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.
While you are free to avoid reading this if you don’t want to be spoiled, this article is simply to allow the fans and readers to catch up just in time for Race to the Edge!
Without further ado, let’s finish off the remainder of Defenders of Berk (from “A View to a Skrill Part 2” to “Cast Out Part 2”)
Hiccup and Toothless search for the twins after their fateful encounter with the Skrill and the Berserkers. Even after hours nothing turns up. They head back to the Academy to talk to Fishlegs. He, along with the other Riders, have given up the search due to their exhausted dragons. Hiccup decides to continue the search on his own and he and Toothless fly off into the night.
During their search Hiccup suspects that – if he finds the twins – he may also find the Skrill. After getting caught in a thunderstorm, Hiccup and Toothless have no choice but to land on Outcast Island in order to avoid the lightning strikes.
Spying on Outcast Island
Once on the island, Hiccup and Toothless have just begun to spy on the Outcasts when they are joined by Ruffnut and Tuffnut (the latter of which is somehow hidden in a tree). Ruffnut informs Hiccup that they spotted the Skrill with Alvin and his gang and decided to see what they were up to. They continue to spy on the Outcasts, until the see Alvin arrive (with the Skrill in tow). Hiccup then spots something unexpected: Dagur and his Berserkers arrive with Alvin. This seems to imply that Alvin and Dagur have formed an alliance.
A Rocky Alliance
In the Outcast Arena, Dagur takes a closer look at the Skrill. Mildew proclaims his usual dislike of dragons and his disbelief of the Skrill’s abilities, only to be proven wrong when the Skrill strikes him with a blast. Dagur relishes in the opportunity to use the Skrill’s power, but not before Alvin steps in and reminds him of the terms of their agreement that need to be fulfilled. We then learn that Alvin intends to play the long game. He plans to use Dagur as a way to invade Berk and then dispose of him afterward.
Elsewhere, Hiccup orders Tuffnut to sneak in and spy on the Outcasts and Berserkers to find out what their plan is. Tuffnut does so, but messes up in the process and is spotted by a Outcast guard. In an effort to keep from revealing himself as a Berkian/Dragon Rider, Tuffnut tries to convince the guard that he is a Berserker chief named ‘Buffnut.’ Fortunately for Tuffnut, the ruse works and he is directed towards where Dagur, Alvin, and their respective tribes negotiate their terms.
A Game of Chess
In Alvin’s throne room, the negotiations themselves aren’t going smoothly and Alvin is none too receptive of the idea that Dagur will lead the coming invasion with the Skrill (ideally, he wants his army to take over Berk). Dagur agrees in a mocking manner. Shortly after we learn that Dagur intends to dispose of Alvin too. He then gets annoyed by a loud smacking noise and turns around to see who it is: Tuffnut enjoying himself at the buffet table.
Saving His Own Neck (and Legs)
Dagur questions Tuffnut as to why he’s there and Tuffnut explains that he’s one of them (‘Buffnut’). Tuffnut then proceeds to compase a poem on the spot, which entertains Dagur and the Berserkers/Outcasts and convinces Dagur to spare his life in the process. Tuffnut then becomes something of a jester for the Berserkers/Outcasts and keeps them entertained. Mildew comes in and recognizes Tuffnut. He tries to tell the Berserkers who Tuffnut really is. Unfortunately for him (and luckily for Tuffnut), he is unable to reveal Tuffnut’s identity to the Berserker/Outcast crowd as he still suffers from the after effects of the Skrill’s blast (he’s still speaks gibberish). Tuffnut takes notice of this and beats Mildew up in the process of a performance.
A Plan in Action/A Surprising Move
Later on, Tuffnut informs Hiccup and Ruffnut that the Outcasts and Berserkers plan to invade Berk with both their fleets (led by the Skrill). The only catch is that Alvin will only give the Skrill to Dagur once Berk had been conquered. Hiccup sees this as an opportunity to free the Skrill and dismantle the invasion plans altogether. Hiccup then sends Tuffnut out to distract the guards from the arena, while he and the others go to free the Skrill.
Shortly thereafter, Hiccup notices that guards have been knocked out and assumes that Tuffnut did it. However, Tuffnut is actually goofing around with a couple guards. He realizes that he didn’t fullfill his objective and returns to Hiccup, who has discovered that the Skrill is gone from his cage. The Outcasts also discover that someone took the Skrill from its cage and go to alert Alvin. Hiccup tells Tuffnut to go with Ruffnut, while he and Toothless go to find where the Skrill is.
A Fiery Confrontation/The “Death” of Alvin
Moments later, Dagur and his men make a run for it with the Skrill when they are stopped by Alvin and his men. As it turns out, Dagur intentionally broke the terms of their agreement by ‘taming’ the Skrill. Enraged, Alvin engages Dagur in a sword fight. Alvin has the upper hand in the fight until Dagur begins to use the ropes tethered to the Skrill to aim its blasts at him. Alvin retreats to the ocean, just before Dagur aims the Skrill’s lightning blast right where he dives in. This causes the water to erupt with a lightning charge. Presuming Alvin dead, the Outcast soldiers surrender to Dagur and pledge their allegiance to him. This all happens while Hiccup and Toothless watch from below, where they come up with another plan.
Hiccup/Toothless VS. Dagur/Skrill
As both fleets (united under Dagur) prepare for the invasion, Hiccup and Toothless show up to challenge Dagur and his Skrill. Not one to turn down a challenge (despite the fact that Savage warns of a possible opportunity to destroy Dagur at Berk), he takes his Skrill and goes after Hiccup and Toothless. Hiccup and Toothless avoid the Skrill’s lighting strikes while Dagur give chase. Eventually, Dagur lands on a wet cliff, where Toothless takes the opportunity to fire off a plasma blast at the Skrill. When the Skrill counters with his own blast, the lightning charges through the ropes, electrocutes Dagur, and knocks him out.
A Dragon’s Comeuppance
Now free, the Skrill chases after Hiccup and Toothless until they reach a massive iceberg. After they barely manage to survive several of the Skrill’s blasts, Hiccup and Toothless fly into the iceberg (with the Skrill in pursuit). Inside, the Skrill loses them in the chase. Eventually it spots what appears to be Hiccup and Toothless, but is only a reflection in the ice. As a result, the Skrill charges toward the reflection and is knocked unconscious. Hiccup and Toothless meet with the twins outside, where they proceed to spark an explosion that entraps the Skrill in the iceberg and puts it back in the ice. With this task done, Hiccup and the twins head back home.
Meanwhile, Dagur’s search parties for the Skrill turn up with nothing. Not that this really matters to Dagur, as he has now turned his fixation on capturing the Skrill toward a new target: Hiccup’s Night Fury…
Stressful Times in Berk
Afterwards, the Riders continue their training while they deal with a new threat in the form of Dagur and his expanded army. These adventures include an incident where Snotlout gives Hookfang to Gustav when he becomes convinced that he is dying (“The Flight Stuff”), Ruffnut befriending an injured Scauldron while the Riders try to save it from the Changewings (“Free Scauldy”), a harsh winter that gives way to the village of Berk being overrun by Speed Stingers (“Frozen”), a stronger form of dragon nip that causes Snotlout and Astrid’s dragons to fight each other (“A Tale of Two Dragons”), and Hiccup battling an Eel Pox epidemic that affects both humans and dragons (“The Eel Effect”).
Along the way, they even fight off a major advance from Dagur and his army when marauding Smokebreaths steal metal objects (“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”) and Stoick says goodbye to Thornado after it decides to take three orphaned Thunderdrums under its wing (“Bing! Bam! Boom!”).
Suspended from the Academy!
Later on, Snotlout’s rebellious behavior sabotages what was supposed to be a routine ambush attack exercise. His behavior causes Astrid to be knocked off her dragon (and Hiccup comes to the rescue).
Hiccup (and Astrid) lash out at Snotlout for his reckless actions. Finally, fed up with Snotlout’s behavior, Hiccup suspends him from the academy indefinitely. Snotlout takes his suspension about as well as one would expect and he and Hookfang take off to somewhere else.
On Outcast Island, Savage informs Dagur that the Dragon Root has tested perfectly and that he is ready for their plan to sneak into the Academy and plant the root there.
Knowing What to Do
Back on Berk, Hiccup notices that Snotlout is still gone as the twins merge their pen with his. Essentially left with the tough choice of whether to ban Snotlout permanently or to let him come back (at the cost of the other Riders’ respect), Hiccup assures them that he’ll fix the situation with Snotlout if and when he returns.
Meanwhile, Snotlout and Hookfang have seemingly abandoned Berk for a tiny rock island (which Snotlout calls Snotland). As he claims his new land, Snotlout spots a wrecked Outcast ship and decides to check it out.
On Berk, Hiccup asks his father for advise on how to balance being a leader and a friend. Stoick replies that Hiccup can’t and that someday he will have to make decisions that are not in the service of his friends of himself, but for all of Berk.
An Unexpected Visitor
Back on ‘Snotland,’ Snotlout and Hookfang sneak up on the Outcast ship and attempt to attack, only to find that nobody is there. All of a sudden, an earthquake erupts and from this quake arises the Screaming Death. Snotlout and Hookfang attempt to get away and warn the Riders, but Snotlout loses his grip of Hookfang and falls to the ground, unconscious. The Screaming Death tries to finish him off, but an unseen individual jumps to rescue Snotlout just in time.
An Unexpected Savior
This person returns to Berk with Snotlout and Hookfang in tow. Snotlout regains consciousness (just when the villagers think he’s dead). Hiccup and Stoick arrive to see what all the commotion is all about, only to find that Snotlout’s savior is none other than Alvin. The next day, Alvin his held on trial in the Great Hall for his past crimes against Berk. Stoick calms the crowd down and announces that Alvin will be held in prison until a proper sentence can be issued. Alvin pleads to Stoick and says that his rescue of Snotlout was not something he did for himself, but his pleas are ignored. All the while, Hiccup receives news about Snotlout’s encounter with the Screaming Death and learns that the Screaming Death is closing in on Berk.
The Riders start to train their dragons in order to figure out a way to hold off the Screaming Death. Snotlout tries to join them, but Hiccup informs them that his suspension still holds. Despite Snotlout’s protest, Hiccup locks Hookfang in his pen. From afar, Dagur and his army see the perfect opportunity to go in.
Later on, Hiccup and Toothless arrive at Berk’s jail, where Alvin previously requested an audience with Hiccup. Alvin makes a proposal to Hiccup, in which he claims that he is a changed man after loosing everything to Dagur. Alvin promises to Hiccup that if he helps him beat Dadur, then the Outcasts will pledge their allegiance to Berk. At home, Hiccup thinks about the deal and tries to talk it over with his dad. Stoick doesn’t take to the deal, as he proclaims that Alvin will always be an enemy.
Struck from Within
Meanwhile, Dagur and his Berserkers enter the arena. Once inside, Savage plants the Dragon Root in the center and opens up the Riders’ pens to let the dragons out. In the prison, Snotlout makes an unplanned visit to Alvin’s cell to talk about their similarities (in order to goad Snotlout into releasing him from prison). Just then, a warning signal is heard across Berk as Astrid comes to warn Snotlout that Dagur is on Berk and that their dragons are in danger. But before Snotlout leaves, Alvin tells him that he will help fight Dagur if let out of his cell.
Chaos at the Academy
Chaos ensues as the Riders attempt to get the Dragon Root out of the Academy n order to stop the dragons from killing each other under its influence. But just as Fishlegs tries to run out of the academy with the Dragon Root, the Berserkers shut the exit and surround Hiccup and Toothless. Dagur then gives Hiccup the choice to give him Toothless or to let his friends suffer at the hands of their out of control dragons.
Cue Stoick, Gobber, and the other vikings, who arrive just in time to fight off the Berserker forces. Savage blocks the exit, and is prepared to face Stoick, when Alvin jumps to Stoick’s aid and knocks him out. Stoick reluctantly let’s him join the fight and allows him to finally open the exit. The dragons are let out and Hiccup an Toothless stop them from following the Root, but not before Stoick is accidentally knocked unconscious by Meatlug.
As Dagur’s plan falls apart, he orders Savage and his men to retreat. But, as he doesn’t want to leave empty handed, he seizes and opportunity to take Stoick prisoner. When Hiccup and Toothless attempt to save Stoick, Dagur warns that any attempts to save him will result in his execution.
As Stoick is carried off to Outcast Island, Hiccup makes a plan to rescue Stoick form Dagur. Meanwhile, Alvin is put back in prison and the Screaming Death closes in on Berk…
Pains of an Acting Chief
The next day, Berk is in a state of chaos as there is no chief. As the acting chief of Berk, Hiccup tries to calm the crowd (to no avail). Snotlout also tries to diffuse the crowd (also to no avail). Meanwhile, as Fishlegs finishes up his patrol, the ground starts to shake. They discover that the Screaming Death, of all things, is headed straight for Berk.
At the Haddock household, Gobber reassures Hiccup that it’s not easy being chief at first and that his father also had trouble adjusting to the role. He even points out that Alvin was one of his biggest critics. Gobber then tells him that Alvin and Stoick used to be best friends. Hiccup asks what happened to that relationship, to which Gobber replies, “Everything.”
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Fishlegs arrives with news that the Screaming Death is once again tearing a path to Berk. This time, their options are limited, as the Screaming Death was last seen on the coastlines of Dragon Island. At the same time Hiccup also receives a ransom note from Dagur, which states that if he doesn’t deliver Toothless to him by nightfall Stoick will be executed. Caught between two very difficult situations (Dagur and the Screaming Death) and with the knowledge that going anywhere near Outcast Island will result in a trap, Hiccup finally devises a solid plan: to have the Riders deal with the Screaming Death while he goes to Outcast Island to save his father (with the help of Alvin).
What Really Happened
On the way to Outcast Island, Hiccup asks Alvin what really happened to his friendship with Stoick. Alvin tells them that, when they were young, Stoick was in command and Alvin was his right-hand man. This was at a time when they both fended off dragon attacks on Berk. One night, a Monstrous Nightmare attacked the village and both men disagreed on how they would defend the island. Once a plan was put in place, Alvin disobeyed Stoick’s order and caused an unknown number of casualties. Once Stoick became chief, he swiftly punished Alvin for his disobedience. Hiccup sympathizes with this story, as he compares it to his current standing with Snotlout.
A New Discovery (and a Plan)
Hiccup and Alvin finally arrive near the shorelines of Outcast Island. In order to avoid being spotted, Alvin decides they should swim under the island to keep out of view. As they swim, Hiccup and Alvin arrive at a tunnel that leads to a secret underground still undiscovered by either Dagur or his men. Inside, they find out that Mildew is still loyal to Alvin, as he keeps the cavern a secret to the Berserkers. They even discover where the Outcasts have kept the Whispering Deaths (including the mother to the red egg that gave birth to the Screaming Death). Hiccup sends a message to Berk via airmail, in which he informs the Riders that he knows what the Screaming Death is looking for. With this, Hiccup begins to form another plan…
A Plan Unfolds
Hiccup and Toothless make their way to the arena, as they knock out a few guards and dodge a few bolas. Once they make it to the center, they are captured (with Toothless pinned under Dagur while Hiccup is tied up alongside Stoick).
Back at Berk, the Riders receive Hiccup’s message and formulate a plan to lure the Screaming Death to Outcast Island using Dragon Root. As Meatlug is the only dragon who is immune to its effects, Fishlegs reluctantly agrees to be the ‘bait.’
The Battle on Outcast Island
On Outcast Island, Dagur relishes in the ways that he will make Toothless the new symbol for his Berserker tribe. While this happens, both Berserker and Outcast soldiers disappear instantly. All of a sudden, Whispering Deaths pop up out of the ground and begin to rampage through the entire arena. They destroy the terrain and cause it to separate in the process. Alvin then appears and frees Toothless, Hiccup, and Stoick. At that point, the arena is locked in a three-way battle between the Whispering Deaths, Berserkers, and Outcasts. Just as Hiccup and Toothless are about to reunite, the ground splits open and Toothless, Dagur, and several other Berserkers and Outcasts fall in as the arena is leveled and the surface starts to sink.
As Hiccup, Stoick, and Alvin hold on to the steel ceiling, Dagur and his men try to capture Toothless. But, despite attempts to hold them off, Toothless throws them off and climbs up to Hiccup. They are surrounded by Berserker and Outcast forces when reinforcements (the Riders) arrive, along with Fishlegs and the Screaming Death right behind them. Hiccup informs Stoick that the Screaming Death was simply searching for its mother and that reuniting them is their only chance to keep it from destroying Berk.
Eventually, the Screaming Death spots its Whispering Death mother. Dagur notices the connection and threatens the mother in another attempt to get Hiccup to give up Toothless. Just then, Snotlout arrives and engages with Dagur, which causes Dagur to release the Whispering Death mother in the ensuing confrontation.
The Screaming Death is finally united with it’s mother and siblings. They leave, but not before the Screaming Death turns to Hiccup and gives him a final, angry roar to thank him.
Hiccup makes amends with Snotlout and calls off his suspension. He notes that, while he disobeyed orders, Snotlout ultimately did the right thing. As this happens Dagur tries to attack them, but is knocked out by Alvin. As he seeks payback for having his men and his island taken from him, Alvin drags Dagur off into the great unknown.
But, before that happens, we also see Alvin make amends with Stoick. Like Hiccup and Snotlout, they also shake hands and thus renew their long-lost friendship and put their troubles behind them.
We end with a closing narration from Hiccup, as things on Berk become peaceful again and the Riders continue their training and study of dragons:
“This is Berk, we’ve got ice and snow and we’ve got more ice, but we’ve also got Dragons. We train them, learn from them…protect them and they protect us, sometimes from each other. One thing is for sure, we wouldn’t trade this for anything. Would you?”
And this concludes our recap of Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk! Thanks for reading along and be sure to stick around next month when we prepare for our recap and review of DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge!
The first two seasons of DreamWorks Dragons are available on DVD (Part 1/Part 2 of Riders of Berk and Part 1/Part 2 of Defenders of Berk) and all digital platforms.
Do you have any thoughts on what was presented in the article? If you’ve seen these episodes, discuss them in the comments below!
(Images are courtesy of Berk’s Grapevine and the How to Train Your Dragon wikia.)
Previously on The DRAGONS TV Recap:
Riders of Berk (Part 1/Part 2)
Defenders of Berk (Part 1)
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes