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Fanfic / Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons

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The Big Four, all together.
"Let's make super-compatible characters!"
Disney & DreamWorks

Once upon a time, there were four teenagers who all wanted something more. One was a young Viking with a draconic best friend and a talent for not fitting in. One was a dreaming girl, locked in a tower, who yearned to know of the world outside. One was a hot-blooded princess who wished to escape the confines of the royal life. And one was a reckless winter spirit who only wanted someone to believe in him. If these four ever met, it would be the beginning of something wonderful...

There was one problem. None of them existed in the same universe.

That is, until the Internet got a hold of them...

Or, what happens when Friendly Fandoms goes to the next logical extreme and becomes a fandom in and of itself. Also known as The Big Four, ROTBTD is the crossover of the popular movies Tangled, Brave, How to Train Your Dragon, and Rise of the Guardians. It kicked off big on Tumblr in late 2012/early 2013, and has gained a sizable fanbase in and of itself.


This crossover provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Rapunzel and Merida, of course. Usually more emphasized in Merida though.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Out of the four, Rapunzel gets this treatment the most. She will sometimes be reduced to a damsel in distress and/or team healer despite being able to fight on her own and saving Eugene twice. That's not taking into account the TV series where she is able to fight against much stronger foes that surpass anything that Hiccup, Merida, and Jack ever faced, and all while not having any ice powers, archery skills or a dragon to watch her back. Even more is that out of the four, she's the oldest.
  • Alternate Universe: Admittedly the only way this crossover would work. Notable AUs include a modern AU, a Hogwarts AU and a Rise of the Guardians-Universe AU, where Hiccup, Rapunzel and Merida are chosen as Guardians. Occasionally they're also seasonal spirits (see Nature Spirit, below). The Hogwarts AU usually sorts each character into a Hogwarts house, though who goes where changes according to writer. Jack is virtually always in Slytherin and Merida in Gryffindor, but Hiccup and Rapunzel play musical chairs with Ravenclaw and Huffepuff.
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  • Amazon Brigade: Rapunzel, Merida, Astrid, and Tooth, on occasion.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • If the crossover involves the timeframes of the original movies, it would technically be impossible for the characters to meet. Well, half of them. Brave and How to Train Your Dragon roughly take place in the 10th to 12th century, Tangled is in the 1800s while Rise of the Guardians is set in modern day. Jack was said to have existed for three hundred years, however, so he was human during the early 18th century. Jack's blue hoodie also contrasts with the older period outfits of the other three, but there are some with common sense who have drawn and written him in his colonial outfit.
    • Fan-art of Jack with Merida or Rapunzel in their modern Ralph Breaks the Internet outfits is also becoming popular.
  • Badass Normal: Merida, out of the Big Four. Archery and a bit of swordplay (as well as sewing) are all she has. In comparison to Jack Frost's flight and ice powers, Rapunzel's healing hair (as few fans are likely to use her post-haircut state), and Hiccup's dragon-taming skills (with crossbow and short-range weapon training on the side).
  • Big Bad:
    • Generally accepted to be Pitch, the Nightmare King, if they're not at Hogwarts.
    • Mor'du and the Green Death are also occasionally featured as antagonists, though much less frequently. But when it happens, there's more of a Big-Bad Ensemble.
    • With the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2, Drago Bludvist is well on his way to becoming a big-name baddie due to how big a threat he is.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Rapunzel, Hiccup, and Merida accordingly. Jack could count since he was a brunette when he was alive.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Jack and Rapunzel's friendship (or romance, if you're into that) in a nutshell.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: Flynn and Astrid usually die or vanish conveniently if there's any shipping to be done within the Big Four (except Jerida). Unlikeinvoked Die for Our Ship, there is rarely any spite against these characters.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: A popular fanon is that Pitch will try to turn Merida, Hiccup, and/or Rapunzel over to his side to get to Jack.
  • Crossover: Apart from the obvious, the Big Four are often put in Hogwarts or the Avatar universe.
  • Crossover Shipping:invoked Hijack, Mericup, Jackunzel, Jerida, Meripunzel, Hiccunzel... take your pick.
  • Darker and Edgier: Some newer fics tend to do this. Depending on the writer they will often be deconstructions of the team as a whole (Clashing views or failing to be heroic, Hiccup caring more about Dragons than people) or set it in a more darker setting. Especially noticeable in fics that deconstruct ships, most specifically Jack/Elsa where their romance tears the team apart.
  • Depending on the Writer: Despite what this page might imply, the exact nature of the fandom varies wildly from person to person. Some fans are in it for shipping, others for pure friendship. Some limit it to the four leads while others meld entire movie casts. Some writers use alternate settings — like Hogwarts or the standard High School A.U. — to facilitate the stories; others shuffle timelines and motivations around to slot the movies together; and still others simply ignore any details that get in the way. There are no hard and fast rules. The appeal of the crossover is in character compatibility, everything else is fair game.
  • The Dragon: Mother Gothel is usually Pitch'ss partner in crime.
  • Elemental Powers: Another AU option. Although it can change around, as a rule they fit as:
    • Water: Jack, as an extension of his canonical ice powers.
    • Earth: Rapunzel, matching her nurturing personality and love for nature. (Sometimes swapped with Hiccup and takes Air).
    • Fire: Merida due to her hot-headed temperament.
    • Air: Hiccup, thanks to his connection with dragons and flying. (Sometimes swapped with Rapunzel and takes Earth).
  • Sixth Ranger: Characters from other CGI-animated movies are often added to the group. Most notably, it appears that Queen Elsa and Mavis are on their way of becoming this. The latter was something of a Guest-Star Party Member for the original group, and Elsa is popular especially since people started shipping her with Jack. Eugene might also tag along — a Smolder never hurts in a pinch. Toothless is almost always present, since he and Hiccup are inseparable and being an animal he doesn't change the four's dynamic too much. Recently, Hiro, Moana, Cassandra, and Varian have become popular additions.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: A common theme.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: These roles are rather fluid too:
    • The Cynic: Merida
    • The Optimist: Rapunzel (and Jack)
    • The Realist: Hiccup
    • The Apathetic: Jack
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Again, the roles are rather fluid, but the characters do line up well like so:
    • Sanguine: Rapunzel
    • Choleric: Merida
    • Melancholic: Hiccup
    • Phlegmatic: Jack (with traces of Sanguine).
  • Fluffy Tamer: Often, if Toothless is hostile he'll warm up to Rapunzel the quickest, if not instantly.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Another popular fanon, often used in 'trailers' using the dialog from the Rise of the Guardians scene with Baby Tooth, is that Pitch will trade one or all of Jack's new friends for his staff (often Rapunzel, using her hostage situation in Tangled).
  • Leitmotif:
    • A commonly accepted theme for the group is "I'm Still Here" from Treasure Planet. Although the song is in and of itself the leitmotif for Treasure Planet's main character Jim, it fits this group quite nicely as well. See a video of the song set to clips of the four here.
    • Alternatively, Something Different, a fansong written for the group. Told from the perspectives of the four, the verses go in order of when the four movies were released. The lyrics before the final chorus become a Breaking the Fourth Wall Aesop about how you shouldn't let anyone control your life, because maybe you're meant for something different, too.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: If secondary characters from the films are used, this is a given. We have the casts of four movies combined.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Interactions between Merida and Hiccup usually look like this.
  • The Medic: Rapunzel's healing hair means that she's able to fill this role.
  • Nature Spirit: Some AUs build on Jack's Snow Day powers by dubbing him the Guardian of Winter and assigning the other three seasons to the other three heroes, sometimes after untimely deaths of their own. This tends to work out surprisingly well, as is par for the course with this crossover:
    • Spring: Rapunzel quite consistently in charge of Spring, for obvious reasons.
    • Autumn: Hiccup usually, as he's the more serious and reflective character.
    • Summer: Merida normally thanks to her hot-tempered and wild personality.
    • Rapunzel occasionally headlines as summer which is when she was born, while Hiccup and Merida can swap depending on the fan creating the particular AU. (There are good arguments for either arrangement).
  • Night and Day Duo: Some fics play up this motif between Jack and Rapunzel, especially if they're being shipped together.
  • Pair the Spares: Related to Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends above, if a fic doesn't deal with Flynn and Astrid by killing them off or outright ignoring them, they will sometimes be shipped together.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Rapunzel and Jack Frost, respectively, especially if shipped.
  • Portmanteau: The title, a combination of the four movies which the protagonists come from.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • They may be Bash Brothers when they're fighting Pitch, but Jack (red, weirdly) and Hiccup (blue) have this sort of relationship in general.
    • Merida (red) and Rapunzel (blue).
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Rapunzel's dynamic with Hiccup is often portrayed as this.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Merida (tomboy) and Rapunzel (girly girl).
  • True Companions: The Big Four themselves.
  • Unexplained Recovery: People tend to overlook the fact that Hiccup lost his foot and Rapunzel's hair got cut. After HTTYD 2, Hiccup's foot isn't as ignored, with half of fics portraying him as his older self and the other half as his younger self..
  • Unholy Matrimony: Pitch and Gothel may be portrayed like this.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: High School A.U., Hogwarts, Avatar universe, Super Fic, Heroic Fantasy, Space Opera, you name it - with some backstory tweaks, these characters fit everywhere.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The usual vibe between Jack and Merida, crosses into Belligerent Sexual Tension in more shippy works. Sometimes overlaps with Like an Old Married Couple.
  • White Magician Girl: Rapunzel, considering her spunky girl qualities, compassionate nature, and healing magic.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Sometimes used as a source of angst for Jack, since none of the others are immortal.


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