Of the 12 known species of dragon, just two are native to the British Isles: The Hebridean Black and the Common Welsh Green. The former is by far the more badass, seemingly evolving in direct proportion to the availability of resources on its native archipelago: After all, the Hebridean black adult can reach an incredible 30 feet in length from snout to tip of tail and prefers a diet of large herbivores including deer and cows.
Indeed, the Hebridean dragon’s aggressive nature may make it the single most predatory of all the dragons and its place of origin is certainly the smallest of the dozen known breeds.
The MacFusty Clan, caretakers of the Hebridean dragons, are first name-dropped in the novel version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) and again in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). However, information within proper Harry Potter canon is scarce indeed. If you want to fill in the blanks on these powerful keepers of the mightiest of mighty beasts, you’ll have to go where the true Potterophiles turn: Fan fiction.
The only real fleshing out of the MacFusty Clan in relation to the Harry Potter universe appears to have been on the Absit Omen website, a combination fan fiction forum/roleplaying game that’s been ongoing for over a decade. Within these pages, one Tynan MacFusty tells the story of a clan whose lineage spans back to the Vikings and the primeval ancestor Ceana the dragonslayer. Another Hebrides-based clan, the MacDonells, may be traced back as far as the MacFusty clan.
The ancestral home of Clan MacFusty is the Isle of Lewis, and the castle there is reportedly protected by a similar enchantment to that defending the Hogwarts Castle. Naturally, members of the clan have spread throughout the Hebrides to train dragons on various islands; a strong MacFusty influence exists on Harris and Mingulay, for example.
As of 2010, Fitzwilliam MacFusty headed up the clan. Fitzwilliam is something of a legend in the Hebrides for having killed a Welsh Green with his bare hands.
Now take a look at the How To Train Your Dragon universe: Though never explicitly stated, the islands upon which the Dreamworks films take place are clearly the Hebrides, as evidenced by the combination of Viking gear plus Scottish (or at least exaggerated Mike Myersesque faux Scottish) accents.
Now consider Toothless the dragon. He may not have the purple eyes characteristic of the Hebridean Black of Rowling’s mythos, and though growing probably won’t ever reach 30 feet. On the other hand, the similarity in appearance to the description provided of the Hebridean Black at Hogwarts certainly makes the theory that Toothless is a Hebridean Black attractive.
Perhaps Ceana is the progenitor of Hiccup’s people as, like this Viking warrior, they began by hunting the winged beasts. As the time period of How to Train Your Dragon appears to be at least 1,000 years ago, Toothless too may be an ancestor of the well more aggressive Hebridean Blacks of the present: 100 years (at least 15-20 generations, presumably) would be enough time to breed in purple eyes and an increase in size, certainly.
The Hebridean Dragon of the Harry Potter universe (and/or How to Train Your Dragon, heh heh) is clearly an original creation of J.K. Rowling and, though the Hebrides have no specific dragon myth or legend to call its own, the Worm of Linton is probably the most well-known dragon-like creature of Scottish mythology.
Not so much a worm as a massive serpent, the Worm of Linton first came into the Scottish storyteller’s catalogue in the 11th or 12th centuries. This beast was something of an omnivorous vampire, as it would devastate local crops and quite possibly chow down on livestock and humans for dessert. A hero known as William de Somerville slew the Worm of Linton with a burning spear as it returned to its lair after a night of feeding. Vicious!
So when will we actually *see* a Hebridean Dragon? After all, you’d figure that Britain and Hogwarts specifically are at the epicenter of enough wizardry activity so as to be noticeable by the super-sensed in the Hebrides. The fact is that a 30-foot butt-kicking dragon would be utterly amazing to see on film, but perhaps this would test the budget of even an acknowledged box office smasher like Potter.
Maybe when James Cameron directs a Rowling story- PPPfffpphhh yea right… Nevertheless- dragons often come up when you think about Scotland, the Hebrides and the Vikings. Remember that iconic ‘Dragonheart -1996’ movie with famous Scottish voice of Sean Connery… Nuff said -we think, in a slam dunk follow-up film right after the stunning and amazing CGI dinosaur effects in Jurassic Park. And we shouldn't just ignore the abundance of dragon-themed games that invaded the online gaming sites. You can actually see a Hebridean Dragon as a protagonist of the furious 5 Dragons Slots, featuring these gigantic reptiles! Maybe not the heart of a dragon, but definitely another popular sector of furious creatures, offering medieval trials to the mere mortals. Or better said by Mr Connery: "There is nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in man." Obviously, the Dragonheart film series suffered massive blows with 2nd rate CGI images you’ve come to expect with most films these days. We might liken our time to better quality animation in these free slot games about dragons. Better yet, try them for mobile gaming too- heck it’s free and a good way to enjoy dragon lore. !
© Roots Hebrides - All Rights Reserved