History Headscratchers / DragonridersOfPern

19th Jul '16 12:47:33 PM CaptainPedant
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*** Not judging by ''Dragonflight'' itself -- when Ramoth rises and Mnementh catches her, F'lar takes Lessa in his arms and explains that "We bring them safely home".
28th May '16 10:25:27 AM Sharlee
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** IIRC, the 'good maternal instincts' at the firelizard level mostly meant that the golden mothers were willing to protect the nest until the eggs hatched and the babies impressed, whereas the greens would lay eggs and forget they existed. In both the lizards and the dragons, once they're Impressed, they appear to be treated like any other member of the group. Ramoth does care about people messing with her eggs!

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** *** IIRC, the 'good maternal instincts' at the firelizard level mostly meant that the golden mothers were willing to protect the nest until the eggs hatched and the babies impressed, whereas the greens would lay eggs and forget they existed. In both the lizards and the dragons, once they're Impressed, they appear to be treated like any other member of the group. Ramoth does care about people messing with her eggs!eggs!
*** Indeed, dragons (and fire-lizards) might be expected to invest less maternal devotion in individual offspring, given that a large fraction of their young (blues, firestone-chewing greens) are effectively genetic dead ends. The smaller colors of dragon are more like soldier ants than anything - they have value as colony defenders, but not breeders - so naturally receive less parental concern. Even gold and bronze offspring are as much competitors as heirs, considering how quickly their young become breeders relative to their parents' lifespan; a queen dragon that gets too sentimental about her daughters may find herself ousted from her dominant role by one of them. So it makes sense that Ramoth wouldn't think of her offspring as her sons and daughters; in calling Amaranth a "true daughter", she was probably borrowing a ''human'' term to express her (non-maternal, just admiring) appreciation for Amaranth's good qualities.



** Wrong, familial ties are actually quite common amongst the animal kingdom. It's just that dragons have pretty little of this in them.

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** *** Wrong, familial ties are actually quite common amongst the animal kingdom. It's just that dragons have pretty little of this in them.them.
*** It depends on the animal. Given that the initial population of engineered dragons was so tiny, it's possible and even likely that any incest-aversion instincts would have been suppressed in them: either deliberately by the scientists who created them, or via natural selection during the first few generations. Male dragons that ''wouldn't'' rise to mate with related females simply didn't leave any descendants, and females that rose only reluctantly when only male relatives were available didn't fly so high and laid fewer eggs.
6th May '16 2:25:04 AM PaulA
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** It was an expression of his determination to do everything he could to win the mating flight. His dragon used some kind of trick (doubling back somehow? I just remember there was a trick, his dragon turned up somewhere hers didn't expect him & caught her) and when he said the above quote, Torene realized he had planned this with his dragon because he wanted her so much. That doesn't mean it makes sense for him to talk like it was all up to him, but McCaffrey can be a little into the "dominant, pushy male = hot" thing, as demonstrated in many scenes.

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** It was an expression of his determination to do everything he could to win the mating flight. His dragon used some kind of trick (doubling back somehow? I just remember there was a trick, his dragon turned up somewhere hers didn't expect him & caught her) and when he said the above quote, Torene realized he had planned this with his dragon because he wanted her so much. That doesn't mean it makes sense for him to talk like it was all up to him, but McCaffrey [=McCaffrey=] can be a little into the "dominant, pushy male = hot" thing, as demonstrated in many scenes.
11th Mar '16 4:37:15 PM CritterKeeper
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\n** Not to mention the fact that existing more than once at the same time is very draining and disorienting. "I am too many today." Lessa fainted when there were only three of her, and these riders and dragons had to double back on themselves many more times than that to get everything deliverred at once. They likely wouldn't have been ''able'' to rest effectively in such circumstances.
4th Nov '15 2:18:56 PM margdean56
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* In The White Dragon, a dragon dies offscreen, and this is treated as a rare event - Jaxom rushes home (times it, in fact) in order to comfort his foster father, and ex-dragonrider who lost his companion many years before. However, it's established that when ''any'' dragon dies, ''every'' dragon in the world lets out a howl of mourning. By a conservative estimate, there are 1000s of dragonriders in the world at that time, and when a rider dies, his dragon inevitably suicides. Even assuming an average lifespan of 100 years, shouldn't there be a dragon dying every month or so, at least?

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* In The ''The White Dragon, Dragon'', a dragon dies offscreen, and this is treated as a rare event - -- Jaxom rushes home (times it, in fact) in order to comfort his foster father, and an ex-dragonrider who lost his companion many years before. However, it's established that when ''any'' dragon dies, ''every'' dragon in the world lets out a howl of mourning. By a conservative estimate, there are 1000s thousands of dragonriders in the world at that time, and when a rider dies, his dragon inevitably suicides. Even assuming an average lifespan of 100 years, shouldn't there be a dragon dying every month or so, at least?



** While Half Circle ''is'' shown as more sexist than the Harper Hall, there were quite a few people in the Hall who very much gave a crap about Menolly. A journeyman condescendingly tells her she's "obviously" supposed to be with the other girls, who are students rather than apprentices. Dunca, the dorm mother for the female students, hates Menolly for several reasons; one of which is her talent being developed under Petiron. One of the music teachers flat out told her it was a waste of time to educate women to be Harpers. Benis, Lord Groghe's son, accuses her of theft and tries to take her money away at the fair. Et cetera, et cetera. Basically, the entirety of ''Dragonsinger'' '''was''' people arguing back and forth about whether Menolly should be a Harper.

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** While Half Circle ''is'' shown as more sexist than the Harper Hall, there were quite a few people in the Hall who very much gave a crap about Menolly. A journeyman condescendingly tells her she's "obviously" supposed to be with the other girls, who are students rather than apprentices. Dunca, the dorm mother for the female students, hates Menolly for several reasons; one of which is her talent being developed under Petiron. One of the music teachers flat out flat-out told her it was a waste of time to educate women to be Harpers. Benis, Lord Groghe's son, accuses her of theft and tries to take her money away at the fair. Et cetera, et cetera. Basically, the entirety of ''Dragonsinger'' '''was''' people arguing back and forth about whether Menolly should be a Harper.
4th Nov '15 2:15:12 PM margdean56
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* The sex/mating flight scene in ''The Skies of Pern'' bugs me. It's abundantly clear that Tai is ''afraid'' of the impending sexual encounter, and that her other mating flight experiences have been tantamount to ''rape''. F'lessan thinks this is absolutely terrible, but the most helpful response he can come up with is to urge her over and over to "choose" him (even though she's never though of him "that way" before and she's terrified) so that her experience with him will not be rape. (It's not even clear whether she does so, but it turns out afterward that everything's magically okay and she had a wonderful time.) Can't he give her her freedom, instead? Get out of range, lock himself in a room and slide the key to her under the door? He doesn't even consider how he might achieve this and so the scene is not believable as some kind of redemption. A bounded choice isn't a real choice.
** He didn’t have much choice. He was the only rider in the area and his dragon was going to mate with her dragon no matter what. They were going to have sex no matter what. His mind was already overwhelmed with dragon mating urges and it was hard for him to think clearly – to consider, like you said, locking himself up – he had to fight to stay human. Maybe he simply didn’t think about it because in the Weyr "The dragon decides, the rider complies”. All he is doing is urging her to accept the inevitable and to try to find pleasure in it. She would have to face this problem anyway, because Zaranth would continue to rise. I also think that it was stated that if riders don’t have sex something bad may happen to their dragons. I agree that the scene in itself is not handled very well. Tai should be still traumatized and it should take much more time and effort to help her, but these are “Dragobriders of Pern” where a good sex tends to magically solve emotional problems.

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* The sex/mating flight scene in ''The Skies of Pern'' bugs me. It's abundantly clear that Tai is ''afraid'' of the impending sexual encounter, and that her other mating flight experiences have been tantamount to ''rape''. F'lessan thinks this is absolutely terrible, but the most helpful response he can come up with is to urge her over and over to "choose" him (even though she's never though thought of him "that way" before and she's terrified) so that her experience with him will not be rape. (It's not even clear whether she does so, but it turns out afterward that everything's magically okay and she had a wonderful time.) Can't he give her her freedom, instead? Get out of range, lock himself in a room and slide the key to her under the door? He doesn't even consider how he might achieve this and so the scene is not believable as some kind of redemption. A bounded choice isn't a real choice.
** He didn’t have much choice. He was the only rider in the area and his dragon was going to mate with her dragon no matter what. They were going to have sex no matter what. His mind was already overwhelmed with dragon mating urges and it was hard for him to think clearly -- to consider, like you said, locking himself up -- he had to fight to stay human. Maybe he simply didn’t think about it because in the Weyr "The dragon decides, the rider complies”. All he is doing is urging her to accept the inevitable and to try to find pleasure in it. She would have to face this problem anyway, because Zaranth would continue to rise. I also think that it was stated that if riders don’t have sex something bad may happen to their dragons. I agree that the scene in itself is not handled very well. Tai should be still traumatized and it should take much more time and effort to help her, but these are “Dragobriders “Dragonriders of Pern” where a good sex tends to magically solve emotional problems.
4th Nov '15 2:10:17 PM margdean56
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* My question is why all the dragons aren't suffering from major physical and mental deformities from serious inbreeding. During the 400 turns after the Weyrs disappear, Benden Weyr is eventually reduced to a single queen. When a single queen breeds with a limited selection of bronzes(sometimes only one lik ramoth with mnementh), it greatly decreases the variability of the gene pool. So why aren't dragons suffering from some major genetic diseases?
** The simple answer would seem to be that Kitti Ping zapped such potential genetic landmines out of the dragons when she designed the original batch. And lacking the evolutionary pressures to induce mutations (and sports like Ruth usually dieing un-hatched), a limited gene pool wouldn't hurt the dragons much.

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* My question is why all the dragons aren't suffering from major physical and mental deformities from serious inbreeding. During the 400 turns after the Weyrs disappear, Benden Weyr is eventually reduced to a single queen. When a single queen breeds with a limited selection of bronzes(sometimes bronzes (sometimes only one lik ramoth like Ramoth with mnementh), Mnementh), it greatly decreases the variability of the gene pool. So why aren't dragons suffering from some major genetic diseases?
** The simple answer would seem to be that Kitti Ping zapped such potential genetic landmines out of the dragons when she designed the original batch. And lacking the evolutionary pressures to induce mutations (and sports like Ruth usually dieing dying un-hatched), a limited gene pool wouldn't hurt the dragons much.



** And we also learn in Dragonblood that due to the way dragon DNA is structured it is much much harder for it to randomly mutate, which further helps keep the gene pool free of the normal side effects of inbreeding. Though the book does show one of the disadvantages in not having a more genetically diverse group, since one disease almost wiped out the entire dragon race until a way was found to alter the dragons genetics to make them immune.

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** And we also learn in Dragonblood that due to the way dragon DNA is structured it is much much, much harder for it to randomly mutate, which further helps keep the gene pool free of the normal side effects of inbreeding. Though the book does show one of the disadvantages in not having a more genetically diverse group, since one disease almost wiped out the entire dragon race until a way was found to alter the dragons dragons' genetics to make them immune.



** Kitty Pang actually included precautions against harmful mutations in the genetic code. a) they rarely hatch if there has been mutation b) they end up like Ruth. There have been mutations, though. Originally, there was a genetic limit to the size of dragons keeping them to the size of Oldtimer dragons. With Ramoth and Mnementh, mutation had removed that restriction, resulting in far lerger dragons.

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** Kitty Pang Kitti Ping actually included precautions against harmful mutations in the genetic code. code: a) they rarely hatch if there has been mutation b) they end up like Ruth. There have been mutations, though. Originally, there was a genetic limit to the size of dragons keeping them to the size of Oldtimer dragons. With Ramoth and Mnementh, mutation had removed that restriction, resulting in far lerger larger dragons.
2nd Nov '15 3:46:09 PM margdean56
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** [[WildMassGuess A longer flight results in the male having more time to fertilize a larger amount of eggs?]]
** It was said that it's the wole flight, not particulary fertilizing part, that should be long to get a good cluth. It was more along the lines "the futher and higher queen will rise."

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** [[WildMassGuess A longer flight results in the male having more time to fertilize a larger amount number of eggs?]]
** It was said that it's the wole whole flight, not particulary particularly the fertilizing part, that should be long to get a good cluth. clutch. It was more along the lines "the futher further and higher the queen will rise."



** actually, No. in Chronicles of the First Fall, a mating flight was abnormally low due to it being the first one ( the female dragon had overeaten before the flight) and it produced few eggs, to the point that dragons would not have been able to sustain fighting Threadfall. The same dragon flying properly produced a much larger clutch. So it IS the length of time the flight lasts that is important. Best guess is that each egg is fertilised sequentially, not simultaneously.

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** actually, No. in Actually, no. In Chronicles of the First Fall, a mating flight was abnormally low due to it being the first one ( the (the female dragon had overeaten before the flight) and it produced few eggs, to the point that dragons would not have been able to sustain fighting Threadfall. The same dragon flying properly produced a much larger clutch. So it IS the length of time the flight lasts that is important. Best guess is that each egg is fertilised sequentially, not simultaneously.
2nd Nov '15 3:40:59 PM margdean56
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** Yup, and one of the biologists who came on the original expedition actually thought it was a better solution than having the anus and sex organs so close. (Also, a threadscored tail wouldn't be a death sentence- they store the dung until they defecate Between. the hole is just that- a hole.Threadscoring severe enouhg to be an issue would be enouhg to kill the dragon from the severity

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** Yup, and one of the biologists who came on the original expedition actually thought it was a better solution than having the anus and sex organs so close. (Also, a threadscored tail wouldn't be a death sentence- they sentence--they store the dung until they defecate Between. the The hole is just that- a hole.that--a hole. Threadscoring severe enouhg enough to be an issue would be enouhg enough to kill the dragon from the severity
severity.
2nd Nov '15 3:35:54 PM margdean56
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* Why does Jaxom constantly {{Wangst}} about Ruth's sterility/{{Asexuality}} in ''The White Dragon''? Wouldn't Ruth mating with a green (and consequently, Jaxom sleeping with the green's rider) put him in a bad position with the other, sexually conservative Lord Holders, never mind the fact that Jaxom is heterosexual? Surely it would add fuel to the argument that Ruth belongs in a Weyr? To me, it always looked like Ruth saved him a major headache. It's not as if it's an issues of continuing Ruth's bloodline, since only the bronzes have any hope of siring baby dragons.

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* Why does Jaxom constantly {{Wangst}} about Ruth's sterility/{{Asexuality}} in ''The White Dragon''? Wouldn't Ruth mating with a green (and consequently, Jaxom sleeping with the green's rider) put him in a bad position with the other, sexually conservative Lord Holders, never mind the fact that Jaxom is heterosexual? Surely it would add fuel to the argument that Ruth belongs in a Weyr? To me, it always looked like Ruth saved him a major headache. It's not as if it's an issues issue of continuing Ruth's bloodline, since only the bronzes have any hope of siring baby dragons.



** This Troper agrees with both comments above this one. Not to mention, Ruth's asexuality was MEANT to underline his difference from the other dragons. Makes sense considering that he's a mix of all colors... which means of both genders. Jaxom's insecurities, of course, only leads even more to point just how much of a Gary-Sue he actually is in the books.
** It could be because Jaxom was fed up with being different. He's one of the last Ruathans left, the son of Fax, who is always being stared at and isolated. He went against tradition and Impressed a unique dragon who everyone thought would die, and whom people thought might not be a proper dragon. And then he ends up with the tiny Ruth, who's pretty much asexual. It's hammering in the point that Jaxom's pretty much a freak among Holders and riders alike.

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** This Troper agrees with both comments above this one. Not to mention, Ruth's asexuality was MEANT to underline his difference from the other dragons. Makes sense considering that he's a mix of all colors... which means of both genders. Jaxom's insecurities, insecurity, of course, only leads even more to point just how much of a Gary-Sue GaryStu he actually is in the books.
** It could be because Jaxom was fed up with being different. He's one of the last Ruathans left, the son of Fax, who is always being stared at and isolated. He went against tradition and Impressed a unique dragon who everyone thought would die, and whom who people thought might not be a proper dragon. And then he ends up with the tiny Ruth, who's pretty much asexual. It's hammering in the point that Jaxom's pretty much a freak among Holders and riders alike.



** If I remember the book correctly, It was less about mating specifically, and more about how Jaxom felt he wasn't truly a Rider or a Lord Holder (Jaxom's position as Lord Holder was insecure, since the other Lord Holders weren't keen on having a Rider as Lord Holder. Jaxom was excluded from almost all the Weyer did as well, so he felt disconnected from the Riders too. Jaxom wanted Ruth to rise as proof Ruth could do anything the larger dragons could. Which also explains why Jaxom largely stopped once he remembered almost all Green Riders were male (Remember the only Green Rider Jaxom really knows is Mirrim.)

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** If I remember the book correctly, It was less about mating specifically, and more about how Jaxom felt he wasn't truly a Rider or a Lord Holder (Jaxom's position as Lord Holder was insecure, since the other Lord Holders weren't keen on having a Rider as Lord Holder. Jaxom was excluded from almost all the Weyer Weyr did as well, so he felt disconnected from the Riders too. Jaxom wanted Ruth to rise as proof Ruth could do anything the larger dragons could. Which also explains why Jaxom largely stopped once he remembered almost all Green Riders were male (Remember the only Green Rider Jaxom really knows is Mirrim.)
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