If you’ve seen How to Train Your Dragon 2 (I have and I give it like 14 thumbs up), you will know by now – or suspect – that Gobber the Belch, Stoick’s one-legged side-kick, is gay.
Not to provide too many spoilers, but in the film, Hiccup finds his mother, Valka, played by Cate Blanchett. Stoick eventually shows up as well and mother and father end up fighting.
Gobber, watching the encounter, mutters, “This is why I never married. This and one other reason.”
My wife and I exchanged glances and laughed, and thought no more of it. The line went right over my son’s head. And no, you didn’t mishear it – he said – and meant – exactly what you thought.
Reveals Entertainment Weekly:
“The nice thing that Craig brought to it is, it’s such a hand-off line that I think for the older members of the audience, it’ll take them a moment to realize, like, ‘Did he just say what I think he said?'” says [director Dean] DeBlois. “And then you’re moving on. [The movie] treats it like normalcy, and that’s what I really like about it. Because I’m a gay man, and I don’t draw attention to myself for that reason. It’s just a fact of who I am, and the way the world is, and it’s nice to treat it as just a passing notion that isn’t something that people have to get so up in arms about. I think it makes people chuckle, and in every test screening we’ve had, it’s always gone over really well. I know there are probably a few people whose feathers it will ruffle, but you can’t worry too much about that. Particularly in 2014. It’s so prevalent out there, in TV shows and movies. It’s the norm, as it should be. I’m proud of it. It contributes to the daring and progressive quality of the storytelling of this [planned] trilogy.”
Of course the producers are going to reveal the mentor as homosexual,” Swanson said. “That answer is obvious: for the same reason why the Greek mentors were homosexual, and they were focused in on what the Christian fathers used to refer to as the corruption of boys, and we can also throw out the term pedophilia.
Remember what I said about Greek and Roman sexuality yesterday? The same applies to Norse sexuality. The Norse male was a penetrator. Penetrating another man did not make a man a homosexual, since the concept did not even exist at that time (1869, remember?). Penetrating another man, like penetrating a woman, made a man a man. Being penetrated didn’t make a man homosexual either. It made him a woman.
Gobber the Belch, is, it goes without saying, a Viking. In that cultural paradigm, no, Gobber is not homosexual, and no, Gobber is not encouraging pedophilia. He is not encouraging pedophilia even if he is a homosexual, no more than, say, a heterosexual man encourages pedophilia.
Not to be too blunt, Kevin Swanson is an idiot. He is also a bigot.
Keep in mind, according to Swanson the LGBT rights movement has destroyed civilization:
There’s not just divorce: people are eating their own feces, there’s incest everywhere.
As far as we know, the Egyptian pharaohs managed to limit themselves to incest without eating feces, as did the later Ptolemies (Cleopatra married her brother and no Roman detractor ever claimed “Cleopatra ate sh*t”).
I think Swanson is betraying more about himself and his fantasies than our society. My ancestors used to say, stout Norsemen like Gobber, that,
For the unwise man ’tis best to be mute
when he come amid the crowd,
for none is aware of his lack of wit
if he wastes not too many words;
for he who lacks wit shall never learn
though his words flow ne’er so fast. (Hávamál, Bray translation)
Oh, and just to demonstrate that Jesus did not have a lock on the “throwing the first stone” thing, I’ll lay the Norse version on Mr. Swanson:
The miserable man and evil minded
makes of all things mockery,
and knows not that which he best should know,
that he is not free from faults.
Evil-minded. I think that says about all that needs to say about Kevin Swanson and his fellow haters on the Religious Right.I might just go see the movie another five or six times.
Leave Gobber alone. Laugh. You’re safe. No gay person I know would want you to be gay anyway.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.