The final instalment in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy has already hit the cinemas in most countries around the world, and passionate suggestions for alternate endings and even versions of the story, are surfacing within the HTTYD community.
The movie’s creators and Dean DeBlois (who wrote the movie’s script) were careful to prepare fans for the inevitable “goodbye” between the vikings and their dragons; a goodbye destined to bring the story told in the movies and several shorts and long-running TV series to its conclusion. Fans of Cressida Cowell’s “How to Train Your Dragon” book series know that the book begins with an adult Hiccup, looking back on his life and saying “There were dragons when I was a boy.” Readers were “prepared” for the ending, before the story began.
After movie audiences witnessed such a strong and caring bond developing between the dragons and their riders – especially Hiccup and Toothless, it was clear that any ending to their friendship would need to be handled sensitively.
Way back in 2012, in an interview with the author of the original books Cressida Cowell, she mentioned that the Vikings and dragons would separate at the end of the third movie. (Source)
How did fans react to the dragon and rider friendships they’ve come to enjoy witnessing, finally coming to an end? Some fans are writing their own endings!
Only a very few minutes of this final HTTYD (The Hidden World) movie, make sense in the context of the entire story up to this point, starting from the first movie in 2010.
Whatever remains, appears to be dedicated towards somehow legitimising unusual personality changes to the Viking and dragon characters. These personality changes, appeared to have been required in order to push an unusually large amount of modern-day mainstream-media-style themes that simply don’t fit into a “mythical Viking and dragons story from long ago”. An entire hour of this movie, is spent watching the Dragon Riders either running away like panicked insects and leaving their ancestry, friends, lives and livelihoods behind, or farewelling their dragons.
In the real world, the toxic compromises and concessions the characters of this movie make, would mean the collapse of the society that gives in to them.
The Dragons TV series used to be officially described as the events between the first and the second movie. Unfortunately, the unusual changes in this final movie appear to be so major, that now the TV series was “supposedly” never canon (not part of the official “universe/story”), after all. Even ignoring the TV series, doesn’t help in explaining the now frequently daft and nonsensical actions made, by this movie’s Berkians.
Living in Australia, I managed to see the movie when it was first released to theaters here on January 3 2019. One of my first impressions was, that it was made so blatantly clear in the film trailers what the story was about, that there weren’t too many surprises left. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as anything new that wasn’t revealed in the trailers did keep the story chugging along, and also helped prepare the devoted big and small fans for the so-called “bittersweet ending” that we were told would happen.
At the end of the movie, around a third of the children in the cinema on the day were crying and inconsolable.
Along with the predictably positive professional reviews for this movie, at the time of writing this review (January 5), there are already several glowing moviegoer reviews on the biggest movie reviews and information website. The reviews were mostly from people with accounts that are apparently many years old, but they had never left a review for any other movie or made any other real contribution to the movie information website. I’m not entirely sure what to make of that, but let’s move on…