What is the dragon’s name in ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods?’

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods might not be the hottest DC film to come out in recent years, judging by its mild reviews and initial box office numbers, but it is the only movie in the franchise to feature Lucy Liu riding a dragon and for that, alone, it has already won.

Shazam’s origins are tight-woven with ancient mythology and, in Fury of the Gods, that is clearer than ever. The movie’s antagonists are none other than the daughters of Atlas, Hespera (Helen Mirren), Kalypso (Liu), and Anthea (Rachel Zegler). Their stories can all be traced back to Greek mythology to different degrees, and so can that of their pet dragon, called Ladon.

In Fury of the Gods, Hespera, Kalypso and Anthea want to restore the Tree of Life, which essentially powers their world. For that, they need the Magic staff which Billy/Shazam broke at the end of the first film in the series. The staff contained the powers of the gods, which the three sisters feel were stolen from their ancestors.

The two broken halves are stored at a museum exhibition in Greece and after retrieving them, and calling on the Wizard Shazam to put the staff back together, they set off to reclaim the stolen powers which Billy and the Shazamily now wield.

Hespera eventually secures the golden apple, which contains the seed of the Tree of Life, and Kalypso plants it in a baseball stadium, despite warnings from her sister that Planet Earth can’t contain the immense power of the tree. As it begins growing, its vines begin destroying the city and unleashing frightening mythical monsters upon its residents. One of which, and the most important, is the dragon Ladon. Blinded by her thirst for power, Kalypso orders Ladon to kill Hespera and anyone standing in her way.

How does Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ dragon, Ladon, relate to ancient Greek Mythology?

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In ancient Greek Mythology, Ladon was the protector of the Garden of the Hesperides, where the golden apples of immortality grew. He is depicted both as a dragon and as a serpent. Legend has it, Ladon was one of Typhon and Echidna’s children; it was immortal, never slept, and had a hundred heads. It is eventually slain by Heracles, aka Hercules. Ladon also appears in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.

The Hesperides are the nymphs of the evening and the sunset who tend to the garden, and their father is Atlas. Shazam‘s Hespera, unlike Kalypso, doesn’t take her name from any actual existing mythical creature but is instead adapted from the Hesperides. Kalypso is directly inspired by Calypso, a nymph from the island of Ogygia who was also Atlas’ daughter.