Dark Wings, Dark Words


Westeros: a fictional place set in a fictional time resembling medieval Western Europe. The differences between modern and medieval times are infinite, but one basic technological advancement comes to mind; one that could change who ultimately wins the Game of Thrones . . . email. Draped in their chains of knowledge, maesters (ancient doctors who treat with leeches and scholars who study magic) delivered messages using specially trained ravens. How would events unfold if email could be used? Let’s look at how email can save us from the “king’s justice,” losing our heads – literally and figuratively.

Speed of delivery Weeks pass as one raven travels from castle to castle. In a kingdom fraught with warfare, a lot can change in a short time. Before the message is even delivered, the battle could change; the news is out of date. Requests for aid can’t be delivered with the needed urgency. Gossip spread by word of mouth seems to travel faster. Email with its almost instantaneous delivery sent to multiple recipients ensures the most current information is always being communicated clearly and in perfect timing.

Inventory Multiple recipients and multiple messages would delete your stock of birds quickly. Fortunately, there is no cap on email; send as many as need. You could even forward jokes to boost your army’s morale. Plus, emails don’t have to be fed and watered nor do they leave droppings on your office floor.

Reliability Ever had an email shot down by archers en route to the recipient? Ravens don’t provide ‘read’ receipts; there’s no way to know if the message was delivered and/or read.

Clearly, email offers far more advantages than the use of ravens, but given the choice I’d probably pick other modern comforts first; perhaps electricity, indoor plumbing or even soap.

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