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Why does the dragon kidnap the princess?:

Ecce Homo Superior
A dragon needn't think that it's immoral to kidnap a human, any more than I think it's immoral to keep a cat or a dog as a pet.
(it's David Bowie)
Responsible adult
Oooh. Extrapolation from that "kidnappers are evil" idea: Though the dragon is kidnapping her from an outsider's perspective, the dragon is attempting to be nice... because life at the castle was NOT fun for the princess. The night's search to find her, and investigations at the castle, lead to a terrifying expose on the king and queen's abuse, planting the seeds of revolution...
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
 78 The Earth Sheep, Tue, 16th Aug '11 12:35:53 PM from a Pasture hexagon
Christmas Sheep
[up] Knight in Shining Armor meets Intrepid Reporter?
Still Sheepin'
Responsible adult
[up] I like it! The princess and the valiant jounalist!
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Maklodes
Well, we're talking about a kidnapper here. I think "kidnappers are evil" is a fairly common prima facie assumption (whether human kidnappers, dragon kidnappers, or kidnappers of any other species).
annebeeche
Or maybe the dragon doesn't have the capacity to realize that what he's doing is wrong?
USAF 713
Why? Challenge convention, I say! At the very least, we need some Anti-Villain sympathy, here. Black And White Morality is boring...
Doktorvon Eurotrash
A dragon needn't think that it's immoral to kidnap a human, any more than I think it's immoral to keep a cat or a dog as a pet.
Freezair For A Limited Time
Oooh. Extrapolation from that "kidnappers are evil" idea: Though the dragon is kidnapping her from an outsider's perspective, the dragon is attempting to be nice... because life at the castle was NOT fun for the princess. The night's search to find her, and investigations at the castle, lead to a terrifying expose on the king and queen's abuse, planting the seeds of revolution...

Okay. As I said, prima facie assumption, not incontrovertible proof. There are scenarios where the dragon's innocent, or even helpful, but I think that if you're writing a story about what appears to be a kidnapping, most of the time the kidnapper is going to be a bad dude. Not always, admittedly.
 
 81 USAF713, Wed, 17th Aug '11 1:08:47 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
[up] The assumption that a kidnapper is bad based on appearances is only for the audience. If the author is viewing his or her universe as an outsider, they aren't doing it right. What the character is and what the character appears to be can and usually should be two different things.

Obviously Evil is annoying most of the time...
I am now known as Flyboy.
Mr AHR:
Or, alternatively, the dragon kidnaps a princess because he knows it will bring princes to him.

Why would you assume that a dragon is male in your pothole? Maybe it's really the original princess kidnapping that's Les Yay.

edited 23rd Aug '11 1:35:16 AM by Maklodes

 
 83 JHM, Tue, 23rd Aug '11 12:56:59 AM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
[up] True! But once again, why not both?

Also, who ever said that dragons reproduce in a conventional male-female fashion? I mean, if we're taking into account the possibility that a giant, fire-breathing reptile is perving on medium-sized, hairless mammals, why not that said reptile is also hermaphroditic or otherwise curiously-gendered?

edited 23rd Aug '11 1:01:48 AM by JHM

 84 Mr AHR, Tue, 23rd Aug '11 4:04:50 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
maklodes: Because I like Ho Yay. Not so much Les Yay.
It's easy, mmkay?
Thoughts:

  • The dragon wants to die, but the dragon-religion says it has to die in battle. It kidnaps the princess to attract knights to fight.
  • Someone else said "because it likes collecting pretty things". This gives me a humorous idea for a dragon with a huge collection of princesses (some dead, it doesn't really know how to take care of them) singing a "Part Of Your World" or "Up There" style "I Want" Song.
  • On the "reproduction" route, but not the "hentai" route - the dragons are like xenomorphs.
  • The dragon society uses humans as currency, with more important humans being worth more.
  • The dragon didn't actually want the princess, it wanted the dress the princess was wearing for whatever reason, and didn't bother to get the princess out of it.
  • Dragons use charred corpses to make sculptures, and the princess is alive because it wants her in exactly the right pose before killing her.
  • Dragon livers are polymorphed princesses.
  • The dragon wants a secretary to type out memos to other dragons, and because of the frilly dress the princess was wearing, she stood out more than the other humans, causing the dragon to pick her.
  • The dragon kidnaps princesses for the lulz.
  • The dragon wants a nanny for her baby, because she tends to be busy out finding cattle to eat.
  • Dragons use humans as mons, ie they collect them and have their humans fight other dragon's humans. "Princess, I choose you!"
At first I didn't realize I needed all this stuff...
Responsible adult
[up] That last one is twisted. I like it.

I'm starting to think there's a great short story collection in here, of nothing but differentm motivations for dragons kidnapping princesses.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
 87 nrjxll, Wed, 24th Aug '11 8:33:51 PM Relationship Status: Not war
On the more serious side of those, I like the suicide by knight idea a lot.

 88 JHM, Thu, 25th Aug '11 2:17:47 AM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
The mons idea is hilarious, though the rest are pretty creative, too.

*peculiar realisation*

So a dragon kidnapping a dark wizard as a mon would basically turn this into Naru Taru...
Chaotic New Troll
In The Book of the Dragon by Ciruleo (sp?), this is sort of discussed. In the dragon species, females are much rarer and more intelligent than males and are therefore seen as very valuable. (Female dragons live with the Dragon Father and become Dragon queens for most of their lives, so most male dragons will only see a female when he's mating with her. He has to raise the hatchlings by himself.) Therefore, male dragons have a particular liking for female servants.

Dragon servants are actually treated very well, considering that they are essentially slaves. But every so often, a dragon comes across a woman who is beautiful (and usually has a great singing voice). This woman becomes the dragon's "favorite", and she is spoilt rotten by the dragon. Her only obligations are to sing to him and accompany him wherever he goes. Dragons choose their favorites capriciously; when he finds a new favorite, he releases the old one first to avoid problems of jealousy.

Sometimes, dragons form long and lasting platonic relationships with human women. These women are called "dragons' ladies".

The only dragons that would be hostile to women would be Water Dragons. They eat only virgins. If they eat a person who's not a virgin, then they get very sick.
 90 Eldritch Blue Rose, Thu, 25th Aug '11 6:34:14 PM from A Really Red Room
The Puzzler
The dragon kidnaps the princess, because he wants someone capable of making a Tiramisu. Unfortunately the only person in the world who could make it is a princess, and her tiramisu is sub-par. tongue
So now I know that my lack of success in college is due to ADD — or sleep apnea. I need to do a sleep study some time.
 91 Ronka 87, Thu, 25th Aug '11 7:04:42 PM from the mouth of madness.
Maid of Win
If the princess is the only person who can make it (even sub-parly), how does the dragon know about it?

Idea: The "dragons" are alien space ships out abducting subjects for their experiments; they took the form of the local folklore so no one would wonder why they were abducting people. (It didn't work.) The "dragons" actually abduct all kinds of people, but we only notice the princesses because it's less common for them to disappear suddenly than peasants.
Thanks for the all fish!
Or perhaps dragons know a lot more about human politics than humans realize. If it knows that a princess must one day marry a foreign prince — one who, when he inherits power, may not be as easily-cowed by the dragon's strength as the current ruling household, who'd been leaving it alone up until now — then removing her from the line of succession will ensure that the present royal bloodline remains in power for another generation. In which case, the cousins of a stolen princess may be more willing to respect the dragon's power than her un-intimidated potential husband would. Sure, it might have to eat a few knights immediately after the abduction, but once it's done that a few times, it'd expect things to go back to normal.
 
As I always understood it, it wasn't so much the dragon kidnapping the princess, but some evil Baron using his pet dragon to steal the princess away, or the dragon has the princess because the king thought that handing her over to the dragon as a sacrifice would appease it and make it go away. Because princesses are delicious, I guess.
 
Why?

I suppose for the same reason people go after Grade A steaks.

A princess tastes better.

Probably something about being pampered makes for a better marble of fat and soft, delicious flesh.

Its the same concept with Wagyu Beef actually.
 
I need a drink
What if the Dragon is cursed and he used to be the Princess' lover and they only want to be together and some ponce in armour is ruining the moment?
Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
 96 Last Hussar, Sun, 18th Mar '12 1:04:44 PM from the place is here.
The time is now,
Tom Holt has dragons attracted to the most valuable things there are - What is more valuable than a princess in the King's eyes?
Do the job in front of you.
[up] Why not go straight for the King?

edited 18th Mar '12 6:38:21 PM by Natasel

 
 98 Last Hussar, Mon, 19th Mar '12 3:57:35 PM from the place is here.
The time is now,
I knew someone would ask that. I reasoned that it is a father's love that gives the value - she is literally priceless.
Do the job in front of you.
 99 JHM, Mon, 19th Mar '12 6:43:59 PM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
[up] So, it's like a weird version of ransom sans any expectation of reward but personal satisfaction? I like it. I like it a lot.

Also, what if the dragon is some sort of minor deity, requiring a virgin sacrifice as a kind of symbolic token of appeasement?

edited 19th Mar '12 6:45:33 PM by JHM

I had a thought expanding on the pet human idea. Dragons consider humans little more than wild animals that would be happier in captivity. Maybe with their magic they can actually keep humans alive and healthy longer than they would normally live (especially if we're taking a medieval setting into account). Normally this would mean that dragons take in lost children or buy pet humans from other dragons. The fact that they generally take the children from their parents fairly young (they have to sell them while they're cute) means that the general dragon population doesn't understand that humans normally have language and complex relationships with other humans "in the wild".

So why a princess? You've got a dragon that wants to sell fancy "purebred" humans for significantly more than average human pets sell for. And you know they're fancy and special because attractive young males just show up when you have them. They even bring horses to eat!

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