How To Train Your Dragon tragic death
Could we lose one of these characters? Credit: Dreamworks

The How To Train Your Dragon franchise has never shied away from darker storytelling, including character deaths. Could we see another tragic death in the final film?

Fans of the How To Train Your Dragon franchise have been both excited and terrified with the recent release of the trailer for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Why are they terrified, you might ask?

Well, The Hidden World is said to be the final film in the series. It’s been known for a while that the story of Hiccup and Toothless is headed for a bittersweet ending. That it will be a tale of growing up, and the sacrifices that come with it.

The series is no stranger to death, with Hiccup’s Father Stoick The Vast killed off in How To Train Your Dragon 2. A similar event occurs in the TV series based on the films, where a long running search for Oswald The Agreeable ends with his son, Dagur, finding only his bones.

So, could Hiccup’s sacrifice in How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World include the tragic death of another friend or loved one?

“There were dragons, when I was a boy..”

“There were dragons, when I was a boy..”

As well as being the first line spoken in the trailer, these are the first words of the books on which the series is based. While the story of the books and films are quite different, they share similar themes. And according to director Dean Deblois, both stories were always heading to the same ending. A world where dragons no longer exist.

There were dragons. ‘Were’ is the operative word here.

It tells us that, no matter how upbeat most of the trailer tries to be, Hiccup’s plans will probably fail. If both humans and dragons are to stay safe, they cannot stay together.

Hiccup has grown to be a hopeful and optimistic character. It may take a tragedy, like the death of a friend, to force him to accept the painful truth.

And if the films continue to parallel events from the books, we could already know the identity of this ill fated friend.

Will Snotlout meet a tragic end?

How To Train Your Dragon tragic death
Snotlout and Hiccup in ‘Dragons: Race To The Edge’.

Snotlout is one of the few characters to be included in both Cressida Cowell’s books, and the How To Train Your Dragon films.

In the books, Snotlout is Hiccup’s cousin, and his bully. He remains an antagonist for much of the series, with the goal of supplanting Hiccup as heir to the Chiefdom of Berk. This changes in the eleventh book, How To Betray a Dragon’s Hero, when Snotlout gives his life to help Hiccup escape from the series’ villains.

The movie’s incarnation of Snotlout begins as a bully. This changes relatively quickly. By How To Train Your Dragon 2, he has evolved into being a friend to the other characters. An annoying friend, but a friend nonetheless.

Deep down, Snotlout is surprisingly insecure. He is always seeking to earn the respect of others. First his father, Spitelout, and later Hiccup.

It is tragically easy to imagine Snotlout giving up his life in pursuit of this goal, dying in a heroic sacrifice similar to his novel counterpart. A sacrifice that completely changes the path we thought the story was taking.

Could we really see this tragic death in How To Train Your Dragon 3?

That is a question that many fans of both the book and films may be asking.

While loved, Stoick the Vast was a supporting player. And let’s face it, the parents die all the time in kids’ films.

The young heroes do not.

Killing off Snotlout, or any of the series major characters, would be a bold move, setting the franchise apart from others for a long time to come.

When How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World hits theatres in 2019, we will see if Dreamworks is brave enough to make that move.

Kristy is a young woman with a passion for Popculture. She loves to write about movies, TV, and cartoons.