the depreciation of smaug: the anatomy and economy of dragons

I’ve been thinking the last couple of weeks about the second Hobbit installment, The Desolation of Smaug, which I saw in the theater with everyone else over Christmas break. I’m not so concerned with whether it was good or bad, but more about how it got me thinking on a certain paradox I can’t make sense of.

The paradox could be true of almost any fantasy or sci-fi fiction, but as it happens I’ve been mulling it over in relation to the eponymous dragon of the movie. It’s like this: Smaug, as your typical dragon in a work of fantasy, is clearly not bound to the laws of physics, biology, or even common sense. And yet I find — and I suspect many would agree — that I want to object that he is not, after all, “realistic.”
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