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Old Dec 5 2013, 03:49 PM   #1
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To what extent do you think that Moretta is what Lessa would have been if Fax had not wrecked her childhood?
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Old Dec 5 2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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Huh. Odd way of looking at it since Moreta was a small-holder, while Lessa was born to Ruathan blood which means even without Fax, Lessa's upbringing would have been very different. There's also the issue of even without Fax, there's a long interval and one Weyr that's slid into disarray. On the other OTHER hand, we know (inasmuch as we want to take MHOP at face value and not as some sort of Pernese biography of Robinton-sort of like stories about Washington chopping down the cherry tree or flinging a dollar across the Potomac) that some things about Benden's leadership would have been different without disruptions caused by Fax. That brings in, who is F'lar if his father lives and the old queen is under better control?

Given that Lessa would have relatives (brothers, brothers-in-law, cousins, etc) for them to chose from, her father would have no reason not to give her up on Search (the way Leef refused Search for Alessan as he'd already chosen him to succeed) and being HAD she'd almost certainly Impress gold. But even in a best-case scenario (F'lon alive and Weyrleader, with at least one living senior Queen) she'd probably be, weirdly, more like Kylara than Moreta. Moreta was a hold girl who Impressed at a Weyr full of queens on a planet full of dragons. Lessa would be a Lord's daughter who, while not as wanton as Kylara, would have been raised in a very different environment where she would be indulged, taught certain behaviors, and most importantly would NOT have learned to achieve her ends by sabotage and sneaking around. And with her family, likely to have taken Tradition and the old laws very seriously, behind her, you would almost certainly not have the situation where no one explains or treats her like an adult. She'd not only not put up with it, she'd have a very different means of expressing her opinions. Where I think they'd really differ is I don't think Lessa could have put up with a situation like Moreta and Sh'gall--where the Weyrleader is someone the Weyrwoman really doesn't like but recognizes as capable.
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Old Dec 6 2013, 07:07 AM   #3
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Very little. A closer comparison might be between Lessa and Mardra - they're related, after all. Mardra shows all the flaws of a lifetime of privilege -- she expects to be treated a certain way by right of birth and position, and together with T'ron they effectively encourage that mindset in the other riders of their Weyr, and it becomes their undoing in the end.

Lessa still goes out and takes what she wants from life, but she doesn't expect to have it handed to her on a plate.

Moreta, on the other hand, I see as a much better person. She serves her Weyr at least as much as she leads it, and she exhibits very good compartmentalisation skills, dividing what she does in life from what she wants for herself. She finds Alessan for herself, and she accepts Sh'gall for the benefit of Orlith and the Weyr, and she's prepared to sacrifice the former relationship and alter the latter relationship when it's necessary and not just when it suits her to do so. I think that's why I like her so much.
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Old Dec 8 2013, 06:37 PM   #4
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We also see Moreta when she is well-established as Weyrwoman. Our most extended view of Lessa is in Dragonflight, when she is fairly isolated both because of her position and by her personality/choice.

Although they both do risk sacrificing everything for the good of Pern...
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Old Dec 9 2013, 12:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
We also see Moreta when she is well-established as Weyrwoman. Our most extended view of Lessa is in Dragonflight, when she is fairly isolated both because of her position and by her personality/choice.
And by her bizarre circumstances...Moreta 'grew up' as a gold rider surrounded by other gold riders--mentors like Leri, peers, and juniors. Lessa was completely alone as far as role models go. For teachers, she had R'gul, who was almost deliberately keeping her in the dark (it's a little easier to understand him if one remembers that he's trying in his way to protect her as most of his knowledge of queens has been "keep this very rare and vital creature safe because without her, we're extinct") and F'lar, who is also at times not telling her everything when a lot of his problems with her would be solved by having a straight conversation. Moreta had a lot more advantages besides the lack of a traumatic childhood.
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Old Dec 9 2013, 11:32 AM   #6
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So: if Fax had not given Lessa and her family such a terrible awakening, could she have turned out more like Moreta, secure in her skills? And would she have been able to do what she did (travel to bring forward the old timers) if her upbringing had been 'normal'?
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Old Dec 10 2013, 02:47 PM   #7
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Maybe. But again, without Fax, you're still talking about a situation where she has no peers and the Weyr's in disfavor. Moreta had a ton of roll models and no issues with holders not believing in the Pass. It would depend not just on Lessa's upbringing (Kylara's was relatively normal for a Blooded girl, after all, and it didn't help much) but also in how R'gul and F'lar were different. Lessa-without-Fax is still not going to put up well with R'gul's teaching techniques, with the question--does she keep resorting to sneaking and playing the younger riders against him, or does she take a more imperious open form of objection, and how does he respond to that? And again, without Fax, is F'lon alive? If so, how does that change F'lar? For that matter, how would HE relate to Lessa? With F'lon alive, is Jora dead, too? How would Lessa the junior Weyrwoman do?

And of course, if you didn't have a sneaky, devious, quasi-amoral Lessa and a F'lar defined by his father's death and R'gul's Weyrleadership (if you can call it leadership), what happens when Thread comes? Does Lessa make the jump back in time? Without being leader would it be F'lar who comes up with the idea to do it?

I don't think Lessa would ever be a Moreta I. Moreta is a product of her times (she Impressed well into a Pass and wasn't raised from birth with the notion she was one of the leading class). She acts a bit more like a reasonable business or military leader might. I don't think you ever get that with Lessa, but you might get a far less devious Lessa without her needing to be sneaky to survive. Possibly even one better-equipped to deal with Kylara (who's imperious AND spoiled) without resorting to "get rid of her at all costs." Lessa would have essentially been raised in Kylara's peer group, had a much clearer rank (Ruatha is the older hold, she'd have taken precedence) and been accustomed to dealing with a petty schemer like her without her only practice being "set up the desolation of a hold and the murder of a lord holder."
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Old Dec 10 2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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It might be interesting to retell Dragonflight written in the first person from Lessa's p.o.v.
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Old Dec 10 2013, 04:33 PM   #9
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This is a really good question, and an interesting one to answer. I don't think Lessa and Moreta are anything alike personality-wise, and would not be the same even in very similar circumstances.

I agree with some of the theories already put forth about a Pernwhere Fax didn't come to power...a Lessa in a world where Fax didn't go on his rampage would be a Lessa voluntarily given to the Weyr by her family, due to her being HAD and the youngest female child. There would be no need to prevent her from being Searched.

As the daughter of a Lord, she would be use to a certain rank and comfort. However, as a girl and the youngest, she probably would be feeling a bit overlooked in her abilities. I think she would be intelligent and capable, but not fully given all the resources she needed to fully develop herself, because she had older brothers. So I think she'd have a thirst to prove that she's more than just a pampered girl-child. But it would take a different form than the drive she had as an orphan drudge living in the filthy corners of her family's once prosperous Hold.

Depending on how much of MHoP you take as canon...F'lon would be Weyrleader when Lessa is Searched. F'lar and F'nor both would have learned much more from F'lon since he wouldn't have died young, and would have kept the Weyr in as good standing as possible given the lack of threadfall, and also they would have known Robinton from an early age since Robinton wouldn't have fallen off the face of the planet during their formative years like he did in MHoP. Even if Jora was a crappy example of a Weyrwoman, I think between F'lon, F'lar, F'nor, Manora, and Robinton Lessa could end up being fairly grounded, and as educated as Pern's spotty records let her be. I think she might still be encouraged not to "endanger" herself, so a lot of Dragonflight in terms of learning where the Weyrs went could still occur, with Lessa's main motivation being to prove herself as the Weyrwoman to a bunch of men who still thought her very young.

You could end up with a scenario where Simanth, and not Mnementh first flies Ramoth. Or a scenario where Mnementh beats out Simanth on Ramoth's first flight and the Weyr goes from F'lon to F'lar. There could be some strife between F'lar and F'lon there, father vs. son. Would Jora still die when she did if F'lon was Weyrleader all those years and not R'gul? Hard to say. So Lessa could be defacto Weyrwoman the moment she Impresses, or it might take a few turns for Jora to die. She could be a bone of contention between F'lar and F'lon.

(Oh dear...I just had a plotbunny take up residence and begin breeding. AU soap opera Pern where Fax didn't rampage: Lessa is Searched and goes to Benden. She Impresses. F'lon and F'lar fight over her affections and for the Weyr, father vs. son. Lessa decides to seduce Robinton instead because F'lon and F'lar are idiots and she knows it'll piss at least F'lon off. F'lon and F'lar unite and go "WTF?!" at Robinton. Robinton is eventually dumped by Lessa because he's too nice. You know--this IS starting to sound like a Kylara...)
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Old Dec 12 2013, 07:50 PM   #10
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I think it would be most interesting to see Lessa as a junior Weyrwoman for a while. (Not to mention a Jora who didn't lack F'lon's influence.) As a younger daughter, she might well be used to not being Madame Fullcharge, so she'd probably be better suited to the idea than Kylara was as Lessa was likely not spoiled.

I think F'lar-F'lon conflict would really depend on how each views Thread. Without his father dying, F'lar doesn't have the primary driving NEED to be Weyrleader young that he does when F'lon's dead. Remember initially F'lar needs Lessa because he needs the Weyrleadership and he's grooming her. Also, a lot of what he respects about her is born out of her needing to spend years hiding and manipulating, something that goes away without Fax. If anything the brother she has friendlier, more natural relationship with initially is F'nor. In an AU Pern, does she like F'lar better romantically, but F'lon keeps the leadership? Does she like F'lar at all?
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Old Dec 13 2013, 03:20 PM   #11
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In an AU like that, I think a F'lon/F'lar conflict would be inevitable due to their personality differences and without an external conflict to drive them together. (Hm, I guess thread is an external conflict, which might mean you're right...) I think even without him believing the fate of the entire planet rests on him being in charge, F'lar would still be much more intense and serious than his father, more broody. They'd be more or less rooting for the same thing, but have different ways of how to go about it, and that's where I see the conflict coming in. F'lon does one thing, since he's been Weyrleader for decades, and has relationships with various Holds and Halls, and F'lar sees it not working and then jumps in with his own plans? Then by the end F'lar comes around to his POV and they work together?

I could see Lessa befriending F'nor first, but I think it'd go in a very Rowan/Afra way eventually. I do think the romantic chemistry would still push Lessa towards F'lar, or maybe F'lon. Or maybe she'd stay unaffiliated? And take whomever she wants to bed? Lessa in a world with Fax had all her family taken away; that might make her more prone to monogamy than a world where she could always visit her family for support. Here's something for the brain-bleach: Lessa and Toric! Fireworks and shrapnel! Run for the hills! Ehehehehe...

Or, if she remained junior weyrwoman in Benden, she'd eventually move to Fort to be closer to home, and in the traditional most powerful Weyr? She was a bit awed in the books at being a successor to Moreta if I recall.

With Jora--in MHoP they're actually sort of dicks towards her, F'lon and Robinton both. Or at least I thought they were on my last re-read. I don't think she would flourish with F'lon in charge. R'gul was worse overall, but I don't think F'lon would be much better for her as an individual. He would have been better for the Weyr as a whole, but not one timid, lonely Weyrwoman.
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