Sunday, 12 September 2010

This week's word is: DRAGONTONGUE

Hello dragon fans.  Several of you have written to the author lately expressing a desire to see what dragontongone, the language of dragons, looks like - hrrr!  I should say, by the way, that the 'hrrrs' you see in the books are a very simplified general version of the noises we make.  It would be impossible to write it out properly for you because the language is just too difficult for humans to grasp.  We, of course, being desperately clever, can speak (or understand) English to some extent.  So the grunts and snorts and huffs that the author records in the stories are always translated for you.  Occasionally, if we're being very expressive, we will ask him to write hrrr-rr-rrr! or something.  But this is rare.

Anyway, it surprised us to read your queries because there is an illustration of dragontongue at the beginning of Dark Fire - or at least there is in the UK edition.  We've now discovered that the confusion has arisen because the illustration does not appear in the US edition (we're not sure about Australia; perhaps one of you would like to write and tell the author whether you guys have it or not).  To be honest, we're not sure why it didn't appear in the US book, but at least we can show you what you missed, right here, on the blog.  Those of you who have read Dark Fire will know that evidence of dragontongue was first discovered by Anders Bergstrom in a cave on the Hella Glacier, in the High Arctic.  Bergstrom took photographs of it and was on his way back to his polar camp when he was stopped by a bear called Thoran.  Now Thoran was no ordinary bear.  He had been around for centuries and was the first white bear ever to walk the ice.  His fur had been turned from brown to white by the power of Gawain's fire tear, which, as you all now know, was how the polar ice cap came to be formed.  (Stop me if I'm getting ahead of you here!)  Because of the importance of Bergstrom's discovery, Thoran decided to give Bergstrom a little 'dragon power' of his own.  In effect, their auma commingled and Thoran was able to walk among men in Bergstrom's form (and vice versa) and hence spread the word about environmental problems in the Arctic - to among others David Rain.  Good innit?  Eventually, when natural dragons began to return to the Earth, it was decided that in order to ease understanding of their presence and lessen the shock of their appearance, it would be a good idea if I passed evidence of Bergstrom's cave discovery onto an academic called Rupert Steiner.  Steiner would then publish snippets of the writings, including Bergstrom's photographs, and world awareness of dragons (and their harmless intent) would begin to rise.  Phew!

Anyway, here's a slightly fuller version of the illustration you missed.  Don't ask me to translate it, it would take too long (readers of Dark Fire will know that it's a pointer to a place called Scuffenbury Hill).  There is no real alphabet because again it's far too complex to produce.  Can humans learn to speak dragontongue?  Yes.  People often say to us that it looks like musical notation.  This is because dragons have a very harmonic resonance to their voice.  The closest human language would probably be Welsh, which probably explains why Wales has adopted the red dragon as its national symbol.

So there you are.  A nice bit of history this week.  Happy reading (even though you can't understand it!)  Hrrr!

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