December 3 is National Roof Over Your Head Day, which is a great day to reflect on our own blessings, namely a home to house our collections of all things Rick Riordan. That said, homelessness is no joke. Uncle Rick explores this with his characteristic humor and compassion through Norse demigod Magnus Chase. Two years on the streets of Boston must’ve been hard for Magnus, even with an immunity to extreme cold. Here’s a rundown of the things that made it bearable for our favorite einherji.
Book-lovers like us love libraries for the obvious reasons, but Magnus relied on them for more than just the books. He taught us what safe havens they are for shelter, clean restrooms, and general peace of mind. We’re sure he got his fill of all the great adventure stories on the shelves too, of course.
Libraries come in handy for this one too, as Magnus cops to using the public computers to watch episodes of the show. He’s clearly resourceful enough to find opportunities to stoke his fandom. And such a thrilling sci-fi series must’ve been a welcome escape from the challenges of the streets. He says it even makes him a nerd, but any way you want to label it, being a Doctor Who fan is almost as awesome as being a Riordan fan. Almost.
Hearth and Blitz
Messengers and protectors, the elf magician and dwarf-demigod disguise themselves as fellow homeless in order to keep an eye on Magnus after the death of his mother. They become good friends to Magnus, and he’s genuinely touched when they raid the toy store on Charles Street to come to his aid. Sure, everything goes a little haywire in Randolph Chase’s mansion (not to mention the Longfellow Bridge), but they get it all sorted out in Hotel Valhalla, don’t they?
Although they first knew him as Jimmy, Abdel and Amir Fadlan were crucial parts of Magnus’s support system, and their falafel restaurant in the Transportation Center of downtown Boston was a warm respite from the elements. Fadlan’s Falafel has a reputation for generosity among Boston’s homeless, too, offering free sandwiches to those in need. Little did Amir know that helping out scrappy Jimmy would result in him paying a visit to Valhalla. Maybe good deeds really do lead to paradise, after all.
Magnus teaches us a lot about bravery and humanity through the experiences that made him so streetwise. Hotel Valhalla is certainly an appropriate roof over that demigod’s head, but let’s all take a moment and count our blessings for the roofs we have. And consider volunteering or donating to a charity working to end homelessness near you.