Book III, Chapter 4
There are two great dangers with using dragons for military purposesoveruse and underuse, and frequently they mirror each other. As with any fighting resource, the temptation to concentrate everything you have into a single hammerblow will always be there. And it is worse with the use of dragons, due to their high mobility. One can easily rationalize to oneself that the utility of keeping a mass formation of dragons that can rapidly deploy outweighs the risks of raids and other high-speed attacks. But the mere fact that dragons are fast doesn't mean that they can fly across Midgard in a day. Time is still needed to get any army moving, and that is still the case for flocks of dragons, regardless of how well-trained or well-drilled they areand that still allows for a window which someone alert and ready to attack can use to their own advantage.
— The Wing And The Ax, Queen Marshal Astrid Haddock I, undated draft, Waterford University Archives
Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:
- Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: Hiccup invents the spinning wheel, around two hundred years before they made it to Europe in Real Life.note
- Bread and Circuses: Mentioned and mused upon by Viggo when he sees Berk's system of welfare payments; he sees "populace pacification" as being a potential failure state for the system, which is intended for "population welfare".
- Clarke's Third Law: Unsurprisingly quite a few of the Pechenegs view the taming of dragons as sorcery.
- Expecting Someone Taller: Apparently when Jonna first met Hiccup she wasn't expecting him to be
well Hiccup.Hiccup tried to keep his voice even; they'd already gotten past the wait, this scrawny fishbone is Stoick's son? interaction, and she'd handled it only slightly worse than most. But she was trying, at least, so that scored points with him.
- Handicapped Badass: Drago mentions that two Pechenegs challenged him to duels and he won both.
- Theseus' Ship Paradox: When Hiccup told Fishlegs about how the various warriors of Vedrarfjord asked for him to transmute their family swords from iron into gronkle iron as if he was a wizard, Fishlegs sarcastically mentions this trope as a comparison.