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Recap / A Thing of Vikings Chapter 22 "A Ruff But Magnus Wedding"

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Book I, Chapter 22

According to nearly all primary sources, the marriage between Ruffnut Thicknutsdoittor clan Thorston and King Magnus Olafsson of House Fairhair was a love-match, despite the political considerations that instigated both their betrothal and their atypically quick marriage. Both were staunch patrons of the arts, which apparently was the basis of their initial bond. For the duration of their marriage, there is no record of either of them straying into affairs, or of Magnus taking official concubines. This was an uncommon occurrence in medieval Scandinavia to say the least, where approximately a quarter of all monarchs between 700 and 1100 were of illegitimate issue by acknowledged concubines, including Magnus, and Magnus had himself sired an illegitimate daughter several years before his wedding. However, the number of children and love poems that the pair produced speaks volumes for their mutual devotion on its own…

In addition to their personal compatibility, Ruffnut and Magnus were known to have fought alongside each other on multiple occasions. One point that is dryly noted by both their biography-sagas and other primary sources is that the number of enemies slain by her hands was significantly higher than his, due to a combination of her own martial prowess and enemies underestimating her on the basis of her build or gender or both. The most significant portion of these kills apparently came from the Siege of Roskilde, where Ruffnut guarded the stairway that led to their children's nursery, and the skalds and other eyewitness accounts reported that the bodies formed a battlement…

House Fairhair And The Grand Thing, Oslo, Norway, 1667


Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:

  • Accidental Murder: When Snotlout broke ranks and flew after the horsemen attack him and his men, it accidentally led to one of the men being killed before he could shield himself. His brother Kormak blames Snotlout for it.
  • Bridal Carry: Normally a groom simply led their bride through the threshold. Magnus picks Ruffnut up and carries her through it.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The visitor who tried to steal a dragon by jumping on its back.
    So it was hard to tell if they had lost any of the adults to poachers.
    Well, aside from the one idiot who leapt onto the back of a Nadder and tried to fly off with it.
    Boy, had he been surprised when the dragon didn't listen to his orders and flew home for dinner.
  • Foreign Queasine: Ruffnut finds Roman-style garum (fermented fish-sauce) to be... less than palatable.
    Ruffnut: I don't know what this garum stuff is, but if the Romans eat it with everything, then my revenge on Snotlout is complete.
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  • Orphaned Punchline:
    Gobber: ...and then he said, "wait, you're supposed to use the wax on the ax?!"
  • Rigged Contest: On some parts of the mainland, the traditional race to the hall during nuptials involved the groom on a mount while the bride had to run on foot. Magnus wins his race without a mount, though.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: A light-hearted example.
    Once he managed to compose himself and finish swallowing safely, he said with humorous indignation, "My uncle is living down there at the moment, thank you. I wrote him a letter of introduction for Snotlout and everything!"
    She hoisted her tankard. "To your uncle's tongue, bravely sacrificing itself for the sake—"
    Magnus, rolling his eyes, bent over and gave her a kiss on the lips. It was a light kiss, but it cut off her joke nicely.
    She responded by wrapping her arms around his shoulders and head and making it a bit deeper.
    As they broke apart, she said, "—of palates everywhere!"
    Magnus sagged, groaned, and started to laugh quietly, his shoulders heaving silently.
  • Straw Misogynist: Father Henriksson refuses to work with Gothi on the wedding preparations because he thinks that it's "unnatural" for women to be priests.
  • Their First Time: Ruffnut and Magnus
  • This Means War!: When King Harthacnut finds out that King Magnus had allied himself with Berk through Altar Diplomacy, he uses this as a Pretext for War, having possessed a predisposed hatred for him since Norway used to be a part of his family's territory and has not acted upon them due to a treaty between their kingdoms.


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