An opinion about the mistakes

An opinion about the mistakes

Here’s a letter sent to me by a page reader in reference to some of the Dragonlance mistakes:

“Just want to give my opinion on a few of the mistakes you caught.. perhaps you’ll change your mind or see from a different perspective, or even reply with your own response and help me to see things your way more easily. Just a friendly point-of-view from moi:

‘6. How’d Raistlin end up all golden?

This one’s I think the result of poor planning.

In Margeret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Raistlin tells us, “‘When I awoke,’ the mage said, ‘my skin had turned this color- a mark of my suffering.'” (27)

In The Soulforge by Margaret Weis Raistlin gets it during the Test, not as a “mark of suffering”, but as armor, “the realization came to him that the golden patina had protected him from the fireball.” (332) He notices the armor during the Test, early on, “He noticed, as he moved his hand, that his skin had a golden cast to it, but he did not allow himself do more than remark upon this as a curiosity.” (331-332) He did not simply awaken and find himself mysteriously gold, he became that way during the Test. It is understandable, however, that this one was overlooked, because he did not develop the connection to Fistandantilus until Legends.’

Here we go. This one’s a short one: Why would Raistlin say he woke up with the golden tinge to his flesh? He *was* concealing everything he could from his companions where the Test was concerned. Perhaps even giving away a hint of what said gold patina could do would have been giving away too much information. No one says he was being truthful the first time..

‘7. So the Blue Crystal Staff cures everyone, right? Sure. Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Weis and Hickman) talks about the evil Hederick the seeker being healed.

“The flames had died instantly. The man’s robes were whole, undamaged. His skin was pink and healthy. He sat up, a look of fear and awe on his face. He stared down at his hands and his robes. There was not a mark on his skin. There was not the smallest cinder smoking on his robes.

‘It healed him!’ the old man proclaimed loudly. ‘The staff! Look at the staff!'” (40)

Nope, a few pages later Raistlin tries to touch the staff and…

“As Raistlin touched the staff, however, there was a bright flash of light and a crackling sound. The mage jerked his hand back, crying out in pain and shock. … ‘See there.’ Raistlin gestured like an illusionist showing off a trick to the crowd. ‘Only those of simple goodness, pure in heart’ -his sarcasm was biting- ‘may touch the staff.'” ‘

No one says the Seeker is evil. Misguided? Probably. Evil? Possibly. But if that *is* the case, perhaps it is very literal; reaching for/touching the staff, ow! Being touched by the staff; wow! Plus: Raistlin is already touched by Fistandantilus. Perhaps that is the “Evil” the staff reacts to? That last is a stab in the dark, and more an observation than anything else.

‘9. What kind of shadow do dragons cast when in the form of humans?
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s Dragons of Winter Night tells us they cast a dragon shadow.

“The shadow Silvara cast upon the wall was not the shadow of a young elfmaid. It was the shadow of a dragon.” (246)

This poses many practical problems, since nobody seems to realize that dragons in human or elf form are dragons based on the shadows they cast normally, and indeed, they are not mentioned casting dragon shadows in other books. In fact in The Dragons, by Douglas Niles, a dragon, Darlantan, is mentioned casting a human shadow when disguised as a human.

“For some time, Darlantan amused himself by watching his own human-shaped shadow cavort and gesture on the smooth stone of the cave wall.” (106)

This clash was given to me by my sweet little pal, Mes.’

Hm. I don’t know about you, but I occasionally glance at the ground.. and if my companion is casting a big, honking dragon shadow as I walk along next to her or near her I’d notice! So if she’d been casting it the entire time she journeyed with the Companions, it would take some pretty inattentive fellows to miss it. Perhaps she simply willed her shadow to be seen, there in the chamber.. shifting into full dragon form in the confined space would not have been prudent.

((I have to comment in responce to this responce. The mistake is that in one instance the dragon casts a dragon shadow and in another a human shadow, not that she noticed the shadow.))

’10. This is a mistake, although, it’s not a clash, still, I thought I’d add it, just to give the authors no peace, as I have no peace, constantly having to read the ever increasing number of books (I’m kidding, if any authors actually read this than ignore me and keep writing). On page 10 of Dragons of a Fallen Sun by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, the Song of Death is described as having rocks similar to “black quartz crystals”. Quartz crystals do not come in black, the closest is smoky quartz, which has some black in it, but is not solid black. Quartz crystals are translucent, not “glossy black”. The crystalline black rock from the temple is probably better described as obsidian.’

Perhaps they simply meant to say: “If quartz was black, that’s what these rocks would look like.” Ever heard someone describe something that way? Like saying.. “very similar to purple-striped penguins” Doesn’t mean said person thinks penguins come purple-striped; it means said person describes something existing(penguins) and a condition..in this case, color(purple-striped) to describe something that combines both. Just an observation of mine.. you seem to take it too literally. Well, I hope I didn’t bore you TOO much!


Here’s my general responce to this:

Your explanations are definately plausible, and I am taking things literally, but then, this is literature. I occationally get replies that think I’m being too critical, although more often I get vague suggestions for more mistakes, “This was this way, but then it was this way.” I’ve written too many papers to put something like that up, and I make a point of quoting the books to back up what I say, so these suggestions aren’t helpful. It is possible that some of the things I’m being critical of were intended, perhaps Raistlin knew more than he was revealing (although I think that it was early in a series, and exactly what happened during the Test hadn’t been decided, and was not entirely formed until later when it was expanded upon). I’m glad to get comments as a reminder that my interpretation of the Dragonlance saga is not absolute.

-Luna :}

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Last modified on October 18, 2009