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Anthony Appleyard

Clothes worn by dragon-riders; "falling off the dragon"

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The book Fire and Blood mentions King Jaehaerys I riding a dragon while wearing leathers and a studded garment called a "jack", and nothing royal-looking; but that would be necessary. He would be exposed (even more than a real-world man in an open cockpit on an old-type biplane) to a cold headwind blowing as fast as the dragon was flying, plus increased cold caused by altitude as he was higher than people on the ground. If I was on a dragon (or an open-cockpit small plane) in British-type weather, I would want a good thick fleece under the leather.  And his eyes would be exposed to the headwind plus any bits and dust and sand and small insects in it. Could Westerosi technology of the time make any sort of reasonably safe effective goggles? I suppose that for artists the problem would arise how to dress the rider practically for conditions while avoiding a "Biggles look". (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biggles)

~~~~~~~~~

Fire and Blood mentions a poisoning attack: see https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Tears_of_Lys#History and https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Androw_Farman  . It says that afterwards, among other things, Androw Farman said "What could I do but fall off the dragon?". What does "fall off the dragon" mean?, as I see no way that a literal live dragon could be involved here.

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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 Could Westerosi technology of the time make any sort of reasonably safe effective goggles?

Seems likely that someone, possibly in Myr, would have the ability to create lenses for glasses or goggles and may have been something that lead up to the invention of their telescopes. 

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What does "fall off the dragon" mean?

Due to being a heavy drinker, it might be reference to falling off the wagon.  

As in being an implication that he starts drinking again. 

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5 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

What does "fall off the dragon" mean?

Androw refers to the fact that Rhaena never took him with her when she flew her dragon, although she did with her friends. He claims she never believed in him, his statement is meant to be understood from Rhaena's point of view. Then he goes on and claims she was wrong with her assesment and he could have done a lot more for her than falling off the dragon.

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On 10/13/2019 at 6:48 AM, Anthony Appleyard said:

The book Fire and Blood mentions King Jaehaerys I riding a dragon while wearing leathers and a studded garment called a "jack", and nothing royal-looking; but that would be necessary. He would be exposed (even more than a real-world man in an open cockpit on an old-type biplane) to a cold headwind blowing as fast as the dragon was flying, plus increased cold caused by altitude as he was higher than people on the ground. If I was on a dragon (or an open-cockpit small plane) in British-type weather, I would want a good thick fleece under the leather.  And his eyes would be exposed to the headwind plus any bits and dust and sand and small insects in it. Could Westerosi technology of the time make any sort of reasonably safe effective goggles? I suppose that for artists the problem would arise how to dress the rider practically for conditions while avoiding a "Biggles look". (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biggles)

~~~~~~~~~

Fire and Blood mentions a poisoning attack: see https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Tears_of_Lys#History and https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Androw_Farman  . It says that afterwards, among other things, Androw Farman said "What could I do but fall off the dragon?". What does "fall off the dragon" mean?, as I see no way that a literal live dragon could be involved here.

 

You don't need glass for safety goggles.  You can do the real simple slit kind, where you cut a small slit to look through.    Kinda like what the Inuit used to do.  

Agreed you're going to want some strong clothing,  although the heat from the dragon will mitigate this to a degree.  You'd probably end up wearing similiar clothes to the northerners, unless you're up north when you'll need even more protection.   Assumably, you'd hunker down low to the body of the dragon though (to avoid being blown off), and then you're getting dragon body heat again there.  

This would be most impactful during long travel flights.  Combat flights are probably short enough that it won't matter greatly.

 

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On 10/13/2019 at 8:48 AM, Anthony Appleyard said:

And his eyes would be exposed to the headwind plus any bits and dust and sand and small insects in it. Could Westerosi technology of the time make any sort of reasonably safe effective goggles? I suppose that for artists the problem would arise how to dress the rider practically for conditions while avoiding a "Biggles look". (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biggles)

~~~~~~~~~

Fire and Blood mentions a poisoning attack: see https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Tears_of_Lys#History and https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Androw_Farman  . It says that afterwards, among other things, Androw Farman said "What could I do but fall off the dragon?". What does "fall off the dragon" mean?, as I see no way that a literal live dragon could be involved here.

 

To answer the questions right off, yes, I think Valyrian/Westerosi tech could accommodate for these things at the time, however, in story telling these real world issues and technicalities will be swept under the rug of fiction. You mention the use of a studded garment called a jack which is referenced, but I feel that for story telling purposes this is as far as George is willing to go as far as accommodations. I doubt George would want to describe a Targ riding a dragon as having any sort of "thick glasses" or "goggles" of any kind as that would take away from the cool factor (plus, this is a story of high fantasy so things don't need to always make sense). We wont be seeing any artist portrayals of Aegon or his sisters wearing any sort of eye wear just because IRL it would be practical. Yes, it would be possible and realistic for dragon riders to use protective eye wear, but it wouldn't look as cool and thus will most likely never be mentioned and I am totally okay with this.  

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3 hours ago, Lord Daedrunk said:

I doubt George would want to describe a Targ riding a dragon as having any sort of "thick glasses" or "goggles" of any kind as that would take away from the cool factor

C'mon, I'm sure 'dragon specs' would be at least as cool as Aviators B)

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On 10/13/2019 at 2:48 PM, Anthony Appleyard said:

What does "fall off the dragon" mean?, as I see no way that a literal live dragon could be involved here. 

It was a reference to the literal live dragon of his wife....

 

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15 hours ago, argonak said:

... Assumably, you'd hunker down low to the body of the dragon though (to avoid being blown off), and then you're getting dragon body heat again there.   ...

This would be most impactful during long travel flights.  Combat flights are probably short enough that it won't matter greatly.

 

At flight speed the heat from the dragon's body would be quickly be blown away backwards in the slipstream.

I said:-

> and his eyes would be exposed to the headwind plus any bits and dust and sand and small insects in it.

Which brings up :: are WoIaF /GOTS dragons' eyes naked to the wind like my eyes, or is it like in real-world snakes where the eyes are permanently shut and it sees through a big strong transparent scale that occupies the whole of the lower eyelid?

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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7 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

At flight speed the heat from the dragon's body would be quickly be blown away backwards in the slipstream.

I said:-

> and his eyes would be exposed to the headwind plus any bits and dust and sand and small insects in it.

Which brings up :: are WoIaF /GOTS dragons' eyes naked to the wind like my eyes, or is it like in real-world snakes where the eyes are permanently shut and it sees through a big strong transparent scale that occupies the whole of the lower eyelid?

If they're sitting on the dragon, then there will be a plenty of conductive surface to transfer heat physically.  More so if they lean up agains tthe dragon.  I could be wrong, but I thought GRRM described dragons as having very warm skin on a couple occasions.

And I don't think there's as much dust or insects at altitude to really cause much of a problem.  Birds seem to do just fine.  My friend who paraglides wears sunglasses to protect his eyes from the sun but he doesn't come back caked in bugs and dust.   It could very well be different during a dive bombing run though.  I do think flying through a snow or rain storm would be a no go for a dragon though, let alone for the rider.

I think you're better off looking at large birds for likely dragon physical adaptions for flight.  Dragons strike me as more of a different evolution of dinosaur that used magic to skip out on feathers and resolve issues with its weight and volume in regards to flight.

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5 hours ago, argonak said:

... And I don't think there's as much dust or insects at altitude to really cause much of a problem.  Birds seem to do just fine.  My friend who paraglides wears sunglasses to protect his eyes from the sun but he doesn't come back caked in bugs and dust.   It could very well be different during a dive bombing run though.  I do think flying through a snow or rain storm would be a no go for a dragon though, let alone for the rider.

I think you're better off looking at large birds for likely dragon physical adaptions for flight.  Dragons strike me as more of a different evolution of dinosaur that used magic to skip out on feathers and resolve issues with its weight and volume in regards to flight.

  I would need goggles if I was flying over parts of Flevoland in the Netherlands in the summer :: when I was motorcycling there I was quickly plastered in small (non-biting) midges :: luckily I was wearing a crash-helmet with a strong polycarbonate transparent visor. I wonder if somewhere on Planetos something naturally makes something big enough and flat and transparent, strong and not brittle.

It may vary if the dragon, like modern birds, has a nictitating membrane. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nictitating_membrane

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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21 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

It was a reference to the literal live dragon of his wife....

 

Before that, Anthony Appleyard wrote:

> What does "fall off the dragon" mean?, as I see no way that a literal live dragon could be involved here.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Sorry: "fall off the dragon" occurs twice in Fire and Blood (which I have re-read a few minutes ago):: one use (the use that I saw before) is bare and unexplained; the other use (several pages before) refers directly to his wife's dragon.

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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48 minutes ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

Sorry: "fall off the dragon" occurs twice in Fire and Blood (which I have re-read a few minutes ago):: one use (the use that I saw before) is bare and unexplained; the other use (several pages before) refers directly to his wife's dragon.

Did not see it was used before, that makes it even clearer. Androw offers Rhaena his support and wants to accompany her on her way to KL, but she refuses him, asking him what else he could do than falling off her dragon. Apparently Androw is deeply insulted by that and refers to Rhaena's words in his last moments when he says he could have done a lot for her and not just fallen off her dragon.

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7 hours ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

... fallen off her dragon.

I have seen images of a man riding a dragon which had harness somewhat like a horse has: e.g. on Safira  in the film Eragon. If so, if that harness included a light simple seat with easily-releasable waist and shoulder safety straps, I would feel safer.

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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14 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

Before that, Anthony Appleyard wrote:

> What does "fall off the dragon" mean?, as I see no way that a literal live dragon could be involved here.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Sorry: "fall off the dragon" occurs twice in Fire and Blood (which I have re-read a few minutes ago):: one use (the use that I saw before) is bare and unexplained; the other use (several pages before) refers directly to his wife's dragon.

 

It's clear to me that the second use of the phrase (by Androw when he admits to poisoning the other women) is a direct retort to the first use (by Rhaena to express her scorn for Androw's worth).

Quote

... Androw had offered to accompany her. His wife refused him scornfully. "What would that serve? What could you possibly do but fall off the dragon?"

The next passage shows how this was the final humiliation for Farman, and he no longer even pretended to care for Rhaena. When he finally took his revenge, it was the phrase he threw back in her face.

Quote

... He made no attempt to deny the poisonings. Instead he boasted. "I brought them cups of wine, and they drank. They thanked me, and they drank. Why not? A cupbearer, a serving man, that's how they saw me. Androw the sweet, Androw the jape. What could I do, but fall off the dragon? Well, I could have done a lot of things ...."

Note that Androw here stressed the 'I' in that sentence. The whole passage is about rubbing Rhaena's nose in her scornful dismissal of him, and taking revenge for it. That is why the second use of that particular phrase has no other meaning than as a direct refutation of its first use.

(And slightly O/T, I hope F&B makes it onto the 'search' site soon, it took me an hour or more to find these quotes in my book... ;))

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