The discussion post for episode 31B: Face-off, which tells the conclusion of the story of Arrow-Odd, a legendary Viking warrior and king.


The conclusion of the Saga of Arrow-Odd, a man destined to live 300 years, yet be killed by his favorite horse. He's watched his friends and brothers die in his struggle with his adversary, the evil half-troll Ogmund, but this battle is destined to stretch over centuries.

The creatures this week hang out in pantries, and either tempt you with too much cake or destroy your ill-gotten, likely butter-cat acquired food.

Episode 31B: Face-off

This was a long, long story. Despite being just under 100 pages, it contained so. many. things. What originally drew me to this story was the epic struggle between Odd and Ogmund and that it didn't end up in a bloody battle (though it was not lacking in bloody battles), but in forgiveness and mutual understanding. The prophecy in the beginning and how it was unexpectedly, at least for me, resolved in the end was also irresistible. I'm a sucker for a self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby trying to avoid their fates people have inadvertently sealed them.

I also liked that it seemed to trace the history of the Viking conquests. This is a bit of a stretch, but I think there's something here. This story was recorded in the 13th century, well after the end of the Viking Age. What's most striking is that the Vikings don't just kill a bunch of people and get off scot-free. Arrow-Odd destroys Permia in the beginning and that follows him for (almost) the rest of his days. Ultimately, Ogmund, the creation of the wronged people, ends up a king and survives in the end. This story takes a somewhat more sober look at the Viking legacy than Ragnar or Sigurd's wholesale acceptance and promotion of it. It is the story of Vikings who had successes on the waters, but who met violent, gruesome ends by it as well. Odd is brought low because of what he did to the people of Permia, going from king(ish...maybe. I don't think he's technically a king before the barkman episode) to a peasant. The people win.

Elaborations and Errata

Things I left out

  • Odd posed as the hatchling of a giant vulture
  • Odd killed said giant vulture
  • Odd helped a prince of Jotunheim win a dog fight with a bear
  • He received many richest for helping the giant prince become the giant king, but couldn't get them because he couldn't lift the slab they were under.
  • Odd escaped captivity nearly-naked and regained approximately ten ships after ten of his were just killed
  • Quillanus was called Quillanus Blaze after the last fight with Odd. I don't know why I left that out. It's amazing.
  • Odd lost his kingdom...again...after the fight with Quillanus. He then wandered north and married (yet another) princess and became a king somewhere in Europe before venturing home.
  • The other Viking leader, Red Beard, was thought to be Odin. Because Odin.
  • Hjalmar was in love with the king in Sweden's daughter, and she secretly loved him. Odd suggested invading the friendly king's lands for her hand, but good-guy-Hjalmar refused. When Hjalmar died last episode, his rings were delivered to the princess, who dropped dead as soon as she received the news.
  • So many Viking battles.


  • I misspoke and said Quillanius instead of Quillanus at some points. They are the same person. Or troll.
  • The way Odd's identity is revealed is considerably more boring. He did compose a drunk poem about his life and announce his identity, but he woke up the next morning and found his shirt had been torn. Yet another sworn brother brought him before the king, who said essentially what I said. It would have involved going much more in-depth on the contests (which wouldn't have added much to the story) and explaining the backstory of yet-another disappearing sworn brother.
  • Odd didn't stroke Faxi's skull, he nudged it with his foot



  • A throat gets ripped out at  around 15:00
  • There's a big, bloody battle around 21:00
  • Odd rips a person's face off at around 27:00



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