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YMMV / The Saxon Stories

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  • Crazy Awesome: Sigtryggr's Major Injury Underreaction.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Uhtred frequently remarks before he tells how he did something awesome that it was actually really stupid and risky and it only worked because of luck/fate.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Ragnar, Finan, Pyrlig, and several other supporting characters are all highly popular with the fandom.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Ragnar the Younger's second-in-command is named Rollo.
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  • Iron Woobie: Father Judas. He handles his father's brutal scorn with nothing but dignity and grace, and even gives Uhtred his last rites after his near-fatal confrontation with Cnut Longsword.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Uhtred in a military sense, Alfred in a political sense.
    • Haesten exists in a kind of limbo between this and Smug Snake. On the one hand many of his plans are quite cunning and he's probably the most threatening of the viking leaders. On the other hand he always loses, eventually ending up dead in Warriors of the Storm having not achieved very much at all.
    • Cnut Longsword was definitely one in the Pagan Lord and would have easily succeeded if not for the Spanner in the Works that is Uhtred.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: To some, Uhtred may come off like this. Granted, he was never intended to be a paragon of kindness, but his repeated betrayals of Alfred, his self-pitying angst, his poor treatment of his eldest living son, and general jerkassery can make him very difficult to empathize with. Mitigated by the facts that he gets over the angst, he does have genuine ties of loyalty to those he betrays Alfred for, and is generally entirely self-aware and up front about his own faults. For instance, when he first enters Alfred's service, Alfred gifts him some rather fine armour, and Uhtred observes that looking back on it, he hadn't actually done anything to deserve any favours like that, unless to be general Jerkass is a qualification. Of course, as he also notes, Alfred was hardly acting out of the goodness of his heart either. And as it looks like he's dying, and his eldest living son, Iron Woobie Father Judas, insists that he was a good father, Uhtred's first thought is a rather irritable, 'what the hell are you talking about? I was a terrible father.'
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  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Uhtred's father doesn't survive the prologue of the first book. In that time, he was shown to be a formidable warrior and savvy politician, even having designs on the throne of Northumbria. He wasn't the most loving father, but characters who knew him seem to imply that had Hidden Depths, and he has a large impact on later books in terms of the post-mortem influence he has on Uhtred's own character.
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