Ever since I did a “gimme a prompt and I’ll write three sentences for it” and hales-emissary
I’ve been really digging on the concept. I set it in the shadowsverse
and, because I’m me who does way the hell too much research and plotting for her own good, I decided to work out the genetics and see if I could match it to my headcanon (which is what you see above).
In the larger scope, my headcanon is that the ability to shift into an actual wolf is really only a novelty in North America and has more to do with thinning blood lines than anything. Like in Europe and Asia, there’s a general feeling of “dude wtf do you mean your betas can’t go full wolf much less your alphas????” Although as globalization and urbanization increases even the older packs are starting to see that their betas are losing the ability to fullshift.
What makes the Hales special is not that they can turn into full wolves it’s that until a few generations ago, none of them had been able to for generations. That all changed with Talia’s mother. See Talia’s grandfather was first generation Russian American and a born werewolf from a really strong bloodline which reintroduced the ability to fullshift into the Hale bloodline (second graphic).
While Talia’s mother could full shift and she married a born wolf as well it was a coin toss as to if either Talia or Peter would be able to (third graphic). The fact that Talia could and Peter couldn’t was a huge sticking point between them. Obviously the physical trauma and healing from the fire triggered something in Peter to be able to do a quasi shift but the result is not nearly as clean as Talia.
With that in mind, continuing on this romp down my headcanon rabbit hole that the dude Talia’s married was human and she gave him the bite. Assuming that bitten wolves inherit the genetic wolfy profile of their Alpha, this means that all of their children can fullshift into wolves (fourth graphic).
As for Malia’s ability to fullshift, it would be possible if her mother carried the fullshift gene.
Anyhoo, there ya go. :)
God I love this so much, you are a fantastic (and highly scientific) person, bless your everything.
There’s so much that’s amazing about this. I too have pondered in depth the mechanics of what might determine what kinds of shifts a wolf could achieve…. like could Peter do the actual-wolf shift before the fire, and the sort of halfway-form he does after the fire is a result of the damage, like you’re talking about? Or does becoming an Alpha give any wolf the ability to take what we generally describe as the “Alpha shape,” while the ability to ALSO become an actual wolf is much rarer? What other special skills might they be able to inherit genetically? Do they all beta-shift in the same way, or is something like Kali’s ability to shift her toe-claws something special? Is the twins’ melding-shift a heritable trait? And if those qualities can be passed on through the Alpha’s bite, would packs be more likely to choose as Alphas those wolves who possess special talents like that? I don’t see any particular reason to assume that the succession of power would go by birth order; it certainly seems plausible that you might see a wolf like Talia, capable of the actual-wolf shift, ascending to leadership over Peter, who doesn’t have that talent, because any of her made offspring would also possess the gift. MY GOD THERE WOULD BE SO MUCH INTRIGUE.
The social implications for that could be pretty huge, too. There could be competition among packs for the best human candidates, where the pack essentially pitches like “You should absolutely go with our pack because most of our members are capable of advanced shifts and you probably would be too, wouldn’t it be rad to be able to turn into a full wolf?” (I think we can all agree that’d be a better pitch than the wrong-bad seduction scene Erica got.) Or maybe humans would wind up competing to look like the best candidate for the packs that still possess those special bloodlines, like they’re rushing for the most awesome frat or something. You might see werewolves forming marriage alliances in the same way humans always have, and it’d be almost like you were getting a talent dowry, too. Like if you marry a wolf who’s capable of doing a full shift into another pack, you’re also gifting them the genetics that allows that, so they might diversify their own pack, because while only the Alpha can pass along those talents in a bite, betas can still pass those skills to their own children the old-fashioned way. (And if the extra-talent wolf marrying into your pack is same-sex attracted or just uninterested in having kids, or your pack is particularly desperate to produce new members quickly who possess that talent, there would be a reason to elevate a pack member who maybe started out as an outsider to Alpha status, so they could make new wolves with the same talent by way of the bite. Of course, you’d be risking that outsider essentially folding your pack into their original pack or something like that, once they became the leader. More intrigue! Wolf politics!)
Then you could mix it up even a little more, because I think it’s safe to assume that werewolves mating with humans are capable of producing offspring, and probably they can produce either human or werewolf children (I’ll leave the diagrams to you because I was always hopeless at those, but you know what I’m saying :D). So what if you marry into your pack humans or other human-like supernaturals who also have special talents? Could you have a werewolf kid with banshee powers? Could you end up with human offspring who are nonetheless capable of some variation of their werewolf parent’s talent, like human twins who could do the weird body-melding thing? If Scott and Kira had babies might some of them be lightning-wolves? :D
SO MANY INTRIGUING POSSIBILITIES AND YET SOMEHOW NONE OF THEM ARE BLUE WERE-JAGUARS.
lol thank you! Truth be told my sciency heart belongs more to hardware than wetwear and I honestly keep expecting somebody to come whap me with the bad!science stick because I unknowingly messed something up. So far so good though. ;)
But anyhoo, back to the social implications…
Yes yes yes to everything you wrote. But like, there’d also be a movement within werewolf society that would see the whole trying to maintain (or reintroduce) the ability to full shift into a wolf as antiquated at best and down right regressive at worst. That ya know, hey, werewolves as a species are evolving and natural selecting that trait right out of the gene pool so why stop it? Why put others down needlessly? Love and accept the werewolf you are, ya know? Fuck the haters.
Then there would also be those who see the “obsession” with being able to full shift as a power play by the older packs to maintain their standing and throw around terms like eugenics and oppression. That arranged marriages and selective Biting/breeding was on the way out but now there’s a resurgence and just how in the hell in the long run is that going to make things better????
But then…think about the Hunter families and the social implications there… Like if there is a genetic component to being a were or magical thinggy do you have to provide certified genealogy documents to PROVE that there’s no history of magical shenanigans in your family going back N generations before you can marry into or join one of the old families? And how many generations is far back enough?
And also where do you draw the line between genetic!funsies and magical!woo? Because obviously modern science is kinda sorta not covering everything (LIKE FREAKING BLUE JAGUARS (which I am so ignoring in the shadowsverse tbh)) and is magic really magic or is it just science we don’t understand yet?
AND HERE IS WHERE I STOP BECAUSE JFC I AM NOT GOING TO ABUSE THE SHIT OUT OF M-THEORY. NOPE NOT GONNA DO IT. DEAR BRAIN STICK TO SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS GDI. I SAID GOOD DAY.
IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL.