They said that of all the kings upon earth/ he was the man most gracious and fair-minded/ kindest to his people and keenest to win fame
-the funeral of Beowulf
It was ten days since the funeral.
It felt like ten years.
Hiccup keeps waking up, walking into the kitchen and the "Hey, Dad" dying on his lips at the empty rooms.
He sees his father's shadow in the mess hall, the arena, the streets, and these places were filled with his voice, the last things he ever said to him.
Son, I'm proud of you.
It was eleven days since the funeral.
He begins to find solace in riding Toothless, imagining he could fly high enough to reach Valhalla.
It was twelve days since the funeral.
He becomes more and more deeply focused on his work, won't eat for hours, days as he designs a new saddle or fixes the stables.
Astrid was worrying about him, he knew. He tells her not to worry, that he'll be fine, but she isn't convinced.
But she just leans in closer, telling him she understands.
It was thirteen days since the funeral.
His mother and Gobber try to cheer him up with stories about his father as a boy.
An' when he was thirteen, Stoick nearly drowned because a skrill stole his lunch and the idiot dove in to get it back!
But it only made him feel worse, because in his heart he knew he would never be the man his father was.
It was fourteen days since the funeral.
They're almost done with his statue and his throat constricts at how they caught his easy laugh that he would never utter again.
It was fifteen days since the funeral.
He sits in the chief's chair for the first time, organizes an expedition as chief for the first time. He appreciates for the first time how hard his father had it.
It was sixteen days since the funeral and he is ready to say goodbye.
The cobbled together words he spoke at the hurried funeral seem hollow to him now, but he composes better ones.
Goodbye, Dad. I love you. I hope to be half the man you were.
But they feel empty too.
It is three years since the funeral, he is married, his wife expecting their first child, and he is still saying goodbye.
He wonders if we ever really finish.