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Here on Berk we've always done things one way: the Viking way. Since the dragons came the Viking way has become, well, the hard way. Unfortunately some people, like my father, still refuse to change.
  Hiccup  

"How to Pick Your Dragon" is the seventh episode in the Dragons: Riders of Berk. It aired on October 3, 2012. It is preceded by "Alvin and the Outcasts" and succeeded by "Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man".

Overview

A rogue sea dragon is attacking Berk's fishing ships, but Stoick and his men have been unable to pursue the dragon by sailboat. Hiccup tries to convince Stoick that he needs a dragon of his own for such occasions. But when Stoick decides to use Toothless, Hiccup needs to find a new dragon for Stoick in order to get his own dragon back.
  — iTunes[1]  


Major Events

Synopsis

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Stoick and Gobber bring in a heavily damaged fishing vessel and lost fish catch caused by the attacks of a rogue dragon. Hiccup suggests to his father to use a dragon, which would have taken him there in five minutes instead of sailing which took them two hours. But Stoick still believes in the traditional 'Viking Way'. Hiccup tells his father the Viking Way is costing them many ships and fish. Gobber agrees to his appeal by telling Stoick if he uses a dragon he could protect Berk from other great threats, such as Alvin. Stoick is interested in Gobber's points and catches his attention, ignoring Hiccup despite that it was he who pointed it out in the first place. Eventually, Stoick agrees to ride a dragon and asks Hiccup to teach him.

Outside the Academy, Hiccup introduces a specific stirrup modification he built on Toothless to accommodate Stoick's left foot. Hiccup reminds his father that to gain a dragon's loyalty is to earn his trust. Hiccup tries to make him understand it by grabbing Stoick's hand and placing it on Toothless' nose. Hiccup asks Stoick if he feels that bond, but Stoick answers he only felt Toothless' dry and scaly skin. Impatient, Stoick just tells Hiccup to let him ride Toothless already and when Stoick gets on, Hiccup tells him to start off slow and easily, with a simple nudge. But Stoick gives Toothless a hard nudge, causing them to shoot off the ground. It results in them with an unsuccessful flight as Stoick is unable to control Toothless' tail properly causing them to crash-land on a beach. Hiccup quietly apologizes to Toothless, but Toothless still makes an irritated expression.

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Stoick quits his training and decides to head back and check on the village, however, he faces a tall cliff and asks Hiccup to lend him a ride for assistance. When they begin their flight, Hiccup tells his father to think about how easy his job would be on a back of a dragon. Stoick still prefers to do his job traditionally but hesitates when they spy when they spot tipped-over yaks in a farm pasture. Toothless spots the culprits hiding behind a wheelbarrow and Toothless blasts it, revealing the Twins. As punishment, Stoick orders them to put all the yaks they tipped back on their feet.

Hiccup then decides to find more things Stoick can get done for the day - they ward off a pack of boars who are eating Cabbage. Before they can finally head back, Hiccup takes Stoick high up into the clouds and gets a majestic view of Berk. Stoick is utterly stunned to see Berk from this perspective, though he's traveled every inch of it, he gets a beautiful feeling when he sees his people down below, safe and peaceful. They then fly back home.

The next morning, Hiccup wakes up and notices Toothless missing. When he goes to check outside, he notices Stoick has taken a ride with Toothless himself very early but still has trouble flying him properly causing Toothless to fly painfully as he bumps to obstacles as Stoick steers him. Stoick finally unmounts himself from the very exhausted Toothless, where he only paused because he only wanted to grab his hatchet to help Jorgenson tear down a fence. He fails to listen to Hiccup's pleas that Toothless is his dragon. Meanwhile, Toothless' break is short-lived as Stoick misunderstands Hiccup, and instead realizes that he can just use Toothless to blow down the fence. Hiccup promises to his dragon he can fix this, as Toothless will spend his day transporting Stoick about his work.

After saying the hatchet

After many hours of exhausting flying and work throughout the island, Toothless finally has his freedom to rest at eveningtime. Hiccup watches his dragon tired-out by lifting a 400-pound man. Astrid states Hiccup got his father to ride a dragon. The only problem is, Hiccup needs to get his father off of his dragon. Astrid gives him a piece of advice by doing the old 'Honey and the Hatchet' where Hiccup sayssomething good to his father and then tells him something his father doesn't want to hear.

The next day, Stoick prepares to do his work but cannot find Toothless, who is hiding in the eaves of the Haddock House. Hiccup tells his father he doesn't know where Toothles is, and gives him the 'Honey and the Hatchet', as Astrid advised. Though Stoick is well aware, Hiccup tells his father he cannot ride his dragon. Stoick understands, but he requests his son to then find him a dragon that suits him.

Hiccup introduces him to the other dragons at the Academy, where the Riders introduce their dragons to him to see if Stoick gets interested. However, Stoick is not interested in any of the dragons for a variety of reasons. Hiccup tells him Toothless is the only Night Fury and he cannot take him. Suddenly, Gobber gives an urgent word to Stoick, as the rogue dragon has been reported attacking another fishing vessel. Hiccup reluctantly lets Stoick control Toothless and they set off to fight the rogue dragon.

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Out on the sea, Bucket and Mulch find their ship encircled by the rogue dragon. When it emerges from the ocean, the rogue dragon is revealed to be a Thunderdrum, a tidal class dragon that has the ability to create bursts of deafening blasts. It is also believed his tremendous roar came from Thor himself. When Toothless fires a few plasma blasts at it, it retreats to the sea and seems to have fled. Stoick prepares to evacuate Bucket and Mulch, but suddenly the Thunderdrum grabs Stoick with its tail and drags him into the ocean. Stoick puts up a brutal fight against the dragon, but the dragon matches his strength also. They emerge from the sea and land on the boat. While fighting the dragon, Stoick realizes this is the perfect dragon for him and captures him with a net. He tells Hiccup that this is the dragon he wants and all Hiccup needs to do now is to train it for him.

At the Academy, the Thunderdrum is muzzled and contained in a pen. Stoick quickly requests to get started training him, but Hiccup tells him he needs to gain his trust first and be seen as a friend. He tells him to approach the dragon gently and make eye contact. When Hiccup releases the dragon, Stoick first approaches it gently and reaches his hand to its head, but the dragon tries to bite it. Furious, Stoick brutally punches the dragon back to its cage, and a battle rages, with Stoick grabbing the tail of the Thunderdrum and jumping on his back. Though he is able to ride the dragon around the Arena, it shakes him off and flees the Arena.

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At Gobber's Smith, Hiccup explains his problem with his dad to Gobber of not listening to his statements, but Gobber's advice to Hiccup didn't turn out much of a help. Suddenly, Stoick arrives barely able to stand up. Hiccup asks what happened, and Stoick explains the Thunderdrum to threw him off and fled somewhere on the island. He still wants to find the dragon despite its wildness.

Stoick and Hiccup assemble the Riders to search for the Thunderdrum. When Hiccup tries to order the Riders where to search, Stoick interrupts and assumes command. Hiccup starts to feel left out. Despite that, Stoick orders the Riders to cover the West, the North, and the East sides of the island. Moments later, while flying, Hiccup reminds Stoick that when they find the dragon again he recommends to do approach it gently, but is ignored by Stoick as he spots the dragon.

When they land near its cave, Stoick tries to approach it armed with a hammer, but discovers inside the cave another Thunderdrum with an injured wing. They realize the Thunderdrum is trying to protect it's injured friend and even take care of it by stealing fish. Stoick orders his son to tell the other Riders and Gobber where they are. Left alone, Stoick throws away his weapon and approaches the dragon, in the manner Hiccup taught him prior, saying he only wants to help him. However, a large herd of boars picks up the scent of the wounded Thunderdrum and approaches them, intending to attack.

Now surrounded, Stoick tries to defend the dragons, attacking them with his hammer one by one. Stoick and the Thunderdrum put up a fierce resistance but find themselves outnumbered. Both realize that they can only hold out if they finally unite, so Stoick once again reaches out his hand, and finally, the Thunderdrum trusts him and shows his loyalty, officially training his first dragon. Stoick takes off his muzzle and he rides on him. The boars are no match for the Thunderdrum's roar and are defeated.

Just then, Hiccup and Toothless and the Riders arrive. Hiccup asks what just happened, Stoick tells him they finally bonded and tells him that it was all about trust. Hiccup realizes Stoick was actually listening to him the whole time. At Berk, Hiccup and Stoick safely escort the wounded Thunderdrum to Gobber for medical care.

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Stoick gains trust with his new dragon.

By that, Stoick finally has a dragon but still does his traditional Viking ways. But after Hiccup and Toothless showed him how to train his first dragon, Stoick realizes that he can do the Viking ways with the Dragon ways.

As Stoick and his Thunderdrum pull two Viking vessels towards the oopen ocean, they then take a stroll throughout Berk with his son, Hiccup and Toothless following also. And both of them fly into the horizon with their own dragon.

My dad still does things the Viking way. Fortunately Toothless and I showed him the Viking way can also be the dragon way.
  — Hiccup  


Errors

  • Despite already having saddles, none of the dragons have theirs on in this episode except Toothless.

Trivia

  • In this episode, it is revealed Stoick's weight is about 400 pounds (although Hiccup could've been exaggerating).
  • The ending cinematography almost resembles the Test Drive scene in the movie.

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