I’m fond of “architectural” layouts like this one, which was Erica’s innovation. Extending the pause after the girls discovered Frigg not there was her idea.

We weren’t trying to send any messages by continuing to separate the group into gender-based teams, something I don’t think we did much after this. It was part of my thinking in Skyelfia: “let’s try it girls-only!” but here as on the pirate ship, it was a matter of combining skills and putting Syr’Nj next to someone who’d test her let’s-all-get-along ethos.

Plus, it seemed like the Gravedust-Byron rapport we’d built up in the last two chapters could use some room to breathe. Even though, CHRONOLOGICALLY, the “are we pals” bit happens AFTER– yep, not sorry we jettisoned the flash-forwards after this.