The Alpha Dragon is the individual in the dragon community with the highest known rank. The role of Alpha is often won by combat, sometimes to the death, but not necessarily. The winner of the battle will win both the rank of Alpha and the loyalty of all dragonkind. Alpha's natural duty is to protect all dragons and guarantee peace among them, thus it is a very important role for the survival of dragonkind. Unfortunately, this role can be seriously abused as seen in the events caused by the Drago's Bewilderbeast.
Role and Power
The Alpha has been seen providing food, protection, and peace for other dragons. Because the role of Alpha is won by combat, it seems very likely that Alphas are almost always massive dragons, with Toothless being an incredibly unlikely case. The Bewilderbeast has been referred to as the Alpha species, and this may be because their size and natural hypnotic ability lead to them often rising to that rank. An Alpha holds the ability to very strongly manipulate the wills of other dragons. Valka's Bewilderbeast used this ability sparingly, while Drago Bludvist abused it. Drago goes so far as to say that no dragon can resist an Alpha's command. There have been exceptions to this, such as baby dragons. Since their senses aren't fully developed yet, they can't hear or feel the Alpha's power. Dragons can also become exempt from this control by challenging the Alpha to mortal combat. If the dragon is too frenzied to listen like the Silkspanners in Dragonvine or drugged by Deathgripper's venom like Grimmel's Deathgrippers, then they also will not be affected. Toothless was also able to overcome the Alpha control thanks to his unique bond with Hiccup, yet this seems to be quite an exception.
The rank of Alpha is one of the most powerful and deadly forces in the dragon world. It is shown that even dragons who live far away from the Alpha and wouldn't have known that the dragon in question was the Alpha, are affected by the position, as the sea dragons and Foreverwings in The Serpent's Heir, obeyed Toothless, even though they were nowhere near Berk and wouldn't have known that he became Alpha. Dragons can sense things, like Hiccup later says in the same comic, so it is more likely that dragons can sense when they are in presence of the Alpha and it is their instinct to listen to him. The third movie and corresponding Art book reveal that all dragons follow their Alpha to the point where many of them came to Berk to pay their respect to Toothless and decided not to leave. The same thing happens when Toothless leaves for the Hidden World at the end. The movie also shows that Toothless, even though he can't control minds like a Bewilderbeast, can force dragons to obey him without needing to be in Alpha mode. He is accepted as the one and only king to which all dragons bow in the Hidden World.
List of Alphas
Lost position to Toothless (alive; resides in the Hidden World).
Lost position to Drago's Bewilderbeast (deceased).
- The trance that an Alpha can put other dragons under strongly resembles the Red Rage found in the later How To Train Your Dragon book series.
- The Red Death has a similar natural ability to force dragons to its will, seen when it used to force dragons to bring it a constant supply of food.
- It isn't clearly said, but there seem to be different ranks in the dragon's community below the one of Alpha. In the second movie, Valka explains that each nest has its queen (like the Red Death of the first movie), and in the Race to the Edge series, the Dragon Riders meet several small packs of dragons who listen to a leader (like the Speed Stingers, Grim Gnashers, and the wild dragons from "Edge of Disaster, Part 2").