|“||Yes, yes! All this treasure you see, my friends? That is nothing compared to Magnus Chase! My son finally did something right.||”|
–Alderman to the guests at his party, shortly before going insane in The Hammer of Thor.
Alderman was an elf and the father of Hearthstone and Andiron. After obtaining a cursed ring when his son paid for his Wergild, he went mad and turned into a dragon. He was slain by Magnus Chase a few months later.
Alderman was known to have collected many rare and valuable artifacts. One of his first was the Skofnung Stone, the stone used to heal people stabbed by Skofnung. Another one was the whetstone Odin used when he disguised himself as Bolverk. When Hearthstone was born, Alderman and his wife, Greta, rejected him because of his deafness. Alderman also used to have Nisser in the woods near his backyard, he had the exterminator kill them all.
Death of Andiron
Eight years later, his brother Andiron, who Alderman liked much better, was killed by a Brunnmigi, a shapeshifter that lives in wells. Alderman killed the beast but made Hearthstone skin it, then he placed the pelt in his room as a reminder to pay his brother's wergild, a debt that must be paid to the deceased. He and Greta said Andiron should have lived while he should have died. They placed dry erase boards in his room for chores and rewards, chores were granted a small amount of gold while rewards cast a large amount of gold.
Alderman first appeared when his son and Magnus came to his house. He tells the police officers that Magnus is really the son of Frey, their ruler. He berates Hearthstone for using ASL and invited him and Magnus inside. He yells at Hearth to use the slab rather than Alf Sign Language. Alderman tells them he has the Skofnung Stone, but will not give it to them. He tells his son that his mother was hit by a delivery truck and killed when coming home from the country club, but does so in a toying tone of voice. He tells Hearthstone to prepare his brother's wergild as tribute and agrees to give them the stone if Magnus spends time with him at parties and take pictures with him, Magnus' status as son of Frey, ruler of the elves, making him somewhat of a celebrity in Alfheim. He calls Inge to take his son and Magnus to Hearth's room before spilling his drink and having her clean it up.
When his son and Magnus return and show him the gold they pour on the wergild rug, he inspects it for flaws and, after finding one hair showing, he threatens to take half the treasure if they do not finish the wergild now. Magnus shows him the cursed ring and warns him about it, but he brushes it off and asks for it. He gives them the Skofnung stone and tells them to get ready for his party. At his party he tosses his fortune to uneasy looking guests. His son asks him to take off the ring, but he thinks they are trying to steal his fortune. He summons Nøkks to kill everyone in the mansion except him. As this happens he starts to kick the guests before his son and his friends stop the Nøkks and free them.
Alderman's dragon form first appears in Magnus Chase's dream, Odin warns him that he will have to face this beast when going to retrieve Bolverk's whetstone.
When Magnus, Blitzen and Hearthstone go to Alfheim to find the whetstone, they find Alderman's manor in ruins. Upon following the scent of dead frog, the group finds out that Alderman has been transformed into a dragon due to the effects of the ring, gathered all his treasures including the whetstone, and has taken residence in a cave. He speaks in the third person as if he had a split personality, he tries go out of the cave to get a drink but still wants to protect his treasure. The three heroes devise a plan to kill Alderman and they begin to carry it out. Hearth summons the spirit of Andiron to try and convince Alderman to give up the ring, but he realizes that it is Hearth's doing so he curses him. Blitz is extremely furious at this, he berates Alderman for being such a horrible father and only thinking about gold. Magnus, while hiding in the tunnels the Nisser made, stabs Alderman in the stomach with Jack, killing him while quickly escaping the dragon blood to avoid dying, though he loses his pants. Before dying, he calls Hearth a traitor and murderer and demands that he uses his board.
The trio then retrieve the whetstone and return the gold to where they found it. After that, Blitz says they have to either eat Alderman's heart to gain his memories and wisdom or burn it. They argue about who should eat it, Magnus because he slayed the dragon, Hearth because he's his father. During the argument, Magnus accidentally knocks it straight into the campfire they built, even though that's technically what he wanted. He tried to save it but burned his hands, then stupidly put them in his mouth, tasting Alderman's blood, which tastes like ghost chili mixed with concentrated Hawaiian Punch syrup. Hearth seems relieved, since Alderman's soul has been put to rest.
Speaking of Troll...
In The Hammer of Thor, Alderman is described as being almost seven feet tall and is noted for having very large eyes. He is so thin that Magnus notes that he "look like one of those UFO-flying, strange-medical-experimental-conducting aliens from Roswell". He dresses in a grey suit over a green turtleneck. His chin has been called so pointy that it looks like "it had been hung on a perfect isoceles triangle". He shares a resemblance to Hearthstone having platinum blond hair bristled like him, along with having a similar nose and mouth structure.
However, in The Ship of the Dead, Alderman has turned into a hideous, monstrous looking dragon due to the effects of the ring. His four feet were each the diameter of a trash-can lid. His short thick legs dragged along a lizard-like body, maybe fifty feet from nose to tail. His spine ridged with spikes bigger than Sumarbrander. He had glowing green eyes, a snub-nosed snout with slimy nostrils, a horrible maw with rows of triangular teeth. Its head was maned with green quills and tufts of white clung to his forehead, remaining bits of Alderman's hair. His mouth was large and expressive for a beast, its lips were very human. The ring was on his middle right fore-toe, the end of that toe had blackened and shriveled.
Alderman is quite vain, as he only does things if they affect him positively. He enjoys collecting valuable treasures and bullying his deaf son, describing his mother's death in a mocking tone. His temper is very short as he snaps at Hearthstone whenever he signs instead of writing down what he wants to say. He is also rude to his household staff, as he treats Inge poorly. Alderman's horrible personality makes Magnus want to punch him in the face every time he looks at him and Blitz loudly berate him when he sees Hearth is responsible for making Andiron come back.
- Alderman is also the name of an elected member of a municipal council.
- As mentioned above, what happened to Alderman is almost exactly like the story of Fafnir. Magnus Chase plays the role of Sigurd, and Andiron plays the role of Ótr.
- He is referred to at one point as Alderman of House Alderman, potentially meaning his full name is Alderman Alderman.
- Aldr, in old Norse means something along the lines of 'Old' and from this, it's entirely possible Alderman's name means 'Old Man'