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Headscratchers: How to Train Your Dragon
Fridge Logic from "How to Train Your Dragon":
  • If the Green Death devours any dragon that fails to bring enough food back raided from the Vikings to appease it, how is Toothless still alive and serving it? It was established early on in the film, the Night Fury never shows itself or steals any food.
    • Toothless' role seems to have been that of a sniper or cover fire. He doesn't land to steal food, he focuses instead on picking off big targets. Unlike the heavy lifting Gronkles or brawl oriented Nightmares, Toothless is built for sneak attacks and dive bombing. Presumably, either some of the others would pass him some food in exchange for the cover fire he provided by sniping catapult towers or picking off really annoying Vikings, or this is his accepted role with the dragons and thus he is never expected to bring food back.
    • Or he could simply be delivering fish caught out at sea, like the other dragons presumably do when they aren't raiding the Viking settlement.
  • Why is The Green Death's murder presented as heroic? The message of the film is that by seeing the dragons as evil because they try to preserve themselves, are dangerous, and look scary is wrong. So what about the Green Death meant that it had to be killed? Sure, it was forcing the dragons to bring it food, but that was its only method of self-preservation. Would you rather it ate the dragons? The fact is, The Green Death was no more evil than any other dragon, and by presenting Hiccup's murder of it as just and heroic, the movie was going against its own message. If the fact that the Green Death was just trying to survive as well had been brought up, it would have tainted the moral waters. The Green Death just can't be supported along with the village. So what do you do with it? But in ignoring this and saying "it's evil because it looks scary, attacks when provoked, and is trying to get food", the movie flipflopped completely on its message. Am I the only one a little bothered by this?
    • The Green Death was a cannibalistic, amoral eating machine. The difference between it and the other dragons is that it doesn't care who or what it hurts or kills as long as it gets fed. The other dragons kill and steal out of self-defense and to placate the Green Death that rules them tyrannically with the constant threat of death-they don't attack each other or anything else that is friendly. There was no proof whatsoever that the Green Death had any redeemable qualities. Had it lived, it would have gone on eating everything in sight that had a pulse.
    • Further, the Green Death had some way of dominating the dragons nearby, presumably by it's crooning "song" which was heard when the Vikings were coming up on Dragon Island. They'd have probably abandoned their lair to it otherwise! It's why I originally referred to it as a sort of Eldritch Abomination from the dragons' perspective; it had an unnatural hold on most of them and drove them to do unnatural things.. "Evil" may be too strong a word, but amoral it certainly was, and more or less was the common enemy of both the Vikings AND the dragons. With it gone, the highly social dragons reverted to more normal behavior, and readily integrated into the Viking village with a bribe of lots of free food and a safe roost.
    • But the other strong message of the movie has been solving conflicts without combat. The hero is the only one who can't fight, the vikings kill innocents by fighting and not trying to understand the problem and the only way things turn out right is when it's realised that violence isn't the answer. And then they use violence and it's heroic.
      • That wasn't the point of the movie. It wasn't "never fight", it was "be smart and know the right time to fight". Hiccup took pity on Toothless in the beginning because he saw that he was just as scared as him. When he believed dragons were the main enemy, Hiccup was willing to fight (he created that catapult in the beginning, after all. But when he learned that the dragons were just solving a tyrannical master, he did what he could to help save the dragons from oppression. It's not violence that the movie's trying to resolve, it's mindless violence.
    • But there was no other way out, because trying to reason with the Green Death would have been useless. We saw enough of her evilness and selfishness in the dragon's den scene, IMHO. The heroic part is that they still chose to fight, despite such a powerful adversary, because even if they could have communicated, there's no way the GD would have released her little slaves, and would have still attacked everyone and everything. Plus, even if left alone, would have still searched for another place to conquer and more dragons to enslave and send to pillage other villages.
    • I actually took the message to be "question what you know", in which case defeating the Green Death is the payoff. The older Vikings kept on blaming the smaller dragons for the resource competition they are engaged in, as those are the ones that are constantly stealing their food. What they didn't realize (and what Hiccup discovered) was that the real competition was not dragons vs. Vikings, but The Green Death vs. Vikings. In order to end the raiding problem, they needed to stop The Green Death, not the smaller dragons. It's basically Taking A Third Option that doesn't necessitate the genocide of either species.
    • Consider it this way:The Green Dragon was unnaturally controlling the other dragons and making them do things they would not normally do. If a human were to do that to other humans he (or she) would be considered a despot, and it would be justified to destroy them. So basically, the Green Death was Dragon Stalin.
    • Another thing to consider is that in the book Hiccup did try to reason with the Green Death and in response the dragon told him that he was going to eat Hiccup, the vikings, and the dragons regardless. The reasoning the dragon gave was that he had nothing against Hiccup or his loved ones personally, he was just hungry. So long as that dragon was hungry it was going to eat everyone and thus there was no amount of reasoning that would have helped Hiccup.
    • But all of this ignores the fact of how massive the Green Death was. The thing seems to be built as a dragon-eater; instead of eating dragons, however, it just collected part of their food. If you think about it, this method is the lesser of two evils. Dragons are shown to be sapient, and one could see it as more of a tragedy if they die as opposed to the lesser-intelligent creatures such as sheep and fish. Seeing how massive the Green Death was, it seems unlikely that it would have been able to find enough animals on its own to sustain itself, but it could make do with the other dragons offering it part of their kill. The Green Death may not be nice, but following this logic, its only other options were to either feed on dragons or lay down and starve to death.
    • Basically you're describing an apex species evolved to the point it can only subsist on its own kind. The fact of the matter is, to accuse the story of going against its own message, you'd have to ignore the ethics of the situation. The dragons and vikings can survive with each other, GD was an issue for the both of them. If you are trying to justify the survival of it you should at least try to justify the survival and prosperity of the larger population.
    • Part of their kill? Astrid clearly says "They're not eating any of it." The Green Death is starving the dragons to death, eating ones who don't give it enough food, and mind controlling what are at LEAST semi-sentient(or completely sentient in Toothless's case, although it's not known if there are any other Night Furies living with the dragons) creatures. Nope, it's just a poor innocent lizard!
    • The Green Death is one being whose continued existence ensures the death or unending misery of thousands of others. Any moral creature would've sooner killed itself than allow so many to suffer and die for its own gluttony.
      • Uh, it's a dragon? IDK that dragons are really that moral.It sucks for the other dragons, sure, but the Green Death is just doing what it does to survive. Not to mention that, by your logic, humans should exterminate ourselves to quit ruining the planet. After all, we're one species whose continued existence ensures the death or unending misery of thousands of others. Self-preservation is going to trump morals every time. That is why wolves aren't vegan.
    • Clearing things up because this is going to get out of control. Green Death's usual method of eating is using it's song to get other dragons to get it food, eating the ones that don't bring enough to make up for it. It's huge and looks like it will need more food then it could hunt to sustain itself, even if it is a parasite. It's doing what it was to self preserved because nothing in this world with roll over and die because mother nature had it draw the short end of the evolution stick.
    • Aside from the moral conundrum, we should return to the beginning of the film. Why Vikings wanted to fight and kill dragons? Because they were pests eating every share of food they could get their mouth on, and not above killing humans if they fought back (since basically it boiled to feeding the Green Death or dying). After the end, the Green Death is no more, dragons need far less food to get their fills and thus they're no longer pests: they're useful pets.
  • If dragons aren't fireproof inside, how do they breath fire? The one that ignites the gas after breathing it may have some excuse, but the one that sets itself on fire?
    • Hiccup confused "fireproof" with "explosionproof". Dragon-fire is normally shot off in a controlled burn. If it backfires and gets ignited all at once...it can wreak havoc on the dragon. A modern comparison would be burning gasoline in the spark plugs of an engine versus throwing a lit match into the engine's fuel tank.
    • Beware squick in this reply. Humans digest food with stomach acid, but the only part of us that is immune to said acid is the stomach. Throw up enough and your throat and teeth will decay and get raw. Dragons may operate on the opposite principle. They carry the fuel in their belly or a related organ, and ignite it outside or in the mouth. Thus their mouth and scales are fireproof, but their stomach isn't.
      • Gives a whole new meaning to the term 'heartburn' doesn't it?
      • Humans normally have stomach acid in their stomachs, not spraying through their throats. Dragons normally have it spraying through their throats.
    • Some of it is simply that certain dragons are vulnerable to backfiring. The Green Death has a Zippleback-like breath weapon; it breathes flammable gas, ignites it with its own version of a Thor's Thimble, and uses pure lung power to turn it into a blowtorch. Prematurely igniting it caused the blowout that caused the Green Death to, literally, go down in flames.
    • They don't: they spit it, their saliva is flammable. Really, "breath weapon" is a misconstrued concept.
    • The poster above is correct. Think of their fire-breathing system like a flamethrower - the fire isn't actually created until the gas is near the mouth, a more fireproof area.
      • Watch toothless' capture scene in the arena very closely. Before Hiccup stopped him, Toothless was going to kill Stoic by fireballing him at point blank range. When he takes a deep breath to summon the fire, you can see the gases building up in in his mouth.
      • I think it differs from dragons to dragons. Look at the fight scene in the beginning, the Monsterous Nightmare fireball acts more like a flamethrower, with the fire flowing like a stream (especially in the scene where the dragon ran out of fireballs). Then see the Zippleback training scene, the dragon breathes gas out and then light it causing an explosion (didn't happen in the training scene, but happened in the fight scene) Toothless' fireball appears to be a slightly dense gas cloud that expands very slowly (when Toothless wasn't amused with Hiccup for nearly crashing and killing both of them, and when Toothless made his "bed" (when they still weren't friends yet)
    • It also explains "a wet dragon head can't light it's fire" the trigger for igniting the gas is likey around the mouth or just inside of the mouth, where the water could reach it if the head was wet. If the fire was drawn from the stomach a wet head wouldn't do much to extinguish a strong flame.

  • Anything that flies needs to be precisely constructed. How did Hiccup manage to build a (mostly) working tail fin for Toothless based on a rough sketch he drew at a distance? Considering these people don't have any flight technology, he shouldn't have any idea how to create a properly functioning tail fin without at least a close examination of the still-present fin...
    • This is likely going to require Bellisario's Maxim, but there are a few attenuating factors. The vikings do kill a lot of dragons, so he's likely seen plenty of (dead) dragon wings and tail fins, not to mention live ones during attacks. The book on dragons he reads near the beginning has various detailed sketches, so he may have cribbed some of those. The quick construction I attribute to him being a Gadgeteer Genius or Wrench Wench (uh, wrench guy mensch). It fits his character and established by the ballista that knocked Toothless out. Still, it did take him several tries to get the thing working right.
    • I imagine that the fin is somewhat a drag on Toothless' abilities. Granted, flight machines have to be well-built, but an intelligent flying machine (a dragon) can probably compensate for a lot in that regard.
    • Wasn't there a sequence with him building and rebuilding the tailfin?
      • Absolutely. The tailfin and fight mechanism went through several versions; dragon and rider only gradually learned to work together, and as they did Hiccup modified the gear based on how Toothless responded. By the time of the battle with the Green Death, they worked together nearly flawlessly, to the point that Toothless could still make shift at keeping airborne with the tailfin all but burned off.
      • Not so. The sequences were of him building and rebuilding the linkages between fin and boy, but the tailfin itself was unchanged.
    • Hiccup makes a sketch of Toothless' tail, then notices that half is missing. He then recreates the other half. It's probably not a perfect match, but it's a relatively "simple" set of struts and fins that he can recreate. It wouldn't have as much flexibility as the real thing probably had, but the issue is more balance. It doesn't need to be as complicated a replacement as, say, a limb... it probably would have worked passably with just a flat fin, but because he's a gadgeteer he makes something much better.
    • Seconding the above poster. The tail fin is essentially a large folding fan. They've been around since ancient Greece and wouldn't be a problem for someone trained to work with leather, metal, and presumably animals since Hiccup is a blacksmith's apprentice.
    • Not just a fan, a sail. As in, the same thing Vikings have been building for centuries to propel ships. The concept of rudders and of trapping the wind with fabric are hardly a stretch for someone who grew up in a sailing culture.
    • Watch the first real flight Toothless and Hiccup have. The artificial tailfin wobbles, for lack of a better word, while the original stays firm. It does the job, but it's far from perfect.
    • I always just figured there were scenes left out of the movie, thus the entire point of a montage, and that time passed in between the scenes, enough time that Toothless trusted Hiccup enough to let him mess around with his tail without Toothless watching him, measuring the existing tail-fin, making Toothless used to his name enough that he'd answer too it... stuff like that. More study then a simple observation.

  • At the end of the film, Hiccup awakens from a healing coma that has apparently lasted long enough for the Vikings to build dragon eyries all over the village and learn to ride their new pets and for his presumably crushed and amputated leg to have healed to the point where he can bear the pain of walking on the stump. Fine. But he still has his minor scrapes and burns! His leg is mostly healed but his face is still a mess? What gives?
    • While he was saying goodnight his dad dropped a lantern on his head by accident...no one says they have to be burns and scrapes from the fight after all. Just my WMG on that.
      • Perhaps this is what comes of leaving an agitated, semi-sentient creature with teeth, fangs, and abrasive scales completely unsupervised with its unconscious and injured master? Claws...not a standard nursemaid feature.
      • Toothless is sentient. This is established pretty firmly in the film at least several times, when he shows he's at least as intelligent and self-aware as Hiccup is. Take, for example, the part where he watches Astrid running away after initially discovering him and hiccup, does a picture-perfect copy of Hiccup's eye-roll, and stomps away to solve the problem himself. If he isn't sentient, how does he grasp the reason Hiccup is rolling his eyes to the point that he adopts it himself, and how does he formulate and choose a decision to show Astrid that dragons AREN'T evil monsters?
      • I think you're confusing sentient with sapient. Sentient: able to feel and conscious of self. Sapient: capable of acting with judgement. A dog is sentient, but not sapient. People (and Toothless, at least) are both.
    • If you look closely right after Stoik finds him and in the closeups after he wakes up, you'll see some faint scars along Hiccup's mouth and jaw that weren't there earlier in the movie. The above troper is probably right; Toothless was actively trying to wake Hiccup and even managed to step on him when he finalld did, so it wouldn't be surprising that he accidently gave him a few minor injuries in the process.
      • It's easier to just write this one off as a continuity error. The little scrapes probably are to just indicate that Hiccup is waking up not too far past the battle; shorthand for "time elapsed, but not months in a coma."
      • Actually, Hiccup does have those minor scrapes/burns visible after Toothless saves him from the fireball. In any case, it looks like those eyries and feeding stations were previously anti-dragon emplacements that the vikings just quickly refurbished for the dragons. Building this wouldn't take too long with the collective efforts of every viking and the fact that it would be pretty simple. Also, riding other dragons doesn't seem to be as complex as riding Toothless, mostly because you don't have to manually operate a prosthetic tail fin for proper flight. From what we see when Hiccup trains his peers to ride dragons, all it takes is some understanding and careful movements.
      • Also, Hiccup comments in the beginning how there are lots of new buildings even though the village is old because they have to keep rebuilding after dragon attacks, so the vikings are probably pretty good at construction things so it wouldn't take them long to adapt their village into a dragon friendly place
      • In a version of the script I read, it's said that they were trying to imply that a week or two has passed. Also, his leg could have been... cauterized, to some extent.

  • You know what bugs me? The way that Astrid became The Chick after she met Toothless. Before that, she was the epitome of what a Berk Viking should be, girl or otherwise, and even after that she at least managed to save Hiccup by smacking a burning dragon with a thrown hammer during the arena ritual, but other than that all she did, combat-wise, was cling on to Hiccup's back and almost get inhaled into the Green Death's maw while all her much less skilled classmates were busy dragon riding and getting their own CMOAs. It woulda been nice to see her show some of the muscle we know she had in the final battle.
    • I think she became a chick, not the chick. She's The Lancer, and we've already seen plenty of her. Given that certain quarters are already crying about what they call a Romantic Plot Tumor, I'm glad they don't have more ammunition.
    • Watch the film again and you'll see that Astrid is directing Berk's new flying corps while Hiccup is busy trying to free Toothless. In short, Astrid has already show how powerful she is with personal combat and the climax shows her how powerful she is as a combat leader. Yes, she almost got killed when the Green Death took personal notice of her, but she's new to this kind of combat and she's smart enough to defer to Hiccup who is definitely practiced in this field.
    • Look closely, after Snotlout got bucked she was the only one left in the fight. The twins were still trying to calm their Zipple enough to turn it around and everyone else was on the beach. She did _something_ to get the Red Death's attention enough to get it to turn around. She was definitely in the fight. While at the same time keeping an eye out for Hiccup and the twins. I'd gladly have her on my side any day.
    • Snotlout mezzed, Astrid tanked, Hiccup nuked.
    • Astrid already had tons of screentime, honestly, I thought it was about time the other vikings had a chance to actually do something.

  • Toothless, for the most part, acted like a realistic animal. He got a bad case of Green-Eyed Monster when Astrid entered the picture, and proceeded to try as hard as any wild horse to throw her off! When Astrid finally gives up and cries 'uncle', he suddenly loses the attitude, straightens up and flies right. Why?
    • It's his way of saying "I'm the Big Bad here, and you WILL respect me and my trainer." And since Toothless can at least understand human emotions - if not comprehend human speech - when he hears Astrid's pleading voice he understands he's made his point.
    • Because, in essence, Toothless is NOT a realistic animal. Besides the whole "breathing fire" thing, he was just playing with her, and intended no actual harm.
      • Well, he * acted* in a realistic manner. The research put into his behavior is a good part of what makes him an appealing character. Makes sense, though; once he worked his grumpiness out of his system he warmed to her pretty quickly.
      • You can say that he was establishing dominance over Astrid. Once he was satisfied with Astrid apologizing and knowing she would never attack Hiccup again, he then took her on the rest of the trip to endear himself to her.
      • Bingo. Acting dominant didn't impress Toothless at all. (Neither did Hiccup's sarcasm for that matter). But when she showed fear, he recognized it immediately and gentled down. Perhaps he remembered what it was like to be afraid, himself?
      • You ever introduced a particularly skittish cat to someone new? I've seen them act almost exactly like Toothless.
    • He switches to the smooth ride the second she apologizes. I'm forced to conclude he knows what "I'm sorry" means.
      • Toothless does seem to understand human speech. Notice how he flings Hiccup off his tail when he (Hiccup) yells "I did it!"; the dragon's facial expression that moment is something of "what, I'm doing nothing here or what?". Also, at the finale, Toothless doesn't reveal he rescued Hiccup until after Stoik says "I'm so sorry". So yes, Toothless expressions during certain dialogues imply that he understands human speech, which explains why he smooths the ride when Astrid apologizes.
      • I think it's less that Toothless literally understands human speech and it's more like - as with dogs and cats and other domesticated animals - he can understand the tone of voice. He doesn't need to understand what the words mean, just hearing the tone is enough for him to know that Astrid has had her anger broken.
      • That whole sequence is what made me fall completely in love with Toothless. I love how he communicates non-verbally and completely understands everything. If he could talk he'd be Tall, Dark and Snarky personified. But if you look at that scene it does seem like he's asserting dominance. Look at how Astrid came in. Completely aggressive, Ax-weilding warrior chick. Hiccup tries to stop her and first thing she does? wrestles him to the ground and then hits him while he's down. So she's already asserted her dominance over Hiccup... So Toothless starts asserting his. Or on another level, Toothless just watched his human get knocked around and then he's expected to cart her around like everything's ok? Hell no. Cue apology for her aggressive and demanding nature and he instantly calms down.
    • I'd argue that Toothless has human-level intelligence. Even considering that he understands people dropping their weapons, his grasp of language, his tool use, and the fact that he understood Hiccup's drawing of him and tried to reciprocate, there are a few things that really stand out. First, when Hiccup first shows him the saddle, he instantly runs away; how does he know what the saddle is for? Second, when he catches Astrid after she falls off her dragon, he turns her right side up so he can drop her without losing too much speed. Third, what's with his behavior after Hiccup puts on his prosthetic for the first time? He notices Hiccup strapping something to his tail, looks annoyed, shifts his weight a little, flaps his remaining stabilizer around, goes O_O, and slowly and disbelievingly tries flying to the opposite side of the canyon. He'd obviously given up on escaping by then, so why did he think he suddenly had a chance? Fourth, when he and Hiccup first meet, he gives Hiccup half a fish right after Hiccup says "I don't have any more".
      • Not quite. There's still a lot of feral animal in him, and he doesn't have the intuitive grasp of abstract situations that a human-level intelligent being would have. What he is is the draconic equivalent of a proto-human - something like a scaly Australopithecus. Not quite there yet, but getting really close.
    • Toothless clearly knows the language. Astrid whisper of "kill a dragon" is overheard, his face shows his horror at the idea, and then he takes them to the nest.
      • That actually was a really well-played red herring. Listen closely: right when Astrid whispers to Hiccup, suddenly a crooning is heard in the background - the Green Death's crooning. Toothless' sudden change of attitude and expression starts the moment he hears the crooning - as illustrated later, he's not entirely immune to the monster's siren song. He is compelled to take Hiccup and Astrid to the nest like any other prey - Astrid even lampshades it - "So what does that make us?". Only the fact that he DOES have partial immunity saves Hiccup and Astrid from being dumped down the Green Death's maw, same as all the rest of the food.
      • It's fairly obvious that Toothless is at least as intelligent as Hiccup is, playing off the Not-so-different theme. Take the part where he recognizes why Hiccup keeps rolling his eyes, grasps the emotions and concepts behind it, and then adopts it for his own usage to express his feelings without actually talking. It's more along the lines of Toothless being as intelligent as humans, but having a completely different outlook on the world and social interactions. Think Blue and Orange Morality. Besides, it would make zero sense for Toothless to only have partial immunity, especially if he wasn't as intelligent as a human. If he was susceptible enough to take them there, he would have been susceptible enough to dump them, especially with Toothless right over the freaking source of the noise. He probably looks horrified because he realizes there's about to be a delux-size horde of dragons flying by, and if they see Hiccup and Astrid, they'd probably try to snatch them up, too - that being the reason why he takes them to the nest, aside from showing them the Green Death. In fact, if you look closely during the scene where the dragons are shown flying, one of them is carrying a (hopefully) dead viking.

  • At the end, everyone's riding around on dragons with ease, no problems whatsoever. Who taught them? Hiccup's the only one who's done it more than twice, so he'd be the only one with any real experience to teach them. Granted, he was probably knocked out for awhile, but I doubt he was out for months or even weeks, or any amount of time for the others to get good at it without help.
    • The other dragons don't need a complicated artificial tailfin in order to fly.
    • Well golly I don't think the other five teenagers that Hiccup taught were knocked out too.
      • You mean the ones that have been on dragons a grand total of once in their lives?
    • Toothless and the other dragons who've had riders are around. At the most basic level, riding a dragon is just a matter of holding on. They may not be as capable as Hiccup, but they won't die.
    • Wasn't Hiccup keeping notes of everything he was learning from Toothless? While we don't know how long he was out, it could have been long enough for his notes to have been found and used by the other villagers.
      • Confirmed. In the scene where he's absentmindedly rolling a pencil on his desk and papa suddenly barges in, he has to scramble to put away a bunch of papers without attracting Stoic's attention to them. And that's probably not all of them either.
    • It seems like dragons are pretty intelligent on their own, and considering that Hiccup had to learn to manage Toothless' missing tail fin while other Vikings probably have healthy dragons, they probably managed to work it out with each other fairly quickly. After all, dragon-riding seems to be fairly easy so long as the dragon's cooperative and the rider has a way to steer. The other kids didn't seem to have all that much trouble, after all.
    • It's been at least a month since the GD battle when Hiccup wakes up. There's been plenty of time for the vikings to familiarize themselves with the dragons.
    • It's hinted that Gobber at least partially can tame dragons. I mean, that Gronkle could've caused a lot of damage if it didn't know to aim for the shield and not the teens themselves. How did it know what to do? Conclusion: Gobber taught it to aim for the shield, possibly using the 'Yell At It' idea from the book.

  • Why did Toothless needed to soar out of the canyon anyway? He could have used WAIR, or otherwise just made a quick upwards flight like a pheasant, not requiring the tail fin at all!
    • I attribute this to Toothless being weakened by his other injuries, and thus not strong enough to fly for essentially any time at all. After Hiccup feeds him and he heals up, he can fly a bit even without the prosthetic fin.
    • He is clearly panicking, and when determined later in the movie climbs out without flying at all. Also, many kinds of real life birds can't do either of those things you mentioned.
      • Not only panicking, but the injured tail is throwing off his flight balance. Toothless would be smart enough to get out on his own once he calmed down and adjusted to his injury.
    • I'd imagine having had one of your balance mechanisms essentially neutered, as well as the possible internal injuries from the crash, would probably hamper any physical activity, and adding panic onto it makes it so he'd be focusing less on "fly to get out of canyon" and more on "I'm hurting pretty bad, need to find food and let myself heal". Animals in pain aren't logical thinkers; they do whatever comes to them. Traumatic injuries like the sudden loss of a tail fin would make a dragon used to flight extremely skittish.

  • How is Toothless able to take full control when he tries to scare Astrid? I think he can still control most of his flight since it's only one half of a tail fin, but Hiccup has his cheat sheet to put the fin in the right positions, and he accidentally crashed into rocks during the test flight. And when the saddle was still being worked out, Hiccup pulled on a string that made Toothless veer off to the side and his face shows he wasn't expecting that to happen. So how is it that Hiccup can't stop Toothless flying all over the place and splashing them in the ocean, even just a bit?
    • Hiccup is controlling one small part of a large creature that has *many* times his muscle strength. If Toothless determines not to cooperate, there's not much he can do about it.
    • He was trying, but was limited in what he could do. (The dives into the ocean might have been him trying to land Toothless, but the dragon simply popping right back up again).
    • You seem to be forgetting that, in this scene, they are over the ocean. If you were in that situation and had the choice between hanging on and not plummeting into the freezing (presumably) Norwegian Sea versus trying to fight him and probably ending up in the drink, which would you choose? It's already shown earlier in the film that Hiccup is adept at keeping Toothless aloft, so it was likely survival instinct that kept him from just letting himself, Astrid, and Toothless fall into the ocean.
    • On the DVD commentary, the producers pointed out that this "whole thing would break down" because Hiccup and Toothless should be totally at odds. Their advice? Don't think too deeply about that. *Awkward beat.* And now, for a completely different topic...
    • The way that I explain it in my head (besides just handwaving it as the producers do) at it is that Hiccup didn't want Toothless to be doing what he was doing, but went along with it so that they didn't crash- Hiccup's surprisingly calm throughout this scene and is fairly experienced riding Toothless at this point, so he probably had enough of a grip on the situation to realize fighting the dragon would have ended REALLY badly for everyone.
    • It is also possible Hiccup was acting and not thinking. As he and Toothless has been flying for a while, he was probably making adjustments without thinking, consider how he passed through the rocks after losing the cheat sheet - acting, trusting his instincts. This was drilled into both Hiccup and Toothless as they needed each other to fly. So he wasn't thinking on his foot, rather trying to calm Toothless by words. After-all, crashing into the sea is a wonderful way to impress Astrid from not talking.

  • So did Chris Sanders contribute any character design to the film besides Toothless? Because it looks like the Night Fury was the only character modeled off of Sander's usual style.
    • The Green Death also had his signature round, chubby style.
    • Sanders came in about a year before release to take over the project and most of the characters had been designed and modeled by then. They just redesigned Toothless and the Viking Teens as part of Sander's new vision for the story.

  • In general the CG is amazing, even down to arm hair on the hero Vikings. But when it comes to the water, they just didn't quite get it to work right.
    • Fluids in general and water in particular are the perennial nightmare of CG animators.
    • As are particles, flames, and hair.
      • Seeing how they did all of those so well, I can forgive the not-quite-perfect water. Three out of four is pretty darn impressive in this business.

  • Why is there only one Green Death? My best guess is that it's some kind of queen, but this would mean that there's a lot of these dragon nests, and they're not something rare.
    • Large predators like tigers and bears in RL have territories that are measured in square miles. Imagine what kind of territory a predator of THAT size would have.
    • It might be like some kinds of animals that are loners: After all, do you think two of those things would live together comfortably? They probably round out their territory in some personal way.
    • It could also be a prehistoric holdover. Considering that the dragons are all terrified of it and glad to see the end of it, it seems like they find it as unnatural as humans do, which I doubt would happen with a dragon queen. Maybe they used to be more common in prehistory, when there were dinosaurs and such to hunt, and then they started dying off as the huge prey animals went extinct. A few(or just that one) may have realized they could use their song to get lots of little prey from the smaller dragons.
    • Wordof God (and the original author) states that once every couple of centuries, a large clutch of Maximus dragons are hatched and released. They spend the next couple of centuries killing each other off, growing larger and larger, until only two are left. They mate, lay their clutch, die, and the whole cycle starts all over again. If the Green Death was one of the final survivors, Hiccup might have actually broken the cycle.
    • A relevant real-world creature to look up? Cuckoos. Study up on brood parasitism and the Green Death starts looking like a pretty good fit - especially with whatever mind-control song it apparently uses to control the (significantly more intelligent than your average bird) dragons.

  • Why do night furies have retracting teeth? How can that possibly come in handy?
    • Seeing as how their breath weapon is some kind of super-high-speed flaming sonic boom, the most powerful of any dragon, I suppose the less their teeth are in the way, the better.
    • Night furies shoot a flaming, explosive ball of plasma out of their mouths. Not exactly something you'd want getting stuck in your teeth at the wrong moment.
      • Not only could your teeth melt, but if they destabilize the plasma ball it could blow up in your face. At which point the radiant heat likely flash-fries your eyeballs...
      • As much as I like this explanation, the animators didn't think of it. I freeze framed through each time Toothless shoots his fireball and we can see his mouth, and in all instances his teeth are visible and unsheathed.
    • According to That Other Wiki, the retractable fangs are for catching fish.
    • Most creatures in Real Life either have a set of baby teeth replaced by permanent adult teeth, which can and do wear down over time but are generally quite strong so that they can last through the animal's lifespan, or have teeth that are continually replaced as needed. Retractable teeth would just be another way of protecting them from damage and wear, bringing them out only to eat, fight, and possibly play/when excited. Feline claws work on much the same principle - they're shielded from wear when not being used, which allows them to stay incredibly sharp.
    • Toothless demonstrates some rudimentary tool-use in the dirt-drawing scene. It's possible that Night Furys retract their teeth so they can handle objects using their mouths without damaging them.
    • Retractable teeth are also useful for plucking falling kids from the sky without biting their legs off...

  • How was Hiccup able to carry and aim that ballista of his on his own? Wasn't he supposed to be weak, not superhumanly strong?
    • He didn't carry it. It had wheels. He rolled it like a wheelbarrow. Also, the actual ballista part was set up on a pivot, so that he didn't need to turn the whole thing to aim it.
    • Note that at one point we see him lift (what seems to be) a hammer head about the size of his own head with no problem. It's possible he's just considered weak by the Vikings' standards.
      • If you mean the scene where he replaces one of Gobber's hands, he visibly strains to lift it. In other scenes, being tossed a simple sword or axe throws him off balance.
      • Hiccup also carries the basket of fish that's about the same size as his body. He seems to struggle more with balance and the awkwardness of shape rather than weight. His weakness is often exaggerated by the fans.
    • Well he did sort of make it... one would think he'd make it in a way that he could actually use it.

  • Why did the "avert your eyes and don't look directly at them" thing calm Toothless down? It makes sense when it works on horses—they're prey animals, and anything with forward-facing eyes like that looks like a predator to them. But Night Furies are no doubt at the very apex of the food chain; even if they eat mostly fish, they probably have very little to fear from anything else. Why would they be afraid of the "predator look?" Would that mean other dragons ought to frighten them?
    • Probably a dominance thing. Toothless did not feel comfortable at first unless he was in a dominant position (witness how quickly he gentled down once Astrid got scared and apologized). And also, keep in mind, that to Toothless, Hiccup WAS an armed predator, until he proved otherwise.
    • A lot of real life predator animals, such as many dogs and cats, both domestic and wild, will take looking directly in their eyes as a challenge. I've personally come across many cats who will attack your face if you look them in the eyes too long.
      • This is actually a big part of cat training. If you look a cat directly in the eyes, even in what humans would consider a friendly, interested way, they consider you to be threatening or impudent. You need to show them respect (either fearful respect or grudging respect) by looking away from their eyes, such as at or in front of their paws or by glancing at them out of the corner of your eye, or by looking directly at them (with a glazed look? I don't recall) and slowly blinking. Most dragon species would probably take the latter as impudent anyway (a tiny human? Telling me to carry on with what I'm doing? Snacktime), but showing submission instead of offense would make the more intelligent and/or less aggressive breeds take pause and possibly even see you as something (or someone) interesting.
    • As an addition, Toothless is not "afraid" of Hiccup, else Hiccup would have pulled back a stump when he tried to touch the skittish dragon (or worse!). There exists a sliding scale of social acceptance between mortal enemy and heterosexual life partners — Toothless has clearly accepted Hiccup as harmless enough, but isn't ready yet to shack up and let a silly human touch him. Submission as an analog to the human concept of trust is certainly plausible enough. Note that Toothless doesn't quite immediately reciprocate and indeed hesitates slightly before putting his head on Hiccup's hand.
      • Also, being an apex predator only means that you're not another predator's primary food source. Humans are an apex (if not THE apex) predator, but that doesn't stop every other animal from potentially gouging, trampling, mauling or clawing us to death if it feels necessary to do so and is within its power. Dragons do have enemies, like say some pesky Vikings, and the island scene with Toothless and the flock of Terrible Terrors demonstrate that staring at another dragon is part of a dominance display which tends to end poorly for one party.
    • Another theory is that, as Hiccup said, the Vikings have killed thousands of dragons, meaning that the dragons know the Vikings are a force to be feared. Hiccup looking Toothless in the eyes was likely seen as a challenge, whereas when he lowered his eyes, Toothless interpreted that as submission.
    • The way I thought about it is that Toothless is looking for Hiccup to trust him not to, you know, kill him. Because if Hiccup trusted Toothless enough to look away a hold out an arm (which could easily be ripped off or used as a method of holding onto a person while thrashing them about and effectively snapping their neck), then Toothless knew he could trust Hiccup not to hurt him in return. He needed to know that they could reach a point of mutual trust.
      • That entire group of scenes is about trust, Hiccup needs to prove to Toothless that he trusts the dragon. Which he did by disarming himself, his knife, his attention (when he was drawing rather than watching the dangerous creature hanging from a tree that could kill him with it's breath)... When he turned to look away not only is the above true in that looking in the eyes is a challenge to most animals, he's also throwing away his final defense against the dragon, his reflexes. If he can't see, he won't know if the dragon is going to attack him and he can't pull himself away or run. Hiccup spends a lot of the time in series trying to get it in people's head that training dragons is all about trust. In that moment Hiccup was completely defenseless and Toothless is smart enough to know that that it was of his own choosing. Toothless responded to that complete trust with a little bit of his own.

  • Why does the harness never work? Hiccup specifically designed it to prevent him from falling off, but it never stops him from doing so, and one time it even worked TOO well, preventing him from getting off. It seem like a crucial part that he really ignores.
    • To be fair it fails the same way every time where it unhooks from a sudden deceleration, which is where the gaps in the anchors are facing. For horizontal pitching and backward motion, the harness seems to be much more efficacious, as the Toothless hissy-fit with Astrid seems to show. But, yes, you'd think Hiccup would have modified the design after that little incident with the cheat sheet.
    • Clearly, what Hiccup actually needs is a Carabiner, but employing some Bayesian analysis on the fact that he doesn't have one indicates that they're beyond the Viking's technical ability to manufacture.
      • Their toolmaking abilities are up to the task. It's just that nobody's thought of them yet, and Viking society doesn't exactly foster lots of inventiveness.
    • Both of the above arguments do not hold up to closer scrutiny. The tools and mechanisms shown (e.g. the bola gun, the lever-operated dragon gates, the steering mechanism) make it clear that a) the vikings have the capability to produce way more than a carabiner and b) that Hiccups inventiveness and methodical thinking are more than up to the challenge. I'd suppose that he has not quite perfected his design. Remember that it needs to hold him in place securely, yet at the same time should release him whenever it needs to, even when it's damaged. Consider that events kind of got away from him with the end of dragon training, the flight with Astrid and the final battle all happening in short order. He simply might not have had the time.

  • The whole "Sleeping Upside Down" bit. That was once in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment. We see him making a little nest for himself with his breath weapon and sleep on the ground several other times. So what's the deal here?
    • Toothless is raised a good deal off the ground; what with the exasperated look as he leaves the frame from the last shot I just assumed it's a way for him to get some sleep without some nosy, annoying Viking kid poking at him.
    • Further, Toothless's hanging upside down thing was obviously based off of a bat. But bats sleep upside down by hanging by their feet and locking the joints in their feet automatically. Toothless is sleeping by slinging his tail over it. Unless his tail has got some fancy natural mechanisms here, he would have to flex his tail around the branch and hold it there. Such a task would cause soreness and cramps, and he would have to let go within minutes. He would never be able to sleep.
    • Toothless was hanging onto the tree like that not to sleep, but get a good look at what is wrong with his tail. right after he is seen hanging upside down like that is zooms into a closeup of Toothless staring at his half-tail
      • Except that's where you'd be wrong. Watch the scene again. It is rather obvious that he was sleeping and there are much easier ways for him to look at his tail.
      • No I'm pretty certain he wasn't sleeping. During the 5 second scene where they zoom in on toothless doing this his eyes are Wide Open
      • He was sleeping. If you look closely, Toothless is just opening his eyes from sleep and looking around for Hiccup, not his tail. Besides, why in the world would he go all the way up to a tree and hang upside down just to look at his own tail? He's already shown that he's flexible enough to just turn around and look.
      • To the OP: My theory is that Toothless prefers to sleep on a circle of nicely charred ground. But when there's an irritating Viking poking and pestering him, he'll hang upside-down as a way to try and get away from the distraction.
    • Possibly Toothless sleeps hanging like a bat, but rests curled up on a burnt patch of ground?

  • So Toothless gets hit by a device that wholly immobilizes him while he's flying at high speed, causing him to fall out the sky hard enough to break one ancient tree in two, turn another mature tree into a broken stump, and gouge a furrow in earth where he slid unceremoniously to a halt. Most objects, nevermind living creatures, would likely get turned into a fine paste after such highly kinetic displays of physics. Toothless, aside from a suspiciously specific injury to the tail, looks like he hasn't suffered anything more than a trifling cut where the rope dug into the skin. His bones are clearly made of phlebotium.
    • Well, yeah. He's a dragon. He got smacked into rocks with barely a headshake, and he survived a headlong crash into a ball of fire as well, and though injured both times, he recovered and healed pretty quickly. Dragons are just really durable — though that durability isn't infinite. When Hiccup was about to splat himself and Toothless on the rocks after a high-speed stall, Toothless was flat-out terrified. THAT impact would have probably killed him.
    • Don't things like tail fins have bones or cartilage? Fictional creature or not, that injury has got to hurt. Also, hitting the trees reduced his speed. Notice how the rut isn't nearly as wide as Toothless is?
      • Bones in birds are generally hollow and designed for endurance and easy flight, compared to a hard, dense, heavy bone.

  • During the Forbidden Friendship sequence, toothless sits down. Not like a dog does, on all fours, but sits down on his hind legs. Even the creators commented on how they had to break the 3d model to get it to do this without weird consequences. The question is "Why?" Animals, especially tetrapods to my knowledge don't do that. You could point to Toothless' high capacity for mimicry, but Hiccup wasn't sitting like that, he never sits like that. At the time Hiccup was backed up on a rock. So whats the deal?
    • Rule of Cute
    • He's seen walking on his hind legs (when he goes to find himself a drawing stick), so it's not hard to think of him going from standing to sitting on his hind legs. And he *is* modeled after cats, which can be seen 'sitting' on their hind legs.
    • He isn't a tetrapod. He's a hexapod. Goodness knows how their bodies work. As for why, I'll go with he's trying his best to mimic Hiccup's posture without actually flopping over on his back. The fact that he's trying to get Hiccup to mimic him and eat the fish, and later tries to mimic Hiccup again with his smile would point to this.

  • How is it that Hiccup is constantly a source scorn but Fishleg who is obviously more pathetic then he is is left alone?. sure I get that he's the chief's son but seriously.
    • In Viking society, a nerd with decent muscles may be snickered at, but he/she will still be One Of Us. But a nerd WITHOUT muscles will be a pariah, chieftain's son or not. Fishlegs is the former, Hiccup is the latter.
    • Fishlegs isn't. He's clearly got more muscle mass than Hiccup, and that is something that the Vikings appreciate. The fact that he's just a nerd underneath is just something that they can overlook. Hiccup on the other hand has none of the mindset or the muscle.
      • His fascination with obscure rules and facts can be annoying at times, but he's good enough at his job that his teammates are willing to overlook that. Kind of like Doug Flutie.
    • Also, judging from the opening scene from the movie, Fishlegs (along with the other kids) put out fires and supply aid during dragon raids. Hiccup on the other hand has caused more damage to the town than the dragons. Gobber even claims that Hiccup has left plenty of marks, all in the wrong places.
      • This. While Fishlegs may be pathetic, he's a harmless kind of pathetic. Hiccup, on the other hand, tends to destroy the village in his attempts to prove himself.

  • If the purpose of a Night Fury's tail fin is to act as a rudder, why is it horizontal instead of vertical?
    • An airplane's tail fin is rigid. A dragon's tail fin can swivel and do double duty.
    • It doesn't act as a rudder, it acts as a stabilizer. And by changing the area and angle of the stabilizer, it can also act as a rudder.
    • No animal has a rudder. Even a whale's dorsal fin isn't a rudder (it's a keel). More advanced airplanes don't have rudders either (Flying Wings, for example). So I honestly want to know what leads you to believe that your posit is true (that the tail fin acts as a rudder), leading to your query (why is it horizontal)? Is there something in the book, Wordof God, or wiki that makes this claim?
      • From a watching of the movie, the intention of the tail fin seemed to be for steering. Thus why I referred to it as a rudder.
    • I think it kind of like the tail of birds?
      • Correct, birds use their tails to help steer and stabilize themselves much like how Toothless's tail operates in the film.
    • It's very similar to a V-shaped airplane tail, like the Beechcraft Bonanza, but with the flexibility of a bird's tail. If you chopped half of the Bonanza's tail off, nearly the exact same thing would happen as happened to Toothless: try to turn, and the wing on the side of the missing half would lift and stall, putting the plane into a spin. Toothless could climb, but not turn, until Hiccup replaced his missing tailfin.

  • Why is Toothless the only Night Fury in the movie? I don't recall seeing any in the Nest's group dragon shots. Is he the Last of His Kind or something?
    • That's one possibility. Here are two more: the Berk vikings only think they have more than one Night Fury, it has always been Toothless. Second theory fits with this too: only one Night Fury per region.
    • Alternatively, Night Furies are exceptional at resisting the influence of the G.Death, and thus do not serve it and do not roost on it's island (hence why Toothless was mostly beyond it's control).
    • It might simply be a matter of function. Toothless is unlike every other dragon that ever appears to attack Berk. According to Hiccup's exposition, the Night Fury "never shows itself", "never steals food", and "never misses." From the way everyone cowers, apparently there's never been any Night Fury actually shot down, either. The way Toothless acts in the attack on Berk is not as a gatherer like the others, he's close-air support, blowing up the best defenses so that the other dragons can focus on stealing food and fighting the worse defenses, and he's good enough to only get shot by Hiccup, which was suggested as a lucky break.
    • Tear Jerker theory: Same troper as the first response. Toothless is the only Night Fury who learned this. He had to because the Green Death ate his family.
    • Alternatively, it's possible that Night Furies are more resistant to the song of the Green Death than other dragons, explaining why Toothless seems fine when he takes Hiccup and Astrid to the nest; and Toothless' participation in the raids was less due to the influence of the Green Death and more Toothless wanting to protect the other dragons by providing aerial cover. This explains why he doesn't take any food.
    • It seems like they're mostly solo creatures, it's possible that there are other in other parts of the world they just don't interact any more than necessary.

  • If nobody believes Gobber's claim that the Boneknapper exists in the tie-in short, why is there an entry for that particular dragon in the tome that Hiccup reads in the movie?
    • Gobber was in charge of teaching the dragon fighting class. Who's to say he wasn't in charge of keeping the dragon tomes up to date too, in which case he could write whatever he wanted.
    • Then where does Fishlegs get his 'According to legend ...' stuff, if not from the book?
    • Possibly everyone but Gobber assumes that particular breed is long extinct.

  • At the beginning of the movie in the forge scene Gobber has a pair of tongs on his "tool-hand". How the heck does he use them?
    • My only guess is that he pulls them open with his free hand, and they close via a strong spring.
      • I saw a chemistry teacher with a prosthetic that did just that. He used it to pick up and carry test tubes.

  • In the short "The Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon", when they all go to the island to look for the titular dragon... Why did they take boats instead of riding their dragons? It would've been faster, there would've been less of a chance of them getting stranded, and they could've used the dragons for protection in case any other creature tried to attack them.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The entire village had just become friends with dragons. Would you want to take them on a hunting trip of one of their own (even if it's a "pure evil" one)?
      • This wouldn't work, seeing as how the dragons were very willing to assist the vikings in taking down the Red/Green Death.
      • That doesn't wash. It's one thing to help your former enemies take down a creature that's enslaved you for your entire life. But to help them go attack one that's never done anything to you?
    • Fridge Logic: Then why not just take Toothless? He can only properly fly when Hiccup is riding him and he's already shown to be very protective of him. It would only make sense for Toothless to tag along in order to protect his handicapped rider.
      • All the kids and Gobber would probably break Toothless' back.
    • They had to travel further over open water than their dragons could reasonably fly without rest, and it wasn't feasible to carry a bunch of large, heavy creatures AND enough food to keep said creatures fed with them in a boat. Alternately, the village elders were wary of becoming too reliant on these newfangled dragon-riders, and wanted to (subtly) make sure the younger generation didn't become too detached from the way of life that had served them well for hundreds of year - both using boats as a method of transportation and hunting dragons. Maybe Gobber was in on it, maybe everyone else just humored his desire to go on a wild goose chase because they figured it would do those whippersnappers some good to get back in touch with their roots.
      • Not true. The distance between the nest and Birk seems to be a rather large one and the dragons made that trip just fine (with humans and such on less). No only that, but Toothless flies nearly all day when they pick up Astrid with no real problems there either. Not only that, they had no provisions on the ship (unless you count the sheep) so taking provisions with them for a much shorter journey makes no sense whatsoever. You alternate explanation is also complete BS. Their old ways were about hunting and killing dragons who they were now living peacefully with. There is no logical explanation for that. To top it all off, one said Vikings was Hiccup. The first Rider? The one tried who had tried and failed to fit in with the standard Viking culture many times? Really, it's like taking a sailboat across the Atlantic instead of a jet airplane because the former is how out ancestors did it.
    • Gobber didn't have a dragon he could ride and none of the teen's dragons were strong enough to carry both their rider and a Gobber sized human.Gobber's the one who's leading them and the dragons fly faster then a ship can sail and the boat is to small to take them along.
    • Gobber's from a previous generation. He probably likes sailing more than he trusts dragons as steeds.

  • Why do all the adult Vikings have Scottish accents while their children sound Canadian?
    • It's how the kids are talkin' in the hood, yo.
    • The accent comes with puberty.
    • Helps to separate the two generations.
      • Not only that, but the Vikings weren't Scottish. They pushed the Celts all over Europe and the Celts do get their red hair from the Vikings, but the Vikings were from Norway, Sweden, etc...the other side of Europe. Why do any of the Vikings have Scottish accents at all?
      • The Vikings populated areas near Scotland and had trade going on with the Scots. Since Berk is about right off the coast of northwest Scotland it is entirely possible that they traded with the Scots a lot and maybe even had some living with them. As such, it isn't hard to believe that they had Scottish accents after about 300 years.
      • Yeah, Scandinavia is not "the other side of Europe" from Scotland. It's "slightly further north" from Scotland. The Vikings were firmly settled in Orkney and Shetland, and even as far south as Yorkshire. In the eleventh century, the Jarl of Orkney was was a vassal of both the King of Norway and of the King of Scotland, since parts of the islands belonged to both countries. The most famous Jarl was Thorfinn the Mighty, who was definitely a Viking, but was also the King of Scotland's son-in-law. We aren't told what his accent was like, but I'd bet he sounded Scottish when he spoke Norse, and Scandinavian when he spoke Gaelic.
      • Of course the real answer is very simple and more of a Real Life Writes the Plot sort of deal: Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson are Scottish, while Jay Baruchel is Canadian. Apparently it was more important to the filmmakers to have the actors give good performances rather than quibble about an accent. And anyone who's seen enough of Butler and Ferguson's work knows that neither of them can do other accents very well.
      • Given the Viking stereotype - red-haired, heavy drinking and violent - is also popularly associated with Scots as well, and Scottish is an accent for which there are plenty of big-name actors, it's a good stand-in. It immediately calls to mind all the common perceptions, you can put famous names on the movie poster, and no-one does a bad Scandinavian accent. As for the children having different accents - well, you don't want most of those stereotypes there.
      • I'm not an expert on Viking movements and migrations, but there have been a lot of movements from Norway/Scandinavia to Scotland over the centuries. Plenty of Scottish family have their roots in that area.

  • When Stoick first discovers Hiccup's alliance with Toothless (after the fight with the Nightmare in the arena), he mutters about how "he should have seen the signs". Is dragon sympathy in Berk something that happens often enough that it has visible signs?
    • Either that or he was making reference to something else like Hiccup's fighting skills being faked (which probably wouldn't be that hard to notice).
    • He could also have wondered about the long hours his son spends away from the camp. Far longer than to just "stroke his own dragon" and the fact he went from zero to hero on the viking scale, or possibly a negative number to top of the class with a person who was already superbly competent.
    • I wondered the very same thing when Astrid told him to "figure out which side you're on". She makes it sound like there's actually a choice.
    • Funny thing, the second movie actually answers this question. Turns out that Hiccup's mother also believed that humans and dragons could coexist peacefully, thus answering why Stoick would say that and the existence of dragon sympathy.
    • I agree with the first answer even after watching the sequel, it seems pretty out of place for him to be thinking of Hiccup's mother at the time. He was angry and not thinking clearly, not clearly enough to remember (in his mind) insignificant details about his wife.

  • So, you've got this village with people being terrorized by dragons. At one time, however, you find someone who can actually tame one. Like, tame you worst enemy and make it into a harmless pet. What do you do? Why, you get angry and lock him up and subsequently launch an all-out war against all dragons! Makes more sense than, for instance, training an army of dragons or something, right?
    • This has more to do with tradition and blindness than anything else, really. After all, the vikings had been fighting the dragons for about three hundred years by the time of the movie. After thinking of something as your mortal enemy that can never be redeemed for so long, it would take them save your collective asses while be ridden by one of your own to get them to accept that. Even then, it would be begrudgingly for many of them and it would take some time for everyone to completely accept them. The fact that we don't know exactly how much time there is between the fight against the Red Death and the ending of the movie helps this. Two more things support this. First, Hiccup never really got to show much since Stoik interrupted and made the Monstrous Nightmare attack him. Second, how would you react if one of your own denounced you entire lifestyle in front of everyone? Especially if that person was your own son. You would more than likely be furious. That anger would blind you to what is going on so whatever happens (like, a Night Fury obviously protecting you) wouldn't matter.
    • And Stoik probably wasn't the only adult who felt all dragons must die. It would take something big to prove they aren't the enemy, otherwise there would be some who still doubt the claims. The fact the seasoned warriors saw their set of skills fail completely against the Green Death, but those who followed Hiccup's way, the way one finds after renouncing parts of their traditions, not only held their own against the Green Death but bested it was a moving sight. It showed them a union of Dragons and Vikings would be far stronger than either group alone.
    • As Dragons: Riders of Berk shows, there are still people who don't like dragons. Mildew may be an extremist with his opinion, but there are usually always some other vikings agreeing with him. Even though Dragons are accepted into Berk, there are still some people who feel the same as they did before Hiccup tamed Toothless. You don't just get everyone to give up on their way of life just like that. It'll take time for everyone to adjust.
    • Not to mention some similar real world examples, like women engaging in combat.

  • When Toothless saves Hiccup from the Monstrous Nightmare, why didn't Hiccup just jump on Toothless's back and fly through the hole Toothless made when he entered the ring, instead of trying to make him leave alone?
    • It wasn't in the script, Hiccup wasn't thinking clearly, or that hole wasn't big enough for both of them (especially since people started to flood through that hole). Take your pick. I'd personally go with the latter.
      • He could easily enlarge the hole at will, or just make another one. Alternate script: Furious at his son's 'betrayal', Stoic promptly orders the all-out assault before more of the tribe 'join the enemy'. Hiccup watches in dismay and sneaks back to meet Astrid after the fleet is out of sight. It would be perfectly legit, but there'd be no awesome double rescue on the sinking burning ship.
    • But you can clearly see the hole he made in one shot when the Vikings are jumping into the ring. No Vikings were around there, and it was very large.
      • Hmm... Hiccup wasn't worried about his own safety, only Toothless's. In that regard, he was only thinking about getting Toothless out of there, not himself. For that reason, it probably didn't occur to do that. Really, they were being stormed by Vikings and Hiccup was just attacked by a Monstrous Nightmare. In times times of great duress, especially when the life of you or a loved one is possibly at stake, the untrained body will either react on instinct or your mind will simply blank out (I speak from experience on this one). In this case, Hiccup's instinct was to get Toothless out of there and what does anyone do when you want someone to move quickly? You push them. In short: At that time, Hiccup wasn't thinking, he was reacting on instinct. If you were put into the same situation (without this knowledge) you probably would have done the same. It is (probably) only in hindsight that you'd be able to see the best course of action. I hope this answers your question.

  • Toothless's little fingers are all nail, right? So how is he able to bend them?
    • Magic? Um... Maybe they aren't and he was not-nail part? I'll watch the movie again and pay closer attention to that scene but I don't there's a satisfactory explanation for this one.
    • I always assumed the claws were made of a strong cartilage-like substance. You know, it bends but doesn't break.

  • Seriously, what is with the Scottish accents? Vikings aren't from Scotland, they're from Scandinavia - and the movie is clearly set in Scandinavia, what with Hiccup's comments about the weather and the Northern Lights showing up in one scene. So why do all the Vikings talk with Scottish accents?
    • That's an easy one. According to the author of the books, Berk is located near Hebrides (which is a Scottish island). Given such, they probably have heavy trades going on with the Scots and it isn't impossible that their culture has mixed with that of the Scots. Given that Vikings have lived on Berk Island for ~300 years it isn't that much of a stretch to say that they have a Gaelic accent (this is especially true if some Scots settled in Berk which would further promote not only a mixture of culture but for the Vikings that lived there to shift from a Scandinavian accent to a Gaelic one).
    • The Vikings tended to adapt to the culture and language of the places they colonised very quickly - they were speaking Old Irish within less than a century of their first raids. The parts of Scotland that were invaded remained Gaelic-speaking, which would suggest that the Vikings adopted the native language. Possibly a case of Fridge Brilliance. (Also, the Hebrides is an archipelago, not just one island).
    • Especially likely if the first Viking settlers were mostly men, and married (or carried off) Scottish women when they decided to stay. Their children grew up sharing their mothers' accent, because their moms stayed home to raise them while their fathers were off raiding and dragon-hunting.

  • So Toothless and Hiccup exploded the Red Death by firing into its mouth, right? So why didn't that kill the Terror that was antagonizing Toothless over his fish?
    • The Terror didn't hit the ground at terminal velocity, and there's also a slight difference of scale between the two dragons. Compare the explosions of a firecracker and a 10,000-pound bomb and you'll understand.
    • It didn't. The Red Death hit the ground rather hard. This compressed the gases inside it to the point where the creatures body could not contain them. This rapid build in pressure caused the gases inside the creature to be released. The gases inside the creature mixed with the air until the fire from the creatures mouth (caused by Toothless) ignited it, thus creating the explosion and fireball. Simple science.

  • What on earth happened to that fish between Toothless swallowing it and regurgitating it? He clearly gulped it down whole, but when it came back up it was split cleanly in half. Does Toothless have a second set of teeth in his stomach?
    • He does bite it in half. You can see it when he tilts his head back.

  • Where are all the other dragon species that Hiccup read about in the Dragon Manual? There seems to be dozens, maybe even hundreds, but we only ever see the Gronckle, Nadder, Zippleback, Night Fury, Nightmare, and Terror in the movie. It would make sense that these are the common local species, and that the others are "exotic" species that are only ever encountered if you venture far from Berk... but when the dragons started swarming in response to the Red Death (which seems to be able to call dragons to the nest from pretty far away), we still only see six different species (including Toothless) comprising that entire huge swarm. The other species don't even get cameos. What's the deal? Are these the only dragons susceptible to the Red Death's control? Did the vikings hunt the other species to extinction?
    • I got the impression Hiccup had scrolled to the "Mystery class", the kind that like Toothless are rare and dangerous. They probably never heeded the call, and it seemed like a lot of them were This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman type monsters, like the one that spit scalding water.
    • Couple possibilities. One is that, like the above post says, they could just be very rare dragons. Another possibility is that they don't really live in the general area, and the information on them was collected by traveling vikings.
      • Or they used to live there, but weren't as good at gathering food as the other varieties and were eaten into local extinction by the Green Death.
    • This gets even more strange in the Book of Dragons short because not only does it reiterate some of the dragons not seen in the movie or the other two shorts, but the teens also give taming tips, dos and don'ts, for the dragons! Apparently they can be found around Berk without much difficulty.
    • The series seems to imply that the other types don't live on or near Berk. A Thunderdrum suddenly attacking their ships was treated as quite off.
    • Water-based dragons like the Thunderdrum and Scaldron wouldn't have heard the croon of the Red Death in the same way as the six main types. The same applies to a species which lives underground. It's not that far of a stretch to believe that certain dragons would also be able to ignore the call in the movie. Barring that, other dragons are known of to dragon scholars, but simply aren't visible due to living in places inaccessible to humans such as in the sea or underground. Or being able to change their skin like the Changewing does.
    • Maybe those six are just the only ones that get drawn in by the Queen's call. or in light of the sequel maybe all the rest had a different Alpha.
    • Alternatively: making varied, hugely complex 3D models of dragons is time-consuming and expensive, and the animators didn't have a strong need / the resources to produce others for the film.

  • The fact that the Green/Red Death can fly. Nothing that obviously heavy could ever get off the ground in real life. How did it possibly fly?
    • None of the dragons should be able to fly, except maybe the Terrible Terrors and even they are probably pushing the limit.
    • Quetzalcoatlus of the pterosaur order was able to fly with a 45-foot wingspan. (Admittedly, it wasn't carrying a Viking.)
    • Maybe the gasses that allow them to breath fire are lighter than air?
    • The majority of modern 'scientic explanation' dragons rely on dragon anatomy containing large chambers of a lighter-than-air gas, isolated (and kept in said chambers) by some highly unlikely biochemistry. This solution works better for jumbo specimens like the Green Death - the percentage of torso that, say, Toothless can dedicate to these sorts of buoyancy cells is much less than that of the huge bloated torso of the dragon-queen. (Yes, I'm cribbing from a book on zeppelins.)
      • So how do they fly when they're "out of juice"?
      • Maybe the dragons always have some extra amount of gas in them that allows them to fly, even if they are "out of juice." They might be contained in a different part of the body or something.

  • Is it just me or has anyone actually seen the green death's wings in any scene before hiccup suddenly announces that "that thing has wings!" did they just tack them onto it after that scene?
    • Yes. It's like the Toothless cameo when they show the Dreamworks logo; very hard to see unless you know where to look.
    • Yes, the wings are there, just folded up.

  • So, the winner of the training gets to kill their first dragon in front of everyone. That's ok. They are supposed to be learning. But why pit the winner against the Monstrous Nightmare? Even if Astrid came out on top, I have a hard time seeing how she'd have killed that thing solo.
    • By the end of dragon training they're probably supposed to have learned enough to be able to defeat a Monstrous Nightmare. We didn't necessarily see the entire sequence on-screen; if this troper remembers correctly it was a training montage.
    • Actually it's probably because Hiccup was the winner, the now-capable Dragon-Fighter, son of the Chief and the only man to stand a chance against a Nightmare. Had Astrid won instead, they may have selected one of the other dragon species. Hard to say.
    • From my memory, Gobber says in the first lesson that "only one will get to kill the Monstrous Nightmare!" So they were definitely specifically training for that.
    • Also don't forget it is a caged match, removing one of the dragon's natural defenses it's flight. "A downed dragon is a dead dragon" is in effect here. It's also been caged up for who knows how long, so it hasn't had much exercise.

  • When the training ends, the winner gets to kill his first dragon. But several of the training missions involve taking out dragons. Hiccup probably was the only one who could do so without killing the dragon (and even more probably the only one to bother). So this "kill your first dragon" thing just seems weird.
    • I don't recall them saying they get to kill their first dragon. Unless I'm forgetting something, they just get to kill a Monstrous Nightmare (supposedly one of the hardest non-Night Fury dragon to kill) in front of the village.
    • Gobber's clear it will be their first. They don't kill the dragons during training, just drive them off.
      • And the only teen we ever see openly attempting to kill one of the dragons is Astrid, of course.
      • Astrid is the only teen we see trying to kill a dragon and not failing horribly. The other teens are simply trying to drive the dragons off, and Snotlout doesn't hesitate to go smack the Green Death in the eyeballs when he gets the chance.

  • How does Hiccup use his prosthetic leg/foot (if his leg was amputated below the knee I guess it is technically a prosthetic foot) to maneuver Toothless' prosthetic tail-fin? I understand that he could use his body weight to simply have his foot push down the pedal by leaning but I don't understand how he could handle more intricate moves if he can't physically manipulate a fake foot. Couldn't he simply have the pedal on the right side with his still flesh and bone right leg?
    • This troper recalls the attachment locking in to the new harness. So it would act like a lever and adjust the tail's position. This would allow Hiccup to maintain the same type of control his old leg had before the accident. As for why not switch to the other side, I would consider two reasons. First his muscle-memory would need to be retaught. He learned over a period of weeks how to move that leg to fly without thinking about it. It would only take a short time to relearn with the new prosthetic. Second, moving it to the other side would require a new type of harness. Now Gobber is a good smithy, but it is very likely he did not create the second tail-fin from scratch as he never made anything that unique before and had access to Hiccup's designs to take from.
      • Oh, OK that makes sense. If I am assuming correctly then this means the foot can still pivot from side to side because the foot is inserted into the wooden base on the stump and not one singular thin metal piece. From there if it is locked in place on the harness then Hiccup can just move his leg and the foot will have no other choice but to move like a lever and still allow him to do more intricate moves. However it still would be important to learn how to use the right leg because it is still possible for his left prosthetic leg to fail. For example what is Hiccup going to do if the prosthetic leg ever falls off from all the high speed G Forces he would be exposed to riding Toothless or if the leg is locked in place and he needs to make an emergency jump off of Toothless? He would be out of luck.
      • I believe the foot wasn't just a peg-leg type of prosthetic. It had a bend on it, seen in this fan art. Then he inserts the bent part into a lock of some sort on the new harness, keeping himself locked in.
      • Indeed, as shown here (caps from the movie), the prosthetic does have a bend and does couple itself into the pedal.
      • After having watched the movie 10 times (yes the movie is that good, and yes I have kept count) I have noticed that Hiccup does in fact have a right pedal which if you pay attention during the final battle with the Green/Red Death emphasis is put on Hiccup using his right foot to manipulate the tail-fin. Beyond muscle memory you have to consider that Hiccup being left-handed would most likely have a dominant left foot as well and using his right foot on a consistent basis would be awkward for him to adjust to. Alternatively maybe he needs a pedal on both sides just in case one fails and that there really is no problem with him using either foot. Or perhaps Hiccup uses his left prosthetic foot as a symbolic gesture to show how him and Toothless now match and lean on each other as best friends to help each other out. Any of these interpretations seem valid.
      • Aside from controlling how far in or out the artificial tail fin is, he'd also have to control it's pitch in order to ascend and descend. His right foot probably controls that mechanism since it wouldn't be as complex as the other one. Also, I do believe Hiccup is left handed so there's that and the fact that having the most complex part of the system be as close as possible to what it controls makes sense.
      • Also, (this from an engineer) The pedals appear to be linked underneath Toothless, and looks like a variant of the lever-shifter on a bike. One foot tightens it, the other foot loosens it.

  • How is it that all the abuse that Toothless goes through that you never see him suffer any noticeable wounds on his body (aside from the obvious missing left tail fin)? Is it because bruises, burns, mud, and blood doesn't show up very well on his black scales and skin? The alternative of him being nigh-invulnerable/extremely durable shouldn't mean that he doesn't get even so much as a scratch on him from all the crashes, fights, and flames he gets exposed to during the movie, he should at least have at least a single scar or something like that.
    • The scales of a dragon (their 'skin') are tough to the point of insanity. It's the other parts of their anatomy that are more easily damaged; a lot of old dragon-killing tales have the hero go for the eyes or a literal down-the-throat shot.
    • Dragons are generally very tough creatures, even in worlds lacking of magic and mysticism. It seems that the HTTYD dragons have this trait, except around their wings and tails, as Gobber noted in one lesson. So for all the major falls, as long as Toothless landed on his main body he probably was left with at worse a bruise. But when he couldn't control his landing after Hiccup first shot him down, his tail was probably flailing and ended up either hitting a tree or rock at a bad angle or landed on part of it before rolling off and thus lost part of it.
    • Either that, or it's the fact that this is a PG movie. Showing the full extent of his injuries (including how much blood he probably would have lost from losing a tail fin) would probably bump the rating to PG-13 or R.
    • Hiccup did find some scattered scales at the bottom of the depression Toothless was trapped in, so presumably the Night Fury's initial crash-landing and struggles to escape had roughed him up a bit.
    • Toothless has multiple scars from the rope Hiccup caught him with, it doesn't explain the rest of the movie but he does get hurt.

  • How can you determine a dragon's gender by just taking a passing glance at them, wouldn't you need to put your hand into their slit to see if there is a penis in there similar to what you would do for reptiles in general? I am not saying that we should turn Toothless into a girl on such a basis, but it seems odd to me that Hiccup just assumed that his friend was a boy without making sure. Maybe it would be just too awkward to even bother trying?
    • It's often possible to determine sex by other physical characteristics - coloring, size, and things like horns/antlers/etc. But I do concede that we don't have much for reference in Toothless' case.
    • While the sexual organs are hidden inside, like real-world reptiles, it is possible there are other physical differences. In some species of animals, the males are the flashier ones to use in attracting mates and being distractions should a predator come. So maybe each species of dragon has something it considers hot and sexy on the other sex to justify mating. All this said, you still have a point that we don't know Toothless' sex as we don't have another Night Fury to judge by.
      • Also, it's fairly common for someone to assume an animal whose sex they can't readily identify is the same sex as they are. I know if I see a random dog on the street, I'm pretty much always going to automatically think of it as a male unless there's something extremely obvious, like it's wearing a big pink bow or something. If Astrid had found Toothless instead, she'd probably have assumed it was a girl.

        Alternatively, maybe the citizens of Berk have a kind of Female Feline, Male Mutt thing going with dragons and assume all the dragons they see are male by default.
    • Perhaps the Night Furies are an all-male species while there's an all-female species that they breed with. Or maybe they can breed with any female dragon to produce Night Fury eggs.
    • Though I think if Toothless was a girl, being called by male pronouns and such would drive her to correct Hiccup (like nipping him when he calls her 'him' or whatever).
      • That is if Toothless has enough of a grasp of human language that he/she can deduce the meaning of what Hiccup is saying throughout the movie rather than responding to his words based on what emotions Toothless senses from Hiccup. For example Toothless seemed to only listen to Hiccup's pleas to stop fighting the Vikings when Hiccup cried out in desperation to not kill his father Stoick. Besides regardless of whether Toothless is male or female (I personally lean towards male but that is aside the point) Toothless doesn't care about gender roles/labels as he/she simply views Hiccup as a friend, gender shouldn't change that unless you are one of those Toothless/Hiccup shippers.
      • Word of God should help. The director makes several references to Toothless being a male in the commentaries for the movie and the Toothless from the book was a male so the movie Toothless might as well follow suit. Though of course the movie itself never deals with questioning Toothless' gender so at the very least they have left it open enough that they could logically change their minds and make Toothless female in the sequel. Anyway Toothless' friendship with Hiccup should be the focus not whether it is male or female.
      • In the Gift of the Night Fury Christmas short, the dragons leave to lay and hatch their eggs. Toothless seems to be the only male dragon in Berk.
      • Not true. The movie doesn't actually state ALL of them are female, and a lot of dragons are seen in pairs next to single nests.

  • Over the course of the movie Fishlegs makes several statistical phrases about the dragons and their abilities that sound somewhat like what you would hear from the popular game Dungeons & Dragons. Were they trying to go for a It Will Never Catch On plot where Fishlegs will make a reference to what it would be like if they made a game about fighting dragons and exploring dungeons and no one ends up paying him any mind? That certainly has potential for quite a bit of humor in the sequel.
    • They're quotes from the Dragon Manual. If you look on the movie and books' wiki, you'll notice that the dragons it features have stats.
      • Yeah but those stats in the Dragon Manual we see Hiccup read were written in another language, it wouldn't exactly be easy for a guy like myself who only knows English to realize that Fishlegs was quoting from the book. Well anyway thanks for clearing things up, I was honestly hoping Fishlegs being a nerd was making a reference to Dungeons & Dragons. Though I guess it would be kind of strange for that idea to come almost a thousand years early when board games weren't even in existence.
      • Runes are a writing system not a language. Except for letters being wrong, the book is written in English.
    • It's a joke that works on two levels - on the surface, Fishlegs is quoting stats from the Dragon Manual. But to the viewers, it's clear that he's Wrong Genre Savvy and thinks he's in Dungeons & Dragons.
      • It's not necessarily that he's wrong genre savvy. Someone probably gave the real-life dragons stats for the same reason someone gave the fictional dragons stats. ... Well, you know what I mean. But anyway, it's because it lets you know what the creature can do. If you have a ranking for abilities such as speed, strength, and maneuverability, it lets you know whether a dragon is fast, slow, or average or whatnot. The Dragon Manual exists as a teaching aid, thus anything that boils a concept down and helps young vikings learn is a good idea. "Rank this dragon's speed on a scale of 1 to 10" is thus a good idea.

  • I probably wasn't paying enough attention to their mouths but I didn't notice any teeth in the mouths of the Terrible Terrors. I know their design is based off the Toothless in the book (who actually didn't have teeth in comparison to the Night Fury Toothless who has retractable teeth), but somehow they are able to make Tuffnut's (that is the boy twin's name right?) nose bleed, rip apart a fish, and get into a tug-of-war over one of Toothless' fish without having any teeth. How is this possible?
    • You don't need teeth if you can bite hard enough.
    • It is very possible their mouths are like a bird's beak, so they are strong enough to break skin.
    • Or certain frogs, who lack teeth but jaws are strong enough to kill and eat snakes.

  • During the first major bonding scene between Hiccup and Toothless, the one where Hiccup feeds him fish for the first time, Toothless sees Hiccup draw himself in the dirt with a stick and then grabs a tree to draw something as well. What exactly was Toothless trying to draw? I have thought of 3 possibilities: 1) It might have been a fish. 2) It might have been Hiccup as a gesture of kindness for him drawing Toothless. 3) Or perhaps it was a maze intended to make Hiccup dance around in circles and find his way to Toothless as a bonding exercise. However this is just me guessing, I really wish I knew what Toothless' intention was.
    • I think Toothless had two intentions in mind. The obvious one was training Hiccup 'keep off', by making very obvious angry/peaceful gestures when he stepped on the line. There's any number of uses he could put this to, like drawing a line around himself when he wanted to be left alone. The second? He thought of a sneaky way to get Hiccup up close without him realizing what he was doing. While it's obvious that Toothless is no dummy, that would easily put him on the level of humans for intelligence and problem-solving abilities if true.
    • Hard to say. You could always subscribe to To Soar into the Sunset's explanation and say that he was trying to draw Hiccup but eventually gave up and "drew" his thoughts.
      • I love To Soar into the Sunset so far one of my favorite interpretations of the How to Train Your Dragon story. However I would say that without a Word of God on the matter what Toothless was trying to draw is most certainly up to your imagination. I prefer the idea that Toothless being inexperienced with drawing tried to draw Hiccup but what happened was that the lines turned into a makeshift maze for Hiccup to dance through to get to Toothless. Regardless the purpose was obviously for Hiccup to bond with Toothless, you know sort of like how two children playing with each other respect each others' toys.
    • I figured he just tried to draw Hiccup, but he's not too good. He's still proud of it, and doesn't want Hiccup to mess it up by stepping on it.
    • He may not have been trying to draw anything, he just mimicked Hiccup's dragging a stick in the dirt. Who knows whether a dragon's brain can make the analogy between the arrangement of lines on dirt and the arrangement of angles, edges, and shadows that make up a face? He'd already been imitating Hiccup's body language; copying him drawing in dirt isn't that different, whether or not Toothless realized the lines were supposed to depict an actual object (him).
    • Also, animals aren't exactly the best of artists. Google paintings drawn by horses or chimps. They often look like an incoherent mess, even when the animal says in sign language it's supposed to be a cat or a person.
    • The maze was intended to train Hiccup, to get him to respect the boundaries Toothless created. By not stepping on it, Hiccup showed Toothless respect and kindness towards Toothless' work. Once Hiccup passed over without touching a line, it garnered him enough respect that Toothless would let Hiccup touch him. The audio commentary on the scene compared it to being trained by one's cat.
    • Word of God. There you go.

  • Is it possible that dragons are distantly related to dinosaurs? A few real life creatures like certain birds and reptiles like crocodiles are viewed as being distantly related to the dinosaurs of old through millions of years of evolution, but dragons being rather large (with the exception of a few like the Terrible Terrors) flying reptiles should be more closely related than any of the real life examples. The Green/Red Death in particular given its giant size looks pretty indistinguishable from a real dinosaur, almost like a T-Rex (among a mix-match of a few others if you use your imagination) with wings.
    • No clue. I highly doubt any of the creators thought about the evolution of dragons in their works (and that's assuming they believe in the theory of evolution in the first place).
    • As dragons in the film are hexapods, it's hard to imagine how they could be derived from dinosaurs, which were all four-limbed.
    • In addition, no known dinosaurs can spit fire from their jaws, so that also strains the idea. Th dragons probably are some kind of archosaur (the leg positioning indicates such), but I doubt they're dinosaurs. Maybe dragons are some kind of radical pterosaur branch?
  • What happened to the Green Death's body? The explosion that Toothless ignited by firing a blast inside its mouth may have been big but it shouldn't have totally disintegrated its body, a more realistic sight would have been charred pieces of its flesh and blood raining down on the Vikings. I mean if Toothless could survive the flames of that explosion at least a charred corpse of the Green Death should have remained.
    • Considering how this was meant to be for kids, thus permitting friendly violence towards others, familial issues, Aesops about looking beyond first impressions, seeing the remains of the Green Death falling on Stoic as he has that moving Character Development at the end would have been weird, if not Nightmare Fuel. And it is possible there was a huge body left over, we just never saw it as it could have been Nightmare Fuel added to the already nightmarish Green Death.
      • Your mileage may vary but personally I would be laughing my ass off if I saw chunks of flesh raining down on the Vikings. It could be made funny if one of the Vikings looked at each other and noted that they all needed a bath after all this.
      • True. Now I'm reminded of the end of Tremors 2.

  • I know that dragons being fire-breathing, flying reptiles are very unlike anything else in nature and would be hard to domesticate but I find it hard to believe that not a single human tried to bond with a dragon before Hiccup became friends with Toothless. For example in real life I am sure that wolves weren't easy for our ancestors to domesticate but through trial and error they became our companions and evolved into dogs. I find it hard to believe that in 300 years of being on the island of Berk not a single human conducted trial and error bonding with a dragon, the dragons that Hiccup faces in his training seem very curious and playful around humans only attacking once provoked, Hiccup should not have been the only one who noticed how docile they can be if you be nice to them. I liked the way the book handled things in that there are SOME domesticated dragons but others that are very wild and near-impossible to control, just like in real life we have domesticated dogs and wild dogs out in nature.
    • There is a difference between domestication and breaking the spirit of the animal. We have no clue what was done to make sure the training dragons stayed there. But also keep in mind, even if they weren't broken, their actions were always on the deadly side, it is just the trainees were watched by an experienced fighter who knew a lot of things about the dragons and how they behaved when met with violence. Look at Snotlout near the end, his first reaction when the Monstrous Nightmare was coming towards him was to grab a weapon. I would guess that no Viking ever considered approaching a dragon without some weapon on them for fear of their own safety, never realizing they were sabotaging any attempt to befriend the beast.
    • Another theory would be that the dragons outside the training were all under the subtle influence of the Green Death and couldn't fight it. It was only when Toothless was away from the island for a long time was he able to get the song out of his system, but the moment he got in range, he was hooked until his desire to protect Hiccup made him flee.
    • As well, the domestication of animals isn't necessarily universal. We've been partnered with dogs for a long LONG time, so it's pretty universal. But many cultures were ignorant of how to train horses, and just thought of them as big, potentially dangerous animals to be avoid and occasionally hunted.
    • Domestication (and even breaking) are hard things to do, especially for apex predatory species (like dragons); not only is it dangerous, but it also takes a lot of time to fully domesticate any animal. Domesticating dogs alone took thousands of years; domesticating fire-breathing volant apex predators like dragons would take even longer.

  • The term generation that they use in the movie, are they referring to the 40 years equals a generation model from the Bible? If that is the case then 7 generations would be 280 years not 300 years. Or does this mean that it has been 300 years but they are waiting until 20 more years passes until they call it 8 generations?
    • "Generations" refers to the number of generations of viking families that have passed, so seven generations back would be the time of Hiccup's great-great-great-great grandparents (plus possibly one more "great", depending on whether Hiccup's generation is being counted). Exactly how long this means is quite vague, and probably differs depending on which family you check.

  • Okay, people have been saying that Gobber's story is made up, and the Boneknapper Dragon does not exist, only turns out it's actually real, so what about the hammerhead yak and the hammerhead whale?
    • I am pretty sure that we can reasonably assume that if the Boneknapper Dragon exists like Gobber says then the hammerhead yak and whale exist too. Honestly, dragons in general should be unlike any other creature in nature and they don't seem flabbergasted that they exist, so I find it weird for them not to believe in supernatural whales and yaks and a type of dragon that steals bones. Hell, Stoic showed less disbelief about the Red Death, a dragon almost the size of a mountain, than he did the Boneknapper! What is wrong with these people?
    • But...a hammerhead yak riding a hammerhead whale, out of a crack that Thor himself opened?
      • Thor is a god of Norse Mythology, he can make happen whatever he wants to happen.
      • Okay, reasonable enough, but how did the hammerhead yak burst forth from deep within the burning volcano?
    • The Hammerhead Yak is a volcano GOD!!! That's about all I got.
      • I think this is the point where people reeeeeeally begins to doubt his stories.
      • Just be glad Gobber didn't know what a black hole is. He'd have worked one in.
    • Given the size of the mug that Gobber wears to dinner, I think it's safe to assume that some of his memories might be exaggerated a mite.

  • Can someone explain to me why the fact that the twins are named Ruffnut and Tuffnut is funny?
    • Why must they be funny names? In a land where Hiccup is scary enough to scare away goblins, Ruffnut and Tuffnut might be seen as equally scary. Or perhaps a reminder of the rough and tough night they were conceived on.
    • No, I mean IRL everyone seems to treat their names as Getting Crap Past the Radar. What gives? I don't get it.
      • They're twins, and both their names end in -nut, as in testicle.
      • Given that "a tough nut" is a well-established idiom for a tough/difficult person or problem (and which has nothing to do with testicles), I rather doubt that was the intention.
    • This might just be my warped mind at work, but nut is also slang for orgasm, so... maybe it could be a reference to their conception?

  • Why is it that all the things Hiccup learns about Toothless hold true in regards to all the dragon breeds? Why do all of them have the same fear of eels, the same weak points when it comes to scratching and the same reaction to that catnip-type-grass? They're all different species, shouldn't there be some differences between them?
    • Well speaking from a dog person, I have found on my various breeds of dogs I have had all share similar spots they like to be scratched or food they like to eat. The fear of eels might not be fear of the thing per se but a dislike of the pungent smell smoked eels have. Dragons seem to have a keen sense of smell and dislike things that are too powerful. As for the spot, as I said with dogs, they have spots that get them wagging their tail and feet. Note that when Hiccup did it against the Nadder, he had to search for it and find it. He didn't know the exact location but did know it existed. As for the grass, I thought of it how any dog would be interested in blood-soaked food regardless of their heritage.
      • For the grass, the better example would be cats: The grass is possibly based off catnip, and despite differences between species a whole chunk of cats looooooove their catnip.
    • Variations in size, weight, and other cosmetic characteristics aside, dragons are anatomically identical. They all share the same diet, basic design, and internal structure. What Hiccup learns from Toothless would surely apply to most dragons.
    • There are some exceptions, for example, the Typhoomerang is revealed to have no problem in eating an eel in the series.
    • This just opens up a whole new headscratcher... Are the different types of dragons different breeds (like dog breeds), or completely different species. One would think that the massive biological differences would indicate they were just related species, but that would mean they shouldn't have all these same weaknesses.
      • Or that the dragons that look a lot like each other are all placed in the same genus, but different species; that's what happens with such things IRL. Like how lions and leopards are in the genus Panthera, maybe Monstrous Nightmares and Boneknappers are both in the genus Flogapteryx, ("flame wing"), but both dragons are separate species (F.anaflegetai, "ignited flame wing", for Monstrous Nightmares, F.ostonktitoras, "bone taker flame wing", for the Boneknapper). Thus, dragons could be put in the following species:
      • Night Furies: Mavropteros nychtadrakos ("night-winged dark fire")
      • Terrible Terrors: Microdraco dendontia ("small dragon (with) no teeth")
      • Monstrous Nightmares: Flogapteryx anaflegetai ("ignited flame wing")
      • Gronkle: Onkodidraco micropterus ("bulky little winged dragon")
      • Boneknapper: Flogapteryx ostonkititoras ("bone taker flame wing")
      • Hideous Zippleback: Duokefalidraco meexipoda ("two-headed dragon (with) six legs")
      • Changewing: Chromastrophidraco mediolopha ("colour-shift dragon (with) twin crests")
      • Red Death: Titanodraco tiskatastrofis ("titanic dragon of destruction")
      • Deadly Nadder: Teratodraco akidaplati ("spike back monster dragon")
      • Timberjack: Xyleiasdraco chorispodia ("timber dragon without legs")
      • And that's only the ones off the top of my head, too.

  • Right, so um... Why does Horrorcow speak Norse?
    • As opposed to what? Swahili?

  • Why does everyone forget the books even exist? The only page that even has any entries for the book series are the LITERATURE page, which was made FOR the books. Is there something I'm missing here, because this entire page has nothing but headscratchers from the film and the one above me for the books.
    • Adaption Displacement is in full effect. More people were exposed to the movie (and its DVD short films) than they were the books, I'm not ashamed to say that I am one of the fans that watched the movie first and then came to love the books afterward, and as a result they may have more to say about the movie. The two versions of How to Train Your Dragon have a lot in common but there are some serious plot deviations as the books go along that it becomes its own entity. However remember that the movie version is still a fledgling as it hasn't even had its second movie come out yet and there is a plan for a cartoon show about it, so there is a way to close that mythology gap given time. Still a separate page for the books and the movie continuity might not be unwarranted.

  • Why do the Vikings have such pronounced beards and horned helmets? Those would be awful in melee combat. Long beards give the enemy something to tug onto and the horns on the helmets are another thing they could yank at (unless the helmets are loose, which would defeat the purpose of having a helmet to begin with). Are we to assume that the Vikings are just that badass that they don't need to worry about an enemy ever getting the chance to do that?
    • As Horny Vikings explains it, "... and the horned helmets that they never actually wore except for ceremonial occasions." Stock Costume Traits and The Coconut Effect is in full effect.
    • Fridge Brilliance: These particular Vikings have spent the last seven generations fighting dragons, not other humans. They don't need to worry about their beards being grabbed, because dragons don't have hands; indeed, having a long beard would be a mark of battle-prowess, because a poor fighter's facial hair would soon get burned away. They do need to worry about having their heads bitten off, in which case wearing pointy horns that can jab into an attacking dragon's palate is a sensible precaution.
    • Also, beards can help keep your face from getting frost bitten off, especially on those boat trips.

  • A minor one this, but how did Hiccup obtain all the fish he kept bringing Toothless? I doubt he could catch them himself, & bearing in mind Stoic's comment about keeping the village fed it seems odd that no-one noticed entire baskets of fish disappearing all the time.
    • To support an entire village you need crops of fruits, vegetables and grains, cattle, and hunting of wild animals, fishing alone is inadequate in meeting the caloric and nutritional needs of an entire village, especially of warriors like the Vikings who are big, tough guys. Besides to properly keep meat fresh on a long-term basis was very difficult in an era without refrigeration and easy access to ice (despite Hiccup's claims there is very little snow in Berk, aside from the mountain tops, we only ever see snow in the special shorts that canonically take place after the first movie), Hiccup probably took the fish that they couldn't adequately cook in time and gave it to Toothless the way a pet owner gives left-overs to their dog. Also keep in mind how popular Hiccup was becoming among the Vikings, they probably had so many parties in his honor that food disappearing bit by bit from various sources wasn't all that noticeable to them any way.
      • The eel was smoked. Also, salt cod.

  • Minor nitpick, but Hiccup's helmet was noticeably larger than Stoick's, yet they're supposed to be a matching pair, made from a lady's breastplate. Was this lady super lopsided, or did Gobber melt the breastplate down before reconstituting them?
    • I'm pretty sure that was the joke (that she had breasts of dissimilar size, as well as the huge Stoick having a tiny helmet versus Hiccup having a helmet that makes him seem even smaller).
    • Stoick's best friend is a blacksmith, 'nuff said.

  • Hiccup finds Toothless trapped in the little canyon where he is unable to fly or climb out and also cannot feed himself while trapped there. So why does Toothless continue to stay in the gorge after they first fly him out? Toothless is then completely dependent on Hiccup to bring him food and fly him out every day.
    • Because by that point they're friends.
    • Toothless knows that he can't fly without Hiccup on his back. He pretty much has to stay with him.
    • Toothless was safer there, the walls could protect him from hunting vikings and wild animals, sure he could defend himself but better to be safe. Plus it was an easy place for Hiccup to find him rather than searching through the woods full of dangerous animals.

  • I've noticed that the main page has a paragraph on the Green Death's name under Cowboy Bebop At His Computer. Yet, the reason given for 'Green Death' being the commonly used name just doesn't wash. If it's in honour of the original book, why not go with Word of God's Red Death? After all, the original book didn't just have a Green Death, it had a Red Death as well—the climax of the book involved Hiccup getting the two different Deaths to fight each other to death (pun not intended).
    • Actually, the second one was purple. And apparently, even larger than the first.

  • The movie establishes that all dragons have a "shot limit" (number of times they can breathe fire). Official sources say that Night Furies have a shot limit of six, yet when fighting the Green Death, Toothless hits it ten times.
    • The vikings knew virtually nothing about the Night Fury, so they might've gotten that info wrong. The Night Fury chooses specific targets and never misses, so a given raid might not require it to use the maximum amount of shots.

  • Stoik gives Hiccup his helmet and tells him it came from his mother's breastplate. Yet in all the trailers for the second movie, we see his mother and she's far too small and thin to have worn armor that large.
    • Perhaps he meant it comes from the material that covered her breastplate rather than the cup itself? Like taking part of a car and making something out of it.
    • Hiccup's mom could well have had several sets of armor, two of which were later re-forged into helmets after her disappearance.
    • I imagine that there was a hillarious mix-up when they first made her breastplate, so it was made way too big. She never wore it, but it was still "hers".
      • I can just see it now, the smith talking to a besoted and starry eyed Stoic who, in a fit of distraction, accidently gives his measurments rather than his wife's.

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