Dragonheart is a 1996 British-American fantasy action-adventure film directed by Rob Cohen. It stars Dennis Quaid, David Thewlis, Pete Postlethwaite, Dina Meyer, and the voice of Sean Connery. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and various other awards in 1996 and 1997.
An English knight of 'The Old Code', Bowen, mentors a Saxon prince named Einon, in his ideals with the hope that he will be a better king than his tyrannical father King Freyne. While suppressing a peasant rebellion, the king is killed and Kara, a young peasant girl, accidentally causes Einon to be mortally wounded. Einon's Celtic mother, Queen Aislinn, has him taken before a dragon and asks it to save the boy's life. The dragon replaces Einon's wounded heart with half of its own on the promise that Einon will rule with justice and virtue. However, Einon proves even more tyrannical than his father by enslaving the former rebels and forcing them to rebuild a Roman castle. Bowen, believing the dragon's heart twisted Einon, swears vengeance on all dragons.
Twelve years later, an adult Einon's castle is rebuilt. Kara asks that her father be freed after years of slavery; Einon agrees, but instead kills him to "free" him. Meanwhile, Bowen has become a very skilled dragonslayer. Brother Gilbert, a monk and aspiring poet, observes Bowen's prowess and follows him to record his exploits. Bowen stalks a dragon to its cave, but the confrontation ends in a stalemate. The dragon states that he is the last of his kind and they agree not to kill each other, instead forming a partnership to defraud local villagers with staged dragonslayings. Bowen names the dragon Draco, after the constellation. Unknown to Bowen, Draco is the dragon who shared his heart with Einon and feels any pain Einon feels.
Kara, seeking revenge on Einon, is imprisoned after a failed assassination attempt. Realizing she is responsible for his near-death as a boy, Einon attempts to seduce her and make her his queen. Aislinn, despising what her son has become, helps Kara escape. Kara tries to rally her village's people against Einon, but they instead offer her as a sacrifice to Draco. After she is taken to Draco's lair, Einon arrives to recapture her and fights Bowen. As they fight, Einon demoralizes Bowen by declaring that he never believed in the code and was only using Bowen to learn how to fight. He gains the upper hand and nearly kills Bowen; Draco intervenes and reveals his half-heart, causing Einon to flee. Kara asks Bowen to help overthrow Einon, but the disillusioned knight refuses.
Bowen and Draco come upon Gilbert at another village. Kara, disgusted by their actions, attempts to expose them, but the villagers do not believe her until after the staged slaying, while Draco is playing dead. When the villagers decide to carve him up for meat, he takes flight, revealing the scam. They then surround Bowen, Kara, and Gilbert, declaring to make them their meat instead. Draco rescues the trio and takes them to Avalon, where they take shelter among the tombs of the Knights of the Round Table. Draco tells Bowen about himself and Einon: he had hoped that by saving Einon, it would change his nature, reunite the races of Man and Dragon, and earn Draco a place in the stars, where worthy dragons go after they die. Instead, he fears his actions have cost him his soul and agrees to help fight against Einon. After a vision of King Arthur reminds him of his knightly honor, Bowen agrees as well.
Bowen and Draco organize the villagers into a formidable army, and they are nearly victorious against Einon's forces when Gilbert strikes Einon in the heart with an arrow. Draco, feeling Einon's pain, falls from the sky and is captured. Einon, realizing he is effectively immortal so long as Draco lives, is determined to keep the dragon safe. Aislinn, knowing of the connection, attempts to kill Draco during the night, but Einon intercepts and kills her instead.
The rebels invade Einon's castle, and Bowen throws Einon from the top of a tower. While he tries to free Draco, the dragon begs Bowen to kill him and end Einon's reign. Bowen can't bring himself to kill his friend, but Einon rises up and charges at Bowen. Reluctantly, Bowen throws an ax into Draco's exposed half-heart, killing Einon and Draco. Draco's body dissipates as his soul becomes a new star in the constellation, and Bowen and Kara lead the kingdom into an era of justice and brotherhood.
- Dragonheart: A New Beginning (2000)
- Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse (2015)
- Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire (2017)
- Dragonheart: Vengeance (2020)