How Do You Train Your Dragon?

How to train your dragon

How To Train Your Dragon. The movie is chalk full of messages and life lessons … everything isn’t always as it seems. My kids now roll their eyes when I say I want to watch it for the 80th time. You’d think they’d be happy I like an animated movie, no?!

Let’s look at the dragons and their attacks on the vikings. The gruff, manly men thought they were heroes by fighting and killing these monsters. Naturally anyone being attacked is going to protect themselves, right? As the story unfolds we discover that’s exactly what the dragons were doing. They were protecting themselves….fearful of the MONSTER dragon, making sure it was fed so they didn’t get eaten alive.

Hiccup, the slip of a boy, was anything but a viking and was definitely an embarrassment to his dad. He didn’t want to kill dragons or have any part in that experience. As the story goes, he was ordered to participate in the dragon killing training and didn’t do too badly … until they realized he had no intention of actually killing any of those kinds of dragons.

The part I love is this boy’s discovery that things can be so very different than what the masses tell him, what he’s been told his entire life. Watching his curiosity as he comes across the dreaded Night Fury and the ensuing friendship that forms, is nothing if not heartwarming. He was terrified of the injured beast he eventually named Toothless, but he was in awe and wonder at the creature as well. He just had to figure him out, researched every aspect of the history he’d been taught, barreled through the fear versus reality stuff ………… and then risked losing every relationship in his life to expose the truth about the gentle animals turned fierce through fear.

Little Hiccup went through some very painful and emotional experiences to not only tame and take care of his beloved dragon, but to make sure his community learned the truth about these gentle giants as well.

Through adversity and opposition, Hiccup was finally able to turn the viking world upside down with his knowledge. At the end, there was much happiness, not so much bickering, the vikings were thriving and enjoying life. The grass was green, the flowers were in bloom….blah blah blah, right? Another happy ending.

Have I mentioned I love this movie? Here are a few of my take aways:

1. Hiccup was not a true viking. Don’t try to be something you’re not. It will fail – guaranteed.

2. Hiccup was curious. He didn’t accept status quo. Ask questions, do your own digging and learning. Just because someone says a thing doesn’t make it so (especially in this age of technology and accessibility to information). The vikings assumed. They were wrong.

3. Fear destroys. Even the big, strong vikings were afraid of something they didn’t need to fear. Seek answers beyond your fear. Find out where it’s coming from, be willing to risk finding the answers.

4. Adversity reveals. Hiccup was relentless in his pursuit to find out what was up. The challenges he faced and conquered turned him into a hero and a leader. The least likely of the bunch.

Bah. I could go on and on. Maybe you could watch the movie if you haven’t already, and share any lessons you learned?!

PS – I found out while I was writing this that they’re producing How To Train Your Dragon 2! I’m not excited at all. At. All.

[This concludes day 7 of My 500 Words writing challenge. Not all of my writing this month is being posted, but so far so good in getting it done!]


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  1. #1 by Emory on January 8, 2014 - 11:44 am

    UGH yes, this movie is ridiculously good. It makes me feel good to know I’m not the only non-adolescent who likes it. Just calling it a kid’s movie sort of demeans it, doesn’t it? And your thoughts on the message of the movie are fabulous and very true.

    • #2 by shandracarlson on January 9, 2014 - 11:33 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Emory! I’m glad you enjoyed it and that I was able to help you not feel alone:)!!

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    "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." ~ Jack Kerouac
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