Book II, Chapter 26
the machinations surrounding the Alban Red King, Mac Bethad mac Findlaích (~AD 100518 April, AD 1043), were complex. Despite the efforts of apologists who wish to paint the king as an innocent dupe of Jarl Mildew the Vicious' manipulations in his efforts to trigger war between Alba and Berk, the fact remains that Mac Bethad's hands were hardly clean. He became the Mormaer of Moray in AD 1032 after the previous Mormaer, Gille Coemgáin, was burned to death along with 50 of his men, and there is little question that Mac Bethad either participated in or organized the atrocity, although the question of his sense of guilt is open, due to his marriage to Gille Coemgáin's wife, Gruoch, and adoption of his son, Lulach, as Mac Bethad's own heir. He also killed his own cousin, the previous king of Alba, Donnchadh mac Crìonain, on the field of battle in August of AD 1040, and took the throne. While Donnchadh mac Crìonain had initiated the battle that resulted in his death, there is evidence of provocation on the part of Mac Bethad specifically to spur his cousin into invading and allow Mac Bethad to fight with the moral upper hand and on his own territory. Similarly, Mac Bethad's efforts with regard to Berk included various attempts to cripple the nascent power
— Corpus Historiae Berkiae, 1396
Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:
- Bi the Way: Wulfhild has come to realize that she's in love with Astrid and Hiccup.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Downplayed, considering the friendship is declared after Stoick wins their arm-wrestling competition.
- Eating Contest: Mentioned as one of the popular highlights of the Thawfest; Fishlegs comes in second at the sausage-eating contest.
- First Kiss: After Merida won the archery contest Cami in her excitement kissed her.
- Heir Club for Men: Downplayed; technically gender doesnt matter when it comes to Hooligan inheritance laws, but women marry out of their clans so the only way women can become clan heads is if they marry clanless freedmen like what Bladewit did.
- Love Epiphany: Wulfhild has one towards Hiccup and Astrid.Because if there was one thing that she'd come to realize, it was that she loved both Hiccup and Astrid. From the frequent moments of pure friendship to the carnal bedsports they regularly indulged in, to simply being a vital member of Stoick's court, she was happy.
- Noodle Incident: Hiccup recalls one of Cami's more elaborate pranks from his childhood. No details are given except the line, "He still was not sure where Cami had found that much butter "
- Not a Morning Person: Astrid threatens to rip Hiccups spine out if he doesnt stop trying to get her out of bed.
- Reality Ensues: Wulfhild doesn't win the archery contest, as she points out she only started practicing with a bow 3 months ago while her competition have much more experience.
- Sibling Rivalry: Wulfhild is worried that Berk's laws of legitimacy could lead to her child plotting against Astrid's in the future.
- Tattoo as Character Type: Dagur has his clawmark tattoo from canon, apparently it's used to show he's a skilled archer.