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Recap / A Thing of Vikings Chapter 18 "Leavetakings"

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Book I, Chapter 18

On the topic of Snotlout Jorgenson, Astrid Haddock's journals frequently refer to the man in epithets, at turns variously angry, vulgar, or frustrated, rather than by name. However, given their own tangled history, this is hardly unsurprising. Jorgenson had a long history of clumsy attempts at seducing her in their youth, despite her repeated efforts at emphasizing that such interest was both unwanted and unrequited. These culminated in a confrontation at the court of Magnus the Good—an event that Jorgenson himself later wrote as being one of the definitional moments of his life. This shared history and established dynamic became the foundation for their infamous interactions as adults.

Interestingly, until her attention was brought to the significance of the moment years later, Astrid's own journals gave little mention of the incident that prompted Jorgenson's departure, beyond a few notations on having to explain matters to Spitelout Jorgenson, Snotlout's father and the marshal of Berk at that time. Once the significance became clear, however, her journal entries on the topic essentially summarized to the points that she was not responsible for his choices or desires, that it was his own responsibility to control himself, and that her only regret was that she hadn't hit him harder that day. This is, of course, excluding a significant portion of extremely creative vulgarity in regards to Jorgenson, to the point where it is suspected by historians that her friend and lifelong associate Ruffnut Fairhair I had some input into the layered kennings in the later journal entries, built upon earlier epithets (Fairhair having had her own negative adolescent experiences with Jorgenson and his attentions).

The Dragon Millennium, Manna-hata University Press, Ltd.

Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:

  • But Thou Must!: Sir Henry of Brittany is so insistent that they trade their dragons that he wears out Stoick's patience and has his hospitality rescinded.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Sir Henry explains that the reason why he is so irritatingly desperate to trade with Berk for their dragons is that he has a bet with his brother: Henry bet his inheritance, while his brother bet his betrothed Lady Joan. If Henry does not procure a dragon, he loses both. When Stoick asks what Joan thinks about this, Henry's lack of an answer solidifies Stoick's decision to rescind hospitality.
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: When Stoick refuses to trade any dragons to Brittany, Sir Henry is so desperate that he winds up offering 500 cattle for just one dragon. He becomes so annoying that Stoick has him kicked off of the island.
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  • Dragon-in-Chief: Einar freely admits to Hiccup that while Magnus is king, Einar was the one who put him on the throne and is the one who has all of the actual authority.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Discussed. Stoick explains to Fishlegs that the reason why he turned down Henry's attractive offer of 500 cattle for a dragon (his lord rich enough to afford it) is because he knows that someone as disrespectful as Henry would not respect any dragon they could give him, especially when he sees a living creature as intelligent as a dragon to be something to be bought and sold like a thrall.
  • Manly Tears: Snotlout struggles not to let Hiccup see him crying when Hiccup gives him money and his blessings when he decides to leave to join the Varangian Guard, giving him a brief hug before leaving. Considering Hiccup is still healing from his injuries, Hiccup only appreciates at to an extent.
  • I Regret Nothing: Wulfhild calls out her brother for his quick proposal.
    Wulfhild: Sorry, brother, but declaiming a maiden-song in front of the entire great hall for a woman that you haven't even known for a week... I'm not taking it back.
  • Shrinking Violet: Ruffnut has a hard time getting so much positive attention after Magnus proposes to her, having gone for so long having gotten used to negative attention through her and her brother's pranks. This especially ironic in that it had to be explained to her why Hiccup had this very same anxiety in the second chapter.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Einar assumes Hiccup is just as motivated by selfish ambitions as every other politician he has ever worked with and does not care about love and peace like he claims.
    Einar: Well, boy, what else do you want? Coin? Land? Warriors? You've got a woman already—and, yes, I know that you two are plowing furrows in the mattress out of wedlock, naughty, naughty—but if you want more, I could arrange it.
    Hiccup: What kind of person do you think I am?
    Einar: A person. A mortal, fallible, sinful person, despite what some at this court are coming to think—impressive work on that, by the way. But, boy, I was raised in the old ways. Even the All-Father made mistakes and acted out of greed, lust, and fear. And you aren't better than your gods. The sooner you realize that, for all of their loftier claims, people are only really interested in coin, power, revenge, and sex... the better a lord you'll be when you come into your own titles.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Einar congratulates Hiccup on getting rid of Snotlout, thinking he tricked his cousin into leaving. This makes Hiccup feel "unclean in a way that soap and rosewater wouldn't touch".


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