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Recap / A Thing of Vikings Chapter 3 "Idle Hands..."

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Book I, Chapter 3

What is often forgotten by many, being focused on Hiccup Haddock and his accomplishments, is that he had an extensive support network in the form of his friends and family. In particular, The Dragon Archivist, Fishlegs Ingerman, is often forgotten by popular histories or relegated to secondary consideration at best, despite the fact that his educational efforts allowed his friend's innovations to be retained as time passed...

...without Ingerman, Haddock would have been universally seen as a wizard or other arcanist within a generation of his passing. Instead, their joint legacy resulted in the establishment of some of the modern world's greatest educational and intellectual institutions...

A History Of The Isles, Oxford, England, 1591

Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:

  • Adaptation Name Change: In the books Snotlout’s mother is named Freda, here her name is Serena.
  • Batman Gambit: Mildew had tea brewed from dragon-nip, knowing that it would attract a dragon's attention just so he could have an excuse to attack a dragon for "self-defense" (in this case, Stormfly) and delegitimize the new way of things on Berk. Unfortunately for him, Hiccup noticed this immediately.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Feeling emasculated by Hiccup's success, Snotlout rounds up some friends and pillages a far-off village. He makes the claim that he did this to honor his tribe and to follow tradition, but when it is pointed out to them that it would reflect poorly not on them, but the entire village and their Chief, it then dawns on him that this did not occur to him.
    • There's also the fact that the raided village was a Viking village, meaning that if they come looking for compensation, they'll try to back it up with an axe. Also, the fact that dragons were used, and the fact that Berk's the only place with tamed dragons, means they'll know exactly who's responsible.
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  • The Dog Bites Back: Hiccup describes the idea of Stormfly attacking him after Mildew tries to attack her over an interest in the scent of his dragon-nip tea as "It'd be like kicking a dog and then being surprised when it bites back!"
  • Eat That: When Mildew claims that he drinks tea brewed from dragon-nip and that he was justified in attacking when Stormfly was attracted to it, Hiccup collects the tea from the snow and has it melted back down to have him drink from it. Even watered down, Stoick remarks on how strong the concoction is, and Mildew's inability to actually stomach it disproves Mildew's innocence.
  • Force Feeding: Stoick threatens to make Mildew drink an entire flagon of his undrinkable dragon-nip tea if he tries pulling a Batman Gambit (see above) like this again.
  • Mundane Utility:
    Gobber: Well, since that Timberjack, Felling, showed up, our primary problem has turned from chopping down trees to leaving parts of the forest intact. Dagny has been explaining to him the fine points of shaping wood in between scratching his back, and we've got rough planks and cords of firewood coming out of our ears now, even with the fuel demands for the hatchery. Plus, also, y'know... dragons. They breathe fire, and just about everyone has one now. Hiccup made this little hearth designed for Gronckle spit; I'll try to have more of them made for next year.
    • Several Boulder-class dragons being used to help carve a new harbor statue of Tyr.
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  • Reality Ensues: When Snotlout and his friends go a-viking, they succeed in capturing several cows and sheep... which are dead by the time they reach Berk. Turns out, when livestock is carried through the air in a cold winter night by a flying apex predator, it'll be a race to see what kills it faster-fright or hypothermia.


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