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"Dracarys," or, "Be careful with that word ..."


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#1 Apple Martini

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:15 PM

Thanks to Tze for pointing this out. Further discussion of it doesn't really fit with the thread where I found it, and I think it's interesting in its own right.

 

We don't really know how the Valyrians trained their dragons. We're told that it could be spells and horns, and other possibilities include imprinting, trust-building, powerful will, whatever. Dany, as we all know, uses "dracarys" as the command for her dragons to unleash fire. It starts as a way for them to cook their own meat, and eventually she uses it to kill her enemies (Astapor) or scare them (Yunkai). We don't know if other Targaryen riders had verbal commands for their dragons, given that people who saw riders would probably be too far away from them to know if they had verbal commands or not.

 

What's interesting about "dracarys" is that the dragons seem to "obey" the word, not the person.

 

“Drogon,” Dany said softly, “dracarys.” And she tossed the pork in the air.
Drogon moved quicker than a striking cobra. Flame roared from his mouth, orange and scarlet and black, searing the meat before it began to fall. As his sharp black teeth snapped shut around it, Rhaegal’s head darted close, as if to steal the prize from his brother’s jaws, but Drogon swallowed and screamed, and the smaller green dragon could only hiss in frustration.
“Stop that, Rhaegal,” Dany said in annoyance, giving his head a swat. “You had the last one. I’ll have no greedy dragons.” She smiled at Ser Jorah. “I won’t need to char their meat over a brazier any longer.”
“So I see. Dracarys?”
All three dragons turned their heads at the sound of that word and Viserion let loose with a blast of pale gold flame that made Ser Jorah take a hasty step backward. Dany giggled. “Be careful with that word, ser, or they’re like to singe your beard off. It means 'dragonfire' in High Valyrian. I wanted to choose a command that no one was like to utter by chance."

 

All three dragons respond to the word, and Viserion actually obeys. And Jorah isn't really even commanding, merely asking a question, which can affect the tone and inflection, and yet they still respond.

 

Dany wanted a word that no one was going to say accidentally, but as Tze pointed out, Valyrian isn't exactly an uncommon language in Essos. And when you have dragons around, it's not out of the question that someone somewhere is going to use the word for "dragonfire." Even if it's only to say, "Holy shit, watch out for dragonfire."

 

A verbal command could still be useful if it didn't get out what the verbal command was. But she says the word both in Astapor and when treating with Grazdan Mo Eraz.

 

So, given that it seems to be a case where the word is important here and not so much the one saying it, what are the odds that someone 1. accidentally uses "dracarys" and causes a dragon to unleash unintended fire, and/or 2. intentionally uses "dracarys" in order to get the dragons to attack an specific target?

 

 



#2 Skagosi High Chef

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:20 PM

If that is true the dragons would make for terrible allies. Your enemy could run up and shout the word then run off and they would smoke your army. Dany needs a safe-word or something. Wonder if there is a dragon-whisperer that could help?



#3 Queen‍‍‍‍‍‍ Alysanne‍‍

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:24 PM

I think it worked for Jorah cause Viserion doesn't have a rider.

 

Also only Viserion responded, and Viserion has been shown to be the dragon that looks likely to bond to someone easily compared to Rhaegal.

Drogon (who I believe is bonded to Dany) for instance just responded to the word but didn't unleash flame. 



#4 Apple Martini

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:27 PM

I think it worked for Jorah cause Viserion doesn't have a rider.

 

Also only Viserion responded, and Viserion has been shown to be the dragon that looks likely to bond to someone easily compared to Rhaegal.

Drogon (who I believe is bonded to Dany) for instance just responded to the word but didn't unleash flame. 

 

Funny you should mention this. Because when Dany gives the "dracarys" order to Grazdan, Drogon is the only one to actually unleash fire; the other two respond, but he's the only one to actually burn anything.

 

So what's your excuse for that?



#5 OldGimletEye

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:28 PM

So basically Dracarys is the modern equivalent to a launch code for nuclear weapons and Dany Stormborn is making the launch code public.
 
LOL. Dany Stormborn strikes again!
 
I don't know the answer to your questions, but I got feeling as I read her chapters in WOW I ought to have the theme from the "Benny Hill Show" playing in the background.


#6 Queen‍‍‍‍‍‍ Alysanne‍‍

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:32 PM

 

Funny you should mention this. Because when Dany gives the "dracarys" order to Grazdan, Drogon is the only one to actually unleash fire; the other two respond, but he's the only one to actually burn anything.

 

So what's your excuse for that?

That solidifies my point. Drogon responds to Dany because she is her rider. Viserion doesn't have a rider so his commands is not limited to only Dany.



#7 Apple Martini

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:34 PM

That solidifies my point. Drogon responds to Dany because she is her rider. Viserion doesn't have a rider so his commands is not limited to only Dany.

 

But on the flip side, it means that "dracarys" could in theory be useless if Dany tries to use it on either of them, and/or supports my point that any enterprising dumbfuck could yell "dracarys" and plausibly get either of the only two dragons left in Meereen to obey them.

 

(I'll go ahead and reach the conclusion for you, that that could probably not be a good thing.)


Edited by Apple Martini, 05 January 2014 - 07:34 PM.


#8 Queen‍‍‍‍‍‍ Alysanne‍‍

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:36 PM

 

But on the flip side, it means that "dracarys" could in theory be useless if Dany tries to use it on either of them, and/or supports my point that any enterprising dumbfuck could yell "dracarys" and plausibly get either of the only two dragons left in Meereen to obey them.

 

(I'll go ahead and reach the conclusion for you, that that could probably not be a good thing.)

Yes thats correct, and you're right it probably not a good thing.



#9 Lady Beyond the Wall

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:37 PM

Thanks to Tze for pointing this out. Further discussion of it doesn't really fit with the thread where I found it, and I think it's interesting in its own right.
 
We don't really know how the Valyrians trained their dragons. We're told that it could be spells and horns, and other possibilities include imprinting, trust-building, powerful will, whatever. Dany, as we all know, uses "dracarys" as the command for her dragons to unleash fire. It starts as a way for them to cook their own meat, and eventually she uses it to kill her enemies (Astapor) or scare them (Yunkai). We don't know if other Targaryen riders had verbal commands for their dragons, given that people who saw riders would probably be too far away from them to know if they had verbal commands or not.
 
What's interesting about "dracarys" is that the dragons seem to "obey" the word, not the person.
 

 
All three dragons respond to the word, and Viserion actually obeys. And Jorah isn't really even commanding, merely asking a question, which can affect the tone and inflection, and yet they still respond.
 
Dany wanted a word that no one was going to say accidentally, but as Tze pointed out, Valyrian isn't exactly an uncommon language in Essos. And when you have dragons around, it's not out of the question that someone somewhere is going to use the word for "dragonfire." Even if it's only to say, "Holy shit, watch out for dragonfire."
 
A verbal command could still be useful if it didn't get out what the verbal command was. But she says the word both in Astapor and when treating with Grazdan Mo Eraz.
 
So, given that it seems to be a case where the word is important here and not so much the one saying it, what are the odds that someone 1. accidentally uses "dracarys" and causes a dragon to unleash unintended fire, and/or 2. intentionally uses "dracarys" in order to get the dragons to attack an specific target?


She has taught them a command. So, yes they obey the word. It's the same with a dog learning to sit, no matter who tells them, they sit, if they are well trained. What this shows us is that they are intelligent and can be taught by humans. Just as all animals I'm sure they learn better from those they are bonded with. A trained animal is still not a machine. There is a thought process involved. I don't think just from this example we can discredit Dany as the speaker of the command and say they will obey no matter.

Both 1 and 2 are likely. Jorah did unintentionally use it, and if someone who knew her dragon's commands they could use them against her or a specific target, but as we learned from TPatQ dragons need to trust or have some type of relationship with a human. I think Quentin is the perfect example of how badly this can go wrong. He gave commands, and got roasted. The dragons could have cared less. Since Jorah is around Dany all the time at his point, and the dragons are still young, it makes sense they would obey him.

#10 WeirwoodTreeHugger

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:37 PM

It would be funny if Jorah was the third rider all along.  It doesn't have to be a Targ after all.



#11 Apple Martini

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:38 PM

Since Jorah is around Dany all the time at his point, and the dragons are still young, it makes sense they would obey him.

 

In which case the idea that one needs Valyrian blood to train a dragon takes a pretty drastic hit, no?



#12 OldGimletEye

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:40 PM

 

In which case the idea that one needs Valyrian blood to train a dragon takes a pretty drastic hit, no?

 

Yes, I think the Ministry of Targ Propaganda would be very upset.



#13 Lady Beyond the Wall

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:41 PM

In which case the idea that one needs Valyrian blood to train a dragon takes a pretty drastic hit, no?

  

it does! I think that was the point of Nettles as well.

Yes, I think the Ministry of Targ Propaganda would be very upset.


Ha!

#14 Queen‍‍‍‍‍‍ Alysanne‍‍

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:44 PM

She has taught them a command. So, yes they obey the word. It's the same with a dog learning to sit, no matter who tells them, they sit, if they are well trained. What this shows us is that they are intelligent and can be taught by humans. Just as all animals I'm sure they learn better from those they are bonded with. A trained animal is still not a machine. There is a thought process involved. I don't think just from this example we can discredit Dany as the speaker of the command and say they will obey no matter.

Both 1 and 2 are likely. Jorah did unintentionally use it, and if someone who knew her dragon's commands they could use them against her or a specific target, but as we learned from TPatQ dragons need to trust or have some type of relationship with a human. I think Quentin is the perfect example of how badly this can go wrong. He gave commands, and got roasted. The dragons could have cared less. Since Jorah is around Dany all the time at his point, and the dragons are still young, it makes sense they would obey him.

Actually alot of prople know the command.

 

“Dracarys!” they shouted back, the sweetest word she’d ever heard. “Dracarys! Dracarys!”
 
These were her men or the slaves.


#15 Lady Beyond the Wall

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:44 PM

In which case the idea that one needs Valyrian blood to train a dragon takes a pretty drastic hit, no?


Makes me then ask, well what about hatching them? Dany still has a lot of mystique relating to the dragons, training aside.

#16 WeaselPie

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:45 PM

So... dragons have some some of genetic language memory from Valyria?



#17 Apple Martini

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:45 PM

Makes me then ask, well what about hatching them? Dany still has a lot of mystique relating to the dragons, training aside.

 

I tend to believe GRRM at his word, that it was a freak incident.



#18 Lady Beyond the Wall

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:45 PM

Actually alot of prople know the command.
 
“Dracarys!” they shouted back, the sweetest word she’d ever heard. “Dracarys! Dracarys!”
 
These were her men or the slaves.


Oh yeah! Forgot about that part!

#19 Lady Beyond the Wall

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:46 PM

So... dragons have some some of genetic language memory from Valyria?


It's what she taught them with. No different than training my dog in German.

#20 Apple Martini

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:47 PM

 

Actually alot of prople know the command.

 

“Dracarys!” they shouted back, the sweetest word she’d ever heard. “Dracarys! Dracarys!”
 
These were her men or the slaves.

 

 

And Drogon was the only dragon in the vicinity at the time, yes? And by your own estimation, Drogon would only obey Dany anyway because of their bond.

 

But yeah, the command itself is pretty widespread knowledge.