Welcome to The DRAGONS TV recap! It’s a new Rotoscopers series that will recap and discuss the DreamWorks Dragons television series. With Dragons: Race to the Edge set to premiere in June, I have taken it upon myself to give a detailed summary of both Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk.
You are free to avoid reading this if you don’t want to be spoiled. This article is simply to allow fans and readers to catch up just in time for Race to the Edge!
Without further ado, let’s get right into the first half of Defenders of Berk (from “Live and Let Fly” to “A View to a Skrill Part 1”)
A Plan of Defense
After the Riders free Hiccup and Toothless from imprisonment at the hands of Alvin and his Outcast tribe, they begin to ramp up their defensive skills and practices in the event of another possible attack from Alvin. For this reason, Defenders of Berk opens with a training exercise in which Fishlegs tries to stay cool during a forceful interrogation (and fails).
Meanwhile, Stoick enacts a ban on all dragon-flying activity out of concern for the safety of Hiccup and the Riders (especially given that Mildew’s betrayal led to Alvin successfully taming a dragon). Hiccup tries to convince his father that their dragons are the best defense against Alvin, but Stoick remains unconvinced and continues to have man-made defenses built in case Alvin and his tribe come to invade Berk on the backs of their own dragons.
As expected, the Riders aren’t exactly thrilled with Stoick’s decision, but Hiccup reassures them that he’ll try and find a way to change his father’s mind.
Hiccup and Astrid contemplate the situation as they walk out of the academy, only to see Toothless egging Hiccup to take him on their daily lap across the island. Of course, this can’t happen because of Stoick’s ban, so Toothless is relegated to solemnly watching the sun go down.
A Spark of a Plan
Moments later, while Hiccup works in Gobber’s workshop, Toothless walks in and gives him a hard time for not flying him out that afternoon. Again, Toothless tries to convince Hiccup to fly him out around the island, but his efforts are to no avail. Gobber then stops by to ask what Hiccup is working on (after teasing him about not flying Toothless). Hiccup reveals that he built a specialized shield that fires a pair of bolas. Hiccup explains to Gobber that the shield is a backup mechanism since he can’t rely on Toothless to defend him due to Stoick’s flight ban. Gobber tries to convince Hiccup that Stoick only wants to keep him safe (to which Hiccup replies that the safest place for him is on Toothless).
After Gobber leaves, Toothless starts to beg Hiccup to fly him once again. Hiccup initially refuses, but when he looks up and sees the night sky he gets an idea in his head and accepts Toothless’ demands.
The Dragon Flight Club
Meanwhile, while she feeds Stormfly, Astrid notices someone (Hiccup) flying their dragon (Toothless) illegally through the night sky. She immediately notices who they are and decides to follow them. After a while, Astrid finds Hiccup and questions him about going behind his father’s back again. Hiccup doesn’t deny what he is doing, but explains that he breaks the rules because he truly doesn’t believe that what his father is doing is the right thing. With this in mind, Hiccup and Astrid begin to brainstorm a plan and devise one that would allow all the Riders to fly without Stoick’s knowledge.
The next day, the Riders form the Dragon Flight Club. The club’s sole purpose is to continue their defensive training against any possible attacks by Alvin. Of course, Hiccup emphasizes the secrecy of it all (cue the Fight Club references!). With this, they begin their nighttime exercises (the first one involving Changewings).
Meanwhile, Stoick reveals to Gobber that he has flown Thornado (his dragon) against his own word. He even tells Gobber not to reveal his secret to anyone, not even to Hiccup (which isn’t really the smartest thing to do).
On another night of dragon training, while they study the scorch mark of a Typhoomerang, the Riders happen to see one charge towards them and they promptly escape. But, once in the air, the Riders notice someone else flying below them (that someone is Stoick and Thornado). Hiccup tells the Riders to immediately disperse and head back to their homes. They manage to go back undetected (all except for Fishlegs, who os caught by Stoick). But, when questioned in the Great Hall about why he flew his dragon and who he flew with, Fishlegs utilizes the skills he learned from the fake interrogation practice and succeeds in keeping his lips sealed.
An Unexpected Visit
Hiccup heads home to tell Stoick of the oncoming attack and essentially reveals to him that the Riders have trained and flown their dragons behind his back. Stoick chides him for this, only to have Hiccup reveal that he knows Stoick has flown his dragon. Stoick temporarily drops the subject and tells Hiccup to get the Riders ready.
Stoick and the Dragon Riders confront Alvin and his forces, who unleash a group of Changewings to wreck havoc on Berk. The Riders split off and Hiccup and Stoick handle Alvin’s forces while the rest of the gang divert the Changewings and lure them away to Changewing Island.
A Mysterious Retreat/A Plan in Action
Using a combined blast from both Thornado and Toothless, Hiccup and Stoick successfully drive back Alvin’s forces. On the way back, Hiccup wonders why Alvin didn’t hit back with a better strategy. Stoick tells him to be glad that he didn’t.
We find out later that Alvin’s attack was a distraction to allow Savage, Mildew, and several Outcasts to plant Whispering Death eggs in underground caves leading directly to Berk.
Back on Berk, Stoick chides Hiccup for going behind his back (again), but realizes the error of his plan and lifts the ban on flying with dragons.
Newfound Sources/A Familiar Face
The Riders continue their training and study of dragons while confronting Alvin and his Outcasts. Along the way, Hiccup gains a new shield by way of the “spewage” from Meatlug’s lava, which produces a new type of iron (“The Iron Gronkle”) and encounters a crazier Dagur who’s now obsessed with killing dragons. All the while, he develops an obsessive “relationship” with Hiccup that turns sour when the truth is revealed (“Night and the Fury”).
While all this goes on, the Whispering Death eggs hatch and the Outcasts’ plan begins to come to fruition (although not in the way that they intended…).
A Strange Occurrence
One day, Berk’s well begins to run dry and Stoick issues an order to the Riders to build a new well while they begin to ration water.
Hiccup inspects the well and realizes that it hasn’t been too long since the well was filled. Obviously detecting a bigger problem, Hiccup gets Meatlug to lower him into the well via a rope (while Fishlegs watches). But, when Meatlug takes an opportunity to eat a clump of rocks, the rope snaps and Hiccup falls down the well with Toothless after him.
Once Hiccup and Toothless are at the bottom of the well Stoick comes to offer help, but Hiccup reassures everyone that they are okay and that they will investigate the tunnels under Berk for clues.
They Come From Below
Once they enter another cavern, Hiccup and Toothless discover the hatched Whispering Death eggs and a crate with the Outcast symbol on it (incriminating evidence, of course). They then discover a large tunnel that could have only been created by something bigger than a Whispering Death.
All of a sudden, Hiccup’s lantern goes out. When they light it again, Hiccup and Toothless find a Whispering Death staring right down at them. Toothless fires a plasma blast at it, which gives Hiccup enough time to hop on his back and fly out. They proceed to find a way to get above ground, while three Whispering Deaths pursue them. Eventually, the Whispering Deaths give up the chase and go up to surface. They head straight for Berk.
Chaos in the Village
Chaos quickly ensues as the village comes under attack from the Whispering Deaths. In response, Stoick orders the vikings to form a defensive line in the middle of town as they fight what Fishlegs refers to as hatchlings. These hatchings can’t control their jaw muscles and spines properly.
The Screaming Death!
Once Hiccup and Toothless find their way back to the surface, they join with the other Dragon Riders to fend off the Whispering Deaths. Eventually, Hiccup is able to drive them from Berk with light reflected off his shield. But, just as the Whispering Death flees, the ground starts to shake as a huge white dragon rises out of the town and attacks the village. Hiccup gets its attention when Toothless fire a plasma blast, only for the dragon to emit a sharp scream that disorients the Riders’ dragons and commands the Whispering Deaths to its side. This leads Tuffnut to give the dragon a name: the Screaming Death.
Hiccup and Toothless (with the help of Stoick and Thornado) deal with the Screaming Death, while the Riders fend off the Whispering Deaths. As it is notably more powerful than a Screaming Death, Hiccup’s light reflection on his shield fails to work against the Screaming Death. Enraged, the Screaming Death chases Hiccup and Toothless out to the ocean. Stoick orders Ruffnut and Tuffnut to help Hiccup.
Finding a Weakness
Meanwhile, Hiccup discovers that the Screaming Death is actually attracted to sunlight and uses this knowledge to his advantage. He and Toothless lead the dragon into the sea stacks, where they are eventually joined by the Riders. When Hiccup and Toothless are knocked out of the air the Riders start to attack the Whispering Death to provide cover, only for the Whispering Death to start to spew a machine gun round of fireballs to fend them off. Hiccup and Toothless continue to use the sunlight and come to the realization that they have to use the Screaming Death’s size against it. They lead it through the sea stacks and eventually manage to fly the Screaming Death into a large pillar.
A Plan Unveiled
Injured, the Screaming Death calls the Whispering Deaths to its aid and they fly off elsewhere. Back on Berk, Hiccup informs Stoick of the Whispering Death eggs planted by the Outcasts. They realize that while the Outcasts do not ride dragons, they do use them.
The Riders continue to train in preparation for any Outcast attacks (in addition to solving problems that happen in their own backyard). These adventures include Hookfang’s loss of his ability to catch on fire and the search for a cure within the lair of the Fireworm Queen (“Race to Fireworm Island”), Hiccup’s attempt to help Astrid confront the dragon that froze her uncle with fear and shamed her family name (“Fright of Passage”), a training competition that becomes heated (“Worst in Show”), another fight with the Screaming Death when it starts to sink whole island (“Appetite for Destruction”), and an event when Tuffnut gets caught in an old dragon trap and meets a Typhoomerang with a familiar face (“Zippleback Down”).
A Berserker Attack/A Dragon on Ice
Later on, Hiccup, Astrid, and Snotlout come to the aid of Mulch and Bucket, who are under attack from a Berserker ship. After forcing the Berserkers to retreat, Mulch explains to them that they initially thought the Berserkers hit an iceberg. However, they discover what the Berserkers were really there for: a dragon encased in ice that they attempted to dig out. They bring the block of ice back to Berk for investigation in the academy.
A Fear Confirmed
In the Great Hall, the incident with Bucket and Mulch flares tensions between the Berkians and the Berserkers. The villagers (including Gobber) are convinced that the attack was an act of war on Berk. Hiccup and Astrid later come in with an explanation as to why the Berserkers attacked: the dragon encased in ice is a Skrill, and the Skrill happens to be the symbol of the Berserker tribe.
Meanwhile, Dagur gives a speech to his army and confirms that they found the Skrill. He reminds them of its power and its importance as their symbol and they prepare to take it back from Hiccup.
The Skrill Escapes
Back on Berk, Hiccup and Fishlegs discuss the Skrill’s abilities (the power to redirect and store lightning, etc.). Stoick wants it far away from Berk, as it only gives Dagur an excuse to declare war. But, when Fishlegs tells them that the Skrill may still be alive due to its body temperature, Hiccup begins to doubt his decision to put Snotlout and the twins on guard.
At that moment, they see an explosion from the academy and rush toward it. Just as they feared, the twins and Snotlout disobeyed Hiccup’s order and have accidentally freed the Skrill. Despite efforts from the dragons and their riders, the Skrill manages to escape from the academy. Snotlout and the twins come up with excuses, while Stoick fears what might happen if the Skrill is tamed by the Berserkers. Hiccup reassures him that they will get to the Skrill before Dagur does.
On the Hunt
The next day, the gang searches for he Skrill with no results. However, they eventually come across a sheep farm where Silent Sven had a confrontation with it. The gang figures out that the Skrill may be high above where the thunderstorm clouds are.
An Electrifying Confrontation
The Riders confront the Skrill. Hiccup attempts to tame it, but fails to do so. The Skrill sprints around to the other side, charges up, and blasts its burst of lighting. The Riders barely manage to get out of the way.
The Riders then try to force the Skrill to retreat below the clouds and force it to go down in the water (where it won’t charge its lightning). That plan begins to work, but just as Ruffnut and Tuffnut’s Zippleback starts up the gas, they are struck by a catapult that ignites it. Dagur and his Berserkers have arrived, which forces the Riders to retreat.
A Different Tactic
After they meet back up at a small island, Hiccup devises a plan to have Astrid, Snotlout, and Fishlegs deal with the Berserkers while he takes the twins to confront the Skrill.
While the Berserkers are preoccupied, the twins create a gas trail up in the clouds. When sparked, the explosion exposes the Skrill. Hiccup and Toothless begin to spar with the Skrill (while Dagur notices below).
To a Standstill
With an angry, recharged Skrill in pursuit, Hiccup and Toothless fall back with the twins and this buys them time to escape. The twins fall back too, but not before they grab all the metal they can to attract the blast. The Skrill fires his blast, but Toothless counters with his own plasma blast. The resulting explosion knocks the Skrill, Hiccup, and the twins out of the sky (with Hiccup and Toothless briefly falling into Dagur’s ship).
The Riders (with the exception of the twins) regroup. None of them having any knowledge of where the Skrill or the twins went.
An Unexpected Surprise
Elsewhere, the twins land on a small cliff and spot an Outcast ship out in the distance. As it turns out, Alvin and his men have the damaged Skrill and Alvin promises “big plans” for it. They take the Skrill back to Outcast Island and the twins decide to follow.
And that completes the first half of Defenders of Berk! Joins us next time when we cover episodes 11-20 of Defenders of Berk.
Do you have any thoughts on what was presented in the article? If you’ve seen these episodes, discuss them in the comments below!
Previously on The DRAGONS TV Recap:
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes