Hiccup: You sure about this?
Astrid: No. But, it’s our only chance.
Hiccup: We’ll be shadowing you from the sky.
Astrid: I don’t need shadowing.
Hiccup: Just in case. You know, it’ll make me feel better.
Hi, Hoddock! I was just wondering, do you think Hiccup can kill people?
*evil cackle* Yes, I actually do. And I think that for both movie!Hiccup and book!Hiccup, though I will only talk about DreamWorks’ permutation of the character for now. Hiccup has the potential to be a killer.
That answer might not sound intuitive to most fans, and everyone is totally free to disagree with my perspective. After all, Hiccup is an incredibly pacifistic individual, someone so set on the values of peace that he forgets sometimes ideals cannot be attained. Hiccup attempts to reason with Drago, a man who brutally murdered an entire room full of powerful Viking chiefs because they refused to follow his lead. Hiccup tries to reason with a mass murderer rather than fight him. And even at the tender age of fifteen, Hiccup’s compassion for Toothless leads him to set the dragon free rather than kill his old war enemy in the trap. Hiccup is, in many ways, much more a peace-driven idealist than most people I know.
That sort of man seems very unlikely to kill.
Except that we have evidence favoring Hiccup’s potential.
Hiccup is a young man of necessity. He rises up to do what needs to be done. Ultimately, in How to Train Your Dragon 2, he stands to counter Drago in a fight at Berk. In the first movie, we also see Hiccup ride Toothless to try to rid Vikings of the Red Death.
So he kills the Red Death. Very tactically, very intentionally. Hiccup uses each and every one of Toothless’ shots to deal maximum damage to the dragon queen, targeting first the wings because “a downed dragon is a dead dragon.” Then he has Toothless turn around and fire a plasma blast into the Red Death’s mouth because they are “not so fireproof on the inside.” Hiccup and Toothless team together… to intentionally kill a dragon.
Not so long ago in the movie, Hiccup had stood up to his father and argued that this war needs to end. Hiccup argued the Vikings need to quit killing hundreds of dragons, that these creatures are misunderstood and unworthy of slaughter. This is an incredibly brave action, especially for Hiccup at this age. He already is of the very strong conviction that dragons are worth saving. However, Hiccup also perceives the Red Death as a negative power… and he knows that, in the Battle of the Red Death, either she survives or the Vikings. There is no “both” option. If he does not get rid of her, she will burn up each and every one of his Tribespeople. Consquently, Hiccup decides with seemingly no split conscience to kill the Red Death.
Maybe (or maybe not) someone might argue it’s a little different for a human to kill a colossal dragon as versus kill another man. I still believe that what Hiccup does with the Red Death is evidence that, if Hiccup were in a similar situation with a hugely dangerous human, he might do the same sort of thing. He would have to be hugely pressed, in a hugely tight situation, to make that sort of decision to kill, for Hiccup is someone who would spare peoples’ lives whenever possible. Yet if his entire Tribe is at stake… well… I believe the potential is there.
Furthermore, we see Hiccup display some incredibly drastic actions against Alvin the Terrible that demonstrate he has the ability to kill.
Incredibly drastic actions. I mean OH MY ODIN. If you stop and think about what’s actually going on, your heart drops.
The two moments to which I am referring are in “Heather Report Part 2″ and “We Are Family Part 2.” These moments show a little bit of Hiccup’s dark side. I talk about them already at the link, but I will elaborate here what these moments convey.
In “Heather Report Part 2,” Alvin holds Astrid over the edge of a cliff, threatening to drop her. Hiccup leans down to Toothless and murmurs, “
“Do it, bud.” The implication is, “Shoot Alvin.” True - we could mean shoot Alvin in a non-lethal spot, such as his foot, which is where Toothless has been aiming up to this point. Additionally, we have seen Toothless’ plasma blasts can range in impact from harmful to freakishly frightfully deadly (see start of this post). However, it still is very possible that Hiccup, by telling Toothless to shoot Alvin, acknowledged he could kill his enemy by this decision. Hiccup makes a very intentional move that has a decently high likelihood of killing another person.
I don’t believe this moment is merely the decision to try to knock Alvin over. Hiccup has no qualms with physical actions such as these in fights against his enemy. This moment, though, Hiccup’s face is far graver, and the atmosphere is far more intense, suggesting he is considering doing something that he usually would not speculate upon.
In fact, if you look at Hiccup’s facial expression, you see some very interesting reactions. His eyes at first are wide, scared, and uncertain. But these slowly resolve into a very determined, intense, set frown, not at all a pleasant one. He is steeling himself up for his decision. He knows the gravity of what he’s about to say and do. And when Hiccup tells Toothless to shoot, the dragon rears on his hind legs, his mouth begins to glow red, and it looks at least like the dragon is facing straight forward… straight for Alvin.
I think Hiccup meant for Alvin to go in this scene.
Even if that scene can be explained away that Hiccup and Toothless would only injure Alvin to free Astrid (and that argument totally can be made), we still have to account for “We Are Family Part 2,” which is probably the most frightful scene when it comes to Hiccup’s dark side. After Hiccup and Toothless escape imprisonment, they have the ability to go home and leave Outcast Island. However, as soon as Alvin starts taunting Hiccup, the boy’s face crunches into a dark frown, and he jump on Toothless to attack Alvin. This is not a defensive move. Rather, it’s outright offensive aggression. Hiccup is intentionally attacking Alvin to harm him out of anger and revenge.
And since Hiccup is not someone who could physically match Alvin, he is probably flying aggressively straight toward Alvin to shoot him. In fact, we see Toothless basically divebombing Alvin, and we start to hear the screen of a Night Fury preparing to fire. Right. at. Alvin.
Oh my freaking Thor.
Hiccup is aggressively divebombing Alvin with the intent to plasma blast him. And we know what happens when Toothless screeches and then delivers that blow.
*sings “Stoick Saves Hiccup” softly for a moment*
Hiccup can become dangerous when his loved ones are threatened, such as Toothless and Astrid were threatened in these two episodes. I believe that, in these instances where those he cares about are in such mortal danger, Hiccup would definitely have the potential to kill another human. He essentially tries right here! Had circumstances played out slightly differently, Alvin would be dead.
No, it is not Hiccup’s default. I do not want to make this kid out to be a murderous madman. No no no no no. He’s the exact opposite: an amazing hero whose ultimate goal is to be a voice of peace to the entire Barbaric Archipelago. I admire Hiccup for his determination to end violence and construct a bloodless world; he is far more noble a man in this regard than nearly everyone i have met. This is who he is. He usually does not let passion overtake him, and he usually seeks peaceful or at least non-harmful means of subduing his enemies when he has the choice. However, I do not want to call Hiccup a completely innocent lamb, either; he has his faults, and thus in the right circumstances, pushed for the very right reasons… he could kill.
I really, really think he could.
The last thing I will simply say is this: There were probably many casualties in Battle of the Bewilderbeast. Hiccup entered the center of the fray, riding in on Toothless and shooting some careful and strategic plasma blasts. All of his shots are toward Drago’s war machines rather than the people themselves - good, smart bloke. Still, I would be highly surprised if no casualties resulted. No matter how much he may have attempted to block his enemies rather than end them, it is very unlikely there was no blood spilt. Come on. This is a battle. Hiccup is fighting in it. He’s grown up in a rather brutal, war-centered culture and violence happens.
Look at these two screencaps really closely, and you can see that one of the men near the war machine Hiccup attacks is probably consumed in fire. The fireburst in the screencap I am showing is only just beginning to billow, to give you the idea.
The guy second on the left of the blasted tower is who I’m talking about.
Other moments Hiccup shoots war machines are more difficult to tell if someone gets hit or not.
Still, given what we see in Battle of the Bewilderbeast, it’s very possible that Hiccup has killed people already.
For that matter, what about the rest of the youths? We see Ruffnut and Tuffnut light Zippleback gas on fire right in the midst of many men.
I don’t want to call Hiccup a killer, but he could be.
In Dragons Riders of Berk Hiccup shelters Heather in his home and lets her sleep in his bed, something that Astrid is shown to be upset about. Would Hiccup's kindness towards Heather have had repercussions towards not only him but to Astrid and Heather as well?
Are we talking…in terms of reputation? Like, “Ooh…she slept in his bed, and Astrid hasn’t been there yet…ooh…SCANDALOUS!”
Because…Interestingly enough…No. Though I think there’s a whole level of potential here that the fandom has not yet tapped. It’s understandable. Until this point, the argument has been over whether Astrid was jealous or suspicious. And there has (I believe) been a related argument over whether Hiccup had a crush or was being just a nice person. I personally side with the latter in both cases, but that’s neither here nor there. We get so caught up in how they feel, that we forget about the social implications. And in forgetting the social implications, we fail to realize potential character motivation.
Hiccup did the right thing in sheltering Heather and putting her in his own bed. Yeah. I said it. But Astrid is also totally justified in not liking it.
I hope this hasn't been asked before but aah what the hey- what are your thoughts on the fact that Hiccup never actually apologized to Astrid at the end of the Heather Report?
Oooh! Thank you for asking this because I don’t think I’ve ever gotten to address it on tumblr before. I have lots on DA, so I’ll be referencing old conversations. First and foremost:
Hiccup Didn’t Need To Apologize.
Nobody freak out!
This is something I think a disturbing portion of the fandom never considered. Hiccup got too much blame for his interactions with Heather and Astrid got too much praise.
I don’t blame Hiccup for not trusting Astrid’s judgement. It wasn’t even that he didn’t trust her, he was just calling her out on her behavior—which was, if you look at it objectively (i.e. not with the knowledge we already have about Heather), marginally inappropriate towards Heather. She was rude, distrusting, and standoffish for no other reason than dislike.
Now, I’m fine with Astrid behaving that way, particularly if she’s usually hostile towards outsiders. Astrid has a weird beacon in her brain that lights up on the first whiff of any sort of deceit (remember the movie??).
What I’m notfine with is people calling Hiccup an idiot for choosing to defend Heather up until the point when her true intentions are revealed. In fact, anything else would have been out of character for him. He’s not stupidly trusting; he’s an empathetic young man who wanted to help a girl who was alone (something he could relate to); a girl was also enthusiastic about dragons, open to learning about dragons outside of trying to kill them, and also had some mechanical know-how.
Hiccup wasn’t even that interested in Heather outside of being genuinely friendly and wanting to help someone in need. And Heather had no romantic interests in anyone. Astrid’s jealousy, if it can even be called that, was fueled by the other teens’ teasing more than any suspicions regarding romance between Hiccup and Heather. She was annoyed Hiccup didn’t jump to take her side on something that she had nothing to back up other than an attitude.
Her “are you serious?“ line in Hiccup’s room was out of line (something I realized watching the episode slowly to write the transcript). She felt victimized when she had no right to be—like the writers were trying to force our sympathy for Astrid right then and, unfortunately, it worked on some people.
So, Astrid totally jumped the gun in treating Heather like a criminal and because we, the audience, knew Heather was a spy, no one called foul on that.
It wasn’t until Astrid had hard proof of Heather’s lies that Hiccup believed her. All Astrid had to do was tell Hiccup what she saw and Hiccup was on her side.
I suggest trying to watch the Heather Report while knowing what only the characters know, and not what the audience knows. Hiccup was being overly optimistic, Astrid was being a brat.
Don’t get me wrong—I loved that episode for characterization. I thought Hiccup and Astrid were both more like their movie personas than most other episodes. I just didn’t like how the viewers were predisposed to dislike Heather and be on Astrid’s side before the episode even aired. We had weeks of false hype about a rival love interest to the point where most fans were all ready to support Astrid without even knowing the plot.
It’s actually rather interesting, because in the movie we were all on Team Hiccup without giving much thought to Astrid’s (or Vikings’) side of things. In the episode we were clearly herded towards giving Astrid sympathy without giving much thought to Hiccup.
Now, was Hiccup wrong for reserving harsh judgement towards Heather until he had some sort of proof that she was doing something bad? Wrong or right, it was at least Hiccup. Dangerously sympathetic. It might not have been smart, but it was definitely in line with his character. Just like it was in character for Astrid to get huffy and suspicious with no real proof other than hunches, and treat the victim of her suspicions with hostility.
But at the end of the day, Astrid didn’t really earn an apology. She earned the right to say ‘I told you so’ and that’s it.
Can you discuss the parallels between Toohless and Astrid in Terrible Twos and Heather report? Hiccup trusts someone else over them and both feel jealous and hurt over it.
Good Odin! What a great parallel! I bet you could write a great analysis yourself, being as it looks you have thought over the similarities yourself.
For you are so totally one hundred percent right. There are enormous parallels between these two moments in Hiccup’s life. Hiccup hospitably welcomes a newcomer to Berk into his own home, quickly trusts them, and forms a firm but inaccurate assessment of this visitor. Hiccup narrows his viewpoint quickly of Torch and Heather and believes he knows them well - that they are exactly who he thinks they are. So set is he on this mental framework that this longstanding companions, Toothless and Astrid, cannot convince him they have seen evidence that the newcomer is not as initially seen. Hiccup, because he lacks the visual evidence himself, discounts his friends as jealous people who are not thinking clearly. He is hurt they do not take his word for it, and he wishes that everyone could all get along.
It really is fascinating, in its own way. Hiccup essentially makes the same mistake twice within the course of a few months. He trusts a newcomer over the word of his friends.
And good Thor the more I look at these episodes, the more I wonder if there’s anything different between them!