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Old Mar 10 2014, 11:00 AM   #1
Kath
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Default He was HOW old?

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Originally Posted by The Second Weyr
Since coming to maturity three years ago, Mihall's bronze Brianth had sired sufficient clutches that Sean had grounded the randy bronze in queen-mating flights.


The kid impressed at twelve. Sure, it seems Brianth was a late bloomer - Mihall has actually reached the grand old age of *eighteen* at the time of TSW - but do the maths!

And as if that wasn't skeevy enough, Mihall admits later on that he's had his eye on Torene since she Impressed. Which would have happened when he was what, 15? 16? But hey, he was already shagging plenty of older women (and don't forget the Holder girls!) by then, so why the hell not add stalking to the list?

Ah, Pern. Just when I think you can't get any more dodgy, I notice something new on a re-read.

(And sheesh, way to rub in the 'men must sleep around, women must be pure and virginal' trope...)
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Old Mar 11 2014, 08:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

LOL

Anne was never any good at doing her math. She was also terrible at taking notes and admitted to me she regretted very much not taking real good notes at the beginning. That been said she also di not take good notes during the later installments of the series. I had to answer her email questions about ages, particulars and places where people should (have) be(en) several times. Ah... but it was a great time *sniff*
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Old Mar 15 2014, 01:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

F'lessan was twelve too, among other boys in his class. Didn't he have a reputation for getting around as well when he got older? Why the heck were boys as young as twelve allowed onto the sands? Why not make the age cutoff at least fourteen?
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Old Mar 15 2014, 04:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

In the first pass, Sean did have the excuse that he was running out of teenagers and older to present on the sands - Mihall was the first youngster, but he wasn't the last.

Of course, the implications for those youngsters don't *need* to be shown on the page, nor do the dragons of those young characters *need* to be as successful in the air as their older counterparts. Anne *chose* to set TSW when she did, to make Torene a 22 year old virgin who wanted to wait for her dragon's first flight because she wanted it to be special, and for Mihall to be the exact opposite...
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Old Mar 22 2014, 01:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

Let's not forget, Mihall would be aware of green/gold mating lust from an early age, like all the kids who lived at the Weyr. Though I imagine there was some kind of restraint on the younger ones to keep them from early experimentation.

Any bronze-rider would have had his eye on Torene --- she was beautiful as well as a queen-rider. And once they found out she could hear all dragons, she'd be the obvious choice to lead a future Weyr, and their shot at being Weyrleader.

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Old Mar 22 2014, 01:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

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Originally Posted by Multi-Facets View Post
F'lessan was twelve too, among other boys in his class. Didn't he have a reputation for getting around as well when he got older? Why the heck were boys as young as twelve allowed onto the sands? Why not make the age cutoff at least fourteen?
F'nor was only 10 when he stood on the Sands, but that was because Nemorth didn't fly very often and F'lon wanted both his sons to have a chance to Impress while they were still young enough to stand.

I think 12 was the age all kids on Pern started learning a craft or helping their parents to farm their holds, so the kids at the Weyr would be helping out with dragon-related tasks. Maybe when the Weyr started losing hatchlings that didn't find "their" human, Sean allowed the 12-year-olds to at least be present in the Hatching Cavern, though at a distance from the main action. That way, they'd know what to expect when it came their turn to stand, and if they actually Impressed, well, it was meant to be.

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Old Mar 23 2014, 05:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

In DE/RSR, Debera and the other female candidates seemed to be older than their male counterparts. Older teenagers. Obviously Debera had to grow up fast in the home she came from, but S'mon and the other boys were definitely a few years younger.
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Old Jul 23 2014, 12:54 PM   #8
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I think girls were allowed to Stand till a later age than boys --- or is that only in fandom Weyrs? Probably they'd want the potential Weyrwomen to be more mature at Impression, so they'd start them older and keep them later. So girls who Impressed greens (having been originally brought in to Stand for a gold egg) would likely be more mature too.

The candidates for the first dragon clutch were "60 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who had already shown a sympathy for the dragonets (i.e. fire-lizards)". I'm guessing it was the younger candidates who Impressed the 18 hatchlings, and Sean revised the age-range downwards till he found the optimum range.
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Old Mar 13 2015, 10:14 PM   #9
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We are talking about an agrarian society. Look at the agrarian societies in the past on Earth. Children being married off at 13 or 14. I know it is Cliché, but granny on the Beverly Hillbillies was concerned that Elliemae would be an old maid at 16. The Marriage age is 14 in Nebraska. What is the historical social structure of Ireland or 17th century Europe?
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Old Mar 14 2015, 12:00 AM   #10
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The average marriage age in Medieval Europe was actually late teens/early twenties. (And no, 30 wasn't old. Most deaths that skew the lifespan average were kids just not living to hit puberty dragging the numbers down. Kids dying was normal until, honestly, pretty recently, when vaccines and medical advances cut out a lot of deaths.) You could have royal marriages on paper with nine-year-olds, but that was about locking down political alliances before the winds changed, not with any expectation you were going to consummate it. 14 would be about as young a you'd go for girls, and for boys? They have to able to support a wife and children somehow so they frequently married later, or if they were especially poor and younger sons who weren't going to inherit what property their father had, not at all. Go back really far to Rome, and 15-18ish was average for girls, while the men were generally more like 30, ESPECIALLY among the wealthy. (Probably a bonus for the girls as another point is boys reach sexual maturity later than girls, besides their full growth, which they also hit later.) They also were in fact aware that girls did have to have reliable menses to have children, and while getting periods at 11, 12, and even as low as 10 is increasingly common, it was VERY rare in agrarian societies a girl would be menstruating that young. So the whole "They're peasant farmers!" argument for barely-out-of-preteens having sex doesn't hold water on this planet, let alone Pern, ,especially where male characters are concerned. More likely, Mihall was supposed to be a bit older, but Anne, as Hans says, was not very good at math. Especially regarding character ages. (Do the math sometime between DF and DQ and try to figure out how old Jaxom SHOULD be, and how old he's written. Anne frequently erred on the side of 'make the story work' or 'make the character notable' rather than keeping detailed track of ages.)
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Old Mar 14 2015, 08:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

I'll add in a little extra note that the age of consent is 16 in New Zealand, so for me there's nothing too weird here. And as a note, that's a leftover from our farming-colony days. 16 is also the age of consent for marriage (with parental permission). The two things are definitely related, but I'm not sure which was the reason for the other.

So yeah, he's on the young side, but probably only by a few months, in a society where I think people were probably pretty upfront about sex.

I'm not sure where it's revealed that he's a stalker, from what I remember he just came off as a kid with a crush to me.

Plenty of people in their mid-teens get crushes on people a little older, and it is only a four year difference so when he was 15-16 she was 19-20. Aka your friend's hot older sibling. It happens.

Heck, a friend of mine lost her virginity at 15 and a 1/2 (the half was very important) in the back of her boyfriend's cop car (he would have had to have been at least 18). Its ok, they started dating when she was 13... which meant he was at least 16...

Story basically as told to me - they're apparently still good friends. And yes, that age gap feels a little weird, but imo only because they'd already been dating that long. If, aged 15, she'd hooked up with a random cop in his police car I'd probably have applauded because 15-18~ (or maybe 20) is less weird to me than 13-16~ (or maybe 18).

And we have no idea who Brianth was catching, but it seems reasonable to me that he was catching younger, less-experienced greens for the first year or so, which were probably ridden by girls in roughly Mikhail's own age group, which again. Happens.

I mean 'teenagers have sex' isn't exactly a headline, so I don't know. I'm not quite sure where the moral outrage is coming from. Is it just one of those culture clash things, or is my moral compass even more skewed than I thought?
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Old Mar 14 2015, 12:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

I'm pretty sure it's one of those culture things. Here in the U.S. age of consent is usually 18, though I hear it varies slightly depending on which state you live in.
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Old Mar 14 2015, 05:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

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And we have no idea who Brianth was catching, but it seems reasonable to me that he was catching younger, less-experienced greens for the first year or so, which were probably ridden by girls in roughly Mikhail's own age group, which again. Happens.

I mean 'teenagers have sex' isn't exactly a headline, so I don't know. I'm not quite sure where the moral outrage is coming from. Is it just one of those culture clash things, or is my moral compass even more skewed than I thought?
We know he was catching queens - consistently and frequently - because Sorka grounded Brianth from queen flights. We know that the vast majority of those queenriders were way older than Torene. The window of opportunity for that activity starts when he's only fourteen or fifteen. How long before Sorka puts a stop to it? There'd be roughly one queenflight a week, but Brianth's not going to chase every queen rising - he'll have wing duties and threadfall, and some queens will rise right after one he's just caught. One clutch out of an individual Pass-time queen's lifetime of 50-100 clutches is not a major issue for a population, even if you scale that up to multiple queens. It's just a blip in the stats. It's only really a worry when he catches the same queen more than once, so you're probably looking at a good year or so of maybe ten successful flights per year first. I get the impression Brianth had been grounded for a while by the time of TSW, so pick a year of a very happy Brianth sometime between M'hall being 14 and 17. There's some wiggle room in that, but not a great deal - I get the sense that his reputation for flight success was there right the way through Torene's weyrlinghood.

But anyway. I'm not the slightest bit outraged at teenagers having sex, I'm mildly perturbed by the excessive double standards on show. M'hall spends his free time shagging anyone with a dragon, regardless of whether they're a willing ephebophile or not, and lusting after a woman who he's barely exchanged a pleasant word with. His father then gifts him his seniority and the woman of his dreams in the biggest fixed ballot since Zimbabwe last went to the polls.

As for Torene... well, she gets to be a sexless virgin plot token.
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Old Mar 14 2015, 08:14 PM   #14
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

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I'm pretty sure it's one of those culture things. Here in the U.S. age of consent is usually 18, though I hear it varies slightly depending on which state you live in.
Most states, it's 17 and many have 'Romeo and Juliet' laws to protect a case of, say, kids who've been dating since high school where one is 16 and the other's now 18 (but a 16-year-old and, say, a 25-year-old, are still statutory rape no matter what they say they want.)

Culture, and honestly, no adult woman who was psychologically normal would want to have sex with a fourteen- or fifteen-year-old boy, for a variety of reasons. (For a start, boys that age look younger than they are.) Sorka and Sean might have considered more than just worries about genetic bottlenecks (accusations of favoritism and complaints from queen riders might have been up there, too. It couldn't have been especially enjoyable even for the girls where 18 or 19. There's a reason girls usually prefer to date up more than a couple years if presented with the opportunity.)
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Old Mar 14 2015, 08:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

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Originally Posted by Eriflor View Post
Let's not forget, Mihall would be aware of green/gold mating lust from an early age, like all the kids who lived at the Weyr. Though I imagine there was some kind of restraint on the younger ones to keep them from early experimentation.

Any bronze-rider would have had his eye on Torene --- she was beautiful as well as a queen-rider. And once they found out she could hear all dragons, she'd be the obvious choice to lead a future Weyr, and their shot at being Weyrleader.

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The only one she told were the "Weyrleaders" after her first flight with the Queens' Wing in private if I recall it.
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Old Mar 15 2015, 05:20 AM   #16
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Default Re: He was HOW old?

Oh, I'll agree to a fair bit of irritation at the narrative choices. Those I dislike on a number of levels (starting with "special, Torene? Special?" waking up with no idea who you ****ed isn't "special" it's "weird and disturbing").

Hmm, didn't think about the grounding as a factor to inform who he was catching. Although it still seems like a stretch that he jumped to catching so many queens so quickly (age and experience, after all), but yeah, assuming he was a 15-16 year old sleeping with women in their mid-20s minimum, that's weird.

I'd always pictured a recent grounding with a 17-18 year old sleeping with women of about his age, shading mid-twenties, which is mostly okay I think (odd at the extreme end, but given dragons, and how many flights we've seen where they don't even know who they're with until they wake up - which is creepy in and of itself, but it does mean it's not like these ladies were deliberately picking out the teenaged boy...)

Thinking about all the older Queens he actually was catching changes it to a whole different ball game.
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Old Mar 15 2015, 03:01 PM   #17
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I think I remember it being a big deal in DF when F'lar decided to present older candidates, so they would be ready to fight thread when their dragons were.
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Old Mar 15 2015, 03:08 PM   #18
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I think I remember it being a big deal in DF when F'lar decided to present older candidates, so they would be ready to fight thread when their dragons were.
Though, especially if we grit our teeth and take MHoP at face value, that was probably more a reflection of Weyr culture--very few queens (down to one at a time the last few decades), breeding with Interval spacing, Candidates ONLY selected from among the Weyrbred, with such huge gaps the options were likely let the ten-year-old kid stand, or risk he'll never see another clutch until he's too old, while in DE/RSR and Moreta, the candidates come from wider backgrounds and the girls especially are older. Benden at the start of DF is in a weird, unique situation with no dragons and no outside Candidates--F'nor was another who Impressed really young, but F'lon let him stand precisely because he was worried he'd never get another chance at it. F'lar realized for a Pass it was probably best to have riders who'd be closer to mentally and physically ready to fight as soon as their dragons could.
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Old Mar 24 2015, 10:50 PM   #19
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The only one she told were the "Weyrleaders" after her first flight with the Queens' Wing in private if I recall it.
I think the rest of the riders already knew. At the discussion with Sorka, she mentioned the way that the dragons elided their riders' names and those of other riders, and that the other riders became curious about it and wanted to know their own "dragonish" names. So if Torene could hear the names dragons used for each others' riders, clearly she could hear other dragons.

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Old Mar 25 2015, 06:21 PM   #20
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Though, especially if we grit our teeth and take MHoP at face value...
I honestly don't. There are smaller parts of it that I do take at face value - such as Robinton's tragic romance - but not all the stuff that directly conflicts with or contradicts what had been established from the very beginning.
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Old Mar 26 2015, 12:00 AM   #21
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I honestly don't. There are smaller parts of it that I do take at face value - such as Robinton's tragic romance - but not all the stuff that directly conflicts with or contradicts what had been established from the very beginning.
I can take F'nor Impressing young (it tracks with the Benden we see in DF where queens and clutches are few and far between-he'd have had one shot and that was likely it) but I really would like to pretend the whole "Robinton is Forest Gump and is present for every important event in the last fifty years including the fight at Ruatha" never, ever happened...
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