Book II, Chapter 6
Prior to the Norse Reformation of 1044 AD/AM 4804/435 AH/ArO 0, the Norse pagan religion was in the process of dying out under the onslaught of a semi-organized campaign of Christianization. Iceland, Norway, the North Sea Islands, and Denmark had all been forcibly converted over the prior century, and were at least nominally Christian, although Norse beliefs were still held by much of the populace through folk transmission. King Olaf I, Magnus the Good's father, was personally responsible for much of the Christianization of Norway, having engaged in the torture and execution of Norse priests and the destruction of Norse temples. Sweden remained a bastion of resistance, with the Norse cult at Uppsala having a mutual nonaggression agreement with the Swedish kings dating back to 990 AD, but the status of the traditional faith was eroding steadily there.
Around the Eirish Sea and Alban Hebrides, there were various overtly Norse cults and tribes; many of these were close allies in an increasingly Christianized region, bound by treaties and marriage ties. These tribes included the Bog Burglars of Wales, the Meatheads of the Outer Hebrides, and of course the Hooligans of Berk, to name the three largest examples. But their numbers were dropping from their heydays of a century prior.
The general consensus of historians of the period is that, without the Norse Reformation, it is unlikely that the Norse religion would have survived another century in the face of the aggressive Christian efforts to render it extinct.
Instead, the Crusades against the North Sea Empire over the following century only helped revive and entrench the reformed faith, especially due to the martyring of ethnically Norse Christians by the Crusaders...
— The Second Flowering Of Yggdrasil: An Analysis Of The Norse Resurgence, 1710
Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:
- Ceiling Banger: Wulfhild has a very tough time sleeping, Hiccup and Astrid having sex being incredibly obstructive to this task.
- Character Death: Subverted. Tryggvi clan Hofferson and his nadder Windshot is accidentally caught in the net used to lift Cami's ship, both almost drowning when they decide to abandon the ship when the weather becomes too hazardous.
- Dating Catwoman: The story behind Camilla's parent's courtship sounds an awful lot like this, Naoise clan Hofferson and "Big Boobied" Bertha routinely stealing from each other, leading up to Bertha mock-kidnapping him with a dowry left for his father to find.
- Entertainingly Wrong: Cami hears that Wulfhild joined the Haddock Clan through Hiccup and immediately assumes that he married her and took Astrid as a concubine.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places:Ruffnut: (To Magnus) Shut the door. I changed my mind about the table.
- Not Me This Time: Hiccup suspects that Cami wound up in a half-collapsing boat due to her own thieving ways. She says that while that's usually what happens, this time it wasn't her fault. It totally was.Camilla: We was doin' a bit of light piracy off of Eire last month and ran into a bunch of Danes and Anglos trying to run away from Berk as fast as they could. After bumpin' into 'em a few times in supposedly safe ports or out on the seas, we turned around, stead of leadin' 'em to the rest of the tribe. So we came here and figured we'd overwinter with friends in a port that we know is safe. Winter kinda beat us to it.
- Played straight when Cami thinks Hiccup was being insincere about his devotion to Astrid when Wulfhild is introduced, unaware that Wulfhild is the concubine and was invited for political reasons.
- Pet the Dog: Ruffnut gets the idea of having a public hospital built because not only does she find normal court politics (the one thing she is expected to do aside from bare Magnus an heir) boring, but as a means to endear herself and her husband to the common people and undermine Einar's authority over them.
- The Reveal: Turns out that Twiglet was uninvolved with the various cruel pranks on Heather: it was Burl.