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Why does the dragon kidnap the princess?:

 101 Matues, Wed, 15th May '13 4:25:55 AM Relationship Status: Reincarnated romance
Lazarus thread has arisen!

The Dragon kidnaps the princess because of an inferiority complex brought on by his more loved brother.
 102 Oh So Into Cats, Wed, 15th May '13 4:28:02 AM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Obviously it's because the princess is the most likely person to be wearing shiny things.
"Beware of the wolves. They were raised by wolves."

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
 103 Tuckerscreator, Wed, 15th May '13 5:26:17 AM from The Death Star Relationship Status: The Skitty to my Wailord
Every film should end with a Deus T. rex Machina
I'll have to search around for it, but another thread suggested writing an amusing reversal where a princess kidnaps a dragon and it's up to the knight to save him. Or a princess kidnaps a knight and it's up to the dragon to save him.
I hear it's amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with a tuning fork does a raw blink on Hari-Kiri rock.
 104 joeyjojo, Wed, 15th May '13 6:45:08 AM from The Magic Land Of Oz Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
Storm the bastille!
The only theory I have got is the dragons like knights as a challenge and know that your run of the mill peasant girl is just not going to cut it.
Mņn Hovercraft źst pleļn deš Änguillės

 105 demarquis, Wed, 15th May '13 8:25:24 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
The dragon is being controlled by a sorcerer, who is someone close to the princess (her father, or her mother, or the court magician) who wants to see the princess and/or the knight dead due to jealousy.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 106 Bisected 8, Wed, 15th May '13 3:02:44 PM from The home of Richard III Relationship Status: I-It's not like I like you, or anything!
I don't know how to deal with catchphrases!
I've been thinking of ways kidnapping princesses could play into the natural lifecycle of a dragon (intelligent or otherwise);

  • Dragons lure knights to kill them when it's time for them to die. Kidnapping an important human sorts that one out (more powerful dragons want to be slain by the best knights, so only the most important humans, i.e. the king's beloved daughter, will work).
  • Using an animal as bait to lure in more of the same species for food is how they roll. Dragons who develop a taste for humans go for the more important ones.
  • Dragons reproduce via some sort of Viral Transformation (sort of like the "heart" comic from earlier in the thread but more direct). The royal bloodline makes the best candidates for whatever reason (the right set of traits, preserved by their attempts to preserve the bloodline, exposed to some sort of artifact in the castle or perhaps just a steady stream of knights to be the new dragon's first meal).
  • Dragons are natural (or magically created) treasure distribution systems; they accumulate wealth quietly (to avoid attracting attention before their horde's ready to harvest), then kidnap the princess of the right province at the right time to make sure agents of the right government find it and stimulate the economy.
  • Dragons are a species of instinctive political activists who must perform an act of significant political change as a coming-of-age ceremony. Republican dragons usually try to wipe out the lineage of a monarchy, but those sheeple just won't listen and cheer on The Man's soldiers every time, man!
  • Dragons have an instinctive love of Queen, they heard that princesses become queens and got confused (OK, now I'm getting silly).
 107 Matues, Thu, 16th May '13 6:05:27 AM Relationship Status: Reincarnated romance
Dragons like lean meat.

They live in places that are hard to get too.

Therefore, they kidnap princesses. Knights are sent to save the princesses.

Only the leanest and healthiest knights can make it to the dragon's lair.

Consume, rinse, wash, repeat.
[up] You do realize the being a common farmer is hard work back in the day of knights and will make you lean too right?
 
 109 Matues, Thu, 16th May '13 9:16:13 AM Relationship Status: Reincarnated romance
[up]

Yes.

Please note a great deal of what I post is tongue-in-cheek.
Perhaps to disorganize a kingdom? If the king were rational and skilled he'd probably be able to organize an army and develop a strategy to drive out or outright kill a young dragon, so the dragon takes that which the king treasures most in order to enrage him. Not only would this prevent the king from behaving rationally in his quest to reclaim his child, but it would bring his capacity to rule into question. What kind of ruler cannot protect his own child? Enemies of his kingdom would be quick to take advantage of the disorganization and if the princess was his only child then I expect a full on war would break out between enemy and ally alike in the scrabble to reestablish the line of succession. His enemies would be watching to take advantage of any attempt he mad to gather a force and march out to face the dragon. If the dragon was smart enough to keep the princess alive to use as bait he could easily use his superior mobility to travel between fiefdoms and kingdoms, drawing the kings forces out so that some other force could invade, only to nip back and cozy himself down to watch the war unfold. Which ever way you spin it, the dragon wins.

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Having the heir to the throne under your power can be a useful way to gain political leverage and dictate the future course of a kingdom. It's been common practice in real-world politics for centuries, if not millennia, and a dragon (depending on the story) would have more than enough brainpower and physical might to ensure his or her own safety after having his or her demands met (taking custody of the heir's firstborn after she becomes queen might be an idea). This could wind up being a really tricky situation for a crusading hero to navigate their way through, especially if the dragon's captives start developing (and the dragon themself starts encouraging) Stockholm Syndrome.

edited 22nd May '13 3:06:26 AM by Iaculus

Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
The Dragon never kidnaps the princess. The princess is always in love with the Dragon. Big, Powerful, wise and rich. Why wouldn't she be? Dragons can usually change their shape too.

Dragons carry the princess off, and it is the knights that come to get her back, mostly against her will.

Dragons never kidnap a princess that didn't want to be taken in the first place. Any princess who was ever "Taken by force and eaten" in any story. This was just how the people wrote it down wanted you to remember it.

[up] That sounds disturbingly like rape apologism. sad
I'd say I'm being refined

Into the web I descend

Killing those I've left behind

I have been Endarkened
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