Grandfather

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Contents

Character Profile

Name: Lung Tien (?) (personal name unknown; possibly Xian)
Date of Birth: Unknown
Breed: Celestial
Captain: Unknown
National Loyalty: China
Appearance: See Article
Special Abilities: Divine Wind
Status: Active


Biography

The oldest living Celestial dragon in 1805 was respectfully referred to as "Grandfather" by Lung Tien Qian. All of the other Celestials at that time ("...some four or five generations") were his descendants via cross-matings with Imperial dragons, since Celestials were not fertile among themselves. "Grandfather" himself had been produced from the mating of two Imperials, a rare but not unknown event.

Due to his great age, he had lost much of his original black coloration, so that his body had a reddish tint through the now-translucent hide and his ruff was entirely colorless. His blue eyes had turned milky with cataracts. Because of his near-blindness, he was attended by another dragon (an unnamed black-striped yellow breed) who guided his slow steps. It is not known whether "Grandfather" was still able to fly.

Following the pattern of other Chinese names for dragons, "Grandfather" would had had a three-part name beginning with "Lung Tien" (to identify him as a Celestial dragon) and ending with a personal name.

Lung Tien Xian?

In Throne of Jade, Lung Tien Qian said that she and Lung Tien Chu were "hatched of Xian". The exact quote, addressed by her to Temeraire, is "(Lung Tien Lien) is your older cousin. She was sired by Chu, who was hatched of Xian, as was I."

"Xian" may have been the true personal name of "Grandfather", since that was the only name omitted when Qian listed all of the living Celestials. ("There are only myself and Lien now, who are female, and besides Grandfather and Chu, there are only Chuan and Ming and Zhi, and we are all cousins at most.")

Alternately, Xian may have been a female Celestial dragon sired by "Grandfather", but her subsequent disappearance would be difficult to explain. According to Qian's list, she herself and Lung Tien Lien were the only two female Celestials left. Since Celestials did not fight in China, they would presumably live out their natural lifespans into old age, and there is no obvious reason why "Grandfather" would outlive his own daughter.

Yet a third possibility is that Xian was an Imperial dragon (perhaps a female who mated with Grandfather) and thus omitted from the list of Celestials. In the same conversation, Qian mentions that Celestials cannot interbreed among themselves and always have at least one Imperial parent.

Possible family tree

If Grandfather was indeed Xian and none of his Celestial descendants predeceased him, their family tree would 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 tree is based on matching a Chinese emperor with each Celestial dragon until Temeraire's generation (himself, his elder twin brother Chuan, and their cousin Lien). The Celestials' multiple lines of descent suggest that the Imperial heir's dragon did not need to be the direct offspring of the Emperor's dragon.

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