A Viking kransen; Nordic definition roughly meaning "head wreath"; was a real accessory worn by unmarried girls during special occasions. Traditionally, it was passed down from mother to daughter, so a single kransen could last for many generations. Before her wedding ceremony, a girl would have it ceremoniously removed by her female attendants and replaced by a "wedding crown" to symbolize the end of her maidenhood. It would then be carefully preserved so it could be passed down to her daughter when she had one.
In the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, Astrid wears hers every day, and appears to be wearing a new one in each feature film. She is the only Viking maiden ever seen wearing one, and so far it has never been physically or verbally referenced aside from being a part of Astrid's permanent character model.
The first film and TV series
Astrid is seen wearing the same kransen from her first introduction to the end of the TV series. It is worn over her hair in the back, and under her long bangs across her forehead in the front. By age 18, she's added a small braid over it on the left side.
The kransen is also replicated in the live theater production of the first movie - the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular. It is a metallic leather band with button-like metal circles around it.
Sometime between the last events of DreamWorks Dragons: The Series and the second film, Astrid starts wearing a new kransen. Although her hairstyle has changed slightly, she wears the kransen in the same manner as she had since the beginning.
Over the duration of the film, Astrid may be wearing yet another new kransen, or possibly added decorations to the one she was wearing in the second film.
She is first seen without it during her wedding ceremony, when she has it replaced with a flower crown, though she is seen wearing it again many years later. Her daughter, Zephyr, is then wearing a kransen identical to Astrid's first one, which would be true to the Viking culture of a mother passing her kransen onto her daughter.
In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Astrid wears a slightly slimmer leather band that is void of any decoration.
In How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Astrid appears to be wearing a similar leather band with embossed spikes on the front, and metal studs on the sides.
Symbolism: To symbolize a Viking girl's maidenhood.
- If the How to Train Your Dragon franchise stayed true to known Nordic tradition, it can be assumed that the kransen had previously belonged to Astrid's mother.
- Astrid is seen without the kransen for the first time during her wedding, which would have been culturally accurate; however she is seen wearing it again many years later as a wife and mother, which is historically incorrect since kransens were only meant to be worn by unmarried young girls.
- This was either an error on DreamWorks' part or the kransen was only ever planned to be a part of Astrid's character design and had no other significant meaning behind it.