Does Toothless know though? I mean, are we just going to assume Toothless figured it out when Hiccup said ‘I did this?’ standing over his semi-unconcious body? Or, as far as Toothless is concerned, is Hiccup just a weedy Viking human that stumbled upon his injured body in the woods?
Did Toothless first think Hiccup was a clever and kind human to try fixing his flight, and then later followed him to the forge when they were stuck together, saw all the contraptions Hiccup so deftly worked with, and had the horrific possibility dawn on him that perhaps his boy took part in the contraption that tore him from the sky??
What if, by this point in the movie, Toothless doesn’t know for sure that Hiccup’s the very human that took his flight, suspects it, but refuses to fully accept it until Hiccup confirms it himself.
What if they haven’t had that talk yet?
Good point. In reading the responses I was wondering if Toothless actually knew Hiccup did that to him. An animal’s mind doesn’t put two-and-two together like humans do. Interesting you mention the forge, and all those headcanons. I’m totally intrigued now. Maybe Toothless’ only point against Hiccup was trying to kill him with the knife and the tail thing wasn’t an issue with him yet. Maybe Toothless never knew Hiccup took his tail from him?
It is a question I have often asked…and I still don’t know if we have an answer! Hiccup did say, “I did this…” when he stepped away from downed Toothless, but does that mean Toothless knows? Does Toothless suspect or is he clueless, or does he know for certain. Hiccup is very quiet about this point, and I cannot think of a single time he has ever mentioned the loss of the tail while Toothless is present. Perhaps Hiccup has not told Toothless, but he assumes that the dragon has a pretty good idea. That would be a big motivator to NOT bring it up! It is a painful topic for both of them, and I don’t think we know how much Hiccup thinks that Toothless knows! That would definitely be such a hard thing…for Hiccup. I don’t really think that Toothless is so clueless as to not be at least suspicious, but he also has not shown us any signs of flat out knowing it was Hiccup. Perhaps that is a real act of kindness…perhaps he does not want to accept the fact and so he just ignores his suspicions. This is such an intriguing topic…because it does have such serious ramifications on their friendship. You have to wonder…has Hiccup ever had that talk…would he be brave enough to? What would Toothless’s initial reaction have been. Honestly, even with RoB and shorts and sequels…I wonder if we’ll ever know. Does Toothless know that Hiccup is the one who crippled him, and if so, what does he think of it, how does he cope with the information, and what was his first response?
It’s hard to say what Toothless thinks. The more I think of it, the more I do like to think he’s more animalistic in his knowledge, and Toothless cannot understand human speech, but only human emotions. So thinking through the Isaac scene and before, Toothless knew he was shot down, that something captured him. Did he know it was human? Probably. He’s seen human contraptions before and seen other dragons get caught. But— when Hiccup came to him, did Toothless think this human is the one who shot him down? Maybe not, but maybe so… (I’m totally live thinking now) Gosh just getting into an animal’s mind is quite revelatory. Toothless could totally realize his tail was hurting and that this human probably did create the human thing binding him. But he might not connect the blame like: my tail is gone => this contraption did it => the boy made the contraption => the boy took my tail from me => I should hate the boy. The animal mind, even a smart animal mind like Toothless, isn’t that advanced. Gosh I should totally drabble this again because I did it one time (actually probably my very first fanfiction I made after joining the fandom, a short drabble from Toothless’ POV) but I should totally do it to answer this question. Because I solve things by living them so much…
Yes, that is an idea…although it is REMARKABLE how smart Toothless is! Hmmm…I do wonder how much he understands, how much he has thought it through. I think Toothless is smart enough to follow complex thoughts through, but to a limit, and this would not be easy for him to comprehend (you walked through a thought process). Still, I would say Toothless is the SMARTEST animal on the planet (in the HTTYD world), so one does wonder…how smart? Honestly, at times he seems to understand speech. I think he is getting much more emotion than language, but still. Pretty interesting. This is a fascinating topic. Does Toothless know? If he does, does he accept it or just fight against the thought? How smart is he? He is an animal, and in some ways that really is what makes him wonderful! Even though he’s complex, he has a beautiful, beautiful simplicity in his nature. He is thankful to Hiccup clearly! Little acts of loyalty, love and curiosity define him so much. He does not need to think deeply if he does not want to. He runs off of a beautifully simple yet still analytical mind, and that mind is so wrapped up in Hiccup! Man, he is lovely!
Toothless is a mix of animal realism and anthropomorphism. It’s fascinating indeed, and it’s a delicious joy to try to toe the line between his “human” side and his animal foundation. Yes he’s smart, but there’s an important nuance to his intelligence — So. If I say he might not be able to think through that thought process right at the start, I’m not saying he’s dumb in any way. In fact, the key here might be that Toothless gains this type of knowledge abstractly — in the right side of the brain, so to speak, intuitively. It’s something he (if he were human) can’t put into words, but only sense. So, he could imagine the idea, but he won’t know how he came to that idea hyper-logically, but he knows it’s true. Humans have this ability too, and it’s a guttural sense of knowing. An animal’s intelligence would SO be this kind.
This was actually one of the things I was suspecting might be addressed in the sequel. Clearly Hiccup feels horrible for doing it, as Snotlout liked to bring up in Riders of Berk. He teased Hiccup with it, and so its a pretty sore subject. I feel as if it MIGHT BE brought up. Either Hiccup, feeling guilty, finds a way to show Toothless, or Toothless finds out somehow. Maybe someone makes an attempt to tear them apart this way, maybe he finds out on his own. Something that would test their bond at its core, which is something we have never seen. Sure, there was Terrible Twos, but Toothless’s actions were all to protect Hiccup, and the conflict was the result of miscommunication. And What Flies Beneath was just Toothless acting on a grudge. He wasn’t mad at Hiccup, just angry with the situation and obviously in a sort of feral rage when he pushes Hiccup away. When he calms down, or when Hiccup is in danger, he returns to normal.
We’ve never seen their BOND tested. We’ve never seen them get mad or turn away from each other. And I have a sneaking suspicion that, as in almost EVERY friendship based movie ever, this is going to happen.
But then theres this.
These types of bond test happen in human/human intelligence movies (Monsters Inc, Toy Story, Aladdin (Genie). Even in TV shows. Castiel and Dean’s friendship from Supernatural reminds me a lot of Toothless and Hiccup, and their bond has been tested multiple times, only to be mended.
In animal movies, like Shiloh, Flipper, Hidalgo, etc. The bond is not broken. The humans care for their animals, their animals care for their humans. The only movie I can think of, which, coincidentally, has a STARTLING amount of similarities with HTTYD, is Free Willy. Jesse gets mad at Willy for a short while, though Willy never stops caring for Jesse. It is important to point out, though. Willy is a species of dolphin, and these are thought to be some of the most intelligent animals on earth, and Free Willy didn’t ignore that.
So, do you think the trend will follow human/human friendships? Or human/animal friendships? Because HTTYD LOVES to blur this line.
((God bless this fandom, I love all of this analysis. Looking at the scene where Hiccup finds Toothless, I don’t think it would be hard for Toothless to connect Hiccup to his injury, or rather, the contraption that brought him down. Hiccup was the only one to show up and he expresses triumph. Even if Toothless didn’t understand his words, Hiccup is obviously taking credit for bringing down the dragon. That’s probably why Toothless shows so much fear at this point. Not only is he completely vulnerable, this human took him out of the sky, something that has never happened to Toothless.
Another point to wonder is if Toothless realized that his loss of flight was thanks to this whole incident - the contraption bringing him down, the loss of his tail. He tried to fly away and obviously noticed the imbalance, but I don’t know to what extent Toothless understood his injury. I think it was more of an instinctual “I can’t fly because something is off-balance.” Flying comes completely naturally to Toothless, so I don’t know if he would make the connection between his missing tail fin and his inability afterwards to fly.
It’s interesting to wonder, though, if Toothless would hold a grudge regardless. He obviously is capable, as we have seen with the Whispering Death. However, even that may be some instinct, not something personal as his injury would be, making it very different. I once read a chilling, fascinating fanfic where Toothless bit off Hiccup’s leg to catch him on purpose, as revenge for his tail fin, connecting HTTYD with the traditional idea of dragons as vengeful/wrathful creatures.
However, I don’t think that’s how it actually is. If anything, I’d say the difference is that Toothless is domesticated. I don’t mean that in a degrading way at all, only that he and Hiccup are bonded and it has changed Toothless. I wish we could get more insight into Toothless’ mindset, such as what he is thinking when Snotlout brings up the fact that it is Hiccup’s fault Toothless cannot fly - we see no reaction from him at these parts - and why Toothless was the only dragon to never steal food, but only attacked. In the books, Toothless only eats fish and will spit out anything else with fire, so that may be why he doesn’t steal food from the Vikings.
The amount of curiosity Toothless shows with Hiccup didn’t appear overnight or just because Hiccup is strange, and I think that often gets ignored. It’s possible Toothless had been curious about the Vikings for a long time. Same with the loyalty he shows Hiccup and even his connection with the other dragons - Hiccup isn’t just the leader of the humans, Toothless is the leader among the teens’ dragons, at least. He has charisma and intelligence (so much intelligence). I have a headcanon that Toothless came along on the raids in order to protect the other dragons. He also probably had fun. I can see him being very confident, even cocky, another reason he was so scared when Hiccup brought him down with the bola cannon - Toothless would have never expected to be taken down, much less by a human.
I digress. I think Toothless knows, or perhaps more accurately thinks, that Hiccup brought him down, but I don’t know if he connects that to his loss of the ability to fly on his own. To Toothless, I think it’s less “I lost my tail fin” and more “My tail hurts and I feel so off-balanced I can’t fly.” If anything, Toothless may have or may slowly be making the connection that it is Hiccup’s fault he can’t fly alone. But I think Toothless forgives Hiccup. At the same time he may be figuring this out, Hiccup is showing him how much he cares. There was definitely guilt among Hiccup’s motivations for making Toothless’ new tail fin, although he also got caught up in the excitement of it all - a dragon and inventing! Both thrilling things for Hiccup.
If anything, I would love to see more of how Hiccup relies on Toothless. Let’s face it, physically, Toothless cannot live without Hiccup, but Hiccup can live without Toothless. What makes this so much more heart-bounding (for me, anyway) is that Toothless chose for it to be that way. Hiccup made him a tail fin so he could fly alone. Even if we ignore the fact that it probably would have needed maintenance, Toothless didn’t just come back to Hiccup after getting his helmet, he smashed that automatic tail fin. (I read a great fanfic telling GotNF from Toothless’ POV where it talked about how he didn’t like the new tail fin because it made a clicking noise and such and flying with Hiccup was better. It’s a wonderful fic that I think captures Toothless well.) Even better, Toothless probably didn’t think in terms of “Hiccup doesn’t need me, but if I destroy this I will always need him.” Toothless knows Hiccup needs him, and he wants to stay with him. I think if Hiccup ever lost Toothless, that would be the end for him. He could always ride another dragon and it’s not like Toothless where he has lost the ability to move alone since he has a prosthetic leg. But mentally/emotionally, Hiccup would be wrecked beyond repair.
I’ve totally gotten off-topic by this point, sorry. tl;dr - Think of a dog that no matter how much you beat it, it will come back. Add that to the fact that Hiccup is obviously very sorry for what he did, tries to make up for it, and the fact that Toothless is intelligent enough to read that guilt and apology in his actions, I think Toothless knows and forgave Hiccup. He doesn’t mind the loss of his tail fin. Like a dog that returns after getting hit, but so much better because there is an understood apology and because they are equal, so much more than pet and master, Toothless doesn’t mind at all. I’m sure in the beginning he missed solo flight, but at this point, I think Hiccup’s weight on Toothless back is no heavier than the weight of his own wings. Or maybe even lighter because together they are definitely stronger.))
Okay, so I was going to let all this analyzing run it’s course (on like three different threads of this picture too) but this one was too good. Plus it has all of these other beautiful, deep comments I want on my blog so… yeah. Reblogging again.
So in GotNF, when Toothless takes off on his own, I’ll bet he quickly discovers something’s wrong with his flight. He tilts too much, he’s off balance, he flounders. After months of tuning the technicalities of his flight to accommodate dual control, going back to a single-play is wrong. It’s like driving an automatic after years of driving a standard—your left leg keeps jerking against the break looking for the clutch.
They have a rhythm now. No going back. :D