Deer are animals seen minimally within the DreamWorks Dragons Franchise, but more often across several types of media.
Deer (Family Cervidae) are quadruped mammals with cloven (two toes) hooves. All species grow antlers each year and shed them. Often antlers only occur in males of each species, but not all. Antlers come in a variety of forms, depending on the species. There are three species that occur in Scandinavia and also are mentioned briefly in the Franchise.
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) are a large deer species widespread across much of Europe, into Asia, and Northern Africa. It has also been introduced into South America and Australia. Red Deer's coats range from a reddish rust color to mousy brown, and size varies across its range of distribution. Antlers - occurring only in the males (stags) - start to grow in spring and then are shed in late winter.
Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) occur in and around the Arctic Circle, meaning they occur very far North on the North American Continent, Europe, and Asia, including large islands such as Greenland. In North America, reindeer are called Caribou, but are the same species. Both male and female reindeer grow antlers, though the females' antlers are smaller. They will eat grasses and shrubs, but subsist on lichen during times of food scarcity. Reindeer have even been known to eat lemmings, fish, or bird eggs if they are not able to get adequate nutrition.
Moose (Alces alces) are the largest currently existing member of the deer family. In Europe and Asia they are referred to as "Elk", not to be confused with a different deer species in North America also called "Elk". They are generally a uniform dark brown in color. Males often grow a dewlap under their necks. Antlers grow wide and resemble wings, after a fashion. Moose have thick nose pads, giving them an appearance of a droopy muzzle. They browse on many types of vegetation, including aquatic vegetation, and generally spend a lot of time in marshy environments.
Elk (Cervus canadensis) are another large deer species. Confusingly, Moose (above) are called 'Elk' in Europe, but are not the same species. Here, the American term 'Elk' is used. Elk are native to Northern North America in colder climates, but not as far North as moose roam. They are also native to some areas in Eastern China. None exist in Europe. Elk are generally brown in color - lighter than moose but darker and not quite as red as Red Deer. Some sub-species sport white or lighter colored rumps. As is typical, only males grow antlers that are long and branching without the wide hand-like areas of moose antlers. Elk both graze on grasses as well as browse on low vegetation, reachable leaves, and tree bark when other foods are scarce.
In the How to Train Your Dragon Franchise, deer are seen being used a food for dragons (specifically the Red Death) and also for use of their antlers as decoration or function items.
In reality, deer are extensively hunted for sport and/or food. Deer meat is specifically referred to a Venison. Antlers are used for decoration and also to fashion a myriad of tools, especially earlier in human history. Deer hides are also used for leather, called buckskin.
The Sami of Scandinavia are a native nomadic peoples known for their reindeer herding and reliance on them. Reindeer provide meat, transport, clothing, and even milk. Reindeer cheese can be made from their milk.
|“||Stand the elk up in the back. The fishing boats just came in with a big catch. [src]||”|
|“||To a moose wearing boots? Shouldn't be hard to find. [src]||”|
This children's activity book contains eight scenes for the reader to find hidden objects. In the third scene, there are various items around the house at the Haddock home, including a set of caribou antlers.
In the Quest, "History of Viking Contraptions", the player must collect a comb from Astrid to give to Headmaster Heyral to display in class. Astrid gives the player a comb made of Red deer antler.
|“||It's [the comb] carved out of red deer antler, so it's really strong.||”|
|— Astrid in School of Dragons|
Antlers are also seen in some of the headdresses the player can customize their Viking avatar with.
In November 2018, Elk were added to the game as a farm animal, with a limited edition for the Snoggletog season. In the game, they are used to harvest antlers to complete farm jobs. The Snoggletog Elk also wear festive clothing and lighted globes on their antlers, similar to the headdress Gobber wears for Snoggletog seen in Gift of the Night Fury.
This Boulder Class dragon is based off a moose and the extinct Megaloceros (Irish elk).
- In June of 2017, the School of Dragons Forum posted a Poll asking players what new animal they would like to see in game. Reindeer was one option, but did not win the poll. This suggests that in the future, the game staff may consider adding reindeer to the game.
|Deer (Franchise) uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Dreamworks School of Dragons Wiki page History of Viking Contraptions. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors).|