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"This is called a Dragonstone. It will allow you to control the dragon’s power and still return to your human form. Now, please close your eyes… [...] ...There. You should be OK now. This Dragonstone is now attuned to you. Be sure to keep it safe."
Azura, giving Corrin the Dragonstone in order to turn into a dragon, Fire Emblem Fates

We all know that dragons can make a work better, but when it comes to actually making dragons into characters, it's a little troubling. Large flying lizards are cool, but it's kinda hard to put them in buildings or give them emotive expressions.

Enter the weredragon: a dragon that can spend most of its time comfortably looking like a human being or, alternatively, a human being who can transform into a dragon. Either way, you get a relatable humanoid character while simultaneously having a big intimidating lizard to do lizard stuff. The reason they might be human can vary. Sometimes it's because maintaining a dragon form can consume energy, sometimes it's to blend in, or sometimes it's in order to play A Form You Are Comfortable With. However, they will still commonly be referred to and identified as a dragon even if they spend most of their days as a human. Whether they are born like a human or hatch from an egg is usually a question left to fan speculation. May or may not actually involve moons like the more traditional werebeasts.

A Sub-Trope of Our Werebeasts Are Different, Voluntary Shapeshifting, and — for the dragon-to-human variant — of Humanity Ensues. See also Scaled Up for transforming into (large) reptiles (including dragons) as a One-Winged Angel; it can overlap with this if the dragon is their true form (as opposed to gaining a dragon form).

Compare Draconic Humanoid (a subtrope of Beast Man), creatures who have humanoid figure and draconic features; Weredragons may be able to assume a Draconic Humanoid form, but it's not necessary.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • 3×3 Eyes has Benares, known as the Dragon Emperor because he originally was a gigantic Draconic Abomination that obtained intelligence and human form, but he can assume a more monstrous form with bigger claw-like fingers, sharp teeth and red, reptilian eyes. During the very final battle he transforms in a massive hybrid of Snake People and Eastern Dragon to fight Yakumo and Pai.
  • Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest: Tio Klarus is a member of the Dragonmen race, a near-extinct tribe with the power to transform into dragons.
  • Berserk: Grunbeld is a giant Apostle wielding a hammer and a shield with a flamethrower, clad in dragon-themed armor, and can transform into a dragon the size of a building.
  • Digimon Frontier: Unlike in most iterations of the franchise, the main characters in this season actually become Digimon instead of bonding with them. Takuya Kanbara has 4 Digimon forms and two of them, Burning Greymon and Emperor Greymon, are dragon Digimon. His other two forms, Agunimon and Aldamon, also feature very draconic looking armor. Duskmon and Arbormon, two enemy Digimon, are downplayed examples in that they are humanoid Digimon that evolve into the decidedly draconic Velgemon and Petaldramon respectively.
  • Dungeon Friends Forever: Ryuuka can freely change from a dragon form to a humanoid form that looks like a dark skinned teenage girl with four horns on her head. This is a skill she learned over time as she could not do it when she first met Van.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • This is the ultimate fate of all Dragon Slayers who overuse their magic, permanently transforming them into dragons. While it's possible for them to regain their human appearances through transformation magic, it can't accommodate for a dragon's senses, potentially driving them mad. The Dragon Slayers known to have succumbed to this are Acnologia, who was driven mad specifically because he hates dragons; Irene Belserion, the inventor of Dragon Slayer magic, who was blindsided by the effects; and Elefseria (from 100 Years Quest), who knew the risks from the start and managed to adjust.
    • The Dragon Gods approach this from the other end of the spectrum, in that their true forms are their dragon forms, but each of them knows transformation magic that allows them to appear as human for convenience.
  • The Familiar of Zero: Silpheed and other rhyme dragons are this, as their main ability.
  • Fate/Apocrypha: In the end, Sieg transforms into a copy of the legendary dragon Fafnir thanks to having Fafnir's blood within him and a wish on the Holy Grail. He stays that way for what is implied to be centuries until his love Jeanne d'Arc arrives, then he returns to human form.
  • Ghost Sweeper Mikami: Shoryuki is a dragon goddess that takes care of Myoujinsan. She trains Ghost Sweepers that visit the mountain, including Emi Ogasawara and Reiko Mikami. She usually prefers to stay in human form disguised as a redhead girl with little horns. She has a green scale in her back, and if it touched, she changes into a berserk dragon.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: The dragons are capable of changing between three forms. Their dragon form is their natural form, with various different appearances depending of the dragon. They can also adopt a mostly human form that retains some aspects of their dragon form, primarily their tails and horns, with the option of manifesting wings; their scales likewise shape-shift into clothing in this form. The third form is a completely human one, retaining only the scales-turned-clothing and reptilian pupils.
  • My Hero Academia: The Quirk of the 9th-ranked Pro Hero Ryukyu is that she can transform into a giant dragon.
  • One Piece:
    • Momonosuke, after eating an artificial Devil Fruit, can turn into an Eastern dragon that can fly. He has little control over this transformation, however. It's later revealed the artificial Fruit in question was based on Kaido's, and indeed, when Momonsuke is aged to adulthood, his dragon form receives a similar growth spurt to being nigh-identical to Kaido's own, save in color.
    • Kaido, King of the Beasts, can turn into an absolutely MASSIVE Eastern Dragon thanks to the Mythical Zoan he ate (which classifies the creature he transforms into as Seiryuu, the Azure Dragon).
  • Rage of Bahamut: Genesis reveals that in addition to the titular Eldritch Abomination there are a lot of more reasonable (if somewhat less powerful) dragons who are willing to coexist with humanity, many of whom can assume human form at will. The protagonist of the second series, Virgin Soul, Nina Drango comes from such a village — her father is a dragon and mother is human — though she has little control of when she transforms.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Chromium, the Mutable can transform into an unremarkable human to escape notice.
    • Dragonsoul Knight can transform into a large dragon by using up one Mana of each color.
    • The dragon-obsessed planeswalker Sarkhan Vol eventually gains the ability to turn himself into a dragon, though his natural form is human.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The protagonist of the Abyss storyline, Fallen of Albaz, can transform into different dragons depending on the Fusion material he is accompanied with.

    Comic Books 
  • Gold Digger: D'Bra, also known as Debra and Princess Star Platinum, is an actual dragon, but she passes as human some of the time. This shows some of her transformation.
  • Ironwood: All dragons can take human form and actually need to do so in order to breed. Dragons are asexual but assume the form of human males in order to procreate with human females. Offspring of these unions are born human and remain in human form (albeit much tougher than an ordinary human) until they reach maturity.
  • Southern Knights: Moranderin the Dragon can assume the form of a man named Mark Dagon.
  • Minor X-Men character Evangeline "Vange" Whedon is a mutant with the power to shapeshift from her human form into the form of a wyvern-style (legs and bat-like arm-wings) dragon at will.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Facing the Future Series story "Royal Occupation", Danny and Sam use the power of Dora Mattingly's amulet to transform into dragons to combat Aragon. It also hints at something unique about them as Aragon had moments ago said that only one of them should've been able to transform.
  • The Heart Trilogy:
    • The great Fire-Drake Smaug avoids his canon fate thanks to his beloved Kathryn who inadvertently turns him into a human. After he first turns back into a dragon, he learns to shift between these two forms (though it's magically more taxing to shift from a man into a dragon than the other way around). According to Gandalf, no other dragon has ever displayed this ability.
    • In the first part of the trilogy, Smaug briefly turns Kathryn into a dragon through their bond so that she can fend off Bolg and his Orcs. In the second part, she shifts two times of her own accord, first when she's furious with Smaug over the murder of Freyja, and secondly to battle against Fankil. Maintaining her dragon form leaves her exhausted, but by the time of the third story, she has trained herself to transform without the danger of being killed out of exhaustion.
    • In the third part of the trilogy, Smaug and Kathryn's twins, Kolstros and Vervenia, are born as human babes but shift themselves into dragons only one week after their birth. Gandalf says they're the first dragons to be born with this ability, and Galadriel theorizes that they can shift with less effort than their father because they're connected to Raw Magic like their mother.
  • Heart of the Storm: Arashi, the main character, is a Kolaghan dragon planeswalker, who crashes into the world of My Hero Academia after igniting her spark, and reflexively shifts into the form of a human. Unlike most examples, she's unwilling to change back into her dragon form, since she doesn't actually know how she managed this, and is scared she'll be stuck in that form if she tries it, though during the UA Entrance Exam, she instinctually shapeshift a pair of wings to save the falling Bakugou. It happens so quickly though, that neither she nor anyone else even noticed it.
  • Lost to Dust: Oryou can shift back and forth from her true form as a Grimm Dragon and that of a human woman.
  • Minecraft Endventures: Downplayed with Endaria, an Ender Dragon and the Endermaster's adopted daughter, was given the ability to turn into a human form. However, the human form is still dragon-like.
  • Project Bluefield: Endragon/Endra, Bluefield and Dreyza all possess dragon forms that they can take on at will.
  • Teen Titans Tokyo: Before Ranma Saotome arrived, Nabiki was cursed when she took possession of the last coin from the hoard of Fafnir. As a result, she can now shapeshift between two forms; her original human form, and a half-draconic form that basically looks like Nabiki with claws, horns, fangs, vestigial wings, a very non-vestigial tail, and a Breath Weapon. Interestingly, it's implied that the half-dragon form is now her base form, as she actually struggles to maintain human form for prolonged periods, and that her "dragon-shifting" power may develop further as she actually explores her new abilities.
  • Wyvern: Taylor obtains Lung's canonical power, and gains the ability to turn into a fire-breathing wyvern. Unlike Lung, the shift from human to dragon is effectively instantaneous and doesn't go through a Draconic Humanoid stage. This is largely an involuntary process; she transforms automatically when she experiences a strong negative emotion and can only turn back when she's entirely calm and relaxed. Glory Girl gets around this at first by using her emotion-inducing aura, but Taylor begins to gain greater aptitude at controlling her transformation as the story goes on.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Dragonheart: A New Beginning, it is revealed that Lord Osric is in fact an evil dragon named Griffin, who many years earlier was turned into a man as punishment by the dragon council after killing many humans, however after reclaiming his heart from Kwan and Lian, he is able to transform back to his dragon-form.
  • In Beyond Sherwood Forest, Alina transforms into a dragon whenever she is exposed to sunlight. The longer she stays in dragon form, the more savage and less human she becomes.
  • In the Russian film On Drakon (or I Am Dragon) Arman is a dragon who has the ability to transform between his human and dragon forms at will
  • Princess Dragon Mom from The Super Inframan, true to her name, can transform between human and draconic form at will. Her human form even wears a helmet resembling a dragon, as well as gauntlets and boots with dragon claws.

  • 24 DS: Dragons have two forms; human and dragon. The former form has human features such as hair and naked skin, but also dragon-like features such as scales, wings and claws. The latter form hasn't been described beyond Tedrick's description of Inazuma's as "a hundred tons of yellow, scaly reality".
  • In The Bad Unicorn Trilogy, the dragon king Obsikar takes a human form to speak to the human protagonists.
  • Beast Tamer: The first time we see Tania, she flies over Rein and Kanade's heads as a dragon. Upon landing she transforms and takes on a more humanoid form with horns and a tail, which she retains from that point forward.
  • A Certain Magical Index: The final New Testament book, 22 Reverse, reveals that when Touma Kamijou loses his Imagine Breaker, he gains the ability to transform into a dragon. His evil clone can likewise turn into a dragon.
  • The Cloistered Sanctum: The dragons on Ullord can change between his dragon and humanoid forms at will.
  • All dragons in the Chronicles of Elantra have the power to shift between dragon and humanoid forms (the humanoid form does have a few features that set it apart from actual humans to the keen observer, most obviously Kaleidoscope Eyes). Males are born in dragon form and females in humanoid form, but as adults they can all shift between the two at will and tend to consider the dragon form the 'true' form, insofar as either is. However, within Elantra itself the Emperor (himself a dragon) has decreed that all dragons must remain in humanoid form at all times unless they get his explicit permission to transform (or have a very good justification afterwards).
  • The Cosmere has dragons who are capable of shapeshifting to perfectly resemble any of the universe's many species, including humans. In particular, Koravellium Avast aka Cultivation is said to actually prefer using a human form when interacting with others.
  • The Dragon Delasangre, a Xenofiction series, features shapechanging and telepathic dragons as protagonists.
  • The Dragon Egg Princess: All dragons have the ability to shape-shift into any form they wanted, though they all have one that is their favorite. Royal dragons prefer their human forms above others, because a human brain is closest to that of a dragon's.
  • Jim Eckert of The Dragon Knight has this as his trademark of sorts. In the original book, The Dragon and the George, Jim was transported into the body of Gorbash, a native dragon of medieval England, and the book ends with Carolinus separating him back to his human body. In the next book, having not spent any of his magical earnings with the Accounting Office, it starts spending itself, and since all it knew about him was "was once a dragon", it starts popping him between human and dragon forms. Carolinus taught him how to control magic, and when he wasn't using more traditional spellcasting, he was assuming dragon form.
  • All the supernatural characters in Dragon Pearl spend most of their time in human form, including dragons. They can be identified by their snoring and oddly-coloured hair; Haenul, the most important dragon, has blue hair in her human form.
  • Dragons of Requiem: The Vir Requis can turn into giant, western-like dragons on their own free will, and can still talk while in dragon form. That being said, they find the term "weredragon" offensive.
  • The Dresden Files: Ferrovax, a semi-divine capital-D Dragon, appears at a party in the form of a middle-aged human. He makes the Blasé Boast that his true form would drive mortals mad and break the earth beneath his feet.
  • Earthsea: Skilled wizards can take dragon form. It's speculated that a powerful evil wizard who once threatened Earthsea was a dragon in human form. Humans and dragons, in the setting, have the same origin. Certain characters are both human and dragon and can take either form accordingly.
  • Elcenia: Dragons all have a certain amount of Voluntary Shapeshifting, and it is customary for at least one form to be one of the local humanoid sapients. "Thudias", the non-dragon children of dragon/humanoid couples, work the opposite way; they're their non-dragon parent's species, but with a few notable draconic traits including the ability to shift into a miniature dragon.
  • The Guardian Series: All dragons are innate shapeshifters, and book two reveals that the main character's best friend Mordon became one in childhood when the dragon Rojan decided to bond their souls into one in order to save Mordon's life.
  • The Heartstrikers: Dragons can take a human form, which is weaker but far more magically efficient. Even in human form however, they are impossibly beautiful, super strong, super tough, and eat literal pounds of food each sitting. The series starts with Julius getting locked into his human form by his mother, who then throws him into the only city in the world where dragons are killed on sight.
  • I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level has intelligent dragons that can transform at will into a set human form, albeit one with horns and sometimes a tail. They use this for convenience when traveling among humans and also for events like formal banquets.
  • In The Invisible Library, dragons can transform from their dragon forms, to scaled but somewhat human looking, to normal humans.
  • In Loyal Enemies, dragons can take human forms until they come of age and lose that ability. Gloom is such a dragon and spends most of his page time in human form to better be able to travel and hide with his companions. Since the only thing that remains draconic in his human appearance are his eyes, he pretends to be blind by wearing a black piece of cloth over his eyes.
  • The Mark of the Dragonfly: Not exactly a dragon, but chamelins can switch between human and dragon-like forms.
  • Night World: In the distant past, the world was terrorized by dragon shapeshifters who could take the forms of other people and animals. They were eventually defeated by the witches, save for one young dragon who was raised among their own kind — her descendants are the Drache family, the rulers of the shapeshifter race. In Witchlight, it's revealed the Big Bad, Ahzdeha, is a dragon who has been awoken by a "witch who isn't a witch".
  • Retired Witches Mysteries: They exist in the setting. In book 2, Olivia mentions she dated one once, and regards it as a mistake.
  • In When Women Were Dragons, women can, well, become dragons. For most, this change is irreversible, but certain characters such as Beatrice can switch between shapes at will, though the transformation is exhausting.
  • The Witcher: Golden Dragons can take on human form, and often prefer to stay this way.
  • Worm: The gang leader Lung gradually transforms into a dragon when in combat. He starts out by just growing larger, then sprouts claws and golden scales; if a fight goes on for long enough the scales cover him entirely, his head becomes reptilian, his teeth turn into fangs and he eventually sprouts wings, growing larger all the while.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dwight in Shining Armor: Lady Irmingard can shapeshift into a dragon and back at will.
  • Grimm: Dämonfeuer ("fire demons") are a type of weredragon Wesen and probably the in-universe origin of the dragon myth in general.
  • Once Upon a Time: Maleficent, though still referred to as a fairy, has the dragon aspect of her character played up to the extent that she mated with a male weredragon and laid an egg, which hatches into another weredragon named Lilith. It eventually turns out that the male weredragon was Zorro.
  • Supernatural has weredragons as the Monster of the Week in "Like a Virgin". Their draconic form is not shown.

  • Corvus Corax: In Der Fluch des Drachen ("The Curse of the Dragon"), the dragon Furio can shapeshift into a human.
  • Vocaloid's Synchronicity series features Miku playing a dragon in human form. We never see her dragon form, but in the finale we can briefly see her growing scales.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In some editions, all dragons can assume humanoid form at will, and many good-aligned ones will do so in order to subtly guide heroes on their adventures or to test the moral character of humanoids and dispose of opportunistic bandits and monsters — or simply because they like to hang around in humanoid form. Moreover, in humanoid forms, they can also interbreed with pretty much any other humanoid species, producing half-dragon offspring who (as well as their own progeny) are humanoid, but can learn to transform into dragons themselves, if they want.
    • In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition, most dragons did not have the innate ability to change to human form. Some who did:
      • 1st Edition Monster Manual: Gold dragons, silver dragons and Bahamut the Platinum Dragon can take the shape of human beings in order to deal with humanity.
      • 1st Edition Dragonlance: The evil goddess Takhisis is normally in dragon form, but can change into the form of a beautiful woman to tempt human men.
      • 1st Edition Greyhawk Adventures: Greyhawk dragons can assume human form in order to live in human cities and observe humanity.
      • 1st Edition Forgotten Realms: Steel dragons are very similar to Greyhawk dragons, being gray-hued metallic dragons with the ability to shapeshift into humans and an intense interest in humanoid society, causing them to try and integrate themselves into those societies. The lore was deliberately vague if they were Greyhawk dragons who had migrated from Oerth or just a case of convergent introduction. They would later be ported into the Nentir Vale setting.
      • 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms: During the days of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, this setting was home to a creature literally called the weredragon — an all-female species of iridescent blue-silver scaled dragons similar in appearance to copper dragons, defined by their ability to assume the form of human women and their love of integrating into human society. They have a particular fondness for using their beauty to beguile evil men into becoming their suitors, and then murdering them once they can financially benefit from their deaths. In 3rd Edition, they were changed only slightly to become the song dragon race, retaining many of the same proclivities and behaviors but losing the uniqueness of the shapeshifting (most 3E dragons that can shapeshift can become any humanoid or animal, while song dragons have only a single form).
    • The Epic Level Handbook allows Epic Druids to pull off Voluntary Shapeshifting into a dragon form.
    • Dragons of Eberron has the "Alternate Form" feat, granting the ability to transform into humans and animals to dragon species that wouldn't normally possess it. They can also take "Half-Dragon Form" to transform into a half-dragon version of any form they could normally assume (but keeping their original Breath Weapon rather than the nerfed half-dragon version), or "Hidden Strength" to boost the strength and durability of these forms closer to that of their natural state. There's also the sorcerer-only spell Strength of the True Form, originally invented by dragons for their own use, which allows a shapeshifted creature to access some of the statistics of its original form for 1 turn (and can be cast quickly enough to employ it in response to an attack).
    • The "Master of Many Forms" Prestige Class can also pick a draconic form at maximum level, which can be reached even before epic level.
    • In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, steel dragons and song dragons are retconned out of existence as people misidentifying cases of shapeshifted metallic dragons existing amongst human society, usually copper or silver dragons.
  • Middle-Earth Role Playing: Were-worms are a very unusual breed of dragon capable of altering their shapes. They are divided between sand-drakes, animalistic beasts that can mimic the characteristics of objects their touch, and true were-worms, highly intelligent beings who use sorcery to take on the forms of other things.
  • Shadowrun:
    • Dragons can often take on humanoid forms, to allow them to fit in in modern society. Including one who runs a MegaCorp and another who was elected president of the United Canadian and American States (and was then killed by a car bomb).
    • Drakes are metahumans granted the ability to turn into (comparatively) small dragons to act as servants to the Great Dragons. They're considered Cool, but Inefficient as player character options go: they require a huge point investment and give you the ability to transform into something that has innate armor that isn't strong enough to protect you from even the weakest gun and can't be combined with other armor, boosted stats while you're prohibited from using any weapons or gear that could benefit from them, an elemental attack that's inferior to using a gun or a spell, and if you ever get outed as a Drake, every MegaCorp on the planet will want to capture and dissect you. What a great character choice.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy, The Dragon Emperor of Grand Cathay (a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Imperial China) has long been implied to be a dragon who assumes human form. The fact that Cathay has long been a Hufflepuff House and thus not received much attention in the setting outside of a few lore snippets has left this claim ambiguous. It would not be until Total War: Warhammer III that this was outright confirmed, with both Cathayan Legendary Lords (Miao Ying and Zhao Ming, who are the progeny of the Dragon Emperor) being able to turn into dragons in battle.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • In Changeling: The Lost, Dzarûmazh the Conqueror Worm is a dragon-like True Fae of horrific power who passes undercover in the mortal world as a human, Changeling, or some innocuous animal. People who see him in disguise still get the impression that they're in the presence of some serious power.
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse features the Mokolé, reptilian shape-changers that are most commonly crocodilian or lizardlike in their bipedal war form. However, it's possible to blend many different reptilian features during character creation to create a draconian war form, complete with wings and a pearlescent bone similar to a Chinese dragon.

    Video Games 
  • In Altered Beast (1988) and Altered Beast (2005), a dragon is one of the beast forms that the protagonist can take.
  • Breath of Fire: Ryu series, along with all the other dragons in the same canon, can transform into a variety of different dragons.
  • Choice of the Dragon: Rumor says that the black dragon from the west "sometimes takes human form and walks among the people, whispering in the ears of kings."
  • In Defense of the Ancients and Dota 2, Davion the Dragon Knight's ultimate ability allows him to turn into a dragon, replacing his melee sword slash attack with a ranged Breath Weapon that can inflict poison, splash damage, and slow as it increases in levels.
  • In Divinity: Dragon Commander, the player is the offspring of a human and a dragon, and as such can transform themselves into a massive dragon on the battlefield to support their troops in combat.
  • In Dragalia Lost:
    • The Greatwyrm of Flame, Brunhilda, takes on the name and shape of Mym, one of her former master’s human adventuring companions, albeit deciding to keep her horns and tail. There are a few reasons why she took this appearance, but the main one is so that she can more easily pursue a relationship with the Prince. The other Greatwyrms do follow suit for separate reasons from her own.
    • Members of the Alberian Royal family are a different flavor of Weredragon—rather than dragons who adopt human form, they're humans capable of assuming the form of the dragon they've formed a pact with.
  • Dragon Age: Flemeth uses this ability in the first and second games, even suggesting that the dragon is her true form. This makes sense once it's revealed that she's what's left of the elven goddess Mythal, who was heavily associated with dragons.
  • Dragon Quest:
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, though it doesn't happen onscreen, one legend (and a poem that you can "update" as part of the Bard's College quests) says that the much reviled King Olaf One-Eye could transform between a human and a dragon.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Rider Servant Sakamoto Ryoma has a dragon as his ride, named Oryo. She normally goes by a human form, but she'll turn into a dragon that Ryoma rides in his Noble Phantasm's animation.
    • Caster Servant Sieg's Noble Phantasm allows him to take on his dragon form of Fafnir from Fate/Apocrypha.
    • Lancer Servant Vritra's true form is a massive dragon, but she takes human form when summoned. She returns to her true form during her Noble Phantasm.
    • Lancer Servant Fairy Knight Lancelot/Melusine is an aspect of the dragon Albion and can take its form.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Manaketes, found in multiple games across the series, have both human and dragon forms. According to the lore, they were initially full-on dragons, but a cataclysm forced them to seal their dragon powers in stones and take on human forms to conserve their energy and/or sanity. As playable units, they can equip Dragonstones (their own, those of any dragon, or those of dragons from the same tribe, depending on the game and character) as a unique weapon type which lets them return to their original form while in combat, granting hefty stat bonuses. However, since Dragonstones are rare and subject to the usual Breakable Weapons mechanic, they frequently end up Too Awesome to Use. An interesting thing to note is Manaketes showed up with a wide variety of different hair colors, but due to the popularity of the green haired manakete character Tiki, some of the later entries starting in the 3DS era depict Manaketes as a whole as having green hair.
    • The Tellius sub-series replaces Manaketes with Dragon Laguz who can transform without the need for stones (though only for a limited time).
    • While Fire Emblem Fates does not feature Manaketes by name, The Protagonist Corrin is capable of transforming into a dragon, as is their children. For their Dragon Fang Skill, as well as their appearances in Fire Emblem Warriors and Super Smash Bros., they can also transform partially for some of their attacks. Unlike their Manakete and Laguz contemporaries, their transformation abilities have no real limits.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses doesn't use the term "Manakete", but still features humanoids who are actually dragons in disguise: they are known as "Children of the Goddess" here and are, as the name implies, descendants/creations of the Goddess Sothis — an ancient god who uplifted humanity thousands of years ago. The Archbishop herself, Rhea, is the only one of her family that can still transform into her dragon form, which is known as The Immaculate One.
  • Guilty Gear: The protagonist Sol Badguy looks completely human at first, but his true form is that of a Draconic Humanoid that's only held back by his Power Limiter headband. In his Dragon Install, he assumes that form for a few seconds.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Hyrule Warriors: Volga is referred to as a dragon frequently and backs it up by transforming into one for several of his special moves.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games: General Onox reveals that his true form is a dark dragon during his final boss battle. Why he spent most of his time as a ten foot tall flail wielding humanoid is anyone's guess.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: The ancient process of draconification is a one-way version of the trope. By swallowing a Secret Stone, a person can transform into a nigh-immortal dragon, though at the cost of becoming mindless and animalistic. Zelda undergoes the process so that she can return the Master Sword to Link after being warped thousands of years in the past, while Ganondorf does so as a last-ditch effort to win against Link after his pride cannot handle a loss.
  • Lunar: Eternal Blue: Nall from the first game has mastered the ability to assume a human form. An artbook shows a human form for Ruby as well, implying she might get this ability after the events of the game.
  • Mortal Kombat: Liu Kang is one and has a fatality which he turns into a dragon and eats his opponent's upper body
  • Songs for a Hero: The Terrible Villain is a powerful sorcerer who turns into a dragon in the second phase of his boss battle.
  • As noted under Tabletop Games in Total War: Warhammer III the Grand Empire of Cathay is led by a family of demigod dragons that can take human form for ease of interaction with their human subjects but can resume their draconic forms whenever they want.
  • Twisted Wonderland: Meleanor Draconia is the only dragon fairy shown to fully transform into a dragon. Her son Malleus was born as a non-anthropomorphic dragon and grew up as a Draconic Humanoid; it's unknown if he can voluntarily shapeshift into a dragon too.
  • The Witcher: Golden dragons can assume human forms so well that most people never realize they are anything but human. Geralt meets a male golden dragon in one of the novellas in Sword of Destiny and his daughter, in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings video game.
  • World of Warcraft: Dragons often disguise themselves as humans, elves, or other intelligent races to meddle in the affairs of mankind without being noticed. One of the earliest and most well-known examples is the black dragon Onyxia, who held a high position within Stormwind under the guise of "Lady Katrana Prestor" and used it to manipulate the kingdom's actions in favor of herself, her brother Nefarian, and the Black Dragonflight in general.

    Visual Novels 
  • Marco & the Galaxy Dragon: Arco spends most of her time in the form of a tiny dragon, but she can take on a human form as long as she feels full. She’ll revert to the tiny dragon's form as soon as she gets hungry again.
  • Sable's Grimoire: Drakan the half-dragon spends most of her time in a Draconic Humanoid form, but she can shapeshift into a completely human form or into the form of an enormous dragon. Her mother, the dragon Nidhogg, can likewise assume a human form.

    Web Animation 
  • hololive: Kiryu Coco is a vtuber, as well as a dragon who takes the form of a young woman. Her dragon form still shows through in her horns and tail, as well as less obvious traits like her pointed ears and Cute Little Fangs.

  • In Beyond the End, Mortis turns into a giant black dragon, though primarily will appear in his demon form.
  • In Darken, Queen Silvador of Hextoria is a gigantic blue dragon who generally appears in human form and who has Half-Human Hybrid children. At the very least, it makes it easier to join humanoid guests at the dinner table.
  • In Daughter of the Lilies, Master Wu is a Wizard who can take the form of a golden Eastern dragon, which is referred to as the "Sacred Shape" and is implied to be related to his role as an agent of the setting's Crystal Dragon Jesus.
  • In Demon King GF, the titular Demon King, Alvida, belongs to a race of demons known as the dragonborn. They used to have the ability to transform into dragons, but the ability has been lost over the eons and the most Alvida herself can do is sprout temporary wings or morph one arm into a massive draconic claw. Right as she's explaining all this to her husband the Hero, their toddler daughter Zenith turns into a dragon by complete accident.
  • The Felicia, Sorceress of Katara universe features a few:
    • The "Curse of the Were-Dragon" arc of Champion of Katara featured a noblewoman cursed to become a rampaging dragon when the moon was full.
    • The first issue of Melari's Wish encountered a small lizard-like creature that could temporarily look like a dragon, and got squished underfoot after Felicia revealed its true form. And a real dragon that impersonated the captain of the guard and turned him into said squishable lizard.
    • In the climax of the novella The Dreaded Book of Un the "villain" uses the Book of Un to turn a half-undead corpse into a dragon, fortunately she accidentally erases the two of them from existence shortly after.
  • Fey Winds: Sid's curse is that he turns into a dragon when stressed. You'd think this a case of Cursed with Awesome but his dad is a famous dragonslayer.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: Dragons spend most of their time in human form, though the dragon form is said to be their true form on multiple occasions. Made all the stranger by the fact that they can interbreed with humans and apparently the dragon gene can skip generations.note 
  • DOTA: Dragon's Blood: Davion, the Dragon Knight, gains the ability to transform partially or fully into a dragon by fusing with Slyrak, an ancient and powerful dragon. However, every time he does so, he surrenders his mind (and a bit of his soul) to Slyrak.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk: Spoofed in "Bad Moon Rising", where Tuffnut appears with a unusual bite mark in the arm. Gobber convinces him that is the bite of the Lycanwing (a weredragon) and Tuffnut thinks he's going to turn into a weredragon during the full moon. Of course as the show has no supernatural elements other than dragons, it's just a wolf bite.
  • The Legend of Vox Machina: While not all dragons are capable of this, some definitely are. Brimscythe pulled a Kill and Replace on General Krieg to undermine Emon's defenses from the inside, and Raishan infiltrates Whitestone in disguise as Keeper Yennen to ask for Vox Machina's help in overthrowing Thordak.
  • PJ Masks features An Yu, who started off exclusively in dragon form, but now seems to spend all her time in human form.
  • Supernatural Academy: There are several characters in show including main character Jessa who have the ability to shift to dragon forms.
  • Wakfu: Dragons, or at least those that are siblings of Eliatropes, are able to shapeshift into different forms including humanoid forms, although they will still have features that resemble their natural forms. The first dragon we see in the series is initially shown as an old man; although it's mentioned that he is a dragon, we don't actually see his true form until later on.


Jake Long

The American Dragon

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / VoluntaryShapeshifting

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