Yesterday I watched again the movie “How To Train Your Dragon.” It is one of my favorite movies and I have watched many, many, many times. Yet for some reason as I was watching it again, the symbolism and echos of real life, real world came clear to me.
“This is Berk. It’s twelve days north of Hopeless, and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It’s located solidly on the Meridian of Misery. My village. In a word, sturdy. And it’s been here for seven generations, but, every single building is new. We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunsets. The only problems are the pests. You see, most places have mice or mosquitoes. We have… dragons.” Hiccup, How To Train Your Dragon
This movie about Hiccup, a Viking teenager where the villagers fight dragons. His father his chief of Vikings. Hiccup, well being Hiccup does not fit it. His views on the world, what he likes to do that bring him joy, and his sense of humor make him an outsider, a misfit. He is told to stay away from fighting dragons, even though in the beginning he wants to learn to how slay a dragon. His father is clearly disappointed that his son is not the traditional Viking teenager. In his conversation with Gobber Hiccup says “Excuse me, barmaid, I’m afraid you brought me the wrong offspring. I ordered an extra large boy with meaty arms, extra guts and glory on the side. This here, this is a talking fish bone. Gobber: Now you’re thinking about this all wrong. It’s not so much what you look like, it’s what’s inside that he can’t stand.” Hiccup’s defending of Toothless and all other dragons is all courage. None of this stops Hiccup in his pursuit of the truth and questioning why the Vikings do what they do. He is resilient, curious, and kind. As the story evolves Hiccup injures the “Night Fury”, the fastest dragon and according to the other Viking lore the deadliest.
“Everything we know about them is wrong.” Hiccup
When Hiccup finds the injured Night Fury that he names “Toothless” he discovers everything that he has been taught is not true. These dragons are not trying to harm or kill the Vikings. These dragons are scared and defending themselves. These dragons are kind, smart, silly, protective, and loving. Toothless even regurgitates an eaten fish in bonding with Hiccup. Some of the dragons actions are guided by an alpha Queen Bee dragon, whose pull is so instinctual they have to obey it. Once Hiccup comes to the revelation about the dragons it opens up a whole new world of thinking and believing to him.
“I wouldn’t kill him because he looked as frightened as I was. I looked at him, and I saw myself.” Hiccup
What guides Hiccup is that he seeks first to understand. As he observes events that challenge his thinking he is open minded, which guide his actions of learning more. Hiccup stands his truth even when it means having a difficult relationship with his father and the other Vikings. Hiccup’s defending of Toothless and all other dragons is all courage. He challenges what he has read and learned about dragons. Hiccup states to all Vikings, his father included, “They’re not what we think they are.“ He is unwavering with his truth about the dragons. That the fear and hatred of them is all wrong because what the Vikings have been taught is all wrong.
“Alright, I admit it. This is pretty cool. It’s… amazing. He’s amazing.” Astrid
This movie has sadness, joy, funny parts, rejection, hurt, healing and love. It’s about bravery, changing, and admitting you were wrong. When we unjudge someone and take the time to get to know them instead of what we think we know or have been taught to know it opens up a whole new world of caring, wonderful relationships and positive change. It is also for standing up for what is right. As Suzy Kassem said “Stand up for what is right, even if you stand alone.” It shows how change can happen, even when it’s hard.
Incredible humans there are always opportunities to unjudge others. To seek first to understand with a curious mindset of learning about a person. When you read a book do you know what the contents will be by the cover of the book? Nope. You might think you do only to learn your assumptions where not accurate. You can only truly learn what is inside a book by reading it page by page. It is then you will learn what is inside the cover.
May your To Train Your Dragon be with you💜
Photo Credit Reellife By Grace
Here is a snippet of the movie: