Trogdor

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Trogdor
"And the Trogdor comes in the NIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!!"
Domicile The Trog-Cave
Voiced by Software Automatic Mouth
Debut Email dragon
(January 13, 2003)
Complete Filmography
3D Variation
"Does anybody know how to kill a dragon?"
This article is about the character. For other uses, see Trogdor (disambiguation).

Trogdor the Burninator is an S-shaped wingaling dragon with a beefy arm that originated in the Strong Bad Email dragon. He sprang from the wild imagination of Strong Bad, originally appearing as an illustration and swiftly expanded upon with music and games. Rather than appearing in mainline toons or interacting with the main characters, Trogdor is typically found in the fantasy world of Peasantry wherein he burninates the countryside, peasants, and thatched-roof cottages.

Trogdor quickly became more popular than The Brothers Chaps ever could have imagined, developing into one of the most recognizable figures from the Homestar Runner body of work (even more so among non-fans than the main characters), both on the Internet and in the real world. Fans often dress up as Trogdor for Halloween, and fan art of the dragon has been featured in the Weekly Fanstuff and on @StrongBadActual.

Contents

[edit] History

Countryside, peasants, thatched-roof cottages even!

[edit] Creation

From a 2007 appearance at Georgia Tech:

MATT CHAPMAN: [The idea for Trogdor] is based on Ed Emberley drawing books. When we were kids, [we read] a series of drawing books that were like "to draw an alligator, you draw a triangle, and you draw a rectangle, and a bunch of triangles on the back for the scales, and two lines," and broke it all down. Originally the email was gonna be mostly about like how to draw crappy drawings, and so it was Strong Bad's version of that doing this dragon.

Trogdor first appeared in the Strong Bad Email dragon, in which Strong Bad was asked to demonstrate his "skills of an artist" by drawing a dragon. After a fumbled first attempt, Strong Bad uses "simple step-by-step instructions" (evocative of Ed Emberley's books) to create a distinctive dragon: a winged serpent with a single muscular arm and an angry expression.

[edit] How to draw a dragon (according to Strong Bad)

TROGDOR the BURNiNATOR
  1. Draw an S.
  2. Draw a more different S.
  3. Close it up real good at the top for his head.
  4. Using consummate V's, give him teeth, spinities, and angry eyebrows.
  5. Add smoke or fire.
  6. Maybe add some wings, you know, if he's a wing-a-ling dragon.
  7. Put one of those beefy arms back on him for good measure.
  8. Name him. (Strong Bad named him TROGDOR the BURNiNATOR)
  9. Add majestic lines... for majesty.

Note that the scales on Trogdor's body are not consummate V's; rather, they are "regimented U's" and are a side detail that he did not comment on during his first drawing of Trogdor (see tweets from 28 Dec 2016, 10 Jan 2018, and 6 Dec 2019).

[edit] Trogday

See main article: Trogday (holiday)

Trogdor's birthday of January 13 is recognized as "Trogday", occasionally celebrated with new Trogdor media.

[edit] Song

See main article: Trogdor (song)
Sing along!

From a 2003 interview on UMFM:

MIKE CHAPMAN: We didn't even think to come up with the song until about 6 pm on Monday. We had pretty much finished the rest of the email, and Matt just started singing that song. And it's like, "oh, well, now we gotta make it," so then we had to write the song, record the guitar and vocals and then do all the new drawings and make the little video that sits at the end.

The dragon email concludes with an over-the-top heavy metal song by Strong Bad about Trogdor and his exploits accompanied by pencil artwork.

This song was expanded with full instrumentation, additional lyrics, and an instrumental bridge for the album Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits. A karaoke version of the song is included on the DVD version. The video game Guitar Hero II included "Trogdor" as a bonus track, as the lead developer was a fan of Homestar Runner.

[edit] Games

[edit] Video Games

Arcade styles

On March 17, 2003, the TROGDOR! game was released. The player controls Trogdor, and the goal of the game is to squish enough peasants required to achieve burnination, which can then be used to destroy the thatched-roof cottages. Trogdor must avoid the Red and Blue Knights and the Siamese archers while doing so. The game swiftly became a fan favorite. It has also appeared in the Homestar Runner universe: Arcade Game shows its arcade cabinet in the Basement of the Brothers Strong.

Believing that "the world of Trogdor and peasants and thatched-roof cottages just made sense for an adventure game," the Brothers Chaps and Jonathan Howe centered their large-scale Sierra parody game Peasant's Quest around Trogdor's penchant for burninating peasants and their cottages. In this game, the focus is inverted: players control Rather Dashing as he seeks to kill the Burninator in revenge for Trogdor burninating his thatched-roof cottage.

Trogdor was also the main subject of 8-Bit is Enough, the final chapter of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. In it, the TROGDOR! arcade machine breaks and Trogdor is released into Free Country, USA, and promptly burninates Strong Badia. Driven for revenge, Strong Bad sets out to kill Trogdor by enlisting the help of various other Videlectrix characters. When Strong Bad finally confronts his foe, Trogdor morphs into Ultimate Trogdor, but is still no match for Ultimate Strong Bad.

Trogday Micro Game, a micro platforming adventure through Peasantry in the style of a Game Boy game, was released for Trogday 2022. In addition to being playable in-browser, it is also compatible with a Game Boy emulator. Later that year, Burninate the Barnyard (a farm-themed version of the game) was released as part of day 23 of the Decemberweenvent Calendar.

[edit] Board Game

See main article: Trogdor!! The Board Game

A board game starring Trogdor, drawing influence from his eponymous song and game, was funded via Kickstarter in 2018. Initially seeking $75,000, this goal was met within three hours; the campaign concluded on August 15 having raised $1,421,903 in pledges. Players act as the Keepers of Trogdor, guiding Trogdor as he burninates the countryside, peasants, and thatched-roof cottages whilst avoiding knights and archers.

The Cheat made a music video for a song from a '70s commercial of the game.

In Spring 2022, the "Magicks and 'Mergencies Expando Deck" was released, which added new and revised gameplay elements.

[edit] Portrayal

A for-real Trogdor menaces Strong Bad.

Trogdor is typically characterized as a cruel, powerful fire-breathing monster who takes pleasure in destruction, in the manner of European dragons of legend. He is not simply mindless, showing capacity for intelligence and thought, but does not burninate to hoard treasure or for any secondary goal beyond for its own sake.

As he is a drawing made up by Strong Bad, Trogdor is almost exclusively portrayed as a fictional character that only appears in the fantasy world of Peasantry. Any of his rare appearances in Free Country, USA are treated as highly irregular and found to be alarming by Strong Bad and other residents.

[edit] Dragon-Man

The "Trogdor" song features Strong Bad initially asserting that "Trogdor was a man", before hesitantly instead suggesting that Trogdor is either also "a dragon-man" or simply "just a dragon". This portion of the song is sung in a halting tone, suggesting Strong Bad is making it up as he goes (as the song was created offhand by Matt Chapman); the conceit of Trogdor being something other than a dragon is almost never brought up. No games featuring Trogdor include man or dragon-man.

The illustrations accompanying the song in dragon portray Trogdor the man as a long-haired medieval knight, clad in a suit of plate armor and wielding a battle-axe. The "dragon-man" humorously swaps everything above the waist for the illustration of Trogdor as a dragon. Whether this is meant to depict Trogdor as a sort of weredragon or simply Strong Bad changing his mind about what the character's story is is left unclear.

[edit] Powered by The Cheat

Trogdor Was A Man, a '70s-themed cover of "Trogdor", similarly features the "man" and "dragon-man" versions of Trogdor. A visual gag in the video features the dragon-man leaping out of the armored legs, revealing his whole body to be that of a dragon.

[edit] Speech

Though Trogdor is often heard simply roaring, in a manner befitting his monstrous appearance, he has been shown to be capable of complex and intelligent speech. Trogdor was first heard speaking in Peasant's Quest, with his voice provided by the early, crude speech synthesizer Software Automatic Mouth. Despite the rough and artificial sound of S.A.M., Trogdor is portrayed as speaking in a calm, relaxed manner (using the slang words "sup" and "kinda"). Trogdor has continued to be voiced by S.A.M., such as in Snowglobe or 8-Bit is Enough.

[edit] Size

Trogdor is always portrayed to be large in scale, though his exact size has constantly and dramatically shifted. In TROGDOR!, he is approximately twice as tall as a peasant; in Peasant's Quest, he is over a dozen times larger than Rather Dashing. His size continues to vary widely between portrayals.

[edit] Variations

A 20X6 version of Trogdor, called Trogador, was revealed at the NYU Talk, but did not appear in the Homestar Runner canon until Happy Trogday was released on the third anniversary of Trogdor's debut.

[edit] Popularity

Trogdor expresses his displeasure at an email claiming to be sent by him.

Because Trogdor's initial appearance focused on teaching the viewer how to draw him, illustrations of the dragon have spread widely as graffiti or doodles (in the manner of Kilroy was here). His distinctive appearance and song do not require foreknowledge of Homestar Runner to appreciate, which likely contributed to the quick and broad growth of his popularity. The Weekly Fanstuff featured Trogdor graffiti as far afield as the United Kingdom and Kuwait. An especially prominent pop-culture sighting of Trogdor was his mention in the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In the email concert, Strong Bad receives an email purporting to be from "Your Dragon, Trogdor"; he is offended by the impersonation. Many (unanswered) emails have asked to draw Trogdor again, or to draw another dragon. Several featured Fan Costumes have been of Trogdor, or include a recreation of him as a costume prop.

[edit] Merchandise

A great deal of Homestar Runner merchandise has featured Trogdor, with a simple black shirt featuring his illustration being consistently sold across stores. In a 2005 interview, Mike Chapman mentioned that the Trogdor shirt and hoodie were consistently the best-selling apparel items in the store, despite the character having "only appeared in one or two small things" by that point.

In September 2006, the store began selling a line of baby clothing bearing an image of Trogdor as a baby; this merchandise was so popular that the first batch sold out in two days. Other mechandise has included posters, caps, stickers, and pins.

[edit] Fun Facts

  • The email myths & legends makes reference to a special called Walking With Trogdor airing on the CG Dinosaur Channel, a parody of Walking with Dinosaurs.
  • The music and premise from the intial Trogdor-drawing scene in dragon have been recalled multiple times:
    • The toon Fan Costumes 2016 referenced the scene in a sequence where Strong Bad shows the audience how to properly draw a star for their Homestar costumes.
    • The "Skills of an Artist" series, introduced on July 12 2017, takes its name from a line in the email.

[edit] Trogdor's many incarnations

[edit] See Also


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