Rewatching DuckTales! In episode 21, “Maid of the Myth,” we go back to Viking times. Or, do Viking times come to us? Also, lots of opera singing.
Here’s what happens: Mrs. Beakeley stars in a Viking-themed opera (!) no the same night real sword-swinging Vikings to lay siege to Duckburg. They abduct Mrs. Beakeley Scrooge, the nephews, and Launchpad follow the trail to Greenland.
In the Vikings home, an island kept warm with hot springs, King Auric hopes Mrs. Beakeley will become part of the village. This infuriates his wife, Queen Griselde. Launchpad disguises himself as a Viking, befriending a local woman named Swanwhite. The disguises don’t last, and the heroes are captured. Scrooge offers a “man against man” chariot race to decide their fate. Launchpad will ride the chariot against the mightiest Viking, Thor (Thor?!?).
Swanwhite helps Launchpad train for the race, while Thor and the Vikings prepare to cheat. Griselda attempts to steal Mrs. Beakeley’s voice with a potion, but Launchpad drinks it instead, ruining his ability to command the rams running his chariot. Mrs. Beakeley then disguises herself as Launchpad for the race.
The Vikings knock out a bridge to cheat, but Mrs. Beakeley sings a high note to cause an avalanche making an ice bridge to replace it. She then wins the race, earning everyone’s freedom. Launchpad learns Swanwhite has a boyfriend, and Scrooge opens up peaceful trade with the Vikings so they won’t pillage Duckburg again.
Humbug: There’s an interesting bit where Scrooge tries peaceful negotiations with the Vikings only to get shot down. Then he gets where they’re coming from and goes full-on “angry Scottish man” on them to talk to them on their level.
Junior Woodchucks: Huey, Dewey, and Louie tag along on the trip to Greenland, as does Webby, but they don’t do much this time.
Fasten your seatbelts: The heroes travel to Greenland not by plane, but in Launchpad’s speedboat, which we’ve never seen before. I guess it’s really, really fast but it crosses the entire ocean in no time.
Maid and maiden: While it was previously established that Mrs. Beakeley has what it takes when it comes to adventuring, this is the first we’ve seen of her musical talent. It does show that these characters have lives outside of their work with Scrooge.
Best brain: Look closely, and you can see that Gyro is one of the extras on stage at the opera.
Down in Duckburg: This episode establishes that Duckburg is on the ocean, and that the opera house is only a few blocks from the ocean. Must be the tourist-trap part of town.
Reference row: Mrs. Beakeley’s opera is Wagner’s the four-part Ring of the Nibelung. Specifically, her solo is the famous The Ride of Valkyries, which begins act 3 of the second part, Die Walkure.
Thoughts upon this viewing: This would appear to be a finding-a-lost-civilization adventure story, but the Vikings aren’t a lost civilization. Old-timey Vikings just exist in this world, and everyone accepts it. Beyond that, this is another that focuses more on hacky jokes than balance of adventuring and humor like the better episodes.
Next: McDuck saved from drowning.
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