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Opinions and Overthinking It
Topic Started: 11 Jul 2022, 19:06 (446 Views)
Dragonrider's Fury
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Recently, whilst I and another user have been chatting on the School of Dragons forums, certain topics that interest me have come up. Because they interest me, I have taken the time to type out far longer and more in-depth responses to these than I usually do, and I have decided I may as well share them with all of you as well. So, without further ado ("Yeah, no more further ado!" :ruffnut: ), I present Opinions and Overthinking It. Feel free to add your own! :D
Concerning hybrids: I find it kinda silly. Animals (as far as I know) don't just hybridize, even to avoid extinction (which is how some fans defend the concept). If they did, passenger pigeons and how many other species would still be around to some extent. :P

Now granted, the "canon" story, from what I understand, is that Nikora Stormheart or her sister artificially induced the hybridization of certain species. Which, while it does explain the first issue, creates several more. For one: How??? I assume you're familiar enough with the fertilization process in animals; sperm from the male joins with the egg cells of the female, and life is created. Therefore, they either had to find an in-heat male of one species and an in-heat female of another and corral them together in the same place and hope fertilization takes place via the natural means (Yeah right, as if a fight to the death of one or both dragons wouldn't be the result. :P), OR they had to somehow actually harvest the sperm from a male dragon in heat, and while it's still alive and viable (a very narrow window of time, I'd guess), somehow use it to artificially attempt to fertilize a female in heat. Which would almost certainly get them toasted or eaten or both, as dragons generally seem to have a pretty short temper, and animals in heat, even more so.

Now I won't deny that they could use various means to knock the dragons out, which could simplify and expedite this process significantly. However, even if they could successfully induce the sperm into the female, I find it highly unlikely that fertilization would actually occur. As you probably know, in order to actually produce offspring, animals need to be quite closely related. Ligers can exist, as lions and tigers are similar, but elephant-monkeys cannot (correct me if I'm wrong here XD). I feel that the vast majority of dragon species are too far apart for cross-reproduction to work. In the case of the Dusk Furies, it's believable, but something like the Zipplewraith?? Zipplebacks and Snow Wraiths are nothing like each other! There's no way that should work.

Third, even if by some string of miracles, fertilization occurred and the offspring survived to maturity, it's not sustainable. Hybrids are almost always sterile, and certainly would be, comprised of such different halves, so there's no way they'd naturally last. Edit: Which defeats the whole "hybridize to avoid extinction" idea anyway. :P
A couple things about Zipplebacks: Firstly, in Zipplebacks, y'know, one head breathes gas, the other sparks. Do you suppose there have ever been Zipplebacks that, due to a mutation, breathe only gas or sparks, both heads producing the same thing? I mean, such a dragon probably wouldn't last long in the wild, especially if it could only spark... but I suppose a hatchling challenged this way might become close friends with one challenged the other way, and working together, they might survive. (Psst, I've actually started slowly writing a fanfic with this premise...)

Secondly, I wonder just how conscious a Zippleback's firing typically is. Like obviously it's a conscious decision to fire, but when that decision has been made, does the right head have to actually think about breathing out so much gas, and the left head have to think about waiting until the right head finishes, then think about producing the spark? Or is it just, the dragon decides to fire so the right head breathes gas and the left sparks it?
Getting controversial now...
Concerning Light Furies:
This was a longer conversation that requires (parts of) both sides in order to remain cohesive. Thus, I have quoted the necessary parts of the other user's messages.

I've never understood those who hate the Light Fury on grounds of appearance. Ask my opinion, and I'll tell you she's a very beautiful dragon. Now personality (or lack thereof) is a different matter...
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Well, in my opinion, she's too feminine for the other dragons. Her skin has barely any texture or scales, and she's basically a white-washed female Toothless and don't even get me started on how she walks. Like I swear, the 'grace' that was put into her movements was extremely exaggerated.
Ah, yes, femininity, the single biggest complaint against her design, from what I've seen. Why is this an issue, again? Every species has its unique traits; this one's just happen to be those generally attributed to the female sex. I suspect the problem lies in that Toothless' mate is the only member of her species that is given attention in the film. Would you still be complaining if a few other Light Furies, clearly both female and male, all with the same set of "feminine" traits were given some focus? I'm going to go ahead and assume not, if you looked at it fairly. See, the issue is DreamWorks' execution, not the design.

As for "the 'grace' that was put into her movements", I won't deny that it may be exaggerated; but an animal in heat will try to impress any potential mates. Is it not believable that that may be one way in which the Light Fury species does this?
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...But yes, I would not complain as much if I saw male light furies with the same feminine features as the light fury, although it would probably be incredibly hard to tell apart male light furies from females.
At a glance, it certainly would be extremely difficult to tell male Light Furies from females if they had the same "feminine" traits. However, physical appearance is not the only way in which male and female can be differentiated. "Voice" pitch, for instance, could be lowered for males. An even better way (and more generally true across the animal kingdom) would be behavior. Male Light Furies could be far more aggressive, readily attacking each other or other creatures given even the slightest provocation. Of course, (arguably) the best way would be to have the modelers actually model the necessary reproductive anatomy for each, particularly if it could be done in such a way that you would (most likely) never notice unless you were actively looking.

Even with none of the above, it would be nothing new to the franchise to have the males and females indistinguishable from each other. Both the Deadly Nadder and the Gronckle, for instance, are this way. We only know what they are based on what the characters say. Indeed, Gift of the Night Fury makes a point of this, as you may recall:
:fishlegs: "But boy dragons don't lay eggs!"
:ruffnut: or :tuffnut: "Yeah, your 'boy' dragon is actually a girl dragon."
:fishlegs: "Oh. That... actually explains some things."
Or something like that, anyway.

Now this talk of animals in heat trying to impress potential mates has got me wondering about the specifics of Night and Light Furies' reproductive cycles. How long does heat last? How long is the off-season? How long is gestation? Are these the same between Night Furies and Light Furies, or are the species different, and Toothless' and Nubless' just happened to line up workably? All these questions I'll almost certainly never get an answer to. :P
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Mm, lowering voice pitch isn't too noticeable, particulary since dragons mainly grunt and growl and on occasion purr- they don't have actual noticeable speech. Behavioural changes might change things but I dislike the idea of males being portrayed as more aggressive and territorial and females being softer, sweeter and generally more likeable.
While your point about voice is basically true, grunts, growls, and purrs do have pitch, to some extent, and that pitch could be adjusted.

I didn't say the females had to be "softer, sweeter and generally more likeable"; they can be just as "hard" and just as dangerous. Just that the males would be more likely to attack. ...And I feel like I'm kinda contradicting myself with that. :P But whatever. XD In my observations, when it comes to wild animals, the males generally are the more aggressive.
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If the females are 'just as "hard" and just as dangerous', why wouldn't they attack? Why wouldn't they be aggressive? Why wouldn't they be territorial?
I don't really have an answer for you (besides "Because female psyche?"), but thanks for coming along for this interesting discussion. XD At least, I thought it interesting; I don't know about you. :P
Proverbs 25:11
 
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 15:1
 
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

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