As monumental works of science fiction, the stories of Pern are meant to entertain. Even though Anne consulted with Scientists and other experts to maintain factual consistencies, there are many instances where information in one book appears to contradict information in another. Anne's loyal fans refer to these as «Anne-consistencies».
Additionally, Anne commissioned other authors to write «reference» books to go into more detail regarding the world of Pern. These books, The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern and The Atlas of Pern, do provide much more detail. However, certain facts that they discuss are in direct conflict with what Anne has written in her novels.
One consistency, it appears, is that debates will go on, unresolved, forever.
Several character names have changed throughout the course of the series, perhaps most notably the character T'ton, the Weyrleader of Fort Weyr at the end of the Eighth Pass, whose name was changed without explanation to T'ron in all subsequent material. This can be considered a simple retcon, although in a few cases this can be explained in the story — for instance, T'ron could be said to have changed his name for some reason…
- Dulsay — Wife of Lord Larad of Telgar Hold; introduced in The Renegades of Pern. Oddly, Jissamy is said to be Lord Larad's wife in All the Weyrs of Pern, yet The Skies of Pern depicts Dulsay as Lord Larad's wife.
- Ika Fusaiyuki — Ito Fusaiyuki in The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall, Ita Fusaiyuki in The Skies of Pern.
- K'din and brown Buleth — Listed as K'drin and brown Bulith in The Skies of Pern (despite his original name being «Kanadin»; with no «R» present).
- Kitti Ping Yung
- Kuzuth; bronze dragon of — Once referred to as Tuzuth.
- Prideth; gold dragon of Kylara — Listed as «Pridith» in Dragonflight; name changed to Prideth in all subsequent writings.
- Sean Connell — Listed as "Sean O'Connell in All the Weyrs of Pern and Dragonsblood.
- Vanira — Varena
- Wind Blossom
- Jaxom and Felessan (Dragonquest)
- Readis (The Dolphins of Pern)
- G'dened (The Skies of Pern)
- Sebell (Masterharper of Pern, Dragonsinger)
- In certain editions of Dragonsdawn, Kitti Ping is said to be the grandmother of Wind Blossom, but in other editions and Dragonsblood, she is Wind Blossom's mother. According to Todd McCaffrey, this change occurred during the writing of Dragonsblood, where UK editors questioned the relationship between the two, and Anne McCaffrey decided that their relationship better suited that of a mother and daughter.
- In Dragonflight, Larth — Lytol's deceased dragon — is said to have been a green dragon, but also male. In all subsequent material, Larth was stated to have been a brown dragon.
- In Dragonflight, F'lar states that Moreta was a famous Weyrwoman from Ruatha Hold who had the ability to «hear all dragons». However, Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern states that Moreta was from Keroon Hold, and has no such ability. According to an interview with Anne McCaffrey that was referred to in the Atlas of Pern, some famous names were re-used, and Karen Wynn Fonstad speculated in the Atlas that there may have been a second Moreta who was from Ruatha Hold and had the ability to hear all dragons, and that the two Weyrwomen were mistaken for the same person over time. In Nerilka's Story, Alessan and Nerilka, the Lord and Lady Holder of Ruatha Hold, name their first daughter Moreta. This Moreta could be the Ruathan Weyrwoman who could hear all dragons.
- L'rian goes Between with Danorth in Dragonheart, yet is mentioned among one of those restraining S'ban in Dragongirl.
- In Dragonflight, Larth is said to have died during an accident in the Spring Games where S'lel's Tuenth emerged from Between flaming and fatally burnt him along his side. In The Masterharper of Pern, F'lon states M'ridin's Spakinth was the flaming dragon, and that it took place during a drill. Confusingly, M'ridin was not the rider of Spakinth; C'rob was — M'ridin's dragon was Cortath. It should be noted that F'lon was drinking wine when he shared this information, so he may have mixed up the name of either dragon or rider.
- Towards the end of The Dolphins of Pern, Toric of Southern Hold is disciplined by the Lord Holders of the Northern Continent, including Oterel of Tillek Hold and Begamon of Nerat Hold. Later on, Oterel is one of the many people who meet Readis when it is decided to establish a Dolphincrafthall. This is a massive error, as both of these Lord Holders were replaced in All the Weyrs of Pern: Oterel died and was succeeded by his son Ranrel, and Begamon was stripped of his title and banished to the Eastern Ring Islands for his role in the attempted kidnap of Masterharper Robinton, and was succeeded by his brother Ciparis. It can be safely assumed that Ranrel and Ciparis attended the significant events instead.
- In Dragonsblood, D'mal and Nara are the Weyrleaders of Fort Weyr during the late First Pass, yet the text in Dragonheart states they were the Weyrleaders immediately before K'lior and Cisca.
- In All the Weyrs of Pern, N'ton's dragon Lioth is mistakenly called Monarth, which is the name of T'gellan's dragon.
- In Sky Dragons T'rennor's green Kisorth is repeatedly confused with V'lex's green Sarinth.
- Robinton is retconned in The Masterharper of Pern, as he speaks to dragons his entire life. In earlier books he is beyond gratified every time a dragon speaks to him and is very surprised and alarmed at times when it happens. If he grew up being able to speak to any dragon at will, it does not make sense when compared to the Dragonrider Trilogy.
- At the end of The Dolphins of Pern, Readis dubs his proposed hold «Kahrain Hold», after he is told that was the ancient name for the place. However, Readis' site is actually located on the Rubicon River, in between Cathay and Araby Provinces, Kahrain Province being the large peninsula which Cove Hold is located on. This was later fixed in the updated version of The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, which listed the name as «Rubicon River Hold».
|Original (Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern)||Retconned (Red Star Rising, Dragonsblood)|
|Fort Weyr and Benden Weyr were built in the First Pass; the other Weyrs were built during the Intervals — the last of which, Telgar Weyr, was built by the Sixth Pass.||All six Weyrs were built by the end of the First Pass.|
The information that Telgar Weyr was built by the Sixth Pass is not mentioned in any of the novels covering this time; instead, it came from an interview with Anne McCaffrey (referenced in the Atlas of Pern), giving this as the reason for Fort Weyr flying Thread over Crom Hold.
While this could be explained as the result of the Weyr borders being different in the Sixth Pass, or Fort Weyr aiding Telgar Weyr for some unknown reason, it could also be that Telgar Weyr was abandoned at some point in time — similar to the abandoning of Igen Weyr in the Second Interval — and had only recently been re-established by this point.
|Original (Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern)||Retconned (Red Star Rising/Dragonseye)|
|The exterior of the Harper Hall was built in the Sixth Pass, around the time of the Plague.||The exterior of the Harper Hall was built towards the end of the First Interval.|
In an interview, Anne McCaffrey stated that this was the
|Telgar Hold was «new»||Telgar Hold was the sixth hold to be settled on the Northern Continent.|
|Original||Retconned (The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall)|
|Ruatha Hold was the second major hold to be founded on the Northern Continent||Ruatha Hold was the third major hold to be founded on the Northern Continent|
This is easily explained as the result of records b
- According to the earlier
Fort Weyr, Benden Weyr, High Reaches Weyr, Igen Weyr, Ista Weyr, Telgar Weyr. However, the short story The Second Weyr depicts Ista Weyr and [elgar Weyr being established as Weyrs alongside Benden Weyr, with the locations of High Reaches Weyr and Igen Weyr being noted for later dates. It is not clear whether the It should be noted, however, that the Ista Weyr and Telgar Weyr sites were being used by the dragonriders long before the establishment of Benden Weyr, which was still considered «the Second Weyr» despite this. This could suggest that Ista Weyr and Telgar Weyr were occupied, but not formally established as Weyrs until after High Reaches Weyr and Igen Weyr were settled. Alternatively, the spread of settlements across the Northern Continent might have forced the dragonriders to abandon the Ista Weyr and Telgar Weyr sites in favour of choosing sites at High Reaches Weyr and Igen Weyr that were nearer to the settlements.
Fax's Seven Holds
|Original (The Renegades of Pern||Retconned The Masterharper of Pern|
NOTE: In earlier novels, Fax is listed as being the Lord Holder of Nabol Hold. This was later retconned.
In both cases it is not entirely clear why Fax invaded Holds that would technically be under his control as Lord Holder — such as Riverbend Hold — although it could suggest the Holders resisted his control, or it could be that Fax simply wanted to have greater control over particularly productive Holds.
In The Masterharper of Pern, Fax is shown to have invaded Keogh Hold — beholden to Nabol Hold — before invading Nabol Hold, perhaps to get a base in Nabol. Despite now being Lord Holder of Nabol, Fax may have decided to keep his title as holder of Keogh Hold — which would make sense, considering his attitude in Dragonflight that all his
Fax is also mentioned in this version as having invaded Ogren Hold and Lewis Hold some time after capturing Radharc Hold. Since these holds would already have been under his control as they were beholden to High Reaches (like Balen and Riverbend), it could be that they were against his rule.
In a number of the Pern novels, dates or character ages are given that occasionally contradict each other. As a part of creating accurate and detailed pages, the Pern Wiki has analysed and adjusted several dates to deal with these inconsistencies — and also mentioning the incorrect date along with the adjusted date.
This section lists the problems encountered throughout the Pern novels, and the steps taken to rectify the timeline.
Turn Date Errors and Aivas Adjusted Turns
Ninth Pass Inconsistencies
- Problem — Jaxom is said to be nearly twelve turns of age, and Felessan three turns his younger. However, only ten turns have passed since his birth in Dragonflight.
- Possible Solution — The events of Dragonflight can't be moved back without affecting the date of Ramoth's first rising to mate, and while shifting Dragonquest forwards two years would fix the problems in The White Dragon, it also affects the Harper Hall trilogy, The White Dragon and The Renegades of Pern; messing up the date various characters end up at the Southern Continent, and creating more inconsistencies — and worsening the existing ones. In short, this cannot be fixed, and should be thought of as an age inconsistency; Jaxom really being ten turns of age and Felessan seven.
- Problem: Multiple lines state that the events of Dragonquest happened on a different date than 8PP.
- Solution — A major theme of The White Dragon is Jaxom's coming-of-age — he is eighteen turns as of 15PP; meaning that this date is accurate. This leaves the only option to shift the date of Ruth's first flight with Jaxom from 12PP to 10PP; with the only side-effect being that Jaxom now spends five turns at the Smithcrafthall instead of three.
- Sebell's age, rank and duties are inconsistent (in the case of duties, almost opposite) with Dragonsong. In The Masterharper of Pern Sebell is 10 or 11 when he arrives at the Hall, shortly before Lessa is seen as a toddler (making him 30 or so when the 15th Pass starts as Lessa was about 20 when she Impressed and the Pas began 3 years later) and having become a Journeyman at the same approximate age as Robinton, 15, but is indispensable to the Harper and is considered his «shadow.» Therefore he was only briefly away from the Hall. He was old enough to have joined the stand against Fax by the Masters and Holders (and was the Hall's most talented at self-defense) but Robinton refused to risk him and kept him in the Hall. In Dragonsong Sebell has just become a journeyman shortly before Menolly's arrival (7 years after the Pass started), and is seen still wearing a faded apprentice badge (several others wear older clothing showing a former rank). Sebell also tells Menolly that his main job is journeying outside the Hall. In Dragondrums Sebell is shown doing undercover work much as Nip and Tuck did in The Masterharper of Pern.
- Solution: His stated absence from the Harper Hall of several months in The White Dragon can be explained by Journeywoman Menolly's assistance to Robinton at the Hall lessening Robinton's need for him (although Sebell was planning to leave to impersonate a fisherman when he met her). If he was born 10 years before Lessa and became a Journeyman at 15 he would be 37 in Dragonsinger and hardly a new Journeyman
- Problem: F'lessan and Mirrim are seen Impressing Golanth and Path in 11PP, when the dates given in The White Dragon suggest they should have Impressed in 13PP. This also means F'lessan is nearly ten turns, when The Smallest Dragonboy states twelve turns is the youngest a candidate can be.
- Solution: As mentioned in the solution for Dragonquest's timeline inconsistencies, it isn't possible to shift the events of Dragondrums and The Renegades of Pern forwards without creating further inconsistencies, so it should be assumed that The White Dragon listed the incorrect dates — fitting in with the conclusion above. However, this also means that Path didn't rise to mate for four turns, instead of the usual two. Since the timeline can't be adjusted to accomodate this, it must therefore be assumed that Path was inhibited for some reason, and F'lessan was allowed to stand early for some reason — perhaps nepotism, or there could have been a shortage of candidates that turn.
- Problem: Dates change abruptly from 17PP in previous material — The Renegades of Pern — to 19PP; concluding in 23PP. Subsequent books — The Dolphins of Pern and The Skies of Pern — list same period of time as 17PP to 21PP.
- Solution — All the Weyrs of Pern's dates were incorrect and should be treated as an inconsistency. Alternatively, if All the Weyrs of Pern's dates are considered accurate — either meaning that Project Overkill took six turns instead of four, or unearthing Landing took four turns instead of two — this makes Readis the age he is said to be in The Dolphins of Pern (see below), but also affects the name of class at Landing — named Class 21; after the turn Project Overkill was completed in — and the date as given by F'lar towards the end of The Dolphins of Pern.
- Problem — Readis (II)'s age changes drastically; changing from five turns — which in itself means that Jayge and Aramina conceived very shortly after meeting eachother — in All the Weyrs of Pern to seven turns, and later going from eleven turns to eighteen turns over a three turn span.
- Solution — The latter problem with Readis' age was solved in The Skies of Pern, which gave the date of the final chapters of The Dolphins of Pern as 29PP; suggesting more time passed during a chapter transition than was otherwise noted. As for Readis' initial age, for him to be seven turns would require an additional two turns to have been spent excavating Landing — meaning All the Weyrs of Pern listed the correct dates.
- Problem — Shankolin states he was imprisoned for thirteen turns; despite the events of The Skies of Pern taking place only eleven (or nine, if All the Weyrs of Pern lists the correct dates) turns after Shankolin was apprehended.
- Solution — Easily explained as Shankolin miscounting the date while imprisoned — or even becoming confused by the Aivas Adjusted Turns, since all other solutions mean the dates given in The Skies of Pern are incorrect and as such would require it to be shifted ahead two turns.
The simplest solution — the option that fixes the most dating and age errors without too many changes to canon — is this;
- The opening chapter of The White Dragon is shifted from 12PP to 10PP; meaning Jaxom spent five years at the Smithcrafthall instead of three.
- All the Weyrs of Pern's dates — beginning in 19PP and ending in 23PP — are ignored; The Renegades of Pern, The Dolphins of Pern and The Skies of Pern's dates for the same period of time — beginning in 17PP and ending in 21PP — are used instead.
- All lines that contradict this timeline ignored as simple inconsistencies — problems such as Jaxom & Felessan's age in Dragonquest, contradictory dates in The White Dragon,Readis (II)'s age in The Dolphins of Pern and the length of Shankolin's imprisonment.
- F'lessan's being two years below the age for candidacy when Impressing Golanth acknowledged — perhaps either nepotism on F'lar and Lessa's part, or the result of a shortfall of candidates that turn.
- Path's first rising taking place after four turns instead of two acknowledged as being part of the story — likely Path being inadvertantly inhibited for some reason.
This creates the following timeline;
- 2505-2508AL/2518-2521AAT (1PP) — Events of Dragonflight.
- 2515AL/2529AAT (8PP) — Events of Dragonquest, Dragonsong and Dragonsinger.
- 2517AL/2531AAT (10PP) — Jaxom flies Ruth for the first time.
- 2518AL/2532AAT (11PP) — Events of Dragondrums.
- 2519AL/2533AAT (12PP) — Events of The Girl Who Heard Dragons.
- 2523AL/2537AAT (15PP) — Events of The White Dragon.
- 2525AL/2539AAT (17PP) — Discovery of Aivas.
- 2529AL/2543AAT (21PP) — Completion of Project Overkill; Death of Masterharper Robinton.
- 2537AL/2551AAT (29PP) — Readis establishes Rubicon River Hold (incorrectly listed as Kahrain Hold)
- 2539AL/2553AAT (31PP) — Events of The Skies of Pern.
Fire Lizard Inconsistencies
In Dragonseye, set during the Second Pass, it states that no one has fire-lizard companions although in Todd McCaffrey's Dragonsblood, set during the Third Pass, most of the population still has fire-lizards before the disease wipes them out and spreads to the dragons. Perhaps they were reintroduced.
Flora or Fauna of Pern
- Coconut aka Nut Fruit (Dragonsheart, Sky Dragons)
- Rice also known as watergrass and few more.
- Garlic (Moreta Dragonlady of Pern) and (Dragonheart)
- Feline (Moreta, Sixth Pass books), First Pass/First Interval, Dragonsdawn, Red Star Rising Second Interval/Third Pass (Dragon's Time and Sky Dragons)
Scientific data Inconsistencies
- In All the Weyrs of Pern, to go aboard the Yokohama, it takes 10 seconds to Jaxom 10 million kilometers. However, this ship is supposed to be in a geosynchronous orbit.
- In The Skies of Pern, The Yokohama is at an altitude of 71,377 km. Same problem here, this ship is supposed to be in a geosynchronous orbit, or Pern has a far far longer day than Earth.
- In Dragonsdawn, starships (Yokohama, Bahrain and Buenos Aires) are on langrangrian point L5 and behind Timor. And again, starships are supposed to be in a geosynchronous orbit.
- In Sky Dragons, The starships are sun synchronous orbit hence their names. So the geosynchronous orbit is a real scientific inconsistency.