|“||Every ten years the sky lights up with Aurvandil's Fire, and when it does the Flightmare appears. Its spectral glow and banshee-like scream are unmistakable.||”|
"Fright of Passage" is the sixth episode of Season 2 in the TV series, Dragons: Defenders of Berk. It aired on Cartoon Network on October 24, 2013. It is preceded by "Race to Fireworm Island" and succeeded by "Worst in Show".
|“||Hiccup must help Astrid face her fear of the terrifying Flightmare, a ghostly dragon that seemingly "froze" her uncle with fear, shaming her family name. With Fishlegs' help, they discover there's more to the Flightmare than meets the eye.||”|
|— Official website|
Every ten years, Berk is plagued by the attacks of a mysterious and frightening dragon called the Flightmare during the Aurora Borealis, also known by the Vikings as Aurvandil's Fire. When Aurvandil's Fire struck, the villagers avoided being exposed and ran to their homes in fear of the Flightmare's arrival.
As a young girl, Astrid does not cower and has the confidence to confront the Flightmare herself, but her Uncle, Fearless Finn Hofferson, tells her that this not her fight ... yet. He commands her to stay put then attempts to challenge the dragon and stop it from attacking Berk once and for all. When the dragon confronts him, it begins to glow very brightly and Fearless Finn seemingly becomes 'frozen with fear'. Soon afterwards, the dragon causes damage to the village before leaving. The Vikings who witnessed Fearless Finn's confrontation with the dragon claimed that it looked as if he was 'frozen' with fear. Astrid then moves to go after the Flightmare but is stopped by Gobber who tells her that it is going to take more than a 'wee axe' to defeat the Flightmare. Astrid then shouts in anger, hoping to one day avenge her uncle and her family name.
In the present, exactly a decade later, there are only a few hours until Aurvandil's Fire arrives. Astrid is seen sadistically destroying several objects in the Academy, training for her revenge and thinking that she is ready. Snotlout makes Astrid angrier when he teases her about her family name following the incident with Fearless Finn, mentioning that when the Flightmare comes, the Hoffersons freeze. Hiccup tries to tell Astrid that the Flightmare may not come this year, but Fishlegs states that the Flightmare does indeed come every ten years, as well as mentioning that its glow and scream are unmistakable. Fishlegs also divulges into the fact that the Flightmare's appearance is so terrifying that it freezes its prey with 'fear'. Snotlout continues to joke about this, and Astrid lashes out at him, knocking him to the ground and putting her foot on Snotlout's head. She angrily yells at Snotlout, asking him if he really thinks it is funny that her family's name was ruined by the Flightmare, to which Snotlout responds that he did a couple of minutes ago, but that he can now see how it is upsetting her.
Just then the Twins arrive, bringing food supplies and mentioning that the Flightmare is coming. Despite Hiccup telling them not to talk about it, they continue into the fact that it is the only thing anyone's talking about, except for Astrid's uncle. Astrid hurriedly leaves and goes elsewhere. Tuffnut and Ruffnut then go into the bunker to get ready for the Flightmare's appearance, and as Tuffnut puts it, to "get ready for the end of the world."
At sunset, Hiccup sees Astrid planning to set out and get revenge on the Flightmare, but attempts to stop her by arguing that it is going to take all of them - referring to both himself and her, and the other Dragon Riders - to stop it. Astrid reasons with the fact that it might never get to Berk and tries to tempt Hiccup to track it down, learn about it and train it. Hiccup says that training dragons is not the only thing he thinks about which prompts her to ask if he really said that with a straight face. Fishlegs arrives to give Hiccup the research he asked for, and it reveals the Flightmare's location - it always starts on the Northern Swamp and proceeds towards Berk with the same route every time. Fishlegs advises them if they want to get closer to it, they will have to be stealthy and basically invisible. Astrid, glancing at Toothless, sees the dragon as an advantage to achieve her revenge and hops on him, asking Hiccup about when they are leaving.
Once Aurvandil's Fire appears, Gobber alerts the vikings to go to their homes for their own safety. Snotlout and Hookfang pass by villagers and overhears that some of them are going to an exclusive emergency bunker at the Academy created by the Twins. The 'rumors' are confirmed by Gobber. Snotlout is then confident that he can squeeze in, even though Gobber tells him that the bunker has been booked for months.
At the Academy, the Twins are already expecting people to arrive. They decide to create a secret signal so that they know who is in and who is out. Snotlout arrives at the bunker and tries to enter, but when Tuffnut checks the list and does not find his name, he is not allowed inside. Gustav then goes by and is allowed into the bunker, further enraging Snotlout. The Twins tell him that he is either in or out, but he can't just stand there. Tuffnut offers him a way to get in: they will let him in if he brings them a rainbow-colored chicken. Snotlout accepts and gets frustrated when he discovers that Hookfang was also booked into the bunker.
Meanwhile, Hiccup, Astrid and Toothless are attempting to approach the Flightmare. Hiccup notes that they should proceed with caution and they should try to see if there is anything they can learn about it. He also discusses that they should find a way to redirect it and if the plan falls apart, that they should immediately fall back to town. Astrid seemingly accepts, repeating the words, "I understand Hiccup," when Hiccup tells her to, but in an unconvincing tone.
They soon arrive at the Northern Swamp, and Hiccup reminds Astrid to observe only. The Flightmare appears; Hiccup is mindful of the fact that it definitely lives up to its expectations. Hiccup decides to fall back, but Astrid, who is still determined to get her revenge on the Flightmare, jumps off Toothless. Astrid, repeating the actions of her uncle, confronts the Flightmare and challenges it. She says exactly what he had said on that fateful night, but instead of his name, she uses her own. Astrid is then sprayed by the Flightmare with some kind of mist which 'freezes' her. Unable to move, Astrid becomes an easy target and the Flightmare comes back for another attack. Hiccup and Toothless manage to save Astrid and fend off the Flightmare for the time being. Hiccup drags Astrid to Toothless and they fly off, falling back to the clouds. Unable to be spotted by the Flightmare, it returns to its territory.
Once the Flightmare is gone, they land on the ground. Hiccup shakes Astrid in an effort to get her to move again. As the effects of he mist wear off, she is no longer paralyzed. They both then realize the mist she was sprayed with by the Flightmare only temporarily paralyzed her, and, consequently, that her uncle was not actually frozen with fear. Hiccup decides to follow the Flightmare and redirect it. They do so and upon reaching a river, they discover that the river is glowing.
Back at the Academy - or rather, the bunker - Snotlout brings a chicken to the Twins which he painted multiple colors, pretending that it is the object they had requested. They are fooled by the so-called 'rainbow-colored chicken’. However, before they let him in, they tell him that they actually wanted two rainbow-colored chickens. Knowing that they would pull this kind of trick, Snotlout pulls a second chicken from behind his back that he had painted and gives it to the Twins. He then asks them to let him in since he had done what they asked. The Twins, though, say that he is nearly there and give him a list containing a few more things they want Snotlout to get. Growing more frustrated but still desiring to enter the private bunker, Snotlout accepts.
At Fishlegs’ home, Fishlegs is trying to figure out why the Flightmare always takes the same route, following the stream from the Northern Swamp to the Village. When Fishlegs sees Meatlug still eating in a time of danger, he realizes it is following its food: glowing algae. In the meantime, Hiccup and Astrid discover the glowing algae. Hiccup examines the algae and notes that the glow is some sort of reaction to Aurvandil's Fire, concluding that that is why the Flightmare always following the same path to the Village. Astrid at first does not understand, but to explain his point, Hiccup asks the question, "You ever tried to get between Snotlout and a bowl of mutton?", to which Astrid replies that she has and that it is something that should only be done once. It then dawns upon her that the Flightmare thinks they want its food, with Hiccup adding that it attacks them because it thinks they are a threat to its survival.
Suddenly, the Flightmare spots them. Hiccup says that they need to hop back on Toothless so they can fly into the clouds and hide, but Astrid points out that that is not possible since Toothless had eaten some of the glowing algae, causing his whole body to glow a fluorescent blue. Hiccup and Astrid climb onto Toothless and head up into the clouds anyway, but due to his glowing scales, the group is spotted by the Flightmare. It blinds Toothless, causing him to crash. Hiccup instructs Toothless to roll and Toothless narrowly avoids being hit by the Flightmare's paralyzing mist. Astrid distracts the Flightmare and it pursues her, and Hiccup and Toothless quickly grab Astrid. They head into a cave and lose the Flightmare.
Soon after, Toothless’ glows wear off, and the three set off to follow the Flightmare. Astrid asks Hiccup how they plan to stop the Flightmare, with Fishlegs showing up at that moment with reinforcements; Astrid jumps on to Stormfly. Hiccup and Fishlegs devise a plan to stop the Flightmare from reaching Berk - create a new channel for the river in order to divert the flow of glowing algae out to sea.
At the Academy, Snotlout, exhausted, brings everything the Twins had put on the list, including a sturgeon dressed as Stoick. But the Twins tell him that he has missed one thing on the list: a singing Terrible Terror. Snotlout is shocked to hear that and takes another look at the list, realizing the Twins are just adding more things to do once he has seemingly completed all of his tasks. Tuffnut tells Snotlout that arguing with Bunker Management can result in him being permanently banished from the Bunker, which would also mean that all of his previous efforts would have been for nothing! Snotlout frustratingly accepts his 'last' task.
Meanwhile, Astrid quickly engages the Flightmare while Hiccup and Fishlegs attempt to dig a new channel that leads out to sea. Hiccup and Toothless continue to blast the ground to construct the new channel while Fishlegs tries to block the original channel, therefore preventing it from flowing to Berk. The Flightmare sees this as a threat to its food and paralyzes Fishlegs with its mist. Hiccup realizes this and places Fishlegs back on Meatlug. The mist eventually wears off, and Hiccup tells Fishlegs that the Flightmare paralyzed him with his mist. Hiccup states that they need to keep cutting the channel, but observes that the Flightmare is guarding it. Astrid then mentions that she has come up with a way to distract the Flightmare, suggesting they feed their dragons with the algae and use the Flightmare's own defense mechanism against it. Outnumbered and overpowered, they manage to blind and disorient the Flightmare, causing it to crash down to the ground, allowing them to finish off the channel out to sea. When the Flightmare regains control of itself again, it discovers its food drifting outwards to the ocean and desperately follows its trail, and with that, it is prevented from ever coming towards Berk again.
Back on Berk, Gobber is asleep and Stoick awaits the Flightmare's arrival. Stoick wakes up Gobber and orders him to alert the Villagers, upon seeing what he thinks is the Flightmare. Stoick then sees three glowing dragons and is under the impression that there is more than one Flightmare. But, Gobber tells Stoick to stand down as they are not Flightmares and soon realize that it is actually Hiccup, Astrid and Fishlegs with their dragons who seem to be glowing. The pair of senior vikings are shocked but Hiccup just tells them that it is a long story. He then announces the good news that they managed to rid Berk of the Flightmare forever. Stoick congratulates him proudly and tells the hiding villagers to come out as the Flightmare is gone for good.
As the villagers come out of their homes, Hiccup makes an announcement saying that they learned a lot about the Flightmare tonight and that he will explain it all to them. He finishes the announcement by stating that the most important thing they learned tonight was that Fearless Finn Hofferson was indeed fearless, just like all the Hoffersons are, and thus clearing Astrid's family name. Stoick tells them that they'll finally get to watch the beautiful Aurora of Aurvandil's Fire freely for the first time. The Twins arrive and they decide that they want glowing dragons, and Tuffnut tells Ruffnut to put that on Snotlout's list whenever he comes back.
Moments later at the Academy, Snotlout arrives and with him, a singing Terrible Terror. However, he is shocked to discover the Bunker has been cleared out since it was announced that the Flightmare is gone. Snotlout, rather exhausted and frustrated, grumbles to the Terror to stop singing. He also mumbles something along the lines of really wanting "that yak butter parfait".
To conclude the night's events, the Flightmare glides towards the horizon, following the path of glowing algae away from Berk where it may never harm nor damage the reputation of any Berkian again.
- This episode title is a play on the term "rite of passage".
- The Flightmare makes its debut.
- This is the first episode in the second season that doesn't mention Alvin or the Outcasts.
- Astrid's uncle, Fearless Finn Hofferson, may be a reference to another Cartoon Network series, Adventure Time.
- There's a scene where Toothless, Meatlug, and Stormfly glow brighter when next to each other. The Riders may have learned it since the previous Fireworm encounter.
- The little girl in the series is re-colored for a younger Astrid, making her the first character seen at a younger age.
- The way Astrid introduces herself to the Flightmare is the same way as her uncle.
- The Vikings refer to the Aurora Borealis as Aurvandil's Fire.
- An aurora also occurs in the original film without the Flightmare's appearance, so Aurvandil's Fire is likely a very specific aurora
- This episode explains why Astrid trained so hard to fight dragons in the first film.
- An error in the beginning, when the teens are in the academy, part of Astrid's hair on the right side was over her headband.
- It is revealed that Terrible Terrors are capable of singing.
- Apparently, Astrid has tried to get between Snotlout and a bowl of mutton (sheep).
- Fishlegs knows how to knit.
- It is revealed that Snotlout loves yak butter parfait.
- A entirely possbile reason why Astrid wanted Hiccup out of the way was due to her feeling for him and couldn't bear to see him end up the same fate as her uncle.
- Jay Baruchel as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III
- America Ferrera as Astrid Hofferson
- Nolan North as Stoick the Vast
- Chris Edgerly as Gobber the Belch
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman
- T.J. Miller as Tuffnut Thorston
- Andrée Vermeulen as Ruffnut Thorston
- Zack Pearlman as Snotlout Jorgenson
- Lucas Grabeel as Gustav Larson
- Thomas F. Wilson as Bucket ♣
- Brook Chalmers as Fearless Finn Hofferson
- ♣ designates a character that appears but does not speak
- Astrid's kransen
- Hairy Hooligan weapons
- Hiccup's prosthetic leg
- Hiccup's shield
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