The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

Once upon a time, a dragon tyrannized the kingdom. Covered with thick black scales, its eyes glowed with hate ,… … and from its terrible jaws flowed evil-smelling slime. Some tried to fight the dragon … … priests and magicians called down curses to no avail. Warriors, armed with the best weapons, attacked, only to be incinerated. The dragon’s claws, jaws, and fire were so effective, … … its scaly armor so hard, as to make it invincible. The dragon demanded from humankind a tribute: … … ten thousand men and women, randomly chosen, … … to be delivered every evening to the foot of the mountain to be eaten. The king and the kingdom, their weapons useless, … … had no choice but to pay the grisly tribute, …. … to suffer the misery, to feed the insatiable hunger. And humans, ever adaptable, came to accept the dragon-tyrant as a fact of life; … … knowing, even embracing, that everyone’s final moments would be in its maw. How could the world be otherwise? The kingdom began to teach its children that the dragon had its place … … in the natural order and, the very meaning of being human to end up … … in the dragon’s stomach, their shorter lives motivating them to lead good lives. And the dragon was helping the kingdom by keeping the population … … from growing too fast. Learning this, attacks on the dragon ceased. But the kingdom still grew, slowly, and with it so did the dragon, … … becoming as big as the mountain on which it lived, its appetite increasing. The logistics of collecting and transporting so many every day… … to the mountain came to occupy the king’s mind more than the deaths and the dragon itself. The king had to hire registrars to keep track of who would be sent. There were people-collectors dispatched to fetch the designated victims. There were clerks who administered the pensions to be paid to decimated families. And there were comforters who would travel with the doomed … … on their way to the dragon, trying to ease the anguish. And there were dragonologists who studied how these logistic processes could be made more efficient. Steam engines were invented and a railway constructed leading to the dragon’s abode. Trains arrived at the mountain terminal crammed with people and return empty. Some dragonologists also studied the dragon’s behavior and collected samples … … its shed scales, the slime, the excrement speckled with fragments of human bone. The more the beast was understood, the more its invincibility confirmed. But. . . humanity is a curious species. Every once in a while, someone gets a good idea. Others copy the idea, adding to it their own improvements. Over time, many wondrous tools and systems are developed. Some of these tools make it easier to generate new ideas. Thus, the great wheel of invention, … … which in the older ages turned imperceptibly slow, … … began to accelerate and humans did what would have seemed magic before, … … communicating instantly across great distance, building machines that could fly, … and many other astonishing things. A few dragonologists argued it might be time argued for a new attack … … one had invented a material so sharp it could pierce a dragon’s scale. It would not be easy but if a huge projectile could be made out of this material … … and launched with sufficient force and sufficient precision it might penetrate the dragon’s armor. However, it would be difficult and expensive and time-consuming to do. The dragonologists explained their proposal to anyone who would listen. But the people were skeptical; they had been taught the dragon-tyrant was invincible and the sacrifices it demanded a fact of life. Yet when they learnt about the new material and the idea for a projectile, many became intrigued. When the king read about the plans, he decided to hold an open hearing … … it took place on the last and darkest day of the year, in the largest hall of the royal castle. People packed in to every last seat and crowded the aisles. The king’s advisor spoke first: telling the people it was best they accept the inevitability of the dragon… … and the dragon-administration department provided many jobs … … that would be lost were the dragon slaughtered and, in any case, … … the kingdom’s coffers were empty after building the new railway. Next the leading dragonologist explained how the proposed device would work, … … how the requisite amount of new invented material could be manufactured. Given the requested amount of funding, it may be possible to complete the work in fifteen to twenty years. With greater funding, maybe twelve. However, there could be no guarantee. Last to speak was the king’s advisor for morality: “Let us grant” he said “The project is technologically possible, though it hasn’t been proven to me. … … Presumably, you think you’ve got the right not to be chewed up. How willful, how presumptuous, how vain. The shortness of human life is a blessing. Getting rid of the dragon, which might seem such a convenient thing to do, would undermine our dignity. This preoccupation with killing the dragon will deflect us from realizing more fully … … the aspirations to which our lives naturally point, from living well rather than merely staying alive. The nature of the dragon is to eat, and our own nature, my friends, is nobly fulfilled only by getting eaten. The dragon is necessary. The dragon is good.” The great hall was silent. Then a small child yelled out from the audience: “The dragon is bad!” The child’s parents turned red and hushed, but the child said again: “The dragon is bad — it kills people… it ate my Granny… I want my Granny back.” The hall was silent again — then a woman stood: “The dragon killed my parents.” And man followed and stood: “The dragon killed my wife and my daughter.” More and more people stood — the simple fact that the dragon killed everyone, the loss of it, the weight of it, crashing over the hall. The way out from under remote, yet maybe possible. The king, looking at the first child to speak, announced: “Let us kill the dragon”. The next morning, a billion people woke to realize they or those they loved might be sent to the dragon before the projectile launched. Whereas before, active support for the anti-dragon cause had been limited, … … it now became the number one priority and concern on everyone’s mind. Mass rallies raised money for the projectile project and urged the king to increase support, … … which he did, passing extra appropriations bills and selling his summer castle, announcing: “I believe that this kingdom should commit itself to achieving the goal, … … before the decade is out, of freeing the world from the ancient scourge of the dragon.” Thus started a great technological race against time. To make the dragon-killing weapon required solutions to a thousand technical problems, … … each of which required dozens of time-consuming steps and missteps. Test-missiles were fired but fell dead to the ground or flew off in the wrong direction. Terrible accidents happened. But there was now a seriousness of purpose, and the work continued. But despite almost unlimited funding and round-the-clock work by technicians, the king’s deadline could not be met. The task was hard. The decade concluded and the dragon still lived — still ate. But the effort was getting closer. A year later the first prototype missile successfully launched. The construction of the final projectile eventually set to complete and launch on New Year’s Eve, … … twelve years after the project’s inauguration. The last day of the year was cold and overcast, but still and clear — good launch conditions. As the sun set, technicians scuttled around making the final adjustments and checks. The king and his advisors observed from a platform close to the launch pad. Further away, behind a fence, the public assembled to witness the great event. A large clock counted down: ten minutes to go — the dark slumped profile of the dragon beyond, eating. From the crowd, someone jumped the fence and ran to the platform where the king sat. He arrived, accompanied by security, in a frenzied state, his nose bleeding. He shouted: “The last train! Stop the last train!” The young man was a junior clerk in the ministry of transportation. He had discovered that his father was on the last train to the mountain. The king had ordered the trains to continue to the very end, … … fearing any disruption might cause the dragon to stir and the missile to miss. The young man begged the king to issue a recall-order for the last train, … … due to arrive at the mountain terminal five minutes before time zero. “I cannot do it,” said the king, “I cannot take the risk it will alert the dragon“. The clouds above their head let loose the rain. “I am so sorry” The king continued, “had we started but one day earlier your father would not have to die.” Looking at the crowd, thinking of all the losses that they and he, had endured. “This project should have been started years earlier than we did. So many need not have been killed by the dragon, had we but awoken from our acceptance of its horror sooner.” The young man’s wailing ceased. The king looked up at the countdown clock: five seconds remaining. Four. Three. Two. One. Zero. A ball of fire enveloped the launch pad and the missile shot out. The masses, the king, the low and the high, the young and the old… … that white flame, shooting into the dark embodied the human spirit, its fear and its hope. It struck the heart of evil. The silhouette on the horizon tumbled and fell. Thousands of voices of joy rose from the masses, joined seconds later by a deafening drawn-out thud from the collapsing monster. After all this time, humanity was at last free from the dragon. The joy cry resolved into a jubilating chant: “Long live the king! Long live us all!” The royal entourage, huddling in the downpour, accumulated around their monarch. So much had changed in the last hour. The right to an open future had been regained, a primordial fear abolished, and many long-held assumptions overturned. “What do we do now?” they asked. “We have come a long way. . .” said the king, “yet now we are like children again. The future lies open before us. We shall go and try to do better than we have done in the past, for we have time now… … time to get things right, time to grow up, time to learn from our mistakes. Let all the bells in the kingdom ring until midnight, in remembrance of our dead. Then after, we will celebrate and begin the process of building a better world. . . for we have time now. [Music and crackling sounds]

David Anderson

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100 thoughts on “The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

  1. TARI1237 KR says:

    10:36 ok that is 5 secon-what?

  2. fergabmmx says:

    the dragon is nazi germany the people sent to get eaten are soldiers to WW2
    the misile is a nuke to end the war
    cool now the dragon is gone you all can overpopulate the earth and destroy everything with global warming

  3. Victoria Rose says:

    Can you do more of these??? Cause it’s flipping good ???

  4. Random Stuff says:

    Okay this is actually sick.

  5. That one guy says:

    People who lived:YAY!!!

    People who died:ohhhhhh, so now you kill it!

  6. Memoiana says:

    Ok we get it, the dragon is an allegory for aging and death.

    Have to agree with Tolkien though:
    “I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history – true or feigned– with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.”
    J.R.R Tolkien

    Edit: the history of life on this planet is that death is necessary for new life to exist. If all our ancestors were still alive, there wouldn’t be enough resources to keep life going on this earth. And all would die.

    Or more realistically, those who can afford it would live to be what 200-300 years old (?) while the rest of life would pay for their prolonged life?

  7. andybaldman says:

    Why are a vast majority of the comments for this vid completely inane and moronic?

  8. Mr. Mad jok137 says:

    unos minutos después el dragón se despertó e incineró toda la ciudad

  9. Supersniper snake says:

    11:00 "iT sTRucK ThE HeArt of eViL" Bruh it struck the head. SMH

  10. JCHorsky says:

    this is a metaphor for our own society and death. we have/ are close to the technology to defeat death, letting us live forever.

  11. Blank Space says:

    Could of just poisoned everyone the dragon was eating till the dragon died… DUHHHH

  12. kaid says:

    people who fought the dragon only died because they forgot to take out the end crystals.

  13. Jake The Chief says:

    I clicked on why choose death and for 5 minutes thought this was the opening

  14. Unname Rmx says:

    This is just great

  15. Blackout Lol says:

    12:30 and then the dragons relatives came and destroyed everything the end.

  16. Erlend Staavi says:

    i just had the sudden realisation whle doing dishes, that this video is about death itself. i never thought if that before now.

  17. Spacciatore di sassi says:

    Bruh just use dragonscourge and equipe windshear

  18. Brandon Emerson says:

    This was a fantastic production. The artwork, the writing, the narration, all spot on! Thank you I will be sharing this with everyone I can.

  19. ShadowWolf says:

    This is obviously about anti-ageing therapies defeating death. I am all for it.

  20. Cam Simo says:

    CGP Grey: Posts deep video metaphor regarding human's relationship with death and the moral + ethical dilemma of possibly being able to defeat it

    Comment section: Shitty memes and jokes

  21. Jacko jack says:


  22. Klyd Viernes says:

    This is a very good story

  23. Nazia Nazir says:

    It killed you granny and youre daughter but humans wipe out whole specias?

  24. Alexander john Minguez says:

    King: this project shoud have started along time ago

    Me:because your stupid

  25. Jóhann Már says:

    people wanted to not kill the people be couse of jobs………

  26. james plays videogames says:

    Got anymore?

  27. 33sheih says:

    meh.. a bit on the nose, and somewhat simplistic –  overcoming aging or even all natural causes of death is no guarantee for a better world. more people with the same materialistic mentality we have today and without a similar breakthrough in energy generation ( fusion?) will only cause more war, starvation, etc

  28. Sanjay Matsuda says:

    The humans could have dug underground houses, stored a lot of food and water, and eventually stopped feeding the dragon, while hiding in the underground houses. Dragons aren't good at digging, so it wouldn't have been able to cause too much destruction in response. After a few months or years, humans would reemerge not much worse for the wear, and would easily be able to finish off the dragon, now weak from hunger.

  29. Nazox says:

    great analogy for poverty and the potential of ubi.

  30. Boomy Boom says:

    Starvation, poverty, overpopulation, lack of resources : ????? ??

  31. Game Liuetenant says:


  32. Obito Uchiha says:

    Dragon : *eats ppl
    Missile : I'm gonna end this dragon's whole career .

  33. Billy Eyelash says:

    The Dragon is Death and how we humans come to accept the dragon is part of life

    The Elderly represents old age(common sense) as old age is represented as being eaten by the dragon

    The Rocket represents innovation and tools that we can overcome and adapt

    The Man begging help for the king to stop the train; is the research and time.

    if the town people started earlier they could've ended the dragon's life earlier instead of the cost of a million lives.

  34. Siao Wun says:

    Is this a metaphor for death? The Dragon being death incarnate and almost inevitable? But eventually the humans overcome it? We're pretty good at killing everything. Especially our own even without a dragon looming over us

  35. ryuk says:

    how could they send fucking 10 thousand people a day for years

  36. Stephen Ravenfeller says:

    Amazing tale of hope

  37. Lohrann Bento Ferrari dos santos says:

    Capitalism and the modern slavery

  38. Funky Junky says:

    I think it’s about the environment.

  39. Alexander Boehm says:

    I had no idea I was a death apologist until watching this video.

  40. Szakusiek says:

    I'm the 227k like!

  41. Slish Slash says:

    Launches missile
    Dragon: steps.
    King: We ded now.

  42. Thrakerzad says:

    why didn't' they just wear lead clothing until the dragon was too stupid to breath anymore?

  43. Srinivas Ananthu says:

    So china is going to get nuked real soon?

  44. Eddy Braybrook says:


  45. GustaviusII says:

    It reminds me of the current stat of sweden the govarment is the dragon and the ignorant people is the king and the suffering people are the ones who opened their eyes and see the truth

  46. tahfaani risky says:

    Is this dragon dumb dragon move his head litel and hit if i can control this dumb dragon the dragon live

  47. Ball Tripping says:

    Those Civ 1 Gandhis are up to something

  48. Troommate says:

    Awesome story

  49. ŃørthŠøüth says:

    K it's been a year and no one knew that the dragon was a metaphor for death, and this is a PSA on the work of the cure for death

  50. Finn mosher says:

    He wants his granny back! Goldfish

  51. Will Billion says:

    why do I feel like this is an analogy for wwii, or more specifically, the u.s vs. japan? the people sent to die and the king representing the soldiers and the government, and the dragon being japan. And the missile finally killing the dragon, representing Hiroshima and/or Nagasaki.

  52. Elijah Kettersen says:


  53. Al Uminum says:

    Not gonna say it
    Not gonna say it
    Not gonna say it
    Not gonna say it
    Not gonna say it
    Not gonna say it
    Not gonna say it
    Not gonna say it
    Not gonna say it

  54. Eduard Dez says:

    Dragon dies 1 second later he stands up and transforms into a colossal dragon.

  55. Brabbelback says:

    soooo… lets nuke climate change?

  56. Leon Tan says:

    Is this a real story?

  57. Leon Tan says:

    Where are all the minority citizens?

  58. kirito kazehaya says:

    Guys they had magic but at times go by it starting to fade

  59. Overclocked super Mines says:

    Person: we will spend our last moments in the dragons mouth.

    King: *laughs in main character buff*

  60. Droka whom is also mol79 says:

    The dragons design is gamer

  61. ACoral says:

    They could have just tried bare hands…

  62. Joey Young says:

    Did anyone else here a little bit of JFK in the Kings speech?!? When I heard that certain part it instantly made me think of JFK and his most iconic speech to the nation!! America ?? Fvck Yeah!! ???

  63. rayan bhattarai says:

    hmm it was just sharp wheres the radiation wheres the bombing wheres the nuke

  64. Working Man says:


  65. MuddyWiconsin Gaming says:

    How many people did the kingdom have??? The dragon wanted so many people every day.

  66. Pedro Henrique says:

    If the dragon eats 10.000 people each night (day), for the kingdom population to grow, the people have to make over 10.000 babies per day. They are a bunch of rabbits.

  67. Pedro Henrique says:

    In 20 years(development time of the missile) the dragon ate 73.000.000 persons or 34,76% of brazilian population.

  68. Greeny Greenson says:

    This was in my reccommended for over a year.

    Now i love this video.

  69. David Lyle says:

    The Dragon is Death and the fear that it conveys in human life.

  70. Ivan Mensk says:

    dragon is the process of ageing

  71. Mike Puorro says:

    I've been pondering this one for a long time. At first I thought it was disease or war, but upon this viewing it seems pretty clear that the dragon is death itself.

  72. The Good Malicious says:

    CGP Grey is salty about the concept of death so he made a animation of a dragon tyrant.

  73. Sebastian Reyes says:


  74. Soda Chezbuger says:

    King: how do we kill the dragon
    Redstone engineers that deafeted the ended dragon: allows to introduce ourselfs

  75. Li Minamoto says:

    Sounds like an allegory for all the obstacles the human race has encountered and eventually conquered.

  76. no lud the dragon loli and no harass my guacamole says:

    bruh he got uno reverse card thanos snap

  77. Жезлоносец says:

    Мораль сей басни такова – много жрать опасно для жизни

  78. Ren Senju says:

    How about a hero a re incarnation of eternals.
    Then he/she training to kill the dragon
    The dragon have an army like it follower,wyvern
    So the hero defeating one by one and absorb the wyver blood,and final challange the tyrant dragon
    And he/she before get defeat and transform into a golden dragon.
    Destroyed the tyrant dragon.
    And thus
    He/she also dissapear because the hero already fullfill the destiny.

    I know,its kinda bad,but i just want to add it

  79. The real Jesus says:

    Why is the king a lego?

  80. ollygaming 674 says:

    1:11 the girl on the very right looks like frisk from undertale

  81. NeuroGuy says:

    Moral of the story: stop camping like a noob. Eventually the other player will spot you and find a way to fk you up.

  82. Duane Mediak says:

    COOL story, u can apply it too any bad habit or seemingly imposible situation and overcome. really cool!

  83. chuckgaming123 brand says:

    comment section: exist
    memes: oh yeah

  84. Nobunaga Doji says:


  85. Caetano Travassos says:

    The dragon is capitalism
    The dragon is climate change
    The dragon is war
    The dragon is the opressing Etate.
    Wake up.

  86. Who the Fuck Am I? says:

    The King be like: "The dragon said be there or be square,I wasn't there."

  87. Anthony Notarnicola says:

    Bruh,this shit is trippy AF


    Why it look like a heartless?

  89. Rainbow Prism says:

    I don’t know about y’all but I’m all for the dragon.

  90. Alondro77 says:

    This fable is absurd.

    All they had to do was call Saitama! Sheesh!


  91. Alondro77 says:

    All they needed this whole time was a Legolas. XD

  92. Marvin Martin says:

    I find it interesting that peopel say religion holds us back from progress, but I find that even atheist philosophers and scientists who don't believe in an afterlife say that life is all there is yet only is meaningful if you have a tiny piece of it, that you should fight for survival but when the time comes just accept oblivion. Sounds like the fable of the fox who can't get the grapes so just says to heck with them.

  93. Dustin Mock says:

    Imagine their surprise when they realize this is a 2 phase boss and now they have to kill the zombie dragon!

  94. Jefferson Estêvam says:

    Never conform never compromise.

  95. Alicia Reed says:

    Lol no

  96. Ziril says:

    This comment section brings me back.

  97. Nate Dietrich says:

    You forgot mention the most important part! This story was written as an analogy to the ongoing fight against the diseases of old age. There are many organizations who believe that we can defeat aging and death and are working diligently towards that end. The problem is that most people believe that death is inevitable and that we should just accept it. The counter-arguments presented in this story were taken from real-life arguments made as why we should not bother to research the diseases of old age and just accept death as inevitable. Here are some links if you would like more info:

  98. Matthew M says:

    This is like self driving cars.
    We only recently decided that the endless slaughter of human lives is worth addressing. The longer we wait to roll it out, the more people perish.

  99. mr.kitloin says:

    Imagine being the last person to die before the cure for death is invented

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