Book III, Chapter 7
The roots of the foundational Imperial welfare institutions that provide food, shelter, education and medical care to all Imperial citizens predate the beginnings of the Dragon Era by nearly eighty years, dating back to the middle reign of Stoick's grandfather, Chief Hiccup II. Despite a tumultuous early reign, Hiccup II's grip on power stabilized during the AD 960s, and with the aid of his friend and confidant, the scribe Dror ben Ezra, he began a period of systematic cultural change; the ad hoc literacy classes that Dror had been holding were formalized and made mandatory for all children, a yearly census was instituted that also functioned as a minor form of taxation, and the formerly orally transmitted laws were scribed and codified. As part of that codification, the Hooligans took the earlier basic necessities that they had provided to temporarily homeless or destitute members of the tribe and made them universal, with Dror drawing on his Judaic background and training for direction in how to implement them...
[ ] These educational and welfare systems became one of the core pillars of the Imperial social contract between the State and its citizens; there is no question that, without the economic pump-priming and social cohesion that they created, the young North Sea Empire would have never survived its initial challenges
— Origins of the Grand Thing, Edinburgh Press, 1631
Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:
- Asexuality: It is brought up that Viggo is demisexual, as he doesn't feel sexual interest/attraction until he's made an emotional connection with them; as he only really forms connections with his intellectual equals or superiors. According to his internal monologue, this apparently made his schooling occasionally awkward, as he felt attraction to his teachers. Since then, he's only had interest in a few men and two women.
- Cassandra Truth: Earl Siward claimed he had nothing to do with the assassination attempt on Hiccupnote , unsurprisingly no one believes the word of a known oathbreaker.
- Death by Adaptation:
- Siward, Earl of Northumbria dies thirteen years before he did in Real Life.
- Echmarcach mac Ragnaill dies either twenty two or twenty three years before his historical death date.note
- Dies Differently in Adaptation:
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Basically applies to Toiréasa's developing dynamic with Heather; when Heather asks Toiréasa to act as part of her new developing spy network for Berk, Toiréasa immediately starts thinking that Heather will start her out with 'easy' assignments before she begins to threaten Mhairi to make Toiréasa commit more brutal acts, assuming that Heather is like Alvin rather than recognising that there are lines Heather won't cross.
- Not So Stoic: The normally acerbic and no-nonsense 70-something Bladewit is reduced to openly sobbing when she meets Rabbi Dovid, and in the process finds out something about the origins of her father, who has been dead since her late teens.
- The Reveal: We discover who trader Johann sold those jars of poison to and by extension who sent the poisoner during Thawfest, it was Eochaid.Toiréasa eyed the jar, and hid her reaction with all of the skill she could muster. Because she recognized that jar.The Norseman trader had come by Ulaid late last autumn and sold it to Eochaid, saying that it was good for dealing with pests and vermin, but his usual customer had disappeared. Eochaid had made good use of it in dealing with some rivals before coming to Berk in search of dragons and alliance and, it seemed, he'd given it up to attack Berk with.