Allow me to address some of the many flaws in House Targaryen. Even though I will always be a fan of this infamous family, I cannot shake off their flaws. Among those flaws was the fact that they were very careless and irresponsible with their heirlooms compared to other noble houses.
To begin with, the Targaryens lost the Valyrian steel crown of Aegon the Conqueror when Daeron the Young Dragon attempted to conquer Dorne. Since then, Targaryen kings replaced it with inferior crowns that any normal king would wear. Because Valyrian steel is so rare and impossible to make from scratch, that crown was irreplaceable. When House Arryn ruled as Kings of the Vale, they had a collection of crowns they had worn for thousands of years until Visenya Targaryen took them away.
While we are on the subject of Valyrian steel, let’s turn our attention to the two Valyrian steel ancestral swords of House Targaryen: Blackfyre and Dark Sister. Most noble families were super lucky if they even had one Valyrian steel sword, but the Targaryens had TWO!!! Then they squandered both swords at the start and end of the five Blackfyre Rebellions. The noble families who had Valyrian steel swords such as the Starks, Mormonts, and Tarlys took great care of their ancestral blades and had them for five hundred years. With the Targaryen Dynasty, they lost both of their ancestral blades after having them for less than two hundred years.
Thanks to the Mad King’s insanity and tyranny, the Targaryen Dynasty lost the Iron Throne; the seat of absolute power that they held for almost three hundred years. If it wasn’t for the Targaryen family curse of madness and had the sense of giving up their practice of incest, the Targaryens could have ruled Westeros until the end of time.
However, even though the Iron Throne served as a symbol of the Targaryen’s power, the true source of their power came in the form of their greatest weapons: DRAGONS!!! For over a century, the Targaryen Dynasty were able to hold onto their power thanks to their dragons. With the exception of the Dornishmen and the zealots of the Faith Militant, no one was crazy enough to wage war against dragons. Then the Dance of the Dragons came along and the Targaryens lost their dragons along with the long term lynchpin to their hold to the Iron Throne. Instead of being responsible with their dragons, the Targaryens regarded them as weapons and they paid the price for this neglect.
I breaks my heart that the Targaryens did not take better care with all of their heirlooms. They truly had it in them to rule Westeros forever if they had taken the proper steps to prevent their downfall.
As powerful and extraordinary as superheroes are, they are not without their weaknesses. Easily the most iconic superhero weakness is Kryptonite, which is one of Superman’s few weaknesses alongside red sun radiation and magic. To serve as a countermeasure against superhumans in my new superhero series, the government will be employing a weakness that does not just affect one superhero but all superhumans in general. This weakness can kill the weakest superhumans in seconds or minutes while the strongest superhumans take between a half hour to an hour to kill. I won’t say what this weakness is, but the way it kills its victims is going to be gruesome.
I discovered a rather funny medieval figure known as Charles the Simple, who was a notoriously useless French king from the 9th to 10th century. His subjects overthrew him and locked him in a jail because he was such a bad general. “The Simple” is not a wise name for a king to earn. Three centuries later, Simon de Montfort said that Henry III should be locked up like Charles the Simple due to Henry’s own poor military record. Thinking about locking up your king is one thing, but saying it to his face like Simon did is flirting with treason.
I like ligers because they are such fascinating big cats. They are the offspring of male lions and female tigers. Ligers tend to be larger and more powerful than either of their parents and surprisingly quick for their size, bursting with hybrid energy and stamina. They are about the same size as Smilodon AKA the famous saber-toothed cat (minus the sabers). After watching this video of ligers, they are not the big killer cats you would expect. Instead, they are essentially large, lazy, and spoiled babies.
I am thinking of including ligers in my fantasy world and their origins would be based on a local fairy tale and children’s story. I will base this legend on a Greek myth about the Myrmidons. In the original legend, the first king of the Myrmidons prayed for Zeus to give him a strong and powerful people to rule over. Zeus granted his wish by turning every ant on the island into a human and the Myrmidons were born. Because they used to be ants, the Myrmidons were the original Ant-Men.
In medieval times, two things were commonplace: trial by combat and family dysfunction. Throughout medieval history, noble families often fought one another for power and status. Easily one of the most extreme examples was the War of the Roses, which resulted in a 30 year blood feud between York and Lancaster, who were both related to one another and both coveted the throne of England. Trial by combat was often a way for people to settle disputes in a more fair and civilized fashion.
In my fantasy world, the family that rules the Gradaian Empire are a family of dragon riders. So far, they have not developed an excuse to fight one another, but since blood feuds were common in medieval times, a feud between this powerful family seems inevitable. With this in mind, a civil war between dragon riders would definitely result in an amount of death and destruction that would take generations to recover from. So to avoid such a volatile powder keg, a more civilized approach should be developed in case these dragon riders have disputes to settle.
Imagine a trial by combat between dragon riders where one dragon rider battles against another. There would be no outside help. Like a normal trial by combat, the duel is over when a combatant is either killed or yields. The only catch is that you need to have your dragon able to fight and fly until the end of the duel. If you lose your dragon, you are disqualified and you automatically lose the match. Such a battle would light up the sky like a second sun and the sound of roaring and screaming would fill the air like a swarm of damned souls.
With such a system in place, a civil war involving dragons would be avoided and family disputes can be settled fairly and evenly.
I have always been a fan of the Terminator franchise and I am looking forward to the new film Dark Fate. In this film, we are introduced to a new villainous Terminator known as the REV-9. Based on the trailer, the REV-9 is essentially a fusion between the robotic endoskeleton of the T-800 and the liquid metal coating of the T-1000. This makes it similar to the TX from Rise of the Machines, but unlike the TX, the endoskeleton and the liquid metal can operate independently from one another. This way, you get two Terminator units in one, which makes it twice as deadly as previous models and will mean double the trouble the heroes will go through. I look forward to seeing what other nasty surprises this new Terminator unit has up its metallic sleeves. One thing is certain; I don’t want to be terminated by this thing.
At some point in my fantasy series, The Magnus Dynasty Saga, I am thinking of introducing a creature known as a Bauk. Bauks are from Serbian folklore and they are known to hide in shadows and abandoned buildings and wait to snatch away unsuspecting victims. Bauks were one of the mythical creatures that inspired J. R. R. Tolkein to create his version of Orcs. Also, Bauks gave J. K. Rowling inspiration for the shape-shifting Boggarts. I am thinking of following Rowling and Tolkein’s example and doing my own spin on Bauks. They will even have the same name as the original myth. To make things even more intriguing, these Bauks won’t be native to the Gradaian Empire. Instead, they will be from a different, previously unknown and uncharted continent. I look forward to tinkering with this idea.
I remember a little incident my family and I had during our most recent trip to Hawaii. On the island of Kauai (which we nicknamed Chicken Island because there were wild chickens everywhere) my father, sister, brother-in-law, and I went kayaking down a river that opened up to the ocean. When we started rowing with our group, my father and I were in the same kayak. Because we were both big studs, our combined weight weighed us down so much that we were not only being left in the dust by the rest of the group, but the rim of the boat was only a few centimeters from the water. We knew that one wrong turn would tip the boat over and dump us into the river. That part did not worry us. What worried us was what was potentially lurking below the river’s murky depths. The river opened up into the ocean, which made the water brackish. My father and I watch Shark Week every year and we know for a fact that bull sharks can swim into brackish water and attack humans. Bull sharks have more testosterone than any other creature, which makes them completely aggressive. They do not attack people for food, but to satisfy their boundless hormone-based rage. Hawaii has been known to have between 2 to 3 shark attacks every year and bull sharks are one of the main suspects. We could not see anything in the river because it was so murky, but we knew bull sharks were down there somewhere. If we fell out of our boat, we were likely chum. Therefore, it became both a race and balancing act to catch up with the rest of our group. We even caught sight of something . . . BIG . . . moving next to us! That was one of the most nerve-racking experiences I ever had. Hopefully, I won’t have a close call like that next time I go to Hawaii. When writing my killer croc story idea, I can draw inspiration from the absolute fear I felt that day.
I had an intriguing idea for the female lead for my new superhero series. Initially, I wanted her to be a powerful psychic with dissociative identity disorder. Now, I am thinking of giving her seven total powers. However, she cannot control them at will and can only summon them either at random or by reflex. This lack of control will make her a loose cannon to herself and everyone around her. Her struggle to control her powers will serve as an integral part of her character arc. I always wanted to create a female superhero who was both extremely powerful and emotionally vulnerable at the same time. This idea will allow me to attack the concept from a different angle.
I just watched the film known as Crawl, which depicted a father and daughter fighting to survive against a horde of man-eating American Alligators as a hurricane ravages their home. While driving home, I was in deep analytical thought about crocodilians in general. I wondered if it was possible for an American Alligator to interbreed with an American Crocodile, resulting in hybrid offspring. I got the idea from the Liger, which is a hybrid between a lion and a tiger. Hybrid animals such as the Liger are known to be larger and more powerful than either of its parents.
With this in mind, I made some calculations about the size of both crocodiles and alligators. American Crocodiles tend to grow to an average maximum length of 16 feet and weigh 1,100 pounds while the American Alligator can grow to an average maximum length of 15 feet and weigh 500 pounds. With these calculations in mind, I think a croc/gator hybrid could grow between 20 to 25 feet in length and weigh between 2 to 3 tons. Also, alligators and crocodiles tend to lay up to 70 to 80 eggs at a time. Imagine that many of these giants roaming about.
Then I raised the stakes even higher when I remembered the killer shark film known as Deep Blue Sea, which depicted genetically engineered sharks that were smarter than either dolphins or whales or primates. Like crocodilians, sharks did not have to evolve for millions of years because they were perfectly evolved killing machines. They have been around since before the dinosaurs and survived every mass extinction event. When you combine that with human-like intelligence, you create a true super predator.
I therefore thought of taking the super smart predator concept and incorporating it into these croc/gator hybrids. Crocodilians are already one of God’s oldest and flawless killing machines. Imagine how much more formidable they would be if they were as smart and calculating as humans. Worse, imagine a creature that is 25 feet in length, weighs 3 tons, and can outsmart and outmaneuver any human that crosses its path. That is a potent mix and gives me the goosebumps.
I will tinker with this idea further in a potential story idea in the future.