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Tom Shippey comments: "Giles's blunderbuss ... defies the definition and works just the same." (Introduction to Tales from the Perilous Realm).

Chrysophylax Dives (/krɪˈsɒfɪˌlæks ˈdvz/) is a comically villainous dragon. He stands midway between Smaug, evil and greedy, and The Reluctant Dragon, comical and timid. Chrysophýlax (Χρυσοφύλαξ) is Greek for "gold-guard" and dīves (pronounced [ˈdiːwɛs]) is Latin for "rich".

Chrysophylax comes across as a pompous aristocrat—rich, vain, and arrogant, but capable of compromise if handled correctly. Farmer Giles learns that he can be bullied, but is smart enough not to push him to desperation.

CaudimordaxLatin name of "Tailbiter", the sword of Farmer Giles. The sword cannot be sheathed when a dragon comes within five miles of its bearer's presence. Four generations earlier, the sword belonged to Bellomarius, "the greatest of all the dragon-slayers" in the Middle Kingdom. Farmer Giles is granted this antiquated sword—by then become unfashionable—as a reward for driving off a giant from his fields with his blunderbuss. He later uses the sword to capture and control the dragon.

Garm

Garm is the

Garm is the talking dog.[5] The dog is both vain and cowardly. The name is derived from the Norse mythological dog of the same name, Garm.

Editions<

This 2008 reprint:

50th Anniversary Edition

This special edition was published in 1999 to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of this classic. The publisher in the United States is Houghton Mifflin

This special edition was published in 1999 to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of this classic. The publisher in the United States is Houghton Mifflin. The edition includes:

  • Tolkien's original Latin title;
  • The original illustrations by Pauline Baynes;
  • A map of the Little Kingdom, including Ham, Aula Draconaria, Quercetum, Oxenford, Islip and Farthingho (but not Wootton Major or Wootton Minor);
  • Tolkien's original version, previously unpublished;
  • Tolkien's sketch for a proposed sequel;
  • A new introduction and scholarly notes by editors Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond.