the Death Wyvern, which appears as the Boss of the second hub, bombarding you with streams of explosive fireballs. It's also undead, meaning it doubles as a Dracolich.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon features Wyverns as flying enemies. They're made from earth, vegetation and minerals like the rest of Malefor's army, and shaped in a mix of flying serpent and manta ray. One of them shows up as an elite enemy in the penultimate level of the game.
  • Magic Carpet: In an inversion of how things usually work, dragons are fairly low-level enemies that look like flying caterpillars and shoot fireballs, while the wyverns that you encounter much later look like traditional dragons.
  • Minecraft: The third-party mod Mo' Creatures includes Wyverns, two-legged dragons with birdlike bipedal stances. They live in a separate dimension, the Wyvern Lair, accessed through use of a special staff. When killed, they can drop an egg that can be hatched into a tame wyvern. They come in different Palette Swaps depending on what biome they spawn in, in addition to extra-large mother wyverns, which can be turned into light, dark and undead wyverns with the right essence.
  • Monster Hunter: Most of the monsters one fights are wyverns of some sort, typically two-legged, winged reptiles with a long tail and claws on both wings. They are extremely diverse, and nearly every main monster in the series that isn't an arthropod, mammal or amphibian or one of the immensely powerful Elder Dragons is classified as a wyvern of some kind.
    • "Bird Wyverns" are either small (relatively speaking) wyverns with bird-like features like beaks and feathers or dromaeosaurs the size of small cars.
    • "Flying Wyverns" are larger, more dragon-like wyverns. They vary greatly in design and size, including such creatures as the wormlike Khezu, the batlike Paolumu, the fire-breathing reptilian Rathalos and the colossal stony Gravios. Not all of them can fly. "Pseudo-Wyverns" are an unofficial sub-group that tend to use their wings as forelegs, and often resemble real-life animals like panthers and tyrannosaurs. They also include Akantor and Ukanlos, flightless and heavily-armored four-legged behemoths.
    • "Piscine Wyverns" are amphibious monsters found in either water, lava or sand, and often resemble fish. Most are wingless.
    • "Brute Wyverns" are more tyrannosaur-like theropods, always wingless (their forelimbs are typically stubby arms) and built for brute strength.
    • "Fanged Wyverns" are quadrupedal, terrestrial monsters with no wings and can be either reptilian (Great Jagras, Tobi-Kadachi) or mammalian (Zinogre, Odogaron).
    • "Snake Wyverns" are serpentine creatures with long bodies and forked tongues.
    • "Leviathans" are a part of this group since they drop some of the same items like Wyvern Tears and are called Sea Wyverns in Japanese. They're quadrupedal like Fanged Wyverns; are often found in water, lava, or sand; and their body structures range from resembling crocodiles such as Lagiacrus, to resembling foxes or other mammals such as Mizutsune, to resembling fish such as Gobul and Nibelsnarf.
  • Monster Sanctuary: Draconov and Dracozul are dragon-type monsters with two wings and two legs.
  • Pokémon:
    • The original wyvern-like (albeit not Dragon-type) Pokémon is the resurrected fossil Aerodactyl, which also has traits in common with pterosaurs.
    • Noivern is a batlike Flying/Dragon-type based off of wyverns both in appearance and name. It has no particular connection to poison, however, and mostly focuses on sonic damage.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon have Naganadel, a dual Poison/Dragon-type with two wings, two arms and an enormous syringe-like stinger at the end of its abdomen.
  • Terraria:
    • The Wyvern is a long, slender white dragon that roams the higher parts of the map in Hardmode.
    • Betsy is an actual wyvern (a dragon-like creature with a pair of wings and no other front limbs) and appears at the end of the Old One's Army event.
  • Total War: Warhammer: Wyverns, four-limbed winged dragons that move on the ground like bats, appear as high-tier mounts for Orc Hero Units. The Legendary Lord Azhag can get a unique wyvern called Skullmuncha. Wyverns also appear in the campaign map as decorative flyers over the Badlands the Orcs hold at the beginning of the game, replacing the birds, pegasi and griffins that fly over the human and dwarven homelands. The Warden and the Paunch expansion gives Greenskin factions the ability to temporarily recruit feral wyverns as units during Waaaghs, either when the Waaagh is started in an area with a flying wyvern or anywhere for Azhag's subfaction.
  • Warcraft:
    • Wyverns are said in the official site for Warcraft III to be descended from Gryphons and dragons. They look like lions with batlike wings and a scorpion-like tail (your encyclopedia of mythology would identify these as traits more befitting a manticore). They are apparently quite intelligent and used by the Horde as flying mounts.
    • One of the flying artillery units used by the Night Elves in Warcraft III are two-headed reptilian creatures with wings, no forelegs and poison/lightning breath. All in all they closely resembling a two headed wyvern, though these flying reptiles are called Chimaeras. World of Warcraft later gave Chimeras some fur, downplaying their reptilian aspects a tad, and would later introduce the Rylak, an extremely similar counterpart native to Draenor.
    • Creatures with the usual body shape of wyverns, though also featuring a set of stubby front limbs, were introduced in Wrath of the Lich King and named proto-dragons. They are the original Azerothian lifeform that the Titans modified to create the Dragon Aspects. Unlike Dragons, they are generally unintelligent beasts.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: According to their Amity Arena bio, Wyverns are large dragon-like Grimm with only two hindlimbs and a large pair of membranous wings. They are so rare that most humans don't even really believe they ever existed. Even most Huntsmen have never seen any sign that they exist. During the Battle of Beacon, the assault on Vale wakes up a huge Wyvern that had been sealed inside a mountain. Once it breaks free, it flies over the city, dropping black ooze from its body. Wherever the ooze lands, more Grimm are spawned, making the attack on Vale even worse than it already was.

  • Dark Wings: Wyverns are sapient, bipedal dragon relatives the size of horses with dexterous claws on their wings and venomous barbs on their tails. Most of them are either in hidden colonies or joined with The Empire.
  • Skin Deep: Wyverns were one of the various types of western dragons once present in the setting. Like all other variants, they were driven into extinction during a vicious war of mutual annihilation between the dragons and sphinxes during the middle ages.
  • Slightly Damned: Wyverns are small snake-like reptiles with bird wings and come in a variety of colors and subspecies. They possess magic that allows them to control wind and lightning, and are also the only living relatives to the now extinct wind dragons.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Last Crusade", Scootaloo mentions wyverns among the dangerous beasts her parents study — specifically mentioning how her mother had to "wing-wrestle" one once — but how they may or may not differ from the setting's other dragons is not explained.


Video Example(s):


Ancient Wyvern

A massive, bone-white dragon that guards the entrance to Archdragon Peak.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / OurWyvernsAreDifferent

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