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Old Apr 29 2019, 02:08 AM   #57
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: U.S.A.
Gender: F
Fan of: Dragonriders of Pern
Default Re: Dragon size references

I have references to watch-wher sizes if that helps? Hang on, I stuck them in a letter to Todd asking for clarification about it. He hasn't replied back yet, but he might not be able to anyway given just how many letters he gets.

Here's the part about whers and dragons, the rest was asking about why they stopped adding glossaries to the books:

Confusion from Dragon's Fire

Hi! Big fan of Pern with a rather long letter. I loved your mother's books, may she rest in peace beyond Between, and although yours were an acquired taste, I've come to enjoy them as well. However, I do have some questions for you:

How big are the watchwhers and dragons supposed to be here? You said in a Q&A to another fan about whers:

“Watch-wher golds are bigger than both green and blue dragons. I don’t know how a watch-wher gold stacks up against a brown dragon, I’m pretty sure a watch-wher gold is smaller than a bronze and I’m certain that a gold watch-wher (even Third Pass) is smaller than a gold dragon.” ~ Todd McCaffrey

But in Dragon's Fire it says of a bronze dragon:

"Shortly the dragon landed and Pellar realized once again how huge bronze dragons could be. The dragon’s head was nearly twice as tall as Pellar and its body could easily have circled three, maybe four, of the traders’ large workdrays." ~ Dragon's Fire, page 167

When you say "workdrays" I assumed you meant the wagons instead of draft horses, because the beasts pulling them are never mentioned, so I looked up how big a wagon is. The only type I could find a size for that seemed to fit is a Conestoga wagon which is 18 feet long and 4 wide. So I worked out the circumference of the circle that dragon would make using pie times 2 times the radius (half the wagon length, since the three would be broadside but the length of one wagon would still be the bigger number).

If I did the math right (math is my bane!) that dragon is bigger than Ramoth! If you're using feet to measure them anyway (76 feet!). If you're using meters though, that dragon is 17 meters. It's said to be a "large" bronze, so near the big end of the size group (15-20?), which would make a gold dragon 18-22 (going by the size scale from A Dragonlover's Guide to Pern.

If a gold watchwher is the size of a 9th Pass brown dragon, as you seem to indicate, and you are measuring the dragons in meters, then a gold wher would be bigger than a gold dragon!

Did the dragons actually reach their pre-programmed size in the 2nd Interval / 3rd Pass instead of the 6th like other fans think? In Dragonsblood, when looking at the skeleton of the dead young gold dragon from the future, it was commented that she was about as big as dragons were expected to get. So it took 30 generations to reach their designed size? Did they stay that way until the 9th Pass? I haven't read Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern or Nerilka's Story yet, so I don't know anything about the 6th Pass.

How big did green wher Kisk get, by the way? In Dragon's Kin it says she was 12 hands tall at the shoulder and 40 long (4 feet high and 13 long) at 3 months old. From the math I did figuring out that she grew 3 hands (1 foot) a week, if she kept growing at that rate for all 5 months [that they expected to reach her full growth], she would be 21 feet long and 7 high at the shoulder. The length of a small 9th Pass green (if shorter). But it says that they expected her to grow in "height" not length, so the tallest she could grow in height while still being 13 feet long is 4 1/2 feet at the shoulder. If she's an average green, that puts them in the 10-15 foot range which lines up with my estimate of wher sizes if the gold is the size of a 9th Pass brown dragon in feet (30-35ft). But if whers are measured in meters with the gold being 30-35 meters, Kisk would be a runt! Nowhere near even 20 meters (65ft)!

So... What's going on here? I'm very confused about that bronze dragon. I did find it interesting though that watchwhers are 3 times longer than they are tall at the shoulders while dragons are twice as long as they are tall at the shoulders.

Also that "meters vs feet" debate is going to go on *forever*! >_< I myself was convinced it was meters until I realized that would make even the smallest dragons *the size of blue whales*! Even if half the dragon's length is tail, that's just... I have no words... O_O Caring for a 20 to 42 *foot* creature would be hard enough (bigger than elephants and giraffes), but something 3 times as big?! Also I now know how long a "dragonlength" is in the 9th Pass: It's either 22.5 feet (average size of a 9th Pass green in feet), or 22.5 meters (73 feet, average size of a 9th Pass green in meters).
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