She was meant to be the price for peace; her life in exchange for the Dragon Master's mercy. Her captor wasn't supposed to be a ghost from her past, and she wasn't supposed to become his ally...or his lover. And when news spreads of a blonde-haired girl at the Dragon Master's side, there will be repercussions for dragons and Vikings alike.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Arc Words: "Then see how well you do without me!"
- The Alcoholic: Due to his Dark and Troubled Past, Hiccup has developed a drinking problem, something that Astrid (with much protest and horrifying withdrawal) helped him kick. And even then he has relapses.
- Brutal Honesty: Brought up after Hiccup's first attempt to make contact with the Red Death. He expressed some hope that if he showed submission and loyalty he might be able to eventually get her to accept his presence, but Astrid counters that he needs to acknowledge that a dragon that large has no reason to ever listen to him, and just because not all dragons are bad, that doesn't mean that all dragons are good, and the Red Death in particular may just have to be killed.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Astrid is somewhat put out when Hiccup realises that he could have released them both from Berk's cells the moment they were locked up, as he helped make the cells in question and was so distracted when Astrid started wearing short skirts that week that he never disabled the failsafes designed to prevent anyone being locked in during construction.
- Determinator: A trait of the Haddocks as in canon and it's both to their benefit and detriment here, too, as their stubbornness means it's hard for them to change their minds once they're set on a goal; for example, Stoick refuses to believe Hiccup when he tells him that the Red Death is too powerful for even an army of Vikings. Valka is little better as she is so set in her mindset that Vikings can't change their attitudes about dragons that she refuses to go along with Hiccup's plans to end the war, citing herself, Hiccup and Astrid as being exceptions to the rule.
- Disney Death: Everybody on Berk believed that Hiccup was killed by a Night Fury, with Stoick blaming Astrid because she was there when it happened. When everyone realizes that this was false, this comes as a shock to everybody.
- Easily Forgiven: Averted with Hiccup for the most of the fanfiction. He still resents Berk and his father for the way he was treated before starting the dragon training and openly accuses Valka of abandoning him only because she cares more about the dragons than everything else
- Fake Pregnancy: Astrid claims to be pregnant at her and Hiccup's trial to buy both of them more time. Later averted when it turned out that she actually was pregnant and simply didn't know it at the time.
- Godzilla Threshold: Hiccup tells Stoick that his mother's alive out of desperation that Stoick will at least spare Astrid and the dragons and hopefully change his mind about the Red Death.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Invoked when Stoick discusses with Gobber the chance of him recreating the device Hiccup used to shoot down Toothless in the first place; as Gobber observes, Hiccup taking down a Night Fury in the dark with an untested weapon was a miracle in itself, and what Stoick is proposing is even more desperate as he wants to repeat that feat without killing Hiccup in the subsequent crash.
- In Spite of a Nail: The final battle with the Red Death goes almost exactly the same way of the first movie, including Hiccup losing his leg.
- Ironic Echo: Hiccup's words of "See how well you do without me" unintentionally quote Drago Bludvist.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Despite being married to Snotlout, it is mentioned that Ruffnut cheats on him, making it likely that her child might not actually be his. Later averted.
- Meaningful Titles: In Greek Mythology, Persephone was a virginal goddess and daughter of Demeter (Goddess of the Harvest) who was kidnapped by Hades (Lord of the Underworld, brother of Zeus and ruler of the dead) and becomes Queen of the Underworld. Here, Astrid was offered as a virgin sacrifice to the perceived lord of dragons the Dragon Master (who turned out to be Stoick's thought-to-be-dead son Hiccup) and ended up becoming his lover and partner in crime.
- Mum Looks Like a Sister: Inverted. Astrid is very close to her younger sister Brenna. Because of their mother’s age and Astrid trying to make up for what (she thinks) happened to Hiccup, Astrid helped look after Brenna as a baby. Brenna began to look up to her, her first word being “sissy.” Because of this, Berk’s gossip mongers went so far as to believe that Astrid was actually Brenna's mother (with this theory also assuming that Hiccup is the father to 'justify' Astrid's grief and account for how nobody else claimed the title) and her parents faked a pregnancy to hide the scandal.
- Only Sane Man: Gobber is the only one in Berk who opposes sacrificing Astrid and tries to convince Stoick to actually listen to Hiccup's warnings about the Red Death. When Stoick contemplates trying to recreate the device that Hiccup used to shoot down Toothless, Gobber points out the Improbable Aiming Skills necessary for Hiccup to pull off such a shot in the first place, particularly when Stoick wants to take down dragon and rider without killing them.
- Outlaw Couple: After much convincing, Astrid ends up joining Hiccup's raid-based work. She ends up becoming a wanted woman in the process just like him.
- Parents as People: Stoick truly did love his son and is stunned when Hiccup tells him he thinks he was only Loving a Shadow when he thought Hiccup was excelling in dragon-training. Valka's relationship with her son is only slightly better. Astrid's parents agreed to Stoick's decision to sacrifice her out of desperation and pressure from (almost) the entire village to do so, though they regret the decision even before it becomes apparent that it didn't work. Relationships are strained, to say the least.
- Playful Pursuit: A healer is understandably reluctant to believe that Astrid got bruises from running into a cave wall. The reader knows that's actually what did happen; Astrid was flirtatiously running from Hiccup, and, um, had other things on her mind than where she was going.
- Really Gets Around: During his time away from Berk, one of the various coping mechanisms Hiccup has developed to avoid his emotional baggage (aside from excessive drinking) is his habit of hooking up with women (sailors daughters, mostly) looking for a night away from their fathers. Heather was a recurring Friend with Benefits, but Hiccup notes he has seven or eight girls overall (one girl had an identical twin and he admits that he may have slept with her sister one night while particularly drunk). He quits this when he and Astrid become an official couple, though his experience has definitely come in handy (see Sex God below for context).
- Red Baron: Hiccup is known as the Dragon Master because of the mistaken impression that he's leading the dragon raids. He and Astrid go over the list of aliases she's accumulated since becoming his accomplice and she's not impressed with most of them ("Dragon Master's Whore" being one), except maybe "Valkyrie of Destruction."
- Sex God: As confirmed by this conversation.Ruffnut: I need details. I need to know if Hiccup Horrendous Haddock grew up into a sex god.
Astrid: I'm not gonna—this is the pressing matter we need to discuss?
Ruffnut: …Astrid. Come on, twerpy, clumsy, dorky little Hiccup. But oh, all that forge work, bet he's good with his hands-
Astrid: [Sigh] …Hiccup Horrendous Haddock grew up into a sex god.
Ruffnut: That's my girl! Details, bitch!
- Something Only They Would Say: Hiccup manages to get Stoick’s attention by telling him that his mother/Stoick’s wife is alive. At first Stoick thinks it is some underhanded trick, but he slowly starts to believe him when Hiccup draws him a portrait with too much detail for him to falsify. They strike up a deal; Hiccup escorts him to Valka’s location, Hiccup can hold off on telling him where the Red Death’s nest is and Stoick spares Astrid and Toothless until then.
- Spoiled Brat: As he loved Hiccup, Gobber admits to Stoick that he didn't discipline his son enough and when he did it seemed like it was overcompensating to Hiccup. He does recognize that Hiccup has learned discipline and grown since he's been gone and tells Stoick this so that the chief will speak to him as a man.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Stoick is confident that he can kill the Red Death and end the war despite Hiccup giving a good description of how big and powerful it is. Stoick shrugs this off as Hiccup trying to protect all dragons, even the Red Death.
- Too Much Alike: An exasperated Gobber claims this of Hiccup and Stoick.
- Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Gobber describes Stoick and Hiccup’s discourse as like setting two diamonds against one another; only they can make any meaningful impact onto one another and eventually one will break.
- Virgin Sacrifice: Everyone on Berk believed that the Dragon Master was behind the dragon raids. Because of that, when they were unable to catch him, the village turned to bribing him with food and money. Their last resort was to offer a virgin for him, choosing Astrid who both volunteered as penance for failing to save Hiccup and was picked because of said death. He technically takes the bribe, but it does nothing to help.
- With Friends Like These...: It does not take long for the Hooligans to realize that one of the reasons why Astrid was so quick to join Hiccup and his cause was because he treated her ''far'' better than they ever did.