Only Gundring heroes are given pyres; King Joric, Alric’s father, was a widely loved king and a pyre was his rightful reward. A cairn is more common for Gundring nobility; commoners typically have sea burials.
I like the casual reveal on this page.
i note that there was some foreshadowing of this (see panel 1, Wulf’s dialogue)
Life could be particularly rough on gay kings throughout the ages, even in gay-friendly societies, like the Macedonians. Gay-friendly did not mean you get a free pass at producing an heir. Therfore, there is at least a bi-mandatory situation expected here. How tolerent prechristian vikings were is unclear to me, and so are these alternate northmen; it is clear it would at least be a nuisance for forming potential marriage alliances. He is no weakling like, say, Edward 3rd, but could still end up making his wife unhappy. (Pay no attention to Braveheart, by the way. It is as accurate as a kindergarten play.) This Islamic-like culture on the other hand, well, nomadic agricultural societies quite literally wrote the book on homosexual taboos. They are societies that have a strong Saducee-like material/spiritual view of the metaphysical, including a belief that immortality could only be achieved through perpetual progeny. Any man or woman that would not even try to add to this ideal was seen as a parasite to be gotten rid of to make room for children who would. Becoming liberal enough to have a female ruler for the first time would unlikely make a difference in that ideal. So the King had best stay firmly in the closet, and an armoured one at that, to guard against potential blackmailers who might try to destroy the alliance, assuming he survives to form it.
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