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YMMV / The Draka

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  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: When the entire point of the series is The Bad Guy Wins, and said bad guys are so over-the-top evil that the Nazis are the good guys in the fight against them, this is basically inevitable.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
  • Fridge Horror: With nothing more than strategic autarky, complete security and control over the working class serfs, nuclear weapons with global reach, and a tech advancement rate identical to our own, the Draka would never fall. Unlike the Soviet Union, the Draka never had any pretense of fighting for equality, and for the masses it never mattered if the outside world had a better standard of living. For comparison, look at North Korea IOTL. They do not have strategic autarky; their nuclear deterrent is laughable, possibly non-existent; and they could be crushed and annihilated in a historical instant, were it not for their alliance with China— and yet they still exist and continue to hold their people in the grip of a totalitarian dictatorship. If the OTL South Africa had a nuclear deterrent of the French scale by 1979, Apartheid might still be going on.
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Given the large amount of similarities between them (right down to everyone being bi), the trolls from Homestuck could easily be interpreted as a parody of the Draka, but this is almost certainly unintentional.
  • Idiot Plot: As some critical readers have pointed out, the only reason that Draka gets as far as they do is that the rest of the world passes up every opportunity to stop them.
    • Britain gives Draka a level of freedom it never gave its OTL colonies and dominions. They never try to reign in Drakan expansionism. Also, when Britain outlaws chattel slavery, the Drakans simply rebrand their slaves as "serfs" and London accepts it without question.
    • No country ever tries to go on the offensive against Draka, basically allowing them to always go to war on their own terms.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Disturbingly enough, there are some far-right extremists who consider the Draka to be an example of a utopian society.
  • Moment of Awesome: When Humanity's fleet from Alpha Centauri warp in above Earth in Drakon and get a hair's width away from defeating them once and for all. Unfortunately, we don't see it happen.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The Draka refine this in large quantities. You know it's bad when they make you legitimately root for the Nazis when they face off against the Draka.
    • In Marching Through Georgia Standartenfuhrer Felix Hoth, a fanatic Nazi war criminal who was canonically a rapist and mass murderer, still tempts the reader to root for him because at least he's not the Draka.
    • The middle book, Under the Yoke, includes descriptions of how Draka treat slaves. It's appropriately hellish.
    • A Human Empire with an alien morality invades Europe and the rest of the world, reduces everyone into Roman style slaves, serf women can be raped anytime and are regularly raped, and every last La Résistance is prevented by massacres on spot, and after World War 3, the serfs are genetically modified to accept slavery meekly, and despise "ferals", humans who resist the Draka. Every effort of human resistance is forever forgotten on Earth.
  • Uncanny Valley: Stirling went to great length into suggesting the alien nature/otherness of the Draka in everything pertaining to their social life, until they could just as well be an extraterrestrial species. Many readers and critics have even praised this aspect of the series, arguing that it is intended to be less a plausible Alternate History and more of an exercise in showing an example of people operating under a form of ethics and psychology completely alien to that of normal humanity. In Under The Yoke, some contrasts between Draka and Frenchmen or Finns are obviously deliberate:
    • Language: Tanya von Shrakenberg talks (especially about sex) almost exactly like a young male from Real Life, although with no rough words. Funnily, males (even Draka) are more conservative in their language, more typical to a Real Life man from the 1940s.
    • Body Language: The Draka are not called 'snakes' in order to make a bad Pun. They practice extreme conservation of body movement, making no gesture or expression that is not completely intended and betraying nothing with their mannerisms. The effect on Alliance citizens who interact with the Draka is described as extremely unsettling.
    • Architecture: Draka buildings are so colorful and pimped-out they might just as well be from a fairy tale. European designs of the time were exactly the opposite, neat, clean, marble everywhere, or older gray masonry.
    • Clothing: also colorful and tacky for civilians, almost BDSM for troopers. Real Life fashions of the time (to fit the rather polluted European and American cities and muddy countryside) used strong fabrics, dull colors, rougher designs - unlike what a modern person may believe, Film Noir characters wore their coats and suits for practical reasons.
    • Staging: Draka use the parades and other public events in a disconcerting manner, like some 20th century Ancient Romans or Ancient Persians complete with naked female captives holding resource bundles of respective countries' specialty. By comparison, Third Reich public events were conceived to impress foreign observers and prove the strength of the regime. Draka public events were designed by Draka for Draka, nobody cared what someone else may understand (or if someone else understand them or not at all).
    • Attitude: Most expansionist dictatorships in Real Life looked and talked like what military aggressors were supposed to: they occupied land, settled themselves, captured supplies and production facilities and interrogated prisoners; there was a language in which people could relate to them. The Draka thought like a different species, they did not show any interest in European cities, edifices, and other valuables, just molded the landscape immediately to fit them. note 


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