Dragon Root is a plant that appears in the DreamWorks Dragons Franchise on multiple occasions. Mainly only the root stock is seen.
Dragon Root is a tree with a tall, thick trunk and a roughly oval-shaped crown. It appears to be and is most likely a broad-leafed deciduous tree, but this cannot be confirmed. Dragon Root ideally requires full sun to grow, as discovered by Snotlout Jorgenson. The rootstock itself is large, knobby and whitish in color, fading to green. This rootstock is often partially above ground. Smaller roots can branch off of the main root. The root may be a large, thick stubby taproot. It is also possible that the part designated as a root is actually a type of rhizome. This is a possibility because the rendered "root", after being coated on an arrow, can still potentially produce plants, as seen in "Not Lout". This would be similar to a potato in that a bit of potato tuber (a type of rhizome) can produce plants.
Dragon Root as portrayed in the Franchise is not seen in the real world, though there are several plants with the common name "dragon root". Two related plants, Arisaema triphyllum (more commonly known as Jack-in-the-pulpit) and Arisaema dracontium, are sometimes called "dragon-root". Both are native to North America, are herbaceous plants (not trees), and generally prefer shade. The roots of both have been used in the past in herbal medicine, though raw the entire plant is toxic. The roots need to be cooked or dried before they become edible.
Dragon Root in the Franchise is a very potent behavior modifier for most dragon species, except Gronckles. In its natural state, it causes uncontrolled rage in most dragons. It is also used by the Dragon Hunters after being refined, concentrated, and having arrows dipped in it. This gives it a different, more serious effect: the smallest cut creates a serious wound that makes the injured dragon dizzy, and ill. It impairs flight to the point where a dragon hit by one of these arrows will fall from the sky unconscious, depending on the severity of the hit.
Almost all dragon species - even trained dragons - are affected by the presence of Dragon Root. Presumably, merely the smell can cause agitation and aggression between dragons. The riders of tamed dragons can learn to handle and calm them to some extent, though with difficulty, until the dragon root can be removed from their presence. Refined Dragon Root acts as a potent anodyne which can knock out affected dragons almost instantly, the minute it enters their bloodstream. It is unknown what would happen if a dragon ate it, although that seems to be their goal.
In "A Tale of Two Dragons", Gronckles are seen to be immune to the behavioral effects of dragon root. Fishlegs theorizes this may be due to her rock-based diet. However, other Boulder class dragons are affected differently by dragon root and dragon root products (such as dragon root-tipped arrows). The Screaming Death appears to be attracted to it, while the Catastrophic Quaken and the Eruptodon are both negatively affected by dragon root-tipped arrows. It is unknown what effect dragon root may have on other unmentioned Boulder Class dragons.
It is also unknown if Dragon Root effects Tidal Class dragons in the ocean, as the best way to dispose of it is to drop it into the sea. Tidal Class dragons may have an immunity to it, similar to Gronckles. Possibly the scent of the dragon root dropped in the sea will wash off after a certain amount of time, nullifying its effects on Tidal Class dragons. In “King of Dragons, Part 2”, the Dragon Hunters attempted to subdue the Berserker Bewilderbeast with spears laced with Dragon Root, and the dragon did not show any sign of being affected. Alternatively, this could have been because the dragon's sheer size meant the amount on the spears was insufficient to have any effect on it.
Dragon root's effect on humans is unclear. At one point Snotlout steps on an arrow coated in dragon root, and at another time Astrid gets shot in the leg, and both were fine, other than the obvious physical wound. However, Dagur the Deranged passes out when an arrow struck him in the back, though this might have just been from the force of the blow. Hiccup was rendered unconscious when he breathed in a gaseous form containing dragon root, though it probably contained other ingredients since it was a purple smoky cloud. It did take Hiccup longer to pass out than Toothless.
All the ingredients listed below, when cooked together make the antidote to Dragon Root tipped arrows, as revealed by Dagur in "Enemy of My Enemy". The antidote is purple in color and will make the dragon it is fed to slightly berserk while it heals the dragon.
A dragon root tipped arrow processing camp was seen in "Not Lout".
- The large central taproot of the dragon root tree is harvested and chopped into smaller pieces, using an axe
- The chunks of the root are then boiled in a large cauldron, presumably with water. Presumably, it is boiled down until a thick green liquid is obtained.
- Pre-made arrows are hand-dipped into the dragon root concoction and allowed to air dry. Care is taken to lay them out individually.
- The arrows with dried dragon root are stored in crates and ready to ship.
As shown in "A Tale of Two Dragons", when the riders were clearing Mildew's cabbage field when Hookfang and Stormfly started to fight. It was later sensed by Meatlug while she and Fishlegs were investigating the spot where the fight started, and she uncovered it in the field. When Hookfang and Stormfly started fighting again, Barf and Belch got too close to the root and started to act crazy as well. While Toothless held Barf and Belch and Hookfang knocked them aside, Astrid and Snotlout calmed down their dragons enough and used Hookfang's "wing clap" and Stormfly's "single spine shot" to help Meatlug remove the root and fly it out to sea.
In "Cast Out, Part 1", after his takeover of the Outcast Tribe, Dagur and Savage did experiments with it on dragons. Dagur then used it as a trap for Hiccup in order for him to surrender Toothless to him. He left it inside the Academy so that the dragons would begin to fight over it, and Hiccup would come to stop them. Fishlegs and Meatlug finally managed to take it away, resulting in the dragons calming down. Later, in "Cast Out, Part 2", Astrid comes up with a plan to use it to lure the Screaming Death to Outcast Island to aid in Hiccup and Stoick's release. Fishlegs and Meatlug again took the responsibility of doing that, and finally dropped it into the sea so the Screaming Death would stop following them.
During the events of "Night of the Hunters, Parts One and Two", the Dragon Hunters used dragon roots at high concentrations and coat them on their arrows. The arrows can effectively knock dragons out of the sky in one shot without fatal injuries. They have been used multiple times as the Dragon Hunters' main weapon, with the first time was when Ryker shot down Stormfly. The Riders once tried to trick Ryker by getting Meatlug shot with dragon root, but this was ineffective.
As shown in "Stryke Out", a group of Dragon Hunters use the root in a gas form to sedate dragons for transport. Snotlout unintentionally set it off after Hiccup and Toothless were trapped, and the gas knocked them both out. However, this gas most likely had more than just dragon root in it, as Hiccup was knocked unconscious as well.
In "Not Lout", the processes of growing and harvesting dragon root are shown. Snotlout discovers that Dragon Root grows in the sun like dragon nip. This leads to him saving the group from falling into a trap.
Hiccup discovers Dragon Root growing on Dragonscale Cliff.
Dragon Root appears as a food item that can be fed to the player's dragons. In the game, feeding it to a dragon increases its aggression but decreases its happiness.
During the "Curse of the Hobgobbler" expansion, Hobgobblers running amok around the Archipelago find some Dragon Root on Zippleback Island. The player must fend off crazed Hobgobblers and a Hideous Zippleback to get rid of the plant.
- Arisaema dracontium on Wikipedia
- Arisaema dracontium. Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Retrieved (July 14, 2017).
- Arisaema triphyllum. Henriette's Herbal Homepage. Retrieved (July 14, 2017).