Kyle the Dragon asks:

If you were a dragon, what would you hoard?

To be honest, I’m not really a hoard-y person; maybe it’s because I spent most of the last 7 years living in a foreign country not wanting to collect too much excess stuff I’d eventually have to pack up and ship a long distance, then had to come home at short notice and left behind most of the things I did own.  Maybe books… but books are heavy and take up a lot of space, y’know, and who doesn’t have an e-reader these days, even as a dragon?  Actually, I think dragon-Chris might hoard maps.  Maps of real places and imagined ones; maps that lead to buried treasure; maps of the body, mind and spirit; maps that are scrupulously accurate and maps that are half-dream; maps that help people conceive of the shape of their world and their own place within it.

RandomAccess asks:

I just saw the YouTube video “Trope Talk: Dragons” from the channel “Overly Sarcastic Productions”. Basically a brief summary about how a dragon is defined (or rather how they lack a concrete definition) and how they play an important role throughout almost every human culture in the world. If you have seen the video (or probably more accurately, decided to see it after reading this) I’m curious if you have thoughts on it regarding how these ideas might apply to the variety of the dragon type in Pokemon.

Well, it’s a good video!  No corrections! (Here it is, for anyone wanting to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eXAPwjASEQ)

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The Dance of Dragons asks:

If you had a dragon, what would you name him/her?

I had a fairly long discussion about this with Jim the Editor and didn’t really come to a satisfying conclusion; I think I’m possibly going about the question the wrong way.  See… when I take it upon myself to imagine a dragon, I sort of… picture something that would come with a name?  Like, a dragon to my mind is an intelligent creature that might not necessarily want me to name it, or might expect a name from its own language.  Y’know, you can’t name a dragon the way you’d name a pet dog or whatever because it’s going to understand the name and has to like it, but it’s also weird to just give a dragon a normal human name like “Kyle” – which is a name I genuinely like and could imagine giving to a kid, but is undeniably a weird name for a dragon.

Can you do that?  Can you name a dragon “Kyle”?  Kyle the dragon?

I mean, I’m committed now; I guess if I ever get a dragon, then this is what’s happening and we all just have to live with that.

Drampa

Drampa

I think I may have been born an old man.  I’ve always been jaded, crotchety, forgetful and averse to change, and my whole life has just been building up to the day when I’ll finally be able to use my age as an excuse for it.  It is for this reason that my spirit Pokémon is Druddigon, who lives in a cave and hates everyone, but I have a certain sympathy too for today’s Pokémon, an elderly, white-haired berserk dragon known to the Alolans as Drampa.

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Hyper Beam asks:

How would you…in glorious detail…imagine kyurem, zekrom, and reshiram finally combined?

(Disclaimer first: I’m not a designer or an artist, and a Google image search would give you multiple answers to this question that are better than anything you’ll get from me)

The thing is, I actually like that Game Freak never gave us a final realisation of this concept.  Whatever they came up with, it would not have lived up to our expectations or done justice to the idea.  The original primordial dragon represents the totality of all truths and the realisation of all ideals, the reconciliation of every pair of opposites and the resolution of every conflict.  I suggest, though I obviously cannot prove, that the reason it never appears in the games is because Game Freak realised that there is no satisfying way to depict that, and decided it was better left as a mysterious background presence in the lore.  Sometimes it’s more effective to leave things to the imagination; there’s a reason some horror movies never show the monster.  A big mass of black and white wings and scales and $#!t is not as evocative or meaningful as the vague suggestion, buried in layers of mythology, of a primordial being who symbolises the impossible unity of all divisions.  Frankly I think Pokémon could do with more of that kind of restraint, not less.

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Anonymous asks:

What are your thoughts on Seadra’s extremely bizarre Pokedex entry that mentions the “presence of a gene not found in Horsea”? Other ridiculous Pokedex entries could be explained away as myths or mere exaggerations, but this one is implied to be based on actual scientific research. What do you think this could mean for Pokemon biology, and why do you think they chose Seadra out of all Pokemon to assign this piece of information to?

…huh.  Y’know, I never noticed that before.  That’s… odd.  I think the reason the writers say this about Seadra in particular is because they want to hint at the gradual awakening of Horsea’s Dragon-type abilities as it evolves (note that this line first shows up in the second generation, when Kingdra was introduced).  That doesn’t mean it makes sense, of course, but I think that’s what they’re trying to get at.  They also note that this discovery quickly became “a hot topic” so they’re clearly aware that what they’re describing is an odd thing.  Animals… shouldn’t gain extra genes partway through their life cycle.  Bacteria can do it; a lot of bacteria have specialised enzymes that allow them to splice bits of DNA from other bacteria into their own, but animals can’t really do that because they have billions or trillions of copies of their DNA spread out over their cells.  If an animal undergoes metamorphosis, all the genes that do everything the adult form needs should be there from birth; they just require particular stimuli to switch them on.  Now that could be what this really means – that scientists identified a gene that wasn’t being expressed in Horsea but was in Seadra – but that doesn’t seem like it would be worthy of comment.  So is it possible that something actually adds a whole bunch of extra base pairs to one of Horsea’s chromosomes when it evolves…?  Hell if I know.  If I had to speculate, I’d guess that there’s some symbiotic bacterium-like organism, possibly related to Pokérus (call it a midichlorian if you like), that goes through the body subtly altering the DNA of cells it encounters, and when the number of altered cells reaches a certain tipping point, the process dramatically accelerates and evolution happens.  This is a total guess, based on real-world phenomena I happen to be vaguely familiar with, but if I were a Pokémon Professor I’d start with a hypothesis along those lines.