Let's "play" The Dragons Arrived

I put “play” in quotes because it’s not really a game, as such, but a (potentially) funny idea (which I got from a Discord community I’m in, which is not relevant, only mentioning it to give credit where it’s due).

Here’s the idea: you take the opening sentence(s) of a novel/book and append “And then the dragons arrived” or “But then the dragons arrived” and type/paste it here. Like this…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. And then the dragons arrived.” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)

Let’s see how this sentence goes with what opening :smiley: .


It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. And then the dragons arrived.

1984, George Orwell


It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. And then, the dragons arrived.

  • From Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1830 novel Paul Clifford.

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. And then the dragons arrived.

Ulysses, James Joyce

…which somehow would still fit in the novel had Joyce himself added it


Edward Bulwer-Lytton. He who the annual ‘Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest’ is named after. A competition to find the worst possible piece of prose writing. Lol!

On glancing over my notes of the seventy odd cases in which I have during the last eight years studied the methods of my friend Sherlock Holmes, I find many tragic, some comic, a large number merely strange, but none commonplace; for, working as he did rather for the love of his art than for the acquirement of wealth, he refused to associate himself with any investigation which did not tend towards the unusual, and even the fantastic. And then the dragons arrived.

From ‘The Speckled Band’ by Arthur Conan Doyle


For that Sherlock Holmes one, it is especially fitting :smiley:.

" Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun. But then the dragons arrived."
-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


IT WAS NOT a dark and stormy night. Indeed, there was nothing in the elements to foreshadow the events that lay ahead. But then the dragons arrived.
The Celery Stalks at Midnight, by James Howe


Edited to add:

It was a dark and stormy night. And then the dragons arrived.
— Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

It was a dark and stormy night…
But then the dragons arrived.
— Spider Robinson, Time Pressure

(and doubtless others I haven’t read or don’t recall. :slight_smile: )


There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. But then the dragons arrived.”

Now that’s a version of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre I would happily read…


"Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest-- Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

in the high, old tottering voice that seemed to have been tuned and broken at the capstan bars. Then he rapped on the door with a bit of stick like a handspike that he carried, and when my father appeared, called roughly for a glass of rum. This, when it was brought to him, he drank slowly, like a connoisseur, lingering on the taste and still looking about him at the cliffs and up at our signboard.

"This is a handy cove," says he at length; "and a pleasant sittyated grog-shop. Much company, mate?"

My father told him no, very little company, the more was the pity.

And then the dragons arrived.

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stephenson


Ohhh, I missed that we could include more than one sentence — I have to expand on one from my last post, then:

It was a dark and stormy night …

Your suspension of disbelief has probably just bust a leaf-spring: how can you believe in a story that begins that way? I know it’s one of the hoariest cliches in pulp fiction; my writer friend Snaker uses the expression satirically often enough. “It was a dark and stormy night—when suddenly the shot rang out…” But I don’t especially want you to believe this story—I just want you to listen to it—and even if I were concerned with convincing you there wouldn’t be anything I could do about it, the story begins where it begins and that’s all there is to it.

And “dark” is not redundant. Most nights along the shore of the Bay of Fundy are not particularly dark, as nights go. There’s a lot of sky on the Fundy Shore, as transparent as a politician’s promise, and that makes for a lot of starlight even on Moonless evenings. When the Moon’s up it turns the forest into a fairy-land—and even when the big clouds roll in off the water and darken the sky, there is usually the glow of Saint John, New Brunswick on the horizon, tinting the underside of clouds sixty kilometers away across the Bay, mitigating the darkness. (In those days, just after Canada went fully metric, I would have thought “forty miles” isntead of sixty klicks. Habits can be changed.)

But then the dragons arrived.

— Spider Robinson, Time Pressure


IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters and then the dragons arrived

  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Jenny loved going to the park with her mommy. And then the dragons arrived.

Crayons: Color My World
Sharon Hendricks (that’s me!)


I was going to join in, but then I remembered that the book I’m reading is called Dragon Captives…


The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play,
So we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day.
I sat there with Sally. We sat here we two
and we said 'How we wish we had something to do.
And then the dragons arrived.

The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss


Our story opens where countless stories have ended in the last twenty-six years: with an idiot - in this case, my brother Shaun - deciding it would be a good idea to go out and poke a zombie with a stick. As if we didn’t alraedy know what happens when you mess with a zombie: The zombie turns around and bites you, and you become the thing you poked. This isn’t a surprise. It hasn’t been a surprise for more than twenty years, and if you want to get technical, it wasn’t a surprise then. But then the dragons arrived.

Feed, Mira Grant


What’s that story, @RebeccaBlue?

Whoops. I edited it in now though.


"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

And then the dragons — er, dragon — er, wizard — er, dwarves arrived."

The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien


In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. And then the dragons arrived.

Restaurant at the End of the Universe


Happy Towel Day!