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Posted (edited)
On 3/7/2019 at 2:00 PM, Lord Varys said:

'''We also know that Jaehaerys and Alysanne took three days on a quick flight to Oldtown, spending the two nights on the way, first at Bitterbridge, the second at Highgarden.

This means that you can comfortably fly the distance KL-Bitterbridge, Bitterbridge-Highgarden, and Highgarden-Oldtown in a day....

 

About how far is this in miles for each day's flight?

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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Posted (edited)

What is needed to hatch dragon eggs, seems to be a lot of fire heat, and magic, and fire-sacrifice of something large and living. An example is where Dany hatches her 3 dragon eggs in the land of the Dothraki at the end of the book "A Game of Thrones".

I recently came across a Game of Thrones fan-fiction (sorry, I did not think to bookmark a link to it), where a dragon egg had been buried in the roots of a weirwood tree :: in the story, the magic from the tree seems to have weakened the natural magical barrier that stopped hatching, until the egg hatched without fire to a minimal sacrifice of Valyrian blood :: a boy of part-Valyrian ancestry dug the egg out, and in the process cut his hand somewhat on a sharp edge or point of cut weirwood tree root, and bled on the egg, which promptly hatched.

 

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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7 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

About how far is this in miles for each day's flight?

 

A bit under 400 miles.

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On 5/3/2019 at 7:11 AM, Anthony Appleyard said:

> but there's just no way a flying animal could do so.

Unless magic helped out.

> to assume they have a metabolism closer to mammalian than reptilian.

Dinosaurs were warm-blooded also.

 

Well, if 'magic helps out' then there's very little we can safely deduce about the real-world characteristics of dragons or their behaviors because assumptions we make about starting conditions are unmanageably arbitrary. I mean, the dragons have huge wingspans, and wings with thin, translucent membranes between digits I assume to catch and contact as much air as possible, as bats do nowadays and pterosaurs in the past, because that's how flight works in an atmosphere not unlike the Earth's. But, if 'magic helps out' they may have those wings only to look cool and appear more intimidating.

This article - which I realize is from 2015 - is a pretty good explainer on the (somewhat) recent discussion/debate about thermoregulation in dinosaurs. But even if everyone agreed on how dinosaurs thermoregulated, what about their nature is being used to give us some workable knowledge of the biology of dragons in ASOIAF? Real question, not sassiness or sarcasm.

For me, an animal that can breathe fire at will is much more safely assumed to be warm-blooded because they have to be able to generate the heat that will cause whatever chemicals are emitted from their mouths to ignite, which doesn't happen at 'room temperature' since the dragons aren't exploding randomly from the inside where the chemicals are produced/stored.

Unless, of course, 'magic helps out' and we're back at having next to no safe starting points for assumptions for any of our calculations.

What do you think? If we must concede magic exists in-universe (and we know it does), what are some legitimate parameters we can place on its 'effectiveness' so we can even begin to talk about reaching meaningful conclusions about dragons' biology and behavior?

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On 3/7/2019 at 7:19 PM, Anthony Appleyard said:

(2) How far can they fly before they need to rest and land and feed?

(3) How much does flaming drain their flight-energy?

There are no certain answers to these. but for 2, we know Valyrians and Targs used dragons to cross seas into other continents, so they can most likely travel quite far before they tire out. 

For 3, I think flaming doesn't have a big impact on flying or energy level. Dragons like Balerion flew and also melted stone without requiring rest immediately after. During the conquest of Dorne, Balerion and Vhagar spend days burning and flying without mentions of long sleeping intervals in between. 

Remember that dragons are magical creatures. So they probably tire when the rider tires. 

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7 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

>1 There are no certain answers to these. but for 2, we know Valyrians and Targs used dragons to cross seas into other continents, so they can most likely travel quite far before they tire out. 

>2 Remember that dragons are magical creatures. So they probably tire when the rider tires. 

As regards caret 1, look at a map of Essos, showing also the distances over the Summer Sea to Sothoryos/the Summer Islands, and the Narrow Sea to Westeros, and we see that actually the distance into other continents is not so great as the distance over singular continents, at least Essos considered east to west or Westeros considered north to south. I mention this because the Valyrians had trading outposts on Sothoryos, went to the Summer Islands sometimes, and had a half a handful of lower-upper class families settled on islands in the Narrow Sea before the Doom. The Freehold proper seems to have been constrained to continental Essos, suggesting perhaps, that dragons couldn't fly as far without respite as may seem otherwise; if they could the Valyrians would've made farther inroads into more distant territories in the many centuries in which they were a great power.

As regards caret 2, even assuming that dragons are magical creatures, why is it that the second position necessarily follows from the first? To illustrate why I think this is a non-sequitur, replace 'tire when the rider tires' with any number of other mental, emotional or physical states. To wit: 'Remember that dragons are magical creatures. So they probably get horny when the rider gets horny.' Or 'Remember that dragons are magical creatures. So they probably fear turning into their parents when the rider fears turning into their parents.' Or even 'Remember that dragons are magical creatures. So they probably get confused by double negatives when the rider gets confused by double negatives.' We quickly come to see the inane nature of some of these 'Rider feels A, so dragon must feel A' statements. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm only asking why it is that a dragon being magical would tie its own physical condition at any given moment to its riders.

And not to belabor the point, but dragons spend most of their lives and time in the air riderless, and we must therefore ask - if you're correct - when do dragons get tired whenever it is they don't have riders which is, of course, most of the time?

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@asimetrikal

Dragons or any flyer can cover bigger landmasses because even if they do tire, they can just make stops on the way. They can't do the same when they are crossing oceans. 

In AWOIAF it's strongly hinted that dragons did come to Westeros in ancient times, given the weird stone structures that resemble Valyrian stuff forged by dragonfire. And there are bones of dragons found all over the known world, even in Westeros. 

They are magical and have special magical connections with the rider. That's why only people with the blood of old Valyria can ride them, and no one else. Hints in ADwD that dragon control is related to the rider's will connected to the dragon magically. But these are just possible suggestions. When the rider wants to rest, the dragon might stop therefore. 

I'm not sure dragons with riders get airborne without them "most of the time." Dany's dragons do because she doesn't keep them in a dragonpit, until ADwD at least. 

In any case, there are no mentions of a dragon ever tiring in the books. Dany's dragons do sleep, but when they fly and play, they don't get tired. In descriptions of Aegon's conquest, it doesn't come up either. Like Aegon doesn't have to change his battle plans because Balerion needs rest, you know, like a horse. There's one story of a rider, Nettles, riding a dragon far out into the sea. They are never seen again, so a maester speculates that the dragon might have gotten fatigued and crashed out there somewhere in the ocean. But there's a lady in ACoK in the Vale mountains that some people say is Nettles so the dragon might not have crashed after all. 

 

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Posted (edited)

@Ghost+Nymeria4Eva

Okay, kudos on the bit about no textual evidence that dragons ever get tired.

We know Dany's dragons were free flying most of the time, and they weren't sequestered in that pit for long, and while they were there they don't seem to have been content or done particularly well. As for evidence that dragons were confined to pits in the past, I know it exists, but I don't know how regular it was or even how feasible for the particularly large specimens.

Also, I'd like to direct your attention to this StackExchange, well, exchange, about whether or not one has to be a Targaryen to ride a dragon (and yes, this bleeds over into the question of whether or not one even has to be 'Valyrian' to ride a dragon). I mean, what is the 'blood of Old Valyria' anyway? The Targaryens, to say nothing of the other Valyrian houses in Westeros, have been marrying out, however slowly, and 'diluting' (for lack of a better word) whatever this 'blood' is. The first answer in that StackExchange makes the point that while dragonseeds, those people not of the Valyrian houses of Westeros who could ride dragons and employed during the Dance of the Dragons, were explained away as being 'bastard children' we don't actually know that that's true. This could have been cover for the competing dynasties to maintain the facade of prestige that even came from the notion of 'the blood of Old Valyria'. Moreover, some of these dragonseeds had features decidedly 'un-Valyrian' (in their physical appearance, I mean), indicating either possession of none of this pixie dust 'blood' or such a small percentage that it may not be a bar to riding a dragon. After all, since the Doom we only have Valyrian families who had dragons to even ride, and since the dragons were the backbone of their power, why not cement that monopoly with a cultural taboo against anyone not related to them having any ability whatsoever to exercise influence over that backbone?

This is, all, of course, academic and somewhat tangential to the original question I asked you, which was about the dragon's magical connection to the rider's state, which given your somewhat sourced response I'm more ready to accept as part of their constitution.

What do you think of the StackExchange question?

Edited by asimetrikal
Forgot to link reference material

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45 minutes ago, asimetrikal said:

@Ghost+Nymeria4Eva

Okay, kudos on the bit about no textual evidence that dragons ever get tired.

We know Dany's dragons were free flying most of the time, and they weren't sequestered in that pit for long, and while they were there they don't seem to have been content or done particularly well. As for evidence that dragons were confined to pits in the past, I know it exists, but I don't know how regular it was or even how feasible for the particularly large specimens.

Also, I'd like to direct your attention to this StackExchange, well, exchange, about whether or not one has to be a Targaryen to ride a dragon (and yes, this bleeds over into the question of whether or not one even has to be 'Valyrian' to ride a dragon). I mean, what is the 'blood of Old Valyria' anyway? The Targaryens, to say nothing of the other Valyrian houses in Westeros, have been marrying out, however slowly, and 'diluting' (for lack of a better word) whatever this 'blood' is. The first answer in that StackExchange makes the point that while dragonseeds, those people not of the Valyrian houses of Westeros who could ride dragons and employed during the Dance of the Dragons, were explained away as being 'bastard children' we don't actually know that that's true. This could have been cover for the competing dynasties to maintain the facade of prestige that even came from the notion of 'the blood of Old Valyria'. Moreover, some of these dragonseeds had features decidedly 'un-Valyrian' (in their physical appearance, I mean), indicating either possession of none of this pixie dust 'blood' or such a small percentage that it may not be a bar to riding a dragon. After all, since the Doom we only have Valyrian families who had dragons to even ride, and since the dragons were the backbone of their power, why not cement that monopoly with a cultural taboo against anyone not related to them having any ability whatsoever to exercise influence over that backbone?

This is, all, of course, academic and somewhat tangential to the original question I asked you, which was about the dragon's magical connection to the rider's state, which given your somewhat sourced response I'm more ready to accept as part of their constitution.

What do you think of the StackExchange question?

You must be a Targ to ride a Targ family dragon. And you must have the blood of one of the other 39 Valyrian Dragonlord families to ride a dragon from one of those families.

A Targ cannot ride a dragon from another Dragonlord family and vice versa. To steal a dragon from another family’s bloodline, you likely need a Dragonhorn, powered by some heavy blood sacrifice spell.

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2 hours ago, asimetrikal said:

@Ghost+Nymeria4Eva

 The first answer in that StackExchange makes the point that while dragonseeds, those people not of the Valyrian houses of Westeros who could ride dragons and employed during the Dance of the Dragons, were explained away as being 'bastard children' we don't actually know that that's true. This could have been cover for the competing dynasties to maintain the facade of prestige that even came from the notion of 'the blood of Old Valyria'. Moreover, some of these dragonseeds had features decidedly 'un-Valyrian' (in their physical appearance, I mean), indicating either possession of none of this pixie dust 'blood' or such a small percentage that it may not be a bar to riding a dragon.

Or whatever their other inheritance was.

If a Valyrian silver blonde dragonrider has children with a Lannister, who is a blonde but a golden blonde, and also has children with a Summer Islander negro, will the mulatto half-siblings be as blonde and have as Valyrian looks as their Lannister half-siblings? Yet both have equal amount of Valyrian descent.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, asimetrikal said:

After all, since the Doom we only have Valyrian families who had dragons to even ride, and since the dragons were the backbone of their power, why not cement that monopoly with a cultural taboo against anyone not related to them having any ability whatsoever to exercise influence over that backbone?

I think this was something that was discussed at length on this forum--whether non-Targs could ride dragons. So blood of Old Valyria means those who descend from the old dragonlords of Valyria. After the Doom happened, only one dragonlord family is left: the Targs on Dragonstone. 

There is no cultural taboo or anything regarding who could ride dragons. In AWOIAF, it's shown that there were wild (non claimed) dragons on Dragonstone. No one tries to claim them. There's some type of contest that a Targ prince commissions to find riders for these dragons during the Dance. At the time, both dragons and Targs were dying. Only one baseborn rider manages to tame one of the dragons. Some people have taken this as proof non Targs could ride dragons. But GRRM pointedly mentions that on Dragonstone there's all these "dragonseed"-- essentially illegitimate children fathered by Targ princes. It's mentioned that many of them can rightfully claim Targ heritage. 

Nettles, the dragonseed, doesn't have the telltale Valyrian looks either. She kind of looks like Arya. This is probably a big hint regarding Jon's heritage, before it was officially outed, that Jon is a half Targ who just looks a lot like his mother. 

When dragons did exist, we never see anyone without Valyrian heritage riding one. Valyrians get into all these wars with other powerful groups. No one ever captures or rides these dragons. Back in Westeros, when dragons are in the pit, you don't have anyone like handlers riding or training the dragons. You know, like horses. Only the Valyrians can do so. 

I've seen early theories as you say that Targs imposed cultural taboos that prevented others from riding a dragon. But it's hard to maintain considering how desirable dragons are. It doesn't explain how rich Essosi merchants didn't pay people to steal baby dragons so they could ride them. I mean some literally grew in the wild, unguarded, on Dragonstone, so grabbing one wouldn't have been that difficult. When Dany goes to Qarth, Xaro really wants one of her dragons. But he doesn't steal one, and only asks Dany to willingly give him one. First, he tries to marry Dany and get a dragon as a wedding gift. Then there's poor Quentyn Martell, who dies trying to tame Viserion or Rhaegal. He thinks he does everything right but the dragons only listen to Dany. 

GRRM strongly hints a magical reason for this. Targs say dragons are their kin. So there are lots of fan theories out there about how dragons and humans could have "magically melded." Valyrian sphinxes are another hint. Regular sphinxes are normal showing features of three creatures. But Valyrian ones show head of a human and a body of a dragon. 

And it goes further in Fire&Blood. There's this story about a Targ princess who takes off on Balerion. No one knows where she went, but she returns incredibly sickly. Septon Barth tends to her, but he is horrified by her weird illness. Her body temperature gets so hot as to cook her skin. And the septon sees these creatures in her belly: worm-like things with human faces. And remember Dany's baby, who has lizard skin and bat wings. There are similar miscarriages down the Targ line, where babies are born with wyrm-human features and never survive. 

Anyway, all this points to blood magic that makes it possible to ride dragons. They are not normal, rideable creatures like horses. They are significantly magical, much like direwolves who can warg with Starks and greenseers. So these two families have some type of magical blood that makes these fantastic skills possible. 

2 hours ago, asimetrikal said:

This is, all, of course, academic and somewhat tangential to the original question I asked you, which was about the dragon's magical connection to the rider's state, which given your somewhat sourced response I'm more ready to accept as part of their constitution.

It's a personal theory from Dany's ADwD chapters. When Dany rides Drogon, she realizes that usual tricks used with horses, like whips and nudging, don't work with Drogon. Dany is an expert horserider so she knows her stuff here. She doesn't really know how to control him. However, Drogon manages to get her where she wants to go. He comes to her when she needs him, like in Daznak's pit, where Dany really doesn't want to stay and actually says take me away. I don't have the quotes right now, I'd have to re-read and attach. I thought it indicated that the dragon follows the rider's will. That's why we don't really see dragonriders use equipment like horse riders do. 

Fun fact: Dany remembers dragon horns out of nowhere in ADwD, which supposedly controlled dragons. The book introduces the Dragonbinder, a magic horn Euron says can bind a dragon to him. However, dragon horns are not mentioned anywhere else in the series or the supplement books. It's never mentioned that dragonlords of old Valyria used horns or whips to control dragons. The Targs never do either (otherwise their family would have possessed several of these). 

2 hours ago, asimetrikal said:

What do you think of the StackExchange question?

Technically, non-Targs can ride dragons as long as they have the blood of Old Valyria. Of course, as these bloodlines get diluted, not everyone gets the ability to ride a dragon. The rule so far as we can discern goes like this: being a Targ doesn't guarantee that you can be a dragonrider, but you can never be a dragonrider without the blood of Old Valyria. 

I tried to find the old threads, but don't know how to search the forums. They were here before the site got a revamp. 

Here's the link to the princess with human wyrms in her:

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Aerea_Targaryen

This is a theory video about the origin of dragons, which may explain how only the blood of Old Valyria can ride them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5Ae4yvEHrE

Edited by Ghost+Nymeria4Eva

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Posted (edited)
 
 
 
 
3
 
 
 
36 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:
 
 
 
 
3
35 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:
34 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

Technically, non-Targs can ride dragons as long as they have the blood of Old Valyria. Of course, as these bloodlines get diluted, not everyone gets the ability to ride a dragon. The rule so far as we can discern goes like this: being a Targ doesn't guarantee that you can be a dragonrider, but you can never be a dragonrider without the blood of Old Valyria.

But to respond to the above quoted text, I feel what you've written here actually bolsters my point: the bloodlines get diluted (again, whatever that means), and not everyone gets the ability to ride a dragon. Well, what decides who DOES get the ability to ride one? Valyria began its expansion after the fall of Ghis some thousands of years before the events of the novels, yes? Is everyone cognizant of the extent to which their genes would have spread throughout the world by that point? Even if we only limited those who could ride the dragons to one of the forty families of dragonlords, the gene would have spread into every land which had people living in it after thousands of years. This article from PHYS.org contains the following paragraph:

Quote

Ralph and Coop calculated that these shared segments showed ancestors stretching back some 3,000 years, or 100 generations. This lends support to Chang's calculation that by expanding his model from living Europeans to everyone alive on Earth, an all-ancestor generation would have occurred some 3,400 years ago.

I fully recommend reading the entire article, it's fascinating, but for me it shows that after 3,000 or so years, everyone in our world is related to (and thus shares genes with) everyone else. If the Valyrians started their empire 5,000 years ago when they defeated the Ghiscari, and they were able to do this because of their use of dragons as weapons of war, then the association of blood, magic and dragonriding began 5,000 years ago, and in the time between then and that of the novels, the 'blood of Old Valyria' would have diluted/pervaded/migrated (call it what you want) through all the people of their world. The same problem occurs with the 'Stark' warging ability.

All of this is to say there must be something more than consanguinity that allows someone to be a dragonrider, or looked at through the other end of the scope, prohibits them from being one. I mean even the notion of 'blood quantum' becomes slightly laughable when considering that dragons are extremely dangerous. Consider:

'Oh, you're Targaryen? Go ahead and saddle up then, the dragons won't burn you to a crisp.'

'Well what about my second cousin there? Can he try to climb atop one too?'

'Second cousin, you said?'

'Yeh, that's right.'

'Okay well that means he's 12.5% the blood of Old Valyria, and the dragon will accept that. But you try to let anyone less than 10% on there and it's your ass!'

 

Now of course the above hypothetical is silly and inane, but that's purposeful to use the exchange as an illustration of just how nebulous this concept of 'blood of Old Valyria' is. The way I'm reading what evidence I see is this: those who end up taming/riding/bonding with a dragon are said to have 'the blood of Old Valyria', and those that get fucked up trying to do it, like Quentyn Martell, either don't have 'the blood of Old Valyria' or somehow, 'not enough'. The whole notion seems to me to be dangerously close to circular reasoning (You can ride dragons if you have the blood of Old Valyria, and you have the blood of Old Valyria if you can ride dragons.) but perhaps more importantly doesn't really have much explanatory power.

 

I do have a request for your sources, good sir (madam?). You've made frequent mention of 'strong hints' and the like that dragons and riders are bound magically. Can you give me some book and page numbers? I have all the ASOIAF series as e-pubs, and I can buy/check out digitally from my local library the books I may need to if you can cite those details so I can get a feel for what you mean when you say that.

Cheers!

Edited by asimetrikal

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Posted (edited)

@asimetrikal

Right, I think you are making the mistake of applying real-world genetics to GRRM's magical fantasy series. Of course, if the dragon-riding ability was genuinely genetic, then there would be a lot of people around the world who can ride dragons, especially given the fact that Valyria was an empire. 

You do make an interesting point a about circular logic. But I'd say you might be able to ride a dragon if you have Valyrian blood, but if you can ride a dragon, then you do have Valyrian blood. The ability to have dragons is also affected by certain actions like kinslaying. In Dance, Targs kill other Targs, and the dragons that are born afterwards are weaker. Eventually, all the dragons die out as Targ infighting intensifies and they increasingly marry outside their family. (There's also a conspiracy theory that people who hate magic--maesters-- might be cursing them). 

Rather than genes, this whole thing is probably governed by sacrificial blood magic. The dragonlords marry their kin, but they also sacrifice their kin (not killing them, but offering them to the fire). Dany's dragons are born after she sacrifices her son to that magic spell. The miscarriages show signs of blood sacrifices like the one Dany experiences with Rhaego. Now if a Targ marry a Baratheon, a beloved relative from the latter's family doesn't go into the fire as a sacrifice. That may play a role in how the magic ability "gets diluted." 

I wouldn't worry too much about how genetics carry the blood magic gene. GRRM might have intended genes to play a role, but some thirty years ago he might have gotten the science wrong. After all, he came up with the idea that Cersei's children couldn't possibly be Baratheons simply because they don't have black hair, and that all Baratheon bastards absolutely must have black hair. 

Some ADwD quotes:

This one is from the scene where Dany has had it with the fighting pits and wants to go away and close the pits:

Quote

Hizdahr ignored the eunuch. “Magnificence, the people of Meereen have come to celebrate our union. You heard them cheering you. Do not cast away their love.”
“It was my floppy ears they cheered, not me. Take me from this abbatoir, husband.” She could hear the boar snorting, the shouts of the spear-men, the crack of the pitmaster’s whip.
“Sweet lady, no. Stay only a while longer. For the folly, and one last match. Close your eyes, no one will see. They will be watching Belaquo and Ghogor. This is no time for—”
A shadow rippled across his face.
The tumult and the shouting died. Ten thousand voices stilled. Every eye turned skyward. A warm wind brushed Dany’s cheeks, and above the beating of her heart she heard the sound of wings.

Quote

The hero leapt onto his back and drove the iron spearpoint down at the base of the dragon’s long scaled neck.
Dany and Drogon screamed as one.

Quote

The dragon gave one last hiss and stretched out flat upon his belly. Black blood was flowing from the wound where the spear had pierced him, smoking where it dripped onto the scorched sands. He is fire made flesh, she thought, and so am I.

Quote

The lash was still in her hand. She flicked it against Drogon’s neck and cried, “Higher!” Her other hand clutched at his scales, her fingers scrabbling for purchase. Drogon’s wide black wings beat the air. Dany could feel the heat of him between her thighs. Her heart felt as if it were about to burst. Yes, she thought, yes, now, now, do it, do it, take me, take me, FLY!

Quote

She would sooner have returned to Meereen on dragon’s wings, to be sure. But that was a desire Drogon did not seem to share.
The dragonlords of old Valyria had controlled their mounts with binding spells and sorcerous horns. Daenerys made do with a word and a whip. Mounted on the dragon’s back, she oft felt as if she were learning to ride all over again. When she whipped her silver mare on her right flank the mare went left, for a horse’s first instinct is to flee from danger. When she laid the whip across Drogon’s right side he veered right, for a dragon’s first instinct is always to attack. Sometimes it did not seem to matter where she struck him, though; sometimes he went where he would and took her with him. Neither whip nor words could turn Drogon if he did not wish to be turned. The whip annoyed him more than it hurt him, she had come to see; his scales had grown harder than horn.
And no matter how far the dragon flew each day, come nightfall some instinct drew him home to Dragonstone. His home, not mine. Her home was back in Meereen, with her husband and her lover. That was where she belonged, surely.

Some quotes. It may seem like I'm cherry picking but during re-reads I thought Dany's connection to Drogon was more of a will thing. At first, it seems like Drogon shows up at the fighting pit to feast on the flesh, drawn by the blood (apparently the noises don't deter him?). And then at the Dothraki sea, Dany seemingly has a hard time commanding Drogon to go where she wants to go because he is a dragon and not a horse.

But on re-reads I thought, it could have been Dany's desperation that drives Drogon to the pit, considering that on the Dothraki sea, there's plenty of food. He isn't drawn to the city because of meat any time before. 

Also, Dany keeps telling herself she has to go back to Meereen, though she really hates it. What if it's her uncertainty that prevents getting Drogon there? And her true desire keeps her in the Dothraki sea, a place that's she's always loved to be at (on dragonback she loves it even more so). 

Read the last two chapters for Dany and see if you can discern a connection of this sort. Of course, I might be completely wrong. it's just a hunch that I got during re-reads. 

In AWOIAF, The Rise of Valyria chapter I think has a bunch of stuff about dragons. The info is scattered all over the place so that's the problem. If you can search your ebook for Nettles, it would take you to the description about dragonseeds. I don't have Fire&Blood. Try to search for Septon Barth, he offers dragon tidbits here and there. 

Most people get their info about sacrificial magic reading the AWOIAF chapters on places like Asshai, Qohor, etc. There's info about how blood sacrifices are done and how sorcerers try to make hybrid creatures in Bones and Beyond and Beyond the Free Cities chapters. The info is sparse and all over the place, so it's more of a connect the dots game. 

Links to old threads about the magical origins/creation of dragons:

Off topic, are you using a mobile device or something to reply? because I can't quote your posts and it's got this weird formatting.  

Edited by Ghost+Nymeria4Eva

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Nettles rode Sheepstealer and only real proof about her Valyrian blood was that she was a dragonrider. After all as a short brown-skinned girl with black hair and brown eyes she did not look like a dragon lady. So there is a possility that someone could became a dragonrider with minimal amount of Valyrian genes.

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Posted (edited)

Likely in periods when the Westeros kingdom has dragons, many of the calls on them were not to swoop on enemies in full flame or suchlike , but more mundane matters, such as :: "The king says Bran to take Windfyre up and find what all that smoke blowing in to the northwest is.", and it turns out to be a forest fire; Bran (quicker because he is flying) searches round villages for men who have tools and skill to beat out ground fires and to fell trees and bushes to make firebreaks, and he tells them where to go to the fire site; and he organizes a back-burn (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_burn#Back_burning ). That stops the forest fire from spreading much more. (See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fight_fire_with_fire )

And calls to carry bulks of mail and valuables and important people long distances quickly.

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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On 5/18/2019 at 6:39 PM, Anthony Appleyard said:

And calls to carry bulks of mail and valuables and important people long distances quickly.

A dragonrider is himself or herself important person, even if a child, and even if a bastard of unknown and low birth ;-)

But a raven cannot find a moving target, like Greywater Watch - or an army on the march. A moving army can carry raven cages and send ravens, but receives none.

A dragonrider who knows exact target and has easy pointers, like River Mander, may travel nearly 400 miles per day. A dragonrider searching for a moving object will of course be slower, but the search area may be narrowed down, especially if the target knows they want to be visible for a dragon.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/7/2019 at 8:00 AM, Lord Varys said:

We don't know, but we have pretty good approximations. For instance, we know the Targaryens could fly their dragons from KL to Dragonstone within a day - Rhaenyra and Daemon did that, for instance, and the Conqueror and Jaehaerys/Alysanne and many other Targaryens, too.

We also know that Jaehaerys and Alysanne took three days on a quick flight to Oldtown, spending the two nights on the way, first at Bitterbridge, the second at Highgarden.

This means that you can comfortably fly the distance KL-Bitterbridge, Bitterbridge-Highgarden, and Highgarden-Oldtown in a day.

I'd not say it is maximal distance you could fly in a day if you really drove yourself and your dragon to exhaustion. For instance, it seems very likely that Queen Rhaena flew Dreamfyre directly from Dragonstone to Storm's End when she heard her mother was dying, making no stop along the way, and that's a much larger distance.

As for the other questions, we only know that dragons eat much. How long they can stay in the air without food, how often they have to rest and sleep is completely unclear at this point.

It might be possible for the dragons to cheat a little, ascending to massive heights and then gliding downwards at a high speed, only flapping to stay afloat.

On 3/7/2019 at 4:06 PM, Lord Varys said:

Not really. 

No, but we do know that Dragonstone and the surrounding areas - Driftmark, Claw Isle, Massey's Hook, Crackclaw Point, etc. - could support at least three wild dragons in addition to the domesticated dragons, with or without riders. We know that Grey Ghost fed mostly on fish and other sea food, Sheepstealer focused on sheep, and the Cannibal on other dragons (although that could scarcely have been his only diet, considering dragons were not that common).

We know that the royal dragons were usually fed by the dragonkeepers, although we don't know whether they were fed daily (as Sheepstealer was apparently by Nettles).

One assumes that beasts like Vhagar and Balerion needed enormous amounts of meat, but we never get logistics or statistics on that stuff. That is rather interesting in light of the fact that Vhagar and Balerion retired to Dragonstone after the death of Visenya and Maegor, meaning that these two great beasts - in addition to the younger dragons that hatched and nested - could be fed properly by the Targaryen administration there.

Dragonstone is also by the sea, and feeding on whales and schools of fishes would do wonders for alleviating daily costs of upkeep.

 

As for dragons? Well, they seem to be connected not just to the right bloodlines of dragonriders, but also seem to be connected to young dragonriders dying while in the prime of their youth, or even younger. So perhaps there is something akin to warging going on when young Dragonlords die and die near or are brought within proximity to dragon eggs, along with proximity to another dragonlord long term to bring the dragon with its newfound soul back to life.

 

I mean, the population of dragons didn't explode until there happened to be a large amount of Targaryens dying young, sacrificing all that they would become, like REALLY young, along with eggs being exposed to children and bonding with them.

 

So perhaps its multifold

 

1. Dragon lays eggs, dragon fertilizes them

2. A young dragonlord or lady with the right genetic expression acquires and spends time with said eggs

3. That dragonlord dies young, very young, unconsciously wargs their youthful soul into one of those eggs

4. That egg is then bonded with a second dragonlord, and perhaps requires the presence of the mother of the dragonlord, the one that brought the human into the world, or close to it

5. The egg hatches, but still unclaimed

 

Magic can kerjigger this, one way or another, but there seems to be more involved than dragons humping and volcanoes

Edited by Vashon

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Sizes of dragons

An adult horse or falconry bird if overfed gets fat, and that fat can later be dieted or exercised off.

But an overfed WoIaF/GoT dragon grows bigger. If I had a dragon, I would NOT want it to uncontrolledly get bigger and bigger until it was Balerion-sized with a feed bill to match and needing a hangar-sized stable for it.

I wonder if the old Valyrians had a way to keep dragons to a desired size. Would controlling their feed size work?

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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Dragons may work something like mobile sacrificial pyres.

With many things like their size and breath weapon perhaps being tied to how often they get to burn and eat people. 

So the main difference between Drogon and the other 2 might not be the captivity itself, but that his freedom allowed him to consume significantly more man-flesh.  

Which might mean it would be fairly easy to keep them at whatever desired size.  As long as one didn't let them fly free. 

Edited by Narsil4

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16 hours ago, Narsil4 said:

... how often they get to burn and eat people. ...

Or wild animals, Dragons may well have evolved before Man arose.  A previous message said that dragons are "unnatural constructs". They would indeed be that, if someone misdirected evolution to make a reptile to develop the form of a dragon, unable here on Earth with no magic around to bypass the laws of physics that stop it from flying. But on Planetos, there is magic, which (like the Force in the Star Wars scenario) would have to be factored into any scientific treatment of natural forces.

 

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