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The Ship of the Dead is the third and final book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan.

Development

The book title was announced at the back of The Hammer of Thor. An iTunes preview containing the first three chapters of the books was released on September 16th, 2017.

Synopsis

Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin's chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn't naturally inclined to fight. But he has strong and steadfast friends, including Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, and together they have achieved brave deeds, such as defeating Fenris Wolf and battling giants for Thor's hammer, Mjölnir. Now Magnus and his crew must sail to the farthest borders of Jotunheim and Niflheim in pursuit of Asgard's greatest threat. Will they succeed in their perilous journey, or is Ragnarok lurking on the horizon?

Plot

Meeting Percy and traveling to the Chase Mansion

Percy Jackson gives Magnus a lesson in surviving on the ocean. Magnus introduces Jack to Percy and Annabeth Chase, who are surprised the sword can talk. Jack sniffs around Percy's pocket and finds Anaklusmos, who he reveals is female. Jack proceeds to flirt with Riptide. Annabeth, Percy, Magnus and Alex Fierro have lunch, while Alex tells them they should have already left to find Loki's ship located between Niflheim and Jotunheim. Percy gives Magnus a piece of advice that sea gods are vain and possessive when it comes to their weapons, and also tells him he has a good team.

Alex and Magnus go to Randolph's mansion, where they find a dead wolf at the entrance. Another wolf is seen looking for a book but is killed by Alex. Magnus finds some notes scribbled by Randolph, the older notes on the Sword of Summer. Alex feels that the newer notes mean that Randolph made a possible plan to stop Loki.

Leaving Valhalla

Alex receives a message from T.J. that they are leaving that day. Magnus travels back to Valhalla and meets Mallory Keen, Halfborn Gunderson and Thomas Jefferson Jr. He magnifies his handkerchief and summons the Big Banana—which is named by Alex for its yellow color—and plan to pick up Blitzen and Hearthstone on the way. Magnus mentions Bolverk to Hunding, who looks like he has seen a ghost.

Aegir's Court

ShipoftheDeadMap

Map of monsters and gods

When Magnus and his crew talk to each other, they are overheard talking about mead by the Nine Billow Maidens and brought to their court. Their father, Aegir, grants them guest rights and tells them they are safe as long as they don't have anyone named Magnus Chase among them. The crew is surprised to find Blitzen and Hearth as the main course. They manage to free them with excuses of Halaal and vegetarianism. Ran's eldest daughter figures out that the "blonde guy" is Magnus Chase and shouts this. Magnus tells Aegir that he himself will defeat Loki in a flyting contest and Aegir's revenge will be complete. Not wanting to offend his wife Ran, Aegir agrees to let them go if they win a fight against his daughters. The crew manages to escape with help from Magnus's grandfather Njord.

The Chat with Njord

While Magnus and the crew relax on board, Njord brags about his feet and how he won Skadi the ice giantess. They also talk about their upcoming quest. Njord explains that to get to the Ship of the Dead, they must pass Niflheim and Jotunheim, and have a very small chance of surviving even though they could seek help by Skadi along the way. He also explains that in order to win the flyting against Loki, Magnus must get Kvasir's Mead, the most valuable elixir protected by the giants. It was created from all of the Norse gods' spit, and out came Kvasir. But in order to kill the giants secretly guarding the mead, Blitz and Hearth are supposed to get Bolverk's whetstone. After much arguing, Magnus reluctantly lets Blitz and Hearth go on their duo quest.

Once Blitz and Hearth are whisked away onto their quest, Njord tells Magnus that his crew must travel to Jorvik and challenge the giant Hrungnir to battle. If they win, which is a slim chance they will, they will ask for the location of the mead, travel to the Ship of the Dead, and defeat Loki in the flyting and restore him to his bonds. On that note, Njord leaves.

Crew Members’ Background History

As the crew head to Jorvik, Mallory and Halfborn are disgruntled because of where they died: Mallory died in Ireland, and Halfborn died near Jorvik. TJ also had some bad experience: Since he was a son of Tyr, then he always could not resist one on one battles, even if it was a hopeless one, and that was why T.J. died in the first place. He told Magnus that even he had a one on one challenge to face himself and he should prepare for: the flyting with Loki.

More Tormenting Dreams

Magnus does not see how Sam could survive Ramadan. Sam argues that it actually helps her focus and feel clearer. When Magnus fell asleep from all the combined exertion when he put Jack on his chain again, he got to witness another horrid dream.

In the dream, Magnus saw how smart and respected Kvasir was treated. One day, he met the dwarf brothers Fjalar and Gjalar. They wanted help from him about paperwork that needed to be done, and Kvasir gets killed taking the bait. 

Magnus’s next dream is about Alex Fierro.  She was literally kicked out of her house by her intimidating dad. He angrily says that she should be normal. She says that she IS normal, and her dad replies with having so much potential with something about craft and art. With that, he slams the door behind him, officially disowning Alex. Then Magnus wakes back up with a start, in the Big Banana at Jorvik. 

Meeting Hrungnir

When the crew arrived at Old York, sailing up the River Ouse, Halfborn and Mallory explain to watch out for the vatnavaettir, water horses. They could destroy the ship and stampede on it, drag them under, and make them drown. After arguing, Samirah, Halfborn, and Mallory decided to defend the ship while “Blond Guy”, T.J, and Alex go find the giant.

As T.J. was greeting everyone in York for not supporting the Confederacy, the three found a shop called the Jorvik Viking Centre, which they thought they should check out. When they tried to break in, Alex found out a part of a wall moved, which actually was the stone giant Hrungnir perfectly blending in to the limestone. Magnus tries to bargain with the giant, and for the location of Kvasir’s Mead, he wants to have a two-on-two duel with TJ. Alex seemed to know what he was talking about, so she accepted and led them to a pottery studio.  

Creating Pottery Barn

T.J, Alex, and Magnus all go to a pottery studio and Alex paid the owner for 24-hour exclusive use. Alex explains to Magnus that while TJ fights the stone giant, they have to create a ceramic warrior to fight Hrungnir’s warrior. She gets to work with the pottery wheel as Magnus rolls coils of clay and TJ cut the slab and used the kiln.

Magnus asks if Alex has done pottery before, and she replies saying that her family had a company called the Fierro Ceramics, and her grandfather made pottery for a very long time. Then her father started making tons and tons of pots that were bad quality, and the company went down. Magnus remembers in his dream that her father said that she had so much potential in using the craft. He wonders if this is what she was talking about. By evening, the ceramic warrior’s pieces were all laid out.   

Daily (Nightly?) Dreams

The three eat at Mr. Chippy, and they walk back to the pottery studio and Alex crashes for the night. Magnus marvels at how well T.J. could be so calm for fighting such a tall monster the next day. TJ explains that whenever he’s hooked up in a challenge, he feels closer to his dad. The bayonet TJ uses was left for him by his father Tyr.

When the son of Tyr crashes, Magnus worries that he will lose the flyting with Loki, which is followed with nightmares of the deceiving god’s ship of nails. Magnus seems an extremely old giant with a battle-ax and a shield. He has another dream with Odin, in disguise as Bolverk. The god shows him a whetstone. All of the sudden, the dream shifts to glowing green eyes, leathery nostrils, and huge teeth to slice Magnus in half.

Magnus wakes up and TJ is wearing glasses saying that he had a dream killing Hrungnir and his amber eyes. The clay warrior is named Pottery Barn and the gender is not specific, so Alex decided to use pronouns, like “they and them”. They head out to the streets.   

Fighting Hrungnir

Magnus, Alex, T.J. and Pottery Barn arrive at King's Square, as Hrungnir had told them to meet him in Konungsgurtha, meaning king's court. Alex suggested trying King's Square. As they stepped in, Hrungnir was spotted. Mokkerkalfe, meaning Mist Calf, Hrungnir's clay warrior, stepped in to start fighting Pottery Barn. He was very disproportionate, with arms too thin and legs too thick. He was crudely shaped, still glistening wet, as Magnus described. Hrungnir introduces Mokkerkalfe to the einherjar. Alex then introduces Pottery Barn, and Hrungnir admits that it is a poetic name for a warrior.

Meanwhile, T.J. starts loading his rifle, while talking and walking. Magnus is amazed at this, thinking it would've been like trying to tie his shoes and whistle "The Star-Spangled Banner" while jogging. T.J.'s first shot was to the giant's left eye. His second shot sparked off the giant's nose. Meanwhile, Pottery Barn slams their vase-fists into Mokkerkalfe's back, which, unfortunately, sank into Mokkerkalfe's gooey flesh. Mokkerkalfe tried to face P.B., but instead yanked them off their feet and dragged them around. Alex then steps in with her garrote and lassoes P.B.'s legs and yanks them free. Pottery Barn went flying across the square and smashed through the window of a store. Mokkerkalfe then thinks that Alex is an enemy, and launches itself on top of Alex, drowning her in its wet clay. Magnus screams, but then his attention goes over to T.J. as he screamed in agony, stuck in Hrungnir's closed fist.

Pottery Barn saved the day. They launched themselves onto Hrungnir, who then dropped T.J. Magnus orders Jack to defend Alex without actually fighting, and heals T.J. and gets a glimpse of his memory: T.J's mother warning him of the dangers of play-shooting with a stick at a white man and how the white man can shoot you. Another memory; Teenager T.J. staring at a flyer encouraging military service. The image changed to a ship, where his friend complains how the Union put them on a ship, but T.J. was as eager as ever, holding his rifle. Magnus then saw him running across no-man's-land, charging at his nemesis, Jeffrey Toussaint.

Magnus is back to the present, and the fighting continues. T.J. shoots Hrungnir's right eye, while Pottery Barn hung broken from a tree. T.J. then screams at Magnus to help Alex. Magnus heals Alex, even though she doesn't like being healed. Alex's memory: the time when Magnus had breakfast at hotel Valhalla, from Alex's point of view. Magnus was across Alex, looking "utterly dorky." Magnus wondered why this was on top of Alex's memories. Alex opened her eyes and swatted Magnus away. Pottery Barn, out of nowhere, jumps on top of Mokkerkalfe and pulls out his heart, and both warriors collapse. Meanwhile, T.J. cuts off Hrungnir's sinews. The einherji demands the location of Kvasir's mead, and is told that it was in Flåm, Norway, and that he must take the train. Hrungnir challenges T.J. to kill him, right in the heart. Just as T.J. does so, Jack warns the guys not to pierce Hrungnir's heart, for stone giants' hearts explode. Alex warns them all to hit the deck, and the giant explodes. T.J. groaned, as a piece of shrapnel embedded itself above his right eye. He assures them all that he can walk, and all three of them head back to the ship.

When they return, they find Halfborn, Mallory, and Sam exhausted because they just finished fighting water horses. Halfborn jokingly lights T.J.'s shrapnel with a match. The Big Banana then leaves for Flām to find Kvasir's Mead. Down below, Magnus learns that the car bomb Mallory tried to disable when she died was set by herself. She was goaded by her mates in Ireland, one of them being Loki, into doing it. They an old lady, whom Mallory says was also Loki, gave the indestructible knives she has and told her to correct her mistake. Suddenly, Blitz and Hearth, who lost his scarf, appear again. Blitz says that Hearth is going to have to face his father one last time.

Slaying Alderman

Magnus, Blitz and Hearth fall into Alfheim. There they find the gates to Alderman's mansion have boarded by the police, the mansion is now in ruins. They follow the smell of dead frogs to find Hearth's father. They reach a cave in the woods to find that, due to Andvari's ring, Alderman is now a hideous dragon, the same beast that appeared in Magnus' dream.

During a picnic, the three devise a plan on how to kill him. Ring dragons can only be killed when stabbed in the stomach, that's why they always crawl. Hearthstone reveals that Nisser used to live in the woods until Alderman called the exterminator. So Magnus decides to use their tunnels and use Jack to stab the dragon. But when stabbed, his blood will come out gushing and will kill Magnus almost instantly if he touches it, so he has to escape quickly.

While Magnus is in the tunnel, Hearth uses his magic to bring back his deceased brother, Andiron, to lure out Alderman. The father is initially surprised but when he sees Hearth is doing this he immediately thinks it's fake. That's when Blitzen gets mad and berates at Alderman for being such a horrible father and only thinking about gold. Magnus manages to stab the dragon's heart and quickly escape. Alderman's calls Hearth a traitor and tell him to use his writing board instead of sign language before dying. Before vanishing Andiron reveals that he wished he was kind and good as his brother in that well, he always accepted and loved him.

Retrieving the Whetstone of Bolverk

In Alderman's cave, Magnus and Blitz find the magic bag they got from Andvari is still there, they use it suck up all the gold and find the Whetstone of Bolverk. They will need it to sharpen some blades later. Jack reveals that after someone kills a ring dragon, they must roast its heart and eat it. Magnus and Blitz return the gold to the river Andvari was in while fights its temptation to keep it, they couldn't decide whether Magnus or Hearth should eat the heart. Suddenly it goes right into the campfire, Magnus burned his hands trying to save it from disintegrating, then he sucked on his fingers and tasted some of Alderman's blood. This gave him the ability to understand birds, then they left.

Meeting Frigg in Flām

Back on the Big Banana, the three land right on Halfborn Gunderson. After telling the story to everyone, Alex Fierro gives Hearthstone a new pink and green scarf. Mallory Keen takes the whetstone to hold onto so no one gets hurt.

The ship arrives at Norway, Halfborn is a little uneasy with going back to his hometown of Flām. They place the ship near a bunch of other ships to make it look like a tourist attraction. The one's who will be off to fetch Kvasir's Mead are Magnus, Sam, and Mallory, the rest will guard the ship.

Frigg

Frigg, mother of Mallory Keen

Mallory spots an old lady, the same one that gave her her knives right before her death. She immediately starts chasing after her, the three get on a train. They jump from cabin to cabin looking for her and eventually do. Sam makes Mallory just talk with the old lady first to make sure she really is Loki. She seemed like a nice woman, but Mallory is buying, she's being reminded of her mortal death. After revealing that the knives were a gift so she would go to Valhalla, the woman reveals herself as Frigg, goddess of foresight and Mallory's mother.

The train has stopped, Mallory yells that her mother isn't really supposed to announce stuff like that out of nowhere. She doesn't even want Frigg to call her her daughter. Sam says the no one ever sees Frigg but Mallory only sees her as no better then her father. Frigg says Mr. Keen wasn't always how Mallory saw him and Sam says it's good that she is Mallory's mother. Frigg announces that they will encounter the thralls (slaves) of Baugi that guard the Kvasir's mead. To Frigg, Mallory not seeing her as her mother is just like losing her son, Balder. She tried to prevent his death by telling everything in the Nine worlds not to harm him, but she overlooked Mistletoe. She learned that everything has limits, it's too painful for her to visit her children and see what will befall onto them. She only in times when she knows they can make a difference. Mallory will need those daggers to retrieve the mead. As she learned that even the smallest thing can make a difference, Frigg gives Mallory a walnut for Loki to be imprisoned in after the flyting, Loki will then be brought back to the Aesir. They at least one or two days left before Naglfar sets sail. After Frigg dissolves, the three einherjar leap out the window.

Upon landing, Magnus finds out that he can understand all animals from drinking Alderman's blood. Sam says they could've held hands together so she can just fly them down.

Fighting the Thralls of Baugi

Meeting Gunlod and Obtaining Kvasir's Mead

Fighting Suttung and Baugi

Journey to the Fortress of Skakdi

Meeting Skadi

The Battle on the Naglfar

The Flyting

Escape from the Naglfar

Party with the Gods

Returning Home

The Chase Space

Chapter Titles

  1. Percy Jackson Does His Level Best to Kill Me
  2. Falafel Sandwiches with a Side Order of Ragnarok
  3. I Inherit a Dead Wolf and Some Underwear
  4. But wait. Act Now, and You Get a Second Wolf Free!
  5. I Bid Farewell to Erik, Erik, Erik and Also Erik
  6. I Have a Nightmare About Toenails
  7. We All Drown
  8. In the Hall of the Huffy Hipster
  9. I Become a Temporary Vegetarian
  10. Can We Talk About Mead?
  11. My Sword Takes You to (Dramatic Pause) Funkytown
  12. The Guy With the Feet
  13. Stupid Exploding Grandfathers
  14. Nothing Happens. It's a Miracle
  15. Monkey!
  16. Spit Man Versus Chain Saw. Guess Who Wins
  17. We Are Ambushed by a Pile of Rocks
  18. I Roll Play-Doh to the Death
  19. I Attend a Zombie Pep Rally
  20. Tveirvigi = Worst Vigi
  21. Fun with Open-Heart Surgery
  22. I Have Bad News and - No, Actually I Just Have Bad News
  23. Follow the Smell of Dead Frogs (to the Tune of "Follow the Yellow Brick Road")
  24. I Liked Hearthstone's Dad Better as a Cow-Abducting Alien
  25. We Devise a Fabulously Horrible Plan
  26. Things Get Wyrd
  27. We Win a Small Rock
  28. Don't Ever Ask Me to Cook My Enemy's Heart
  29. We Almost Become a Norwegian Tourist Attraction
  30. Flām, Bomb, Thank You, Mom
  31. Mallory Gets Nuts
  32. Mallory Also Gets Fruit
  33. We Devise a Horribly Fabulous Plan
  34. First Prize: A Giant! Second Prize: Two Giants!
  35. I Get an Assist from the Murder Murder
  36. The Ballad of Halfborn, Hovel-Hero
  37. Alex Bites My Face Off
  38. Skadi Knows All, Shoots All
  39. I Become as Poetic as... Like, a Poetic Person
  40. I Get a Collect Call from Hel
  41. I Call a Time-Out
  42. I Start Small
  43. I Have a Big Finish
  44. Why Do They Get Cannons? I Want Cannons
  45. If You Understand What Happens in This Chapter, Please Tell Me, Because I Have No Clue
  46. I Win a Fluffy Bathrobe
  47. Surprises All Around, Some of Them Even Good
  48. The Chase Space Becomes a Place

Characters

Trivia

  • Rick announced on his Twitter page that Percy's little sister's name is released in this book. Her name was later revealed to be Estelle.
  • Alex seems to like Magnus, for Alex kisses him twice in this book, and holds Magnus' hand at the end of the book.
  • This is the only book of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard without any kind of prophecy

References

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
Core Series: The Sword of Summer | The Hammer of Thor | The Ship of the Dead
Main Characters: Magnus Chase | Alex Fierro | Blitzen | Halfborn Gunderson | Hearthstone | Mallory Keen | Samirah al-Abbas | Sumarbrander | Thomas Jefferson Jr.
Minor Characters: Annabeth Chase | Frederick Chase | Gunilla | Randolph Chase | Percy Jackson | Amir Fadlan | Alderman | Inge | Helgi | Hunding | Lars Alhstrom
Norse Gods: Freya | Frey | Thor | Loki | Odin | Frigg | Ullr | Vidar | Heimdall | Sif
Minor Gods: Hel | Mimir | Ran | Aegir | Nine Billow Maidens | Sigyn | Norns | Njord | Skírnir
Jotnar: Surt | Utgard-Loki | Ymir | Thrym | Thrynga | Geirrod | Gjalp | Greip | Harald | Tiny | Hrungnir | Red | Tattoo | Gunlod | Suttung | Baugi | Skakdi | Hrym
Monsters: Ratatosk | Jormungand | Fenris | Wight | Brunnmigi | Lindworms | Nidhogg | Vedrfolnir
Magical Creatures: Sleipnir | Stanley | Marvin | Otis (Goat) | Elf | Dwarf | Jotunn | Hulder | Nøkks |

Vatnavaettir | Nisser