Gift of the Night Fury is a short film featured in the Dragons set. It was released on November 15th, 2011. It is a direct continuation of the plot from the first How to Train Your Dragon film and is set in the winter during the Viking celebration of Snoggletog.
The film opens similar to the first movie, with Hiccup providing narration about the upcoming Snoggletog festival being one to remember now the war between the Vikings and the dragons came to an end.
"This is Berk, boasting the kind of balmy, fun-in-the-sun climate that will give you frostbite on your spleen. The one upside is our annual holiday. We call it Snoggletog. Why we chose such a stupid name remains a mystery. But with the war long over and dragons living among us, this year's Snoggletog promises to be one to remember."
Hiccup is promptly woken by Toothless jumping on the roof, grabs his helmet and heads out flying with his friend (almost slipping on ice along the way but quickly caught by Toothless). They practice a trick they worked on for some time during their flight and finally pull it off, as the other villagers put up Snoggletog decorations with the help of the dragons. While Stoick proclaims how this will be a wonderful Snoggletog, all the dragons in the village hear a distant roar; the villagers witness flocks of dragons flying high past Berk.
One village dragon makes a similar roar, at which all of Berk's dragons also take off, to the shock and confusion of the Vikings. Hiccup and Toothless come back from their ride, when they fly straight into the storm of oncoming dragons, knocking off Hiccup's helmet into the ocean. Although Toothless attempts to get the helmet back, Hiccup decides it's best to return home to figure out what is going on.
After landing, Hiccup is immediately bombarded with questions about where the dragons have gone, but he has no idea. Stoick calls everyone to the Great Hall to discuss further plans and Hiccup and his friends walk outside. Astrid tries to keep up the Snoggletog cheer, Fishlegs acts suspicious, and Tuffnut remarks how it must be nice for Hiccup to have a dragon that can't go anywhere without the rider. Hiccup looks at Toothless staring sadly out to sea on a cliff.
The next morning, Astrid came up with a new drink called "yak nog", (a version of eggnog) which she hopes to become a new Snoggletog tradition. Snotlout, trying to get on her good side, tries some and silently regrets it, especially since he has to swallow it instead of spitting it out in front of Astrid. Fishlegs is at first eager to try some but awkwardly declines after Snotlout shakes his head behind Astrid's back, warning him the concoction isn't fit for human consumption. The twins refuse based on the smell and sight alone, so she goes to see Hiccup.
At Gobber's smithy, Hiccup builds something for Toothless. Because of what Tuffnut said, he realized Toothless not being able to fly like other dragons wasn't fair to him. Therefore after working all night, he came up with a new tail that allows him to fly by himself. Astrid is impressed, but wonders out loud for briefest of moments if the Night Fury would never return, then rejects the notion. After spitting out the yak nog he accepted from Astrid, her words are in the back of his mind, but Hiccup takes a calming breath and takes the automatic tail to put it on Toothless.
After he succeeds, Toothless doesn't like the feeling of the new contraption and tries to fling it off; when he extends his tail fin on reflex, he stops in surprise when the auto tail also opens and realizes what it's for. After looking at Hiccup for a few moments, Toothless takes off, leaving Hiccup saddened at his sudden departure.
Three days later, Hiccup gets up, hearing a thumping noise on the roof. Thinking it was Toothless, and falling on the patch of ice again, it turns out the noise was Stoick putting up decorations. Stoick reassures his son Toothless is probably with the other dragons, and since he couldn't find Hiccup's helmet, he reminds him to get it as that's where Odin puts their presents.
Hiccup walks along with a pair of oars on his shoulder, intending to row out and fish his helmet out of the sea when he bumps into Fishlegs coming up from the docks, who acted suspicious the past few days. Observing him carrying a basket full of fish, Hiccup remarks it's enough to feed a dragon. Upon Fishlegs' nervous reaction, he follows Fishlegs to a barn where Fishlegs' Gronckle, Meatlug, is chained up to prevent him from leaving. As soon as Hiccup opens the doors, he immediately flies out, snapping the chain and taking Hiccup along with him to parts unknown.
Fishlegs and Astrid see Hiccup fly away, and head into the barn where Meatlug was being held captive with the twins and Snotlout. As Astrid yells at Fishlegs for basically kidnapping his own dragon, the twins notice objects obscured, which Tuffnut alerts the others too. To their surprise, it turns out that Meatlug laid a bunch of eggs, meaning that Fishlegs' companion is actually a female dragon. Astrid realizes the dragons took off for the same reason, to lay their eggs. She has the idea to wrap up the eggs with ribbons and put them in the other Vikings' homes as gifts for another Snoggletog tradition.
Meatlug flies with Hiccup through the archipelago, passing near Dragon Island on the way, almost crushing into a sunken Viking ship. Not long after, they reach an island known as the Rookery, which is full of their dragons, quickly realizing they come here to lay their eggs. A Gronckle pushes her eggs into the water, hatching into little baby Gronckles with a light explosion, safely dampened by the water. Hiccup notices a missed one, which promptly explodes in his face when he bends down to get it, knocking him back. He comments it's a good thing those don't hatch in Berk, information the blissfully unaware Astrid could have used back home.
The teens finished placing the last eggs and talked about how this was a great idea until one egg explodes and its occupant is propelled at high speed into Fishlegs' face. It doesn't take long until every other egg hatches and sets fire to some houses, and the big wooden Snoggletog tree. Noticing the teens standing there, Stoick demands an explanation.
Hiccup looks around the island for a bit and finds Stormfly (Astrid's Deadly Nadder), Hookfang (Snotlout's Monstrous Nightmare), and their own babies. Determining he ought to go home for Snoggletog, he persuades Hookfang for a ride as the other dragons follow with their hatchlings in tow despite Hiccup's protests not to, inadvertently starting the return migration. The hatchlings fly for a moment, but being so small, the wind blows them back to the island. After a few seconds of thinking, Hiccup remembers something from when he flew to the island and gets an idea about what to do.
In Berk, repairs are being made. Stoick rants about how this is a horrible Snoggletog until everyone stops working, staring off into the distance. They see a huge cloud of dragons with Hiccup, carrying an old Viking ship with ropes Hiccup saw on the way there. The ship carries all of the dragons' hatchlings, allowing them to safely return home. Everyone congratulates Hiccup on a job well done, and reunite with their respective dragons. Soon, they all celebrate in the Great Hall on Stoick's statement of the fact they finally have something to celebrate considering this year's rotten luck at Snoggletog. Hiccup looks around, smiling at the returned dragons and the babies, but is still without Toothless himself. Astrid comes and sympathetically congratulates him as well, giving him a quick kiss and a hug. He asks her about Toothless as she sees the Night Fury pushing his way past the door of the hall behind Hiccup.
Astrid teases him about how she wouldn't want to be him at the moment, seeing as how he brought back everyone's dragon, except for his. Hiccup replies sarcastically until Astrid excitedly turns him around to see Toothless, who he runs up to and hugs. He scolds the dragon for a moment (who gets distracted by Hiccup wagging his finger) until he notices something in Toothless's mouth. Toothless plops the object onto his head, getting Hiccup wet with drool and grossing out the Riders, but revealing he found the Viking's lost helmet: he was worried about the helmet and the auto tail gave him the freedom to look for it the entire time he was gone. Hiccup gives him another hug in gratitude as Astrid exclaims, "Happy Snoggletog!".
The next morning, similar to the opening except for the fact he apparently decided his helmet is better left at home, Hiccup wakes to find Toothless placed his old tail and saddle out in front of him in the snow. Hiccup says how Toothless has a new and better tail now, but instead of letting Hiccup get up on his back, Toothless keeps persisting. Eventually, the dragon looks back at his new tail and smashes it into the ground, ignoring Hiccup's protests as he flicks it far away behind him. Toothless picks up and places the saddle on the snow in front of Hiccup and nudges it towards him, eyes round with request. Realizing Toothless would rather fly with him, as opposed to just carrying him like all the other dragons, Hiccup is all too happy to go out for another flight. The two of them perform another daring trick as Hiccup ends the story with another narration:
"Winter in Berk lasts most of the year. It hangs on with both hands and won't let go. And the only real comforts against the cold are those you keep close to your heart. Turns out, that was the best Snoggletog ever. That year, I gave my best friend a pretty great gift. He gave me a better one."
Alternate Yaknog Scene
Hiccup is sitting on a hillside watching Toothless, feeling bad that he can't fly without a rider when Astrid approaches and offers him a cup of Yaknog. He shares with her his current thoughts and takes a sip. While he's holding the disgusting drink in his mouth, Astrid suggests he make Toothless a gift for Snoggletog to help him feel better. After she runs off to share yaknog with others, Hiccup spits the stuff out and even scrubs his tongue with a handful of dirt, after which Toothless comes up and eats the spit out yaknog off the ground. Glancing at Toothless' tail, Hiccup suddenly comes up with the idea of making him a new tail with which he can fly solo.
After Toothless flies off with his new tail, Hiccup dreams of his dragon flying free and then returning, only to fade into thin air when Hiccup reaches out to touch him. He looks down and sees he has two booted feet and realizes he's dreaming. He wakes up to hear what he thinks it's Toothless pounding on the roof, only to find Stoick attaching some shingles instead.
A clear parody of mistletoe, Astrid strings up a severed toe to the corner of one of the Berk house's roofs and punches everyone who walks under it, claiming it's another fun new holiday tradition she's come up with. Hiccup walks by carrying oars, and she surprises him with a punch, knocking him down. He protests, while Ruff and Tuff show up with black eyes, and ask where he's going with the oars. Hiccup explains how he needs to go find his helmet, and they tease him over using a dingy to search the ocean for his helmet. Hiccup ignores them and continues on his way until he bumps into Fishlegs carrying a large basket of fish.
A pageant is performed in the Great Hall toward the beginning of the special where some children are dressed as Viking warriors, while others are dressed as dragons. Gobber directs the pageant, but forgot to change the script to fit in how dragons were now a beneficial part of Viking life rather than enemies. So at the direction of one child who's declared to be Odin, the "dragons" and "warriors" fight and there's a lot of theatrical blood-shed, much to the horror of the audience. Stoick has to step in and discuss with the village how many of their holiday practices will need to be adjusted now that the dragons are their friends. Amusingly, they all realize how many of their holiday traditions involve violence toward dragons. The conversation is interrupted by the dragons suddenly starting their migration. The Berkians watch helplessly as their new companions fly off. Some are horribly distraught, while others like Astrid wish them a good migration and look forward to their return.
Snoggletog Pageant was cut due to the child actors not being licensed by the Screen Actors Guild, so for legal reasons, it could not even be included in the deleted scenes of the DVD. However, fortunately, the storyboard by Kathleen Thorson Good survived.
The full transcript can be found here
- Jay Baruchel as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III
- America Ferrera as Astrid Hofferson
- Gerard Butler as Stoick the Vast
- Craig Ferguson as Gobber the Belch
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman
- Kristen Wiig as Ruffnut Thorston
- T.J. Miller as Tuffnut Thorston
- Jonah Hill as Snotlout Jorgenson
- Barf and Belch
- Stormfly's Mate
- Stormfly's Offspring
- Hookfang's Mate
- Hookfang's Offspring
- Meatlug's Mate
- Meatlug's Offspring
- Barf and Belch's Mate
- Barf and Belch's Offspring
- Astrid's Kransen
- Hiccup's Prosthetic Leg
- Toothless' Saddle and Tail Fin
- Hiccup's Viking Helmet
- This story was originally titled How to Hatch Your Dragon, and initially envisioned as a Thanksgiving special.
- The special was, at one point, also going to be titled DreamWorks Dragons: Secret of the Holiday Hatch.
- The name of Astrid's Deadly Nadder is revealed to be Stormfly, the same name as Camicazi's Mood-Dragon in the How to Train Your Dragon book series.
- The name of Snotlout's Monstrous Nightmare is revealed to be Hookfang when in the books, Snotlout's Monstrous Nightmare is named Fireworm and Hookfang is one of Stoick's dragons.
- The name of Fishlegs's Gronckle is revealed to be Meatlug, when in the books, Fishlegs's Basic Brown is named Horrorcow.
- The large pond that is seen on the Rookery resembles (and may be based on) Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park (NW United States).
- Hiccup making Toothless a prosthetic tail without a saddle for him to fly independently is referenced again in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
- According to the animators, there were about 2000 dragons on the island, two thirds of them being babies. No Night Furies were seen laying their eggs. It could be possible they lay their eggs elsewhere, as according to the Dreamworks website, they lay their eggs at night on mountains so no one can find them.
- With the introduction of Grimmel the Grisly, it is revealed that the reason why there were no Night Furies nesting on the Rookery is because they had been hunted to near extinction prior to the short.
- The short shows the events of one week. Following the commentary, Toothless was gone for about 4.5 days while the other dragons left for about 5.5 days, with the exception of Meatlug who has been gone for less than a day, due to Fishlegs keeping her from leaving Berk, until Hiccup accidentally freed her.
- It is likely that the title is a reference to the story, The Gift of the Magi.
- An error in the short occurs at the end when Toothless tosses away his new tail, the metal part of the tail is still there but a second later, it disappears.
- From when Hiccup sees Toothless coming in the entrance to Great Hall to the end of the scene at the Great Hall the song, Romantic Flight, from the soundtrack of the first movie can be heard.
- Meatlug's revealed to be a female dragon in this special, which not even Fishlegs knew. However, despite that, Fishlegs notes that it does make sense for Meatlug to be a girl, indicating that Meatlug displayed behaviors that are more common/exclusive amongst female dragons.
- This is the only short film where Hiccup and Astrid kiss.
- While it cannot be directly observed in the short itself, storyboards reveal that the foggy area which Meatlug and Hiccup fly through, filled with jagged sea stacks and a sunken longship, is near the shore of Dragon Island. The storyboards even show all the wreckage and abandoned catapults on the island, left there after the battle with the Red Death.