Meet The Viking Women Of The How To Train Your Dragon Franchise
January 1, 2019
They make up a small portion of the How To Train Your Dragon franchise, but the women of the franchise pack a one-two punch.
The film, How To Train Your Dragonwas adapted from Cressida Cowell’s book series of the same name. It featured a Viking boy named Hiccup Haddock III as he navigated the world of dragons. The films and television series features the future chief of Berk as he campaigns for the freedom of dragons.
Within in the franchise strong women serve as a support system to Hiccup and his adventures. From Astrid to Valka, the women show they can stand on their own and fight to protect the dragons. In this Exposé, we’ll chat about the women who have helped Hiccup achieve his vision.
“What you’re searching for isn’t out there, Hiccup. It’s in here. Maybe you just don’t see it yet.”
The second-in-command of the Berk Dragon riders and the love of Hiccup’s life, Astrid is a Viking soldier with an axe at her hip. Introduced to Hiccup’s point-of-view of dragons in the first film, she becomes sympathetic to the future chief. This comes when Hiccup and Toothless blackmail her into keeping the Night Fury a secret from Stoick, and Berk.
Over the course of the first two seasons of the television series, Astrid plays the role of a loyal friend. Astrid becomes the secondary leader of the riders which annoys Snotlout who sees himself as the next leader.
Going into Race to the Edge, Astrid tries to stir away from finding new dragons but finds herself pulled back into the fray. As the Netflix series continues, we see Astrid’s relationship with Hiccup change. It alludes to the blooming bond between them.
During the later seasons, Hiccup and Astrid enter a relationship but try to keep it secret. They don’t want their friends telling them “We told you so” and making a big deal. But, their attempt fails and everyone finds out. They get engaged much to the delight of Stoick and their friends.
Astrid is the secondary driving force in Dragons 2. After Hiccup and Toothless go missing, she leads a mission to find them. She’s also Hiccup’s rock when he expresses his reluctance to become chief.
“We have important work here, a higher purpose, if you will.”
The leader of the Wing Maiden tribe, Atali became an ally of the riders during Season 5 and 6 of Race to the Edge. A polite and gracious woman, Atali did not tolerate disrespect. As the leader of the Wing Maiden Tribe, it was her task to help protect the Razorwhip species. Atali was loyal to her tribe and respected Hiccup as a leader.
Seen in the first film as a minor character, the mute village sharwoman, Gothi had a recurring role in the television series. She was the one who helped the riders whenever they needed medicine. Oh, and she had a bad habit hitting people in the head with her staff if they said something stupid or insulted her.
“We’re not kids anymore. Everything’s changed.”
Introduced in the Riders of Berk episode Heather Report Part 1, Heather started as a spy for Alvin after he threatened her adoptive parents. She later returned and became a friend to the riders and became of them for a short time.
Years after her departure Heather returns with a dragon of her own whom she names Windshear. This time, the other riders are mistrusting of her, while Astrid trusts what she says. She and Astrid become good friends, and Astrid learns to confide in her about her growing feelings for Hiccup. In return, Astrid supports her and Fishlegs.
The friendship between Heather and Astrid became sister-like because they shared similiarities. They supported each other in their relationships with Hiccup and Fishlegs, respectively. They even encouraged each other to take a leap of faith with their Viking men.
Heather won’t hesitate to protect her friends. When she discovers Dagur razored and murdered her adoptive parents, she would stop at nothing to kill him. However, she learns from Hiccup that Dagur is her brother and backs down. She eventually comes to love her brother when he turns to the side of good.
“When one leads, one is looked upon for all answers, some of which they haven’t yet found.”
A great leader and the Queen of the Defenders of the Wing, Mala has a religious admiration for dragons. She hates dragon hunters and anyone who seeks to do the dragons harm.
The Queen of the Defenders of the Wing often has a habit of twisting people’s words. She has a cynical personality, but she has a sense of honor that cannot be denied. In her eyes, Maia believed the ancients banned Vikings from climbing onto a dragon’s back. This changes when the Great Protector was in danger. She didn’t have an issue joining the Berkians in their quest to rescue the reptile.
Mala becomes friendly with the riders and isn’t afraid to call upon them. She views the group as friends and gives them information whenever they need it.
She has a romantic side as she falls for Dagur before she ends up marrying him.
“They say competition is the very essense of life itself.”
One-half of the fraternal Thorston twins, Ruffnut might appear to be as dumb as her brother, but she has a big heart. She’s also knowledgeable… when she wants to be.
Alongside her brother, Tuffnut rides Barf and Belch a green Hideous Zippleback that fights himself as the twins do. Despite this, Ruff is a loyal friend and dragon rider and often has to fight off romantic pursuits from Fishlegs and Snotlout.
Like Tuffnut, Ruff shows a great amount of skill of doing dumb things at the right time. However, it doesn’t sit well with Astrid who often calls them out for their stupidity. As Tuff’s twin, Ruff hates sharing all her stuff with him.
On her own, Ruff shows skill in training dragons as she tamed Sculdy the Scaldron and Wingnut the Razorwhip on her own. She’s also seen as a catalyst to her brother’s sometimes idiotic and ill-thought up plans.
“Some of us were just born different.”
Hiccup’s mother and Stoick’s long-lost wife, Valka is the reason her son is the way he is. Like Hiccup, Valka couldn’t kill a dragon, a trait she passed onto Hiccup before she got dragon-napped by Cloudjumper. Hiccup discovers this when he reunites with his mother 20 years later.
Before the audience learns Valka’s name in How to Train Your Dragon 2, the television series and the first film gave us some information on her.
During the first film, Stoick has part of Valka’s breastplate made into a helmet. It’s obvious when we meet Valka, there’s no way the breastplate would have fit her. Stoick reveals to their son his own helmet is also part of Valka’s armor. For most viewers, the joke seems like a throwaway gag inserted for a quick laugh. Fans of the books will pick up on the reference to Valka’s book counterpart.
In the Riders of Berk episode, ‘Breakneck Bog’, we learn Valka made Hiccup a dragon toy he was afraid of and he threw it into the sea. Trader Johann found it and contacted Stoick so he could return it to Hiccup.
It’s not until the episode, ‘Imperfect Harmony’ that Valka’s name is first mentioned chronologically. Just a word of warning. Race to the Edge aired a year after the release of Dragons 2 which takes place after the television series ends.
There we have it. The women of How to Train Your Dragon come across as ultimate badasses. They believe in Hiccup’s plan to bring peace to the Viking world. While they might not agree with everything, they have a sense of honor that outweighs anything else in the archipelago.
Was there a woman I missed who should get a mention? Comment below!