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Maces and Talons was designed to test the abilities and decision making expertise of future chiefs in the heat of battle. [src]
  Fishlegs Ingerman  

Maces and Talons is an in-universe game seen in Dragons: Race to the Edge.

Purpose

According to Fishlegs, the game was designed to test the abilities and decision making expertise of future chiefs in the heat of battle.

Game Play

Pieces

  • Viking Chief
  • Chief of the Marauders
  • Impostor/Traitor
  • Sixteen Hunters
  • Accomplice
  • Dragon

Appearances

Dragons: Race to the Edge

Season 2

The same-named episodes "Maces and Talons, Part 1" and "Maces and Talons, Part 2" show that Viggo Grimborn is quite knowledgeable of and even obsessed with the game. He applies it to his plans, even what roles each person plays. Viggo began playing when he was a boy with his grandfather, always choosing to be the Viking chief piece. He constantly lost to his grandfather, possibly resulting in his obsession. Viggo is willing to make sacrifices to ensure victory. To him, no piece is irreplaceable.

As the heir to Berk, Hiccup is also well versed in this game. His strategy style is unclear, however, as he was following by Viggo's plan. The only thing he could tell from the game board Viggo left for him was that if he did not play, the traitor, Heather, would die.

Dagur played a live version of the game against Viggo using their men as the game pieces. Dagur managed to capture seven of Viggo's hunters, but this left him open for his chief to be taken out by the lone hunter.

Season 3

Viggo played a game by himself as he waited for Hiccup on Botany Blight in the episode, "Defenders of the Wing, Part 1"

Season 4

In "Not Lout", all the Dragon Riders, except for Snotlout prepare for a match of Maces and Talons between themselves. Their game, however, is ruined by Snotlout, who creates a false alarm of a Dragon Hunter attack. The riders don't return to the game.

In "Gold Rush", Heather and Fishlegs play Maces and Talons in the Clubhouse, while the other Riders are watching. Heather manages to win three times in a row.

Season 5

In "The Wings of War, Part 2", two Dragon Hunters play Maces and Talons, as Viggo and Krogan pass by them. The latter comments that the game is stupid and pointless, as he would rather kill people than pieces of marble. Viggo reminds him that Maces and Talons is a game of strategy, and why it is very important.

Season 6

In the episode, "Triple Cross", Viggo revisits the Maces and Talons game and its symbolism. He double and triple-crosses both Johann and Hiccup.

Games

Dragons: Titan Uprising

Clever girl. [src]
  Gobber, after Copsekeep beat him at Maces and Talons  

Maces and Talons is mentioned as part of the description of the Deathly Galeslash, Copsekeep. She is intelligent enough to play the game and beat Gobber.

Trivia

  • According to Hiccup, the Traitor always dies in the end. ("Maces and Talons, Part 1")
  • Although it doesn't have the same rules, it seems to be a reference to the fantasy game Dungeons and Dragons.
  • This game could be a reference to the game Thrones & Bones in the Frostborn book series; both are games played by Vikings and are a part of the climax with a major villain.
  • This game could also be a reference to Scandinavian board game "Tafl", which was played by the Vikings in early 4th-12th centuries.
  • This game might also serve the same function as chess, which is a game requiring much planning and strategy. It was also often played by aristocrats.
  • A board of Maces and Talons can be seen in Season 2 of the DreamWorks Netflix series Trollhunters.
  • Maces and Talons (or a similar game) appears in a deleted scene of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, with the players being Stoick and Hiccup. There is one notable difference from the version seen in Race to the Edge, the fact that dragons are also pieces in the game.

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