Frigg is SO PROUD in panel 1.

So hey, let’s talk a bit about weapons dev.

It was jarring for a few of you to see Dean Reynolds shaking Jarvis’ hand a couple of pages back. The next time we’ll see Reynolds, he’ll appear very much not okay with gnomes using their technological gifts “destructively.” Even later, Reynolds himself adapts the designs for the hammertank. How to resolve this apparent contradiction?

The answer’s both simple and simplistic, in that it’s evidence of simplistic thinking: Reynolds was perfectly happy to help others develop weapons, seeing that as no violation of the gnomes’ non-destructive ethic. Or rather, he was happy to do so after the Heads of Houses had flattered him sufficiently and offered him a seat in their hall. Reynolds at this stage of his life is an easily persuadable sort, but even he is not naive enough to think that his people would necessarily all share his attitude. To my mind, that makes him a slightly more morally ambiguous figure than he usually appears, and that’s an interesting wrinkle in his history.

What’s more, there’s an analogy to be made there to the longstanding alliance between pure science and the military. Many real-world scientists dislike or loathe the idea of bending pure research toward military purpose. But like it or not, military spending is responsible for a lot of peacetime advancements; even this internet you’re reading on grew out of DARPA. Shit gets tangled.