Welcome to The DRAGONS TV Recap! This is a Rotoscopers series in which we recap and discuss the DreamWorks Dragons television series!
Today, we will review and recap episode 13 (“Total Nightmare”).
(WARNING #1: This recap/review will contain SPOILERS for episode 13. Do not read if you haven’t watched this episode yet.)
(WARNING #2: Only spoilers for this episode can be discussed in the comment section. If I see spoilers from other episodes, you will be put on notice.)
Here we are at what is effectively the mid-season finale of Dragons: Race to the Edge. After 12 episodes, 10 articles, and 10 video recaps, we close out the first half of Race to the Edge with “Total Nightmare” (directed by Jae Hong Kim and written by Richard Hamilton, John Tellegan, and Jack Thomas). It’s not a big, epic episode like “Have Dragon Will Travel,” but it does give us another solid character-focused episode in which Snotlout (like Fishlegs) comes into his own as a rounded character when he and Hookfang take the spotlight.
Snotlout and Hookfang have been in rough patches before. In an episode of Defenders of Berk (titled “Race to Fireworm Island”), Hookfang nearly came close to dying when his flame went out. “Total Nightmare” doesn’t exactly put them in that kind of life-and-death situation (at least, not at first), but it does challenge their bond and relationship in a different way.
The episode begins with the Riders conducting a routine training exercise to see how fast they fly through a closing dome. Hiccup and Toothless ace that test with flying colors (as usual), but when Snotlout and Hookfang take a go at it, Hookfang begins to act in very weird way and botches the practice. This odd behavior continues on, as Hookfang will not eat fish, acts irritably, and is found in an odd location in the forest. Hiccup suspects that something is wrong with Hookfang and orders Snotlout to put him in a cage overnight until they can figure out what is wrong.
The next day, Snotlout goes to the pens and finds that Hookfang is missing. He, Hiccup, and Astrid head out to look for him and eventually they find him in the same spot in the forest. As it turns out, Hookfang was diverted away by a female Monstrous Nightmare (we’ll call her “female!Hookfang” for simplicity). Snotlout thinks that Hookfang is taking a page from his book and being ladies’ man, but Hookfang is still hesitant to come back with Snotlout.
Fishlegs begins to lay down a theory that Hookfang’s mood swings and unnatural behavior in association with his attraction to female!Hookfang indicate that he may be going ‘feral.’ This obviously doesn’t settle well with Snotlout and he tries to get Hookfang away from female!Hookfang by throwing an electric eel at her (a plan that predictably falls on its face). Snotlout, in anger and frustration, tells Hookfang to choose between him and female!Hookfang. Hookfang goes over to female!Hookfang’s side, which makes it seem as if he choose her over Sontlout.
This development causes Snotlout to become depressed and he rapidly loses interest in being with the Riders. The Riders try and cheer him up by bringing in other Monstrous Nightmares (to no avail) and they even suggest other dragons (also to no avail). Snotlout even goes so far as to declare that he’s done being a Dragon Rider and will head back to Berk, but not before he says his final goodbye to Hookfang…
Snotlout goes to say goodbye to Hookfang, but when he arrives he sees his dragon in poor shape. Snotlout thinks that it’s female!Hookfang who did it, but on closer inspection he realizes that there is something else going on. That’s when a Titanwing Monsterous Nightmare shows up and causes a ruckus. Luckily the Riders are able to drive it away, just in time for them to figure out what is really going on: Hookfang was protecting female!Hookfang’s three eggs from getting eaten by the Titanwing. When said Titanwing shows up again, Snotlout does something really heroic and goes up with Hookfang to confront the dragon in a fight for domination.
With help from female!Hookfang and a reprise of the training exercise from the beginning of the episode, Hookfang manages to assert dominance over the Titanwing and causes it to fly away in defeat. The episode ends with the female!Hookfang’s eggs hatching (with Snotlout and Hookfang basking in the glow of another heroic feat), which officially concludes the first half of Dragons: Race to the Edge.
– When Snotlout says (on Toothless), “Come on, Toothless. Up, bud. Fly, bud.”
– When Fishlegs says, “It looks like two male dragons fighting over a female.” And Ruffnut says (in response), “Yeah, I’ve heard male vikings do it too, but I’ve personally never seen it.” This is foreshadowing at its finest.
– I wonder what prompted the twins to speak in Shakespearean vernacular throughout the episode?
– I like how Snotlout gave out the names of the other three Monstrous Nightmares in quick succession. It was like he knew how things would go if he moved on, but couldn’t deal with that.
– When Snotlout says (to Hookfang), “You must be starving.” Their bond and relationship has definitely come a long way since Riders and Defenders.
Video Recap #11
This concludes the first run of The DRAGONS TV Recap! First off, I want to thank our visual designer Ryan Campbell for creating that awesome banner that you see up top. I want to thank Kasja Rain Forden for taking the time to bolster our news coverage of Race to the Edge prior to this. I want to thank our head honcho Morgan Stradling for giving me the green-light to do this project and for producing her fantastic video recaps as an extra treat.
Most of all, I want to thank our readers for sticking with us through this insane project. Whether you commented or not, your support means more than you might know. Last but not least, I want to thank the talented men and women at DreamWorks Animation for making this all possible!
I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer, and I hope to see all of you right back here for the second half of DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge and the return of The DRAGONS TV Recap!
What are your thoughts on this episode? If you have seen this episode, discuss it in the comment section below!
Brandon is your average nerd with a love for nerdy things (games, comics, anime/manga, etc.). He also loves reading and writing and plans to be an author someday. For now, he writes with passion and curiosity about the world of animation. He lives with his family in North Carolina and is currently attending college.