Did Toothless Really Have No Choice?

Sorry, but Toothless definitely had a choice, no matter how you slice it.

So there’s been this tumblr blog that got shared on one of my discords. For those who don’t want to follow, here’s a TL;DR.

Remember this scene from How To Train Your Dragon 3, where Toothless basically orders dragons into cages?

  • OP got their jimmies rustled by people saying Toothless shouldn’t have pretended to be French
  • And in the follow-up post, they basically stated that Toothless had no other options but to tell dragons to back off even if you ignore the Thotfury issue.

So let’s take a look at why this is wrong, no matter how you slice it.

If Grimmel Killed the Light Fury

… then he wouldn’t live for long. He wouldn’t even live for short. He’d immediately get blasted apart by every single draconid on Berk.

Contrary to the popular belief, the weapon specimen that Grimmel wields in that scene is not an M4A1. It’s a standard-issue medieval ballista. Its fire rate is much, much lower than that of M4A1 and reload times are pretty awful to the point getting more than one shot out of ballista in any given minute would likely be a massive achievement. In any case, once Grimmel fired his first shot, dragons and wyverns would have forever to blast him.

Obviously, we’re going to face a minor issue here. First of all, you can’t damage the dragon-powered quadcopter Grimmel flies on. That problem is easy enough to solve (just grab him and/or knock him off his stand). The other problem is that precision-blasting Grimmel off the quadcopter leaves the dragon-quadcopter without its pilot. This is a slightly awkward situation, because there’s no telling how deathgrippers would react. However, all the possible reactions generally fall into three groups:

  1. They hover in place
  2. They continue moving towards the ships at the unchanged pace
  3. Panic like my XCOM2 squad the moment they catch a whiff of aliens.

Option 1 is ideal and makes rescuing Toothless easy. Option 2 is a bit worse, but still ideal. There’s six death grippers (four on quadcopter + two solo) facing Toothless’s entire army, which means that Toothless would be returned to the island before he made it halfway to the ships.

Option 3 is where things get a bit more problematic. Panicked death grippers translate into problems for the quadcopter. Best case, quadcopter will become unstable. Worst case, death grippers end up knocking themselves out and freefall to their death. The chance of anyone falling to their death is still borderline negligible in this case — if four death grippers were enough to hold the quadcopter in the air, dozens of Berk’s dragons shouldn’t have a problem holding up the damn thing in the air.

Here we can see that the quadcopter isn’t hovering above the land at this point — it’s decisively over the cliff edge. But keep in mind that New Berk is three kilometers tall (from sea to the lake). If the quadcopter starts losing altitude, team Berk has lots of time to catch it.

If Thotfury gets killed, then it’s game over for Grimmel while team Toothless wins with zero additional causalities.

And if you wondered which of the three options is going to happen if you remove Grimmel from his seat without damaging the quadcopter, here’s your answer. Death grippers continue hovering in place.

The quadcopter only started crashing once Toothless dropped his mixtape.

Could Grimmel be Disposed of Before He Gets a Chance to Kill Thotfury?

Let’s just put things this way. Grimmel doesn’t have eyes on his ass. Have some dragons go around and attack him from the back.

The obvious issue with this plan is that two solo-flying death grippers could notice them and alert Grimmel. That still doesn’t mean Grimmel would get a chance to kill the light fury. The moment he turns around to check what the ruckus behind him is the moment he’s not aiming for the light fury. And the moment he’s not aiming at the light fury (or just being generally distracted) is an opportunity to get rid of him without thotfury getting it.

Would Grimmel Kill the Light Fury

Given everything said so far: lol.

Of course he wouldn’t. Not only would he no longer have a bargaining token for Toothless — once Light Fury is dead, there’s literally no reason for draconids to take it easy on Grimmel; and as first section shows us: Grimmel would get absolutely annihilated in this case.

His threats were empty.

Coulda called his bluff with little consequences.

“And the Flock was Never in Danger”

One of the reblogs of this post states:

And the flock wasnt really in danger. The hunters left the cages unlocked bc they thought Hiccup wasnt coming, and Toothless obviously knew he would bc he then immediately commanded the three like, second in command dragons to break out and go fight

What? That’s patently false.

First of all, the trappers didn’t leave the cages unlocked because they thought Hiccup wasn’t coming. They left them unlocked because “plot convenience.”

If you take a closer look at the cages, there’s two things one can notice.

  1. All cages come equipped with bolt locks and nothing else. Nobody is using padlocks or keys, because why would you? Literally no benefit. Keylocks are mighty expensive and time consuming to manufacture and offer no extra security when you’re trying to keep a dragon in the cage.
  2. Doorhandles are also nowhere to be seen, which means that if the door is not locked with the deadbolt lock, it can be easily opened from the inside of the cell.

Let’s take a look at some screencaps:

No keyholes, no padlocks.
95% chance this is just a regular deadbolt lock.
Hey look, it’s deadbolt locks.

The second thing worth mentioning is that trappers were, in fact, locking the cages. However, since there was more cages than there was trappers, the trappers couldn’t lock everything at once. I was a bit unfair when I called it a ‘plot convenience’ earlier, I know.

Trappers in the process of closing and locking Cloudjumper’s cage.

Just because the trappers haven’t managed to lock all the cages in 60 seconds flat, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been locking them.

Snotlout is unlocking a locked cage.

So that statement is a bunch of ballooney. But then again, this second reblog is so dumb that it barely warrants a response.

Anyway, that’s it for the night.

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