Talk:Lung Tien Xian
Do we have proof that Xian and Grandfather are the same Celestial? I thought Qian's quote about her lineage, that she was "hatched of Xian" suggested that Xian was a female, now deceased (Of course, Qian could be being poetic, and instead means that she is of Xian's line).
- I was just about to ask this. Ha. Talking about it over on the Celestial talk page. I don't think it is the case. --- Strangerface 17:34, 15 August 2010 (PDT)
- On further consideration, perhaps the user that linked Grandfather and Xian assumed the name "Grandfather" meant he was literally Temeraire's grandfather, and thus had to be the same dragon as Qian's sire. But it could just as easily be a term of endearment. Or he may be Qian's grandfather, and thus Temeraire's great-grandfather? -- Strangerface 17:41, 15 August 2010 (PDT)
- Alternately, Qian could be referring to the oldest Celestial as *her* grandfather... although the phrase "hatched of Xian" also implies to me that Xian was female, which might conflict with that. By context (i.e., not fully naming her as "Lung Qin Xian"), Qian does seem to identify Xian as a Celestial, who therefore couldn't've interbred with Grandfather. Or, as Strangerface mentions, "Grandfather" could simply be a non-literal title of affection/respect that identifies him as the eldest living Celestial: NN doesn't take account that in traditional Chinese culture, it's considered very disrespectful to use the names of older relatives instead of a kinship title. (At least for previous generations-- I don't think it applies to adults and their older cousins, such as Temeraire wrt Lien.) -- Wombat1138 09:36, 16 August 2010 (PDT)
- I suppose the reasoning behind it comes from Qian counting off her family, she mentions "besides Grandfather and Chu", and prior to that she has mentioned Xian, Grandfather & Chu. Of course, she is referring to the remaining dragons, so Xian could have died. However, I find I prefer Xian as "Grandfather" (which he would technically be to Qian, if my current table is right), and Ming or Zhi (probably Ming, as she listed him first) as Qian's father. Plus, I think the page is gone now, but a while back someone had pointed out that "Xian" meant first, or beginning, or something that suited Grandfather, being the first of their Celestial Dynasty.
- User:Almaron (how do you get it to leave the text after your name?)
And also, now that I think of it, there could be countless deceased Celestial relations, but that strikes me as unlikely when Grandfather is still alive. That would make Ming and Zhi cousins of Qian, and mean that both their and Qian's parents were deceased, but again, I think that's unlikely when Grandfather is alive, and it's not like a Celestial faces any major threat to their life at any time in China.
- Well I did not know Xian meant first. That certainly supports the case that Grandfather and Xian are the same dragon. But I'd also argue that it's not the case that Celestials didn't face any major threat to their lives. Should there be political upheaval, then they'd be at great risk. Again, I don't know much about the history of China, but if Grandfather were old enough to have served with an Emperor before the fall of the Ming Dynasty then some of his offspring would've probably had to commit suicide with the rest of the Emperor's household? Or, IDK, in any struggle for the throne people would certainly want to kill the Emperor's Celestial as a way of indicating that he had lost the favor of Heaven? (Chuan probably would've been killed if Yongxing's scheme succeeded?) I'm making this up completely, I know, but I'm just saying it's hard to guess at with only a few lines of dialog from Qian that could mean almost anything?
- In any case, there is at least one thing I know for sure: to stamp your name after a comment put four tilde (~) signs in a row. -- Strangerface 20:11, 15 August 2010 (PDT)
Succession to the Throne
I'm adding several conjectural notes regarding Xian and the other Celestial's companions. For reasons discussed on his page and the various talk pages, I think that all the Celestials have been companions to the previous Qing Emperors. With the family tree I've worked out, this means that;
- Xian was companion to the Shunzi Emperor
- Ming or Zhi was companion to the Kangxi Emperor
- Qian or Chu was companion to the Yongzheng Emperor
- Qian or Chu was companion to the Qianlong Emperor
- Ming or Zhi is companion to the Jiaqing Emperor
- Chuan is companion to the future Daoguang Emperor
Presumably, instead of being immediately paired with the Emperor's successor, the Celestial would pick their companion, who would then become Emperor. As mentioned in the article, one Celestial would be asked to provide an heir. This is what I think happened;
- Xian is born to two Imperials, and paired with the Shunzi Emperor.
- Xian sires Ming, who is paired with the Kangxi Emperor.
- Ming sires Qian, who is paired with the Yongzheng Emperor. When the time comes for succession, *Qian is unwilling to mate, and so Ming sires Chu, who is paired with the Qianlong Emperor.
- Chu sires Lien, who is deemed unworthy for the throne. To replace her, Xian or Ming (or possibly even Chu) sires Zhi, who is paired with the Jiaqing Emperor.
- Qian mates with Gao, producing twins, Chuan and Xiang. To prevent succession issues, Chuan is paired with the future Daoguang Emperor, and Xiang is sent to France.
Almaron 16:37, 17 August 2010 (PDT)
- Now that I think about it, something that I find slightly odd in this theory, is that there's no active explanation for why Zhi's potential offspring were bypassed. What I mean is, this theory suggests that each Celestial consort is requested to provide an heir. Presumably, this not only decides the next heir (Prince Miannning is already paired with a Celestial dragon, and his role as successor is well-known), but actually makes the heir to the throne safer, because to kill or usurp them is nearly impossible to do (first needing to kill them, avoid the wrath of their dragon, and then arrange another Celestial mating to ensure you are next. Hence Temeraire was sent away at birth, as his close relation made this easier to do). As a result, having the heir to the throne known as early as possible might actually make a reign safer, as it becomes nearly impossible to usurp the throne in any way.
- Now, we know that the current consort (Ming or Zhi) has been bypassed by Qian, whose son Chuan will inherit. Unless when the time comes for a new heir, all the dragons are allowed to mate, and whoever has offspring first takes the throne, the timeline might have looked like this.
- VERSION 1:
- "Ming" sires Chu.
- "Ming" bypasses Chu, and sires Qian.
- Chu bypasses Qian and sires Lien.
- Lien is skipped, and another dragon sires "Zhi".
- "Zhi" is bypassed, and Qian sires Chuan and Xiang.
- VERSION 2:
- "Ming" sires Qian.
- "Ming" bypasses Qian, and sires Chu.
- Chu sires Lien.
- Lien is skipped, and another dragon sires "Zhi".
- "Zhi" is skipped, and Qian sires Chuan and Xiang.
- I think Version 2 is more likely, because I imagine it would be easier to ensure offspring from a male Celestial rather than a female, because while a male Celestial can mate with any female Imperial, a female Celestial would have to be "in season" first. It would be easier for a male to ensure an heir, and that could explain why Qian was bypassed (if, as mentioned above there was an urgency to distinguish an heir, Qian may have been unable to reproduce, and thus "Ming" sired another dragon, Chu).
- Despite all this, which explains Qian being skipped, it doesn't explain why "Zhi" now is skipped. Maybe he was unwilling/unable to sire? Or Qian had been given another chance? Or perhaps there was no request, and she just did it? Or perhaps Qian and Zhi both mated with Imperials, and Qian alone had children as a result? Thoughts? Almaron 15:26, 18 August 2010 (PDT)
- Although, as has been pointed out in that interview with Naomi Novik, Temeraire has so far not had any offspring, despite his many mating attempts. Perhaps mating for Celestials rarely results in offspring, so they do what they please, and when the time comes for a successor, they all mate, and whoever successfully has offspring has their child paired with the next emperor, which would explain Qian's bypassing of "Zhi". However, this would mean a much higher percentage of potential heirs, which wouldn't be wanted, so perhaps the consort mates first, and if no evidence of pregnancy occurs, the role falls to another member of the family. This would mean that "Zhi" mated, failed, and Qian got the role because she had so far not had any children.
- (This theory has truly reached a ridiculous level.) Almaron 15:36, 18 August 2010 (PDT)
- On the other hand, if this is how things are done, this could mean Xian is indeed Qian's father, and she bypassed Ming and/or Zhi! I need to think this through. Almaron 15:50, 18 August 2010 (PDT)
Final Celestial Family Tree (For Now!)
Using the new conjectural information about the Celestials, I've decided to revert the family tree charts to have Xian as Qian and Chu's father. I'll fix the pages accordingly after this.
The Family Tree will look like this;
Two Imperials | | Grandfather(Lung Tien Xian)(M) | +------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Lung Tien Qian(F) Lung Tien Chu(M) | | +------------------+ + | Lung Tien Chuan(M) Lung Tien Xiang(Temeraire)(M) Lung Tien Ming? (M) Lung Tien Lien(F) | | Lung Tien Zhi? (M)
- This chart is done presuming that no Celestials younger than Grandfather have passed away.
- Judging by the rarity of Celestial dragons, and the age of Grandfather, each of the dragons have been companions to Emperors that, presumably, date back to the Shunzhi Emperor.
- At least four generations of Celestials exist, and the line began with "Grandfather".
- Lung Tien Ming and Lung Tien Zhi are either;
- A son of Qian or Chu
- A grandson of Qian or Chu
- If the current Celestial companion of the Emperor does not succeed in providing an heir, (presumably) his relatives will try until an heir is found.
- Either Lung Tien Ming or Lung Tien Zhi (whichever is the grandson) is the companion to the Jiaqing Emperor.
IMHO it's still arguable whether Xian is or isn't "Grandfather", and so I'm going to split off a separate "Grandfather" article and link it from this one. --Wombat1138 21:48, 28 August 2010 (PDT)
- Cool. I need to fix the other Celestial pages though; the notes regarding the reasoning for the family tree link to Xian. Almaron 23:48, 28 August 2010 (PDT)
Crucible of Gold
Argh, we're back at square one! There's a quote in the newest book where Temeraire muses about how his "uncle" is the companion to the current Emperor, which throws the family tree we came up with out the window!
Could they have meant anything else by "four or five generations of Celestials" - for instance, could that and Laurence's other quote that Grandfather is "sire to them all" simply refer to four Celestials (Chu, Qian, Ming & Zhi) and their children? Almaron 14:01, 6 April 2012 (MDT)
- I figured it just meant that Lien's father (Chu) is the current Emperor's companion, so that Grandfather was the companion to a previous and now dead Emperor. Though it's also possible that Ming and/or Zhi are also Qian's brothers, and that one of them is the Emperor's companion instead... eh. Without further information, I'd say that Chu is the only dragon whom we definitely know is Temeraire's uncle, and so that he's a pretty good bet. --Wombat1138 16:54, 6 April 2012 (MDT)
- Hang on, it's never said that Chu was the current Emperor's companion, and he's probably the least likely candidate! Lien was born in the time of the Qianlong Emperor, and it's likely that she was intended to be the companion of the next Emperor until she hatched and was deemed unlucky due to her white skin. Yongxing pairs up with her, and his brother becomes the Jiaqing Emperor. Chu must have been the companion to the Qianlong Emperor, or one of his predecessors (provided he didn't choose a companion and remained alone until the Jiaqing Emperor was born, or he chose a second companion; both of these scenarios I think are quite unlikely). It's more likely that Ming or Zhi is the Jiaqing Emperor's companion. Almaron 18:32, 6 April 2012 (MDT)
- Hm. Good points-- but Chu is still the only dragon who's been definitely identified as Temeraire's uncle. I don't have my copy of CoG right here; I can't recall whether Temeraire says that his uncle is *currently* the Emperor's companion, or whether the verb tense is vague enough to mean "At some point, my uncle was the Emperor's companion even if that Emperor is dead now"... but in the latter case, why wouldn't Temeraire think first of whichever other relation currently holds the post? Or expand it outward to "My grandfather, at least one uncle/cousin, and maybe my mother have all been companions to Emperors in their time"? This may require another plea to NN for clarification :| --Wombat1138 18:55, 6 April 2012 (MDT)