Fridge / Honor Harrington

Fridge Brilliance

  • The series has various parallels to advances in naval warfare, going from ships of the line to including rudimentary high-speed communication (the grav pulse comms initially work like a telegraph), the use of naval mines and minelayers (missile pods and the later podlayer ships), the progressive dominance of long-ranged missiles over massed gunfire (Manticore's Multi-Drive Missiles combined with advances in the FTL comms), torpedo boats and aircraft carriers (with the LACs serving both as Age of Steam gunboats and later as Age of Steam torpedo boats, and the CLACs filling in for aircraft carriers), and as of Mission of Honor, the Mesan Alignment has created an Honorverse parallel to submarine warfare.
    • Related to this, the Graysons are, per the House of Steel companion book, favoring an "All big gun" beam armament scheme for their warships, similar to what Dreadnought battleships began doing around the start of the 20th century.
    • There's also the jeune ecole, a faction of the navy, who believe that new tech can radically change the paradigm of space battles. Historically, the Jeune École was a strategic naval concept in the 19th century that advocated using swarms of small ships with powerful armament to fight large battleships and commerce raiders to stifle the economy of an enemy nation. Torpedo boats were the favorite choice, as they were fast, small, and packing quite a punch. In response, the larger navies started building destroyers to counter them.
  • At the beginning of Shadow of Saganami, when the HMS Hexapuma is traveling from Manticore to Spindle, while no-one says anything, it seems pretty clear that everyone on her crew from Captain Terekhov all the way down to Midshipwoman Zilwicki is unhappy with Admiral Khumalo's decision to leave nothing but a tiny picket force — two destroyers and an obsolete light cruiser — at the Lynx terminus. In fact, in his first meeting with his commanding officer, Terekhov explicitly points out the emphasis Admiral Givens put on defending the terminus ... to which Khumalo replies by reiterating his opinion that the forces he has been assigned for the defense of the Talbott Cluster are insufficient to discharge his responsibilities, and that, in an emergency, the terminus can be reinforced from Home Fleet. Terekhov shows no sign of joy at hearing this, but by the end of the book, not only has Khumalo been proven correct in his assessment of Talbott's security needs, but many of those ships that Khumalo didn't leave at Lynx are available to fight the would-be invasion force from Monica — and given how close a fight that was, that's a very good thing. As much as his Navy fellows underestimated his courage, they misjudged Khumalo's strategic instincts just as completely.

  • Also regarding Shadow of Saganami and Khumalo: from the moment of his introduction, the admiral has a way of expressing his complaints and worries that often has his subordinates and peers wondering what ulterior motives he may have for complaining about "the current Admiralty", or expressing concerns about Captain Terekhov's judgment in light of the captain's actions at Hyacinth, or trying to close the topic of Talbott's internal politics at the reception when two planetary representatives were grilling Terekhov on the subject, or ... well, there are examples in pretty much every chapter Khumalo appears in. The hilarious thing is, though, that Khumalo's behavior throughout can be perfectly explained by a simple hypothesis: that he's been completely, guilelessly, and unabashedly expressing his exact thoughts and feelings the entire time, with no hidden agenda whatsoever.
    • Reading his comments regarding "the current Admiralty", one wonders if, maybe Khumalo's career hasn't been stagnating for so long that he's just used to seeing Admiralty change hands more times than he'd have liked - with no significant change for his own career - and just stopped caring about the policies of any of the various Lords of the Admiralty. He's basically resigned himself to a "same bullshit, different cow" mentality, since regardless of who's in charge, nobody seems to take him seriously anyway.
    • Also keep in mind that Khumalo has spent basically every moment since the Grantville government came in worrying about when they were going to yank him out of Talbott — and these fears are entirely justified, because until Monica, the White Haven Admiralty was planning to do just that! If anyone has reason to be wary of the new government, he does. Anything and everything that goes wrong in that quadrant regarding the RMN is his responsibility — for all he knows, one wrong step could be his last.
    • ...which, in turn, adds a great deal of awesome to his immediate reinforcement of Terekhov in Monica: the captain had specifically arranged the situation so that Khumalo would be free to disavow his actions ... and Khumalo's reaction to learning what Terekhov had done was not, "oh God, this is the disaster that's going to end my career and I need to grasp at any straw I can to save myself", but, "this is exactly the kind of emergency that I've been stationed here to deal with and by God I will deal with it, politics be damned."
    • Alternately, Khumalo's position is basically that his career is over regardless of what he does, thanks to his prior political connections, so the Monica situation simply backs him into a corner. He has nothing left to lose at this point. What are they gonna do, fire him?
  • I remember being bothered a bit by what felt like a contradiction between showing and telling in Honor's nature: according to ... well, everyone In-Universe, people with treecats are measurably more emotionally stable than average, but Honor herself has awful flares of temper starting right in the first book with Klaus Hauptman. But I was rereading The Honor Of The Queen, thinking about what advice I would give to the female members of the Navy on how to deal with Grayson, when I realized that the Honor at that point in the series doesn't actually have self-confidence or assertiveness. She's functioned without it by subsuming her own desires to her duties, and she's done a terrific job at it, but she doesn't actually know how to deal with situations where she can't avoid dealing with her wants. It's a textbook anxiety-disorder pattern of behavior, and the fact that (thanks to Nimitz) she can deal with most emotions more phlegmatically than the vast majority of people just means that the pattern is less obvious.
  • Ashes of Victory suggests that something Theisman said in The Honor of the Queen was more than merely diversionary. Considering how he reacts when people are nuked by their own side.
  • Over the course of the series, the Strawman Politicals in the Liberal and Conservative parties have been supplemented with three-dimensional characters who have good reasons for holding the views they do. This is happening at the same time as Honor climbs into the political sphere and gets to actually know these people as people, and not just as caricatures in the media.
  • The presence of Kudzu on Grayson is treated as a throwaway joke, referencing the planetary culture's Fantasy Counterpart Culture inspirations of Meiji-era Japan and the Deep South. Honor even wonders why anybody would take a plant like that with them to the stars. But where these days kudzu is mostly regarded as an invasive weed, it's actually a very resilient, fast-growing nitrogen fixer with numerous uses (including culinary — in fact, in Japan its main application is for its edible beans and root starch). In other words, it's exactly the kind of thing you'd want to bring along to a newly colonized planet.
  • The idea that the Grayson Navy doesn't have any rules against officers having relationships with their subordinates seems a bit strange until you consider the context. Prior to the books they didn't have any women in the Navy and given the highly religious culture homosexual relationships were almost certainly taboo and/or illegal anyway so they had no need for a regulation forbidding fraternization.

Fridge Horror

  • From War of Honor on we know about nanobots that can take control over one's body. They are pre-programmed to activate and adapt depending on situation, their reflexes are faster than human and, what's worse, possessed can't fight back. And he or she see everything he/she's doing, but can't help it. Anyhow. And unless you're emphatic, it's impossible to know whether someone is possessed, because nanites take control over entire body. The only think nanites can't do is make possessed speak or possess someone, whose DNA they don't have.
    • What's worse, every navy keeps records of personnel DNA, as well as country leaders or royal family - and almost every character falls into this groups. Connect this with fact that Mesa has their men everywhere. Yes, from now on every single character we know and love can become assassin against his will.
    • And yet, it would be very interesting to see what happens when this is attempted on a treecat-bonded individual, of which there are now several to choose from.