Book III, Chapter 2
By promoting the young Sigurd Trondsson to high ranks in the political and military spheres, Empress Theodora made him into a target for the intricate power plays of the highly corrupt imperial court. This was not lessened by the fact that, by rewarding him so, she made her favoritism obvious. This simply meant that all of the myriad kinds of attacks and seductions that he faced had to be more subtle than a knife in the back, although those were tried as well. At first, Trondsson was very much a liability to the Empress, who had to spend time and effort to protect him, although there are counter-arguments that she was using him as her stalking horse in order to draw out dissatisfied members of the court so that she could deal with them. It was not until later that he
— Constantinople: The Child Of Rome's Empire, Venice, Italy, 1795
Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:
- Clarke's Third Law: Averted, unlike most people who see Hiccup's false foot Viggo is able to see that it isn't magical.Viggo had gotten a good look at the intricate false-foot, which he found fascinatingbut mystical, it wasn't.
- Internal Reveal:
- Hákon and Stoick are told by Gunvor about the Jews she found in Normandy and the offer she made to them.
- Gunvor and Hákon are told by Stoick about the insanity thats been going on in Norway.
- Not So Stoic: Viggo's reaction when meeting Stoick and seeing how tall he really is.Stoick turned to the Norman merchant and Viggo had a slightly appalled look on his face as he looked up and up and up at Stoick.So, you're the one to thank for my family's survival?Viggo mutely nodded, eyes slightly wider than normal. It was honestly entertaining, from Hiccup's perspective; the man had been fairly unflappable until now.
- The Reveal: We find out where Steinn and Aoibhín wound up.Last I heard, back during Thawfest, they've been given sanctuary by that king who attacked Hiccup's party in Eire. Supposedly, Steinn is training his warriors to fight dragons.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Mac Bethad assumes that Fergus' invitation to his daughters wedding is a trap. While in reality it's just a invitation to a wedding.