Dragons are fallen angels
Isn't it weird that dragons so far within the Temeraire fictional universe are all suspiciously absent from every one of the world's major orthodox religions
- They could be likened to 'giants' or 'leviathans' of ancient scriptures. They shunned their divinity and endless-god-servitude, choosing to pursue earthly desires. Explaining why dragons are so materialistic and obsessed with either hoarding treasure or raising humans.
- The most mighty and massive of dragons like Temeraire were formerly powerful archangels.
- Are they absent from the religions? In the first book they mention images of dragons burning sinners in Hell being used when discussing whether or not Temeraire may be a firebreather.
Dragons will be phased out of military use within Temeraire's natural lifetime
In the age of muzzle-loaded muskets it takes a very lucky head and/or wing shot to do worse than inflict a flesh wound
on a combat-sized dragon. If tech development continues we are looking at gatling guns within 60 years, and once someone works out an internal combustion engine with a power-to-weight ratio sufficient to put on something airworthy we are looking at a human generation at most before we have machines faster and more readily 'fixed' than dragons carrying weapons that can kill them outright.
- Armor tech may catch up to the point where dragons can take off with something that could stop contemporary weapons, but only several decades later.
- Or, alternatively, draconic jetpacks.
- Alternately, dragons realize that technology makes their one role in society obsolete and revolt.
- Hopefully, by that point they will have citizenship and at least a few options open outside of the military (admittedly, without thumbs many occupations remain problematic)
Universal (Human) Suffrage will be accelerated by the draconic efforts at gaining citizenship rights
Call it a refinement of Black & White ganging up on Green if you will, but with oversized flying reptiles agitating for the vote quite a few un-propertied/catholics/what-have-you will ask "Why not me?" while many of the ruling class will consider it rather less outragious compared to doing so for 'beasts'.
The whole Longwing pilot
thing will give the Feminist movement a leg up by simply existing.
- Presuming they still keep the whole mess under wraps, those with clearance to know about... say... Admiral of the Air J. Roland will at least be somewhat more likely to keep thier mouths shut rather than parrot the common "wisdom" of female incapacity.
- BTW, as of book six, this seems off the table.
- If (as seems likely IMO) the truth of the matter comes out, then many a counterargument against Women's Rights get shot down. That being said the "suffragettes" are likey to split between those who hold the female aviators up as brave defenders of Britain and a true example for all women; and those who distance themselves from the 'mannish', 'licensious', 'unwomanly' creatures and thier beasts (if for no other reasons than the tactical).
- The Martin Luther King, Jr.-vs-Malcom X Effect. They'll deal with the prim-and-proper sufraggettes because the alternative is dealing with Admiral Jane Roland, and her big, friendly dragon.
- There may be active collaboration to that effect. Jane mentioned cultivating the wives of some ministers in one of her letters to Laurence.
- As an extension of this WMG: Lady Allendale will become the founder of the women's rights movement.
Dragons are mildly autistic
Only they're ALL the equivalent of autistic humans. They can have great intelligence, but they have behavioral and perception problems like an autistic kid. Or, of course, this is completely Unfortunate Implications
misinterpretation of the way dragons are kept isolated and ignorant.
- Doubt it, too many of the older ones are far more level-headed.
- Its more likely that the issues with dragon behavior come from the fact that they don't receive the same cultural upbringing that humans do. Since most dragons (outside of China) are regarded as nothing more than military assets, they aren't given an education in anything other than what is considered pertinent to their usefulness as weapons. As a result, human concepts such as property, religion, race, nationality etc and all the cultural connotations that come hand in hand with them are absent from a dragons education and thus their understanding. The difference is demonstrated in the second book, where the main characters go to China and find that dragons are active citizens, because they receive the same education that children do upon hatching.
The United States will play a role in the series at some point
Important or minor, but I somehow get the feeling that with the fact that goings on in the Americas really haven't been mentioned in the series that much, there'll be mention of the US before long. Of course, we don't actually know if the Revolution was successful in this timeline, though we do know it happened based on Gentius' words in Victory of Eagles about "fighting the colonials near Boston". Then again, since the main British covert in the Americas appears to be Halifax and not Boston or New York, then it's quite likely that the American Revolution was successful. Could lead to some interesting events as the series goes on, such as the War of 1812 being fought with dragons as well and the United States becoming much closer to Napoleonic France.
- In Black Powder War, one of Laurence's crew speculated the British may be retaking the colonies, leading Riggs to say it was more likely the colonials invaded Nova Scotia, which both heavily suggest the American Revolution was successful.
- The Inca Empire is also suggested to be still around and may also play a role later.
- As of Tongues of Serpents, the United States did revolt in '76 (and are making noises about a second war if the Brits don't stop impressment), but it's...different, and seems to have merged with Native American tribes, rather than displacing them (possibly due to their command of the vast numbers of native dragons and the colonials likely having one of their own).
- We learn more about the USA in Blood of Tyrants, where we meet several Yankee merchants, including a dragon merchant from Salem, Massachusetts. Dragons appear to enjoy many, if not all, of the same Constitutional rights and liberties as humans, and the dragon merchant that Laurence and Temeraire encounter in Japan, one John Wampanonag, is so prosperous and prominent that he personally knows President Tecumseh, and that the fact that our heroes are acquainted with him is as good as a formal introduction to other American traders. While there appears to be ongoing trouble about impressment, there is no indication that this has escalated to the level of war - not that Britain, in the altered circumstances of this history, would be able, or wise to, take on yet another adversary.
The Tswana are going to help foment an early Civil War
With Tongues of Serpents, it looks like the U.S may eventually have to deal with a premature war, especially considering how one of the American merchants towards the end briefly mentions the division of slavery in the states (in a 'blink and you'll miss it' comment), as well as his own feelings about slavery. The Portugese merchant gets very irate over the issue and warns him that, yes, the Tswana might attack the U.S soon. Now, if the Tswana did get through their Roaring Rampageof Revenge
down in Brazil and worked their way up to the U.S, attacking the Southern States over the slavery issue, it might add the right combination of fuel to the flame, along with the help of the small but growing abolition movement in early 19th century Reform Era America. Note that at this point in U.S. history, many influential Americans, including in Virginia and other states of the Upper South, among them Founders such as Thomas Jefferson
, James Madison
and George Mason, believed that slavery was a Necessary Evil
at best and should be brought to an end if a workable alternative could be found.
- In addition, even in the early 1800s, there were a lot of early warning signs for the Civil War that did happen at about the setting of Temeraire, where states were threatening to secede over economics or tariff issues. Despite the U.S's Small Name, Big Ego status at around that time, it's possible that future books are going to explore more of the Americas and hit this issue as well.
- As of Blood of Tyrants, we know that the Tswana have begun harrassing the American slave trade on the high seas, though due to the efforts of Lawrence and Temeraire, they've stood down at least from the time being from their military campaign in the Americas and established a fragile peace with Brazil. However, that peace, as far as we know, extends only to Brazil, so there is no obvious reason why the Tswana shouldn't proceed with operations against slaving in the southern U.S. states at some point in the future.
- Also, considering that relations between white Americans and Native Americans are dramatically different in this Alternate History (to the extent that Tecumseh is President of the United States, there is quite possibly much greater pressure on the Deep South from other parts of the United States to start bringing the "peculiar institution" to an end than there was at this point in our own history. Indeed, due to the vastly different circumstances mentioned above - not to mention a practical desire to not have the Tswana armies descend on the USA - for all we know, slavery may already be dead everywhere outside the Deep South and in serious decline even there.
It is stated that many dragons live for about 200 years. Using that logic, since Temeraire hatched in the early 1800s, he could concievably still be alive in the early 2000s. Don't know how it would fit into the context of the story, but it would be interesting to see if the rest of world history is any different for the 19th and 20th centuries.
- Age shouldn't be an issue, Celestial's supposedly last well in excess of 300 years, possibly even 400.
Perscitia will wind up getting our heroes pardoned
In the sixth book we get a letter from England mentioning that Perscitia is getting herself involved in politics (whether the politicians like it or not). She will wind up getting people used to the idea of dragons as people, and force the admiralty to pardon Laurence on the grounds that he was simply trying to prevent them from committing genocide and turning the entire world against them. The admiralty won't be happy about this, but enough of them will realize that with the entire world going to hell having a dragon as powerful as Temeraire rotting in a prison colony is wasteful. They'll be willing to pardon Laurence just to get him back in the fight.
- The hard part at this point would be talking Will and Temeraire into accepting it.
- As of Crucible of Gold, Laurence has not only been pardoned, but has been restored to the list with seniority, precisely because the British Government so badly needs him and Temeraire to carry out crucial missions such as the ones to the Incan Empire, Brazil, China and Russia. We still don't know, however, whether Perscitia had any part in Laurence's reinstatement.
Temeraire is infertile
Seeing as there's only 8 Celestials period, and Temeraire did all that breeding in books 4 and 5 and never got an egg, he might very well be unable to sire an egg at all — and Celestials may die out.
- It's possible that Celestials can't breed with most other breeds of dragons. We know they can't breed with each other, it's not unlikely that it's difficult for the species as a whole to concieve.
- This is somewhat directly speculated upon in Crucible of Gold, although whether he is infertile or if Celestials can't interbreed with other dragons has yet to be seen.
- It's unlikely that the Celestials will die out, seeing as they can be born from two Imperials. To be honest, the Celestials seem less a different breed and more of a mutation.
- Confirmed in Blood of Tyrants that Celestials are sometimes infertile, but, Temeraire's infertility is Jossed. Iskierka and Temeraire's activities in Crucible of Gold bore fruit.
Remember back in the beginning when Temeraire twirled about the idea of Laurence becoming a dragon after hearing that story? I'm just guessing that Temeraire isn't going to take it very well when Laurence dies, be it of old age or in battle if Victory of Eagles is any indication, but especially for the latter.
- Absolutely crazy alternate theory: it'll be used somehow to make Nelson a dragon. Why? For one, he'd see the other side of things. If the thing was known, he might boost the popularity of the Corps and get the dragons better treatment. If it wasn't, it could be played for drama. And personality-wise, he already shows a few dragon-like traits (sure loves his Bling of War, for example...)
Laurence and/or Temeraire will be appointed Admiral of the Air
It will be brief though, and probably a measure of desperation in the heat of battle. Whoever is doing the appointing, most likely Jane or the Duke of Wellington, will have a hilrious short conversation with the two of them along the lines of, "You're a traitor, and you're a dragon. Unfortunately, you're both the only competent commanders on this field. Work it out, and we can handle the politics later."
- Well now Jane is finally Admiral of the Air. Laurence is not the only competent air commander England has, as the plot of "Victory of Eagles" is basically "We'll stick you and Temeraire in the hinterlands on raiding detail while the real war effort takes shape". Laurence and Temeraire played a vital role in preventing French troops from foraging, but it was Jane who smashed the French attempt to build an air bridge, and Nelson who cut off French shipping in the channel.
Thoughts on the distant future (after Laurence dies, hopefully from old age)...
- Temeraire, after a stint as Admiral of the Air, will take over training from Celeritas
- Barring that, he will take a spot in the Foreign Ministry. At the very least his translation and cryptography talents will be of use once they get some magnification gear set up.
- Emily Roland on Excidium will become Admiral of the Air, and be publicly female
Thoughts on the FAR distant future
- Read, our timeframe. The final chapter of the series (epilogue of book 9+) will be a historical entry on Laurence and Temeraire, showing Laurence to be fully Vindicated by History and considered one of Britain's finest patriots and Temeraire the most vocal and foremost proponent of draconic rights, dying shortly after seeing them become full citizens and serving in political office for some time, in the 1930s. Other small thoughts, by our timeframe, widespread Schizo Tech exists; plane flights do exist but are out competed by dragons in most cases, but electronics are nonetheless existent.
- You can say that planes co-exist with dragons, but act as cargo holders monitored by dragons during flight: this would help counter the issue of a weighed-down dragon becoming fatigued faster. Dragon transports are a common thing by this point, along with a standardized system of air traffic, and for the human who either a) can't handle being on a dragon or b) is in a real hurry to get halfway around the world, normal airliners are for them. The benefits of having dragons as a stand-in for cargo planes include the decreased chances of losing a plane for one reason or another. Of course, there are still dangers, but it would be easy having a dragon around when flying through the Bermuda Triangle.
Laurence will get married (or at least engaged) in the next book.
- So as of the end of Crucible of Gold Laurence and Temeraire are planning to head to China in hopes of securing an alliance. We know from previous books that the Emperor believes that Laurence should get married and father some sons and would be perfectly happy to find him a wife. Given all that I reckon that part of the alliance negotiations will involve Laurence getting married (either to a Chinese woman as a representative of the British court or to an English woman as a representative of the Chinese court).
- Jossed, at least for the time being. Much of the plot of Blood of Tyrants centered on turmoil in the relationship between Laurence and Temeraire due to Laurence's amnesia and Temeraire's own jealousy, and Laurence eventually assured Temeraire that he has no particular desire or intention to get married. Since Laurence and Mrs. Pemberton have been drawing gradually closer - not to mention the fact that Jane Roland is still on the scene - it's not yet a foregone conclusion, however, that Laurence will remain a bachelor.
Laurence will eventually end up married to, or at least paired with, Mrs. Pemberton.
- While Laurence is not - yet, anyway - romantically involved with Emily Roland's chaperone, the two are obviously becoming friends, and Laurence is shown to enjoy Mrs. Pemberton's company, particularly when they take tea together. For her part, Mrs. Pemberton is showing Hidden Depths, for instance using her brace of pistols to good effect during a desperate melee and requesting swordfighting training from Laurence, and is with the course of time becoming accustomed to the peculiarities of aviator culture. Not to mention that Jane Roland is thousands of miles away and they literally haven't even seen each other in years, and Laurence and Mrs. Pemberton have been in each other's society almost continuously ever since they left Australia on the Incan mission. The big remaining question is whether Temeraire can get over his jealous instincts.
- It's highly unlikely that Jane will be upset or even bothered if this happens, precisely due to the nature of aviator culture - remember that Emily herself is the offspring of a liaison with a male aviator that neither Jane or Emily has even had much contact with for a long time. (Also recall that Catherine's marriage to Riley was greeted with a bit of uproar in the aviator community in large part because it's actually very rare for female aviators to get married.) Jane is actually more likely to dryly ask Will what took him so long!
Despite being called Breeds, different types if Dragons are really different species.
- But not individual breeds=individual species. It's more like All Chinese Dragons=One Species, X European Breeds=One Species; Y European Breeds=Another Species, etc. Might explain why Temeraire didn't make any eggs with a Yellow Reaper. Wrong species.
Napoleon will meet his "Waterloo" in the next book.
- Naomi Novik is on record as saying that she envisions the series comprising nine books and already has the endgame planned out, which means - since the series now is at its 8th book - that the main plot threads will likely be wrapped up in the next (and last) installment. As of the end of Blood of Tyrants Napoleon has been forced to retreat from Moscow and has sent Joachim Murat out to try to suborn the oppressed Russian dragons - an enterprise which enjoyed considerable success, but has now been shut down by Laurence and Temeraire, who have captured Murat. The Russian army under Kutuzov, including a large Chinese dragon expeditionary force, has brought Napoleon's Grande Armee to bay and all signs point to a decisive battle - at the very least deciding the fate of Napoleon's Russian campaign - taking place in the next book. Given that Wellington has been enjoying the same success in the Peninsular War as in the original history, the chances are very good that we'll be seeing a final confrontation between Laurence/Temeraire and Napoleon/Lien sooner rather than later.