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Fridge Brilliance

  • Most dragon species seem to be at least partially piscivorous[1]. Thus, it makes sense that a certain species of eel would develop a toxin that's only dangerous to dragons. Bright, eye-catching colors (like, say, yellow and black stripes) are how most real life toxic animals advertise their toxicity to would-be predators.
  • During the training sequence with the Nadder in the maze, Hiccup loses all his weapons. His axe is blasted and his shield is smashed. These were his ties to his village. "When you carry this axe you carry all of us with you" Well, when it's gone, that leads into the very next scene where he tries to make contact with Toothless. Brilliant!
    • Astrid also loses her axe when meeting Toothless, and so forth through the movie.
    • Done with knife and shield more often, but Hiccup actually throws away his weapons a lot; aside from the universal meaning of "I come in peace", it is particularly significant when he does it during the fight with the Monstrous Nightmare in front of the entire village.
  • The scene where Hiccup and Toothless are taking Astrid for a ride, and the Aurora comes out. This troper could not stop thinking of the Rainbow Bridge, and how much the Lights must have looked like that to them. A truly powerful moment.
    • Then suspension of disbelief is snapped; Hiccup, Astrid, and Toothless are above cloud cover and are north enough to witness aurora borealis. Frostbite and hypothermia should be imminent, if not immediate.
      • Also, dragons don't exist.
      • Not to mention the fact that the Aurora Borealis CAN be visible south of the Arctic Circle...
      • And Toothless breathes fire. No doubt he has some way of warming his body enough to keep them safe.
  • I'm not sure if it's brilliance, but at some point I got the point of Hiccup's oversized vest as a piece of character design; it makes him look smaller. When he doesn't wear it, such as when he has on the flight harness, he looks more natural.
    • I'm not so sure it's that Hiccup looks smaller in his vest rather that he looks larger in his flight harness. The shoulder pads make him look broader, increasing his stature in a subtle but significant way.
  • Not quite sure if this is Fridge Brilliance but Gobber (and one of the other tropers) mentioned that a downed dragon is a dead dragon. When Hiccup tells Astrid about why he didn't kill Toothless, he says it's because he looked as frightened as Hiccup was. Before that, he also points out to his father that the dragons have killed hundreds of Vikings and the Vikings have killed thousands of dragons. It also reminded me that most Vikings excluding Stoick need a weapon when fighting a dragon or they'll be killed. Which got me thinking about when Hiccup dropped his knife when releasing Toothless or during the fish offering: he was totally defenseless. Anyway, the brilliance is: Hiccup released Toothless because he was scared shitless and Toothless spared Hiccup because he was also scared shitless.
    • And also because this is a kids' movie but anyway...
    • Wasn't it pretty much stated?
  • The boneknapper. It's been chasing Goober for years. Years when it hasn't had a full set of armour. Years without a roar. It wasn't mean, it was just, frustrated.
    • Considering the roar it had been trying to do the whole time was a mating call...
  • Why does the Green Death explode? Well, before it, they had shown how the Zippleback ignited the fire: one head put sparks to the other's gas. Gas that looked exactly the same as Green Death's mouth's content before Toothless attacked it. Assuming the dragons can "direct" their fire out, Toothless ruined the attack and turned it against Green Death by creating a gas explotion inside it!.
    • Furthermore, the crash probably smashed it's face in, compressing the gas, leading to an explosion, and not just a fireball.
  • At first I was all: Wait, why do the Vikings have Scottish accents instead of Scandinavian ones? And then I was all: Ah! Because this is a Viking settlement-- in Scotland!
    • You can't see the aurora borealis in Scotland, only from very near the Arctic circle (and only in extremely cold weather). I'm not so sure it is in Scotland.
      • Perhaps not in modern time. IIRC, the Aurora Borealis is caused by the reaction of the Earth's magnetic field and the atmosphere close to the surface or even high enough in the sky, where sightings are much more common...Hiccup and Astrid could have seen it during a time when the magnetic field was stronger(which is more likely at that point in history, as the magnetic field has weakened over time in preparation for the coming polarity shift).
      • The film takes place on an island, and the Shetland and Orkney Islands are all Scottish territory, significantly north of mainland Scotland, so the Aurora could be seen from there. The Northern Lights have been seen as far south as Calgary, which is further south than the Shetlands.
      • In rare cases (every 11 years, most notably after the recent solar storm) the Aurora can be seen [2] as far south as Ottawa which is farther south than most of Scotland.
  • At the end of the scene where Hiccup and Stoick talk in the smithy (aka "the breast hat" scene), Stoick leaves and accidentally bumps into a bunch of weapons and such and scrambles to catch them all. When I first saw the movie, I thought that was just supposed to be a display of Stoick being awkward and didn't think much of it. Then, after buying the movie and watching that scene again, I realized something. Before Stoick knocks over all that stuff, he and Hiccup strike the exact same pleased pose. It's showing that, for all Stoick's posturing about being a "true Viking", he can be just as clumsy, awkward, and unsure of himself as Hiccup can be. I wouldn't be surprised if Stoick were a lot more like Hiccup when he was a kid, but had it squashed out of him by his own father.
    • Just after Stoick knocks over the weapons, he puts his hands on his hips and does a "Thank Thor that's over" sort of sigh. Cut to Hiccup inside the smithy, who does the exact same sigh (in the same pose)!
  • Hiccup does indeed prove himself to be a Viking by killing a dragon the Green Death ultimately saving his people, but only with the aid of a dragon itself can he do so.
  • Astrid is the only Viking that doesn't have a horrible name to scare off trolls and gnomes. Judging from how good she is at the fighting business even before her training, she was probably scary enough as a baby on her own that her parents trusted she didn't need a nasty name on top of it.
    • Or she was forced to learn how to defend herself from a VERY young age, because she didn't have a nasty name to scare off gnomes and trolls. She's the best because she's been practicing since she was a baby!
  • I always wondered why, when Hiccup's harness clip got bent, he didn't just cut the strap off and save himself the trouble--I was sure that at that point, Toothless would trust him enough with one. Then I realized, considering the event that made him make the harness in the first place... he'd have made the strap strong enough to not break during breakneck turns... and thus strong enough where a knife wouldn't be able to cut it.
  • It just struck me that Toothless' name is actually pretty fitting not only for his character but also a subtle reference to dragons being capable of peace. For dragons their teeth would be a sign of their power and ferocity as a bite from those jaws would be devastating so for Hiccup to call the Night Fury Toothless then he is saying that the dragon is lacking a bite (harmful intent) and thus Hiccup can safely be friends with him. Also if you pay attention Toothless never bites anyone in the entire movie!
  • When Hiccup's axe is destroyed, he is carrying it in his right hand. However, Hiccup is left handed, meaning that, at that point, his ability to fight is his weakest attribute. His shield, being on his left arm, means that he is more suited to non-offensive methods, such as his training/taming of Toothless.
  • I went to see How To Train Your Dragon, having been a fan of the orignal books, and thouroughly enjoyed it, despite both being rather different. The first time around, I didn't really think about the Checkhov's Gun used during the battle with the Green Death (of dragons being internally combustable) that much. It was only upon seeing the film for a second time, and reading the original book again that I realised - both movie-version and book-version of the Green Death die in a very similar way! They both attempt to breathe fire, but it backfires (not literally) on them, causing them to explode! - King Sonn Dee Doo
  • The Badass Pacifist entry allowed me to realize this. So Astrid at first dismissed Hiccup as a scrawny weakling cuz he kinda is a scrawny weakling, but immediately after her dragon flight seems to have fallen for him. I figured that it wasn't only the romantic flight, but the fact that it was a romantic flight on the back of the most terrifying dragon ever that the dude she's dismissed actually tamed and rode. She realized how much more of a badass he is compared to the vikings she looked up to/aspired to be and admired it.
  • This is just a small one, but Gobber says that Trolls only steal your left SOCKS. and Gobber only has a left leg!
  • Someone asked why the training dragons, after being locked up in the arena and abused for so long, would take so amiably to the teens right before the climax of the movie. The answer could be they became less aggressive after all the time Hiccup spent treating them kindly during the training sessions (scratching them under their chins, the dragon nip, etc.), learned from his time spent with Toothless.

Fridge Horror

  • How did Hiccup lose his foot? He looks like he has both while falling into the fire...which means Toothless must've torn it off in rescuing him?!
    • Or crushed under Toothless' weight. Thank God for the Gory Discretion Shot
    • Half your leg or your life. I'd go with the former.
    • Maybe Hiccup's leg was amputated rather than actually lost in the fall? It wouldn't have had to have been so bad to be beyond the Viking's capabilities of saving it. A really nasty burn that got infected on the boat-ride back, for example?
      • The How To Train Your Dragon Wiki claims that Hiccup's left foot was extremely burned by the fiery explosion and that the Vikings could do nothing to save his leg. This however makes you wonder how Toothless' body and wing cover was able to spare all of the rest of Hiccup's body but somehow not save his foot. Also wouldn't even the slightest bit of flame reaching Hiccup have sucked away all the oxygen out from under Toothless' protection and the heat have severely hurt him from being so close to his flesh? I guess in short Hiccup is lucky to be alive.
    • Toothless's protective wing-cover was not a tight seal. It's more similar to wrapping someone up in a blanket. Considering Toothless would have been holding Hiccup by the torso and focusing on protecting his head, it's not unreasonable to think that Hiccup's leg either fell out of the protective covering a bit, or was already burnt by the time Toothless grabbed him. Also, once burns hit flesh, there's enough oxygen in the body for the burn to continue to do a lot of damage without actually being on fire.
  • Hiccup's willing to give up his entire life - his dad, his apprenticeship, his few friends (Gobber and . . . Gobber) - for Toothless. Kinda makes you wonder if he had any depression issues before he met Toothless.
    • More like he was the village scapegoat for who knows how many years. The scene where Astrid finds out about Toothless is very telling I think. She just beats up on him and he doesn't fight back at all. Makes you wonder how much of that was habit...
      • Nah, Hiccup clearly tells Toothless that the two of them are going to take a break from the village for a while, he doesn't say that they are going to be gone forever. Hiccup was probably going to wait it out until his village forgot about him being the village hero and no longer cared if he killed a dragon or not, sure his dad Stoick may get mad at him but at least Toothless gets to live and he doesn't have dragon blood on his hands. Unfortunately for Hiccup things didn't go according to his plan when Astrid came along.
      • Watch the movie again. "You and I are taking a little vacation...forever."
  • With dragon-riding Vikings, neither Harold Godwinson nor William the Would-Have-Been-A-Conqueror will stand a chance.
    • All hail the House of Haddock, the monarchical line of the United Kingdom of Denmark, Norway, Scotland, Britain and Ireland.
  • Hiccup's mother's breast helmets. The fact that Stoick's helmet is so small and Hiccup's is so big makes me wonder if his mother may have had some seriously deformed or disproportionately sized boobs. Beyond that just the idea that Hiccup is wearing something that use to touch his mom's breasts is all kinds of Squick.
    • Of course, Stoick's best friend works in a smithy. It's entirely possible he just had Gobber shape the breast plates so they fit both Stoick and Hiccup's heads.
    • For most women, one breast is at least slightly bigger than the other, and that's perfectly normal.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Sure, Night Furies are incredibly rare. Toothless is the only Night Fury seen in the movie... yet he doesn't look like he's a very old dragon, so his parents would hypothetically still be alive... except we never see them. Taking that into consideration, along with the facts that he seems to have been around the area for a long time--if not his entire life, and that the Red Death actually ate two dragons on-screen...
    • Speaking of Night Furies being so rare... what if they can't find another Night Fury when it's mating season? Pretty soon, their entire species will be extinct.
    • Maybe Night Furies just don't live in that particular area, Toothless just went a little too far north or something.
    • Also, it's revealed the dragons attacked Berk because they were trying to feed a giant dragon so they themselves don't get eaten instead. But what if they took more than just food and livestock? Who said the Red Death would object to eating HUMANS?!! If so, that may explain why Stoic is so determined to end the lives of all dragonkind and destroy their nest, disregarding Gobber's doubts of he and his men surviving such an assault.
  • All right, so Hiccup lost his leg. But how? We saw him and Toothless smash into the Red Death's tail, so that might have shattered the bones of his leg pretty badly. And it was the correct side. But they were both still in one piece when we last saw them, falling into the fireball, and giant fireballs don't have that kind of precision... speaking of which, it's a good thing Toothless can snatch people out of the air by their l... wait. Wait. ... Oh, geez.
    • If it's any consolation, it does actually seem more likely that the giant fireball was responsible; it is strongly implied that it was caught in the leading edge of the fireball, before Toothless was able to wrap himself around Hiccup. Aside from Toothless being toothless, anything else would have resulted in Hiccup almost certainly dying from loss of blood. Fire, however, cauterizes.
    • With the level of medical care available in the North Atlantic during the Viking era, shattering the bones of his leg, getting third-degree burns on the foot, getting snatched out of the air by a dragon; any of those could've cost him his foot, and his best chance of survival might include an amputation; given his long convalescence, he probably suffered a raging infection as well.

Fridge Logic

  • Gobber mentions that a dragon cannot fly with an injured tail. this leads to Hiccup realizing he needs to make a new tail for toothless. No one has ever seen a Night Fury before and none of the other dragons have fins on their tails.
    • I don't get it, is this supposed to be Fridge Logic or Fridge Brilliance? I'd pick the latter. Hiccup figuring out how he should help an animal he, or anybody else, has never seen before to fly is absolutely brilliant.
    • It's rather obvious. I don't think this counts as fridge anything.
      • the fridge logic is not that Hiccup figures out he needs to make a tail fin. It's why did Gobber say a dragon cannot fly without its tail when tail fins are unique to a dragon he had never seen before.
      • Tails don't need fins to be necessary for balance. Think cats and monkeys. A regular dragon without the whole tail could be just as crippled as Toothless is without the fin.
    • On the other hand, the tail fin was pretty small relative to Toothless's wings, and birds who have lost their entire tail can still fly, albeit with crappy breaking skills and less maneuverability. Toothless smashing into the green death's tail and needing help with the high-speed maneuvering makes sense, but he should've been able to fly out of the valley and get around on his own (like how he was able to fly the last little bit and save Hiccup from both the Nightmare and the Red Death's inferno).
      • He couldn't fly out of the valley because of lack of energy. It seems like he'd been downed by the trap for some time, and even once Hiccup released him, without his tail fin he probably couldn't have hunted. It was only once Hiccup fed him that he tried to really fly again. Also, since he's a reptile, his anatomy's different from a bird's - maybe dragons rely more on their tail fins than birds do. So the saving Hiccup part involved Heroic Determination.
    • There were quite a number of dragons in the book, some of them featured fins on their tails as well. In addition, Gobbles never said they had to loose their tail fins to be grounded, only their tails. A Dragon's tail is made of flesh and bone, not feathers, so it would destroy any semblance of stability (most modern interpretation of bipedal dinosaurs was that their massive tails were counter-balances for their gigantic frontal bodies. It would not be a stretch for this to apply to flying lizards as well).
  • If no one has ever seen a Night Fury before, why do they yell, "The Night Fury!" when Toothless shows up to rescue Hiccup in the training arena?
    • They recognized the familiar sound of a horse/cat/bat/jet-engine.
    • Or the fact that it is a species of dragon that no one has seen before? The dragon manual seemed to have entries on every species of dragon, besides the night fury. (Not counting the giant one in the end, which they didn't even know existed till then)
  • How do trolls tell the difference between a left sock and a right one? Unless they steal them while you're wearing them...
    • Gobber only has one leg, and that's his left one. He can't wear a sock on his right one. Hence why he thinks the trolls only steal the left.
  • In relation to the video game: Toothless is seen only eating fish in the movie, while in the game Night Furies refuse to eat fish at all.
  • Just how did all the vikings get back after killing green death? It burned all their ships in battle. Seems the only transportation available at that point were the teens' dragons.
    • The time frame is left unclear, so a variety of options are available. They could have scavenged what remained from the destroyed ships to build a few new ones. They could have found a stand of trees on the other side of the island to build new ships. The kids on the dragons could have flown back to the village to assemble a rescue party with more ships. Or perhaps by the end scenes not everyone was back yet. Hiccup, being injured, would have been taken home first, perhaps flown. The village could still be in the midst of sending ships to ferry the remaining people back. (The most outlandish option - lots of the smaller dragons returned to the island after the destruction of the Green Death, were successfully tamed, and everyone flew back).
      • Stoick tells Gobber to get everyone to the far side of the island while the two of them distract the Green Death so that everyone can escape. So there might have been a second fleet behind the mountain we couldn't see.
      • Given that after Hiccup woke up we see that everyone in the village has their own dragons (and then some) it's probably more plausible that they just flew back on the dragons. The timeskip also explains why they couldn't save Hiccup's foot: they didn't have medical supplies with them and the fly back took too long.
  • It's never made clear in the film, but if Astrid's observation of the Red/Green Death being the "queen bee" for the dragons, wouldn't that mean that the dragons would not last beyond this generation? Of course, if it were the case, it also means that the different "species" of dragons doesn't make much sense either. I'm just hoping Astrid's metaphor was a bit off.
    • Astrid was just drawing an analogy. They can't literally be its offspring.
  • How does the Green Death fly at all? This problem exists for most of the other dragons as well. In order to fly, an animal has to be really freaking light. That's why birds have hollow bones - if they had solid bones, there's no way they could get off the ground. And before you say that dragons might be lighter than they look, keep in mind that the Green Death shrugs off catapults and FREAKING CRUSHES STONE PILLARS INTO PIECES. Something with hollow bones can do that? Yeah right. Especially with those skinny, flimsy wings, that thing should have never been able to get off the ground.
    • Every movie that has ever features something that flies that should not be able to fly has this problem. Pegasi, angels, etc. MST3K Mantra.
      • It does stand out in this movie, however, because they went to such lengths to make Toothless' flying seem realistic. His movements and the mechanisms behind it rang true, so to see this behemoth of a dragon made from solid muscle fly with such relatively tiny wings... It does break the illusion a bit.
        • Hydrogen. 14x less dense than air. Buoyancy causes them to be lighter than they are. Also simultaneously explains how dragons breathe fire, as well as why there's a shot limit. For more, see this Animal Planet video.
      • Not to mention the fact that the hollow bones of a bird are no more brittle or stronger than mammal bones(themselves actually rather hollow).
      • Secretary Birds can shatter the bones in a human being's body just by kicking them. Compare a real life, 3-4 foot bird with actual hollow bones to a dragon hundreds upon hundreds of feet tall AND wide. Hollow bones don't make something weak.
      • Due to the Cube Law it should be more distressing that a freaking giant lizard like the Green Death exists without collapsing in on itself. By all means it should not be able to move, let alone fly.
  • Okay, seriously, the Scottish accents. They bother the hell out of me. I get that Scotland was occupied by Vikings for a time, but the movie is clearly NOT set in Scotland. For one, Hiccup's comment on the weather ("a few degrees south of freezing to death", "it snows nine months out of the year, and hails the other three") is a pretty clear indication that it's a Scandinavian country (which, as we all know, are infamous for being very VERY cold). For two, when Hiccup and Astrid were riding Toothless above the clouds, the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) were clearly visible. As I mentioned above, the Northern Lights are not visible in Scotland - you can only see them if you're VERY near the Arctic Circle (which Scotland isn't), and only in EXTREMELY cold weather. So ignoring the fact that the three of them should have frozen solid during that scene, the presence of the Northern Lights points strongly to this movie being set in Scandinavia. And trying to say "they flew from Scotland to Scandinavia" doesn't work either, since for one that would probably take more than one night (given that dragons seem to fly at about the same speed as birds), and for two, when they dip below the clouds, the coastline and cliffs look exactly the same as they did every other time Toothless is flying over the ocean.
    • And the kids have American accents. It's just storytelling. J.R.R. Tolkien had no cultures that spoke English. And yet, in the films, they spoke english. Besides, Being Vikings typically means being descended of those who are culturally and genetically used to such weather.
    • Maybe Berk trades/traded with Scotland and it was a cultural osmosis thing. Or maybe they originally were from Scotland and moved to Berk for some reason.
    • Or more likely it was a big nod to David Tennant, who is very much Scottish, who read the stories for the audiobooks with unique voices for all the different characters.
    • According to the author of the books, Berk is a part of/near the Hebrides.
    • Considering Vikings were around before the English language was developed, this is closer to the case of the Hobbits in LOTR having Irish accents. It's not because they're from that part of the world, but because in 'translating' the story to English, the accent was put in to elicit a certain audience response. (ie, these are tough and stubborn people who raise sheep)
    • As for being above the clouds, it's shown fairly consistently that the clouds are pretty low in the vicinity of Berk. It could very well be that they are not as high as it seems at first glance. Another indicator of this would be that the air is rather thin above your typical high altitude clouds and Astrid and Hiccup clearly had no trouble breathing.
    • And it's extremely uncommon, but you can, on occasion, see the Northern Lights from the very, very north of Scotland, which is on much the same latitude as the south of Norway - and in winter, you can freeze to death if you're out in the hills unprepared. As for the weather, it's pretty clear from watching the film that Hiccup's exaggerating the "snows nine months of the year and hails the other three" thing. The weather's lovely and clear in most of the scenes.
    • I live very below the Arctic Circle, and I have all my life. I have seen the Northern Lights several times over the course of my life. Your argument is illogical, misinformed, and invalid. Oh, and very below the Arctic Circle means "At least a day's travel, and along the same latitude as Scotland. Case closed.
  • On the note of the kids having American accents and the adults having Scottish ones: how weird must puberty sound for these Vikings?
  • The two lead actors for the adult roles are Scottish. The lead actor for the childrens' roles is Canadian. It makes more sense to make the people in supporting roles match the leads' accents rather than make lead actors who can't do accents very well do crappy fake accents.

Notes

  1. fish eater
  2. although not nearly as well as farther north
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