There are friendly dragons who help small children, but they're not badass. Then there are tame dragons who fight for humans, but very few of them are badass either. Luckily, we've got some truly hardcore dragons here to eat your face off.
10. Sapphiron (World of Warcraft)
She's an ultra-powerful blue dragon, who could channel the spirits of dead dragons - and when she was slain by annoying humans, she came back from the dead as a zombie frost wyrm. It doesn't get much more badass than that.
9. Avan Agornin in Tooth and Claw
It's true that Avan never slaughters another dragon. But in Jo Walton's masterful drawing room melodrama, set in a Victorian world ruled by dragons, Avan is a brave attorney who dares to challenge the power of ancient dragons in court. Sure, other dragons fight to the death and eat their young. But Avan is the most badass dragon in the story because he uses his brains instead of his claws.
8. Kalessin in The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Series)
He's the dragon who created Earthsea, and like all dragons, the language he speaks is pure magic.
7. Dragons in D-War
Look, the movie was beyond absurd. But the dragon effects were incredible - and there were a TON of them. When it comes to dragon eye candy, this flick can't be beat. And they are chewing their way through Los Angeles at a rapid clip, biting helicopters out of the air and smashing the shit out of everything.
6. Polychromatic Dragon from Dungeons & Dragons
Five heads and five breath weapons, baby. Fucking BADASS.
5. Vermithrax Perjorative in Dragonslayer
It's hard to make a movie dragon really badass. They're either too friendly (like Saphira in Eragon or Sean Connery in Dragonheart), or too lame (like the barely-seen dragons in Reign of Fire). Even though the effects in Dragonslayer feel dated now, there's a majesty and terror to the dragon that is hard to beat.
4. 5 dragons of Lodoss
The only remaining dragons after years of magical wars on the island of Lodoss, this pack - a mixture of evil and good - are undoubtedly the most powerful dragons in this Japanese fantasy franchise that spanned games, manga, and anime.
3. Kilnmouth from Magic the Gathering
A rare and powerful card, this is the dragon who will take your dragon deck from awesome to badass.
2. Smaug in The Hobbit
This red dragon may not be the most powerful dragon ever, but he's certainly one of the most memorable. It sounds weird to talk about realism when it comes to dragons, but when we meet Smaug in The Hobbit, it's as if Tolkien has taken fairy tale dragons and made them into something we can believe in.
1. Temeraire (the Temeraire Series)
He's the biggest, smartest dragon in the King's army, and possibly in the world. He's a gorgeous glossy black, speaks several languages, only eats tasty Chinese food, and has one of the rarest and most powerful breath weapons ever seen: the Divine Wind, which is basically a sonic blast that can shatter a naval ship and flatten whole armies. Plus, he's a civil rights activist who is trying to make dragons into full citizens of the British Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. Seriously, if you haven't read Naomi Novik's incredible series about Temeraire the dragon, you haven't lived the badass dragon lifestyle. Start with book one, His Majesty's Dragon - you'll never look back.
Special bonus round: Trogdor
He's a dragon. He's a man. He's a dragon-man. He burninates the countryside. I still love Trogdor.