Egyptian god of the sun.
(?-? Dragon history; ?-1485 our history)
One of Richard of Gloucester's captains.
First (lowest) rank of the Mithraic mystery cult. (Latin: Corax)
Welsh goddess, associated with horses. In TDW Wales, she is also associated with healing.
"Coeur-de-Lion," or "the Lionhearted."
Spent most of his reign on Crusade. His most famous enemy was the Muslim leader Saladin. The two held each other in great respect, and formed a treaty over Jerusalem in 1192.
Randall Garrett wrote a series, the "Lord Darcy" stories, whose divergence from our history was the fate of Richard I at Chaluz in 1199.
Richard's badge was a white hart.
(1452-? Dragon history; 1452-1485 our history; r.1480-? Dragon history; r.1483-1485 our history)
Son of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York. Brother of George, Duke of Clarence and of Edward IV of England. (Before becoming King, Richard was the Duke of Gloucester.) Married to Anne Neville; father of Edward of Middleham.
All of TDW is wrapped around Richard's story, although it is not the story of the book. Richard took the throne when his brother Edward IV died, displacing the boy Edward V, who then disappeared. Shakespeare portrayed Richard as an absolute villain in these events; Ford makes him admirable, though not flawless.
Richard's badge was a white boar.
Warwick fought alongside the Yorkists to overthrow Henry VI and make Edward IV king. He had tremendous influence in Edward's court for several years. However, he later quarrelled with Edward (over Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, among other things -- see p148).
In 1470, Warwick (and George Duke of Clarence) supported Henry's reacquisition of the throne. Henry's second reign lasted only a year; George went back to Edward's side, and Warwick died at the Battle of Barnet.
(1473-1480 Dragon history; 1473-~1483 our history)
Richard began fighting Henry VI for political power around 1450, although he did not reach for the throne right away. Henry VI's mental breakdown in 1453 allowed Richard to become Protector of the Realm. The next several years alternated between compromise and conflict, as the War of the Roses got into full swing.
Richard was killed at the Battle of Wakefield in 1460 (see p183-184). According to tradition, the victorious Margaret of Anjou hung his head on the walls of York, adorned with a paper crown. However, Richard's son Edward IV pushed Henry off the throne shortly thereafter.
A silver rod carried by messengers in Italy. By law, a messenger cannot be impeded. The value of a reliable messenger service is sufficient that the law carries weight even between warring states.
"Rienzi wand" is a reference to Cola di Rienzo, an Italian popular leader in the 1300s. In the story of his life written by Edward Bulwer Lytton (yes, that one), Rienzo sends a messenger who carries a silver wand as a sign of safe passage.
Roman god of agriculture.
Savonarola was a Christian priest and religious leader. He preached strongly against art, decadence, and the corruption of the Church. He gained great influence in Florence after the death of Lorenzo de' Medici. But his denunciations of the Church put him in conflict with the Pope, and he was eventually charged with heresy, tortured, and executed.
(Most of this took place after the period in which TDW is set.)
Espionage is frequently tied to theater in TDW. They have common elements (deception, impersonation, creation of a plausible story) and common skills (makeup and disguise). The direction of actors on a stage is also explicitly compared to the manipulation of human assets by a director of intelligence. (See p23.)
Spies and agents, and people who act as such, in TDW:
Spies get rather a harsh portrayal in the book. Nearly every character who spies as a vocation, does so on behalf of the Empire, which is a fundamentally inhumane and inexcusable end in TDW. The only exceptions are Falcone, Reynard, and perhaps Colin. Of those, both Reynard and Colin leave the stage on a litter of betrayals; both wind up placing their own goals over their putative employers.
If you want spies who stay sincerely on the side of the good guys (that being, for the sake of argument, the anti-Byzantine side), you are left with Falcone -- and the protagonists. Falcone is a pawn of the narrative, killed within hours of his appearance. And what keeps the protagonists (relatively) clean?
That they spy reluctantly, is the easiest answer. Gregory says at one point that he would never lie to save himself (p272); Dimi swears something similar (p297) after the Albany debacle. Cynthia undertakes disguise for specific aims, but is too focussed on her identity as a healer to consider herself as a spy.
Hywel is the shadiest case, although we never see him offer more deception than a false name and, once, a disguise (p153). His long-term aim is political -- the overthrow of the Empire -- and it seems impossible that he can continue it without a campaign of secret missions and dirty tricks. Worse, Hywel is in the position of the "director" (p23): he recruits his friends, and they wind up doing his work. It is not hard to imagine a moral collapse in his future.
(Symbolically, Hywel does accept the Empire's power in the end -- p374 -- albeit the least possible power to sustain his life, from a source that would otherwise be lost entirely. If that is corruption, Hywel will minimize it, but will never be entirely clean.)
Gallic goddess of health.
(Dijon is the closest modern city to Alesia, where the worship of Sequana is described.)
(1444-1477 Dragon history; 1444-1476 our history)
Duke Sforza was assassinated by three (Milanese) enemies on December 26th, 1476.
The difference in timing may be a fault in my calculations. However, the timing of the attack was chosen because of Sforza's habit of visiting St. Stephen's Church on the Feast of St. Stephen. That condition would not apply in TDW history, so the attack might have occurred differently.
A motif (no pun intended).
Singing (and musical improvisation) is a particular indicator of Cynthia's state of mind.
However, the strongest association is the army which Henry Tydder leads into England in chapter 13. Henry wears the Red Dragon as his badge, but the army's force comes chiefly from magic, fueled by the Welshmen who have been drawn into it by the dragon-stamped medallions. The spell eventually appears as a literal (if illusionary) dragon image of vast size (p362).
Sixth rank of the Mithraic mystery cult. (Latin: Heliodromus)
Third rank of the Mithraic mystery cult. (Latin: Miles)
(~1435-? Dragon history; ~1435-1504 our history)
("Lord Stanley"; later in our history, "Earl of Derby.")
After Henry became king, he rewarded Stanley with the title Earl of Derby.
A Wallachian (Romanian) vampire; blind. Married to Juliette Ionescu.
In Randall Garrett's "Backstage Lensman," the evil Meich spend very nearly no time obsessing about their missing strawberries. At the end of the story, Gimble Ginnison settles down to enjoy some strawberries. It is unclear whether these incidents are connected.
Gallic god of agriculture, depicted as carrying a hammer.
Chief military engineer of Cosmas Ducas.
"Tertullian" was the name of a major writer and leader in the early Christian church (around 200 AD). He lived over a century before the reign of Julian, so there is no reason to believe that he did not also exist in TDW history. However, it is unclear why a Byzantine in TDW would be named after a Christian; this may imply a different history for the early Tertullian, or it may be a coincidence.
Theater is frequently tied to espionage in TDW. They have common elements (deception, impersonation, creation of a plausible story) and common skills (makeup and disguise). The direction of actors on a stage is also explicitly compared to the manipulation of human assets by a director of intelligence. (See p23.)
Some symbols and themes that recur in TDW:
Ford's permanent floating themes, across all his works, are generally accepted to be "theater, gaming, and trains." (Growing Up Weightless is his densest combination of the three.) TDW certainly scores theater and games. Trains are only visible in some transiently mechanical aspects of the Red Dragon (see p362).
(~500-548 our history; r.527-548)
Died of cancer in 548 AD (long before her husband).
Or, I should say, the things that I felt smug about figuring out.
These, in contrast, are the things which I still don't understand. (When I say something is "unclear," that's secret code for "I haven't the foggiest.") If you have a theory, please let me know. Contact information is on the front page.
And a list of lesser, but still obscure, points: Tertullian, Vlad IV of Wallachia, p28 (Jewish banker), p32 (Lord remind him), p39 (Great Raid), p59 (the order was formulated), p61 (last night of summer), p65 (Archimedian), p132 (treatise on the gout), p134 (all Imperials), p144 (small efforts), p145 (men understand), p161 (foul-spoken Wales), p183-184 (essential rule), p184 (no favorites), p222 (machina infernalis), p229 (entrare), p275 (died at Northampton), p302 (hospitality), p305 (rare disease), p357 (Breton savior).
Norse god of thunder.
Egyptian god of science, writing, magic, learning.
Ptolemy implies that Thoth is his god, and (in some sense) the god of all wizards.
An alias of Hywel Peredur.
The name refers to the dialogue Timaeus, written by Plato. In this dialogue, the philosopher Timaeus of Locri discusses natural philosophy and the structure of the universe.
One of Richard of Gloucester's captains.
Long after the deaths of the princes, the story went around that Tyrell had confessed to their murder. The confession itself has not been found, and probably never existed.
We know nothing else about him, except that he was educated and "could read Plato in Greek."
Vampirism is viewed by TDW science as a disease, not a supernatural condition. (The term "hematophagic anaemia" appears.) Whether this is a correct view is unclear.
Vampires have recuperatory powers far beyond normal humans; wounds, disease, drugs, poison, and aging do not trouble them. Vampirism is regarded as a way to avoid death, even for a terminal patient.
To kill a vampire, one must destroy the heart (specifically the cardiac plexus), and sever the spinal cord at the neck.
Vampires must consume blood regularly, although not much in one feeding. Animal blood suffices most of the time, but the vampire must consume some human blood occasionally. If either of these is put off too long, hunger drives the vampire into a frenzy, which can only be sated by a great deal of human blood.
Vampires are unnaturally pale, but their cheeks are flushed red -- particularly after they have fed. Their blood is also pale and thin. They are very strong, and do not require much sleep. Their eyes are unusually sensitive to light. They otherwise appear human; they eat and drink normally, and they do not have fangs.
Vampires are not sensitive to cold or heat. However, temperatures severe enough to burn or freeze flesh will damage them.
The value of holy symbols is unclear. At one point Gregory turns away from a symbol of Ishtar (p164). However, he encounters many other symbols during the book, and shows no such reaction. It is possible that the faith of the symbol's bearer is a factor.
Being fed upon by a vampire carries a risk of infection, if there is direct physical contact with the open wound. The risk is given as one chance in eleven for a single feeding; but vampire blood in the wound makes it certain. (The disease does not appear to spread by skin or sexual contact.) Only humans can be infected, not animals.
Vampires in TDW:
Roman goddess of love and beauty.
French poet, and stand-in for Louis XI of France.
Villon's life would be implausible if it were not real; he bounced around France as a burglar, bravo, and vagabond, stopping occasionally to compose poetry or spend time in jail. He vanished in 1462, after being banished from Paris for brawling.
In The Stress of Her Regard (by Tim Powers), Villon appears centuries after his birth, having extended his life through exposure to a vampire.
Italian doctor; father of Cynthia Ricci.
Vlad Ţepeş, "the Impaler," was Vlad III. He was born in exile in Transylvania. He ruled Wallachia briefly as an Ottoman puppet in 1448 AD, was ousted by Hungary, and then returned to power in his own right from 1456 to 1462. The Turks then pushed him out again, replacing him with his half-brother Radu the Handsome; Vlad Ţepeş grabbed the throne back briefly in 1476. Vlad IV Călugărul, "the Monk," was yet another brother who took power in 1481, lost it, and then ruled from 1482 to 1495.
The rule of Wallachia appears to have been much more stable than in our history -- no doubt because of the absence of the Crusades and the lesser influence of the Ottoman Empire. The Vlads are of course associated with vampirism; Vlad IV was one, and infected his lieutenants (see p144). Whether Vlad III Ţepeş was also a vampire, or the Dracula in his day, is unclear.
It is also possible that the numbering was different, and the "Vlad IV" of Dragon history is the Impaler.
(?-? Dragon history; ?-1495 our history)
Brother of Lord Stanley.
Wizards in TDW, and those described as having been wizards:
The book also describes several mountebanks, or hedge-wizards:
Greek god of the west wind.
Chief of the Greek gods.