How to Train Your Dragon is a family affair.
Image: DreamWorks

Almost ten years have passed since movie audiences were first introduced to Hiccup and Toothless, the puny Viking and mythical dragon who became friends and changed their whole world. Five years have passed since we last saw the pair together, expanding and building their mythology. Now, finally, their story concludes.

The third and final film in Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon series, The Hidden World, opens February 22. And because it’s been so long since the second film, and even longer since the original, we thought a quick recap may be in order to catch you up before the conclusion.

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In the first How to Train Your Dragon, released in 2010, we’re introduced to Berk. It’s a beautiful, vibrant Viking city that has one problem: it’s constantly being attacked by dragons. Killing those dragons is the noblest and important thing a Viking can do in Berk, which sucks for the main character Hiccup. Unlike his father Stoic (the chief of the village) and most of the other Vikings, Hiccup is, well, tiny. Diminutive. Basically the laughing stock of the city, to the point where his father kinds of dislikes him. Hiccup wants to change that though and figures he can do so by killing a Night Fury, which is the most dangerous and elusive of all the dragons. Night Fury’s are so mysterious, the Vikings literally know nothing about them, except that they exist.

Hiccup is able to capture a Night Fury by shooting him out of the sky. He finds the dragon in the woods, wounded, missing half of his back fin and unable to fly. When Hiccup goes to kill the elusive dragon, though, he realizes he doesn’t have it in him. Instead, he pities him, nurses him back to health and befriends the dragon. He names him Toothless (because his teeth are retractable) and builds him a special contraption for his take which allows Toothless to fly with Hiccup’s help.

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Hiccup meets Toothless
Image: DreamWorks

As the two begin to develop a kinship, Hiccup realizes the entire Viking ideology about dragons—that they are dangerous and want to kill them—is wrong. They’re simply defending themselves. Which is problematic for Hiccup but also kind of a blessing because everything the young Viking learns about dragons from Toothless makes the village think he’s actually a natural born dragon killer. Of course, he’s more of a dragon whisperer now, treating them in a whole new way. But he knows revealing the truth about dragons will scare everyone.

The first person to discover his secret is Astrid, a girl who is training with Hiccup and is by far the best actual dragon hunter of their age. She’s confused how this small boy is doing so well in their lessons and decides to find out. She follows Hiccup into the woods, discovers him with the legendary Night Fury, and rightfully freaks out. Hiccup explains everything and takes her for a dragon ride. She becomes his first true believer. Which is nice for Hiccup because he kind of has a crush on Astrid.

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This all comes to a head when Hiccup is crowned the best in his dragon-hunting class and given the chance to kill his first dragon in front of the village. Instead, he befriends the beast, which shocks and enrages everyone. Stoic isn’t ready to accept his whole life is a lie and vows to find the home of the dragons and kill them all.

Stoic captures Toothless and uses him to find the dragon lair and a massive battle ensues. During which, Stoic finally realizes Hiccup is right. Dragons are not bad after all and he apologizes to his son. Hiccup and Toothless save the day by defeating a huge “evil” dragon but, in the battle, Hiccup loses a foot, which further links him to Toothless as they both share a disability. The film ends with dragons moving into Berk and the two species co-existing.


How to Train Your Dragon 2, released in 2014, picks up five years after the first film. Now, Hiccup is kind of a legend in Berk because of the way he is with dragons and he spends his days flying around on Toothless, trying to make a new map of the world. He’s also becoming much closer with Astrid and his father wants him to become the chief of the village.

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How to Train Your Dragon 2
Image: DreamWorks

Hiccup isn’t interested in all that responsibility though and continues to explore the world and its many dragons. Along the way, he runs into a fleet of ships carrying dragon hunters working for a man named Drago Bloodfist. Drago is an evil man trying to build a dragon army, which frightens Hiccup because that thinking goes against everything he and the people of Berk now believe. Hiccup thinks, because he’s been so successful changing the minds of people in Berk, he thinks he can do the same to Drago. He is wrong.

Along the way, Hiccups is captured by another dragon rider. He thought he was the only one but, alas, that’s not true. Eventually, it’s revealed that this dragon rider is actually Hiccup’s mom, Valka, who he believed to be dead. In reality, she left Berk for much the same reasons Hiccup is feuding with everyone. She believed dragons were good and it was her job to protect them, to which the Berk Vikings disagreed. So she’s spent almost 20 years living with, learning, and freeing dragons. Valka also reveals that she lives with a Bewilderbeast, a massive Alpha dragon, that can control all the other dragons.

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Stoic sets off to find the kidnapped Hiccup and is more than surprised to find his wife, alive. They quickly fall back in love and the family decides to team up to defeat Drago. He has an Alpha dragon too, which is how he felt he could control a dragon army, and the two Alphas fight. In the battle, Stoic is killed but the day is won when Toothless becomes the new Alpha, discovering he has some magical powers neither he nor Hiccup knew about.

The film ends with Stoic’s funeral, Valka moving back to Berk, Hiccup becoming the new chief and Toothless the new Alpha dragon, able to command all the other dragons at will.

And one year later, it’s time for The Hidden World.

Hiccup and Astrid with a few friends
Image: Dreamworks

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Other notes

  • There are five other supporting characters who are semi-important. First are Fishlegs, Snotlout, Tuffnut and Ruffnut. They are the same age as Hiccup and Astrid and are part of the dragon hunting class in the first movie, the first to ride dragons (along with Hiccup and Astrid), and by movie two, the duo’s trusted allies. The other major character is Gobber, a metalworker that helped Hiccup become such a great inventor and creator.

And now, you’re ready to see The Hidden Dragon, in theaters February 22. Check back soon for our interview with the director and full review.

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