In an attempt to protect his son, Stoick concocts a plan that winds up hurting Hiccup worse than the young Viking would have ever imagined possible. His wounds are so great that he tries to end his life, but recovering from a suicide attempt is only half of Hiccup's battle. Now he has to learn to trust his family and friends again.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Both Sides Have a Point: Comes up for both Berk's original plan to make Hiccup appear useless and Hiccup's treatment of Berk afterwards;
- While Stoick had a valid point that Hiccup is a bad liar and they were essentially right to try and protect him, Hiccup felt that they should have had more faith in him rather than leave him emotionally shattered.
- After Hiccup learns the truth, while he is right that Berk can't expect him to just forgive them for hurting him like that, Heather makes the valid point that he should have just told some of his old friends and Stoick how they could earn his forgiveness rather than just keep hating them for it.
- Despair Event Horizon: As bad as things got, Hiccup was only able to keep himself together with Toothless not abandoning him. It wasn't until Stoick and the others tried taking him away and giving him to Snotlout do things go horribly wrong and Hiccup attempts suicide by slitting his wrists.
- Enforced Method Acting: In-Universe. Stoick left Hiccup out of their plan because he wanted to sell it that Hiccup's reputation has not changed since the Meathead's last visit. Unfortunately, this backfires badly, as everyone overcompensates to the point where Hiccup nearly kills himself.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Stoick tries to paint Snotlout as the hero of Berk and slayer of the Red Death as a Red Herring for Chief Mogadon.
- Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: After the truth was explained to Hiccup after he tried to kill himself, Hiccup decides to stay on Berk and continue as normal for the sake of his people, though it is very clear that things aren't the same. He keeps to himself and decides that he and Astrid need to "take a break", having a very brief thing with Heather as she visits because she was uninvolved in their plot. Conversely, the Hooligans over-compensate in their attempts to make him feel wanted.
- Honesty Is the Best Policy: When the Hooligan Tribe's idea of pretending that Snotlout was the hero of Berk goes horribly wrong, Hiccup comes up with the idea of being honest with Chief Mogadon instead. He cites the consequences of him keeping Toothless a secret from Stoick and them collectively keeping their dragons a secret from Dagur as proof that keeping secrets will only make things worse. Not only that, but by showing that everyone knows how to tame dragons on Berk, it would lower Hiccup's "value" and thus make it less likely that Mogadon will "collect" him. He was right.
- Information Wants to Be Free: On top of being completely honest with Chief Mogadon, Hiccup thinks that he could be trusted with the secrets of dragon taming as a means of solidifying their treaty. While Stoick is against this, citing the kind of danger having more than one Viking tribe with this secret, Hiccup argues that pretty much everybody knows about them at this point and that it would be better if they taught him how to properly do it rather than him trying to beat them into submission like the Outcasts and Berserkers.
- Living Doll Collector: The reason why Stoick tried to paint Snotlout as the Hero of Berk was because Mogadon has a reputation for "collecting" things of his interest and he was worried that he would try to capture and enslave Hiccup, setting up Snotlout as a decoy.
- Ship Sinking: Appears to apply to Astrid and Hiccup's relationship as Hiccup initially cannot forgive her for participating in the lie, but Astrid's genuine regret in the aftermath helps Hiccup recognise that his feelings for her are too deep for him to just cut her out of his life.