Book II, Chapter 17
The piecemeal Berkian annexation of Eire in the early 1040s set the general pattern for their later hegemonic expansion elsewhere in the region. Unlike many other sovereigns of the era, Stoick the Vast, followed by his son Hiccup the Wise, were not excessively interested in conquest. However, they reacted to threats to their holdings and subjects in a decisive manner, a fact that directly led to their first annexation of Vedrarfjord.
Also informing matters in this area was the simple fact that the Hooligans had instituted universal freedmanship among their tribe over a century before, and detested the institution of thralldom, a detestation which quickly extended itself to serfdom and related institutions. As a third factor, due to the Hooligans' long war with the dragons, they had come to significantly appreciate the importance of investment into infrastructure, both physical and educational.
Thus a pattern emerged; an aggressor would attack them and be absorbed as a result of the counterattack, or a holding would petition to join. Then the peasantry of their new holding would find themselves the focus of intense investment into their economies and societies. Standards of living skyrocketed across the island, as the new infrastructure increased the demand for labor and allowed for the creation of surplus that could act as trade goods. Furthermore, the use of dragon scales as currency introduced sufficient liquidity across the Berkian holdings to allow for a transition from the barter system to a market economy. Finally, Chief Stoick, extending the laws of his homeland to the new holdings, instituted legally mandated universal education for all of his subjects. While initially based on the Hooligan model of functional literacy for everyone and then allowing for further specialization as fitting the individual's desires, additional subjectsmathematics, civics, rhetoric, languages, and history, among otherssoon followed. These factors caused an explosion of cultural and social output over the following generations
— Origins of the Grand Thing, Edinburgh Press, 1631
Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:
- Badass Gay: Jonna, her wife Reidun is implied to be one too.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Yngvarr, known as "The Merry" for good reason, resembles an irate dragon when Tuffnut reveals that Rasmus had beaten his wife Marte and son Isak.
- Bi the Way: Ingrid and Dagn have been with both Rikard and each other.
- Heteronormative Crusader: The Jomsvikings are this, when Jonna returned from abroad with her wife Reidun her brother challenged her to a duel for dishonoring their family. Also some Jomsvikings dont consider Reidun to be Jonnas wife.Jonna: I don't see what you're so mad about. I could have slit your throat just now, but I promised my wife I'd be merciful!Tóki: You don't have a wife, you bitch!
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Inverted. When Magnus hears how Rasmus had beaten Marte and Isak, he tells Ruffnut, "I love you, and if I ever, ever do something to you or our children like what that beast did to his boy, you have my permission to geld me."
- Noodle Incident: This little number...Tuffnut: Ruff, Ruff, there's a problem!Ruffnut: What's wrong? Did you set the stables on fire again?Tuffnut: What? No! I... Uh, could you give us some privacy?
- Slashed Throat: Ruffnut does this to Rasmus after he tries to kill Tuffnut.
- Stay in the Kitchen: The Jomsvikings are of this opinion with regards to Jonna.The crowd cheeredmostly. The Jomsvikings had never really forgiven her for daring to be such a skilled warrior and a woman at the same time. If not for her sex, she would have been one of their elites a long time before.