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Cold-Drakes were dragons that lacked the great power of all of Middle-earth's most infamous dragons (Ancalagon, Glaurung, and Smaug): the ability to breathe fire. Nonetheless, they were strong foes with their iron-hard scales, wicked claws, bold tail and terrible fangs.
Though most were wiped out during the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, many survived in the far north above the Grey Mountains and in the Withered Heath. As the millennia passed, the cold-drakes multiplied and became a serious threat to the Dwarves in the late centuries of the Third Age. Eventually, war was declared. In TA 2589, Dáin I, King of Durin's Folk, and his second son Frór were slain at the gates of their own hall by a gigantic cold-drake. With the ongoing attacks of these fierce creatures, the majority of the Dwarves decided to migrate eastwards from the Grey Mountains. Soon afterwards, the Iron Hills and the Lonely Mountain became the major dwellings of the Longbeards (the inhabitants of Khazad-dûm). Tolkien gives no hint to the history of the cold-drakes after this time period.
Four hundred years later, at the time of Bilbo Baggins' journey to Erebor, they seem to have left the Grey Mountains (as implied by Gandalf making no mention of them when describing the dangers of that region).
- Some of theories regarding dragons' origins claim that the morphology of cold-drakes may be similar to that of 'dragons' before dragons.
- They may have been animals originally created by Yavanna (and therefore the first dragons) that were then used by Morgoth to breed the much stronger and more wicked Uruloki.
- Land-crawling dragons are sometimes considered physically more powerful than their flying kin by some fans. Some of cold-drakes whose fire-breathing ability did not degenerate as much as 'true' ones, could possibly use breaths of vapor mist or smoke, and magical arts such as "death glance" utilized by Gostir (a speculation from the drake's name etymology).
Translations around the world
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Albanian||Dragona të ftohta|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Халодныя драконы|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Студени дракони|
|Kazakh||Суық айдаһарлар (Cyrillic) Swıq aydaharlar (Latin)|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||Ладни змејови|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Хүйтэн луунууд|
|Scottish Gaelic||Drogaichean fuar|
|Serbian||Хладни змајеви (Cyrillic) Hladni zmajevi (Latin)|
|Vietnamese||Lạnh Con rồng|
|Uzbek||Совуқ аждарлар (Cyrillic) Sovuq ajdarlar (Latin)|
|Yiddish||קאַלט דראַגאָנס ?|