Subject: There sort of was a mind-wipe.
Posted on: 2020-11-19 22:07:50 UTC

Not in the literal sense, but in the sense that so much history was lost by the Ninth Pass. And it's not too surprising, considering the utter disaster that the loss of the "Oldtime" Weyrs would have represented for the people heading into the Long Interval. No one was allowed to say "Don't worry, everyone, they're going to the future to help out the people 450 years from now, everything will be fine." The reason for their disappearance had to be a complete mystery, with only a couple of cryptic clues seeded for Lessa to find so she could fulfill the predestination paradox. Back then? The world at large might well have felt it was the End Times and sunk into chaos.

Losing the five Weyrs means losing a sizeable chunk of Pern's store of knowledge, written and otherwise. After a few record-destroying earthquakes (Pern gets plenty of those) and maybe a couple other natural disasters to boot, boom, near-total loss of history, especially as pertains to the dragonriders. The only people who might creditably remember the truth about the Southern Continent, fire-lizards, timing it, and all the rest—Benden Weyr and the Harper Hall—lose as much as anyone, and they both eventually fall from grace, too. With only the Lords Holder remaining to represent leadership and security, they scramble to secure whatever control they have. The Holds become more insular; their leaders become more autocratic; they sink into the medieval-esque state in which we find them at the start of the Ninth Pass. The traditions that remain are clung to fiercely, with little to no understanding of the purposes they're meant to serve. It takes visionaries like Robinton, Fandarel, F'lar and Lessa, and the likes of Toric to begin drawing people out of the Dark Age and into Pernese Renaissance.

That's my attempt to headcanon that contradiction into making sense, anyway. {= )

That said, just because the franchise has dragged the present into the past before doesn't mean it always must. I understand the temptation to Do the All the Things, because the fans liked those things when Anne did them, so they must want them all the time, right? For my two cents, though, I don't think that's true. Back in my RP days, the bits everyone focused on were Search and Impression, fighting Thread, and mating flights. If a new adaptation takes us on a fun adventure with likeable characters and features those three things, I reckon it'll feel enough like Pern to work. If you want to focus on anything else, focus on the Harper Hall, and don't neglect the music. Scoring a film or TV adaptation well would be absolutely critical to making it feel like Pern, since we already have an idea how (some) Pernese music sounds thanks to the two albums.

I'm not sure how I feel about a whole PCU—in my thoughts about an Eight Pass film, it was a stand-alone supplement to the existing book franchise, not the foundation of a new cinematic universe—but I do know that I wouldn't appreciate seeing Menolly get the boot in favor of Kindan. You're already ruining my childhood! {; P

TL;DR, there's no need to reinvent the Ninth-Pass wheel or gild the dragons-and-riders lily.

~Neshomeh might have more thoughts later; these were strung together at work. Hope they make sense!

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