Glaurung and Ancalagon the Black were fire-drakes, and were among the most famous of the breed. Glaurung was a key player in the sacking of the city of Nargothrond and in the fulfillment of Morgoth's curse on the children of his enemy, Húrin. He was a fearsome bane to the Elves. Ancalagon meanwhile, and his armada of winged fire-drakes by themselves drove back the Host of the Valar during the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, such was their incredible power.
Fire-drakes also joined the Balrogs in the attack on the elven city of Gondolin.
The spawning ground of these foul creatures was said to be The Withered Heath, a land beyond the Grey Mountains where little grew and was desolate.
All fire-drakes were thought to have been slain before the Second Age, but some including Smaug the Golden survived; and in the year TA 2770, he descended from the North and sacked the Lonely Mountain. Later, in TA 2941 Thrór's grandson, Thorin Oakenshield, returned with a small group of twelve dwarves and the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins to reclaim his grandfather's kingdom, unleashing a chain of events that led to the death of Smaug when he attacked nearby Lake-town and was slain by the Black Arrow shot by Bard the Bowman.
According to Gandalf, there were still living fire-drakes just before the beginning of War of the Ring, but the authenticity of this was never explored.
These creatures are described by J.R.R. Tolkien as being more like giant scaled serpents with wings than dragons as commonly depicted today. Fire-drakes often grew to immense size, with some growing as big as mountains. The fire from one of these dragons was so intense that it was said the great dragons could consume and melt the Rings of Power (as became the case with some of the Dwarven Rings of power), with the exception of the One Ring, which no dragon's fire, no matter how hot, could destroy. Most of the famous dragons throughout the ages were fire-drakes, although only some of them fought for Morgoth.
- Glaurung- Father of all dragons and loyal general of Morgoth. Killed by Turin, son of Hurin.
- Ancalagon the Black- Largest and most powerful of all dragons. Killed by Earendil, father of Elrond
- Smaug- The last Fire Drake in all Middle-Earth. Killed by Bard the Bowman.
- Fire Drake of Gondolin- A dragon of unknown name, but fought against Tuor, who slashed off one of its front feet.
In other Media
Fire-Drakes appear in numerous related types of media regarding Middle-Earth, such as video games and films. Among these are The Hobbit film trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: Battle For Middle Earth 2 and The Lord of the Rings Online. In The Lord of the Rings: War the North, the game's three protagonists must ally with a Fire-Drake named Urgost to defeat the warlord Agandaur. Fire-Drakes will also appear in the upcoming game Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, in which they are ridable units that can be tamed by the game's protagonist, Talion, to lay waste to enemies from above with flames, jaws and talons. However, as none of these dragons are mentioned by Tolkien in his original works, they are considered non-canon, leaving only Smaug, Glaurung, Ancalagon, and the Fire-Drake of Gondolin as the only true named Fire-Drakes in the chronicles of Middle-Earth.