I got some requests to cover Deirdre this week so here’s the lowdown on Linus Weedwhacker’s other half.
We meet Deirdre at the end of the first book in the Linus Saga, Must Love Dragons, but she’s a constant presence throughout the book and her relationship with Linus is the linchpin in the series. It’s no secret that Deirdre is a 300-ish-year-old red dragon. Her father was a Human wizard with the gift of shape changing. Ulric the White was famous for changing into various creatures to see how they lived. He got a bit in over his head when he transformed into a red dragon and met Deirdre’s imposing mum. One clutch later, Betty took off leaving Ulric the Dragon with five baby boy dragons and one girl dragon. The boys left the nest as soon as they learned to fly,but the girl stayed with him.
Unlike her mother and brothers, Deirdre was very attached to her father and the two kept each other company. Ulric taught his daughter how to shape change and educated her as best he could. Despite their mutual camaraderie, in a few centuries Ulric began to feel old and tired. One day changed back into a human for the last time and quietly passed away, leaving Deirdre alone.
She was a little befuddled by her newfound freedom and after a few clumsy raids on neighbouring sheep, she found herself the target of several attacks by locals and treasure-hunters. She began to feel that life was nothing but a horrible struggle to defend yourself from everyone else. She was hurt and lonely and didn’t understand why everyone was determined to kill her.
That’s when a drunk Linus stumbled into her cave and did something different: he fell over and had a seizure. Most likely it was because he was the only person who hadn’t taken a punch at her, or maybe it was her human half calling out to her, or that she felt a need to help a dying man, like she’d helped her father, she felt an instant attachment to Linus and the two were cemented together by fate.
It wasn’t exactly a love-at-first-sight, happily ever after Disney, tra-la-la, love story. There were a lot of teething troubles, as there generally is when you suddenly stop being a 12-ton fire-breathing sauroid and become a fragile, soft, pink, monkey-creature. Between complicated human mating ritual and the rather straight-forward but unfulfilling dragon rituals but after so many years and a lot of kids it seems to have worked out for them. Deidre is a stoic amazon warrior matriarch, even if she waffles between confidant and insecure frequently. The confidence comes out when she forgets that she’s not a dragon anymore. The insecurity comes out when she remembers.
*Her first name was Deirdre and eventually became Deirdremagorafangowenetherix (DEE-dree-ma-GO-rah-FAN-go-wen-ETH-er-ix). Dragons get bored with their names and after a long time or a great victory they like to celebrate by adding a syllable to their names. A long name is usually the sign of an old dragon or a vain one.
*She actually LIKES being a mother of lots of kids. Dragon clutches are usually around six or seven so large families are typical in dragon family if not always so intimate. If anything she’s probably just frustrated that she has to do it in so many goes to get the family -size she wants.
* Deirdre has to be very careful about changing back into a Dragon. She misses being a Dragon a lot but since her magic is dampened in her human form, she’s worried about how it will go. She had a few close calls early on, so she hasn’t changed form in nearly 15 years. She misses flying most of all.
* Her five brothers are named (in short form) Barney, Enoch, Wallace, Carl, and Orin. Orin was Deirdre’s closest thing to a childhood friend, and her favorite brother (which is whom Orin is named after). Barney, on the other hand, keeps trying to get Deirdre to get the kids to come to his cave so he can eat them.
*Carson has inherited some of his grandfather, Ulric’s, ability to use magic and is interested in becoming a wizard.
*Deirdre’s mum HATES Linus and he is not allowed to visit her under any circumstances. She’s a very kind grandmother to the kids, however, despite a chilly but civil relationship with her daughter. Deirdre never really forgave her mother for abandoning them.
*Her voice in my head sounds like Isabella Rossilini