Book III, Chapter 10
One of the great advantages of dragon-mounted warfare is the freedom of movement it grants. Control of the air grants incredible supremacy over those below; a simple rock dropped from above becomes a deadly weapon, and the armory available to a dragon-rider is vaster than mere sticks and stones. But the weapons alone are only part of that supremacy. Ground-level enemy forces cannot stand in your way unless you choose to fight them. Enemy leaders become targets or traps, huddled under half of their army for fear of being plucked like ripe fruit.
For all of the peaceful uses of dragons and their abilities, in war, they make it so that the only thing that can fight or defend against a dragon-armed force on anything resembling equal footing is another dragon-armed force. And while exceptions abounded in those early yearsat the First Battle of the Seine River, for example, or the New Year Fire-Routpart of that was due to a lack of understanding in how to properly use dragons on the battlefield. But it swiftly became apparent to everyone in those early days that there were two options: Either one has dragons, or one is beholden to one who has dragons.
There was, and is, really no middle ground.
— The Wing And The Ax, Queen Marshal Astrid Haddock I, undated draft, Waterford University Archives
Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:
- Forgets to Eat: One of the Jews who moved to Vedrarfjord, Niv ben Shelomo, has been known to forget to eat by being so engrossed in his studies.
- Internal Reveal: Sigurd finds out from Dogsbreath that Hiccup and Astrid are married, Wulfhild is Hiccup's concubine, and that both of them are pregnant.
- Jews Love to Argue: When Esther arrives in Vedrarfjord, she is shocked to find a rabbi arguing with a Christian priest, and even more shocked to learn that the two men are actually on friendly terms and they have regular theological arguments together on a daily basis, except for Shabbos and Sunday, with the loser buying dinner.
- Mythology Gag: Drago's attack on the tribal chief's meeting is similar to the one in the second movie.