Oh my Odin oh my Odin I want to thank you SO MUCH for asking me this question! I am thanking you because I had a particular viewpoint on HTTYD 2 chronology before you asked this, but in the process of reading up to answer your question, my perspective has changed! I am now looking at the timeline of HTTYD 2 very differently than I did even a day ago. DUDE. This is really cool.
My original conceptualization was that HTTYD 2 took place in basically the course of two days. I feel weird reconstructing my old viewpoint now that it has changed, so I’ll just say that basically I thought that Dragon Racing, Hiccup meeting Eret, Hiccup talking to Eret a second time, and Hiccup getting kidnapped by Valka was all one day starting about midday and onward; and that Hiccup and Valka flying, Stoick refinding his wife, the Battle of the Bewilderbeast, and Stoick’s death all occurred within one day, too. Toothless Found happened at dawn, and the fight ended about forty-eight hours canon-verse after Dragon Racing.
But I wanted to support my arguments with looking at the script, and the time dates on the script actually surprised me and have made me hugely revise my viewpoint of the timeline. The script, after all, gives the approximate time of day… and the approximate times of days lined up to around a five day timeline rather than two.
This will, at least, be an interesting varying viewpoint people can discuss or dismiss.
Here we are:
Commentary on Time Reconstruction
My first shock was that “Drago’s Coming” happened at sunset. Looking again at the sky in the background during that scene, yeah, I get it. But that’s one area I messed up originally.
That said, even with the script, there are a few areas of slight ambiguity. Astrid’s timeline is the most ambiguous. In fact, I now think that many of the events we see with Astrid and the gang are not completely correlated time-wise with the events before and after in the Dragon Sanctuary. To give an example, the scene where Astrid decides to kidnap Eret is between “Meet the Good Alpha” (dawn) and “Flying With Mother” (morning). However, the scene “Astrid Takes Charge” according to the script is nighttime. If we put “Astrid Takes Charge” as after the Dragon Sanctuary scene, we get a timeline error between “Meet the Good Alpha” and “Flying With Mother.” So not all the events in the movie are synchronized, then, between the stories of Hiccup and Astrid according to how I best read into events.
Another question is how long Flying With Mother lasts (“Momma’s Boy,” as it’s called in the script). The script describes it as a montage, and montages tend to be condensed timelapses. This means I doubt Flying With Mother was only a morning’s adventure, though all we know is that it starts in the morning according to the script guidelines. However, that is one area where the storyline can be condensed. You could perhaps say “Flying With Mother” and “Stoick Finds Beauty” are the same morning. I think it makes more sense if we split them into two days to account for how much time it’d take for Hiccup and Valka to go through all those bonding activities and change their interactions from awkward to exuberant.
“Meet Drago” is sort of hard to place. It could happen either Day Three or Day Four depending on how close Drago is to Valka’s dragon sanctuary. I put it on Day Three to give extra time for travel. It takes an entire day (midday to midnight) for Hiccup to reach Valka’s dragon sanctuary on the back of a dragon. Drago takes a little bit more than a day based on how I’ve set this up.
Small Random Observations and Implications
There are some amusing implications about a more extended timeline that make me pretty excited. I thought a two day timeline was awesome because it meant Hiccup was hit with a sledgehammer of ridiculous events all at once. But five or so days is still a sledgehammer, and extended times show some other cool things we otherwise would have seen.
One is that Stoick spends three days tracking down his son. Hiccup leaves Berk around sunset of Day One. Stoick finds him on Eret’s ship midday of Day Two, but Hiccup leaves again. It takes Stoick another day and a half to relocate his son again. Even with Skullcrusher’s tracking abilities, there was still a bit of effort involved in the son-retrieval-process.
It also means when Hiccup says he gets “side-tracked” coming into the blacksmith shop on Day One, he’s coming in around sunset… and has consequently skipped basically the entire day’s work!
This timeline also means it takes a little time for Hiccup to track Eret down a second time. He leaves Berk at sunset on Day One. He and Astrid probably camp out and stay the night. They refind Eret on Day Two midday.
The next observation is that this timeline means Hiccup spends slightly more time with his mother than we thought before Stoick dies. It’s still not much time, but of course more than a compacted timeline interpretation would give him.
Hiccup putting his vambrace on right before Stoick “kidnaps” him confirms my guess that Hiccup had been sleeping beforehand. This is morning. Hiccup’s starting a fresh new day. People have before wondered if the characters have gotten any sleep at all in a forty-eight hour period. With this chronology, there is more room for everyone to sleep more regularly and healthilly. Although I wonder… did Hiccup and Valka pull an all-nighter between Days 2 and 3 or something?
Note that crazydragonady has reconstructed the timeline from the script a little differently than me, putting Battle of the Bewilderbeast on Day Three rather than Day Four. It’s worth looking into her formulation!
Since this is an entirely new perspective for me looking at HTTYD 2, I’d love to hear what others say… if this is right, if I need to adjust some things, or if I am silly for having left my previous chronology viewpoint. So thank you so much for asking me this question again and I hope it helps in some capacity!!!