May 15th IRJE: How To Train Your Dragon

In How To Train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell, Hiccup’s superior knowledge is overlooked by his friends and family because of his frailty body. On the isle of Berk, Hiccup stood outside with his slender ankles deep in the snow. He stood alongside nine other boys. They were all there because they wanted to pass the Dragon Initiation Programme. Their instructor was Gobber the Belch. Gobber was known as the idiot in charge of initiation. For these young men, passing the programme would make them Vikings. Hiccup was the smallest amongst the group. Everyone there, except for Gobber, viewed Hiccup as useless. When Gobber decided to make Hiccup the group leader most of the boys groaned.

‘Oh, not Hic-cup,’ groaned Dogsbreath the Duhbrain and most of the other boys. ‘You can’t put Hiccup in charge, sir, he’s useless.’ . . .

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, the hope and heir to the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, wiped his nose miserably on his sleeve. He sank a little deeper into the snow. (p. 16-18)

The other boys thought that hiccup was useless. They wanted nothing to do with him. They thought that it would be better for Hiccup to just leave. So that he doesn’t ruin their chances of passing the Dragon Initiation Programme.

Hiccup was, in some ways, useless. But not completely. He wasn’t as strong as the other boys. He feared them because they were bigger than him. All Hiccup had was his intellect. He was a smart person. But everyone in Berk believed that a Viking has to be strong, brave, and influential. It didn’t matter how smart a person was. All that mattered was how strong they were. For Hiccup to pass the programme and become a Viking, he has to change. He is smart, but he doesn’t have any confidence in himself. If Hiccup can suppress his fears and show that he is not weak, I’m sure he will be able to pass the programme and be called a Viking.