So my second character review from How To Train Your Dragon!
Again, I am only going to pull from the two movies and Dragon Racing. So yes, there may be spoilers if you have not seen the movies.
In the movies you meet several kids who live in the Island of Burke. First there are the twins: Ruffnut and Tuffnut. Then there is Hiccup, Fishlegs and Snotlout.
Finally we have Astrid.
Hiccup is the main character and is the reluctant hero or the one who comes to term with who he is.
The other kids seem to fill out the archetypical friends of the hero. Snotlout is the type A male with a strong ego. Ruff and Tuff are the mischievous kids that make trouble in the village. Fishlegs acts as the nerd of the group with Astrid filling out the group as the strong female and the love interest of Hiccup.
But I think Astrid has a more complicated history.
Throughout the two movies and mini movie, you learn bits and pieces about the kids’ family. Fishlegs’ family has a tradition of boat racing. Tuff and Ruff have a mother. Snotlout has both parents and his dad apparently holds a high position in the village.
But you don’t know much about Astrid’s family.
In fact, the only reference you ever hear about Astrid’s family is her own comment: “Our parent’s war is about to become our own war. Figure out which side you’re on.”
From what AI remember of the movies, she is the only one who calls the fight between the dragons and Vikings as a war. She also says it with such passion.
It makes me think that it is deeper than the other kids.
Astrid constantly pushes herself to become stronger, to become deadlier. Her only boast of killing a dragon comes from joking about getting scars during their training to kill dragons.
Although the kids poke fun at Fishlegs for reading the book multiple times, no one notices that Astrid admits to having read it before dragon training.
If you watch closely, Astrid doesn’t say much when she is part of the group and she tends to find a “corner” to stand in. Either she is in the back of the group or sitting quietly to the side.
Her main drive is to take on the dragons and learn to kill them. She can be heard encouraging herself during the last training session. The other students do not encourage themselves.
The other kids simply want to fight dragons for the glory of it. Nothing more.
The villagers are seen going to Gobber’s armory to get their weapons. Astrid has only one weapon: her double headed axe. A weapon that she keeps with her at all times. In Viking lore, from my understanding, a weapon is passed down through the family line.
However, the weapon would go to the eldest son. Astrid has it.
Either her father broke with tradition or she had to pick up the weapon.
During the first movie, you can see Astrid taking out her frustration on trees that is a fair distance from the village. This tells me that she is familiar with the woods and she did not have someone to talk to.
Although her goal for taking on a dragon appears to be like everyone else’s, it sounds much more personal. That she has something to prove.
When Hiccup’s secret about Toothless comes to light, Stoick tells him “they have killed hundreds of us”.
I wonder if Astrid’s parents were killed in battle with the dragons.
In a Viking culture, actions mean much more than words and bloodlines are key. A child’s lineage gives that child position within the village. Astrid seems to be fighting for much more.
Hiccup wants to kill a dragon to get respect and acceptance. Astrid seems to be fighting for something similar. Her rage at Hiccup’s success goes beyond a rival’s jealousy. It is as if she is afraid of losing something.
In the second movie has Stoick commenting that Astrid is his “future daughter-in-law”. However, he never mentions her parents or is seen talking plans with them.
Also, at the beginning of the movie, Hiccup reveals his second identity battle and reveals a more mature Astrid.
She encourages him by saying “What you’re searching for isn’t out there, Hiccup…it’s in here”.
This is spoken not from observation or second hand advice but from personal experience. As if she has come to peace with something.
Who is going to be next? I don’t know but we’ll find out!