How to Train Your Dragon

4:29 PM Posted In , , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
First off, it fails the Bechtel test. And before anyone says, “It was the Dark Ages, they were all misogynist pigs” not necessarily. These were the same people of the Valkyries, Freya, and the Norns. However, Astrid and the female twin were two of the best warriors. The strong female element was presented, but one of the few times that the two directly interacted was at the end when the twin hits on Hiccup and Astrid puts her in her place. Naturally, both being female they must be attracted to the strongest male and compete for his affections. On the other hand, they did have a wisewoman who would have been ubiquitous in that culture.
Just a quick rant: Vikings did NOT wear horned helmets. While it was nice to see the women running around in armour next to the men, I would have loved to have seen apron dresses. And the general untidiness and slovenly state of the characters was another misconception perpetuated. In fact, the Ango-Saxons found them to be rather fastidious because they bathed every week.

I do have to hand it to them: they certainly did their homework. The sigils on the shields, architecture, and other artistic touches were true to the time and culture. The runes were a nice touch, I believe elder futhark, but don’t quote me on that. But it has never been determined for certain whether or not they were a proper alphabet in addition to their role as a divination tool.

I absolutely loved the non-ablism aspects. As the twins noted at the start of training, scars and other marks of battle were considered heroic. While originally the loss of a limb would have severely curtailed the life and trade of a Viking, in the movie their status was not diminished. The blacksmith was not treated any differently because of his prosthetic limbs, if anything, he was respected even more for his courage in battle. Toothless was able to fly just as well as before once he and Hiccup settled into their symbiotic relationship. And naturally Hiccup was just as much a hero after losing his foot, his new prosthetic meshing even better than before with Toothless’ new tail piece.

And they get +10 geek points for the nerdy kid rattling off Dungeons and Dragons stats.