Everyone talks up how badass Night Furies are, but more powerful dragons such as the Screaming Death and the Typhoomerang show up, as well as others capable of matching a Night Fury in a straight fight (the Whispering Death, the Thunderdrum and the Skrill). Moreover, despite everyone saying that a Night Fury never misses, Toothless misses a number of moving targets. Why is this? Simple: first, because Hiccup is primarily a peace-maker and rarely actually wants to hurt anyone. Second, Night Furies are night hunters. Their colouring is designed to hide them in the dark, they have a highly effective form of echolocation and during Toothless' first appearance in the film, unlike all the other dragons, he stays out of the light of the burning houses and beacons. They rely on speed, stealth and superior firepower. During later appearances, he also appears to spend at least some of the day asleep. Night Furies are essentially the Stealth Fighter-Bombers of the dragon world, most effective when striking fast from concealment - of course they're at a relative disadvantage during the day. In fact, it makes his displayed capabilities - such as repeatedly wrestling Hookfang to the ground - all the more impressive.
That said there are also various instances that hint that some cases of Toothless seemingly being outmatched in various episodes is actually due to him pulling his punches. He's largely adopted Hiccup's "do not kill" philosophy and regulates the strength of his plasma blasts accordingly. Evidence for this is seen in various cases where it is noted he will have to switch to trying to kill his opponent (only to not have to), and where he both with speed and power overcomes dragons that were previously noted to be unbeaten.
Or, like any other dive bomber / bird of prey, he needs an altitude advantage to be effective. And he seem to be forgetting his trademark dive bomber tactic, is it domestication effect?
The fact that Toothless' tail was injured and crippled in the first film may also play a part. Even if Hiccup fixed it, we can assume that it still hinders the dragon's abilities
Also, the second film tells us that Toothless is still fairly young (he's about Hiccup's age, so adolescence). He hasn't grown into his full ability (remember how awkward we all are in our teens).
The fact that Hiccup and crew found tribes of humans that are friendly and borderline worshipful of dragons outside the Archipelago may be due to the Red Death's range of control not reaching any further than that. Without the Queen sending raids that darkened the relations between human and dragon there would have been more opportunities for people like Hiccup to make connections with dragons. On the darker side of things, this would have also made it easier for Dragon Hunters to pursue their profession and learn about their prey as they also didn't have to worry about raids.
Aside from Stoick commissioning him to, why would Bucket display Hiccup as overly buff and manly? He could have symbolically depicted Hiccup as what he, his father, and a good deal of Berk envisioned him as in reflection to the events ofthe movie and handling the threats of the show the same way. It is a common thing for artists to have done this, and Bucket was really getting into perfecting the image he had in mind for the portrait.
When talking about Mildew in "In Dragons We Trust", Hiccup and Astrid both take up the exact same pose. A subtle way of showing that they are indeed falling in love.
In "Alvin and the Outcasts", it seems like a piece of bad luck that the Outcasts happen to show up exactly when Berk is at its weakest. Then Mildew turns out to be a defector in "We Are a Family", and suddenly that coincidence is anything but. If anything he could have destroyed the armory to both make it easier and blame the dragons.
Only thing that would disprove that theory is the fact that Alvin wasn't aware that the armory was destroyed till he got to Berk and saw the evidence himself. Otherwise he probably would have brought his fleet with him and went ahead and conquered Berk.
Dagur dropping to all fours and howling like a wolf in "The Night and the Fury" was not only establishing his insanity, but a direct reference to the úlfheðnar, a subculture of berserkr warriors who specifically worshiped wolves as their totem animal.
The reason we don't often see Thornado in the show is most likely due to the fact that despite his introduction episode showing him and his fellow Thunderdrum living in cave. Thunderdrums are predominantly an aquatic species of dragon. He probably spends most of his time not giving Stoick a ride swimming around the waters of Berk.
This may be backed up in "Tunnel Vision". Stoick goes to get Thornado when the Whispering Deaths are attacking Berk. He seems to take awhile longer than he probably would if Thornado was somewhere 'in' the village.
Rewatching the series, it's clear that from the start Toothless showed traits of leadership even amongst the dragons... alpha traits, from trying to stop Hookfang gone berserk and keeping him contained to recognizing that Torch was taken from its mother, to leading them in saving the riders in Animal House. He was already becoming an alpha dragon as Bewilderbeasts were supposed to be.
Valka made Hiccup a dragon doll when he was little. A small hint about her back-story way before the second movie was released.
The Outcast and Berserker ships being covered in spikes is just to show they're evil, right? Wrong! Those spikes likely serve as a way to intimidate dragons against trying to ram their ships or even land on them (the trick of hanging on ship's board to hide was acually used once by Astrid and Heather). They also make it much easier for somebody who has fallen overboard to climb back up.
Similarly, the tradition of horns on their helmets was probably started to protect a viking's head from being bitten off by a dragon.
Hiccup goes off on his own or doesn't tell the others potentially useful information a lot of the time at first. He's used to being ignored, taking care of himself, and actually has some communication issues he's still growing out of from all those years as the odd man out.
Dragon toy made for Hiccup by his mother when he was a baby is a Deadly Nadder - same dragon that Astrid is now riding on.
Vikings considered it a disgrace to die from old age. The honorable way to die was in battle, which meant at a young age. Notice that nobody in the village looks anywhere near as old as Mildew. To a Viking, the fact that Mildew lived to be so old would say that he was too much of a coward to risk his life in battle. No wonder nobody likes him.
Despite being fake, the note about night furies not liking dragons of other species can be partially proved by movies where Toothless seem to be aside from dragon "society", especially "alpha and his subjects" relationship.
In "Viking for Hire" Gobber presents his catapult as tool which allows women to defend their homes while their husbands are busy with Rape, Pillage, and Burn somewhere which seems odd if we remeber Stoick's determination in keeping peace with other people unless they had crossed Moral Event Horizon. Perhaps Hooligans had to raid because dragons pillaged and burned them, especially targeting for food. So this is just another sign that times have changed.
Astrid is really riled up about the Flightmare, to the point where she almost kills Snotlout twice in a fit of anger (one time by throwing her axe, another by hurling him to the ground and stomping his face with an axe in hand) as he makes remarks about the Hofferson family freezing in fear. Besides explaining even more so why she was so determined at dragon killing in the movie, its quite Viking-like for Astrid to be so serious about family honor because such was a bigdeal for Vikings to uphold. Snotlout is lucky it didn't turn into a duel over it because in the state she was in, pieces of him would be scattered across the islands.
This also would explain her hostility at Hiccup's badass level grinding in the movie. She felt he was going to be a threat to her plan to redeem the family name by being the first in class and get the chance to kill a Monstrous Nightmare. In a way, it's possible her massive effort in improving the Academy was another way to redeem honor.
A bit of historical subtext: It was extremely dishonorable for Vikings to let any harm come to a woman or children, to the point where they would not attack the house of a sworn enemy until any women or children had left. Lack of courage is humiliating for a seasoned fighter, but the nastier jokes would have been stopped by a simple order from Stoick to be polite to his grieving family. However, an accusation that Finn would fail to defend his niece would certainly hold up for ten years, particularly without evidence to disprove it. Luckily, he was proven innocent.
The reason why Berk knows a lot about the Skrill, yet not how to handle it, could interpreted as being due to their former peace with the Berserkers under Oswald the Agreeable (who withheld some information).
In "A Tale Of Two Dragons," we see that Dragonroot makes dragons violent and extremely aggressive. Considering that it was under Mildew's field, and that Dragons have been attacking for years, his hatred of dragons makes a scary amount of sense if they always get extra aggressive near his home and property, not to mention are drawn to it because of said substance.
The twins have been showing off Hidden Depths and moments of clarity to the other riders, while in previous seasons they had appeared idiotic. Then you remember that their patron god is Loki, the god of wits and mischief. Of course they'll emulate his brains.
In "Snotlout Gets the Axe" Tuffnut revealed he trained with Berk's officiator for Viking unions though he can't actually performed them since he only had half a lesson...when the educator jumped off a cliff. Which Tuffnut mentions how they lost a lot of teachers that way "especially the ones he pushed." This implies that both the twins were attempted to be educated, perhaps multiple times, and could explain their expanded knowledge base.
Heather is meant to serve as a Foil to Hiccup in multiple ways.
While Hiccup operates on a Thou Shalt Not Kill policy since he defeated the Red Death, Heather is quite willing to use lethal force.
Hiccup trusts his friends, including Toothless, when he's in trouble. Heather hasn't asked the dragon riders for help in three years, even when Hiccup asked her to the next time she was in trouble.
"Imperfect Harmony" has a Thunderdrum being immune to the Deathsong's cry. Considering also how in both movies we never saw any Thunderdrum under the thrall of the Red Death or Bewilderbeast, it makes perfect sense that a dragon that has primarily sound based abilities can regulate its own hearing so as not to be affected.
Many of the buildings on the Dragon's Edge look a lot like the ones seen in the second movie. Likely Stoick, Gobber, and Hiccup transplanted the designs over to Berk after leaving the Edge in the finale.
In "The Zippleback Experience" Hiccup knocks Snotlout unconscious (and knocks out three teeth) with a single blow. This scene has layers upon layers of fridge brilliance.
Hiccup was a blacksmith's apprentice for years. He may not look as strong as Snotlout...
Hiccup is lefthanded. However, he wound up to swing at Snotlout with his right hand. Snotlout goes around holding a block of ice against the right side of his face
Snotlout also knew it was all an act, so, as much as he looked like he was enjoying the opportunity to beat up Hiccup, he was probably pulling his punches, since his primary goal wasn't to hurt him badly. Hiccup, on the other hand, didn't know it was an act and thus didn't pull his punch. (Um... oops?)
Furthermore, why is it that being called a coward provoked Hiccup? Remember how riled up Astrid got up about Fearless Fin Hofferson being called Frozen Fin Hofferson? Exact same thing - one's courage is Serious Business for a Viking with the insult immediately calling for the insulted party to defend their honor. Fortunately for Snotlout, Hiccup was able to suffice with a simple punch rather than an official duel.
Despite wanting a truce with Hiccup so he could focus on them, the Defenders of the Wing never made any appearance nor was there a hint of them prior. Why? Because not being able to ride dragons and seeming to lack a harbor, they simply lack the ability to project force! Furthermore, this explains why whereas Hiccup's exploits have gotten wind to places like Outcast Island, the Defenders are totally deaf to the world, meaning that they had no idea of dragon riders fighting the Dragon Hunters to protect dragons.
As of Season Six it does seem they do have at least one ship and are noted to regularly go to the Northern Market, which as of late has become haven to the Dragon Hunters, which would not necessarily be forthcoming with that information on Riders.
Hiccup has even more reason than most heroes in his situation not to trust Dagur when he claims to have changed, given how things turned out last time he trusted an enemy.
"A Grim Retreat" introduces a dangerous dragon parasite that lives in fresh water. Its weakness? Salt. No wonder so many dragons live in an archipelago of little islands where they're never far from salt water. Maybe exploding eggs aren't the only reason some species have adopted the practice of hatching their eggs in or near salt water, either.
Although the dragon worship may have seemed odd and standard issue tribalism, after the Eruptodon saves Throk, it's easy to see why he is called the great protector and the respect. The angle helps, certainly.
The end of the season has Viggo accidentally dying thanks to Hiccup's own action, much to his horror. This provides a whole new context to why he's so determined to find a non-violent solution to deal with Drago in the second film.
Aaaaaaand then Season Seven showed that Viggo is still alive, and Hiccup learns this later.
However, in Season Eight he performs a HeelFace Turn before his death. It wouldn't be surprising if Hiccup thought that if Viggo, someone completely ruthless and hunting dragons his entire life, could change his opinion on dragons, it could be the case with Drago as well.
The dragon armor from the previous seasons seems to have been forgotten, but remember how much Toothless was itching at it due to both lack of comfort and weight? Combined with an increased number of missions relying on speed or long distance, the armor was simply too cumbersome for the dragons to carry that far, were not able to equip in time, or they planned on speed over staying power to capitalize on one of their greatest advantages.
Through the series, there have been numerous parallels to world war two aerial battles. Removal of armor for increased speed and range was common on many aircraft in the second world war.
Further fridge brilliance here. In the fight against the Singetails, we see multiple examples of Toothless stall-fighting, using hammerhead turns and innaman turns to gain advantage over the slower dragons. Those tactics would not have been out of place in the skies over Europe.
"Trader Johann" sounds awfully like "Traitor Johann".
Trader Johann's reveal, that he's really an agent for Dragon Hunters hiding in plain sight, may come off as a surprise, but looking over several events that directly tie to Johann, it makes way too much sense.
The baby Razorwhips are not affected by the No-Fly zone projected around Berserker Island by the Bewilderbeast and while it's theorized that the King of Dragons has lifted its mind control, Hiccup may be correct because Bewilderbeasts can't control babies.
Johann notes with obvious suspicion "you knew it was going to do that," after the Bewilderbeast attacks, and in retrospect it makes sense. Krogan knows what the Bewilderbeast can do, because he's seen Drago's Bewilderbeast in action.
Atali and the Wingmaidens leaving the Bewilderbeast egg for Valka in the series finale first appears a little out of nowwhere, but on closer examination it makes a lot of sense that Valka and the Wingmaidens would at least be aware of each other if not on friendly terms. The Wingmaidens protect Razorwhip hatchlings and have a high opinion of dragons in general like Valka who is a woman to boot. Also, Valka is shown in the second movie to have traveled even farther than Hiccup when she adds to his map during the "Flying With Mother" scene, so it's very likely she's aware of any humans that are friendly with dragons and may have made contact with them.
Valka's line regarding about the Bewilderbeast as "One of the very few that still exists" hints that she has seen at least another of this dragon's kind. That's because she is referring to her Bewilderbeast and the egg belonging to the Berserkers.
How many other Vikings had their honor stained because of some fancy trick that a dragon has, like how the Hoffersons were dishonored by Fearless/Frozen Finn Hofferson, rather than any personal failures?
The lullaby Ruffnut sings in Free Scauldy is particularly creepy when you think about it. "Hush little viking don't you cry, or the Beserker will stab you in the eye. Don't the enemy see you afraid, or he is gonna gut you with a rusty blade." And their mom sang it to them because one of them was afraid of the dark.
The Screaming Death has destroyed at least four islands worth of dragons. It's still alive, still growing. Just how terrifying will it be once fully grown, and how many more islands will be destroyed? Just what will it do when it goes for Berk, or if it heads for any other settled island? How many dragons died when it brought those islands down? Not all of them would of been full adults able to fly as Gift of the Night Fury showed us...
Best case scenario is by the end of the second season the Screaming Death may move to the shoreline of a continent or island larger than Berk. If it does it will still cause a lot of damage but the surrounding landmass may survive.
Think "In Dragons We Trust" was a Tearjerker already? How about this; Toothless can't fly, and likely hunt for food without Hiccup. Exiling him is likely to be tantamount to a death sentence and Hiccup probably knew this. Although Toothless seems fine a day or so later when they reunite, be glad that it only for that short a time...
I highly doubt the other dragons would have left Toothless to starve.
What happened to the three Whispering Deaths that followed the Screaming Death? It's entirely possible that the Screaming Death ate them when they were unable to provide it with food (or the food they did bring was no longer sufficient). That would explain why the Screaming Death was alone in all its future appearances...
Actually, the finale showed the Screaming Death really loved his family, and probably ate rocks and clay beside fish.
For Heather, her Fridge Horror is three-fold after the events of "Have Dragon Will Travel," Parts One and Two.
First, the revelation that Dagur is her brother makes her realize how close she comes to committing fratricide, which would never be mandated under Viking law.
Third, Heather's recent approach to violence was triggered by Dagur's attack on her village and three years of being alone, but it may also be her going Berserk.
Doubtful. If Heather had really gone Berserk, then a little thing like Viking anti-kinslaying law wouldn't have stopped her from killing Dagur. It certainly didn't stop Dagur from killing their father, after all.
As of Season Six, the Dragon's Eye is destroyed. Although much of the information was extracted, it should not be forgotten that it was a source of more than a few tidbits of information. Just as when great centers of knowledge in history such as Rome or Alexandria burned, what was lost when Hiccup threw it into the volcano?
In Season Seven, the Dragon Eye was not only successfully recovered from the volcano virtually no worse for wear by Viggo, but Hiccup is making his own personal Dragon Eye. So... nothing was really lost.
The image Viggo uses to identify dragon hunting operations and has on the sails of his dragon hunting ships is a fist coming out of the water painted in red. Why would a dragon hunter sail under a bloody fist? Because during this time Drago Bludvist is busy building an army of dragons and needs to get them from somewhere.
Yes, the second movie was written well before Race To The Edge was a thing and the director didn't care about making the two canon. But the inclusion of Race leaves several continuity problems.
Where are all the allies of Berk that would have no doubt come running if they heard that Hiccup was in trouble, like the Outsiders or the Defenders of the Wing?
The Bewilderbeast's control abilities were shown to work at distance. Most of Berk was unaware of the threat until it started taking their dragons... which would have included Terror Mail or the ability to get to Berk in a short period of time. It's mentioned by Snotlout that it takes a week to sail to Berk from the Edge.
This would also account for Berk's allies - the second movie took place over a few days at most. While it would be possible for Dagur or Heather to arrive fairly quickly due to dragons, if they were rallying the Berserkers to answer war summons they would be back home doing just that rather than flying off. For all we know they flew in, got the situation from Spitelout (or whoever was left in charge), then flew back to prepare Berserker Island for the coming storm and await a war council to coordinate their forces. Meanwhile, the Defenders of the Wing and Outcasts aren't actually dragon riders, limiting them to boat movement which would mean that even if they answered the summons they may not have shown up until after it was all over simply due to travel time.
Why does Hiccup in the movie show such confusion and bewilderment over the concept of "Dragon Trappers" when he fought Dragon Hunters under Riker, Viggo, and Krogan for at least five seasons? Krogan is especially confusing, because it's heavily implied that Krogan works for Drago himself, meaning that Hiccup should really know about people who capture and sell dragons given what was being foreshadowed!
This one it should be noted that there being trappers wasn't too doubted, it was just taken as deathly serious (and given the harm Viggo inflicted, they had every reason to even before Drago got name dropped). The army is a harder thing to explain; maybe it was the idea of an actual human-controlled massed dragon army like the Red Death's horde that was what confused them? After all, the Dragon Hunters only ever employed a limited number of dragons at any time, ditto the Outcasts, and neither of them were able to employ them as more than "release and hope they kill the enemy."
Why are Hiccup and Astrid confused at the concept of other Dragon Riders? The Berserkers and the Outcasts, not to mention the Dragon Hunters, all know how to tame and ride dragons, and that's leaving out that Berk has the Auxiliary Riders, so they know how to ride dragons too. Season seven even showed Krogan making his own Singetail Air Force!
The "Flyers", the main exception to the above "no real dragon army", essentially use their Singetails as slave mounts, rather than actually bonding. What confused Hiccup, presumably, was how Eret's description was someone actually flying WITH dragons as Berk does, rather than simply press ganging a few of them as the Flyers do. And it should be noted that the Flyers' mounts had no loyalty - the second they were released, they bolted.