How exactly did you feel about Hiccup's badass-ness this season? Especially him PUNCHING OUT SNOTLOUT WITH ONE HAMMER PUNCH OMG I'M STILL NOT OVER IT!
I loooooovee how Hiccup was depicted in Race to the Edge in terms of his skillset fighting. I know some people say his action scenes seem unreasonable. For me, I think it makes a whole lot of sense and fits in nicely with all we have seen in the DreamWorks Dragons universe. On top of that, it’s just fun to see - everything from him doing some cool action moves, to him knocking out three of Snotlout’s teeth with a single punch. As dorayaki-chan mentions so nicely, it is nice to see the small details of Hiccup growing from a wimpy little kid to a strong young man.
Growing Strength, Growing Fight Skills
Hiccup has been developing his strength and fighting skills for a long time. They have been growing naturally, slowly, almost undetectably at times, since the first movie. At the start of the first movie, Hiccup cannot pick up a single axe or sword without considerable effort. It is a humorous exaggeration, but it still proves the point that this little kid does not have a high muscle mass. Even though we see him holding an axe later on in the movie, it’s still nothing impressive that he can do.
We also see very clearly in the first movie that Hiccup does not know how to fight. He scrambles around haplessly during dragon training; he struggles to even hold an axe and shield at the same time. Therefore, what we see out of the first movie is that Hiccup does not have much strength, and he is not skilled as a warrior.
Riders of Berk demonstrates Hiccup with some physical improvements, but it still focuses on him being a wimpy kid. Alvin the Treacherous mocks Hiccup for his tiny size, and Hiccup feels down in “Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Young Man” because he knows he is not the strong son Stoick wanted. When Hiccup spars with Astrid in “Gem of a Different Color,” he stands no chance; she disarms him immediately and pins him to the ground. Gobber seems to expect this will happen; he does not instruct Hiccup on how to fight back, but simply on how to handle this situation the best he can. He congratulates Hiccup for playing dead and Astrid for doing good form. When Hiccup tries to attack an Outcast guard with his peg leg in the season finale, it does not do that much damage. Hiccup still is not that physically strong and everyone knows it.
Note, however, Hiccup is subtly starting to pick up a few skills. He is considerably better at dragon riding. He is able to complete skills that he was practicing (and failing at) in Gift of the Night Fury. And, as you point out, riding dragons is physically demanding. The animators even point out in “The Art of How to Train Your Dragon” that they wanted to show it was demanding (I imagine it’s far more physically demanding for the core than the arms, though). Hiccup is becoming better at riding Toothless and doing tricks on the dragon; thus, we know he is gaining strength.
Even beyond that, look at “Thawfest”. It still pegs Hiccup as physically less strong than the others. Lugging sheep is easy for basically everyone except Hiccup, who can barely carry one woolly animal on his back. Everyone else can throw an axe fine, but Hiccup cannot get enough strength to hit the target. Notice, however, that even though he’s shown to fail, there is improvement. Hiccup could hardly lift an axe in the first movie. Now, he can throw it. He’s not as good as the others, but Hiccup has already improved from barely holding an axe, to holding it in the middle of HTTYD, to being able to somewhat throw it in ROB. His fight against the Outcasts in “Defiant One” also shows that he has become better at fighting.
His skills and strength grow even more in Defenders of Berk. I’ve jokingly called him “Captain Berk” for a reason because of his stunts with the shield, which is admittedly lighter than other Viking shields, but it’s still solid wood (I own a full wooden shield that I use for cosplaying Hiccup… it gets HEAVY after you carry it for some time). Hiccup even becomes increasingly better throughout the season with fighting and using the shield. By the end of the season, Hiccup is able to defend himself very well against Speed Stingers and Outcast warriors. Hiccup holds a sword with ease and is even able to throw his shield an impressively long distance. He has grown in strength, and his increasing experience fighting against enemies like Dagur and Alvin has made him a better fighter. I wholly imagine he’s receiving combat training from warriors like Gobber, but his skills are taking off because of situations, too.
Then we get to Race to the Edge. By this time, Hiccup and his team have developed a lot of flight skills. They are very talented on their dragons and have exerted a lot of physical energy. Hiccup has received more combat training and he’s been through a number of harrowing situations with real enemies. He has been working in the shop with Gobber on his own projects, proving him strength to his arms. This kid is a blacksmith, a dragon rider, and quite the active adventurer. It’s no wonder that Hiccup, though skinny, has a lot of strong, lean muscle underneath his shirt sleeves.
I consequently love Hiccup’s “badassness” in the second RTTE season in terms of his strength, fighting moves, and physical strength. It’s depicted in a very fun way. It’s not unreasonable given the progression we’ve thus far seen. He’s slowly been growing stronger, and we have reasonable context and explanation for why he’s got muscle and some fighting skills. Hiccup does some fun, flashy moves, but it’s just one step beyond what we saw in Defenders of Berk. Hiccup is progressing steadily as we have seen him do. It connects the dots from HTTYD to HTTYD 2. By the time of HTTYD 2, Hiccup is a physically fit young man. If you watch the deleted scene between him and Eret, he’s actually not too bad off in a fight against someone who’s a dragon trapper and consequently has been in skirmishes himself. Let’s also not forget how well he handles himself during the Battle of the Bewilderbeast!
Hiccup’s Punch in “The Zippleback Experience”
I cannot say how much I LOooOOvE this moment. I could chat and laugh about it forever. Here, I’ll just comment on how it displays Hiccup’s expected strength, and whether or not Ruffnut and Tuffnut’s reaction was realistic given that they did not predict him to knock out Snotlout.
Hiccup’s companions have watched him grow in strength. At times, they probably still think back to him being the wimpy little kid who could barely hold an axe. It wasn’t too long ago, in some respects, that they first entered Dragon Training together. And since Hiccup has lean muscle that is not very visible, it might be easy to underestimate his strength.
Ruffnut and Tuffnut should know that Hiccup could pack a punch. They know he’s a blacksmith. Snotlout, for that matter, should have some idea of Hiccup’s strength; they work together with Gobber. Still, I imagine that all three of them forgot when the twins staged the fight between Snotlout and his cousin. You’re right that no one knew Hiccup could do that, but they should not have forgotten he had some physical strength behind his skinny frame.
You’re right, senfree, that the reaction Ruffnut and Tuffnut display isn’t outwardly explosive. Maybe, in some ways, it seems underwhelming, and I really understand how that interpretation is seen. The twins don’t jump up and exclaim, “WHAT?!!” They moreso stare, looking at the scene, and ask one another, “Who knew he had it in him?” Then they go off and have a conversation at regular voices about what to do next, rather than even focusing on the fact Hiccup knocked Snotlout out. Even then, I suppose I don’t find the reaction fully underwhelming, even with that.
What I see the twins show is a bit of dumbfounded surprise and disappointment that their plan did not work. There are times people are surprised enough at an incident that they don’t know how to properly react. Ruffnut and Tuffnut are going through this sort of reaction; it’s hard for them to process what they have seen, therefore, they aren’t going to jump up and shout in loud, astonished voices right off the bat. Many people can be extremely surprised and yet only respond with widened eyes and staring at what is going on. I feel that is sort of what is going on with the twins here. They are surprised, eyes wide and staring at the event, but they’re surprised enough that they don’t exactly know how to verbally react.
It catches them off-guard. Ruffnut and Tuffnut were gearing themselves up for a situation in which Snotlout got roasted by Barf and Belch, Hiccup being “saved” by the Zippleback in a humorous spectacle. They did not get what they anticipated. Because it was so far off from what they had been gearing themselves up to see, they didn’t know how to react. So their reactions were numbed, delayed, baffled. As I see it, the very fact that Ruffnut and Tuffnut didn’t shout out actually speaks to the fact they are surprised.
All Ruffnut can say, in a somewhat soft, amazed voice, is, “That was incredible.” She doesn’t usually speak in that sort of a soft, wispy voice. She is legitimately astonished, so I suppose I don’t think that their reaction is underwhelming. I also think that the following conversation the twins having, sounding slightly subdued and sad, shows that they realize this event’s outcome means they’ve “lost their dragon for good.” That alone is going to put a damper on their emotions and their emotional reaction to Hiccup’s punch.
This scene is probably one of the greatest moments in How to Train Your Dragon history. It is hysterical. I *LOVE* Hiccup’s knock out punch. It surprises not only Snotlout, Ruffnut, and Tuffnut, but it astonishes audiences as well. All things considering, we should have seen this coming. We should have known that Hiccup was strong, but we often think about him as the scrawny little kid, too. It’s a hysterical scenario, with beautiful dialogue, beautiful action, beautiful execution. I’ll never be able to get over this moment, either. I still laugh incredibly hard about Tuffnut’s comment, “Unfortunately, we weren’t expecting Thor’s mighty hammer to meet Snotlout’s paper jaw.”
Hi! As many of us would agree, flawed characters are the best kind of characters, and an easy way to give a character flaws, is to give them a vice. In a modern HTTYD setting, what kind of vice would you give Hiccup, Astrid, Snotlout, Fishlegs, Ruff, and Tuff?
To be honest, I see no reason why we have to change the weaknesses that the characters have from the canon world! We can give them the same flaws and vices they have in this AU, too. It provides character consistency and allows us to recognize Hiccup, Astrid, and the gang for who they are… no matter whether we’re writing them in the Viking Era, the Victorian Era, or the year 2015.
So I am going to answer the question as: “What sort of vice do Hiccup and his companions display?” and then chat about how that would manifest in a modern HTTYD setting. I’m going to be pretty broad about how I define a vice so that I can stay true to their characters.
Snotlout is the opposite of humble (in how he acts, if not how he feels). He brags all the time and tries to make himself look stellar. We see that all the time in the canon universe. In the first movie, he talks about how he only missed hitting Stormfly because the sun was in his eye. In the television series, he’s always trying to hit on Astrid, and often does so by being rather complimentary of himself. Snotlout’s angers Hiccup in “Thawfest” because he won’t quit bragging about all his competition metals. Snotlout has a tendency to be a bit prideful in how he acts.
I imagine it would look much the same in a modern setting. Snotlout would brag to Hiccup about his accomplishments - maybe in sports like American football or hockey. He would flirt with Astrid, kiss his muscles, and act as though he were irresistible. If he completely fails in some athletic capacity, he’ll make excuses like, “My shoes were untied, Astrid! What do you want me to do, go tie my shoes? I could do that, but I don’t have time right now!”
You can also talk about how Ruffnut and Tuffnut are idle characters who don’t like to do much, or about how neither of them are trustworthy, but I figure that “callousness” is an interesting trait to talk about with Ruffnut. It’s not something I believe I have discussed before on this blog.
I want to preface this by saying Ruffnut isn’t always callous. “Free Scauldy” is a clear instance in which she cares for the injured Scauldron. Ruffnut does have sympathetic capabilities, and we do see them on occasion. Nevertheless, there are also many times where you can tell Ruffnut just doesn’t care, and she can find entertainment where others might feel pity. I don’t want to make her sound like a heartless devil - she’s definitely not - but Ruffnut is not someone who explicitly acts by conscience as much as some of the other characters.
It means that Ruffnut in a modern HTTYD setting might just let some bad things happen. She’s not going to stop situations if Hiccup gets bullied or Astrid starts haranguing Snotlout. Ruffnut will have no qualms pulling pranks that might make others upset with her. But she never regrets the hilarious spectacles that ensue from her mischief.
Okay, but really, Tuffnut is not a polite young man. He says what is on his mind, and frequently, that’s not exactly something that should be said. In the first film, he remarks, “Your butts are getting bigger. We thought you were a dragon,” to the girls. When he’s older, he has the audacity to rub Snotlout’s romantic pains in, unkindly telling Snotlout, “You can still jump,” when they watch Ruffnut flirt with Eret. That is more than a little discourteous.
There doesn’t have to be a big change talking about Tuffnut in a modern HTTYD setting. I imagine that Snotlout and Fishlegs will try to hit on Ruffnut when they’re college freshmen, and Tuffnut will do his job screwing both of the men over. Snotlout will follow Ruffnut around and even wait outside the bathroom, telling her she smells nice as soon as she leaves. She’ll probably try to bury him in snow for a couple of hours. And if the group of friends ever go outside to play volleyball together, Fishlegs and Snotlout will clamber to be on her team so that they can “win together.”
I don’t like calling Fishlegs a straightforward coward because he honestly does demonstrate bravery in some pretty significant instances. However, Fishlegs is someone who tends to be more nervous than others and more willing to back down and escape situations rather than confront them. He’ll be someone in a modern AU who might try to find the easy way out and avoid confrontation. This is someone who can worry about anything and will likely worry about anything.
Fishlegs is the least likely person to leave home and enter the convenience store after dark. Frankly, though, that’s not the worst way to go. But there will be other times his worries make him a little bit too reluctant to do things.
I think Astrid’s actions toward Hiccup in the first HTTYD movie say it all. If that doesn’t say it, all the times she shouts at Snotlout and shoves him around should get the point across. Astrid is an easily irritable character. In a modern universe, it’s not that hard to see her grab Snotlout and push him into the lockers a time or two, or to get angry and throw down her textbooks in rage.
There are lots of flaws that I could talk about with Hiccup. It’s hard to describe a “vice” for him in the more standard sense of the term, but I do think “self-doubt” is a big problem he experiences, and that’s a notable character flaw. Hiccup does not believe he is a valued member of Hooligan society in the first movie. In the second movie, he doesn’t believe that he has the skillsets required to be chief. Episodes like “Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Young Man” showcase his uncertainty and discomfort with his identity.
It is very common for youths to question their identity when they are teenagers and young adults, and we’ll certainly see that happen with Hiccup in a modern HTTYD AU. He will be someone who won’t have many friends in high school, but will frequently find himself alone. Even as a younger kid he’ll be bullied and considered a social pariah. The poor kid will feel left out and sit down in the halls by himself for a lonely lunch. It’ll come as a shock to him when he finally becomes popular and others acknowledge his talents and worth.
Support through Understanding: One Reason to Love the Relationship between Hiccup and Astrid
Back in 2010 when I first encountered the world of “How to Train Your Dragon,” I honestly cared very little for the relationship between Hiccup and Astrid. I felt it was little more than a mutual childhood crush that lacked substance since the two of them shared little common ground. What did a high-achieving, ever-determined belligerent warrior have to do with an insecure, societally-scorned, artistic blacksmith? By HTTYD 2, however, watching the clips of the two of them interact on the cliff side, my opinion of them had grudgingly, drastically changed – they are absolutely adorable together! The reason Hiccstrid is NOTP no more for me is because I mis-assessed the start and common grounds of their relationship.
I am going to be talking about “relationship” in a broad sense – it does not matter if we call it platonic or romantic, and frankly, for the first few years Hiccup and Astrid were on good terms with one another, I feel it was largely platonic. But no mind how you yourselves consider it, the relationship between Hiccup and Astrid is something to be loved. One of those reasons I particularly love it is because, yes, under the surface, they do have quite a bit in common, and that affects their interactions with one another into a meaningful, supportive, mutually understanding partnership.
The Need for Validation
There is no question teenaged Hiccup needed validation. He charged off to fight dragons because he desperately wanted to fit in with the other Hooligans as a dragon-killing Viking. In fact, one line suggests Hiccup even stooped so far as to become a Boy Who Cried Wolf Dragon, making up stories of him encountering dragons to try to validate his role in Berk society and especially impress his father. “It’s not like the last few times, Dad,” Hiccup protested as Stoick pulled him away from his latest mess, “I mean I really, actually hit it!” How many times did he claim to hit something when that never happened? How many times did Hiccup run off royally screwing up situations by charging into battle against his father’s orders? How many times did Stoick have to save his son because something went wrong? We do not know for sure, but it is quite apparent it was a painful trend for Hiccup to pull these ridiculous and ever-unsuccessful stunts.
Astrid seemed to be his opposite. Self-confident. Physically fit. Brave. Successful. Attractive. Surrounded by the other Viking teens. She was everything Hiccup was not. Astrid in part probably appeared attractive to Hiccup because she seemed to be exactly the type of Viking Hiccup hoped to be. She was the exact model of an ideal Viking to Hiccup – strong, bold, fierce, athletic, and capable even at her young age of confronting and killing dragons.
But I didn’t feel like that could make a strong bond between the two of them. If anything, that made them more mismatched.
What I was missing was Astrid’s backstory, which we finally learn in Defenders of Berk. The writers always planned a backstory for Astrid which explained her extreme competitiveness and desire to best everyone else in Dragon Training. It turns out that her backstory sheds a whole lot of light into her relationship with Hiccup.
For she needed validation, too.
Different Approaches to the Same Insecurity
There are many reasons why Hiccup and Astrid bonded together, and Astrid’s changing views of Hiccup can be explained simply by watching HTTYD without any other information, but what made me finally hop on board with Hiccstrid was learning about their common emotional ground. Hiccup and Astrid both felt the need to validate themselves. Their differences were not so much in how they felt, but in how they approached their insecurities differently.
Hiccup cumbersomely blundered through mistake after mistake, becoming an outcast of Berk society. Astrid never appeared to be an outcast – on the contrary, “popular” peers like Snotlout made sure to hit on her – but that does not mean Astrid felt fully comfortable with her role on Berk. In “Fright of Passage,” we learn Astrid’s uncle Fearless Finn Hofferson froze up when confronting the Flightmare, making him and his clan the laughingstock of Berk for a long time. She even went so far as to shout “my family name was ruined by that dragon!” Astrid wanted to be the best at killing dragons because of that family embarrassment. She needed to prove that this young Hofferson girl truly was a fierce warrior, someone who would never freeze up at a sign of danger. We see no greater proof of her insecurities than when she announced to Hiccup, “I’ve waited my entire life to clear my family’s name, and nothing is going to stop me.”
Thus, Astrid and Hiccup are a lot more alike than they might first seem. Whereas Hiccup became a “loser” in his peer group and (initially) Dragon Training class, Astrid might have been considered a success story – but her drive to success was based on a similar feeling of insecurity.
They actually always had a lot in common.
Support through the Struggles
Astrid’s ability to support Hiccup through the difficult parts of his life suddenly makes a lot more sense. After her first flight on Toothless, Astrid questioned Hiccup’s decision to keep the location of the Red Death’s nest a secret simply because he wanted to keep his “pet dragon.” But when Hiccup determinedly answered, “Yes,” Astrid respected his resolve and stepped on board with him. She could actually empathize with him at this point – she saw some area in which Hiccup was finally confident in himself, and being as she underwent some of the same struggles herself, was going to support that resolve rather than continue questioning Hiccup about it.
Similarly, when Hiccup watched the Viking warriors sail away to fight the Red Death, taking Toothless away from him on a ship, Astrid was all about supporting Hiccup. And for all she was a fierce warrior and you would not expect her to know the right thing to say, Astrid spoke the exact words Hiccup needed to hear to get him on his feet again. And because she was all about self-empowerment and giving herself the toolset to overcome her insecurities, she did not “give” Hiccup the answer to go after Toothless, either. She encouraged Hiccup. Made him see his “failure” for not killing Toothless as a strength. She asked him questions about what he was going to do, allowing him to jump to his own decision to “do something crazy.” It gave Hiccup a boost in self-confidence and a greater sense of conviction. She knew he needed that. It was how she had been trying to bolster herself, and it was what she would probably want someone to do to her in turn during her darker moments.
The trend to support Hiccup continues through the television series. I could go through so many episodes, but I will mention just one. “Portrait of Hiccup as a Young Buff Man.” You can tell Astrid believed the treasure hunt was absolutely stupid. She even celebrated when Hiccup took the map from Fishlegs, Snotlout, and the twins because she though he was going to talk them out of finding the treasure. However, as soon as Hiccup started pouring over the riddles and joined the quest, too, Astrid got on board. Why? Because Hiccup had just complained to her about how his father didn’t fully accept him, and he said that finding a treasure even Stoick the Vast couldn’t would be one way to prove himself. She said she would still give Hiccup trouble about his decision “every step of the way”, but yet again, she understood his need to be validated, and thus hopped on board for the treasure hunt.
We even see patterns with Astrid’s early kisses. Most of the times Astrid kissed Hiccup are after Hiccup accomplished something she considered commendable. She loves and supports him for his successes.
By the time of HTTYD 2, then, it is no wonder Hiccup outright confides in Astrid about his reluctance to chief. She has already been a huge support for Hiccup for five whole years. When Hiccup tells Eret he can convince him to appreciate dragons, Astrid vouches for Hiccup and calls him “very persuasive.” And in the other instance Hiccup really needs comfort? (euphemism) She’s right there on his shoulder the entire time.
I cannot think of near as many examples of Hiccup supporting Astrid in turn, possibly because Astrid is much less outwardly vulnerable and possibly less willing to talk about her insecurities. However, we can still see some evidence of Hiccup reciprocating support. In “Heather Report Part II” when Astrid, disguised as Heather, left for Outcast Island, Hiccup expressed clear concern for her safety. He showed he was confident in her ability to complete the dangerous mission, that he believed her to be the strong woman and warrior she had always sought to be.
“Fright of Passage” was the most obvious instance in which Astrid’s insecurities took the forefront, and I wish I could write much more about it. Alas, space is brief, and I’ll only briefly comment on it for now (and it’ll be a bit of a ramble - sorry). Hiccup was quite sensitive to Astrid’s feelings and tried to quiet Snotlout, the twins, and Fishlegs from bringing up a touchy subject that could hurt her. He didn’t want her to feel insecure and have people either intentionally or unintentionally rub at old wounds in her life. Here then is concern and support.
Still, it’s interesting to note Hiccup actually approached Astrid differently about her insecurities than she did to him. Whereas Astrid made her opinion clear but hopped on board with Hiccup’s ideas, here Hiccup outright tried to stop Astrid from pursuing the Flightmare, even trying to hide information from her such as when and where the dragon would appear. I suppose from some angles that could be quite critique-worthy, but it also shows Hiccup was intentionally trying not to ignite Astrid’s fire and need to prove her clan. In fact, he even pointed out some way in which she could be empowered and prove her family bravery without running off recklessly after the dragon – by staying in Berk and fighting off the dragon with the team. Still, when she did hop on Toothless and assert her will, Hiccup did fly with her, telling her to observe the Flightmare and not fight it, but nonetheless paying heed to her interests (you can tell he knew she was going to try to fight it anyway). Not to mention, it’s also clear he wanted her safe. He was trying to prevent her from making an action that could throw her into an enormous amount of trouble. And he even eventually got on board with Astrid’s plan to halt the Flightmare before it reached Berk. So there is concern, support, and a bit of sensitivity on both sides of the party.
The two of them are indubitably there for each other. Always. There’s sensitivity, there’s support, there’s mutual understanding.
This relationship is strong and secure for so many reasons. They have a common interest in dragons. They’re able to tease each other and enjoy lighthearted times together, such as in the start of “Animal House.” They’re able to stand up for each other and fight for the other’s safety. And they’re able to stand up emotionally for one another as well. It’s not just a simple gushy romance - though the romantic element is strong - but it’s also about being equals who understand and stand by one another.
There is so much more that could be said and has been said (such as that amazing gif post comment about Astrid making Hiccup look her in the eye when he tries to look downward), and all of it shows what an incredibly supportive relationship this is. It’s not just a small little crush. It’s not just kisses and cuddles. It’s not a mismatched pair. There’s empathy and genuine concern for each other. It’s a deep relationship and it’s beautiful.
And that’s why I cannot help but smile at Hiccstrid.
Do you think Hiccup still suffers psychologically from the time stoick disowned him (post-httyd)? I see signs of it in rob and dob. He seems extremely uneasy whenever he lets his dad down, even in the slightest of ways.
Oooo yessssss he still suffers indeed. Thanks for the really great question!
Insecurities with Father (Post HTTYD 1)
I do indeed believe Hiccup struggles post-HTTYD with insecurities about letting his father down. I believe it comes from a long history of disappointing Daddy, though, and not just from the disowning. The disowning is the crown of it, but Hiccup’s actions in ROB and DOB come from a long history of uneasiness. In HTTYD, after all, Hiccup spends a large portion of the movie attempting to act in such a proper Viking way so as to receive his father’s approval and affection. This has been an ongoing battle for many years.
Of course, the disowning is going to be remembered vividly as the lowest point between himself and his father. This memory will not fade away. This one will stick out and really hurt. This moment, plus many years of feeling like he is a disappointment to his father, makes Hiccup sensitive to his father’s feedback.
After all, if Hiccup has lived years expecting his father’s scowl, even when Stoick begins to show grins, Hiccup will still be prepared for more negative reactions. Hiccup could worry he will do something to reincur his father’s historic disapprobation, or, as I especially think, he is SO USED to receiving Stoick’s bad side that he psychologically does not yet fully expect his father’s good. It takes a while for someone to actually be able to psychologically grasp such a fundamental change as that.
“Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Young Man” is one of the clearest examples of Hiccup’s lingering insecurities. He goes out on a treasure hunt in a desperate attempt to prove himself to his father, doing something even Stoick the Vast could not accomplish himself. “Thawfest” is another instance where Hiccup is influenced by his father’s pride. Sure, Hiccup really wants to win against Snotlout for personal reasons, but he also feels the pressure when Stoick suggests Hiccup might win this year. In fact, when Hiccup decides to throw the race, he murmurs, “I’m sorry, Dad.”
I could keep going. Hiccup brightens up very visibly, eyes glowing and back straightening, whenever Stoick gives him a compliment and says he is proud of Hiccup. Hiccup will make comments suggesting it’s the norm to be scorned, such as saying his father has “looked angry since the day [he] was born.” And, as you say, Hiccup feels horrible whenever he lets his father down. That occurs in Riders of Berk, Defenders of Berk, and also “Dawn of the Dragon Racers.” The first time I watched Stoick return to Berk early and call Hiccup down for disobeying his orders, I was cringing as much as Hiccup was. The entire short Hiccup struggled with whether he should follow his father’s desires or fall in to the wants of the crowd. You can tell the main reason Hiccup tries to keep the boat race afloat (pun intended, XP) is because he wants to make his father proud. So when he is revealed to be disobedient… it hits him really hard.
The disowning might be over. The worst of the rude treatments might be over. But Hiccup’s head is not yet over this when he is sixteen years of age. He knows from the recent past what it is to feel a father’s wrath to the point of him saying, “You’re not my son,” and he will instinctively go about cringing for some time.
Hiccup does get better about the insecurities. A LOT better! By HTTYD 2, the sting of his father’s disowning and all the other unkind acts Stoick once exhibited no longer take the forefront in Hiccup’s mind. In fact, he is able to speak jokingly about his father’s pride. That says an enormous deal! However, there are still some scraps of that insecurity, and it comes to the forefront during Stoick’s Ship. Hiccup expresses doubts he can be the chief his father wanted him to be. Part of this is in recent context with his failed Drago confrontation, but it also shows a very ongoing theme of him doubting his father’s pride. You also see it when Valka says that Stoick believed Hiccup would grow to be “the strongest of them all” - for Hiccup first frowns and then widens his eyes, showing he is shocked his father had that faith in him as a baby. This shows Hiccup still carries around with him, tucked away in some corner of his mind, those unpleasant teenaged years, those memories of growing up with a disappointed dad.
So yes. I believe Hiccup still suffers from these pains post-HTTYD 1. The disowning itself is going to hit on him along with every other negative parental interaction. It is an enormous deal, and not a pretty one, either. That disowning and poor treatment would psychologically sting for anyone for an incredibly long time.
Howdeedodeethere! This ask is to talk about Race To The Edge, season three. I have not yet watched the whole season, but I have noticed at least two things that suggest that the writers have still taken things from Cressida Cowell's books! One, Snoutlout seems to be talking and listening to Hookfang in Stryke Out! Is there Dragonese in the "Dreamworks Dragons" universe? Two, there is a Riproarer-like dragon in the Fireworm episode! A riproarer! (Ah my old nemesis, character limit!) [1/2-3]
For fun, I figured I could try to write out a list of some book elements we see in the DreamWorks movies, comic books, television series, and larger canon! I would love to see if people have more Easter Eggs or theorized Easter Eggs that they notice, too!
Note that I will have spoilers for all the books in the series and all episodes of RTTE in the list below.
How to Train Your Dragon
The first movie has the general plot structure of the first book and is clearly inspired from it. It is the story of a young boy who trains with other youths his age in the ways of his tribe. By completing training, he can do a rite of passage and demonstrate he is one of the tribe. However, he fails this rite of passage and is cast out of the tribe by his father. Then an enormous dragon threatens the village. Hiccup leads the other youths to defeat the dragon. Ultimately, his own dragon Toothless saves his life and guarantees victory before he gets eaten.
Tuffnut, Snotlout, Fishlegs, Gobber, and Stoick are all book characters. Gobber remains the teacher of the students and Snotlout remains a bit of a cocky, self-important nagger against Hiccup.
The design of the Terrible Terror is based off of book!Toothless.
Several dragon species from the books have made their way into the movies. The Gronckles are very similar in design. Monstrous Nightmares are far larger in the movies than the books, but you can see the inspiration. Deadly Nadders are different in design, but we do have Nadders in both worlds! The Red Death, is, naturally, inspired by the Red Death (and Purple and Green Deaths) from the books.
Hookfang is a Monstrous Nightmare from the books. He is Stoick’s dragon, but Snotlout still has a Monstrous Nightmare in the books, too.
Hiccup is left-handed.
Gothi the elder is the movie’s version of Old Wrinkly.
Spitelout was initially planned to take on a larger role in the first movie. Given as Spitelout is canonically Snotlout’s father in the movies, he is always badgering Stoick in the television series, and he was expected to be a larger role in the first movie, it seems like Spitelout can be equated to Baggybum the Beerbelly.
There is a historical book about dragons which the Hairy Hooligan tribe reveres, despite the fact it is incomplete about how to handle dragons.
Fans have commented on how the Viking statue guarding Berk in the sea has a one-horned helmet similar to book!Hiccup’s.
Riders and Defenders of Berk
As seen in both Gift of the Night Fury and various episodes in the television series, the dragons’ eggs explode. Dragons’ eggs explode in the book series, too, as is mentioned in “How to Train Your Viking” and “The Incomplete Book of Dragons.”
The presence of Alvin the Treacherous and the Outcast Tribe is a clear inspiration from the books.
The Berserker Tribe is another tribe from the books.
Dagur the Deranged has some similarities to Norber the Nutjob, another chief with a wild sense of unpredictability but a lot of underlying intelligence.
“Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Young Man” has a lot of book-like elements. It shows Hiccup insecure about how his father regards him, showing that Stoick sometimes gets carried away with ideas of his son as a stronger, more “typical” Viking. We also learn that Hiccup has an ancestor in the past, Hamish the Second, who was a runt… just like Hiccup in the books learns about Hiccup the Second and Hiccup the First.
Snotlout and Hiccup constantly bicker. It evokes a lot of the bickering that occurs between Snotlout and Hiccup in the books, especially when we learn in “Defiant One” that Snotlout is jealous of Hiccup. That is the motivation for Snotlout acting unkindly to Hiccup in the books. But, in the end, Snotlout and Hiccup make up when Snotlout does a bold, heroic action.
Snotlout makes several comments about how he is almost like the chief. It’s an interesting call-out to the book’s Snotface Snotlout, who spends most of the series trying so hard to become chief himself.
Snotlout provokes Hiccup into a fight under the pretense of putting Hiccup’s life in “danger”. In the books, Snotlout is always trying to fight and kill Hiccup. While Snotlout is only faking it in RTTE, it’s still an amusing call-out to the drama from the book series.
Hiccup’s name, Hiccup Haddock the Third, is mentioned far more than once.
Every time Hiccup holds a regular sword, I cry.
There are lots of hidden potatoes in RTTE. Potatoes are quite important in the books, naturally, and this is a silly little call-out to that!
The diversity of dragons sings much to the nature of the books. There are some dragons that seem very similar to those in the books. Just like you bring up, the Cavern Crasher is a lot like the Riproarer!
Valka, like Valhallarama, spends the majority of Hiccup’s childhood away from Berk, for what she believes is “better” for her son and family. In the end, she chooses to support her son and his rise of leadership.
The original plan of HTTYD 2 has some interesting set-ups that seem parallel to the final conflict in the books. In the books, there is a three-way war between dragon-friendly humans, dragon-hating humans, and human-hating dragons. In HTTYD 2, Valka was going to be pro-dragon and anti-human life Furious; Drago was going to be pro-human and anti-dragon like the Alvinsmen; and Hiccup was pro-human, pro-dragon like he is in the books.
But you notice that at the beginning of HTtYd Stoick acted like saving Hiccup was a weekly chore, and then after the incident with the green death where Hiccup almost died, Stoick’s been acting really protective? Cuz’ I noticed.
What makes someone a cat-person or a dog-person? I can't decide which one I am.
What makes someone a cat person is that they like cats a whole lot for pets and animal companionship, and what makes someone a dog person is that they are uber fanatic about dogs! There are people who are one, the other, both, neither, or sitting somewhere in the middle of a huge gradient. We can make some stereotypes about what sorts of personalities are drawn to each type of animal lover (we expect quiet, bookish, solitary people are “cat persons,” for instance), but there’s no one paradigm that qualifies for everybody. We each all have our own unique preferences.
If you can’t decide if you’re a “dog” or a “cat person,” there’s nothing wrong there, and it doesn’t mean you have to define yourself by only one term or even define yourself at all if you don’t want to! Don’t make anything a false dichotomy. Why can’t people like both? Why can’t people like both the color blue and the color orange? Why can’t people like both Pepsi and Coca Cola? Why can’t people like both Disney and DreamWorks?
Why is the sky blue?
Why do I have a bucket on my head? We’ll never know the answers… ;)
And if anyone is curious as to my own preferences, I’m a cat and a guinea pig person, though regrettably very afraid of dogs. I have also found myself sweet-talking spiders before. And no, I’m not joking on that. I’m much more likely to say, “Hey there little buddy,” to a spider than a dog.
Do you think Hiccup has ever seen Astrid cry during those five years and what do you think are the possible situations that could have brought that on (head canons or whatever) visa-versa for Hiccup.
I very well imagine Hiccup and Astrid both have seen each other cry. Their relationship is deep, and we do see them open up to one another and speak of personal issues. For instance, Hiccup is very candid speaking to Astrid in “Portrait of Hiccup as a Young Buff Man” regarding his insecurities with his father.
My two most prominent headcanons for when each of them cry actually take place during the time of the first movie. Astrid’s tears likely come multiple times after Hiccup has lost his leg. She has been in conflict before and likely seen others downed or severely injured… but this is with a peer, someone on whom she has a crush, and that will hit her. Her first tears, of course, will come when Hiccup is still completely out of commission and not conscious of her reaction… but I would not be surprised if, later, shortly after the events of HTTYD 1, Hiccup and Astrid sit down and talk. The conversation turns to the Red Death battle. Astrid describes for the first time to Hiccup how everyone reacted when he fell from the sky… how scared they all were… how scared she was… how everyone thought Hiccup had died… how even when they found him alive in Toothless’ arms, there was still the uncertainty he would make it through. That would be enough to spill a little bit of water from her eyes as she recounts that day and realizes how stressful and painful the entire battle was.
The biggest time for Hiccup crying is going to be right after Stoick disowns him. Stoick slams the door on Hiccup, staring shocked and pained, on the floor… and then the story cuts forward. We do not see Hiccup’s full reaction when the door shuts and he is left to himself.
No one can tell me he did not cry at that moment. Hard. Right there on the floor.
Astrid comes in halfway through. She has seen Stoick step out of the Great Hall and announce they are attacking the Dragon’s nest… but she sees no sign of Hiccup leaving the hall. Stoick’s angry disposition and Hiccup completely disappearing worries her. She carefully steps toward the Great Hall while the other Vikings are preparing for battle… and as soon as she peeks through the doors, she sees Hiccup there on the floor, red-faced, sobbing.
There will likely be other moments either of them cry in front of the other. “Fright of Passage” shows that Astrid has some insecurities about herself and her family’s honor. I imagine that one day those insecurities will hit hard when she is alone talking to Hiccup, she will start crying, and Hiccup will comfort her. Hiccup, in turn, might break down around sixteen for his continued struggles gaining and understanding his father’s approval… or, in more dramatic situations, around the events of “We Are Family” and “Cast Out.” Once Hiccup is rescued from the Outcasts in the former, he might cry, realizing what was done to Toothless and himself in full, and Astrid would see that. In “Cast Out,” Dagur threatens to execute Stoick. Hiccup handles it with a very grim determination on screen, and maybe he indeed was so attentive to the situation at hand tears did not leak out… but there is a potential for him there, too, to wet his eyes from the strain.
The relationship between Hiccup and Astrid grows tremendously during the five years, and one area that builds significant growth is being able to show each other personal struggles. Astrid is more likely than Hiccup to try to bottle something up, but given that in HTTYD 2 Hiccup and Astrid know how to respond to each other at the low points in their life, we can assume they have been there comforting each other before.