06 Desember 2015


The dragons rebelled against their masters. The New King had announced a total war, despite the fact that the dragons and the Vikings had lived side by side for Thor-knows-how-long. Facing the dragons' enormous force, The New King seeked for the Dragon's Jewel, the only thing that would enable him to dominate the dragons and become The True King of Wilderwest.

Someone at goodreads said that How to Train Your Dragon series* should be named How to Become a Hero the Hard Way. This is catchy, of course, but also true for tons of other books out there for a simple reason: books about How to Become a Hero the Easy Way would be sooo boring. Boy has superpower. Boy meets The Enemy. Boy uses his power to save the day. The End. *yawn*

So of course Hiccup Horrendeus Haddock III is your typical zero-to-hero guy. Yes he was the Hope and the Heir of the Hairy Hooligan Tribe, the only son of Chief Stoick the Vast, O Hear His Name and Tremble, Ugh Ugh. But at the start of the series he was so un-Viking-y. He was small, couldn't frighten even a rabbit, and his dragon was not only half the size of the other boys' dragon but also toothless (hence the name Toothless). But here's the catch. The Vikings were living in a tumultuous time when things were changing fast and their barbaric lifestyles soon would become obsolete. And Hiccup, happened to be smarter than everybody else, was the kind of hero that The Vikings would eventually need.

In the early books of the series, I got the feeling that Cressida Cowell didn't think things through and was sort of happy with a book with a superfun story. Two books, three at most. Just see the names she gave to Hiccup's archenemy (Alvin) and Hiccup's other bestfriend (Camicazi—seriously!). But after a few books maybe she started thinking for the long haul and putting things together. So we now have a series of twelve awesome books about becoming a hero the hard, twisting, heart-breaking, heart-warming way; the number 9 I accidentally bought hoping to read a regular-loose book and instead the stories in number 9 through 11 were apparently so packed and ended with cliffhangers so I had to continue reading :(

I really root for Hiccup. I get his dreams, his fears, his frustrations. Whenever he was faced with difficult choices, I screamed for which one he should take. But of course he always chose the other one. The one that a Leader—a certain kind of leader that Hiccup would eventually become—would choose. And this is why the series are worth reading.
* I'm talking about the books, not the movies. Just to be clear, the movies are good. I agree with Neil deGrasse Tyson that people who read the book first are the worst person to watch movies with, but I actually love the movies because they are different from the books. But if I had a gun pointed at my head and I had to choose between the movies or the books (and believe me that there were times when I'd choose the movies), for How to Train Your Dragon I'd choose the books any day of the week.

Fan-art by lostdesertfan

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