Ursamajor wrote:I am wondering if anyone has given thought to the origin of dragons. . so what in Middle Earth are dragons a corruption of? Are they a cross breed of Maia and something else?
Tolkien didn't make any really clear statement on the subject, but reading between the lines, I think that the fire-drake dragons evolved or were bred from lesser worms. More of a selective breeding program by Morgoth than a corruption from another creature in my opinion.
For a while other evils that he (Morgoth) had devised or nurtured lived on, although he himself was taken away; and Orcs and Dragons, breeding again in dark places, became names of terror...
The Conclusion of the Quenta Silmarillion, HoME 5
The wording here suggest that Orcs were "devised" but that Dragons were "nurtured".
As far as them being Maiar is concerned, I'm deeply sceptical of the whole "if in doubt, it must be a Maia" attitude. Dragons are physical beasts - you can kill them and they remain dead. They aren't like the Balrog, who is specifically described as a spirit and is never actually described as being dead. Just because dragons have some almost magical powers when alive doesn't make them Maiar. This is Middle-earth - things are allowed to be supernatural - Elves can live for ever, eagles can talk, trees can walk, wolves and birds can take orders and report information. You don't have to automatically assume that they are all Maiar who have descended into Ea with Iluvatar at the beginning of time.