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What are Zmey?

30. September 2009 by Gregg 0 Comments


Zmey, in Slavic Mythology, are similar to Dragons in both Western and Eastern Cultures. Zmey, however do have their own set of abilities and powers that set them apart from the depictions that we are normally used to.

Zmey are traditionally depicted as having three heads and like the Hydra from Greek mythology, the heads will grow back if severed by a hero. The Zmey spit fire like western dragons and one tale even suggests they could be defeated by feeding them sheep stuffed with sulfur. The Zmey’s combustible insides would ignite the sulfur and the Zmey would explode.

Zmey would not always be depicted as evil. The creature’s territorial nature was sometimes seen as noble, as the citizens of Ljubljana in Slovenia believed their city was protected by one. The Ljubljana Zmey is still part of the coat of arms for the city.

The traditional 3-headed Zmey has been a minor figure in modern fantasy fiction, in comparison to the more well-known Dragon. It was featured as a “boss” monster in the videogame Ragnarok Online and single-headed Zmey was a major character in the Russian animated feature film “Dobrynya Nikitich and Zmey Gorynych”.