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Ryker: "Their resistance is growing, Viggo."
Viggo: "Well, then, Ryker, maybe we need to change the methods of how we deal with resistance. Perhaps it's time we capture a dragon that not even Hiccup Haddock can free."

"Dire Straits" is the sixth episode of Dragons: Race to the Edge, Season 4. It was released to Netflix on February 17, 2017. The name of the episode was first revealed in the Everything Geek Podcast interview with Douglas Sloan and Art Brown.


Viggo gets angry at the Dragon Riders for continually interfering with his business and uses a deep sea dragon, the Submaripper, to control Berk's trade.
  — DreamworksTV[1]  


Hiccup and the Riders have inflicted heavy blows to the Hunters and it finally takes a toll on Viggo. He decides to deal with the Riders once and for all by capturing a Tidal Class dragon that 'not even Hiccup can free'.

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Few days later, Trader Johann is sailing with several other traders in the Straits of Baldur when suddenly a whirlpool emerges under them. Johann narrowly escapes but realizes the other traders were devoured by the whirlpool.

At the Edge, Stoick makes a surprising visit to Hiccup and Fishlegs. He reports that not a single trade ship has come to Berk for weeks and that when scout ships went to investigate the straits neither one returned also. Fishlegs deduces that the straits were infested with Tidal Class dragons but Stoick adds that when the Auxiliary Riders investigated, they reported that the ocean was empty and silent. Hiccup decides that they should tackle the issue.

As they arrive at the straits, the Dragon Riders first think that an adolescent Scauldron is the culprit but they are corrected when a whirlpool emerges and powerfully tries to suck in the Riders, including the Scauldron. Fishlegs is almost sucked in but the Riders let their dragons fire together at the whirlpool's mouth and it stops. Hiccup realizes a territorial Submaripper is responsible for scaring off the trade ships.

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With trade routes closed in the straits and no gold to acquire provisions, Berk's supply line is severed and its reserves are dwindling fast that could result in starvation. Hiccup assigns half of the Riders to help Berk gather enough supplies while Astrid and Snotlout follow him to remove the Submaripper from the straits.

The trio dive down the Submaripper's spot and try to ward it off, but they are overpowered by the Submaripper and they fall back but Hiccup notices that the Submaripper's legs are chained to the ground. Resurfacing, Hiccup realizes that the Submarriper was chained under the straits by Viggo as a dire threat to Berk. Hiccup feels guilty and looks on at Berk's worsening conditions as the villagers are degraded into receiving only rations to survive. Hiccup proposes they call off the raids on the Hunters but Fishlegs tells Hiccup that he'll come up with something that can break the Submaripper's chains and that Hiccup needs to figure out how to stay longer on the water.

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Fishlegs, with the help of the Twins, came up successful on how to break the chains underwater by using Changewing acid. Hiccup, however, hadn't tackled the solution on how to stay underwater longer until the Twins give him the inspiration to use Gobber's huge smelting cauldron as a fashioned-out diving bell. When Hiccup first tests it underwater, its window breaks under the pressure of the water and Fishlegs hurriedly pulls it back to the surface. At night, Hiccup finishes reinforcing the diving bell and prepares it for testing, but Astrid gives him worrying news that the last reserves of Berk have been distributed. Fearing that Berk would soon face starvation, Hiccup cancels it for testing and gathers the Riders to head out to the straits.

The Riders set down the diving bell and it successfully makes it to the ocean floor, Hiccup goes in cautiously to pour the Changewing acid on the Submaripper's chains, careful not to wake it. On the surface, the Riders spot the Hunters to disrupt their plans, Fishlegs fears that they'll disturb the Submaripper, endangering Hiccup. The Riders try to confront them but realize the Hunters intend to wake the Submaripper. They decide to head back and tells Fishlegs to pull Hiccup out. However, the catapulted rocks creates enough noise to wake the Submaripper and immediately tries to suck in Hiccup to its mouth. Hiccup manages to hold on long enough for a sunken ship to also get sucked in towards the Submaripper's mouth allowing Hiccup time to break the second chain from the Submaripper.

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Meanwhile, Astrid and Toothless convinces Fishlegs to pull in the diving bell against Hiccup's direct order not to pull it until he tugs the chain twice. Hiccup fails to notice his only escape resurfacing but narrowly escapes another attempt of the Submaripper to devour him and manages to break the last chain holding the Submaripper. Hiccup hurriedly tries to swim for the diving bell and he makes it inside. Just as it nears the surface, the Hunters destroys the crane that's pulling the diving bell, and Toothless attempts to reel it in himself but is quickly pulled down by the plummeting diving bell to the ocean floor.

Hiccup is stuck inside and water slowly begins to seep in, Toothless finds no way of letting him out. Hiccup accepts his fate as Toothless stays with his rider as the water envelops him. But one moment later, the Submaripper swims towards them. Hiccup warns Toothless but in doing so he releases his breath. The Submaripper grabs the contraption and pulls it back to the ship. The Twins have their dragon bend the metal enough for them to pull out an unconscious Hiccup. Fortunately, Hiccup regains consciousness and Toothless lets out a roar to the Submaripper as a thank you as it swims away freely. Astrid, Snotlout, and the Twins decide to chase after the Hunters' ship.

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Viggo angrily orders his men to turn back and face the Riders but Ryker holds him back as the Riders are approaching. The two leaders ride on a small boat and they quickly make their escape from the pursuing Riders as they are pulled by tamed Seashockers.

With the Submaripper gone from the Straits of Baldur, the trade route to Berk is finally open and traders quickly seep into resupply Berk. Hiccup expresses his guilt for being partially responsible but Stoick reassures him that they may be facing a dangerous threat but he is sure Hiccup will overcome it. Hiccup rejoins with the Riders as Trader Johann retells his encounter from the Submaripper.s




Dragon Species





  • The Submaripper makes its debut appearance.
  • The Seashocker makes its second appearance.
  • Even though Hiccup always has a backup for everything, in this episode he didn't bring extra Changewing acid - and he dropped it when he was swimming towards the diving bell when struck by the tail of the Submaripper.
  • The dragons shouldn't be able to 'fly underwater the way they do through the air as their wings are too wide and they shouldn't be able to shoot fire underwater.
  • The episode shares its name with the British rock band formed in 1977.


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