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Some Wraithy Questions

A reader asks, "1- Why does Ember feel clevermen can't aspire to a Queen's attention?
2- Why were only blades said to be bound to Queen Death? Do clevermen not take such oaths for some reason?"

1 -- Because that was the way it was done on Ember's old hive. That's what he's used to. It's not universally true, and it was not true in Snow's hive, as we'll see in Melissa Scott's upcoming Ouroboros when we visit an AU where Snow isn't dead. Guide was consort, but the other lords of the zenana were Seeker and Spark, both of whom were clevermen. But that was very much Snow's interest. Like Alabaster, she was interested in the sciences and enjoyed the company of clevermen, who she held in high esteem.

2 -- That's the way Queen Death has chosen to do it. Hives have different cultures, somewhat connected with lineage, but also with the personalities of their queens. Night's lineage tends to be very martial, and the emphasis is on blades. In The Inheritors we'll see that Osprey's has tended to produce unusual clevermen, and sometimes that hasn't been a good thing!

Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
jo_graham
Sep. 22nd, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
He certainly is! :)
hiveshipmist
Sep. 22nd, 2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)
jo_graham
Sep. 22nd, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
silverbullet27
Sep. 22nd, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
Wraithy thanks and a few other questions, if You don't mind:

Do the queens give all their children (except the drones) birth like a human? Isn't that a bit too much uncomfortable? Being pregnant all the time? And, besides, doesn't that mean, nearly all males on a hive are brothers? Or do they exchange their children from hive to hive to mix up the genetic pool? And what is meant with brothers in spirit?

Sorry for being so nosey :)
elffreaky
Sep. 22nd, 2012 05:51 pm (UTC)
Oh and on the same thread as wraith society... Maybe a Wraith ethnology would be cool. I have so many questions its ridiculous.

Where are the children brought up?

With the amount of Cleavermen and blades, there seems to be too few females, and if it takes so long for gestation and maturation, then why aren't there more kids running around? Also on that thread, if these guys have a bunch of clones, wouldn't that dilute the genetic diversity... And if I remember right a clone is genetically as old as the original organism the genetic information is from, therefore shorter lifespan.

Do the females mature faster than the males? I ask this because of Elia.

Is there presidency for more than one female on the same hive?

jo_graham
Sep. 22nd, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
Children are generally brought up on their mother's hive.

There are ten males for every female born. The vast majority of female fetuses are not viable. As to why there aren't more, if you have kids centuries apart (see the answer above) then you don't have very many who are children at once.

There can be more than one queen on a hive at the same time, but generally they're related -- mother and daughter, two sisters, etc.
(no subject) - elffreaky - Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo_graham - Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elffreaky - Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo_graham - Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elffreaky - Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo_graham - Sep. 24th, 2012 12:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
jo_graham
Sep. 22nd, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
Queens do give birth live, or at least can. And no, they're not pregnant all the time! Imagine that a queen lives 2,000 years, which is not old, given that Guide is 10,000 years old. Let's say she has twenty children. That means she has one child per century! So she's spending one year pregnant, and then 99 not! So it's not a big deal for a queen to have a couple of dozen children over the centuries, or even more. In 10,000 years she could have a hundred without breaking a sweat!

The males born to a hive are mostly half brothers, yes. However, some may be cousins or uncle and nephew, if there is more than one queen to a hive and they are sisters or mother and daughter. (Which accounts for so many looking alike, rather than all being played by the same actor... *cough*)

When they're grown, most young males leave their mother's hive for several reasons. 1) how many guys really want to spend their life living with mom? 2) there are no females on the hive who are not their close kin, hence no potential mates 3) the senior positions on the hive are usually filled by much older males, including their own fathers And so alone or in groups of two or three or four they move to another hive, attracted by a young queen who is putting a crew together or an older queen who has a daughter, where there is potential.

In Ouroboros we'll meet Guide's first cousin, the son of his mother's sister, with whom he left his original hive and joined Snow's.

And in answer to the other question, yes, Ouroboros is an SG-1 novel, just as Legacy are Atlantis novels, but just as Jack and Daniel and Landry have showed up in Legacy, so several Atlantis characters are showing up in Ouroboros, including Guide. And no, Ouroboros is not my book! It's Melissa's, but as she's a good friend I've been reading her drafts.
kaviiq
Sep. 23rd, 2012 03:18 am (UTC)
On the subject of sons leaving the hive, do they ever "write home", so to speak? Or is an exchange a complete severing of familial ties?
(no subject) - jo_graham - Sep. 24th, 2012 12:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - silverbullet27 - Sep. 23rd, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
kaviiq
Sep. 22nd, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
So Ember has a chance to appeal to Alabaster if he wants to?
jo_graham
Sep. 22nd, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
He does! I don't think he realizes that Alabaster would find him attractive, but she would.
(no subject) - kaviiq - Sep. 22nd, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo_graham - Sep. 22nd, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
mescott
Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
Chiming in because it's Wraithy stuff and I can't resist....

Regarding the relative precedence of blades and clevermen - well, what Jo said! But also I think the war with the Ancients tipped a lot of things out of balance for Wraith society. What we know from canon is that the Wraith overwhelmed the Ancients largely through weight of numbers, and then were stuck with too large a population for the human population to support them - thus the choice to hibernate. But hibernation also meant that hives fell out of touch with each other, and things that were merely the preference of one queen (as Jo says, the daughters of Night tend to like blades best; Osprey's daughters tend to have wider tastes) become social rules. Also, with fewer hives awake at any one time, there aren't as many options for a male who finds himself in an uncongenial setting to trade away to someplace he'd like better. And then, once all the hives are awakened, there's once again stiff competition for the available food, which again reduces the likelihood of exchange. (Michael was unlucky to be rescued by that particular Queen; another hive might have handled him very differently, but there's no longer a good mechanism for exchanging people.)

Admittedly, we don't see 2 queens on one hive in canon, but we do see queens cooperating, or at least we see a dominant queen telling other queens what to do - it depends on how you interpret the Primary. ;-) I think a hive with 2 queens is inevitable, as there must be some period - longer or shorter depending on the people involved - where a queen and her mature daughter inhabit the same hive. For some, I'm sure it's just long enough to grow the daughter her own hive and pull together a skeleton crew; for others, I can see mother and daughter working together for years, and remaining in close cooperation even after the daughter has a hive and even daughters of her own.

I am so looking forward to finished Ouroboros! I'm trying to write a "proper" hive, one not too badly distorted by the Ancient war, and certainly not disrupted by the waking of all the hives - though the more I work on it, the more I discover that Snow cannot be described as "proper" any more than Guide can... :-)
elffreaky
Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
They seem to be cleanish, am I right is this?
(no subject) - mescott - Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elffreaky - Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mescott - Sep. 22nd, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elffreaky - Sep. 26th, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
jo_graham
Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
Heh, I bet it's not a proper hive at all!

But I have to say, I'd like Guide, Seeker and Spark for my very own too! :D
(no subject) - mescott - Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo_graham - Sep. 22nd, 2012 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mescott - Sep. 22nd, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
mkatlantis_13
Sep. 26th, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
Do Wraith have any technological or scientific innovations? Aside from the refining of their feeding processes, the building of their ships and stun weapons, it doesn't seem like the Wraith do much in the way of scientific development in the last ten thousand years. Humans, for example. We can't go 45 seconds without trying to find a better, cooler, (and sometimes more wasteful) way to do something. The Wraith seem to have adopted the Ancients' philosophy of "that'll do, we're awesome," and haven't been shown doing much in the way of discovering things. Except Todd and Michael. But what about Wraith society as a whole?

Edited at 2012-09-26 12:16 am (UTC)
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )