The Circle Rankings are the ranking system used by the IceWing tribe. There are seven circles, the First Circle being the highest and the Seventh Circle being the lowest. It is unknown how many dragons are included in each circle. Most of the time, the youngest dragonets are at the bottom, while the older ones are at the top, since it takes time for the dragons to work their way up. It is said that adult dragons wear a chain with circles on it, identifying their current ranking. However, those in the same family can pull each other down the rankings. Once a dragonet reaches their seventh hatching day they will move into the adult dragons' rankings. However, in very rare occurrences, if a dragonet is in the lowest circle by their seventh hatching day, they can choose to partake in the "Diamond Trial" which was an animus gift given by Queen Diamond as her second gift, even though she was only supposed to give one gift. When partaking, the lower dragonet challenges the top-most ranking, and if he or she wins, they will take the number one spot.
The Rankings, also known as "The Gift of Order", are known as one of the most important animus gifts to the IceWings, the other being "The Gift of Light". The Gift of Order allows the IceWings to be placed in rankings known as circles and presumably brought order and organization to the ice dragons. It is unknown which animus made this gift for the IceWings, although it must have been an ancient animus.
The Rankings are found on two walls in Queen Snowfall's vast courtyard, along with the Moon Globe Tree. The first wall consists of all known dragonets' names 6 years and under in the IceWing Kingdom, and after an IceWing dragonet has hatched and been named, their name will be scratched onto its surface. The second wall has all the known adult IceWings' names, 7 years and older. At the very top of the walls is the First Circle, while at the bottom of the walls is the Seventh Circle. An adult IceWing's ranking can also be found out by a necklace they wear, with a number of circles appropriate to their rank. Because IceWing dragonets' ranks are liable to change because they have a tendency to make mistakes at their young age and therefore drop in rank, they do not wear these necklaces.
The Rankings are used to organize the aristocrats and royalty of the Ice Kingdom into seven circles. Right after a dragonet is named, their name will be scratched onto the wall in the Seventh Circle. Dragonets are to be in any circle by their seventh Hatching Day to make it to the Adult Rankings. Dragons in the 1st and 2nd circles live in Queen Glacier's Palace while 7th circle dragons are often instead sent to guard a "remote arctic outpost", as Winter stated. Although sometimes if a pair of dragons lives in the palace, they can be demoted in circle rankings by what their child or children's rankings are. This almost happened to Winter's parents. However, if a dragon at the age of seven is in the 7th circle, the Diamond Trial can be held, where the competitor and the current top dragon in the First Circle compete to gain a rank as the topmost dragon.
Book Appearances Edit
When Winter and Hailstorm arrive, Winter discovers that he and Icicle have been placed at the bottom of the Seventh Circle due to running away from Jade Mountain, working with the NightWing, Moonwatcher, and attacking his own sister, Icicle. Winter sleeps in his bedroom and when he wakes up he finds his mother, Tundra, over him, startling him to the point where he falls off his bed. She thanks him for bringing Hailstorm home. When they walk into the courtyard, Winter's father, Narwhal, is announcing to everyone that Hailstorm will be placed at the bottom of the Seventh Circle. He says that Winter is to be at the top of the First Circle. Winter's cousin, Snowfall, congratulates him grudgingly and sarcastically after being the former top first circle dragonet, while Lynx congratulates him nicely.
- The Circle Rankings are only used by the aristocrats of the IceWings, as mentioned in Winter Turning.
- Hailstorm used the Diamond Trial to move to the top and be in first place in the First Circle.
- In Winter Turning, it said that Tundra and Narwhal were almost in danger of getting their rights to live in the Ice Palace taken away because of their dragonets' rankings.
- Rankings are more flexible as dragonets. When an IceWing becomes an adult, their ranking will stay the same for the rest of their life unless there are important changes.
- Dragons whose ranks are Second Circle or higher are allowed to live in the palace.