No, there is no standard definition that exists for Dragon, Drake, Wyrm, and Wyvern in the fantasy genre or games, but various mythologists have created their interpretations that are different for different fantasy worlds and games. In the game and fantasy genre, dragons are used synonymously, and some use them as subspecies of Dragons. But there are some differences among them. Let us see the difference between Dragon, Drake, Wyrm, and Wyvern.
Every fantasy story and the game Dungeons and Dragons are incomplete without dragons. But before adding Dragons to the fantasy, one should know that the dragons belong to different categories like Dragons, Drakes, Wyrms, and Wyverns. So, here is the difference between Dragons, Wyverns, Drakes, and Wyrms in the next section.
What Is the Difference Between Dragons, Wyverns, Drakes, and Wyrms?
Let us see all of them in detail to understand the differences among them:
Dragons are the most renowned fire-breathing and flying creatures in the mythologies of humankind. Almost all the mythological tales around the world have dragons in them. Fantasy movies and series like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones are incomplete without Dragons, and the most popular tabletop game, Dungeons and Dragons is nothing without Dragons.
Traditionally Dragons are titanic creatures that breathe fire and fly using their wings and are extremely tough, with squamate, armor-like exterior and talons sharp like razors. A Dragon has two wings and four legs. In modern fantasies and games, Dragons got changed according to the need of the franchise or the game. In addition to their enhanced intelligence and magic, modern Dragons have extra features, like additional heads, limbs, or powers.
Wyverns are considered the most popular and recognizable Dragons in modern times. They have two legs, four limbs, two wings, and a barbed, poisonous tail. They are smaller and more animalistic than dragons. Wyverns are magical creatures, however, they do not possess complete control over their magic, unlike dragons.
They represent potency, protection, valor, vengeance, accomplishment over a fiendish enemy. Their eyesight is exceptionally sharp as well. Wyverns are the favorite and first choice for fictional movie or series creators and game designers. As mentioned earlier, they tend to be smaller, less intelligent, and weaker than dragons. They have a poisonous stinger at the rear of their tail.
The Drake word is similar to the Latin word ‘Draco’, which means serpent and is somewhat closely related to Dragons. As per Folklorist Jennifer Walker’s classification, Drakes could not fly as they have no wings and are four-legged creatures. She classified them into two categories: cold and fire. The Fire Drakes can breathe fire and are fiery in colors like red or orange. On the other hand, Cold Drakes breathe ice or snow and are white or light blue.
Being modern inventions, Drakes vary from movies to games. In Dungeons and Dragons, Drakes are similar to Wyverns and are simple creatures with no ability to fly. They could walk on four legs or their hind legs. In franchises, they are regarded as young dragons who are yet to achieve their full potential because they are less-evolved dragons.
Wyrms derived from the Norse word ‘ormr’ means all dragons known in Europe. They are serpentine dragons of European origin. Wyrm is a mythological serpent that petrified townships, stole and hoarded gold, and used to fly like bats. In fiction, Wyrms are the powerful and intelligent type of dragons. In many games like Dungeons and Dragons, they are the hardest to kill and have the best XP gain. They are most lethal in terms of damage.
Wyrms are also one of the most ancient kinds of Dragons. They have extreme power and possess ground-breaking magic. Wyrms are known to be the wisest creatures in existence but are also very stubborn and cunning.
Wyverns are almost similar to Dragons. So are they a modern version of Dragons?
Can a Wyvern Defeat a Dragon?
No, Wyverns cannot beat Dragons because Dragons have the advantage of four legs and forearms opposable thumbs. They could grab a Wyvern’s back, like a human could grab a striking snake, and then the Dragon could thrash the Wyvern on the ground and tear it into many pieces. The Wyverns could use their poisonous sting tail attack, but Dragons are immune to poison, and they could easily beat the Wyvern any day. A Dragon could outmatch a Wyvern in terms of size and HP in the game.