Timeline Inconsistency (and Solution!)

Just think I should clarify this in case it takes me a while to write it; there's a number of issues with the timeline of events as listed in the various Ninth Pass books (you can read some of the issues here; [1]).

The simplest solution - that is, 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; Jaxom spending five years at the Smithcrafthall instead of three.
  • ATWOP's dates - beginning in 19PP and ending in 23PP - are ignored; ROP & DOP'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, Readis (II)'s age in Dolphins of Pern and the length of Shankolin's imprisonment.

This creates the following timeline;

Of course, these dates themselves are incorrect - we know from Aivas that 2508 should really be 2521, but we'll get to that later. AMCAlmaron 04:08, May 31, 2012 (UTC)

To additionally clarify, here are the problematic dates:

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 would fix the problems in The White Dragon, it also affects the Harper Hall trilogy and the events of Renegades of Pern - Piemur being in the south to find Jayge and Aramina, and a baby Readis (II). 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.
  • Jaxom flying Ruth after he's reached his full growth - taking two turns - in 12PP; implying he was hatched in 10PP.
  • Menolly claiming in 15PP that Ruth and Beauty were hatched five turns back (10PP).
  • Jaxom musing in 15PP that Southern Weyrleader T'kul has been in Southern for six turns (9PP).
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.
Problem: Dates change abruptly from 17PP in previous material - Renegades of Pern - to 19PP; concluding in 23PP. Subsequent book - Dolphins of Pern - covers 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 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 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 - Obviously, the latter problem cannot be solved, and should be treated as an inconsistency - unless Readis (II) lived undiscovered with the Dolphins for seven turns. As for Readis (II)' 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 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 Skies of Pern are incorrect and as such would require it to be shifted ahead two turns.

As you can see, the simplest option is the one I listed; Readis (II) is the age given in All the Weyrs of Pern, Ruth's first flight is moved back two turns to 10PP and Jaxom and Felessan's given ages in Dragonquest are ignored, along with the length of Shankolin's imprisonment and any other contradictory dates.

Obviously, we need to have a stable timeline to write character pages, and I intend for us to use this revised timeline; with links on every page containing a shifted date to the Inconsistencies page, where what I've written above (more or less; replacing the existing All the Weyrs of Pern and Dolphins of Pern section) listing the original dates and the reason behind the changes. AMCAlmaron 09:23, May 31, 2012 (UTC)

Don't think that I've ever seen all the timeline inconsistencies laid out this clearly before! Reading the above makes my head spin, but really points out that we have to have this nailed down.
I don't think that throughout all the Pern Fandom, it will ever be agreed on, and I would enjoy hearing the many opinions. However, for this site, I agree, we should come up with a consistent approach to dating events.
I'm looking forward to what you come up with based on your final paragraph above.
Also, what you have written here is a great topic for a Forum discussion where it can be debated. Would you do that?
Stephenaug 15:04, June 3, 2012 (UTC)
Sure, you can put it on a forum if you want - I already put some of this on another forum (the link at the top of this page) and nobody's managed to disprove it yet!
BTW, here's a quick example of what I think some pages could look like with this take on the timeline;
"In 19PP(footnote one link), Aivas was attacked by..."
(footnote one) Incorrectly listed in All the Weyrs of Pern as 21PP, see here for reasons behind altered date.
AMCAlmaron 22:06, June 3, 2012 (UTC)
Just rewrote the Timeline section on the Inconsistencies page! AMCAlmaron 22:17, June 3, 2012 (UTC)

Someone found a new inconsistency on a Pern message board; Path apparently takes four turns to rise, when two years is the normal time. Might need to have another look at things, though I still think what I said and concluded holds up - if Dragonquest is adjusted to suit the dates in White Dragon, this fixes the problem with Path, but it then messes up Dragondrums and Renegades of Pern. So far, the "explanation" we came up with was Mirrim might have inadvertantly inhibited Path; compare Jora inhibiting Nemorth for eight years, and Brekke - Mirrim's foster mother - and her fear that she would do the same; perhaps it inadvertantly rubbed off on Mirrim? AMCAlmaron 20:08, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

"Inconsistencies" is getting pretty big... you think that we should break it down into separate pages? - Stephenaug 12:50, June 7, 2012 (UTC)

I was thinking we might need to at some point...for now, let's wait and see how much stuff fills it up, then if it gets too big we'll split it up. AMCAlmaron 20:55, June 7, 2012 (UTC)

The inconsistencies do add an interesting topic. Thanks - Stephenaug 21:07, June 7, 2012 (UTC)

Regarding geosynchronous orbits...

We'll need to update this when more things have been added to the Dawn Sisters page, but for now, I thought I should note that Todd McCaffrey himself revealed on his website - specifically on this page [2] - that the Dawn Sisters were in "sun-synchronous" orbit rather than geosynchronous; as such, this should be noted somewhere on this page as something that was changed in a later book, and the section that talks about the geosynchronous errors should be updated. AMCAlmaron (talk) 08:15, March 2, 2013 (UTC)

Many thanks !  So the starships were in LPO for landing passengers and equipment. Once this work is finished, they moved to the sun synchronous orbit to map the planet Pern. That explains a lot of things !
Lauwfeyh (talk) 17:16, March 29, 2013 (UTC)

This page is a mess. Sentences die partway through leaving the meaning behind them incomprehensible. If someone knows the content that should go into those sentences, they need fixing. Otherwise they should just be pruned out. 11:16, June 24, 2015 (UTC)

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.