httyd2 art book


HTTYD/TrollHunters xover

James “Jim” grew up in the Northwestern of the Archipelagoes: Arcadia. Arcadia didn’t suffer fire and Dragons. They suffered cold, and rock, and trolls.  Trollhunting was revered, much as dragon hunting was to the south, as serpents were to the seas…

James, himself, wasn’t particularly passionate about trollhunting, even though it was a revered art, even though his own missing father was rumored to have been one of the greats, even though the weedy heir of a southern island had more talent and skill for it than he. James would have much rather spent his time cooking. He just wanted to cook, and spend his time in the warmth of a kitchen. He wanted to explore the southern and western and eastern lands and find new ingredients. He certainly didn’t want to stumble across an amulet that would overturn his world.

So James learns that peace between humans and trolls is entirely possible and it might just fall on him to bring it about…  Along the way, he has a couple altercations with a familiar heir, now turned Dragon Rider, who had always had an upstart talent for trollhunting in his youth…

In another life they may have gotten along, but some people are almost too similar.

[considering doing a coloring contest?]

Young Valka

young valka’s clothes are in the art book, the only thing different i think is that she wears a yellow shirt in the movie (did she wear the same shirt for 20 years?? probably) 


THANK YOU.  Wow, you are a little godsend, aren’t you?

I think it might be the same yellow shirt for 20 years. I have a headcanon that neither Hiccup nor Valka have a talent for cooking (though Hiccup is at least decent) but both have gifts or outfit creating.  Valka’s good at working with what she has.


So this is part two of the images found in The Art of DreamWorks Animation How to Train Your Dragon 2 section. 

Part one 

The first two pictures are spread across two pages and the box reads:

“I’ve always been interested in the North and South Poles, and the movie gave us the opportunity to head north, deep into the Arctic, and explore the vast, beautiful wilderness of the North Pole. We took an amazing research team to Svalbard which is the last spot of land up north, and it was crawling with polar bears”

  -Dean DeBlois, Director

close up:

I’ve stated before my head canon that Eret did not just go off on his own one day, become a dragon trapper, and stumbled on Drago. (Despite the fact the fandom seems convinced this is what happened.)

I’m kind of used to not being listened to… but in this case, I have proof. So, I’ll just put this here, and maybe someone WILL listen.

See the two ships I circled? They’re the same build as…

Hey!! That’s Eret’s ship!!

“Okay, so what. Two ships in Drago’s fleet doesn’t mean much.” 

Well, I’m glad you mentioned that, because…

And, OH! Would you look in the bottom left corner. That soldier is dressed in the style of Eret’s tribe.

Okay, some of those ships are probably repeats. So, let’s say it’s five ships. 

Iggyfing (who also encouraged me to make this post), pointed out that the different mast designs in the HTTYD2 art book  feature different animals. Running with a headcanon I have that Eret’s tribe is divided into subtribes, or families, each represent by a different animal. 

Eret’s is, obviously, the owl. 

But, back to my theory. For those who missed my previous posts on the subject… 

I don’t think Eret struck out on his own. 

I think Drago has been working his way around the Archipelago, and the surrounding areas. Including Eret’s tribe… which is probably located somewhere between Scotland and the archipelago, originally made up of nomads who migrated from the Sami area, and there must be some Saxon in there, considering his accent. (Thank you for throwing that curve ball, DeBlois.)

Like all the surrounding areas, they’ve been plagued by dragons for longer than anyone can remember. And one day, a stranger shows up. He carries no weapons, and he speaks softly. Saying that he can control the dragons. He can protect them… if they follow him. 

And they agree. Not realizing that what they’re agreeing to is indentured servitude. All capable men are drafted into his army. Forced to serve as payment for his protection. 

Eret is a boy. But his father is a dragon trapper. Or, at the very least, is one of the most skilled defenders the tribe has had against the dragons. So Eret senior is given a special task. Help build Drago’s army. Eret trains under his father. Learns the trade. Develops his skills. And takes over when his father dies.

But, hey, it’s better than being a part of Drago’s armada. At least, this way, he has some freedom.

*sigh* I’m better at summary headcanons than using photo evidence. 

Anyway. Carry on!

Part 1 of my birthday present to @oh–you–pretty–things :D

Happy birthday!!

Notes - I visualized Hiccup as not wearing his flight suit during this scene, as I imagined Stoick managed to get that, too, away from him, in an attempt to further seal his fate on land for the day (also to ease Astrid and co. into dragon stuff, little things at a time…) Astrid’s outfit (which you can’t see a whole lot of here) is based off a few unused designs in the HTTYD2 art book. That red haired man behind Astrid is not Hoff, but just a random Meathead.

This was fun to do (and I got to explore a new program). I’ve lost steam tho so let me know if you’d like to see the remaining two pages and I’ll finish them :)

EDIT: Crap! Forgot to link the chapter 5 of A Marriage of Very Little Convenience by oh–you–pretty–things. GO read itttt…..


LIES DOWN AND CRIES A LOT BC I FOUND THE FUNKOPOP! HICCUP TODAY AND BOUGHT IT– I spent the whole afternoon spamming my twitter feed and my friends on snapchat /sorry not sorry

I love how the mini fig kinda works really well, kinda like a mesh up of book!&movie! toothless

Grown up Berk Teens – Sketch version with heights

  • I’m sorry for the cruddy outfits
  • Snotlout started braiding his beard as soon as he could because if he can't be chief, and he can’t be as tall as a chief, then, thor-damnit, he’s going to have a chief beard.
  • Fishlegs’ fanny pack has evolved into some crazy backpack like contraption
  • Ruffnut cut her hair off because I love it too much like that.

Feel free to color if you want.  Lawwwd knows I won’t.


“Merida will be a leader - a great leader - in her own right, in her own way. She doesn’t have to do it the same way her mom did it, but she needs to acquire a little more wisdom and judgment. The journey she takes with Mum-Bear helps her do that. It sets her priorities straight.” 
- Brenda Chapman, The Art of Brave

“Eret is a swashbuckling, northern pirate; he’s a world-class trapper and he knows it. He surrounds himself with goons so he can shine as their boss. We referenced Mafia movies and pegged Eret as the guy who enforces things. He’s not the top guy and, in fact, he doesn’t want to run the operation; he just wants to make his profit and get out.”
- Simon Otto, The Art of How To Train Your Dragon 2

(I think we’ve established that I’m shameless in my shipping, yes? So no one should be surprised.) 

Okay. Down to business. 

I got the HTTYD2 art book last Christmas, before I really came to appreciate *coughobsessovercough* Eret son of Eret. But once he caught my attention, this quote really became the foundation of everything I do with Eret. Both in my headcanons and analyses, and in the Mereta ship.

Part of Eret’s posturing is, I believe, born from the complete lack of control he has over his own life. I’m not saying he doesn’t have an ego. He absolutely, definitely does. 

But it’s also because he has no one to challenge him. Among his men, there’s no one to poke fun at him. This was intentional on his part, whether he’s aware of it or not. So his ego has been allowed to run free. Save for the whole Drago thing. 

After he recovered from the brand, I suspect his bluster increased so he wouldn’t have to dwell on what happened - even though it’s always at the back of his mind.  “I’m Eret, son of Eret. Finest dragon trapper alive.” …except when he fails to meet quota.

Okay, okay, sorry. This isn’t supposed to be an Eret meta - there’s just so much about his character to unpack. 

But, like I said, he has no one to challenge him. He’s superior to his crew in every respect. He’s taller, more attractive, is probably stronger, more skilled, and smarter. (His intelligence is relative here, of course. While he has street smarts, of course, when it comes to actual intellect, he pales in comparison to Hiccup.)

When I first started thinking about the Merida/Eret ship in my head, I realized that Merida is never going to let him get away with that. She may never be as strong as him (it’s physically impossible), but she makes up for it in her own way. Her skill with a bow matches, if it doesn’t exceed, his skill with a sword. And we know, for that matter, she’s not bad with a sword herself. (I still hold with my headcanon that some someday Eret’s going to put a short sword in her hand, and heaven help anyone who dares get in her way after that day.) Their intelligence is different, but on a similar level. 

The same could be said of their pride.

“I am Eret, son of Eret.” 

“I am Merida. First born decedent of clan DunBroch.” 

She’s not going to take his blustering. She’ll go toe to toe with him. Without blinking. With out considering he’s almost twice her size. Posturing, and brovado, does not impress Merida. Action does. 

(This is where it becomes important that “finest dragon trapper alive” isn’t just something Eret throws around. It’s why I’m glad the quote points out that “he’s a world class dragon trapper - and he knows it”. Eret may brag, but he has the skills to back up that braggadocio. 

And, while I’m on the subject… This is the difference between Eret and the young Lord Macintosh. Someone once argued against Mereta saying that Merida would have the same reaction to Eret that she did to Macintosh. But the difference here is that Eret can back up his claims. Macintosh gives no indication of having any platform to stand on. 

And Merida’s sarcastic “that’s attractive” comes when Macintosh throws his fit - and his bow - because his shot was so poor. 

Eret’s ego - while inflated - isn’t because he’s a spoiled child. It’s because he’s worked hard, he’s gotten good, and he knows it. In Macintosh’s position at the games - well, first, he would be more concerned with actually aiming than with trying to look cool while doing so. Second, if he did miss, then instead of throwing a tantrum, he would pull out another arrow and take another shot. Something I think would impress Merida.)

But I digress. Back to Merida challenging Eret’s self-made “I’m so cool” pedestal.

Outside of Drago’s abuse, Eret’s not used to being challenged. 

For that matter, he’s not used to being teased. 

And Merida is merciless in her teasing. (Exhibit A: her and her father’s commentary on the suitors during the games. And, of course, the “aww, wee lamb” comment.) I guarantee none of Eret’s men would dare tease their boss the way Merida and Fergus tease everyone. In Merida’s world, if you can’t take a good ribbing, well… that’s your problem. (Exhibit B: the way Merida laughed at Fergus when his hunting bird attacked him.)

Away from Drago’s control, and the very real stress of losing his head, Eret will probably relax, learn how to take that ribbing. 

We know from the end of HTTYD2 that he is capable of humility. So, once he’s challenged - and once someone proves that they can go toe to toe - he’ll accept that. If he can back his bluster up, he will require any challenger to do the same.

It might chafe at first, since he’s not used to someone else being on his level. Especially by a girl who’s half his size. But it will be easier to accept in a situation where someone isn’t completely challenging his worldview. 

By simply being herself, and without trying to change him (<– this is very important), Merida’s teasing is going to call him ou. Eret’s ego will deflate once he’s not the most brilliant person (or the largest personality) in the room. And Merida’s personality is a match for his. It might even be bigger. (Though it’s balanced by their physical size difference.) 

Eret, meanwhile, is going to be a steadying influence on Merida. He’s a few years older, and more mature (by some definition…). Seeing that will subconciously draw out a new level of maturity in Merida,  if only so she can hold that place as his equal. If she acts like a child running at the heels of an adult, there is no equality there. It doesn’t matter how well she can shoot a bow. 

(Exhibit C: the fact we see Eret holding a random Berkian child in the end of HTTYD2 has lead to my headcanon that, once free from Drago, Eret will be keenly interested in settling down with his own family. A concept that will terrify Merida at first… but will probably grow on her once she finds someone she’s willing to settle down with. But it indicates a steady maturity in Eret, hence why it’s in my pile of evidence.) 

While Merida takes after Fergus, Eret is similar to Elinor in some ways. He’ll run through the woods with Merida. But he also sees the value in the education Elinor is trying to give her daughter. Knows that she’s going to need it as a queen.  And, simply by not being her mother, he can get across to her things she won’t hear from Elinor. Sometimes we’re more willing to hear something from someone outside the situation.

He also won’t be swayed by Merida’s temper. He’s a sailor - he knows how to guide a ship through a storm. As a dragon trapper, he knows how to stop a powerful force without destroying it. 

He’s going to admire Merida’s wild side. He can run as hard and as fast as she can - keeping up with her whatever adventure she decides to go on. He has no desire to tame her - just to see her passion given purpose. 

Any time he sees her use the skills her mother taught her, as in that scene in Brave when she stops the fighting in the hall, his chest swells with pride. Because he can see she’ll be an amazing queen, she’s just a little rough around the edges.

Okay. Back to the quotes. 

The Art of Brave just arrived tonight. As soon as I read the quote about Merida, my brain immediately connected it to the quote about Eret. (How could I not? “She’s a leader.” “He has no interest in being a leader.” My shipper heart is singing.)

Eventually, Merida will take DunBroch’s throne. (An event that I expect will be NOTHING like what Once Upon A Time depicted - but that’s a subject for another time.) 

Does she NEED a man? No. I don’t think she would mind having one, though. Especially if it was some who acknowledged her as an equal. And one who loves her for her, not caring about whether or not she’s a princess.

Eret would be perfectly happy as her prince consort. Though I doubt that exact title was used in ancient Scotland, so let’s stick with the language of the quote and call him her enforcer. 

Merida will grow into a great leader, with her mother’s teaching, and Eret will be perfectly content supporting her from the sidelines. Oh, he’ll be right beside her. Whether in the throne room, or on the battlefield. But she’s the leader, and no one doubts that. 

He can make suggestions when she’s not sure, since he does have an understanding of how the tribal politics work. (I imagine his tribe is similar to the Scottish clans, with multiple sub tribes under one leader.) He knows how to calm her temper - usually before she destroys something with her claymore. Usually. (The posts of their bed have to be replaced with some regularity. Though he does notice that, no matter how much damage she does to any part of the castle in her rage, she never, ever touches any of the tapestries…) 

Eret gets a home free from Drago, Merida gets a husband who’s her friend first and foremost, who can provide her with an heir. She gets an enforcer, he gets a leader who isn’t abusive.It’s a win-win for both of them.

Occasionally, his ego does start to get out of hand. (Old habits die hard, after all.) Merida just rolls her eyes, makes a snide remark, and he usually comes down pretty quick.

There might be some muttering from the lords about the princess marrying an outsider (since they obviously all still had hopes of seeing their sons on the throne next to Merida at the end of the movie). But I kind of doubt any of them would really want to challenge him. Even if they did, I doubt they could take him. (I’m sorry, have you seen Eret’s arms??)

(I also may like the image of Eret stepping forward in the annual games to request a chance for the princess’s hand… but that’s a drabble for another them. X3)

Okay. Now that long post is long, I think I’ve covered everything.

Oh, before I forget… the gifs used belong to Iggyfing - from this set, which is wonderful

Quick Review for Fans: The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2

HTTYD2’s art book is spectacular, fascinating and packed with terrific storyboards, concept art, character paintings and much more, all tied together with quotes from director, cast and crew. The focus is on design and story: the book does not go into the details of the CGI animation and rendering process.

There are a few spoilers–mostly minor, but there’s a BIG one toward the end. If you don’t want to find out a major plot point regarding Hiccup and Toothless, avoid looking at the final chapter, “World War of Dragons” until you’ve seen the film.

Fun revelation regarding the above scene (storyboard art by Ryan Savas): Stoick and Valka sing a song written by John Powell and Jonsi with lyrics by Shane MacGowan of The Pogues. It’s designed to be a gentle, organic character moment, not a full-blown musical number. Can not wait for the soundtrack!

Highly recommended–Just resist the inevitable urge to tear out and frame the pages.