Yes, I know it was released last week, but I wanted to give everyone a chance to read the episode before posting here because, as any pirate will tell you, thar be spoilers here. If you haven’t read the episode, you may not want to keep reading. Ye been warned.
So, Edward and Tristan fight a dragon in episode 5. It’s not a dragon to us, of course. But to a couple of 14th century knights (even knights who have been to France and Spain) a Nile crocodile can be nothing other than a dragon. As I mentioned in the historical notes, there have been at least two incidents of crocodiles roaming the English waterways. One of those occurred in the village of Bures, in Suffolk (Bure to Edward and Tristan). And, also as mentioned in the notes, the villagers of Bures have immortalized (sort of) their brush with the great wyrm (see image above).
We’ve all been a bit desensitized to crocodiles. Steve Erwin, The Croc Hunter (may he rest in peace) and Animal Planet have made them fairly common for those of us not in Africa. But in the 14th century, it was almost impossible to see one of these beautifully lethal creatures. Try to wipe away your knowledge of crocodiles and see them as Edward and Tristan might have. Something like this:
Or perhaps like this:
God forbid you should ever see one like this:
Edward and Tristan probably saw it like this though:
Crocodiles are one of the oldest creatures on the planet. It is said that they roamed the rivers of the world when dinosaurs walked the land. Why have they been here so long? Because they are perfect at what they do. Their eyes protrude from their heads so that they can slip toward prey almost completely underwater. And they can hurtle out of rivers at unfathomable speeds to attack their prey like this:
Okay, maybe not quite like that. I don’t know what this one is doing. It looks like my son when I jump out of the closet to scare him. Crocs jump out of the water more like this:
Which is how it would have gotten Tristan. Not a nice way to go. Just ask any wildebeest. In closing, I’d like to post a few more pictures of these magnificent dragons.
I hope you enjoyed episode 5, the dragon slaying episode. Do you have any tidbits about crocs? Any first-person experience with them? Got thoughts, questions, ideas or critiques on the episode? Let me know! Your comments can affect the outcome of the book, so please don’t be shy!
See you soon!