Needing to find an extra curricular activity in order to ‘fill
out’ their college resume, Character A joins the baking club. Here, they
find a group a tightly knit, highly competitive bakers who are striving
to win the Blue Ribbon at the county fair’s baking competition.
I bought an oven off of Craigslist and the guy said it was haunted but I
didn’t believe him? And now everything that I put into it just turns
into a cake? Like it’s not even logical. I’ll put in a frozen lasagna
and when the timer goes off, I have a triple-tiered chocolate cake with
buttercream icing.” AU
Character A and B have been enemies
since they first met at culinary school. Striving to always be better
than the other person, the two of them go head to head in a baking
competition in order to prove who’s the best pie/cake/fancy dinner/ext. maker.
walking home from work, Character A gets caught in a sudden
thunderstorm and has to take shelter in a bakery, which is where they
meet Character B, the eccentric (but lovable) baker who lives above the
shop with their twin sibling, Character C.
Magical universe AU where Character A is a witch who bakes tarts and miniature pies that do everything from soothing a child’s persistent cough, to helping boost a student’s memory before a big test. When Character B comes asking for a pie that will help them deal with grieving over a dead pet, Character A quickly becomes something like their best friend.
“I baked my crush a cheesecake but it turns out that they’re lactose intolerant and now I have all of this cheesecake, but nobody to eat it with, so do you want some?” AU
Could you compare Astrid in HTTYD1 with HTTYD2 Astrid? :) People often complain she is not the same character anymore, too giggly, girly and goofy now compared to her younger self.
I would LOVE to do this! First, I’ll start with what is the same, and then talk about what has changed during the five-year interim. It turns out that Astrid very much is the same woman in both films. While she has had some changes, those mainly are only in regards to her relationship with Hiccup; all else - her ferocity, competitive drive, empathy, and more - has stayed essentially unchanged.
Astrid is memorable throughout the first How to Train Your Dragon movie as being rather fierce against Hiccup and a bit snarly with other teens who stand in her way. This all is framed within the context of competition. Astrid finds great passion fighting the Vikings’ war against the dragons and clearly desires to be the best at it; she becomes angered both when students fail to fight against dragons (Hiccup and the Nadder in “Focus, Hiccup!”) and when they best her in fighting dragons (Hiccup and the Gronckle in “This Time for Sure”).
Here we see Astrid’s mind centered in the spirit of competition. She is heavily driven to succeed and beat others in these competitions. When Hiccup starts besting her in Dragon Training, she increases the amount of time she practices on her own, working on her dexterity and axe-work. Her practice sessions are filled with frustration and anger because Hiccup is beating her in the ring. She acts hostilely toward Hiccup because of how good he is in the ring. And when Gothi picks Hiccup to kill the first dragon over Astrid, her face knits in fury.
Astrid’s competitive drive never wanes over time. She finds just as much energy in competition as an adult. In Dragon Racing, Astrid is willing to do incredible stunts to win the race - even flipping off her own dragon onto another’s - to get the sheep and win the competition. This time she wins her goal, meaning she does not vent off and become angered. Instead, she pumps her fists up in jubilation and flies around high-fiving Vikings in the arena. And when she comes and meets Hiccup afterward on the hill, she is clearly pleased with herself, telling him she has been about “winning races.” Yeah, that’s a competitive spirit right there.
So it is seen Astrid never loses her sense of drive, her focus on competition. The one thing that does seem to be new is smugness. She is pretty proud of herself for winning the Dragon Racing competition, and she is pretty smug with Eret when she drops him from the sky. This could all just be the difference of seeing her winning in HTTYD 2… as versus losing in HTTYD.
Astrid is pretty ferocious in How to Train Your Dragon. She is sociable to others when they are considered friends, but she very quickly becomes nasty if she finds someone a foe. Astrid considers Hiccup to be her main adversary in the Training Ring, and consequently he finds her pointing her axe at his face and yelling at him a lot.
That never changes. In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Astrid’s foe is not Hiccup. However, she does have huge issues with Eret, and she is seen to be just as much a no-nonsense fighter with him.
The first time she encounters Eret, he snatches Stormfly and she falls out of the dragon’s saddle. She has no weapons on her, consequently, but as soon as she and Hiccup land, she grabs the nearest pole of wood for a makeshift weapon. She does not scream and charge at Eret for a good reason - there are many men with weapons surrounding them - but she does hold up that stick rather fiercely, ready to use it as need be. Once she and Hiccup are done talking, she seems like she would like to fight.
The second time she encounters Eret, she is ready for real battle. She has her axe with her this time, and as soon as she lands on his boat, she twirls it intimidatingly. Until Hiccup shares his “plan,” she is ready to hack at Eret’s limbs.
And that’s not the last time she’s fierce. Her entire encounter with Drago is pretty tense. She steps right up to Drago and threatens him, saying Hiccup and the Hooligans will come and make Drago sorry. She is captured, hands tied behind her back, and yet she is belligerent enough to speak violence with her captor. And when Eret is about to be pushed overboard by Drago’s men, she makes sure to share her mouth with him, too.
Astrid still is a no-nonsense foe. She does not explicitly fight as much in HTTYD 2, but much of that is based on circumstance. She never fights Eret because of circumstances, nor does she fight Drago’s men on his ship because her arms are in restraints. Still, even in these moments, that does not make her stand any less strongly, with any less sense of self-confidence and bravery.
Supporting the Plan
Another reason Astrid might not seem quite as much of a fighter in HTTYD 2 is because she goes along with Hiccup’s plans. Yet this is already very much within her character since How to Train Your Dragon.
Astrid is someone who lives by the status quo. In the first movie, that means fighting dragons with everybody else. In the second movie, that means flying dragons with everyone else. She is flexible and moldable into her society, being a strong and contributing member, but not one who is revolutionary. She is a model citizen who sticks along with the status quo and executes others’ plans and ideas.
Hiccup frequently comes along with revolutionary ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. Whenever he does so, Astrid trusts his judgment and follows along with his plan. In HTTYD 1, Astrid follows Hiccup’s idea to stand up in the Kill Ring. She lets him take the lead on the situation rather than telling Stoick about the dragon’s nest. After the Kill Ring, she again supports Hiccup’s idea of riding dragons to Dragon Island. Astrid never comes up with these plans; she executes them and supports the plan that Hiccup contrives.
This is no different from HTTYD 2. When Hiccup confronts Eret on the boat, she follows his lead. She might ask him, “How is this a plan?” but she is still going through with his idea. Similarly, she goes along for the ride in “Riding the Hatchlings” and “Alpha Returns to Berk,” letting Hiccup carry out his plan on how to confront Drago a second time.
Astrid is someone who is empathetic. She always has a tender, caring part of her that glows when she does not feel threatened. This comes in late in How to Train Your Dragon because initially she finds Hiccup her foe in the training ring… but as soon as they come to the same “side,” she is very caring to Hiccup’s emotional state.
Astrid is the one who comes up to Hiccup in “Ready the Ships.” He is watching his father sail away with Toothless to fight dragons on Dragon Island. Astrid is the one who comforts him. Not only that, but she encourages Hiccup. She does not give Hiccup the answers to his problem, but helps him see that he is not failure and that he has within him the ability to righten his situation. Here Astrid shows Hiccup that he has the ability to do something great by being the first Viking to ride a dragon… and through that giving him the idea to ride more dragons to Dragon Island.
Empathy continues to shine in How to Train Your Dragon 2. She confides with Hiccup in the exact same way she does at “Ready the Ships.” Hiccup feels down and is doubting himself. Astrid does not tell him the answer to his problems, but instead places a hand on his heart and tells him that “it’s in here.” She is again pointing to the potential that is within Hiccup, already present, and comforting him with what currently troubles.
What Changed in Astrid’s Character?
How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2 write Astrid mostly from the framework of how she interacts with Hiccup. Her personality does not waver too much from first to second film, but because her opinion of Hiccup drastically changes in the five year gap, she appears to have morphed indeed. She no longer is so hostile and threatening toward Hiccup, but instead much more caring. This can throw people off and make them feel like she is a bit of a different character, when really the main thing that has changed is just her relationship with one person.
In How to Train Your Dragon, she is harsh, unjustifiably so. She threatens Hiccup by pointing an axe to his throat and beats him up a little in the cove. None of this is acceptable treatment toward someone; this is the act of a girl who considers Hiccup in a negative cast.
In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hiccup is her boyfriend. Her physical actions change to him, showing instead gentler touches, kisses, and the occasional enthusiastic or playful punch. Instead of yelling at him, she jokes with him. This is what is different about her.
Because Astrid loves Hiccup, a whole new facet of her is opened up. She does appear a bit more “girly” in that she is flirtatious with her boyfriend. She giggles sometimes, she teases him, and she has some soft words for him. None of this contradicts who she has been in the past; simply, she was not in a relationship in the past and never expressed her romantic side before now. Now, in a romantic relationship, she can be a bit more goofy and show a more lighthearted side to her.
It’s really then all based by context and viewpoint. There never was a context in How to Train Your Dragon to show off a playful Astrid side. Maybe, if there had been a context, Astrid would have shown her goofiness younger. Maybe this is a new development. We just don’t know. Because HTTYD is shown from Hiccup’s perspective, and Astrid is hostile toward Hiccup in the first movie, that teasing aspect of her personality is hidden to him and audiences. And since Astrid only teases Hiccup in the second movie, it could just be that Hiccup brings this out in her because they love each other.
Astrid is very much the same woman. She changes a lot less than many teens do in five years. She is still a fierce fighter, still a competitive spirit, still an empathetic soul. What changes is that she goes from hating to loving Hiccup, and this allows her to express more than a snarling disposition in the second film. She grows to love Hiccup, and thus grows out of her a more amenable, playful character - at least when she is alone with her boyfriend.
“Killian, can you pass me the ketchup?” Belle asks, munching on her fries on the other side of the cramped diner booth (she’s squashed between Will and the wall, but does not appear to mind). She grins when he obediently hooks up the bottle (literally) and offers it to her, squeezing more onto her plate and offering Will a fry. Like a hungry seagull, he gulps it right out of her hand, and she laughs. It’s been a long time since she’s seemed this happy, and it certainly does not go unnoticed. Emma gives her a sympathetic smile, settling back against Killian’s arm and seasoning her own fries. They’ve been here an hour at least already, but nobody is any rush to go. Even if Killian is periodically giving Will the surreptitious evil eye and wondering not-quite-aloud what on earth anyone, especially a lovely and intelligent woman, could possibly see in him.
Emma has to bite her lip every time he does this, as she and Belle have already realized that they apparently have quite similar taste in men: fond of black leather, sass, stealing things (well, she hopes they’ve given up on that little habit, she doesn’t want to have to toss Will back in the hoosgow – at least these days he’s in the library by invitation, not drunken breaking and entering) yanking each other’s chain at every opportunity, and otherwise posturing so much that she’s astounded they haven’t broken into an impromptu bout of arm-wrestling at the table. But all that aside, this odd foursome fits surprisingly well. Killian and Belle have been holed up in the library tracking down clues for the latest mystery, have become tentative but genuine friends, and Will – well, he tries to help, at any rate. At least Emma supposes so, because she can’t see Belle letting him loiter around her precious library otherwise, no matter how amusing he is.
“How’s it going?” she asks, pulling Killian’s arm back around her shoulders with an insistent little sound when he tries to shift position. He dutifully keeps it there, kissing her temple, and she snuggles into him. Belle and Will aren’t quite as openly demonstrative, their ‘thing’ still being new, but Emma is quite sure they’re both holding hands under the table and playing footsie. They haven’t seemed to entirely let go of each other yet, seeking solace and companionship and comfort for whatever time this will be. “Find anything?”
Killian and Belle brighten at this chance to share the results of their bookworming, and pull out several sheets of paper covered both in Belle’s looping cursive and Killian’s elegant, old-fashioned calligrapy. They’re hunting the demon and the curse that is supposed to be protecting the town, and they fill her in in detail. Killian harrumphs loudly at Will every time Belle gives an unexpected jump or squeak, and Emma thinks amusedly that he really is taking to being an overprotective big brother for her (then again, that’s what Killian does – protect people, and she can’t help but think of what he’s told her of his own long-dead beloved sibling, Liam). Will fish-eyes him straight back and pointedly stares at Emma’s hand holding Killian’s hook, as if to say no throwing rocks from glass houses, mate. Once they get over the urge to punch each other every time they see each other, Emma thinks, they’ll be inseparable.
They order sundaes for dessert, Will giving Belle his maraschino cherry as she daintily nips it out of his hand, and Killian, not to be outdone, feeds both of their cherries to Emma. Then Emma pays the bill (Granny has been eyeing them with a mix of curiosity and skepticism) and gets up with Belle to ask her a quick question. As they do, they see Will and Killian staring at each other for a long moment, exchanging inaudible words, and then almost simultaneously unzipping their jacket sleeves, grabbing hands, and bracing their elbows, brows knitted in ferocious competitive concentration. Arm wrestling. Naturally.
“Either they’ll kill each other or they’re beginning to like each other,” Belle murmurs with a wry grin, and Emma nods, rolling her eyes. No one can deny that it has, at the very least, been an entertaining evening. And assuming the former doesn’t come to pass, and the latter does, they might even have to do this again sometime.