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Recap / A Thing of Vikings Chapter 20 "Homecomings"

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Book I, Chapter 20

King Magnus's first visit to Berk was a watershed moment in many ways. While the king had come for his marriage and for the dragon that later became emblematic of his reign, by the time he had arrived, the Hooligans had spent a year integrating dragons into nearly every level of their society and economy. Witnessing the effects and advantages that this afforded his allies firsthand gave him not only the determination to effect similar changes on his own kingdom, it also gave him a map to doing so, the trailblazing having already been started by the Haddocks' and Ingerman's efforts over the prior year. Even discounting the other innovations and events that were introduced and occurred subsequent to his arrival, Magnus was still exposed to a society that could function without thrall labor and still be more prosperous than his own, and this had an indelible effect on the young king.

The Second Flowering Of Yggdrasil: An Analysis Of The Norse Resurgence, 1710

Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:

  • Culture Clash: Hiccup, being a pagan, finds certain aspects of Christianity to be strange and confusing, such as the concept of the trinity.
    So he might end up getting two weddings—one with the old gods, one with the singular new one. Which was apparently three gods in one, which made Hiccup confused. The priest had tried to explain it to Hiccup as they had sailed back to Berk, but it was weird; it wasn't anything like Odin's habit of wearing disguises and calling himself by different names, but three gods in one, apparently?
  • Gossip Evolution: By the time the story of the Green Death has reached the Rus' there are at least two versions of the story One where the giant dragon was killed by the Berkians, and a second where it came to Berk and destroyed it.
    Dorofei: Is all tangle of rumor and story. Is why we invited today. Goes from Norsemen destroyed by dragon to Norsemen destroyed dragon and took whole nest of dragons to ride.
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  • Jerkass Gods:
    The gods were cruel.
    And weak.
    How else to explain how they allowed the Christian gods, Christ and Lucifer, to dominate and destroy them? To have the Christians outlaw the taking of slaves of their own people, but allow for the enthrallment of pagans?
  • Mistaken for Badass: Dorofei asks Snotlout if he was Berk's supposed Dragon Conqueror of legend.
  • The Reveal: Heather is The Mole!
    Tell him. Say, 'Fishlegs, King Adalwin is holding my parents as his personal thralls. If I don't help him steal dragons from you, he'll kill them.' They beat Adalwin once already. You saw the ship in his fort. Tell him. They'll help. If they did it for Fishlegs, they'll do it for you.
  • Welcome to the Big City: Having lived in a small island in the middle of the ocean all of his life, Snotlout's first view of an actual mainland city is a memorable one.
    Now they were in the capital of the Rus', a city called Kyiv. He had spotted it from a distance when he and Hookfang had gone out flying, and had just… hovered there and stared. According to Vidkunn, over fifty thousand people lived behind the stone walls and deep moats that sheltered the city, which stretched for miles. The stones looked new, even from this distance, and according to Vidkunn they were—they'd been completed the year before he was born.
    And the great Golden Gate at the center of the walls was impressive, but Vidkunn had laughed and told him to wait until they reached Miklagård; according to him, this Golden Gate was but a pale imitation of the true Golden Gate of the walls of Constantinople for Jarisleif had built these from being inspired by the Romans' great works.
    According to the trader, Kyiv, while grand... was barely a sixth the size of that other great capital, a thought that made Snotlout's mind boggle.


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