Due to Kragar's extremely strange nondescriptitude, there is an enormous amount of speculation about him, including the following:
Secretly someone elseEdit
- Rationale: An ability similar to Kragar's might explain Mario's incredible success and fame. And indeed, Paarfi describes Mario as being rather nondescript, similar to how Kragar is described.
- In addition, it's highly amusing to think that the one assassin that Vlad Taltos is so completely in awe of — works for him, takes orders from him, and has even saved his life.
- Objections: If Kragar is Mario, why is he working in such a lowly position? If he "works", he should have sufficients funds from that to not have to work for anyone else. Also, Aliera seems to have a certain amount of disdain for Kragar; hardly likely if he is really her lover.
- Counter: Aliera may be choosing to treat Kragar this way to help keep Mario's cover. If Aliera treats Kragar well, being an ex-Dragon, everyone would question why, and anybody that knows or thinks that Aliera and Mario are lovers could put 2 and 2 together and Mario's cover as Kragar is blown. Everybody would assume that Mario would have money so taking a lowly position would be prefect cover. (I just like the theory of Krager being Mario. Kazulx)
Note: In Dzur, we learn that while Kragar and Mario do have a relationship, they are apparently not one and the same individual. While some have already speculated that Kragar may still, in fact, act on Mario's behalf in certain situations (with some going so far as to suggest that the man Vlad meets in Dzur is actually just an actor hired to conceal Mario's true identity), it should be noted that this theory is very nearly entirely unsupported by any textual evidence. Not to mention that Steve has gone on record to say that nobody else is anybody else in disguise.
- See also Speculation:Mario.
- Rationale: In The Viscount of Adriankha, we see a description of Pel sneaking into Kâna's encampent to spy, and astounding Kytraan with his ability to not be observed.
- In addition, it's somewhat amusing to imagine the most powerful Yendi in the Dragaeran Empire is working as a Jhereg
- This also connects with Pel's current unexplained absence. That is, while he was made Prime Minister at the end of Sethra Lavode, that post appears to be currently unoccupied, and Pel's whereabouts are unknown. The existence of some recent scandal, leading to Pel abruptly resigning and pretending to be a disgraced Dragon rather than a disgraced Yendi, can be presumed as a possible motivation for this disguise.
- Objections: Pel (somewhere over 1000 years old) would be considerably older by Vlad's time than Kragar appears to be (500-600). While it is possible that Pel may have aged gracefully, or may be concealing his age in some manner, this is a strike against this theory.
- Objection 2: In Taltos, Vlad notes (and is shocked by how belatedly he notices it) that Kragar had the facial features of a Dragon
- See also Speculation:Pel.
Both of the above are highly unlikely, especially given that Steven Brust is on the record as stating the following:
- Unless I've forgotten something, or get a brainstorm--nobody is anybody. That is, there are no more characters who are really some other character in disguise [...] it feels like cheating. I don't like things all tied up neat and clean with everything explained--I can't suspend my disbelief.
- (Above is an extract from a USENET posting, citing a personal e-mail from Steve from 1998)
Secretly a crossbreedEdit
- We've seen a lot of Dragaeran criminals, conspirators, and even partial or full traitors. Few of them have been threatened with, or punished with, House expulsion. One that we have seen treated that way was Norathar e'Lanya - for supposedly not being a full Dragon.
- In Jhereg, Kragar says: "do you have any idea what it's like to be a cross-breed?" -- which might imply a certain personal experience.
- Kragar's nominal explanation -- that he was kicked out because soldiers under his command weren't paying attention to him -- is greatly weakened by what we see in Dragon. Dragons need not be commanders, after all, and some are quite pleased to be foot soldiers for centuries. If Kragar couldn't cut it with a command, there are plenty of other venues open to him; espionage is an obvious one. However, it may well be that his failures in the field were what brought him to the attention of the Dragon Council, which might then be sufficiently suspicious about this whole "fadeout" thing to be inspired to do the necessary genescan to determine that he was a crossbreed.
- And one last note to clarify: His crossbreedness may not be visually obvious because the non-Dragon parent might be visually similar to a Dragon, or because his Dragon features simply subsume the non-Dragon ones. See below.
- The only Hawklord we've seen in the Vlad Taltos (series) is Daymar, who is the most powerful psychic around, able to do things with his mind alone that others cannot do even with the Orb. Generalizing from one example, Hawks are the House in which powerful psychic abilities exist, and Kragar has inherited psychic invisibility - which, because he is not a full Hawklord, he cannot really control.
- Possibly Daymar's son
- Just that Kragar knows him. Kragar might have sought out Daymar to help with his psychic invisibility issue, or because he was trying to find out more about his non-Dragon self, or both. Who can say?
- See the information above about Pel being extraordinarily sneaky.
- A Yendi might appear visually similar to a Dragon (so nobody sees that Kragar is not a full Dragon from his features).
- Some Yendi might have the inherent psychic invisibility power - but those who are full-blooded know how to turn it off.
- Aliera refers to Kragar as "That snake", when referring to his being thrown out of House Dragon (Yendi).
- There's also Kragar's interesting skills in research; there's the suggestion that he is able to manipulate Lyorn archivists into helping him find things, which would ordinarily not be done.
- He's also good at psychological insight and analyzing motivations, very Yendi-like skills.
- He even says at one point that Dragon and Yendi aren't all that different - perhaps more of a hint than it at first would seem.
- Finally, note that Pel was "fooling around" with Jenicor e'Terics in The Phoenix Guards. This probably doesn't mean anything, but it's an amusing thing to note when considering Dragon-Yendi crossbreeds.
- As with Yendi, a Jhereg might appear visually similar to a Dragon.
- Aliera's "snake" comment (see Yendi speculation above) might also apply here, since jhereg are flying reptiles.
- This is the case I meant about the Dragon features "subsuming" the non-Dragon features. Also, Kragar is surprisingly unambitious and unaggressive for a Dragon -- he's even willing to take orders from an Easterner!
- As with Yendi and Jhereg, Phoenix might physically appear to be similar to Dragons. When Zivra is described in The Paths of the Dead, it is mentioned that her features are not too dissimilar to those of Dragons. In addition, it is emphasized that her temperament is very different from that of a Dragon, that being "coolness and evenness of temper and a calm attitude" - which does seem similar to how Kragar is portrayed as being less combatative than most Dragons.
- Decadent Phoenix might well sleep with just about anyone, and forget to cast the contraceptive spell, simply because they don't care enough.
- The "fadeout" effect might be the result of an attempt to protect his genetic heritage. If it were discovered that he was indeed half-Phoenix (as opposed to one quarter or one eighth, or even more dilute heritage), he would be one of the best to participate in a part-Phoenix to part-Phoenix breeding project, in the hopes of producing full-Phoenix offspring through the combination of recessives. So it would be deemed important to make sure that he survives long enough to breed.
- It is also possible that the "fadeout" effect is due to the intervention of a god (possibly Verra) in order to prevent his existence from being detected by those who might wish to prevent the eventual return of House Phoenix.
Secret Agent DragaeranEdit
Kragar's unnoticeability is a trait that many espionage field agents would find to be very useful. In addition, he is rather intelligent, and proves to be pretty good at gathering information -- sometimes from places where it's hinted that he should not be able to access. And finally, he is shown to be good at the analysis end of things as well (that is, analysing motivations of particular individuals).
Another line of speculation is that he therefore is (or was) some sort of espionage field agent, which includes the following possibilities:
- Note that it is Kiera who sees to it that Vlad and Kragar end up working together - and we know that Kiera has trained Vlad in how to be stealthy. She might have given Kragar the same training, as well as the Advanced Course.
- Kragar being kicked out of House Dragon might be real, or it might be a clever cover story to explain him being in the Jhereg.
- In addition, given the whole involvement of the Jhereg with the events leading up to the Interregnum, perhaps someone thought it would be a Good Idea to keep an eye on the Jhereg.
- Also, note Kragar's desire not give orders or have responsibility. If he's undercover and doing reconnaissance, he would very much want to keep a low profile, as well as being able to return to his "real" job at some point without having his reputation too stained by having acted too much like a Jhereg (and him being in the Jhereg, as noted, could thus be a cover story).
Possibly a former agent of House Dragon or of the EmpireEdit
- Rationale (and this is a bit more speculative than usual):
- Assuming that Kragar actually was really and genuinely ejected from House Dragon, here is a scenario that seems more likely than just "his subordinates didn't pay attention to him".
- Posit that Kragar held a rank that he was comfortable with, as an aide to some real officer, or member of the Dragon Council, or some important Imperial officeholder.
- Kragar would thus be in the chain of command, but with no real prospects for advancement (nor him really wanting any).
- Perhaps this officer used Kragar (and his extreme sneakitude) in ways that Dragons would frown upon - that is, in sabotaging fellow officers, perhaps by intercepting intelligence and presenting it as being his (or her, Dragaerans being equal-opportunity) own, or messing with them in other petty ways to gya's own advancement, all-in-all being conduct unbecoming to an officer.
- As a further speculation, this high-ranking individual may have been responsible for Kragar's unnoticeability, gya being a sorcerer or psychic specializing in creating stealth illusions.
- And perhaps this officer gets gyaself killed in battle, so Kragar's problems with being in command are brought to the fore as he has to handle things himself.
- Alternatively, perhaps the officer was discovered, and the sabotage was considered as being over the line of treason, and the officer was executed. The only thing that might have saved Kragar from the same fate would have been him testifying under the Orb that he was not aware of the use that his espionage was being put to, and that he really thought that his work was in the service of the Empire or House Dragon, or the army he was in.
- So, ordinarily, just being "not-listenable" wouldn't have gotten Kragar kicked out, but combine that with his role in the sabotage being discovered... Perhaps Kragar was only spared death since he was obeying orders, but since he "should have known" that he should not have obeyed such orders, the penalty of ejection from the House was applied for conduct unbecoming to a Dragon.
- And this also explains Kragar's friendship with Daymar; no one was able to figure out how to undo the "stealth mode" besides the original officer, and Kragar became more and more desperate to find someone or something that would undo it (and obviously, failing, even with Daymar).
- During the climax of the Battle of Adrilankha, there was an attack on the Orb by a small company led by Tsanaali. This company was supposed to make its way through the city by stealth, and attack the Empress, taking the Orb. The Empress was successfully defended by Khaavren and Pel, and the attackers were all killed or wounded.
- Kragar might have been one of the wounded attackers, who, after being healed, might have been forgiven by the Empress (assuming he swore loyalty to her under the Orb), but might have still had to face penalties from his House.
- The "stealth mode" would be tied to this as being something done to Kragar by Grita using Elder Sorcery, possibly enhanced by the Jenoine - which might explain why no-one knows how to undo it.
Kragar and Aliera and MarioEdit
Following Dzur (book) we're now aware that Kragar is Mario's contact and has been for 90 years. We previously knew that Aliera is still in touch (and likely in love) with Mario. And we know that Aliera hates Kragar, calls him rude names, and is happy to say that he was kicked out of the House of Dragon. Is there any chance that these facts are related? Kragar says that he was originally introduced to Mario by "a friend" who may or may not be Aliera (text evidence debatable).
And getting kicked out of the house of Dragon and joining the Jhereg isn't enough to really make Aliera hate someone (or she'd be hating on Norathar e'Lanya too.) So what did Kragar do (presumably before the Interregnum, since it's unlikely they'd have had much contact after Vlad brought her back) to piss Aliera off, and did it involve Mario? Majikjon, any theories?
Further, pissing Aliera off directly usually means a duel, so he must have pissed her off 'indirectly'. Hmmm.