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Fanfic / Winter in Líf's Holt

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Winter in Líf's Holt is a How to Train Your Dragon fanfic written by Midoriko-sama.

Hiccup is back on Berk after having been missing for five years, just on time to hunker down for the Winter. But will the seemingly endless season hold beauty and happiness for him, or will everything that happened so quickly finally catch up with him?

Can be read on FanFiction.Net here. Is the second of the "Becoming Saga", made as a sequel to Becoming Lífþrasir and followed up by Meeting At Ioavollr.

This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Hiccup gains the right to decide the Berserker Tribe's next chief through him utterly destroying their invasion almost single-handedly and defeating their former chief in single combat. By that point they're all too terrified to refuse his terms.
    • It's noted that while Hiccup had a legitimate and respected claim to power beforehand, this event basically ensures it, as his terrifiyingly calm and efficient performance on the battlefield means everyone now gives what he says far more weight than almost anyone else in the room, even when that room is filled with the leaders of all the allied tribes. Astrid basks in the heightened respect and social status this gives her fiancé; but Hiccup is understandably confused, as he'd been under the influence of an infection and a medicinal treatment for said infection at the time and can't remember what happened.
  • Babysitting Episode: In Chapter 3, Ruffnut leaves Woodnut in Hiccup's care. Annoyed by Gobber's insistence of Astrid's maternal capabilities, he leaves Woodnut in his care. Being two men and a dragon (Toothless) in a forge, things turn wacky.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: To make up for his previous behavior, Snotlout devotes himself to aiding and protecting Hiccup. While his aid is deeply appreciated by Hiccup, the invasion of the Berserkers shocks Snotlout by how effectively Hiccup proves he can take care of himself.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Tuffnut the Chicken Destroyer"
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: There are several plot threads that run concurrently.
    • The issue with Ruffnut's family which ends up being about Tuffnut and his choice of possible bride. Gobbler's marital status is a hint to this.
    • The ongoing meeting of several tribes and political struggles that ensue.
    • The romantic issues of the two main characters that end up entangled and manipulated by said political struggles.
    • The loss of life in Astrid's family that ends up making her adopt a child by Viking law, as she is her godmother.
    • The Missing Tribe that refused to show up to the meeting, and ends up being extremely relevant.
  • Happily Adopted: Hiccup and Astrid end up adopting Astrid’s niece, Ætta, after the deaths of Ætta's parents; her father (Astrid's older brother) was lost at sea and her mother died of an illness.
  • Heel–Face Turn: While Snotlout's bad influence on Gustav had turned him into a bully by the events of Becoming Lífþrasir, by now Hiccup's discipline and his bond with his nadder had turned his attitude around.
    • Snotlout himself, as well. Ashamed of his actions toward Astrid and "Cattongue" in the prvious story, Snotlout decides to be Hiccup's "wingman" and essentially act as a pseudo-bodyguard for his cousin. Ends up proving to be fairly capable at this, helping Hiccup out several times throughout the story.
  • Honor Before Reason: Subverted with Stoick and Astrid. They're aware it would be incredibly dishonorable for Hiccup, the heir to his tribe, to be seen sitting out and sleeping through an invasion on his own people and allies, but they decide to secretly drug Hiccup so he'll hopefully sleep through it anyways because they believe the infection in his leg will get him killed if he goes into battle, and there's no way he'd willingly sit on the sidelines if he were conscious. The two feel very guilty about it, though, and hope they all live long enough for him to forgive them. By an odd twist of fate, they never have to face the consequences they were expecting, because Hiccup has an atypical reaction and doesn't stay asleep.
  • Meaningful Titles: The whole fanfic is an Act Break cool-down from the high octane story of Becoming Lífþrasir, a "holt" being a wooden cabin or domicile and Astrid playing the role of "Líf", with the primary story being Hiccup and Astrid learning about each other and their role in this new world they now live in.
  • Mushroom Samba: When Hiccup's leg becomes reinfected on the eve of the Berserkers' invasion, Gothi, Stoick, and Astrid agree to secretly drug him so he'll sleep through the battle, for fear that he'll go out and be killed due to his pre-existing injuries. Unfortunately, Hiccup has a bad reaction and wakes up only semi-lucid, convinced that the faces he can't recognize that are attacking his friends and allies are actually monsters and that the gods are guiding him to kill them. He escapes his sickbed and makes it past Berk's defenses onto the battlefield while only wearing what amounts to the Viking equivalent of pajama pants and proceeds to serenely slaughter over sixty of the Berserkers' warriors without getting a scratch before obtaining a minor injury in a Boss Battle to the death with their chief, which he wins quickly and anticlimactically. He then says a bunch of insane ramblings about the gods, declares one of the "monsters" their new chief to "make them human again," and then is ushered back into his sickbed, where he passes out. He wakes up the next morning with no idea anything happened, completely confused as to why so many people are scared of him now.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Camicazi is revealed to be Gobber’s daughter; Bog Burglars tend to just pick men from other tribes to father their children with only a few chosen to be actual husbands.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Having not seen each other for years (as well as the circumstances that led to their engagement and reuniting), Hiccup and Astrid are stuck trying and failing for most of the story trying to kindle a relationship, trying to figure out just how much the other had changed and adapting to it.
  • Used to Be a Tomboy: While Astrid is just as capable as any warrior woman on Berk, she wound up taking on more "feminine" duties around the village ever since she became an unofficial member of the Haddock clan (cooking, laundry, healing, etc). This is troubling for Hiccup who, having only ever known her as a tough-as-nails shield-maiden, thinks that she is denying herself all of the things she wants to do because of him.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?:
    • Apparently the last time Hiccup got into a drinking contest with Thuggory, he woke up the next morning "in just [his] britches with war paint all over [him], up in the mountains and Toothless sitting on a bear." He is yet to recall just how that happened. Doubles as a second Noodle Incident.
    • On a much more serious note, Hiccup brings the above Noodle Incident up in relation to the fact that he can't remember the Berserker invasion that he knows must've occurred the previous night. Because of a bad trip on the medicine he was given to treat his leg infection, Hiccup had lost his ability to distinguish his enemies as human, and so the usually gentle man lost all inhibitions in combat and calmly and serenely slaughtered over sixty of the invading Berserkers before killing their chief in single combat with a One-Hit Kill and declaring the right to appoint their next—all while wearing next to nothing that could protect him, as he'd just escaped from his sickbed, and somehow only receiving a single minor injury from the Boss Battle at the end. Everyone else is some mixture of amazed and horrified, but Hiccup can't remember any of it.