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Old Feb 16 2005, 11:02 PM   #1
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Default Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

I remember at some point wondering why F'lar was so excited that Lessa could hear all of the dragons. Sure, it's a neat parlor trick, but it certainly won't save any time in relaying instructions to the other dragons. F'lar still has to tell Mnementh to tell Lessa to tell the others, and wouldn't it be faster for Mnementh to just tell the other dragons? And vice-versa? Or am I remembering a scene completely wrong?
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Old Feb 17 2005, 04:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

I suppose it meant that she could serve as a pivotal figure in, quote unquote, the new Pern. If she could hear all the dragons, it meant that she was more important for the role of constructing a Pern that was going to be forward-looking, where dragons were not beholden to tithes from unwilling holds and halls.
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Old Feb 17 2005, 06:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Lessa could act as air-traffic-control. Relaying instructions to all the other dragons. the advantage was that she could do it directly!
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Old Feb 17 2005, 08:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

I think that's one of those rules that was never clearly defined. F'lar does indeed want to coordinate everything through her.
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From DragonFlight
“The one thing I could not figure out was how to direct the wings and keep in contact with the Weyr during an attack, how I was going to get reinforcements and firestone in time. And you … you have been sitting there, spitefully hiding the…”
I agree that it'd be just as easy to have Mnementh call for reinforcements or resupply, but there seems to be some difficulty in getting dragons to talk to other dragons, at least in DF. In one scene, F'lar asks Mnementh to ask Ramoth to contact the watch dragon at the Smithcrafthall:
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“Mnementh, please ask Ramoth to get in touch with the dragonet at Fandarel’s crafthall, I’d like the Mastersmith to come with me to Nerat. I want to see what his agenothree does to Threads.”

Ramoth nodded her head as the bronze dragon relayed the message to her.

She has done so, and the green dragon comes as soon as (s)he can. Mnementh reported to his rider. It is easier to do, this talking about, when Lessa is awake, he grumbled.
And then there's the instance when Ramoth is about to rise to mate, and F'nor implores the other bronze riders to call F'lar, rather than simply having Canth call Mnementh. I'm not really sure how it's supposed to work, though a Weyrleader in Todd's DBlood is just as excited about having a HAD, for precisely the same reason of coordintation. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
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Old Feb 17 2005, 01:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

it means that she can act as a link between alld ragons, so a 'public service announcement' (as you could call them) can be relayed instantly.
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Old Feb 17 2005, 04:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

HAD is a rare ability. And I notice there are no MALE riders ever credited with it.

I think maybe it has soemthing to do with the Queens being the ones to direct the traffic, so to speak. We see the Golds in all three species ( Fire Lizard, Watchwere and Dragon) do the ordering. I'm not sure the browns would always listen to the bronzes, certainly not to the blues and greens... and I doubt the bronzes would listen to any one but the Golds. Natural pecking order in the pack.

SO>..to have a rider who can hear all the dragons and speak to all the dragons....it saves time and energy and gives ONE focal point, rather than a wider net where messages can get corrupted.
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Old Feb 18 2005, 03:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Sorry, it's still not making sense, unless it's that Lessa has more range than dragons. (Which seems incredibly unlikely to me.) F'lar still has to tell Mnementh to tell Lessa what he wants the other dragons to know, and that still puts extra steps and more chance for miscommunication in the process. I could perhaps understand the excitement if F'lar could talk directly to her. I sure hope that he is directing the wings, because the delay could be dangerous. And all F'lar had to do was leave a dragon at the Weyr to have his resupply communications.

And I can't imagine that communication was really the problem he was making it out to be, as the ability seems to be rare and Pern got through eight other Passes without it. More like, it was all of the dragons and riders being a bit lazy and unwilling to practice relaying messages and taking orders the 'normal' way.

As for 'traffic control'--again, her being so critical to doing it makes one think that dragons must have been crashing into each other all the time in previous passes, therefore I don't see how she really is such a benefit.

Instead of being an answer to F'lar's problem, it seems more like Anne's desire to hype up Lessa's importance to Pern and make a bit of conflict between the characters.
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Old Feb 18 2005, 03:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Actually, if you look through the books...every Pass had at least one HAD Queen Rider. It not only makes it easier communicating within your own wyer, but for those times when you need to contact ALL the dragons at once. (Dragonsblood teaser there!)
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Old Feb 18 2005, 08:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

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Originally Posted by AnnMarie
Actually, if you look through the books...every Pass had at least one HAD Queen Rider. It not only makes it easier communicating within your own wyer, but for those times when you need to contact ALL the dragons at once. (Dragonsblood teaser there!)
Really? I've completely forgotten who it was in Moreta's time, then, and as I recall, Moreta's Weyr Fort got on just fine without one. If there is one in each of the other books, then no doubt it's because the author found it a convenience. I cannot imagine Weyr operations being built around the need for someone who can hear all of the dragons. They can't possibly depend on someone being HAD. Hanging the success of something so vitally important on one person with a specific talent is suicidal.

And chalking F'lar's need down to the riders of Benden being so inexperienced and poorly trained doesn't fit, either, because there would have been a much higher casualty rate.
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Old Feb 18 2005, 09:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

NEEDED no, of course not. As you said, they couldn't be possitive they'd have such a person. Handy, yes, because it would be easier to delegate some things. Have you read DRAGONSBLOOD yet? You'll see a good use for it there.
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Old Feb 18 2005, 10:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

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Originally Posted by AnnMarie
NEEDED no, of course not. As you said, they couldn't be possitive they'd have such a person. Handy, yes, because it would be easier to delegate some things. Have you read DRAGONSBLOOD yet? You'll see a good use for it there.
Er...I'm not concered with Dragonsblood at the moment, particularly since I didn't really like the book with the whers--and if I always looked to a later book for explanation, then Masterharper would make my brain melt. I'm still looking at the Lessa/F'lar thing, here. I guess F'lar was just, well, not bright enough to figure out a better way.
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Old Feb 19 2005, 12:51 AM   #12
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Maybe it's just convenient because she tell other dragons how to maneuver during threadfall and Lessa would know when dragons and their riders aren't doing what there suppose to.
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Old Feb 19 2005, 11:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

I have always felt that the range of fight thread was hundreds of square miles and various altitudes. This would make it impossible for the weyrleader and dragons to know where everyone was at a given time frame. Also the dragons when fight a clump of thread are not concerned about where they end up just destroying the thread. I have always thought that all the HAD weyrwomen looked at the fight scene as a air traffic controller knowing where and at what altitude the dragons were fighting at. This would avoid accidents and she would be able to close gaps in the flight patterns when dragons were injuried or out of their assigned space.
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Old Feb 19 2005, 12:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Okay, there's an idea. How would a Weyrwoman see everyone, though, if the Weyrleader couldn't? And what does that do to the traditional division of responsibilities between the Weyrleader and the Weyrwoman, as it's the Weyrleader's job to fight Thread and direct the wings, and the Weyrwoman's job to keep things on the ground running smoothly?
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Old Feb 19 2005, 12:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Okay, look at it this way: Part of the Wyerwoman's job is to keep things running smoothly on the ground. A Wyerwoman with HAD can check directly with the dragons to make sure their riders are really up to par. Also, when it comes to dragon healing, HAD riders can get to the root of the problem faster, and they can deal directly with an injured dragon who's rider may be unconcious.
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Old Feb 19 2005, 12:40 PM   #16
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Say, sailor, an idea here... maybe we would need to look at how easy a concept or idea can be made clear using two dragons who are notoriously bad in some forms of communications (like abstract... tactics?) and who have difficulty with the concept of time and often puzzled (examples enough) by what humans think and do...

Now if Lessa could tell a wingleaders dragon to tell the wingleader exactly what she tells him that would at least elimnate one dragon from the communication line which we could establish as an advantage.

As has been said before Lessa could also be someone who gathers information from others, collates, analyses it and then uses her sense and wisdom to give further instructions on what she knows.

And F'lar must aso have thought that, if Ramoth was the only queen and thus not allowed to fight thread, he would have a comfortable means of communication with his weyr while at the same time able to utilize ALL dragons including weyrlings, in the fight. I suppose he might have been thinking that Lessa could coordinate er... replenishment of firestone sacks for instance, in other words, as a go between, between the non riding (but essential) Weyr personnel and the fightin dragons?

Just a few thoughts, these. Remember F'lar was obsessed with numbers and getting everybody to be able to fight or contribute because he expected to have to defend Pern with only the Benden riders! Wen Lessa pulls of her stunt getting the oldtimers forward there were dragons to spare and dragons could even be stationed at advantageous points for communications etc.
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Old Feb 19 2005, 03:21 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

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Say, sailor, an idea here... maybe we would need to look at how easy a concept or idea can be made clear using two dragons who are notoriously bad in some forms of communications (like abstract... tactics?) and who have difficulty with the concept of time and often puzzled (examples enough) by what humans think and do...
By the time riders engage threadfall, they're rather like an army in the air. They have to go where they are told to go, when they are told to, and that doesn't take a lot of abstract thought. If they did need to relay something complex, they'd have just as much trouble relaying it to Lessa or understanding it from Lessa.

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Now if Lessa could tell a wingleaders dragon to tell the wingleader exactly what she tells him that would at least elimnate one dragon from the communication line which we could establish as an advantage.
But that's precisely my point. No dragons are eliminated from the communication line; in fact, another person is added--Lessa.

Here's an example using F'nor as the end contact:

F'lar--Mnementh--Lessa--Canth--F'nor

That's three intermediate steps to get a message from F'lar to F'nor (and presumably his wing.) Having Mnementh speak directly to Canth eliminates one step and thus one possible point of message degredation.

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As has been said before Lessa could also be someone who gathers information from others, collates, analyses it and then uses her sense and wisdom to give further instructions on what she knows.
I see. But it's F'lar who is supposed to direct the Weyr's efforts in fighting Thread. Not Lessa--and she has absolutely no training on how Thread is fought. It's F'lar who should be directing the Wings, F'lar who knows when and where he wants reinforcements and supplies--not Lessa. At best, she's a link in the fighting communications chain at the point in the story we're talking about. At worst, she does what she thinks is best based on her limited knowledge and experience.

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And F'lar must aso have thought that, if Ramoth was the only queen and thus not allowed to fight thread, he would have a comfortable means of communication with his weyr while at the same time able to utilize ALL dragons including weyrlings, in the fight. I suppose he might have been thinking that Lessa could coordinate er... replenishment of firestone sacks for instance, in other words, as a go between, between the non riding (but essential) Weyr personnel and the fightin dragons?
But that's not what he said he wanted to use her for; he wanted much more. And replenishing firestone sacks doesn't take a whole lot of coordination, at least for the non-riders. Returned sack empty, fill sack. The weyrlings ferrying stone would have needed guidance, but still, it's F'lar and the fighting dragons who know where they are needed. Perhaps the only really useful thing she can do is decide which weyrling goes next so that Mnementh doesn't have to talk to them all.

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Just a few thoughts, these. Remember F'lar was obsessed with numbers and getting everybody to be able to fight or contribute because he expected to have to defend Pern with only the Benden riders! Wen Lessa pulls of her stunt getting the oldtimers forward there were dragons to spare and dragons could even be stationed at advantageous points for communications etc.
Perhaps it's just that the records assumed Weyrleaders would always know how to communicate with their wings, and F'lar couldn't figure it out on his own. I suppose the oldtimers taught him when they came forward.
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Old Feb 19 2005, 04:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Here's another idea: suppose the dragons are told to give her a running commentary on each sweep. That way, Lessa gets to hear of wounded dragons almost as soon as they occur, enabling her to coordinate the healing.

The benefit may then be more organisational than otherwise, more morale-boosting than practical.

Don't forget that a threadscored dragon is in a lot of pain, and the riders may be too affected to be of much use; Lessa here is a definite asset in getting the dragon calmed and collected enough to aid healing.
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Old Feb 19 2005, 05:02 PM   #19
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

It meant she could relay information straight to other dragons, without having to go through her own, much more effective!
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Old Feb 19 2005, 08:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Honestly, I think ghyle's second suggestion (talking to wounded dragons without an intermediary, and as we saw in Moreta the queen can serve more than adequately there) is the only really viable one. Sailorchk's absolutely right--involving Lessa or any HAD is basically just adding to the comunication confusion. F'lar's excitement stems from Anne not thinking it through a whole lot at the time, not from any real practical use for an HAD in Threadfall.

Add to this--once the Weyrs come forward, Lessa and from then on ALL queen riders are out flying Thread. As we see in Moreta, they can see a bit what's going on and the senior keeps up with things through her queen, but they're not doing any coordinating. It's all the Weyrleader's job. We never see Lessa or Brekke doing anything in the way of coordinating (though Brekke listens in when Ruth is flying alone, but that's an odd case.)
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Old Feb 20 2005, 04:32 PM   #21
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

I still think being HAD could also be valuable in being the intermidiator between someone dragonless (like a headwoman, hareper, healer etc.) and any dragon anywhere.

And uh... the advantages (and disadvantages) of being HAD without a dragon of your own have been made clear in A Girl Who Heard Dragons
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Old Dec 16 2012, 05:12 AM   #22
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

I am new to this board and just read this post and I know it's old but here goes.
Lessa wouldn't have to get further instructions from F'lar. Not only can she talk to all dragons but I think something important is being overlooked. She can HEAR all dragons. That is the point. She isn't an intermediary. The dragons keep her on a continous update and she only has to talk to one dragon specifically (Mnementh) and then broadcasts to all dragons at once. She gets a message from Mnementh and then broadcasts to ALL dragons. You all make it sound like she has to have what we would call point to point communication. Consider Lessa like a loudspeaker to broadcast the message over a large spectrum vs. singly.
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Old Jan 9 2013, 03:47 PM   #23
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Also, there is another connection that is possibly being overlooked. Dragonriders are chosen for their psychic ability...while everyone has it to an extent, dragonriders have more of it, so they impress. A weyrwoman <since it seems to be a talent that is gender-tied> that can hear every dragon has even more of this talent then your typical dragonrider. Ok, now follow me here, as this part gets kinda of convoluted...

Queens, for the most part, also have "more" of this ability then other dragons, that, other then just being the ones that lay eggs, is what puts then on "top" Every dragon will take an order from a queen because they HAVE to...the queen's mind is simply stronger then theirs, so they really have no choice. If you take that as a given then you can apply something from The Rowan series <and since there is nothing that I've read so far that would lead me to believe they are in two different universes, I'm going with it > In that series, it shows how two people can "combine" their talent, giving them more power/range/ect.

So that could be why such a weyrwoman is seen as something so important....her higher mental ability, paired with that of her dragon, simply gives her more range/capability...which also explains why F'lar has Mnementh ask Ramoth to contact the weyrling, Mnementh simply doesn't have the range to do it, whereas she does.

Not to mention that such things tend to "breed true", meaning that any of that weyrwoman's offspring would have a higher ability as well, leading to a closer mental bond between rider and dragon which would be to the benefit of the weyr.
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Old Jan 10 2013, 10:08 AM   #24
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

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Also, there is another connection that is possibly being overlooked. Dragonriders are chosen for their psychic ability...while everyone has it to an extent, dragonriders have more of it, so they impress. A weyrwoman <since it seems to be a talent that is gender-tied> that can hear every dragon has even more of this talent then your typical dragonrider. Ok, now follow me here, as this part gets kinda of convoluted...
It isn't gender tied. N'ton and Robinton are also both capable of hearing dragons.

There is a difference between 'psychic ability' and 'empathy rating'. The former is a reference to actually influencing the world/other people via psionics; the latter is a reference to the ability of a creature (in this case humans) to understand the feelings and intent of others through a variety of medium, and their acceptance of that information. It's not a psychic ability. It's a personality trait. People who cannot empathize with others would make bad dragonriders, as they would be unable to understand their dragons needs and would be likely to reject the bond.

There is also a difference between being able to hear dragons and being able to influence people. Lessa is the only example of the latter; there are several examples of the former. In all ways Lessa is a truly unique goldrider and Weyrwoman.
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Old Jan 11 2013, 08:22 PM   #25
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Indy, Anne McCaffrey stated explicitly at one point that the Pern universe does not cross over with any of her other fictional worlds.


Almost anyone can hear a dragon if it chooses to speak to them. Any dragon will understand if someone speaks (out loud) to them. That is not the same as someone being able to communicate telepathically, instinctively, easily, with a dragon other than their own. Lessa can get in contact with any dragon without knowing where they are or being near them. Robinton has been surprised and honored every time a dragon has spoken to him, and it's usually one of the Weyrleaders' dragons that is familiar to him. Aramina has the same ability as Lessa, but with no brakes or controls, so that she can't turn it off - apparently Lessa can block out the dragons unless they are particularly "loud" or she is trying to tune in. Brekke is about the same, but after losing Wirenth develops much closer contact with Canth.

Moreta, in the book by that name, is only shown to communicate regularly with one dragon other than her own. However, it's become commonly accepted in fandom that the other Moreta - daughter of Alessan and Nerilka - possessed an ability similar to Lessa's, and became a Weyrwoman as well. Over the Turns, the legend of "Moreta Who Saved Pern From Plague" and the legend of "Moreta Who Could Hear All Dragons" got blurred, so that it became the legend of "Moreta Who Could Hear All Dragons Saved Pern From Plague."
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Old Jan 11 2013, 09:37 PM   #26
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Indy - like Brenda said, official word is that the Pern series does NOT share a universe with any other.

BUT...you're noting the same similarities to The Tower and the Hive universe that I did. The main difference is that the Talents have no between when they 'port, and there's no mention of gender-linked telepathy where women are noticeably stronger.

I'm writing a crossover fic where these two worlds meet. :->
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Old Jan 12 2013, 02:19 PM   #27
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

I think it would be interesting to have a crossover where their abilities are NOT the same - the Talents trying to figure out how dragon-related telepathy, teleportation and telekinesis work!
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Old Jan 20 2013, 07:50 PM   #28
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

I agree with Razor that it's her ability to talk to ALL dragons, and if need be, many at the same time. If some of the higher riders notice Threrd's clumping, or the wind's cjhanging direction or anything else the others need to know, the rider can ask his dragon to tell Lessa, and then she can tell all the other dragons ALL at the same time, saving time, rather than it being passed on from one to another. Yes, Ramoth can talk to all other dragons herself, nbeing a quenn, but maybe that's where the confusion over astracts comes in...if the rider needs to give co-ordinates, better that his dragon just repeats what his rider ois saying word-to-word to a human who can understad the concept of co-ordinates, or a need for a particular formation.
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Old Jan 21 2013, 06:38 AM   #29
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Also, having a human intermediary gets around some of the problems like dragons not having a particularly good memory.

Just to confuse the issue - are dragons HAD, or do they only communicate with other dragons that they know, or from the same wing, weyr, or bloodline? And do queens have a more comprehensive communication ability than the so-called lesser colours?
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Old Jan 22 2013, 05:05 PM   #30
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

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Just to confuse the issue - are dragons HAD, or do they only communicate with other dragons that they know, or from the same wing, weyr, or bloodline? And do queens have a more comprehensive communication ability than the so-called lesser colours?
I doubt dragons are HAD as such themselves, unless, like Lessa, it's selective or the babble would be confusing. I think it more likely that the Queens can MAKE themselves heard, if need be, and to more than one at a time, and perhaps the bronzes too, but I imagine it's usually one-to-one communications between the dragons.

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Old Jan 23 2013, 02:40 PM   #31
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

There are plenty of occasions where a Queen is asked to control another dragon - when they are in pain from thread score is one I recall.
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Old Jan 23 2013, 09:38 PM   #32
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

So the Queen would MAKE herself heard to the other...maybe like a shouted or snapped order. And the ones I can recall, the Queen only did so when asked to by her rider. If there are any exceptions to that that anyone can remember, please do...I sometimes think that MY memory is scarce better than a dragon's...I'm always forgetting things...;P

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Old Jan 23 2013, 10:05 PM   #33
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

In Skies, when F'lessan's and Tai's dragons are attacked by the felines, one of the dragons "calls" Ramoth and tells her to time it.
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Old Jan 24 2013, 07:30 AM   #34
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

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I am new to this board and just read this post and I know it's old but here goes.
Lessa wouldn't have to get further instructions from F'lar. Not only can she talk to all dragons but I think something important is being overlooked. She can HEAR all dragons. That is the point. She isn't an intermediary. The dragons keep her on a continous update and she only has to talk to one dragon specifically (Mnementh) and then broadcasts to all dragons at once. She gets a message from Mnementh and then broadcasts to ALL dragons. You all make it sound like she has to have what we would call point to point communication. Consider Lessa like a loudspeaker to broadcast the message over a large spectrum vs. singly.
Again, why couldn't Mnementh broadcast to all dragons? You're making it sound like a dragon can only talk to one at a time. So - again - F'lar ->Mnementh -> Lessa -> all dragons, or F'lar ->Mnementh ->all dragons. The math seems simple to me.
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Old Jan 24 2013, 07:35 AM   #35
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

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I doubt dragons are HAD as such themselves, unless, like Lessa, it's selective or the babble would be confusing. I think it more likely that the Queens can MAKE themselves heard, if need be, and to more than one at a time, and perhaps the bronzes too, but I imagine it's usually one-to-one communications between the dragons.

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It would be no different than a bunch of people at a party. You have your groups talking - but if you are at that party, you'll just tune anyone you're not interested in talking to out, and listen/talk to the group you are interested in. But you are still aware of the background noise, so if someone in another group says something that interests you, your attention will go to that group.

My boss and I sit in the same room, and we're both on conference calls all the time - different ones. I've gotten so good at tuning her out that sometimes I don't even know when she's talking to me directly!

So I can't see how that would be any different with dragons and telepathy.
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Old Jan 27 2013, 10:10 PM   #36
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

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Again, why couldn't Mnementh broadcast to all dragons? You're making it sound like a dragon can only talk to one at a time. So - again - F'lar ->Mnementh -> Lessa -> all dragons, or F'lar ->Mnementh ->all dragons. The math seems simple to me.
I get what you're saying but I always got the impression that dragons didn't communicate with each other like they do with their riders. So for purposes of fighting thread or training, it would be that much more efficient to have a queen rider who HAD to do the talking. And if I remember correctly, most original settlers had at least some rudimentary psychic ability. That would explain the ability to at least hear a dragon amongst the descendants. So, for example, if a dragon "chose" to speak to Robinton, he would be able to hear the dragon. N'ton, being a dragonrider already would of course be able to hear a dragon if they chose to speak to him. I choose to believe tha any dragon but mostly the queens or bronzes can speak to anyone they choose too. Maybe even a brown if paired with a powerful enough rider.
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Old Jan 29 2013, 07:59 AM   #37
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

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I get what you're saying but I always got the impression that dragons didn't communicate with each other like they do with their riders. So for purposes of fighting thread or training, it would be that much more efficient to have a queen rider who HAD to do the talking.
I'm...almost speechless. The fact that dragons do communicate with each other is practically the foundation of Threadfighting - at least, from how I've read the books. If dragons didn't communicate in that way, then the Pernese would have been wiped out way before the 9th Pass.

Canonically, HADs are rare. Many Passes don't seem to have had any - there didn't seem to be any HADs in the Eighth Pass, yet they did well enough with Thread to be brought forward to the Ninth. Even in the 6th Pass, there were no HADs during Moreta. Leri's dragon spoke to her.

So an HAD being necessary for Threadfighting - no, they aren't. The Weyrleaders' dragon would communicate with the Wingleaders' dragons at the very least, the Wingleaders' dragons would monitor their wings. Queen dragons would monitor all the dragons as a safety precaution. Much more efficient than having one person be responsible for the whole flight - what if she got confused and gave orders to the wrong dragon? There's a lot going on. I also feel that draconic minds can multitask. It's a known fact that the human brain cannot handle multitasking.
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Old Jan 29 2013, 09:39 AM   #38
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

There was an article in The Times last week by a psychologist claiming that people who can multi-task aren't cleverer than normal: they're not clever enough to be able to concentrate on only one thing.

But that's psychologists for you
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Old Jan 29 2013, 05:30 PM   #39
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

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I'm...almost speechless. The fact that dragons do communicate with each other is practically the foundation of Threadfighting - at least, from how I've read the books.
Respectfully, We are all entitled to our own interpretations of what we read. It has been a few years since I have read any of the books, but I do recall that dragons couldn't usually be bothered with trivialities. It was mentioned at least once that dragons have very poor memories. I believe you are correct that dragons do communicate with each other but I don't think it would be in any way comparable to how they communicate with their riders. It seems like I remember Jaxom asking Ruth to talk to other dragons but I also recall that dragons use more of a descriptive style vs. direct identification. I apologize for any offense I may have committed here.
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Old Jan 29 2013, 08:19 PM   #40
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Default Re: Why was Lessa's talent at hearing dragons important?

Remember, at the time F'lar is planning to use Lessa as air-traffic-control, she wasn't expected to be in combat. Ever. So why would he think Ramoth would be following combat in the air? Benden hadn't enough queens to field a Queens' wing in generations. And they're new to Threadfighting, too - they have no way of knowing yet that their dragons are capable of giving them a running commentary of how the battle goes by 'listening in'.

I assume that after Lessa brought the Weyrs forward, F'lar would have the opportunity to see active combat from experienced Weyrleaders and dropped the need.

By the way, that decision of Todd's, that a Weyr doesn't field a Queens' wing unless there are at least three in the Weyr is odd, given what we're shown of the Queens' wing's traditional duties. (Who catches injured dragons when they fall? Who aids the ground crew in finding Thread strikes?) On the other hand, it explains why the Queens' wing at the end of Dragonflight is every queen on Pern - Benden can't field a wing of its own yet, and Lessa and Kylara need to be trained in their combat duties.

ETA: Obviously, the priority of maintaining breeding strength means that the Weyrleader just eats the losses of dragons who crash and die. No comfort to the grunts serving in his wings, but then I suppose if a Weyr during pass can't field a Queens' wing they've got big problems.

Last edited by skywaterblue; Jan 29 2013 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Some thoughts on Queens' wings
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