How to Train Your Dragon: A Bittersweet Farewell

I was ten-years-old when the first movie came out. When the trailers to it initially came out, I didn't think much of it. "Oh great, here's another dumb children animation movie." But I have a friend that is obsessed with all things animated, so I was roped into seeing it with her. By the end of the film, my heart was swelled. I loved it, I loved it, I loved it!  It was the first movie that helped me realize that when it comes to anything in life, you don’t have to be the strongest or smartest person—or Viking—in order to accomplish the most.

Growing up, I felt like many of us were under the misconception that we had to be perfect at everything and we couldn’t make mistakes. This frankly caused me a great deal of anxiety, so I did the one thing that any “smart” person would do—I ignored it. But, midway through high school, I realized that I couldn’t get away with this. But, with How to Train Your Dragon, I identified so much with the main character, Hiccup, because he wasn’t the typical Viking. Instead he was an artist who designed and invented objects that allowed him to get closer to dragons, sworn enemies of his village. I loved the true friendship he developed with Toothless the dragon, one that he couldn’t find with any of his fellow Vikings. I saw bits and pieces of myself and other people in each character. As childish as it may seem, this film gave me hope. This film makes me willing to do whatever I have to, if it means I can create something that changes other people the way this film changed me. HTTYD gave me the courage and confidence to be somebody that I wanted to be.

The third and final film was released this past weekend and, as promised, I was left with this bittersweet nostalgia in the pit of my stomach. I grew up with this series, and it was upsetting to see it end. But, that's part of growing up, which is something (Semi-spoiler alert warning) both Toothless and Hiccup had to learn to do in this last film. So, with that being said, it is with a heavy heart that I bid the series a farewell. It's painful, but it's pain with a purpose.