I never questioned the idea that a knight in shining armour would attack a fire breathing dragon for both its gold and the prestige of winning such a fight. What I hadn’t done is considered the reality of the situation.
Suits of armour may help in a fight against a big cat, a bear or a pack of wolves. I just question its effectiveness on fire breathing dragons. The metal suit will just conduct the heat of the fire all around the hapless knight so he will cook evenly just like a tinfoil wrapped baked potato on a barbecue. I wouldn’t be surprised if suit-of-armour-cooked-knights are the dragon’s favourite main dish.
But not only will the knight likely become a dinner for the fire breathing dragon, he wrapped himself in cookware, delivered himself to the dragon for a fee of nothing and brought dessert in the form of his trusty steed who is brave enough to go anywhere the knight leads.
Basically, the knight deserves his fate.
But I can see a way that he might have been tricked by the fire breathing dragon.
For the price of a few gold coins the dragon can give that gift to some lucky, not so daring knight. For his gold the knight can say he fought a dragon and killed it – that’s where the gold is from. Others will believe especially with the carefree spending of the knight in-the-know. They will ask him how he managed to kill the dragon and he will say, “With my suit of armour fully on to withstand the dragon’s claws.”
Then when pressed he will give the whereabouts of an even richer dragon. The mastermind dragon. The people might ask why he doesn’t go after it himself and he will just say that the dragon is a mighty foe and he thinks if he fights too many of them he might lose his life eventually.
So only the hardier of knights will go. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fire breathing dragon had expected this. Perhaps he wanted the knights that were closest to being pure protein.
Many knights will deliver themselves to the dragon’s lair. I just hope that dragon mastermind has the stomach for it.
And that’s how I think the idea for the battle to the death between a knight in armour and a fire breathing dragon got started.