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Old May 30 2012, 06:12 AM   #1
Dannette
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Default Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

Have just been re-re-reading "Dragonsong" and found this bit on Page 109, when Menolly has to run from Thread the second time:

"She heard the whoosh, heard the fire lizards' startled chirrups, saw the shadow and fell to the ground covering her head instinctively with her hands, her body taut for the first feel of flesh-scoring Thread. She smelt fire-stone, and felt the air heavy against her body.
"Get on your feet, you silly fool! And hurry! Leading edge is nearly on us!"
Incredulous, Melolly looked up, right into the whirling eyes of a brown dragon. He cocked his head and hummed urgently.
"Get up!" said his rider.
Menolly wasted no time after a frantic look at the fire blossoms and the sight of a line of dragons swooping and disappearing. She scrambled to her feet, dove for the brown rider's extended hand and one of the fighting strap ends, and got herself firmly astride the brown's neck behind his rider."

A few questions:

1) I thought only the queens would be flying low enough during Threadfall to see a fleeing figure, (although a single moving figure in an otherwise static and deserted landscape might draw attention ayway - how long sighted are dragons?) How is it that a brown, not a Queen, dropped down to assist? Did only he see her? Did a Queen spot her, and order the brown and his rider down to save her? Is he being a sweeprider, flying just ahead of Leading Edge just in case someone is out and not under suitable cover? And the line of dragons swooping down and disappearing doesn't really sound like the Queen's Wing (though I suppose it could be) So where is the Queens Wing? All egg-heavy, clutching or waiting for Hatching? Coming up behind for mop-up purposes?

Secondly, as I recall, browns, although not as big as bronzes, are still pretty big. There's no mention of the dragon lowering himself or lending a fireleg, het Menolly manages to get astride the brown with only the rider's hand and a fighting strap end to give aid. Especially since Menolly's run her feet "raw", so I assume they would have made jumping for or scrabbling up the dragon's neck difficult to near-impossible, at least without a yelll of pan or a whimper from Menolly (or was the adrenaline in her system temporarily numbing the pain?) The book makes it sound as if Menolly could easily hop onto a dragon (I know she's tall but still.) Perhaps the dragon was big enough to fight and fly but not reached full growth yet? (didn't F'lar tease F'nor with "Browns are slow to reach full growth" in Dragonflight?) Or maybe it's a small brown? A combination of both? Desperation on Menolly's part giving her an edge?

What does everybody else think?

Sorry for the monster post!

Dannette.
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Old May 30 2012, 08:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

Well Ramoth had eggs on the sands, so that's ONE queen at least who wouldn't be flying. Thread had already started falling, so presumably Benden's other queen(s?) was/were busy somewhere else under the actual threadfall.

I'd guess she was spotted by someone.

In fact, she was.

"Lucky for you T'gran's Branth spotted you running. Dragons are very longsighted you know." says Mirrim on p184 of my paperback. So, no need for him to be doing anything special - he was just there towards the front of the fall and saw her.

As for mounting - well, it says she 'dove' for his hand and the end of the fighting straps, so presumably he was leaning out over Branth's neck with one arm outstretched, and she clambered up using his hand and the straps for assistance. there's a heck of a lot of wiggle room in the words 'got herself firmly astride'. As for the pain, there's Thread heading their way, and if she wasn't chock-full of adrenaline by then... well, I doub t she was feeling much at all.

Another note - Manora says she was the SECOND one rescued that day. After Elgion got picked up, maybe F'lar passed the word round for everyone to keep their eyes peeled?
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Old May 30 2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

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Well Ramoth had eggs on the sands, so that's ONE queen at least who wouldn't be flying. Thread had already started falling, so presumably Benden's other queen(s?) was/were busy somewhere else under the actual threadfall.

I'd guess she was spotted by someone.

In fact, she was.

"Lucky for you T'gran's Branth spotted you running. Dragons are very longsighted you know." says Mirrim on p184 of my paperback. So, no need for him to be doing anything special - he was just there towards the front of the fall and saw her.

As for mounting - well, it says she 'dove' for his hand and the end of the fighting straps, so presumably he was leaning out over Branth's neck with one arm outstretched, and she clambered up using his hand and the straps for assistance. there's a heck of a lot of wiggle room in the words 'got herself firmly astride'. As for the pain, there's Thread heading their way, and if she wasn't chock-full of adrenaline by then... well, I doub t she was feeling much at all.

Another note - Manora says she was the SECOND one rescued that day. After Elgion got picked up, maybe F'lar passed the word round for everyone to keep their eyes peeled?
So, that suggests that the dragon as longsighted and spotted her...and I missed the 'dove' reference...

And yes, if Elgion was picked up first - and Manora stated she was the second - they might have been looking for anybody else, so Menolly got lucky. I woulkd say that maybe Elgion told them to look out especially for her, as she was missing, though if the did, they didn't realise at the time they'd found her, they thought she was a 'lad' at first.

Thanks for spotting that!

And...page 184? My paperback only goes up to p 176! Is the British version missing a load f stuff or is it just larger print? The passage you quote is on page 124 of my paperback.

Dannette.

Last edited by Dannette; May 30 2012 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Had something to add
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Old May 30 2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

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And...page 184? My paperback only goes up to p 176! Is the British version missing a load f stuff or is it just larger print? The passage you quote is on page 124 of my paperback.

Dannette.
No, you're right - it was 124 on mine too. Maybe I DO need a large print version...
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Old Jun 2 2012, 07:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

Everybody check their copies !!!!!

Danette: the incident you are talking about took place over the sea just touching on the land. It is possible,is it not, that the low flying queens were further inland?

BUT: I once put up a quiz and no one got the answer to one of the questions. I eventually had to quote the whole paragraph from my book.
And everybody said, that's not in my book. So I think different editions are edited differently. How dare they leave out any of Anne's words !!!
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Old Jun 3 2012, 04:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

If I remember right dragon's can got from seeing far away or close up. I think it was just a matter of chance as to who would see her first. The leading edge was not yet on them. Some dragons may have been looking for people who were caught outside.

As far as her mounting the dragon with her feet in such bad shape, I don't think she even noticed them at that point. Hurting feet or fear of being eaten alive by thread, hurting feet would take second place.
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Old Jun 4 2012, 06:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

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Originally Posted by mawra View Post
If I remember right dragon's can got from seeing far away or close up. I think it was just a matter of chance as to who would see her first. The leading edge was not yet on them. Some dragons may have been looking for people who were caught outside.

As far as her mounting the dragon with her feet in such bad shape, I don't think she even noticed them at that point. Hurting feet or fear of being eaten alive by thread, hurting feet would take second place.
I assume that ability of seeing at short or long distances is something to do with their eyes being faceted? Different parts (or different facets/area of faceting) of the eye being used to see different distances, perhaps how varifocal lenses are ground to different strength for short, middle and distance viewing (my friend wears them). And the dragons going ahead to look for people is why I put 'sweepriders?' in the title. It would seem to me to be a sensioble precaution to take - especially as the impresssion I get from several of the books is that despite the holders fear f Thread, not all of them seem to be aware of when it's falling (well, Elgion didn't when he got caught out, it seems after a threadfall, people are never told "next Threadfall is in X days") which seems odd to me if you need to plan ahrad for planting, moving livestock, traveling, expecting travelers ETC.

And yes, the adrenaline rush of having run like that, being that close to live Thread, and at risk of being scored/eaten alive would probably pump so much adrenaline into her body that nbot only did she not feel her feet, that if I recall correctly she collapsed upon getting there from the after effects of so much adrenaline in her system.

EDIT: According to the book Menolly 'collapsed' due to taking fellis on an empty stomach, but I know after an adrenaline rush (after averting a catastrophe involving a severe slope in the pavememt, my friend in her wheelchair, and a main road, NOT a good combination!) I got the severe shakes and associated weak legs from adrenaline overload once the incident was over.

Dannette.

Last edited by Dannette; Jun 4 2012 at 11:14 AM. Reason: adding something, typo correction.
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Old Jun 4 2012, 12:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

She almost fainted with the pain as soon as her feet touched the ground. T'Gran picked her up and carried her into the Lower Caverns.

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Old Jun 4 2012, 12:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannette View Post
I assume that ability of seeing at short or long distances is something to do with their eyes being faceted? Different parts (or different facets/area of faceting) of the eye being used to see different distances, perhaps how varifocal lenses are ground to different strength for short, middle and distance viewing (my friend wears them). And the dragons going ahead to look for people is why I put 'sweepriders?' in the title. It would seem to me to be a sensioble precaution to take - especially as the impresssion I get from several of the books is that despite the holders fear f Thread, not all of them seem to be aware of when it's falling (well, Elgion didn't when he got caught out, it seems after a threadfall, people are never told "next Threadfall is in X days") which seems odd to me if you need to plan ahrad for planting, moving livestock, traveling, expecting travelers ETC.

Dannette.
It does seem a bit odd.

Yanis had given Elgion the day off because he needed the children to gather seaweed for the smoke-cave (no mention of Thread). Elgion left the Hold very early, so maybe Threadfall was announced at breakfast and he missed it. Alternatively, since the first few chapters of Dragonquest deal with irregular Falls, maybe Fall wasn't expected till late in the day, and just happened to come earlier than normal.

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Old Jun 5 2012, 07:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

Thread was falling out of phase at that time. They might know that it should fall soon, but not the exact day or time.
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Old Jun 6 2012, 02:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

Half-Circle might not even have been told about the unusual threadfalls.
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Old Jun 6 2012, 05:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

Half Circle, and all sea holds in particular, should have good warning of thread fall shouldnt they? Perhaps Yanus had that chart, and he would not necessarily tell anyone else, just the sea going fleet.
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Old Jun 7 2012, 05:30 AM   #13
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriflor View Post
She almost fainted with the pain as soon as her feet touched the ground. T'Gran picked her up and carried her into the Lower Caverns.

Eriflor.
Although it does state that was from the pain in her feet. I have found a bit that suggests an adrenaline rush, though only the positives of it, when she was running from Thread just before the dragonrider catches her up.

Near the bottom of P 108:

"She broke into a run again, the two queens gliding right over jer head, and she felt oddly protected. She had her second wind now, and her stride, and felt as if she coyuld run forever. If she could only run fast enough to stay beyond the reach of Thread..."

So there indeed, the pain of her feet must have been unnoticed due to the adrenaline in her system: as her mounting the dragon happens just before halfway down the next page, then yes, it suggesrs the rush lasted long enough to get on the dragon...but perhaps being rescued, and the trip between, then the realisation she was safe stopping adrenaline being released...hence almost fainting from the pain when she dismounts.

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Old Jun 7 2012, 09:42 AM   #14
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

You are misunderstanding the cause of the second wind. Menolly had slowed down briefly, allowing her body to recover from her initial burst of exertion. This caused the feeling of renewed energy, not the presence of adrenaline. The adrenaline rush would have started the moment she realized she had to run for her life, so there would be no reason for there to be a sudden surge in the middle of things, especially when she had a heightened sensation of safety due to the presence of the firelizards.

Edit: It also occurs to me that Menolly was actively working off the adrenaline in her system, so she should not have suffered any kind of stress effects at the conclusion of the event. You really only get the nasty side effects if you are not exerting yourself for an extended period - such as in your example with the wheelchair, where there isn't extended physical component to the resolution. Running burns adrenaline off very quickly; it is actually recommended for coping with stress-triggered adrenaline rushes.
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Old Jun 8 2012, 06:43 AM   #15
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

I was taught that 'second wind' comes part way through aerobic exercise when you swap into 'fat burn'.

By then you've gone through the adrenaline-fuelled inital burst and then the Krebs Cycle; and (in aerobic fuel terms) have also got through sugar burn and protein burn.

Fat gives about twice as much energy per fuel unit as sugars and proteins.
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Old Jun 9 2012, 01:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

They knew when thread fall was close to falling. Menoly was taken to task for venturing to far when thread fall was do any day.
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Old Jun 11 2012, 06:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

Right, but this might have been just as the other orbiting planets were causing shifts in the usual Threadfall schedule. Half-Circle might not have been notified yet.
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Old Jun 22 2012, 10:35 AM   #18
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

I'm not sure whether this fits really well in here, but here goes ...

In the firelizard hatching in dragonsong, it is stated that the hatchlings fly out straight into thread.

Now the whole point of the dragon flights is that there is NO thread landing where it can do damage. Admittedly a few threads get through to need mopping up by ground crews.

The dragon riders do not need to kill thread that is going to fall into the sea but they are not going to risk having a cut off point too close to land. A sudden eddy of wind over cliffs and you'd havew an infestation. So there's going to be a clear space for some yards outy over the breakers.

I know it spoils the story but the hatchlings would have had to fly for some distance out to sea to encounter any.
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Old Jun 22 2012, 05:48 PM   #19
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

The Dragon Stones are a barren and rocky section of the shore, jutting out into the water. Perhaps someone was careless.
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Old Jun 22 2012, 09:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

If the area was all rock and water the would not have need to fight thread over it.
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Old Jun 23 2012, 02:50 PM   #21
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Default Re: Menolly's rescue from Thread - Sweeprider? Where are the Queens?

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If the area was all rock and water the would not have need to fight thread over it.
Also not in an easy area for holder to reach if I recall right, becuse of the Threadfalling out of normal pattern.
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