Soulmate AU “Funny how I finally got what I always wanted, but it was given to you instead.”
Warnings: mentions of blood, maybe swearing?
Word count: 3109
A/N: I am so happy I finally managed to post this! I know I’ve been missing from tumblr but school has been really busy and guess what? I AM NOW A CERTIFIED POLYGLOT!!! aaaaaaaagh! I’m so happy because I Invested so much time into this certification for the past few weeks (hence, my absence from tumblr) but I’m finally done and winter break is near, so I hope you’ll get another chapter really soon
How about an episode where Astrid is captured by Dagur? Watch her manipulate him to get herself out of there. Also, get to see what Hiccup's reaction would be when Astrid is in danger.
So if Astrid is the one who gets herself out of the danger, then that could be a good episode showing her strengths. Could be fun and really empowering to her, giving her the spotlight on her intelligence and strengths! However, I am not someone who is immediately sold on Astrid being captured by a significant enemy because the How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise has a somewhat questionable record of Hiccup saving Astrid a lot more than Astrid saving Hiccup. I don’t want to shoot your idea down at all because it could be total utter legitimate fun, yet here is why I feel a little hesitant about the idea myself.
Check out my list of times Hiccup and Astrid have saved each other. I am only giving this list off the top of my head, so I could totally be wrong, but this what immediately comes to mind.
Times Hiccup Saved Astrid:
How to Train Your Dragon. In “Battle of the Red Death,” Hiccup flies in at the last second and has Toothless shoot a plasma blast before the Red Death sucks Astrid and Stormfly into her mouth.
Heather Report Part 2. Hiccup does not save Astrid, but she is helpless in Alvin’s hands as he’s about to drop her off the edge of a cliff. If Astrid’s new Monstrous Nightmare had not swept in to save the day, Hiccup would have been her savior. He was, at least, pitted in the position where he had the power to save her, so that’s why I am listing it here.
Fright of Passage. After Astrid gets paralyzed by the Flightmare’s spray, Hiccup knocks her over so the dragon does not collide with her.
Cast Out Part 1. Snotlout’s fire during their drill causes Astrid to fall from Stormfly. Hiccup catches her as she plummets to the ground.
Dragon Eye of the Beholder Part 1. Astrid falls into the water and Hiccup pulls her out before the eels get her.
Dragon Eye of the Beholder Part 2. Astrid and the gang are all trapped in a cage. Hiccup gets them out before it sinks into the ocean.
Imperfect Harmony (wait is this THREE EPISODES IN A ROW). Hiccup gets Astrid and the other characters out of the Death Song’s amber cocoons.
How to Train Your Dragon 2. Astrid falls off Stormfly when they see Eret’s destroyed fort and Hiccup catches her.
How to Train Your Dragon 2. At least once if not twice in Battle of the Bewilderbeast, Hiccup saves Astrid.
Times Astrid Saved Hiccup:
How to Train Your Dragon. Astrid throws Hiccup to the ground in the Cove when Toothless approaches. Note this is not a “real save” because Toothless was never dangerous.
How to Train Your Dragon. Astrid throws a hammer at the Monstrous Nightmare when Hiccup is running from it in the Kill Ring. Note that this is just a small stunt in the scheme of things; it really is Toothless who defends Hiccup the most thoroughly and notably in this scene, not Astrid.
Dragon Down. In the first Riders of Berk comic, Hiccup gets captured by the Outcasts. Astrid flies down on Stormfly, cuts Hiccup’s bonds, and flies him off Alvin’s ship.
Imperfect Harmony. Astrid takes the Deathsong’s fire in place of Hiccup. As nice of a sacrificial moment as this is, this puts Astrid in vulnerability with the rest of the gang for the remainder of the episode, and Hiccup has to go back and save her.
The point of the matter is, there aren’t many times Astrid has saved herself. She has had Stormfly help her off from the side of a cliff in Dragon Eye of the Beholder Part 2 and things like that, but we don’t see her going around saving herself a lot. When she does get saved, it’s almost always by Hiccup… minus the one exception where Eret helps free her and the gang on Drago’s ship.
The reverse is not true. When Hiccup is in trouble, he very frequently is saved by Toothless or other dragons. He also gets himself out of danger many times. Hiccup is put in dangerous positions, but in “We Are Family Part 2″ he gets himself out of the jail. In “Alvin and the Outcasts” he outsmarts Alvin when he’s got a sword at his back. In “We Are Family Part 1,” Toothless gets him out of the crumbling cave. In “We Are Family Part 2,” the other dragons take him and Toothless away when Alvin nets them. In “The Flight Stuff,” Gustav and Snotlout save him from nets again. In “How to Train Your Dragon,” Toothless saves him from falling to his death at the end of the big battle. In “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” Stoick and Toothless save Hiccup in momentous moments. And there are numerous, almost countless times Toothless has protected Hiccup from quarrels, arrows, fire, dragons, and more throughout the series.
Frankly, from what I can remember off the top of my head, there is really only one big time that Astrid directly, momentously saves Hiccup. And that is in the graphic novels, which frankly are not as well distributed as the television series and movies.
Hiccup and Astrid are both in trouble a lot in the shows, but it feels a little… shall I say feministically awkward?… that Hiccup saves Astrid a lot, that Astrid is almost never pitted as Hiccup’s savior, and that when Hiccup does get saved, it’s by other men?
There is nothing wrong with Hiccup saving Astrid. There is also nothing wrong with Astrid being captured. However, the simple premise of Astrid getting captured makes me a little nervous about how it would be handled from a perspective of female representation. Even if Astrid ends up saving herself in this hypothetical episode (which invariably is what I would want!), I still wonder how that would be perceived.
DreamWorks Dragons does some really great things with their female characters. There is great character variety and deep emotional depth in the women, for instance. I adore the franchise for this and many other reasons. In other areas, though, there is still some weakness. Captured Astrid could be very fun. I could legitimately enjoy seeing it (After all, I’ve said I wouldn’t enjoy many things, then turned out to enjoy them once I saw them). Simply, though, if I had my vote, I’d love for them to have someone else in trouble that does not have the danger of touching this sort of unequal gender treatment.
After going through a gif set of astrid's axe(s) I was wondering if you could explain them/it, because although they all have the same designs, they seem to be different sizes (especially in HTTYD2 where the handle is way longer).
For people who want to look at that gif set, it is here.
You’ve got quite acute observation skills! I never even noticed the changes in her axe through time!
I believe that Astrid owns multiple axes throughout her life. There are two axes in particular that she has: the one we see in HTTYD, and the one we see in HTTYD 2. Astrid, once she grows older and matures into a woman, gets a new axe that fits with her size, strength, and abilities.
I do believe that the axe she owns from childhood up through Race to the Edge is the same axe. When you see her holding the axe in the Defenders of Berk flashback, in HTTYD Dragon Training, and in Race to the Edge when she practices with Heather, the axe has a very distinct pattern.
This axe has two circular, silver bolts on the blades of the axe, attaching the metal to the wood. The wood then has two sets of silver bolts, too, one of which is above her hand in the picture, the other below. She also has wrapped some leather around the handle.
Now if you look at the flashback picture of Astrid, the axe has the exact same design. It’s not just similar, it’s a duplicate. It is hard to say whether or not the axe is smaller; without a good direct reference, I’m inclined to believe that the axe is the same size. From a meta-world perspective, the animators would have just taken the axe object they had created for teenaged Astrid’s axe in Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk; this means that the axe object would have been the same size once they plopped it into child!Astrid’s hands. And I think that, given the images and gifs we see of Astrid’s axe in Riders of Berk, that it is the very same one she owns in How to Train Your Dragon.
And then when you look at screencaps of Race to the Edge, you see that identical design again.
That definitely has to be the same axe.
The first time we see Astrid get a new axe, it is in How to Train Your Dragon 2. Sometime between the events of Race to the Edge and the second movie, she acquires a new axe.
We can tell this one is different. Even though the blades are shaped very similarly, the axe is obviously constructed differently. We don’t have the two bolts in the middle of the axe anymore. Instead, we have a separate, darker metal running horizontally across the axe blades, and there are lots of bolts keeping it in place. We don’t have those silver bolts in the handle, either. Every single part of this axe differs from the one she had in HTTYD, ROB, DOB, and RTTE.
I think it is cool that Astrid received a new axe once she enters adulthood. We could even happily headcanon Hiccup made it for her if we want. ;) We do know from a deleted HTTYD scene called “Axe to Grind” that her first axe was her mother’s. I imagine that child!Astrid in “Fright of Passage” grabbed her mother’s axe even though it wasn’t hers. By How to Train Your Dragon times, she was using her mother’s axe all the time for training; her mother essentially gave it to her even though everyone in the family knew it was technically mom’s. This axe worked perfectly as Astrid honed her fighting skills and grew in strength.
But one thing we notice is that Astrid’s older axe is smaller than her latest. I wonder if her mother’s axe is more of a “training sized” axe for Vikings, just like we have half-sized violins for beginning child violinists. Astrid’s mother kept her old childhood axe as a back-up and as a family possession, but Mrs. Hofferson probably entered battle with a much thicker weapon. That allowed Astrid to use the axe all the time without interfering with Mom’s warrior life… but that also meant that Astrid outgrew her weapon. Astrid as an adult is a powerful, athletic woman, and she can now handle an even larger axe. She gets herself a really nice one - the one we see in HTTYD 2 - which is meant to be Her Axe for Life. It is her final “professional model,” not the “training axe” we have seen before.
Of course her old axe was still a very good axe. It wasn’t necessarily a wimpy beginner’s axe. But the axe that Astrid has now is even more fit for who she is now.
All the Viking axes are going to have similar designs, variations upon a theme. They’ll use what they know works. So it makes sense that Astrid’s axe designs are similar, especially since she’s become accustomed to fighting with a certain type of weapon.
Her old axe is still going to be at home resting respectfully in a corner. She possibly picks it up and nostalgically goes out in the woods to practice with it from time to time. When she and Hiccup have their daughter, it’s likely she’ll pass on the axe to that little girl and teach her the ways of Viking fighting.
I am so glad you've decided to open asks again! I'm still reeling with the fact that you got done with the ones you had XD. Anyway, this has been nagging me for a while, how do you think the teens each react to peer pressure? Thank you!
This is an interesting question! I feel like their reactions change over time, as it does with any of us as we grow up. I will probably focus a bit more when they are in their earlier teens as versus the later. It’s a bit more interesting that way. Studies in psychology show how teenagers go through a period of life where they are very concerned with how their peers perceive them, so it only makes sense to talk about these HTTYD youths when it’s the most relevant to their personal development!
Hiccup’s story in HTTYD is, in many ways, an indirect story about peer pressure and societal expectations. It’s even more obvious in the books, but the elements are all there in the film and Riders of Berk. Hiccup desires to be like the other Vikings: he wants to be big, strong, and fight dragons. Hiccup clearly cares about how the other youths perceive him, for he complains to Gobber that he needs to get out and kill a dragon so that everything about his life can change - “I might even get a date.”
Hiccup is fully aware of how unpopular he is with his peers, and it eats at him. When Gobber tries to coach Hiccup, the youth says in turn, “I just want to be one of you guys.”
The point of the matter is, Hiccup’s desires to be accepted by his peers is not what he should be so concerned about. Gobber, an older adult who has already handled this problem and psychologically developed beyond it decades ago, has the answer: “the point is, stop trying so hard to be something you’re not.” He’s right. Hiccup really should not care about fitting into the crowd and fitting into his peer group.
The first How to Train Your Dragon movie helps Hiccup escape from that peer pressure. Whereas the taunting from the other youths hurts him at first, and Hiccup feels horrible because of it, over time Hiccup cares less and less what he thinks. He follows their ideas less and less. He quits conforming to the crowd once he finds happiness in Toothless.
Back in the day, if Hiccup heard a peer tell him to do something, he’d probably bend under that pressure rather quickly. By the end of HTTYD, Hiccup is willing to stand under the pressure of the entire tribe. He would rather show them that they’re wrong fighting dragons in the Kill Ring than bend under society’s expectations that he kills a dragon.
From then on, we see Hiccup handle peer pressure increasingly better. You still seem some residual problems and insecurities in Riders of Berk. However, even by Defenders of Berk, Hiccup is quite confident in who he is. Instead of bending under peer pressure, he has no problem exerting his perspective and view.
Astrid handles peer pressure in an interesting way: she gets angry and tries her best to overachieve beyond it.
We see this as early as the first HTTYD movie. When Tuffnut points out that Hiccup is becoming better in the ring than Astrid, she glares. She becomes increasingly frustrated and throws herself head-first into improving. Astrid is feeling the pressure of achievement, knowing that the other youths will comment on it. While no one in her peer group is forcing her to be the best, it still is a form of peer pressure: once people know that you’re good, it hurts a lot when they see someone else do better.
The same thing happens in “Fright of Passage.” Astrid is feeling pressure as people wonder how she and the other Hoffersons will react to the return of the Flightmare. She hates the tarnished Hofferson family name. In order to compensate, then, Astrid boldly throws herself straight at the dragon, trying to fight it herself - even though she’s only about sixteen!
There are many areas, though, where peer pressure does not seem to perturb her. When Astrid is confident in herself, she is able to dismiss the pressure and remember that she is competent. If someone like Snotlout were to directly confront her and try to get her to do something, she’d pretty easily refuse. But when the pressure hits at a weak point, an imperfection, she goes all out, all fiery, all competitive, trying to rectify that problem.
Tuffnut remains unperturbed. Almost nothing ruffles him, and he could hardly care less about what his peers think of him.
Consequently, it takes a lot for Tuffnut to bend under peer pressure. It usually involves a lot of glares from everyone on the team, and everyone ganging up against him, for him to consider their point. Then, and only then, might he consider doing what his peers want him to do.
For the most part, though, Tuffnut is impressively impervious to peer pressure.
What I find fascinating about Ruffnut is that she does not grow better handling peer pressure. In some ways, she grows worse. It’s hard to say for certain because the early canon materials do not expand upon the depth of her character; it’s only later, such as in Race to the Edge, that her full complexity is revealed.
From what we can see, though, it seems as though Ruffnut is just as unconcerned about peer pressure at a young age as Tuffnut. She and her brother enjoy screwing around in front of Hiccup and the Dragon Academy members, and in many ways, they seem to be intentionally screwing with them. Ruffnut will be brought into line if Hiccup comments on how distracted they are, but she’s always willing to diverge again. She’ll be disobedient when she can, but she will also listen to avoid making situations tense. So it’s goof off when she can get away with it and not have people angry at her, essentially.
By the time of Race to the Edge, though, we can see that, internally, Ruffnut seems to be struggling with a few emotional difficulties. It’s not direct peer pressure, but it is about how her peers perceive her. Ruffnut does not like the fact that everyone seems to admire Astrid’s strength and courage, but don’t see the genius in what Ruffnut does.
It means that I think Ruffnut would remain pretty chill outwardly during incidences of direct peer pressure. However, inside, she might be fighting off some insecurities and unhappy thoughts.
Fishlegs is pretty obviously easily swayed by peer pressure. It is easy for other youths to convince him to do something they want him to do. Oftentime, all it takes is a glare, or saying his name irately, and Fishlegs will fall into line. Fishlegs might squeak nervously or come up with reasons for why he does not want to do a certain task, but he’ll always do it.
Hiccup and company get Fishlegs to lure a Screaming Death to another island using dragon root.
Stoick knows to ask Fishlegs for questions first out of all the youths because Fishlegs is the most likely to bend and give answers.
Hiccup and company get Fishlegs to do all sorts of things.
Hiccup even has to lecture Fishlegs on how not to fall under pressure. During “Live and Let Fly,” he and his companions do a mock inquisition, pretending that Fishlegs has been captured by the Outcasts, who want Hooligan secrets. Even though this is a completely safe simulation, Fishlegs blurts out answers immediately. He spews out even more information than what they asked for. Hiccup firmly reminds Fishlegs that he needs to learn to stand his ground and not fall under the pressure.
For Fishlegs has problems with pressure not only from enemies… but also some simple glares from friends.
Snotlout actually is pretty heavily swayed by peer pressure. He just pretends he’s not.
Snotlout is very sensitive about how he appears to others. He always brags about himself, puffs himself up, and tries to make himself look good… because he cares about his public perception. He wants his peers to think well of him and admire him. He wants to be acknowledged. It means that, when his peers look down on him, Snotlout feels uncomfortable.
Usually when Snotlout receives pressure from the youths around him, he changes his actions accordingly… but he’ll try to make excuses for why he does it. Snotlout tries to pretend that he always meant to do it, trying to make it seem like he is not doing anything because of peer pressure. At the very least, he’ll grumble. Of course that’s not the truth - the reason Snotlout succumbs to peer pressure is because he has been pressured, and because he doesn’t want the others to look ill on him.
In fact, when Snotlout does not succumb to peer pressure is usually when he is too oblivious to notice that people are trying to pressure him. He also gets better as he grows older. Snotlout holds more firmly to his own ideas and voice by the time of Race to the Edge. It’s subtle, but it’s present.
If I found satan anywhere it would be by the tracks
Trading souls of kids like me for cheap bags of smack
When I find satan there you know I won’t be thinking twice
Cause at least in hell there’s rock ‘n roll and ain’t no jesus christ
Arthur had absolutely no intention of falling asleep next to
his brother on the hospital bed. Truly, his pride would never have allowed for
it, such behaviour was both unbecoming and deeply embarrassing. But the truth
was that he did fall asleep and very
soundly at that. Something about the cold and the worry and the charm and
anxiety had drained his energy away entirely, nevermind the poor night’s sleep
before, or the excitement and activity of yesterday.