To celebrate Books and Hot Chocolate’s latest follower milestone, I decided to hold a mini giveaway featuring the books I’ve read and re-read so far this first half of the year :)
- Must be following booksandhotchocolate (this is exclusive for my followers only)
- Reblog and like for a chance to win. You can reblog several times but please don’t spam your followers. NO GIVEAWAY BLOGS.
- There will be three winners getting one book each.
- Winners may choose ANY book written by any of the authors featured above.
- Books may be hardcover or paperback but must be under $20 (Canadian dollars)
- This will be available worldwide (wherever) The Book Depository ships.
- You must be willing to give your shipping address away to me.
- The winners will be randomly chosen through a random number generator
- Keep your ask box open so I can contact you if you win. The winners have 24 hours to reply back to me via messaging (NOT fan mail)
- The giveaway ends August 5th, 2014
- If you have any questions ask me here (I will not answer anon questions)
it’s so slow… makes me feel uneasy… but now i understand this ferris wheel is kind of different from other rides. so i can take my time & traverse the sky.
***Note: I discuss material from Books 1-11 and will consequently mention “book spoilers.” And #3 contains a HTTYD 2 spoiler.***
10. Hiccup’s full name
How hard is it really to say “Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third” even just once in the movies?
I remember reading the books and hating Toothless for the first three or so installments. I had to grow to love that incredibly selfish, obstinate, disobedient jerk-of-a-dragon. However, once I came to love Toothless, I absolutely loved him. The relational dynamics between Hiccup and Toothless are hysterical, and you just cannot help but laugh at the fact that Toothless decides to go on strike right at the worst possible moments, thinks that apologizing to inanimate objects makes him wonderfully polite, and takes the initiative to stuff a cucumber up Snotlout’s nose.
The movies will never give us a talking dragon, much less the green book!Toothless I absolutely adore (even more than movie Toothless, actually). They also, in their own way, compensate by giving us Sharpshot, Hiccup’s obnoxious, small green Terrible Terror. Which was cool. They could make me even happier by giving us Sharpshot in seasons 3 and 4 of Dragons.
Fishlegs is one of my single favorite characters in the books. He is Hiccup’s best friend and has such a wonderful personality. In book ten, when I read all the horrible rumors of Fishlegs’ death, I was screaming and swearing at the top of my lungs. I don’t think I’ve yelled at a book like that before… While I suspected Cressida Cowell would not kill off Fishlegs and that he would reappear, she made me wait in suspense, and the fact I was shouting that much about making me wait just shows how much I love this character.
How can you take away Hiccup’s best friend? His fellow quest-mate? The one telling Hiccup not to do the stupid thing? The dynamics between Hiccup, Fishlegs, and Camicazi are wonderful and one of the best parts of the character interactions in the books.
The reason that book!Fishlegs is not higher on my list is simply because the writers have done a great job of filling in the gaps. In many ways, movie!Hiccup combines traits of both book!Hiccup and book!Fishlegs. After all, the character we see in the movies has all the background of Cressida Cowell’s Hiccup character, but he also is much like Fishlegs in his timidity, fecklessness, and use of sarcasm.
Also, by deleting both Fishlegs and Hiccup’s other best friend (Camicazi), DreamWorks creates a much more lonely and emotional portrayal of Hiccup, which is very effective in the first movie.
7. The Dragon Rebellion
There’s this enormous, epic, complicated three-faction war amongst humans and dragons. The Alvinsmen and the rebelling dragons are trying to eliminate the other species from the island. Hiccup and the Dragonmarkers are attempting to ally themselves with the dragons and free them from cruelty (well, some of the Dragonmarkers might be more on board with this than others). Th Alvinsmen and the Dragonmarkers are battling it out for leadership. And both the Alvinsmen and the rebelling dragons led under Furious are trying to assassinate Hiccup.
There are so many enormous consequences from this war, such as the complete destruction of Berk, that shock and engage the readers. The final books of the series are the best because of this war.
Of course, because this all involves talking dragons, we’re not going to get this through DreamWorks. However, you could in some ways argue there are parallels between Drago’s army and Furious’ Dragon Rebellion, and that they could continue those into the third movie.
6. Big-Boobied Bertha
The How to Train Your Dragon book series has some really amazing female characters, including the Chief of the Bog Burglars. Big-Boobied Bertha is an impressive leader with so much presence to her that I wish I could see her on the screen, even if just for a quick cameo.
5. Norbert the Nutjob
There are many other really awesome chiefs within the Viking Archipelago that we do not see in the television series, and many villains that Hiccup fights which are interesting enough they should at least get a television episode. And while they have inserted in a character by the name of Alvin the Treacherous, as well as shown us the Berserker tribe, we never have actually gotten one of those real chiefs or villains from the books.
If any of the other antagonistic chiefs from the books were to enter the DreamWorks world, I would vote Norbert the Nutjob. We see him twice, both in really fun adventures that could easily be inserted into television episodes, and he’s one of the more interesting personalities. His inventions and his eccentricities make for a memorable character. And then we can have “The Leviathorgan Strikes” scene from book seven where he and Hiccup fight on the masts of a burning ship.
One could argue Norbert might not appear just because Dagur is already… Deranged… and Norbert thus would be a bit too similar.
Camicazi is an incredible character and lovable personality. She has so much energy and even jabbers up a storm while swordfighting others. She has spunk, a sense of adventure, and more than a bit of self-pride. She’s only a friend, not a romantic interest, which is INCREDIBLY relieving to me since I have grown tired of the fact writers seem to believe we have to have a romance in every single story ever told. When Camicazi was first introduced into the books, she became an immediate favorite of mine, and my love for her only grew as she developed.
The main female character of the book series and one of Hiccup’s single best friends is not inserted into the movies at all. They replaced her with Astrid, probably because Camicazi is a Bog-Burglar and not a Hairy Hooligan. It would be complicated to try to introduce a number of the tribes from the Viking Archipelago all in one movie, after all. But Astrid’s competency with weapons and her closeness to Hiccup make her somewhat of a shadow to Camicazi. I’m sorry, but I like Camicazi a loooooot more than Astrid, and I would have rather seen the spunky, wild-haired Bog-Burglar than a semi-prototypical butt-kicking ferocious female warrior (she’s much more interesting in the second movie, though, I will say that).
3. The Struggle to Become King
The entire plot line of the How to Train Your Dragon book series is about Hiccup becoming a king. He is actively trying to become a ruler, unlike movie!Hiccup, who runs out the door as soon as Stoick simply mentions the word “chief.” Hiccup’s motivations to become a king – even though he would prefer not to do it, if he didn’t have to – is what drives much of his character development and makes him such an extraordinary Hero.
The pursuit to become King of the Wilderwest is complicated and fraught with adventures, beginning with collecting the King’s things, and then escalating into a dramatic, full-scale war between Hiccup and Alvin. Their rivalry is potent – between distant relatives, in fact – and makes for a great adventure. Pretty much the entire adventure of the book series. Again, this is the basic plot of the How to Train Your Dragon series, so of course I want to see it on screen.
But we won’t. Movie!Hiccup is developed too differently, and I’m pretty sure where he lands leadership-wise at the end of HTTYD 2 is as far as we will get. Both the movies and the books write in parallel concerning the fact Hiccup grows from boy to man, but how Hiccup gets there, and his reasons as to why he takes on the leadership responsibilities he does, are very, very different.
2. Hiccup’s sword Endeavor
Hiccup is one of the single best swordsmen in the entire Viking archipelago. And the books are fraught with adventure and some crazy sword fights! He fights an enemy on top of the mast of a burning, sinking ship that is simultaneously being attacked by a dragon. He fights Alvin countless times, including on top of an erupting volcano. He fights for his life against his cousin, his father, and his mother.
So why haven’t we see him wield a sword in battle yet?
When I saw them create the flaming sword Inferno for the second movie, I was simultaneously sad that it was not Hiccup’s wonderful sword Endeavor, but also excited because it meant Hiccup was finally holding a sword. Of course we don’t actually see him use any sword in an exchange in blows in the second movie.
That said, it would not be hard to insert Hiccup sword-fighting in the final movie(s).
1. The Slave Mark!!!
The Slave Mark is one of the most defining features of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, not just in terms of his appearance, but also in terms of his personality. So many of his actions and motivations revolve around the Slave Mark. He understands why it is so important to become King of the Wilderwest and end cruel dragon captivity in part because he himself bears the mark of a slave. It attaches him to the dragons both in this way, and in the fact that the Slave Mark originated as the Dragonmark – a symbol of a pact between humans and dragons.
The Slave Mark becomes an enormous plot point within the series. It is one of the first foreshadowings we see that Hiccup’s life is going to go downhill at some point. For it is this very Slave Mark that boots Hiccup from king to slave in five minutes. It is this mark that causes Camicazi to question Hiccup. This mark that leads to Stoick being removed from Chief of Berk, to Snotlout becoming the new Hooligan leader, to Alvin the Treacherous taking the kingship, to Hiccup becoming an Outcast hunted by humans and dragons alike.
It becomes an incredible emotional point, especially in book ten where we drop into the Amber Slavelands and have to watch many of our favorite characters live as slaves.
And it becomes a symbol of hope, the mark of a faction fighting against the Alvinsmen. It is the symbol of support for Hiccup’s bid as the true King of the Wilderwest. It is an important part of the complicated war in the final books. And especially it is an important moment when Snotlout asks Hiccup to give him the Dragonmark before he rides out as a decoy against the Alvinsmen.
However, there is no single way that DreamWorks would insert in the Slave Mark. Certainly not in the book forms – that would just be too long of a plot point to take, and you would have to wiggle around a lot of continuity issues, besides (not impossible at all, though, and I know how I would do it). Secondly, the Slave Mark story in any form at all would quickly become very dark. While the HTTYD movies are definitely emotional and shocking, I wouldn’t call them dark – and yet the entire atmosphere of “How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel” is burdened with a creepy, burdensome atmosphere.
Other things I would love that didn’t make the top ten list: Hiccup’s ability to speak five languages (did I count right?), Valhallarama, Snotlout acting as Hiccup’s rival to the chiefdom, the Windwalker, the backstories to Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the First and the Second, Hiccup “surfing” a dragon down an erupting volcano, Furious, Fishlegs’ three-headed dragon, all the cool dragon species, the Hopeful Puffin, and… okay… the entire book series.
totally agree with this list.
and also book!Alvin and Excellinor. At first i thought Alvin was only one of the minor villains but DAMN he’s not.
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock The First and The Second’s stories + “History has a way of repeating itself” quotes has a deep impact for me. Too bad we won’t be able to see it in the movie