Spyro - Analysis and Merger

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What can be called the "Spyro Canon" is made up of three distinct series of video games: the Original Spyro series, the Legend Of Spyro series, and the Skylanders series.
While these series are not explicitly said to be direct continuations of events; each series being technically a reboot of the last, it is in fact possible to logically unite the three into a grand unified universe, using some clever thinking to explain the various discrepancies between the three.
For several reasons; some of which will be discussed in greater detail further on, I have come to the conclusion that the Legend Of Spyro series takes place before the Original series, and the Skylanders series takes place in another world some time after this. These reasons include the following:

*Technology and relations with other species appears to be much more advanced in the Original series than in the Legend Of Spyro series.
*The Dragons of the Original series are largely bipedal while the Legend Of Spyro series Dragons are quadrupedal, suggesting that this method of standing evolved over time.
*The title of "Legend" coupled with the fantastical setting suggesting that the series is an older one - the story of Spyro, Cynder and Malefor may be a well-known story that every dragon in the Original series knows.

This article will thus attempt to explain the primary conflicting issues of the two series - specifically the Original series and the Legend Of Spyro series. Minor discrepancies such as characters or species having different appearances in different games can be simply passed off as a retcon, but some of the more confusing differences will of course require analysing to be properly dealt with.

Drawing a map of the world in the two Spyro series would be a daunting task indeed, due to the sheer amount of locations, and the fact that their relation to one another varies from game to game, which can make in-game maps unreliable, although still useful for orienteering.
In the Original series, several "Realms" are depicted. In order of appearance, they are;

*The Dragon Realms:
As the name suggests, it is the home of all the Dragons.

A vast realm, home to many different species of sentient beings, but not to Dragons. It is odd that the Dragons seemingly had no knowledge of Avalar, despite being allied with the Fairies who certainly knew of its existence, but this could perhaps be Ripto's fault in some way; isolating Avalar from the rest of the world to prevent them calling for outsider help to overthrow him.

*The Forgotten Realms:
The original homes of the Dragons, until they were forced to leave - the exact history is unclear; but it seems like the Sorceress forced the Dragons to leave, and a dragoness who was posthumously given the title of "Great Sea Dragon" inadvertently discovered the Dragon Realms.

*The Fairy Realms:
A realm inhabited by Fairies. Fairies are known to inhabit Avalar, so the Fairy Realms may be located nearby, or they may even be a part of Avalar or some other world - the information surrounding it is not consistent.

*The Shadow Realms:
Presumably, the Shadow Realms are another dimension of the world that the Dragons live in, as they are identical to the other realms, but are monochrome and inhabited by strange creatures.

In the Legend Of Spyro series, no Realms are actively identified, but a small part of the "Valley Of Avalar" is shown; inhabited by Cheetahs - it can be assumed that the unexplored areas of the valley contain the same regions and inhabitants that they do in the Original series - along with the un-named area that Warfang, the Dragon Temple, and all the major areas of the series exist in. There is also "Convexity", which is less a location and more of a gap between worlds.
So how do these two series of Realms fit together? The answer lies with the moles; in the original series, they only inhabit Avalar and the Forgotten Realms, while in the Legend Of Spyro series, they live alongside the Dragons.
This suggests that the un-named lands of the Legend Of Spyro series and the Forgotten Realms of the Original series are the same location. The lack of Fairies in the Legend Of Spyro series also suggests that they had not established strong relations with the Dragons at that point - it could be that the un-named lands at the time did not border the Fairy Realms. This can also be used to explain the absence of many of the species seen in the Original series; their homelands hadn't been explored at that point.
At some time in-between the two series, the Dragons branched out and founded more cities, and the Sorceress established herself as a formidable power alongside the Dragons, and eventually banished them for some unknown reason, whereupon they founded the Dragon Realms, using their magic to build their cities quickly - it is not clear whether this magic is linked to the Elemental Powers, or whether it is Fairy Magic, or if it is an entirely different magic altogether, but it is arguably linked to the magic used by the aptly named "Magic Crafters" and "Dream Weavers". One wonders why the Dragons fell so easily; had they become overly peaceful by this point? Was there no Purple Dragon to stop the Sorceress, or did she best the Purple Dragon of that time - did he become the "Sorceror"; trapped in the Shadow Realm?
With the death of the Sorceress, the Dragons are of course free to return to their ancestral lands and re-establish their cities - something that never happened in the original series, but which is a logical turn of events.
It seems that despite having the ability to create portals between various areas of their world, a complete map does not exist, otherwise Avalar would have been a well-known location, and the Fairies could have "reminded" the Dragons of the Forgotten Realms - alternatively, it could be that the Dragons knew of them, but had no desire to return to the Sorceress.

What is known as the Skylands is of little relevance to the Dragon Realms of the other two Spyro series. The Spyro of that world is said to be descended from a line of "Rare Purple Dragons" from a faraway land.
It is highly possible that the Skylands are an entirely different world that was colonised by Dragons - one of which was a descendant of one or both of the Spyros from the other series - at some point in time, quite likely through the use of Portals.
The vast physical differences between the Dragons of the Skylands and the Dragons of the other two series suggest that they have evolved in some way - perhaps breeding with a Draconic species native to the Skylands.

Different types of Dragon are shown in the two series;
In the original series, there are five, each referring to a different cultural region of the Dragon Realms; Artisan, Peace Keeper, Magic Crafter, Beast Maker, Dream Weaver.
In the Legend Of Spyro series, there are also five, but these refer to what special ability the Dragon has; Fire, Earth, Electricity, Ice and the many other abilities that are achievable only by a Purple Dragon (Elements will be discussed in greater detail later on).
If, as suggested above, the Legend Of Spyro series predates the original series, than all these different Elemental "breeds" should still exist as a part of the Regional divisions, which would have first appeared when  the Dragons first colonised the Dragon Realms following their banishment by the Sorceress. This would make Flame and Ember of the original series both Artisan Fire Dragons.
As for Purple Dragons, it would seem that their numbers have remained low over the years; given that the Skylanders series states that the Spyro of that world comes from a "rare line of Purple Dragons", although this suggests that they are no longer born "once every ten generations", but that a small family of them exists - presumably Malefor never bred in his lifetime, but Spyro and Cynder did, passing on the Purple Dragon "gene".

Two distinct types of authority figure appear in the two series; the Original series has "Dragon Elders", while the Legend Of Spyro series has "Guardians".
The Guardians are dedicated to raising young dragons in the Dragon Temple and training them to use their Elemental Powers in a Dojo. The Elders appear to be Diplomats, responsible for keeping things calm across the Dragon Realms from the Dragon Dojo - this does not mean they rule the areas; each region still has its own leaders - although this doesn't prevent them from passing on their own knowledge about Draconic Abilities to the next generations.
The similarities between the two groups could suggest that the Guardians eventually became the Dragon Elders, but there are differences enough in terms of their duties to suggest that the two remained separate. The Dragon Elders seem to have come into existence following the establishment of the Dragon Realms, as a way to maintain relations between the different regions - they might just be a group of the oldest and wisest dragons who are thus thought of as the ideal leaders of the Dragon Realms, as their numbers don't always seem to conform to the amount of Regions. As for the Guardians, they are never actually identified as Dragon Leaders; perhaps the Dragons with the title were considered important due to their many duties, but were not in charge of Draconic Affairs.
If the Guardians still exist, each region may have a Dragon Temple with its own set of Guardians - perhaps these are linked to the Dragonfly Dojos, which train Dragonflies for bonding with young Dragons - or there may be one large Temple with Guardians chosen from across the Dragon Realms.

An Elemental Power refers to what special ability a Dragon has - whether they can breathe Fire or any other substance. In the Legend Of Spyro Series, a Dragon has one Elemental power based off the colour of their scales - Red/Fire, Green/Earth, Yellow/Electricity, Blue/Ice - with the exception of Purple Dragons, who have the ability to learn and use all these elements and more.
The Original Series differs from this by seemingly depicting all Dragons as having the Element of Fire - this can easily be ignored as a minor inconsistency caused by retcons, such as the green-scaled Elder Tomas offering to aid Spyro with Fire & Ice Breath, unless, as unlikely as it sounds, Purple Dragons mated with the Elemental Breeds, resulting in a new Dragon Breed able to use any Element regardless of scale colour - with the ability to temporarily use other Elements through the use of "Powerup Gates" or Fairy Magic.
Assuming that these two methods of powerup are not restricted to Purple Dragons - that is to say, that any Dragon can use them, regardless of scale colour - then it can be assumed that these temporary Elemental powerups were invented by the Fairies, and that the Dragons started using them when their two species came in contact with one another.
Several powers are granted by a Dragon Spirit to Spyro, but since these are temporary, it is possible that the Spirit - perhaps a past Purple Dragon - was channelling powers from the ancestors directly into Spyro, giving him the ability to use them without training.
One question arises here: why wasn't the Spyro of the Original series taught to use all the Elements? This is of course the result of a retcon, but it can be explained in-game as one of the following;

A: The Dragons had forgotten the significance of Purple Dragons.
B: The Dragons knew of the Purple Dragon's powers, but decided not to educate him as he was young, and/or there was no urgency for him to learn them.
C: The Dragons were attempting to prevent Spyro from walking down the same path as Malefor.
D: The Artisan lands where Spyro lived were largely populated by Fire Dragons, and as such they could only teach him the one element.
E: Fairy Magic had become a common way to grant any Dragon a Temporary Elemental Power, and as such the Dragons decided it would be easier and less time- consuming than actually training Spyro.

On another note, Spyro's status as a Purple Dragon could be one of the reasons he is the one required to save the day instead of another Dragon - despite it being attributed to his tiny size, it could be that Spyro escaped being frozen inside a Crystal by an unknown-to-him power linked to his Purple colour.

The four colour system used for these elements - Fire, Earth, Electricity and Ice - suggests that these were the first four elements identified, or at least the most common of them.
In the Original series, Fire appears to be an ability common amongst all Dragons, although this is likely an inconsistency caused by retcons. Interestingly, it also states that Fireflies are linked to the ability to breathe Fire - without them, the Dragons can only breathe Ice.
This could suggest that the Fire & Ice Dragons are closely linked in terms of genetics - perhaps something in an Ice Dragon's body makes them immune to the effects of Fireflies, and their Icy body physiology reflects this.
Alternatively, given the fact that the Fairies are evidently able to grant Elemental Powers to Dragons, it could be that they used the Fireflies to grant Fire Breath to all Dragons, and as such the temporary loss of the Fireflies weakened the spell. However, this wouldn't explain the side-effects causing the Dragons to breathe Ice. It is more likely that the incident only affected a quarter of the Dragons - those who had Fire as their Element.
There is little to mention about Electricity and Ice, which appear in both series, and whose powers are self-explanatory. Earth, however, does not appear in the Original series, meaning all we know about it is what is shown of it in the Legend Of Spyro series.
Oddly, what constitutes the Earth Element varies from game to game; in the first game, the element mostly summons Wind storms, in the second, it consists of a Green Energy attack, plus physical attacks that affect the ground surrounding the user, in the third, it involves manipulating rock with Green Energy.
This suggests that an Earth Dragon does not summon its Elemental "breath" from within itself to use as an attack, as the other Elemental Dragons do, but instead uses a Green Energy that can be used as an attack on its own, or to influence Earth - and possibly also plants - around it; either channelling it through the ground, or using it to bind bits of Earth together into a boulder. It is worth noting that concept art for the Four Guardians shows them all breathing a "smoke" the colour of their scales, which could suggest that all their Elements; not just the Earth Element, are connected to some form of underlying Magical Energy which manifests itself differently depending on the Element.

Purple Dragons are said to be born once every Ten Generations - whether this is still valid is unclear, as mentioned above. The exact length of a Dragon Generation is not known, as it is still unclear whether or not the Chronicler lived at the same time as Malefor, which would mean that Ten Generations are equal to many Millenia.
A Purple Dragon's birth could also indicate the beginning and ending of an Age, and as such, the handing down of the mantle of Chronicler to a noble Dragon of the Age. It is not clear whether the rarity of these births were due to magical occurrences, or whether the genetic combination of Elemental Dragons that resulted in a Purple Dragon was so rare that it only came along ever so often.
Purple Dragons have the ability to use any Element, including the Four Classical Elements. The ability to manipulate time is one such Element that appears to be exclusive to the Purple Dragons, although its origins may lie with the Chronicler - that is to say, whoever created the Chronicler's position may have bestowed this power upon whoever held the title.
The Element of Convexity is another Element believed to be exclusive to Purple Dragons - it might in fact be the natural element of a Purple Dragon, considering how a Dragon's scale colouring generally reflects the colour of the Element they use.
Convexity itself - the "Realm, as opposed to the Element - is described as an "airlock" between worlds, so the Purple Dragons are harnessing the mysterious energy of this place every time they use this Element. The Element of Convexity might
Convexity is shown to have many different versions of attack, generally appearing as raw energy, but also showing throughout the games the ability to summon a portal - which makes sense, given that Convexity exists between worlds - the ability to turn an opponent to stone, and the ability to use a form of fire and bombing attacks.
This could suggest that the energy of Convexity can in fact be manipulated to achieve any number of attacks, and it may be this that gives Purple Dragons the ability to use all Elements; they are using their natural Element of Convexity to shape raw energy into replicas of the other Elements.
Although not necessarily one of their powers, it was believed that a Purple Dragon would "put a stamp on [their] Age". Malefor believed that this meant a Purple Dragon's destiny was to renew the world by awakening an ancient machine known as the "Destroyer".
At this point in time, it is still unclear for what reason the Destroyer was built. Was it intended to be used by Purple Dragons to cleanse the world, or did it have some other purpose; perhaps one linked to the equally mysterious Stone Golems of Tall Plains? It's worth noting that Malefor appears to have equipped the machines with Dark Crystals, which may have corrupted them.
If the world had indeed been destroyed and rebuilt by Purple Dragons many times - and it is worth noting that Spyro did have the ability to restore the world, although this could have been him manipulating the Convexity Element - then this could explain why the Chronicler said Malefor was the first Purple Dragon; his archives only went back to the beginning of the present age - the Chronicler does also remark when he first meets Spyro that his archives contain most of the history, but not all.
On that note, he also says that the records date back "to the beginning of time…nearly", so it is more likely that the Chronicler is the proper authority on the subject, and that Malefor merely believes that his purpose is to destroy the world - provided of course the Chronicler is not lying to Spyro to prevent the world being destroyed.
Malefor's corruption, and his desire to destroy the world could have begun with him discovering the existence of the Destroyer - since its only purpose appears to be to destroy the world, Malefor might have ultimately concluded that the world was meant to be destroyed and rebuilt every few generations, and that a Purple Dragon was meant to activate it.
In his eyes, this would have justified any crimes committed by him - the world needed to be cleansed, and all would perish anyway, and the end result would have been a new world free of evil.
It is not clear how Malefor intended for the world to be repopulated following its destruction; perhaps he assumed that the various life forms on the planet would be restored when the world reformed.
On a final note, the "Sorcerer" from the Original series appeared to be a Purple Dragon, and claimed to be the only "true dragon". What this means is up for debate - it could be that Purple Dragons come from the Shadow Realm, or the Sorcerer could be a Shadow version of the Purple Dragons of the Dragon Realms, or he could even be a past Purple Dragon who became trapped in the Shadow Realm.

Many more Elements than the Four Classical Elements are known to exist, but it is not known whether there is a Dragon Breed for each Element, or whether there are only the five Breeds known thus far. If they do exist, it is likely that their Scale Colour will match the colour on the Elemental Symbol used to represent it.
Four elements are all bestowed upon Cynder as a result of Malefor's influence - something that could also be responsible for the unusual colour of her scales - Poison, Fear, Wind & Shadow. With the exception of Wind, all these Elements are arguably dark ones, and they were likely discovered by Malefor upon his corruption. It is unclear exactly how Malefor bestowed these Elements upon Cynder; as it seems the only other way for Non-Purple Dragons to learn other Elements is to have them temporary granted to them by Fairy Magic - which presumably briefly alters their internal Elemental Energy to accomodate another power - but it could be a result of some form of Malefor binding itself with Cynder, causing some of his Elemental Powers as a Purple Dragon to spill over into her.
Wind is first described by the Chronicler as being one of the Elements learnt by a young Malefor. It has been suggested by some that Wind and Earth are linked, due to the "Tornado" attacks demonstrated in the first game, but this is unlikely first of all due to the fact that the two Elements are identified separately from one another, and also because Earth appears to use Energy to manipulate its surroundings, as discussed above, whereas Wind would probably involve a Dragon's lungs and breathing capabilities.
Water is an Element that only appears in the Original series, and is made possible by Fairy Magic. As such, it is not clear how this Element works; if a "Water Dragon" existed, it is not known whether they would have a bladder inside the body for the storing and expelling of water, or whether they would manipulate and summon water to attack with, like Earth Dragons.
There is also a "Bubble Breath" used in the Original series, which allows a Dragon to create large bubbles to trap small creatures - specifically Dragonflies - in safely. This is likely linked to one of the other Elements.

As the Skylanders series takes place in an entirely different world to the other two series, its Elemental powers might not be bound by the same laws of the Elements in the other series, such as scale colour reflecting a Dragon's Element - for example, a Blue Water Dragon is shown to have Electricity Elementals. Despite this, they can still be useful as they give a greater look into what Elements can exist.
The Skylanders Elements are; Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Life, Undead, Magic, Tech, Light, Darkness. Of these, the first four can be seen as variants of known Elements, "Life", "Undead" & "Magic" could all be explained as being specific areas of Magic; such as healing and necromantic powers. "Tech" is an artificial element, and it's worth noting that not all of the Skyland inhabitants are Dragons, and as such, they may be using machines or a different form of magic to the Dragons. Light and Dark could also be other forms of magic, or they could be energy-based Elements similar to Convexity and Earth.

1.41 EGGS
In both the Original and the Legend Of Spyro series, Dragon Eggs are shown as hatching in the "Year Of The Dragon", which is every twelve years. While the latter series does not discuss the subject, the former series flat-out states that Dragons only hatch in the Year Of The Dragon.
This slow cycle of reproduction could be due to some sort of custom, such as a ritual calendar - perhaps it is considered good luck for a Dragon to hatch in the Year of its species - or it could be something like a form of population control, or it could be that Dragonesses are only fertile once every twelve years, or it could be that some form of magic only present in the Year Of The Dragon is required to let the Eggs hatch.
The Dragon Eggs themselves are dealt with differently in both series. In the Legend Of Spyro series, all the Dragon Eggs are placed inside the Dragon Temple, and are kept safe by the Four Elemental Guardians who reside there. In the Original Series, Fairies bring the Eggs to the Dragon Realms.
Presumably, reproduction occurs for Dragons in the normal fashion, but the Fairies delivering the eggs could be an intentional ceremony; where the Fairies make a big show of delivering the new eggs to their nesting place.
It would seem to be common practise to leave Dragon Eggs in a Nursery of sorts, as both series have a form of this - the Nursery in the Original Spyro series, and the Dragon Temple in the Legend Of Spyro series.
The reasons for the change could be one of several:
A: Dragon Temples fell out of use in Dragon Society, and were replaced by Nurseries.
B: Nurseries were founded as an off-shoot of the Dragon Temples.
C: Nurseries were founded for smaller Dragon settlements without a Dragon Temple nearby.
D: Dragon Eggs were never meant to be kept at Dragon Temples; this was merely done as an attempt to protect the next generation from Malefor.

Dragonflies are fairly important in the Original Series. At the time of their hatching, a Dragon is bonded with a Dragonfly who is supposed to protect it; having been trained in a Dragonfly Dojo, which may, as mentioned above, be connected to the Dragon Temples/Nurseries.
A dragonfly's life expectancy is not known, and none of the adult dragons are seen with them - this doesn't necessarily mean they are deceased or on their own by this age; the dragonflies may just be keeping out of sight.
It has been suggested that a Dragonfly's purpose is merely to guard the young Dragon until it reaches adulthood, and is such capable of looking after itself, which could suggest their absence is indeed due to death or them leaving their "wards".
In the Legend Of Spyro series, no dragons are bonded with Dragonflies, but the young Spyro is raised by a family of Dragonflies who live in a swamp.
This legend could be the origin of the custom of bonding Dragonflies with young Dragons - many reasons could be said as to why; the Dragon parents might have copied Spyro, thinking it a clever thing to do, or it could have been a result of a misunderstanding of Sparx's role in the Legend.

1.5 GEMS
In the Original series, Gems are used as a form of currency. In the Legend Of Spyro series, "Spirit Gems" are introduced, and are said to be the "Life Force" of Dragons. From what has been observed of their nature, it seems that when a Dragon dies, their body disappears and is replaced with a Spirit Gem, which then can be shattered to obtain the Energy within. The same thing happens to the Apes under Malefor's control, but this might be due to them "artificially harnessing" the Gems - in other words, it might be that only Dragons collapse into Crystal, and all other creatures die and decompose as normal, unless of course they have absorbed a Spirit Gem, at which point they will expel it.
It's not too hard to imagine over time that Spirit Gems started being used as items of barter; being a highly desirable item due to their healing and replenishing abilities.
Dragon Spirits are said to "bind themselves with nature"; whether this means Spirit Gems are Dragon Spirits in solid form, or merely just the Energy that a deceased Dragon had in life is unclear.

NOTE: Unfinished quasi-sequel here ([link]); I attempted to analyse how the Elements/Dragon Breaths work, and to figure out a way to logically guess what all fan-made Elements must look like.

EDIT: Made several minor edits to the article. By the way, there's the odd add-on in the comments below; have a read! I also meant to add in somewhere that since Spyro was almost coloured Green in the original game until it was decided that looked bad against the green grass, that sort of information could be repurposed by fan writers to suggest that one of Spyro's parents was an Earth Dragon. The natural connection with Fire (in both name and first power used; although admittedly the naming is a coincidence and the Fire could be also too, unless it's merely linked to the Element in some way; emerging early in youth, or being a fairly common Element or something) could also suggest Fire parentage, and I imagine confirmation of that would please many Ignitus fans...

Whew, this took me a while - and it also took a lot of help from the Spyro Wiki!

You've probably noticed by now if you've looked through my DeviantArt account that every now and then I write an Analysis of some Element of a Film or Book series, in an attempt to find and solve answers to the confusing elements of the story.

Here, I've attempted to tie all the Spyro games together - The Original Series, the Legend Of Spyro Series and the Skylander Series - into one logical universe, find explanations for the differences between each, and also explain how some of the Elemental Powers might work, and if there could be even more we haven't seen!

There's plenty of fan-made Spyro worlds out there, and I've seen several that have tried to tie the Original Series and the Legend Of Spyro Series together. I hope this version makes sense to whoever reads it, and who knows? This might even give people ideas for stories or plot elements!

All the various incarnations of Spyro copyright their respective owners.
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Syyend's avatar
Once again, a well done thesis. You've covered almost all plot holes and connected the three sagas pretty darn near perfectly.