Let's be real
Hiccup. Born into a world he doesn’t fit into. Trying desperately to make up for it, he just ends up embarrassing himself even more. How to Train Your Dragon is about more than just dragons, it’s about finding our true selves, and the truths we discover when we decide to live true to our authentic self.
On the Island of Berk, the Viking villagers must constantly fight dragons, who fly in to steal their livestock. Hiccup, true to his name, encounters many “hiccups” during these dragon fights, and finds himself more in the way than helpful. He “learns” how to fight dragons (because the village expects it) with all the other village teenagers, but let’s face it, this isn’t who Hiccup is.
We see the real Hiccup shine when he captures the infamous Night Fury (who he names Toothless). The relationship between Hiccup and Toothless blossoms and Hiccup uses his natural talent in engineering to build Toothless a prosthetic to help him fly again. When Hiccup is with Toothless he can relax, he can trust his instincts, and he can be his true self. Hiccup honored his desire to help the village in a different way, a way that is authentic for him.
Not only is Hiccup at his best when he is true to himself with Toothless, but through his relationship with the dragon, he also discovers that the dragons are only stealing the village livestock because they are forced to by a dragon called Red Death. What a discovery! It created an opportunity to change the relationship with all dragons.
It was a risk for Hiccup to reveal and act in a way that honored his authentic self – a risk of safety with Toothless, a risk of honor with the village, a risk of respect with his father. It’s not easy to go against the status quo and show your true self. Sometimes it happens in stages, like with Hiccup. Sometimes there is ridicule along the way too. And sometimes, you find something much greater than yourself, when you dare to show who you really are to others. The opportunity for us to be our best is when we allow our authenticity to shine. Let’s be real.