The Rest Is History

The Rest Is History

Goalhanger Podcasts

The world’s most popular history podcast, with Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook. Join The Rest Is History Club ( for ad-free listening to the full archive, weekly bonus episodes, live streamed shows and access to an exclusive chatroom community. Here are some of our favourite episodes to get you started: WATERGATE/NIXON ALEXANDER THE GREAT HARDCORE HISTORY'S DAN CARLIN PUTIN & RUSSIA

Categories: Education

Listen to the last episode:

"When dragons flew to war… everything burned. I do not wish to rule over a kingdom of ash and bone." Dragons - the most compelling of mythical beasts - are one of the most vivid creations of all human imagination, and their enduring resonance is captivatingly displayed by their role in George R.R. Martin’s House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones. But how did the legend of the dragon, prominent across the world, evolve into the modern incarnation embodied by Rhaenyra Targaryen’s golden Syrax? And what is the difference between dragons, wyverns and wyrms, the traces of which persist in Damon’s reptilian Caraxes?  Canonical dragons are the realisation of four main traditions: the serpents of the Greco-Roman World, the fortune-bringers of the Chinese emperors, the demonic beasts of the Bible, and the greedy gold-hoarders of Norse mythology, as seen in the tale of Beowulf.  The most famous heir of this tradition is J.R.R. Tolkien’s avaricious Smaug, but as in Tolkien’s Middle Earth, the dragons in Martin’s Westeros represent the dangers of uncontrolled power and humans’ capacity to abuse it. Perhaps, then, they have long served as avatars for humanity’s deepest fears about the world, with their manifestation in every age and culture tellingly symbolic…. Join Tom and Dominic as they interweave the many myths and traditions surrounding that most spectacular of beasts: the dragon, and trace its fascinating progression from the wingless creatures of early antiquity, to the mighty, complex creatures who fight for mastery of Westeros alongside their Targaryen riders, in George R.R. Martin's House of the Dragon.  Watch House of the Dragon season 2 on Sky. Go to to find out more. Twitter: @TheRestHistory @holland_tom @dcsandbrook Producer: Theo Young-Smith Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Previous episodes

  • 494 - 461. Dragons 
    Sun, 16 Jun 2024
  • 493 - Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic (Extract) 
    Thu, 13 Jun 2024
  • 492 - 460. The Empress of the Apocalypse 
    Wed, 12 Jun 2024
  • 491 - 459. The Suit, Savile Row, and Smartly Dressed Men 
    Sun, 09 Jun 2024
  • 490 - 458. Helen of Troy: A Family of Blood (Part 2) 
    Wed, 05 Jun 2024
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