Headscratchers / Dragons: Riders of Berk

  • In "Breakneck Bog" Hiccup jumps off toothless while toothless is in the air, and toothless has no problem staying afloat. How the bleep is that possible?
    • The fin probably has a locking device in the case Hiccup and Toothless have to be separated while up high so Toothless can control his flight in dissension or straight forward flight.
    • Confirmed, as of the sequel.

  • In "How to Pick Your Dragon" why would Hiccup use Toothless to teach Stoick how to fly? It seems a little like teaching someone how to drive in a car with manual transmission when you know they're always going to be using an automatic.
    • It doubles as a method to get Stoick used to working with the dragon, and Hiccup may simply have simply been unwilling to stick Stoick on an untrained dragon right off the bat.

  • If Mildew hates Dragons so much, why did he join a Viking Tribe that wants to learn how to tame them so badly? AKA, the Outcasts...
    • At this point he's fueled not by his hatred of dragons but by his hatred of Hiccup.

  • Stoik has Hiccup hide all of the dragons from Dagur, so as not to incite a war. But a few episodes earlier, he had no problems flying on Thornado to a joint chief's meeting, in which it would be logical to assume that doing so would alert everyone to Berk's dragon taming activities already. Also, once Dagur provoked him, he was more than willing to say "screw this" and nearly kill Dagur anyway. Sooo.... why exactly is hiding the dragons such a big deal by this point?
    • It could be that the Berserker Tribe is not represented at the Joint Chiefs Meeting, and that all of those tribes are either friendly or weaker. The Berserker's and Dagur on the other hand, clearly are both stronger (By the fact that they have to sign the peace treaty on Berk-owned land. Peace Treaties are almost always signed on the Loosing Sides Land, especially in the old days) and more hostile (Dagur's willingness to declare war on them for simply having Dragons). And the odds are, even if Stoic did assassinate Dagur, that would still be a declaration of War (There are plenty of Berserker Witnesses, as well as the fact that the Berserker Society probably would expect the Berserker's home soon). Hiding the Dragons at least bides them time with the Berserkers. Not a lot of Time if they were actually found out, but time none the less.
    • This makes sense. Plus, Berk might of gotten the brunt of the dragon war. Certainly not the only ones as Alvin's Outcasts were also attacked, but Berk seems to be closest to Dragon Island and where most of the dragons seem to head to if not off one their own or going to Dragon Island. So, Berk being weaker than the Berserkers makes sense if the Berserkers did not need to deal with the constant attrition of dragon attacks. Thus, a treaty with them makes sense and prior to the dragon war ending the terms weren't that unreasonable (a general inspection and not being aggressive against the Berserker). Also, Oswald the Agreeable seemed to be a berserker who would understand Berk not being a threat to them with that. Stoick's concern probably was that WITH the dragons on their side and a cohesive Viking-Dragon combined arms force, Berk would have the literal firepower to take on the Berserkers even with the old attrition and would be a significant threat (Hel, Alvin's obsession with riding dragons should be a clue on how much of a game changer it is). Of course, Oswald might of been willing to renegotiate since Berk had held the treaty terms honorably in the past before this very outside context development occurred... Dagur just wanted a war and was going very much out of his way to provoke it. Stoick's hiding of the dragons quite well could of been he knew how strong Berk could be, but he did not want to start an unnecessary war. But Dagur killing a Berk resident would be crossing the line as I'm pretty sure that had Dagur wanted to use, say, Astrid's blood to sign the treaty, even if the dragon war was still on Stoick would tell him to take a long walk off a short cliff (or just push him over it) and damn the consequences. Of course, without a hard copy of the treaty (and the runes are apparently the Gettysburg Address in Old Norse, so that's out), it's hard to judge the details.

  • Where did Hiccup find that info about the Screaming Death after Appetite of Destruction? It was explicitly not in the Book of Dragons. Was there some sort of prophecy (which, given it's "hatch once every 100 years" deal would make some sense), or did Bork have notes on it somehow that he didn't put into the book?

  • Bucket seems to be aware that his metal bucket attracts lightning in "Animal House", yet in "When Lightning Strikes" the villagers had no idea why Thor was angry at the metal.
    • Watch the episode Animal House again. The storm that was going to predicted in that episode was a snow storm. It's possible Bucket's helmet only applies to snow storms and not lightning.

  • How do people keep getting to Dragon Island? In the movie, it was a plot point that you needed a dragon to make your way through the mists and rocks.
    • Maybe they just needed a dragon to find the place. Now that they have been shown the way, the vikings probably remember the path on their own.

  • How on earth did the clue to the treasure remain in the glacier? Glaciers move over the years, and shift and crack while doing so. Large chunks breaking off of glaciers that meet the Ocean are what create Icebergs. How was it that a) the trap and clue were so well preserved, and b) there was still a pathway to get to them?
    • Really cold climate of Berk and a really deeply buried clue that... well isn't so deep inside anymore for exactly the reasons you said anymore.

  • If Mildew knew of a plant that poisoned dragons, why didn't he order them back when they were still at war with them?
    • Maybe it was discovered recently? Or maybe it was just too impractical to use in outright war but not so much when subtlety is called for.
    • Maybe Mildew saw Fishlegs book before Fishlegs did.
    • Or maybe he asked for it last time Johann was there, before they had made peace with the dragons.

  • Why didn't Stoik dive in after Hiccup when he fell into the water after getting struck by lightning? After so many Papa Wolf moments from him, it seemed odd he didn't go after Hiccup himself.
    • He was probably still in shock seeing what Hiccup was planning to do prior and even more so when he gets struck.

  • In Thawfest, when Hiccup threw the final contest, why did Astrid call him a good viking? One could argue that the action was morally good, but I'm pretty sure throwing the contest wasn't a very viking-like move.
    • Speaking of Thawfest, we are told that Snotlout has won every year. Seriously, Astrid was never a contender? (The episode uses some very forced contrivances, like Astrid throwing her axe at the same time as someone else and having it knocked out of the way, in order to keep the struggle for winner solely between Snotlout and Hiccup.)
      • It looks like Astrid doesn't have the build to be much of a challenge to Snotlout in the sheep lugging event, and he's apparently good enough in the other events to either win or tie with her. Also, he takes the whole thing very seriously and he's helped by his father, while Astrid seems less concerned about those games than she was about dragon training and does everything by herself.
      • Also remember this: When Vikings were all about killing dragons, Snotlout was The Ace, while Hiccup was The Load. Since Hiccup discovered how to train dragons, however, the roles have completely flipped, with SNOTLOUT now being nigh useless and HICCUP now being The Ace. Since the Thawfest games were originally based on skills needed to kill dragons, Snotlout won hands-down: even though Astrid is the best all-around warrior & rider combined, she's still not as physically strong or fast a warrior as Snotlout (in combat, she makes up for this with agility, precision, and cleverness). Keep in mind that Snotlout was in contention with Astrid for Top of the Class (before dragon riding was even a dream), and Gobber hints that the only reason Snotlout didn't do as well as Astrid in combat training was that he was too busy being a loud-mouth show-off.

  • Mildew's entire goal is supposed to get rid of Berk dragons, that's the whole point of his character. Yet he teams up with Alvin (effectively betraying his homeland) and learns how to tame dragons so he can teach the Outcasts to destroy Berk?
    • Nobody in Berk cares for him, and the dragons have become more accepted over time. Besides, a dragon war would probably be an effective way to rid the world of a lot of dragons.

  • I hate writing this because I loved that moment, but if the Aurora Borealis marks when the Frightmare comes to Berk (every 10 years) and Astrid associates that with the death of her uncle and the soiling of her family name, then why did she love seeing it while riding on Toothless in the movie (and why was it there in the first place..?)
    • My guess is that its more accurate to say the aurora just heralds the Flightmare itself rather than being something she associates directly with the whole mess with Fearless Fin. Remember that the Aurora Borealis was believed to be the rainbow bridge (bifrost) that linked the worlds in Viking tradition. Its quite possible that she interpreted it as some nod from Thor or Odin that dragons aren't all bad... its just that she REALY has it out for the Flightmare and the arrival of 'Arvindal's Fire' (not sure if that's an alternate name for the Borealis or if its supposed to be something else entirely). So in the movie, she doesn't really have the Flightmare on her mind. But in Flight of Passage, everyone starts talking about it again and it gets her really riled up.
    • The Flightmare episode clearly states that "Aurvandil's Fire" (and the subsequent arrival of the Flightmare) only happens once every ten years. The Aurora Borealis does not only occur once every 10 years, nor did ten years pass between the first film and the Flightmare episode. Thus, whatever "Aurvandil's Fire" is, it is not the Aurora Borealis, nor could it be what Astrid saw flying with Hiccup in the first film, which therefore has no connection with the Flightmare and no reason it should bother Astrid.

  • In the Most Recent episode of Dragons, Gustav (The Little Kid Snotlout bartered for before) tries to become a Dragon Rider, but the Dragon Academy basically shoo's him off. But that got me thinking: There are only 8 people who know how to ride Dragons (Hiccup, Astrid, Snotlout, Roughnut, Toughnut, Fishlegs, Stoic and Gustav) and the first 6 are in the Dragon Training Academy. They know that their Dragon Riding ability gives them the advantage against most (if not all) of their enemies... Why aren't they training more people to ride Dragons in Berk? Why do only 7 People get to ride Dragons in that whole village, when everyone there riding a Dragon would make the most sense militarily and socially?
    • This bugged me too. I figured their main objection to Gustav is he's very young compared to them; about the same size Astrid was when Fearless Fin got a face full of Flightmare and Gustav wanted to join as a full member flying around doing dangerous missions into Outcast territory and such. If Gustav just wanted to start learning and hadn't been playing around with that flamethrower armed sheep (and based on Hiccup's comment about it, that's not the first time that happened), I don't think there would have been as much objections besides maybe having the time between their other duties (home chores and missions for Stoick). I think the real objection was Gustav A) wanted to be in immediately on the long distance missions that would involve dodging crossbow bolts and siege ammunitions, B) went out and nabbed a Monstrous Nightmare on his own (which easily could of gotten him killed), and C) when told to stay put, he leapt into a dangerous situation and almost got captured then almost got Hiccup captured and as Snotlout saw, his guts broke pretty quickly as a result. Gustav was simply not ready to be a dragon rider yet and needed to spend time with basics. Unfortunately, it seems he kept the connection with the Nightmare, and I fear bad things will come of that... Maybe they'll address dragon training getting more common. I mean, they need to do that at some point since its clear that the end result would be most of the Berk Vikings being dragon riders.

  • I know Snotlout got Hookfang because there was a limited selection of dragons to train and ride but wouldn't a Monstrous Nightmare be one of the worst dragons to ride, given their ability of catching themselves on fire? Without special precautions for the rider that most likely wouldn't have existed back then, either the rider risks serious burns every time he rides a Nightmare, or the Nightmare would be handicapped for his species because he cannot use his best attack.
    • I believe Nightmares can control which parts of their bodies they ignite. I recall that he's done some relatively controlled burns on Snotlout in the past that did not involve completely engulfing himself in flame.

  • Why are there not more Vikings attempting to join the Dragon Training Academy? With all of the Vikings riding dragons at the end of the first film, it seems unusual that none of them are keen to continue learning. Was the ordeal in the first episode enough to put them all off it, even when they can see how useful and important the dragons could be to the community? Hiccup is a hero at the end of the film and Berk accepts and rejoices in their new friendship with the dragons, there is only one dissenter (Mildew), and yet there are NO dragon riders (or even those who want to be) other than the five teens, Stoik (eventually) and Gustav.
    • Granted this may be a guess but there could be several reasons. One is that until recently they were at war with the dragons, so there may be some lingering trust issues and resentment. Second is that the academy is still very new and and the five members are still learning everything they can about the dragons, so adding more members to learn dragon riding may hinder the academy's growth. Third, having too many dragons in the village may put a strain on the food supply.
    • Another possibility is that other Vikings have dragons (as seen in the end of Viking for Hire, but they already have full time jobs around the village that takes up their time while the kids are free to spend all their time on dragons and learning about it. It's quite possible that they figured that once they had the knowledge to teach it quickly and effectively, they would do some classes to help everyone figure out what they don't already know or learned on the side. A bit of a shame, as teaching a bunch of Vikings how to do it would of made for a nice episode or two.
  • Why was Gobber out of a job in Viking for Hire if he's a BLACKSMITH? That's like, one of the most useful skills in the Dark Ages. Was the show just playing up the Proud Warrior Race Guy trope up with Berk again and limiting it to weapons instead of a host of useful tools like metal bands for barrels, parts of ships, and even small knives and the like? On top of that, Berk still had plenty of active enemies as indicated by Alvin.
  • Since when did Hiccup get so anti-change the environment in Quake Rattle and Roll? He showed no objections to moving dragons around when they interfered with viking life, but the moment there's dragons messing with other dragons, he says it's not their place? What's up with that?
    • It absolutely did feel OOC (maybe he was trying to brush the issue off for a while?) but I don't think it's a vikings and dragons sort of thing. Hiccup's totally been willing to interfere with groups of wild dragons before (i.e. Free Scauldy).
      • I always just sort of figured that it was just Hiccup not feeling up to it or something. I mean, think about what happened the last time he fought a giant dragon that was interfering with other dragons natural patterns. Sure, it's been a few years since he lost his leg, but that's still got to be a pretty traumatizing situation, maybe he'd been having some issues lately and just looked at the whole situation and went "Yeah no, we're not doing this again, I'm out, goodbye." The whole 'natural order' excuse really sounded like he had just pulled it out of his ass, especially since he's literally never had a problem interfering before, and refused to explain when the others asked how the situation was different. Just a theory, but it was a really weak excuse, and Hiccup doesn't really seem to be the type to want to talk about any problems he's having.
    • Actually, all the other times Hiccup and co. have interfered with wild dragons, it's only been because: they — the humans — were in danger, too ("Appetite For Destruction" and "Imperfect Harmony"); it was their fault the wild dragons were in danger in the first place ("When Darkness Falls" and "Shock and Awe"); their trained dragons got involved on their own ("Total Nightmare"); or there was something else they wanted to gain from it for themselves (Hiccup wanted to try to train the Speed Stinger in "The Next Big Sting," no matter how much he refused to admit it to Astrid or himself, and Stoick was determined to save Thornado's mate in "How To Pick Your Dragon" because he wanted to make friends with him). The one exception is "Free Scauldy," but what happens there? After they decide for no reason they'd like to help the injured Scauldron, they realize they're only putting themselves in danger and that the right thing to do is "let nature take its course." The only reason they can't is because their dragons refuse to let them. Also, keep in mind that all those cases were a matter of life and death. The Gronckles may have lost their land, but they were otherwise perfectly fine. Most of them got to the Edge with no problem — they could easily find yet another new home if the kids chose to chase them off that island just like the Quaken did. The Gronckles weren't in immediate danger of being eaten by predators like the other dragons they'd helped. They simply had no justification in this case for interfering — they weren't in danger, they had done nothing to cause the problem, and they had nothing to gain from it. What reason did they have to take the Gronckles' side over the Quaken's? Since the Quaken wasn't endangering them like the Deathsong or a pack of wild boars, what right did they have to treat the Quaken like the "bad guy"? I completely understand why Hiccup wouldn't think they had the right to interfere in this case (it was different from the previous cases), particularly since they pretty much learned that lesson in "Free Scauldy."
  • There are multiple instances of Dagur ambushing them with the Gang eventually gaining the upper hand and chasing him off, despite outnumbering and outgunning him, they never bother to capture him, and are content to just let him flee and attack another day. It makes sense that there's no killing since its a kid's show, but they don't even bother to capture him?
    • They might've considered him too dangerous to transport, or believed that they couldn't hold him given the Berk Jail track record with Heather (Alvin doesn't really count since he was playing nice).
  • Why does Hiccup try to intervene when dragons hunt one another, since eating each other seems natural for them. The show establishes that some dragons are prey animals to others, so by saving one dragon from being eaten, he's sentencing another dragon to starve.
    • It's not like he's holding himself to some sort of pure study, full non-interference policy when it comes to dragons. And it's a far cry from knowing that something happens, to letting it happen right in front of your face.
    • Outside of "Free Scauldy," he only intervened when he and his friends were in danger of being eaten, as well, or when they were the ones who put wild dragons in danger of being eaten — for example, letting wild Scauldrons eat the wild Sea Shocker you caught and penned up for no reason other than curiosity would not be fair.
  • Who are the Outcasts? Are they former Berkians who were banished with Alvin for following him or something? Are they another tribe he joined? A group of exiles from different tribes who joined together? If they're not former Berkians, why join Alvin's crusade for revenge against Berk?
  • The Dragon riders are now all 18-19 and in the second film they're in their early twenties. How are they all still shorter than their parents?
  • If the Defenders of the Wing consider even riding dragons with their consent to be enslavement, how do they justify feeding them personality-altering fruit that makes them docile and non-aggressive?
  • Did Dagur know Heather was his sister? At the beginning of "Have Dragon, Will Travel Part II," he makes a joke about "a family reunion," and when Heather's about to kill him, he tells her if she does, she'll never know... which is when she gags him. Yet, when Hiccup gives the big reveal, Dagur's attitude towards Heather completely changes, as if that's news to him, too.
  • In "The Night and the Fury," why doesn't Hiccup think it's weird when Dagur mentions his sister? Dagur and his father have been visiting Berk once a year for Hiccup's entire life. "Have Dragon, Will Travel" makes it clear that Heather disappeared when Hiccup was too young to remember that Oswald the Agreeable ever had a daughter. At this point in the series, Hiccup's reaction should have been, "What are you talking about? You don't have a sister."
  • The Defenders of the Wing condemn the dragon riders for "oppressing" dragons by riding them, but have no problems drugging the dragons on their island to keep them calm. So riding dragons is bad, but slipping them some roofies is A-OK!
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