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Recap / A Thing of Vikings Chapter 53 "Blades Cut Both Ways"

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Book II, Chapter 22

Starting from the 1040s AD, the economic effects of dragons upon human society can only be described as transformative, to the point where the time period between 1040 and 1400 is described as the Dragon Era, in line with the Stone, Agricultural, Bronze, Iron, Steam, Industrial, Fission, Information, Space, Genetic, Nanotech, and Fusion Eras. While most popular depictions of history focus more on the visually impressive aspects of aerial combat and the uses of dragons in warfare, such fixation overlooks the majority of the actual effects of dragons on human society. Dragons revolutionized transport and communications within a decade, and the adoption of a dragon-scale currency neatly toppled the feudal systems of Europa that had dominated the region for centuries within sixty years. Even in modern times, each class and breed of dragon is economically useful in some manner: Boulder-classes carve out both the terraurban spaces of modern cities and the subterranean arteries that tie the cities together, and smelt the steel that form the bones of the arcologies and skyscrapers. Stoker-classes produce hydrocarbons in a variety of useful forms. Many dragon venoms, especially those of Sharp-class breeds, can be processed into pharmaceuticals…

The Dragon Millennium, Manna-hata University Press, Ltd.
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Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:

  • Clarke's Third Law: Anton Einarsson believes that Hiccup got his false leg by making some demonic pact.
  • Fantastic Racism: Anton thinks that the Hooligans are evil because they are pagans and ride dragons.
    "They seemed to be decent folk, aside from the devil worshipin', but they was still vikings, and they was still in league with the beasts. [...] Like the priest said, evil that looks evil is easy to spot. Harder to see the ones that look normal."
  • Fantasy Contraception: The venom from Deadly Nadder quills can induce miscarriages.
  • Foreshadowing: Astrid and Wulfhild's appetites are both as dead as Hiccup's more so given it has been happening the other day too. When the three of them return home after meeting with Spitelout, they find that Toothless, Stormfly and Mistletoe have upended their bed, its sheets, blankets and pillows all fashioned into a dragon's nest. Later, both of them throw up when exposed to the smell of Nanna's medicine, specially weird considering Astrid has an iron stomach.
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  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted, a patient at Saint Olaf's Hospital has a bad pregnancy and needs to have an abortion or she will die, and she does.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: When Gudmund asks Sigurd to talk about Berk, he is suddenly overwhelmed with homesickness in the middle of it and breaks down crying.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The reality that Hiccup gave a literal king's ransom and a conquered city to Astrid's parents as a bride price to marry Astrid is considered so absurd that the cardinals at first assume that Anton is lying, and Viggo considers Hiccup to be a foolish romantic for doing such a thing.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: Viggo presumes from the stories he hears about Hiccup that he is not so much a warlord as a young boy who has just inherited a kingdom and tries to compensate with grand gestures over pragmatic sense, pegging him squarely in the "Romantic" side of things. Being a manipulator, Viggo immediately brightens to the idea of meeting him, thinking of him as the perfect prey.
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  • Stay in the Kitchen: The cardinals are surprised that there are women dragon riders.



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