Book 3, Chapter 32
Yule: Traditional term for the Norse holidays marking the beginning of the Winter season, as well as to the general early winter months. The holy days proper begin with the Winter Solstice in late December and run for a period of one week in total, although preparations and lead-up activities occupy many of the weeks beforehand. During the Yule-time, numerous feasts, sacred meals, and sacrifices are made in the hope of a good harvest in the following year. Of primary focus are the deities Frigga, Freyja, and Freyr, with some traditions also paying homage to Sif. These gods, in their roles of fertility, growth, and prosperity, are petitioned for their aid, and in the cases of Frigga and Freyja, for intercession with their husband Odin as he rides at the head of the Wild Hunt. It is specifically noted that one does not invoke Odin during Yule, for fear of drawing the attention of him and his hunting party.
The Yule traditions are rich in symbolism, with ham and boar served for Freyr and Freyja's honor, an entire log burned for Frigga's hearth and hanging mistletoe in remembrance of her son Baldr, and a straw goat for Sif and her husband Thor, among others, including traditions which honor specific Valkyries. All in all, the holy days are a bright, festive time, a celebration of light and life in the midst of the darkest winter
From Aesir To Yggdrasil: A Norse Primer
Tropes that appear in this chapter:
- Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: Hiccup invents plaster casts in 1042, eight hundred and ten years before they were invented in real life.
- Apple of Discord: Rifts have started forming within the Bog Burglar tribe over the Hairy Hooligans' dragons and the tribe's overall relationship with Berk. Many want dragons of their own, but under Berk's laws, only allied clans can have them, and the only clan that counts towards that within the Bog Burglars is the chieftess'. There's also the huge power disparity that now exists between them and the Hairy Hooligans. Berk's citizens now outnumber them by several orders of magnitude and because of the dragons, even women who before would sooner join the Bog Burglars, like Jonna and Reidun, would rather join Berk. For all these reasons, Aldith brings up the question of why she shouldn't take her family and petition Stoick for allied clan status. Others dispute that this would cost the Bog Burglars their sovereignty, and even if they do decide to all join Berk, there's the sticky issue that at least one of them, Roswynn, was exiled from Berk. Bertha manages to temporarily contain the situation by announcing that they will hold a Thing to discuss the issue later in the winter, but admits that it may very well be the last Thing they do as a tribe.
- Content Warnings:Chapter Trigger Warnings: Explicit Act of Patricide, Explicit Depiction of PTSD (Flashbacks), Mention of past Noncon, Mention of possible Torture/Mutilation
- Cruel Mercy: Savage declares a young thrall a freedman. The catch? He has to leave the Berserker's holdings with nothing but the clothes on his back and no provisions right in the middle of winter with no reasonable expectation of him surviving the journey. Toireasa and Dagur are horrified but neither could openly protest.
- They Do: Sigurd and Sophia are officially wed.
- Tiger by the Tail: Dagur hates himself and the Berserkers, considering the majority of his own people monsters. But he can't do anything about it because the moment he starts becoming more like Oswald the Agreeable than the Antagonistic, the Berserkers will turn on him. After hearing that, Toireasa compares the Berserkers to stampeding cattle with Dagur running ahead of them. He's "leading" them, but if he stops or tries changing direction, he'd get run over and stomped on.
- Transgender: The wife of the Bog Burglar Aldith is a trans woman, or Loki-touched as Cami refers to her.