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Recap / A Thing of Vikings Chapter 4 "The Scottish Play"

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Book I, Chapter 4

The political landscape that Haddock and his tribe found themselves thrust into was one marked by extensive conflict and political fragmentation. The most significant power in Europa, beyond that of the Catholic Church, was the Holy Roman Empire, under Henry III, and it was undergoing a period of consolidation, and the Byzantine Roman Empire, which was likewise experiencing an era of decay in the aftermath of the death of the Emperor Basil the Younger in 1025 CE. Otherwise, there were few extensive centralized powers; even those rulers who could claim significant domains, such as the Kievan Rus', consisted of tribal or feudal confederations that were not politically unified beyond the person of their sovereign.

Corpus Historiae Berkiae, 1396
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Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:

  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: Hiccup invents ball bearings, seven hundred and fifty-four years before they were invented in real life.
  • Actually a Good Idea: Stoick concedes that Hiccup's waterwheel flour mill was a good idea.
  • Condescending Compassion: When Hiccup works in the forge, Toothless would sometimes push the lever on the bellows to help heat the forge. When Astrid comments on it, Hiccup thinks its him saying "humans trying to make fire; how adorable."
  • Cool Toy: When Hiccup noticed that some dragons struggle with take-offs, he invents a type of catapult that can launch them in the air. It ends up becoming very popular among dragons (to the point where they would wait in line to use it) before it eventually broke. Astrid compares it to children jumping off of a swing.
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  • Failed a Spot Check: Hiccup sends Astrid to fetch his smaller notebook in his study at the forge... only to then remember that he already had it in his pocket.
  • Go Fetch: Because Stormfly likes to play fetch, she managed to retrieve Astrid when hiccup's dragon-launching catapult accidentally sent her over the side of the cliff... only for Stormfly to land her back onto the catapult and launch her again.
  • Kaiju: The Green Death as per canon, described as having been 60 cubitsnote  tall, 200 cubitsnote  long, and with a 300 cubitnote  long wingspan.
  • Meaningful Name: The chapter's name is "The Scottish Play" and it is the premier chapter of Donald Mac Bethad mac Findláích.
  • Mood Whiplash: What starts as a fun little snowball fight between Hiccup and Astrid ends with Hiccup nearly drowning and suffering from hypothermia after accidentally falling into the river.
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  • Noodle Incident: The Spear-Chucker. It worked fine until it jammed.
  • On the Rebound: Ruffnut is fully aware that the only reason why Snotlout is so interested in her is because Astrid rejected him for Hiccup.
    Ruffnut: Snotlout Spiteloutsson, I'm not your consolation prize for Astrid picking someone else, or your spare bedtoy. Got it?



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