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Everybody needs a place in the world. Some people are born to theirs. Some people discover theirs. And some people make a place for themselves. But then the world around them changes, and the place they made is gone.
  Hiccup  

"Viking for Hire" is the second episode of Dragons: Riders of Berk. It was shown as a sneak peek that aired on August 7th, 2012. It is preceded by "How to Start a Dragon Academy" and succeeded by "Animal House".

Overview

Now that the dragons have assimilated into Berk, just about everyone seems to be better off. Except for Gobber, who made a career of building weapons to fight the dragons. Hiccup takes it upon himself to find a new role for Gobber in the new dragon-friendly village.
  — iTunes[1]  


Major Events

  • Gobber becomes Berk's dragon dentist.
  • Plans for official dragon riding Saddles are first conceived.

Plot

Gobber's Skills

Hiccup opens the episode with a narration about how everyone needs a place in the world, with men like his father being born into theirs, some like himself discovering theirs, and some people, like a village blacksmith missing an arm and a leg, making one for themselves, as well as how sometimes, the world around such people changes, and the place they made for themselves is gone.

At the Dragon Arena, Hiccup chairs a dragon general-knowledge quiz of the other teens, who are split into two teams: Team Astrid (Astrid and Fishlegs) and Team Snotlout (Snotlout, Ruffnut, and Tuffnut), with their respective dragons sleeping peacefully behind them. Hiccup offers the next question in the quiz; which dragon makes the best welding torch, and Team Astrid correctly answers with the Deadly Nadder, adding additional details about the dragon's fire type. This puts them ahead of Team Snotlout on the scoreboard by a hundred to ten. Astrid pokes fun at the opposing team, saying that they started with ten (implying that the other team hasn't scored a single point thus far). Tuffnut 'intelligently' proceeds to construct a counter-argument, but Hiccup interjects with the next question; what is the shot limit of a Hideous Zippleback, and Ruffnut is about to answer when Astrid
Dragon Knowledge Quiz
ribs them again, snarkily joking to Fishlegs about their potential inability to count that high. Ruffnut responds to the joke by having Barf and Belch wake and fire every shot they can let off at the wall behind Astrid and Fishlegs as the latter two duck to avoid being hit by the flaming orbs of gas. Tuffnut however, quickly proves Astrid's hypothesis right by remarking that the number of shots was about three (they were actually six), with his teammates agreeing. Hiccup gently corrects them and gives them a half-score of five points, though Ruffnut believes her team is now up to thirty, and shares high-fives with both her teammates.

Astrid, rising to the challenge, takes over the quiz with a question of her own; what happens when you shoot fire at the owner of a Deadly Nadder, before having Stormfly pin the entire opposing team to the wall behind them with her tail spines. Snotlout, responding in kind, rhetorically asks the other team what happens when he sics Hookfang on them. Though Hiccup realizes that the class is too distracted to continue the lesson and ends it, adding some encouraging words for all of them as well, Snotlout proceeds to mount his dragon, and tells Team Astrid to "prepare to face the Monstrous Nightmare", tapping the beast on his jaw to wake him. Hookfang however, sets himself on fire while Snotlout is on him, causing his rider to jump off screaming and make for a trough of water, exclaiming that it's the third time that week he'd done something like that. Hiccup queryingly states that Hookfang never flames up while Snotlout rides him, before inquiring if he's okay, with Astrid humorously remarking that Hookfang may have just realized who his owner is. Snotlout tries to hit on Astrid by suggesting that there's room for two in the trough, in response to which she shoves him into the water and stalks off with Hiccup.

The Yard Sale

Back in town, Gobber, now no longer able to market dragon-killing weapons to a society at peace with the flying reptiles, is conducting a "yard sale" of sorts to palm off said weapons as effective home appliances, and is forced to continually adapt and improvise his sales pitch as it unintentionally destroys some bread and butter, a plate, a table and the roof of Silent Sven's house, which leads to him losing much of his target audience's interest. Hiccup, observing in pity, is approached and chided by the ever-opportunistic Mildew, who 'sympathetically' empathizes with the blacksmith, and accuses the boy and the peace he engendered of putting Gobber out of business and ruining his life, a notion which distresses Hiccup somewhat. Later in the evening, Hiccup and Toothless sit in their attic as the former muses to the dragon that Gobber built him his prosthetic foot, and also taught him everything he needed to know about how to make the Night Fury's prosthetic tail, determining that he needed to find a way to help the blacksmith. Stoick enters the house, exhausted after a lengthy day of chiefly duties, the highlights of which he outlines to his son, expressing out loud to the boy his occasional wish that there were two of him. Sensing an opportunity, Hiccup tells Stoick that there are two of him (although Stoick initially assumed that the statement was another joke about his weight), and quickly suggests employing Gobber as a proxy, an idea which Stoick welcomes after putting together the points inside his head.

The next morning, Stoick expresses his gratitude to an enthusiastic Gobber over his willingness to help him, before he splits his day's schedule with the blacksmith, while also reminding him that some of the tasks at hand are delicate and require diplomacy. Gobber cheerily assures him that he's more than capable of "that". Stoick responds with surprised inquiry about Gobber's capacity for sensitive and tactful management of people, and is somewhat trepid when Gobber clarifies that he thought diplomacy revolved around clubbing people on the head and asking questions later, though the smith says that he'll give Stoick's thing a shot. Gobber begins his duties by officiating a newborn baby girl into the tribe. He quickly sours the event by choosing the name Magnus over Hildegard against her parents' request, countering the mother's point about the child being a girl by stating that she wouldn't look like one when grown up due to her apparently repellent appearance, and by gifting her a mace as a teething toy (much to the chagrin of said mother). He later 'settles' a dispute over a sheep Mulch purchased from Bucket and refused to pay for (an accusation the former denies, to some comedic effect), by handing them both maces and having them fight it out, quite pleased with his employment of diplomacy as he ticks off the task on his way out. He next repairs a ship's hull breaches, and 'creatively' uses iron instead of wood to do so, reasoning that it'd be better suited for defensive purposes. Stoick, having been approached by the aggrieved citizens Gobber dealt with,
One Blow At A Time
arrives at the dock with said citizens to confront his proxy over his less-than-stellar handling of their matters. Gobber strikes a portion of the iron patch-job he's performed whilst responding to his chief, and accidentally causes the vessel to slide off the suspended platform and into the bay upon which it sinks under the metal's weight. Gobber takes the incident in stride and adds recovering the ship to the list as a later item. He cheerfully asks Stoick if he should report in "same time tomorrow", leaving the Viking leader annoyed and embarrassed.

Later that evening, Stoick treats his stress-induced headache with ice blocks while Hiccup gives him a drink. Noting his father's frustration, Hiccup assures him that the next day would be way better. Stoick agrees that it will be for him, since it won't involve Gobber, and clarifies by pointing out his numerous mistakes. When Hiccup objects, and states that they have to do something to help him, Stoick corrects him by letting him know that he's on his own in his quest to find Gobber employment. Left with little choice, Hiccup lets him join the Dragon Training Academy (much to his friends' chagrin, who he attempts to convince of Gobber's worth as a dragon trainer). However, Gobber arrives with a wheelbarrow full of his dragon-killing weapons, having had the bright idea of training dragons by threatening to kill them, and commences the class by smashing a wrecking ball into the arena floor, causing all the dragons to flee in panic, casually remarking that he didn't like school either afterward. Hours later, the rest of the riders return to the arena after finding and calming their dragons down. The scene changes to Toothless and Hiccup in the arena and Astrid, Ruffnut, and Tuffnut entering (along with Stormfly, Barf and Belch) and complaining about the pain of riding on their dragon's bare backs. Hiccup said he's flown for hours on Toothless and never felt pain. Astrid replied it's because he has a saddle, causing Hiccup to get the idea for Gobber to build saddles for the dragons. He gives Gobber some of his designs to help, but having taught Hiccup everything he (Hiccup) knows but not everything he (Gobber) knows, the blacksmith states he has his own ideas.

The next day, Gobber shows his saddles to the teens, but the saddles weren't good for the dragons, and caused a huge mess at the end of the day, causing Hiccup to clean up the Arena. Stoick enters while Hiccup cleans, and states the Arena actually looked cleaner when they killed dragons. Hiccup tells him the place got "Gobbered" and Stoick tells Hiccup he had to do what was best for the academy, and the best might be to fire Gobber. Hiccup goes to Gobber (along with Toothless) and tells him the news. Upon hearing he was about to lose his job, Gobber is saddened but tells him he can live without a job, just as he can live without two of his limbs. While walking, Hiccup tells Toothless he feels awful and wonders what could be worse than that. Hiccup sees Hookfang on fire and breathing fire everywhere. Snotlout rushes to Hiccup, shouting for help.

VikingForHire-InfectedTooth2-88

The scene cuts to Hookfang spinning out of control and Stoick tells everyone it's not safe. Hiccup gently walks towards Hookfang and throws him a fish, but he spits it out, causing it to land on Stoick's beard. Hiccup tries to calm Hookfang down but the moment he touches his jaw, he goes out of control again, causing Toothless to fight him so that Hiccup can flee. Stoick calls Gobber for help, and he goes to the plaza to kill Hookfang. Despite Hiccup's protests, Gobber is sent in to kill Hookfang, until the two see he only had a toothache. Gobber puts away the sword he intended to use and wrestles with Hookfang until he pries his mouth open and pulls the tooth out, calming him down. Gobber becomes a dentist for the dragons.

When the world around you changes, the good men find a way to change too, and that Gobber is one of those men. In fact, he's one of the best.
  — Hiccup  


Trivia

  • Gobber's father taught Gobber how to swim by acting like he would kill Gobber if he could catch him.
  • A running gag in this episode is that Gobber tries to give away or sell his weapons for purposes they're not intended for.
  • Gobber reveals he never liked school.
  • Stoick questions if Gobber can speak to people with tact and sensitivity. These traits were pointed out in the first book as not Gobber's strong points.
  • This is the first time Hookfang uses his Fire Jacket ability and burns Snotlout's rear-end, causing him to jump in a trough of water to extinguish himself. This is now a running gag in the show.
  • This episode's lesson at Berk Dragon Academy: a quiz about knowledge from the Book of Dragons, including subjects such as which dragon has the hottest fire in the entire dragon world and what is the shot limit of a Hideous Zippleback.
  • The twins (Ruffnut and Tuffnut) fail to count up to six, as already hypothesized by Astrid seconds before.
  • Gobber naming his catapult Big Bertha is likely a reference to the Howitzer used by the Germans in the end days of World War 1. Both Gobber's Big Bertha and the Big Bertha used by the Germans are artillery pieces in their respective timelines. It could also be a reference to Big-Boobied Bertha in the books.
  • This is the second time Hookfang and Toothless fight (the first time being in the movie). The outcome was the same (Hookfang was defeated), as was the reason (Toothless protecting Hiccup).
  • According to Gobber, the only time a Viking takes a break is to die.
  • During the quiz on the knowledge in the Book of Dragons, the teams were made up of the most intelligent teens (Astrid and Fishlegs) versus the less intelligent teens (Snoutlout and the twins). The final tally for this quiz was 100 (team Astrid) to 15 (team Snotlout), although Ruffnut believed they had scored 30.
  • This is the first time anyone refers to the Berkians as the Hooligan Tribe in the series.
  • Silent Sven makes his first appearance. However, in this episode, he's a fisherman who has Gobber repair his boat with metal.
  • Gobber says he made Hiccup's diapers when he was a baby.
  • When Hookfang opened his eyes when Snotlout got on him, his pupils were missing. 
  • The piece of paper Stoick gives Gobber at around 06:24 is actually covered in drawings of Toothless. This may have been done to save production time if they had already made the piece of paper. 
  • This is the first time in the series that there is a flashback.
  • Gobber mentions he’s made saddles for donkeys and horses despite the fact that neither horses nor donkeys are ever seen in the series.

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