There's this character - Cael - who is supposed to be an unmitigated tool of the highest order. He's one of those obnoxious people who throws their weight around for no good reason and uses his physical size to intimidate others, and bullies them for their 'weaknesses' - loss of limbs, disfigurement, and being female chief among them. He also inflicts unnecessary amounts of pain in battle and constantly shows off the fact that he has 'no face' owing to frostbite. But, the thing is, all these personality flaws are explained by events in his life - what the Norse did to his family (his father was killed trying to save his mother who became trapped in their house; he blames her) and it's really hard to keep him as the heartless barbarian after revealing that. It's essential that he's hated, of course - his slaying is a bit of light relief from an otherwise gruelling battle that claims several of the other major characters.