The How To Train Your Dragon series has brought to life a host of colorful draconian species that boast an interesting and powerful lore. With the sequel just releasing this week, we thought we would take some time to investigate the beasties that Dreamworks has concocted to heighten your anticipation for the film (if you haven't seen it already!)
We will be making references to the first film here, so beware there may be spoilers ahead for those of you who haven't seen it. We will be keeping references to the second film as spoiler free as humanly possible, so fear not!
The Nightmare made it's debut in the first movie, and was widely believed to be one of the most dangerous dragons alive. They had a bad tendency to light themselves on fire when things got dangerous, making them particularly troublesome around wooden structures. Dragon's outer skin is impervious to fire by nature, making this self defense system even more efficient.
Nightmares can range in color from red to a deep purple and have a traditional elongated dragon snout, and forward facing eyes. Unlike some other breeds of dragon, it has no forelegs, but it can use its claw-tipped wings to "crawl" along the floor.
Most winged dragons have a natural flying aptitude. But if most dragons are commercial airlines, Stormcutters are military fighter jets. They have a secondary set of deployable wings that likens them to an X-Wing spaceship from the Star Wars universe, giving them better manueverability in combat and increased speed.
In terms of mannerism and intellect, Stormcutters are one of the few species of Dragons that shares an intellect on human scale. From a distance, one might mistake a Stormcutter for an oversized owl, due to it's distinct bullet-shaped body and recessed face. Stormcutters can also breathe fire in sustained columns rather than bursts or gouts of flame.
Bewilderbeasts are probably the largest of all dragons, outgrowing even the massive "Red Death" from the first movie. They are exceedingly rare, and incredibly intelligent. They are speculated to live for many lifetimes, making them one of the oldest breeds of dragons found in Berk.
The Bewilderbeasts have massive tusks jutting from the from of their mouth, and instead of scales they have a coral-like skin, and feathery protrusions. Rather than breathing fire, they emit streams of powerful sleet and ice, which is enough to freeze a man solid in his tracks. While the Bewilderbeast can fly, it is a tidal dragon, and is far more at home beneath the waves than in the air.
Terrible Terrors are the most adorable and smallest dragons found on Berk. Fully grown, Terrors won't get much larger than a common housecat. Don't let that fool you, as these little menaces are expert infiltrators, getting into houses and sheds thanks to their small size and flexibility. They share a feline-like demeanor for both exploration, inquisition and getting into trouble.
The Terrible Terror is interesting in it's ability to breathe a relatively intense and small column of flame with pinpoint accuracy - some consider them to be the "Snipers" of the dragon world. Terrors, however, are fairly easy to domesticate, as they are more ready to accept food from strangers due to their penchant for curiosity.
The Thunderdrum is shaped almost like a barrel, with a wide gaping maw with dozens of spiraling rows of teeth. It has two, small beady forward facing eyes at the tip of its' snout, with a mouth that opens much further down its' head. They come in all varieties of colors, from a deep blue to a royal purple or burgundy.
Thunderdrums are tidal dragons and as such, they are most at home in the water. From their drum-like bodies they can hurl forth an immense sonic boom, that turns water into a tidal wave, or knocks men into the dirt like an anvil to the back of the skull.
They also shoot blue cones of flame when their sonic boom won't do the trick. Despite their fearsome appearance, Thunderdrums are described as being compassionate social animals, that travel in pods of up to a dozen and care for their young much like mammals do.
The Nightfury was once the most enigmatic and feared of all the dragons. With jet black scales and wings designed for high speed flight, the Nightfury was the stealth bomber of the dragon world. It hits hard and fast and then disappeared - that is, until Hiccup accidentally caught and maimed one. That Nightfury (and the only Nightfury, as far as we know) was Toothless.
Nightfuries aren't the largest or fiercest of the dragons, but they do appear to be one of the more intelligent species, having an advanced sense of right and wrong, humor and problem solving abilities. It also bonds very closely with a human of its' choosing. Nightfuries don't appear to be domesticated, as much as they learn to trust a human. They are adept fliers and friendly companions in a way that most other dragons aren't.
Toothless got its' name due to it's unique retractable teeth, which it uses to hunt fish. Nightfuries seem to share many catlike attributes as well as canine tendencies, making it not only an excellent pet, but a trustworthy friend.
From one dragon lover to another, do yourself a favor and go see "How to Train Your Dragon 2"