Book II, Chapter 28
Despite the conflicts that marked its inception, Berk's Dragon Mail service transformed European society and shortly the world within Hiccup Haddock's lifetime, with regular mail and trade routes that extended to China, India, Madagascar and the northern reaches of the Vestrilands by AD 1100.
The effects this had on social norms, commerce, and the sciences can only be seen by comparing the state of the world in AD 1000 with that of AD 1200. In 1000, the world's human population was approximately 275 million people (+/- 20 million), the majority of whom were living in feudal or tribal societies, and approximately 2-3 million dragons, living either in nomadic bands or in the few remaining nests. By AD 1200, the human population had doubled to a minimum of 550 million people, and possibly as high as 600 million, while dragons had reached a population of over 50 million, and social structures
— The Dragon Millennium, Manna-hata University Press, Ltd.
Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:
- The Chosen People: Tuffnut winds up being heralded as a "chosen one" of the Old Gods for being a Berkian by a crowd of people who caught wind that he was staying with Vidkunn.
- Closet Key: Astrid admits to Fishlegs that not only does she and Wulfhild share a bed, but that they've grown to love each other alongside Hiccup, something she never pictured herself doing.Astrid: I've fallen in love with both him and with his... our princess-concubine. And while I knew that such a thing was possible... I wasn't expecting myself to enjoy a woman's touch, you know?
- Jerkass Has a Point: Astrid admits that Phlegma despite her ranting against outsiders she was right that Hiccup should try to invent something to make carding, spinning, or weaving easier.Astrid: Well, aside from this newfound hatred of outsiders, she did make one smart suggestion, but, hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again.
- Love Epiphany: Astrid admits that shes fallen in love with Wulfhild.Fishlegs: But isn't that weird? Sharing a bed with someone you don't love?Astrid: I wouldn't know.Fishlegs: Oh. So like your clanhead old clanhead then?Astrid: Gods, this is ridiculous!Fishlegs: What is?Astrid: This! Look! Two years ago, life was simple. Kill dragons, survive another day. Now Look at us, Fishlegs. I'm married. To the guy who I used to just ignore when he messed up because he was beneath me. I'm expecting a baby by Midwinter. I've...I've fallen in love with both him and with his our princess-concubine. And while I knew that such a thing was possible...I wasn't expecting myself to enjoy a woman's touch, you know?
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Fintan mentions that the child that Tuathel's concubine Roisin had might be his and not Tuathel's.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Astrid points out how much has changed in their lives since the Hooligans tamed dragons.Look at how much things have changed. For Hel's sake, we have dragons as pets now. We're freeing thralls across half of Eire. We've become a regional power. Everything changed.
- Pun: This little exchange:Astrid: You know us Hoffersons. We love our axes and swords.Fishlegs: And other sharp things. Like Hiccup.
- Stop Worshipping Me: When Fintan compares Hiccup to one of the Tuatha Dé Danann, Hiccup rants about how sick he is of people acting as though he is a god when all he really wanted was to be accepted as an equal.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: When asked by Phlegma to help invent something to reduce work time with sewing and tailoring, Hiccup is left clueless for the first time, having never been taught anything having to do with sewing other than leatherwork. When Astrid explains to him how much work goes into making clothes, Hiccup is left aghast with the amount of effort it takes.
- Was It All a Lie?: Dogsbreath asks Inga if everything theyd experienced over the last month was a lie.No. It wasn't. I I I was starting to care about you.