Dragon Theories

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Lack Lunason's picture
Lack Lunason
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Some requests.

    I have a request for future dragons. (I know you probably have a few dragons lined up, so I'm just asking for one of these in the not too distant future.)

 

  1. Shadow-wing (These dragons are just cool.)

  2. Boneknapper (I have a few questions about this thing, like is it actually in Tracker Class? And why does it need completed armor before getting its roar?)

  3. Submerripper (Just cool.)

  4. Whispering Death (It's build is just too weird for me not to want to learn more.)

  

  That's all I got. Please, I'd be happy with any one of these before too long. 

 

  Thanks for reading.

 

  -Lack Lunason

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Lack Lunason
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    P.S. Thank you for

    P.S. Thank you for reading over my Thunderdrum gill theory and explaining Wild Skies. (I'm always the last to know).  Is it a free to play game?

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Requests and Wild Skies

Sorry for taking so long to reply! It's been a crazy week at work.

 

I've added your requests to the schedule! It may be awhile before I get to all of them, but they will come. :)

 

As for Wild Skies, yup, it's free to play! Though like I said, the game hasn't been kept up in the last few years, so I don't know how playable it still is. But if you're interested in seeing if you still can, it won't cost you anything to try.

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Eruptodon Theories

Eruptodon Theories

 

Here we have a dragon requested by QueenBossotronio: the Eruptodon! I had a very interesting time researching this fascinating dragon. Not bad interesting, just...interesting. (Fitting for a dragon worshiped by people, eh?) XD

 

For one thing, I did run into a few possible inconsistencies when this dragon. But it's mostly stuff I think I can talk around? One is the gender of the Great Protector, which was referred to as a male and then turned into a female later in the same season, which I do have a theory to explain. (Besides, that's hardly the first dragon that has happened to. Red Death, anyone?) A little more off with the Eruptodon lore is that Mala claims that Caldera Cay has been waiting for generations for the Eruptodon to lay an egg, but when it flies off to Vanaheim, we're told it is only 40 years old. But remember, generations were closer together in the Dark Ages due to people having children at younger ages, and the Thorston twins have pointed out that most Vikings don't make it to 40, so this could still potentially be at least three generations and mean that everyone alive on the island has not yet witnessed an Eruptodon egg laying. It's odd for Mala to phrase it that way but not incorrect.

 

Also, I thought I would be talking about Impossible Island in these theories, but looking back at the expansion pack, a lot of questions about that island were already answered - the Defenders of the Wing used it at a way to test their warriors, Eruptodon statues and engravings were there because it was their symbol, they used the big statue to keep peace with the Flame Whippers, Berkians led by Hamish II later use it to hide the Dragon Bloom so the Luminous Krayfin wouldn't threaten Berk, ect. - and we only really got one question from why the Defenders of the Wing were there in the first place. And the more I thought about it...the more I figured that was a theory better explored in a Flame Whipper or Luminous Krayfin theories page. I honestly don't think the Eruptodon had much of anything to do with it, aside from being already worshiped by those who built the labyrinth. So that's a story for another time.

 

That said, I still really had trouble coming up with much for this one. We already know how the Eruptodon coats its skin and lava and protects its eyes, what it eats and when it has to eat, how and where it lives, how and when it breeds, how long it lives, all sorts of stuff. There's not a lot of mystery here to explore...which I like when researching dragons but not so much when doing theories. But even though I don't have a huge number of theories, I hope I at least added a little bit to the portrait of this interesting fictional creature! So without further ado, here's Eruptodon theories!

 

Theory 1: The Eruptodon's blind spot is underneath its chin and behind it. The Eruptodon has really small eyes that sit very forward and atop the head. Combine that with its bulbous chin and I don't think it will be seeing much below it or behind it.

 

Theory 2: Eruptodons have small eyes because of their volcanic homes. Speaking of Eruptodon eyes, why are they so small? I think it's because the Eruptodon's home environment. They live in volcanic environments with extreme heat and fumes that would be toxic to most organisms. Even though they have evolved to withstand the heat and fumes, their eyes probably evolved to be small along the way to limit exposure to this toxic environment.

 

Theory 3: The bulbous mid wing joints on the Eruptodon can be used to put against surfaces for extra support. Eruptodons have an...odd design. They seem rather top-heavy and unbalanced. On top of that, they have these huge bulbous joints at the midpoint of their wings. I think these two things may be connected. As top-heavy as it is, the Eruptodon still manages to balance on its relatively small legs, but when it loses balance, it might use the hard, censored-like joints of wings to rest on something for support, such as the ground or a wall.

 

Theory 4: The Eruptodon tusks and arms are vestigial. Eruptodons have tusks and tiny little arms, but from what I can see, these could serve no utilitarian purpose. If my prediction about their genetic relations is correct (Theory 7), their ancestors probably had these traits, but for whatever reason, they grew to be less useful and are now merely vestigial remnants of their genetic past.

 

Theory 5: Eruptodons are ase.xual. This is almost, but not quite, confirmed by the franchise. Mala claims that Eruptodons lay one egg in their lifetime, but interestingly, she doesn't mention there being a mate involved, nor any mention of the Great Protector being visited by any other Eruptodons. So the Great Protector's offspring probably doesn't have another parent, meaning this species produces ase.xually. This is further backed by the fact that it only has one offspring in its lifetime. In the real world, this would spell doom for any species because there's not guarantee all offspring will survive to adulthood, meaning there's less and less Eruptodons each generation. We'll chalk up its survival as a species to fiction, I guess, but its survival as a species is more believable if it's ase.xual. That way there's not just one offspring for every two Eruptodons.

 

Theory 6: Eruptodons are immune to Dragon Root arrows. Okay, just...hear me out.

 

The Eruptodon has a rock diet like the Gronckle does. It may be molten rock, not solid rock, but it's still rock. This would make it immune to the Dragon Root.

 

But wait, you may say, the Dragon Hunters captured the Eruptodon by sedating it with Dragon Root arrows...didn't they?

 

Well, we never actually see the Eruptodon shot with the Dragon Root arrows. Not once. We do see Dragon Root arrows left behind by Dragon Hunters when they captured the Eruptodon, but its capture is never shown. In fact, that was the point; they did it in secret while the Dragon Riders and the Defenders of the Wing were distracted with each other. And Viggo wanted Hiccup to know he was the one responsible. I think it's possible the Dragon Hunters did shoot at the Eruptodon out of fear, but I think these had little effect. Rather, it's very likely Viggo left these arrows behind purposefully so Hiccup knew what he had done.

 

So how did the Dragon Hunters capture a powerful dragon like the Eruptodon? Well, I postulate it might have been easier than getting less powerful wild dragons. Because the Eruptodon was trusting of humans, she probably allowed the Dragon Hunters to approach her and restrain her before she realized she was even in danger. And the Dragon Hunters must have strategies for dragons immune to Dragon Root. After all, they hunt Gronckles. So I'm sure with Viggo's knowledge and the Dragon Eye's information, they were able to come up with something.

 

Theory 7: The Eruptodon has no close relatives, but its closest living relatives now are the Gronckle group, including the Gronckle, Hotburple, Catastrophic Quaken, and Groncicle. The Eruptodon looks very different from most other dragons, so I don't think it has close relative, but I think we can say the closest possible can be found in the Gronckle family. The Eruptodon shares many traits with them: it's able to hold and regurgitate lava, it's resistant to the heat of volcanoes, it's bulbous with rocky armor, it has tusks, and it has six limbs, including two wings and four legs. Overall, this looks like a weird branch of this family that broke off from the rest, becoming a volcanic dwelling creature that took its rock-eating and lava-breathing to the next level by eating lava straight up and eventually lost the need for it to have front limbs.

 

Theory 8: When a Eruptodon eats glowing algae, it glows green. If the Eruptodon is a relative of the Gronckle family, we may be able to use that to figure out what color it would be if it ate glowing algae. I have theorized in the past that, since the Snafflefang is stated to be a Gronckle relative, dragons that resemble it like the Shovelhelm, Windgnasher, Snifflehunch, Moldruffle, and Common Rockstomper are also relatives. Since both the Gronckle and Common Rockstomper are shown to glow green after eating the glowing algae, I think all their relatives would, too, if my previous theory is correct, includes the Eruptodon.

 

Theory 9: The Sacred Terrors and the Eruptodon have a symbiotic relationship where the Eruptodon protects them and they protect the future Eruptodon (the egg). They see the Eruptodon as alpha. This is a theory I mentioned in my Night Terro theories page, which you can see at the link here.

 

Theory 10: The Defenders of the Wing of Caldera Cay and the Wingmaidens of Wingmaiden Island are descended from inhabitants of Icestorm Island. The Barbaric Archipelago was largely positive toward dragons for over a thousand years, which is why the Dragon Hunters operate like a criminal empire. This is a theory I think is really neat that I first explain in my Razorwhip theories post, which you can read at the link here. To see more about what I think of the ancient inhabitants of Icestorm Island and their history, I have a bunch of theories on that on my Groncicle theory page here.

 

Theory 11: Caldera Cay's soils are incredibly rich due to the volcanic eruptions. It's all fine and good that the Eruptodon protects the village of the Defenders of the Wing, but one has to wonder how that all began in the first place. If Caldera Cay has an active volcano, why did the Defenders of the Wing's ancestors think it was a good place to settle, dragon or no dragon? I think they settled there unaware of the extent of the volcano's activity, thanks to the Eruptodon, and mainly stayed there even after discovering this because they found not only was the Eruptodon keeping them safe but also the soil was extremely fertile. Why would that be the case? Well, volcanic ash is rich in many nutrients beneficial to plants. When this ash gets mixed in with the soil, it makes for a nutrient-rich soil, known as volcanic soil or andisol. So having a volcano on the island may have resulted in fertile soils that make growing crops and feeding livestock very easy.

 

 

And that's everything on Eruptodons! Again, sorry this is a short one, but you know, as I always say, you can always add theories or add onto ones I have. Or counter me. Whatever you got. :)

 

Next week will be the Saturday before the 4th of July, which here in the U.S. is Independence Day! Since Dragons: Rise of Berk likes to acknowledge this, I thought I would, too. Specifically they have released two known 4th of July-themed dragons, the Stormcutter Wonderclap and the Typhoomerang Skyfire. Since we've already done the Stormcutter, I will be doing the Typhoomerang in honor of the 4th of July!

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Nice

All nice my friend!
I don't add theories becuase this dragon in my opinion is not so interesting
In the meantime, I am creating some theories about the deathgripper thanks to the new informations we have of this dragon

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Typhoomerang Theories

Typhoomerang Theories

 

Hello, everyone! On Wednesday of this week, the United States will be celebrating its Independence Day, the 4th of July. Since Dragons: Rise of Berk has had 4th of July-themed dragons, I thought for theories this week we could look at one of those dragons. So in honor of the fireworks-themed dragon Skyfire, I have done theories on the Typhoomerang this week!

 

I completely admit that the Typhoomerang is not a dragon I've thought much about previously. I like it well enough, but it's never been a favorite dragon, so it's not one I've given many theory ideas to. However, as is usually the case with such dragons, I found myself liking it more and more as I made these theories. In fact, I had a bit of a rough week, and coming home every night to think more about this dragon has been a fun treat to take me away from all that. So here's to the Typhoomerang. You're awesome, buddy! Hope my theories do you justice.

 

Theory 1: A Typhoomerang's blind spot is underneath its head and chin. The Timberjack has eyes faced very far forward, but with its huge chin and long face, there's no way it could see anything below that.

 

Theory 2: Typhoomerangs have extremely large territories. Typhoomerangs are quite interesting in that they are not rare - though they are scarce - and they quite massive, yet they were a largely unknown dragon until Hiccup found Torch. This probably means that Typhoomerangs are naturally rare creatures. In nature, animals tend to be naturally rare when they are solitary organisms that have large territories. Typhoomerangs are already shown to be largely solitary, and since they are so huge, it makes sense that they would need a lot of food to support a single individual, indicating they would need large territories. This likely was a huge part of why they remained unknown for so long.

 

Theory 3: Typhoomerangs reach their top speed when they perform the move that turns them into a fire drill. This top speed is nearly 1000 mph (or 1614 km/h). This is far faster than their average flight speed. In my Night Fury theories, which you can read here, I found that the Night Fury's top speed was probably a little over 1000 mph. Well, the Typhoomerang has the same Speed stat as the Night Fury, a Speed stat of 20, meaning its top speed is comparable, if a smidge slower, than the Night Fury's top speed! This even matches the second film, where Hiccup's map states the Typhoomerang is a "very fast dragon."

 

The Wikia says that the Typhoomerang being this fast has been "disproven," but I beg to differ. Some have stated it was shown to be faster than Toothless when Torch's mother chased him and Hiccup, but remember, Toothless wasn't actually going at his top 20 speed in that moment. You may recall from my Night Fury theories that I mentioned the Speed stat refers to the dragon's top speed, which in the Night Fury's case is its near-1000 mph dive. Without using this dive, the Night Fury can't actually reach that speed and is in fact much slower most of the time, with an average racing speed of only 80 mph, according to the DreamWorks children's book Time to Race!. So the Typhoomerang is probably much the same way. Normally it flies much slower than its top speed, but its top speed can only be achieved under special circumstances.

 

So the question remains: how in the world is a Typhoomerang supposed to reach 1000 mph? What circumstances can cause this?

 

I think the official website actually has the clue! It claims, "By pulling its large wings tightly over its body and descending from the stratosphere in a corkscrew fashion, a Typhoomerang can ignite its entire body and drill through the air to attack enemies!"

 

This fiery dive is very similar to the Night Fury's dive, only done in a corkscrew. This dive may be how it reaches speeds that almost match the Night Fury, the fastest of all dragons!

 

Theory 4: Typhoomerangs spend a good bit of their time high in the air and have excellent flying endurance. Typhoomerangs have absolutely massive wings, even for their already-massive body size! Much like a Timberjack, it can even make a tent around itself with these things. Also, we know from the official website (as stated in the theory above), the Typhoomerang can fly to heights up in the stratosphere! So we know these are pretty fantastic high-altitude flyers. I postulate that these traits indicate this dragon spends quite a bit of time in the air, as much if not more time than they spend on the ground, and they probably have excellent flying endurance, able to stay in the air for hours on end without tiring.

 

Theory 5: Typhoomerangs breed annually. Many other dragons seem to, so I think the Typhoomerang is similar in this regard.

 

Theory 6: Typhoomerangs use their unique fire patterns to attract mates. They are brightly colored to catch mates' eyes, and they use their horns to compete for them. In Dragons: Rise of Berk, there was a Typhoomerang (released around Valentine's Day) named Pyre-Flier. His description states, "During its unique courtship ritual, this Typhoomerang creates wildfires that set hearts - and forests aflame!" This statement shows that Typhoomerangs have courtship rituals unique to each male that, at least for some, involve fire! I think the male Typhoomerangs make unique fire patterns in the sky and over the land to attract their mates. The bright colors of these dragons and their decorative horns may also add to mating appeal.

 

Theory 7: Typhoomerangs like nesting in high places. According to Dragons: Rise of Berk, Typhoomerangs can often be found at an island called Pointy Point and sometimes at a location on Berk known as the Wild Dragon Cliff. Wild Dragon Cliff is, as its name suggests, a very high cliff. Pointy Point has no description, but I suspect it has a very high peak (Theory 13). Given this, I think these high-flying, giant dragons like to nest in high places, as befitting of a dragon that has massive wings, spends much of its time in the air, and dives faster than the speed of sound!

 

Theory 8: Typhoomerang eggs blend in with the forest floor and are fiery-hot to ward off predators. Compared to the colorful adult, the Typhoomerang egg seems like the color of red clay and even has swirling lines of different shades on it that break up its outline. I believe this is probably to help camouflage the egg from predators. These eggs are also said to be fiery-hot, which also probably wards off anything looking to swallow them.

 

Theory 9: Typhoomerangs don't mate for life, and males do not participate in raising young. Mothers will leave their babies in a safe, hidden place to hunt. So this theory is largely based on the fourth episode of Dragons: Riders of Berk, where we meet Torch and his mother, brother, and sister. In the show, we see the baby Typhoomerangs left on their own, but Mom does come back to defend them, so we know that the babies aren't actually left on their own. (Otherwise, Hiccup would never have been in danger, and that boar wouldn't have been toast.) But it's just Mom, no Dad. On top of that, we have seen that Typhoomerangs are typically solitary dragons. So I don't think Typhoomerangs mate for life, and I don't think males help females raise the young. My friend BeckyL97 on DeviantArt also suggested that this episode shows that mothers will leave their offspring in safe, hidden places while they go off hunting to bring food back to them. This makes sense since we see the Typhoomerang mother carrying her offspring on her back when transporting them places, but the Typhoomerang is actually impossible ride - by anyone - when it's using its unique spiral fire-breathing pattern, which means it wouldn't be able to hunt while its offspring are riding on its back.

 

Theory 10: Typhoomerangs are responsible for new-growth meadows in the forests they occupy. We see in Dragons: Riders of Berk, that when a Typhoomerang makes a scorch mark with its whirling fire pattern, forb plants (as opposed to grasses) are quick to sprout from that burn, making beautiful whirls of flowers in spring and summer. For this reason, I believe the fire of the Typhoomerang may encourage new-growth areas in forests, clearing trees to make way for well-fertilized meadows.

 

Theory 11: The Typhoomerang's closest relative is the Silver Phantom, followed by the Timberjack and Monstrous Nightmare. Now the franchise has stated that the Typhoomerang is a relative of the Monstrous Nightmare The Typhoomerang and the Silver Phantom appear to have similar body plans and even similar horns. They even have the same class. I think it's safe to say these dragons are each other's closest relatives. When discussing Timberjacks, I also pointed out that they seem to have a relationship with the Typhoomerang, albeit not as close as the Silver Phantom. The Typhoomerang also has horns similar to a Monstrous Nightmare, showing it is likely a relative of that dragon as well. Since the franchise has stated the Nightmare is also a relative of the Terrible Terror, which is a relative of the Night Terror, this also makes the Terrible Terror and Night Terror distant relatives of the Typhoomerang.

 

Theory 12: Heimdallr's Hill is so named because a rainbow was seen hitting its top when it was first named. Heimdallr's Hill is a location in Dragons: Rise of Berk where Typhoomerangs can be found. There's no description for this location, but it is definitely some sort of hill, and it is named after the Norse god Heimdallr, who guards the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that connects Asgard and Midgard. Because of this, I believe that Heimdallr's Hill was first named because a rainbow was seen striking its top when first viewed and named by people.

 

Theory 13: Pointy Point is an island with a high mountain. Pointy Point is another location in Dragons: Rise of Berk where you can find typically find Typhoomerangs. Pointy Point is actually named for a location in the HTTYD book series, a peninsula on the southwest corner of the south island of the Meathead Islands. However, Rise of Berk has told us that this Pointy Point is an island, not just a peninsula. So I think Pointy Point is actually a high mountain, going along with my theory that Typhoomerangs like to nest in high places.

 

Theory 14: Trader Johann is the reason the Dragon Hunters know names of dragon species named by Hiccup's dragon riders. Hiccup's dragon riders were the ones that named the Typhoomerang, yet the Dragon Hunters used the name later without ever being told. I think Trader Johann is the reason for this. He learned of Typhoomerangs from Berk and then spread the knowledge of this dragon, along with its name, to the Hunters.

 

Theory 15: The Vikings of Berk know about typhoons and boomerangs because of Trader Johann. The next question is to ask how Astrid and Fishlegs knew what typhoons and boomerangs were, since these are not things you'd encounter on Norwegian Sea islands in the Dark Ages. I think this is also knowledge they gained from Johann, either from items they've read that he's traded to them or stories of travels he stole from the other real traders he stole the goods from.

 

Theory 16: Torch fell off of his mother's back while she was flying around with her babies hunting. His mother did not realize he was missing at first, and he could not follow after her because he was hurt. While I did say before that the baby Typhoomerangs might be left on their own while Mom went hunting, I don't think that's what happened to Torch. When Hiccup finds Torch, he's alone and injured. Had he been left purposefully by his mother, I think he'd have his siblings with him and probably wouldn't be hurt. Rather I think he might have fallen off his mother's back while they were in the middle of a family move. His mother didn't realize what happened, and perhaps his siblings didn't, either, if he was in the back, and because he was hurt, he had no hope of catching up to them.

 

Theory 17: The Typhoomerang call Torch heard when he left Tuffnut was his mate. In the Dragons: Defenders of Berk Episode 9, "Zippleback Down," Torch leaves at the end because he hears the call of another Typhoomerang in the distance. Some people have proposed that this is his mother, but given that he seems full-grown, I actually think the call may have come from his current mate.

 

Theory 18: Hroar was never seen again because he was killed after his failure. Hroar is a character from the Dragons: Riders of Berk comic "The Stowaway" who ended up being a temporary rider of Torch. But spoilers: Hroar ended up being an Outcast working with Alvin. His plan failed, and he was eventually left at a neutral location for the Outcasts to pick up. But we never see or here from Hroar again. Now the real reason for this is a) the comics didn't continue featuring the Outcasts all that much, and b) comic-only characters don't appear in other media. But I still would like to justify this change with a theory. That theory is that Hroar was killed by Alvin and the Outcasts when he failed to come through on his promise to deliver Berk. And that's why we never see him again.

 

Theory 19: Frey's Typhoomerang was returned to the wild after it helped Frey and friends rescue the people of Chilblain. I've mentioned in the Gronckle and Skrill theories posts, but once again I refer to one of the teenage characters in the Dragons: Defenders of Berk comic "Snowmageddon." In the comic, a number of teens from the tribe of Chilblain end up riding dragons (under Hiccup's tutelage) in order to save their tribe when Chilblain is threatened by a volcanic eruption. One of these teens was Frey, who ended up riding a Typhoomerang. This volcano served as a home for the dragons of Chilblain, which Hiccup explained was how species that weren't supposed to be that far north (such as the Typhoomerang) could be found there. Now we do get to follow up with Chilblain's people in a short at the end of the comic called "Thaw Fleet," and there, none of the teens, including Frey, seem to have kept their dragons. So I think those dragons, including Frey's Typhoomerang, was let go after Chilblain was saved since the dragons' volcanic home was compromised.

 

 

And that's all there is on the Typhoomerang! As always, feel free to leave any thoughts you have on your own, whether you want to express agreement, argue one of my points, or add in your own ideas!

 

Next week, we have a request from Lack Lunarson for a truly fascinating dragon: the Shadow Wing! I'm really looking forward to this one, you guys. It will probably be difficult, but even so, it will definitely be interesting! ^_^

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Theories

Hi Whisper!
Well done, these are my theories about typhoomerang

1) A Typhoomerang burns preys and smashes them in order to eat them easily
Typhoomerang has a very slender neck and I think how it can eat boars or similar, eels are not a problem obviously. Then I deduced that it could smash its prey and ignite it in a semi-ash state easier to eat

2) A Typhoomerang can control its fire and make it have different shapes
Torch mother shot proper flames to Hiccup and toothless, not fire tornados, but Viggo typhoomerangs shot fire tornados
I noticed that the riders in the second case were more distant, so I deduced that a typhoomerang uses the fire tornado just when the target is distant, in the other cases it shoots normal flames

3) Typhoomerangs can eat eels thanks to a catalizator inside them that also makes them absorb eels easily
Catalizators are able to manipulate the speed of a reaction
Maybe typhoomerangs have a catalizator that can control the reaction of the eel effect making it less effective and more useful. Also the same catalizator would make the digestion faster, cause the typhoomerang that ate eels had its shots recharged quickly

4) A typhoomerang can catch giant eels like a bald eagle
Typhoomerang eat eels and the bald eagle eats fish. Eels and fish are both in water, also bald eagle and typhoomerang have a similar body structure
In my opinion a typhoomerang would act like a bald eagle and catch giant eels to eat them

5) Typhoomerang's slender neck is used to concentrate the fire
The neck of a typhoomerang is slim and an obvious weakspot, so why does this dragon have it? In my opinion it is the same case of the scauldron, it acts like and hydropump in order to shoot largest blasts of flames

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Typhoomerang Theories

Hey there! Sorry it took so long to get back to these theories, but let's look at 'em now! ^_^

 

1) I don't know about this one. Ash is not a very good thing to eat; it is the leftover waste of something after fire has broken it down, and it doesn't have much nutritional value at all, with most of the valuable part of the food burned away. So smashing and reducing it to ashes seems like a lot of energy output for less energy input from food. I think it makes more sense if the Typhoomerang simply tears off bite-sized pieces of its prey like most meat-eaters. Besides, even though their neck is slender compared to the rest of them, it's actually pretty big around; after all, it is a very big dragon!

 

2) I like this idea! Makes sense.

 

3) Ooh, that's really cool! I see no reason why this couldn't be the mechanism for them eating eels. Thumbs up from me!

 

4) I definitely think this is possible, but we do see one - the one who chased Fishlegs and Meatlug while Toothless had eel sickness - dip his head into the water with its long neck to scoop up fish in its jaws like a seabird would, so we definitely know that that's a mechanism for catching eels and fish. But maybe they also sometimes use their talons, too, who knows?

 

5) I still think the long neck is used like how seabirds use them, to catch food from the sea, simply because that is how we see it used in the franchise. But it's possible it serves this function, too. Why not?

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Typhoomerang, Typhoomerang, oi, oi, oi!

The Typhoomerang is a really cool dragon! I was just wondering if you had any theories as to why the Typhoomerang is able to handle the Eel sickness? Thank you for doing these!

~Ginger

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Typhoomerang!

Hi! Sorry it took so long to reply, but I'm glad you liked seeing Typhoomerang theories! Unfortunately, I've been trying to think of why Typhoomerangs are one of the few dragons that don't have eel sickness for a few days since I first saw your comment, but I can't think anything, I'm afraid. To know why they're immune, we would first have to know why other dragons aren't, and that's not entirely clear to me. Sorry. But Jarnunvosck actuall has thoughts about it above, if you want to check that out!

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It's fine!

Oh, that's fine, don't worry! ^^ I did read that after I posted, but I still wanted to see what you said. Thanks!

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Shadow Wing Theories

Shadow Wing Theories

 

This week, we're doing a dragon requested by Lack Lunarson: the Shadow Wing!

 

Man, guys, I love these things! Not because I find them likeable as trainable dragons or particularly epic as foes - though they're probably good for both those things as well - but because I just find these dragons so dang fascinating! There's the Alpha Shadow that has that big roar that it uses to summon the Small Shadows, over which he is the alpha and over which he controls to do his "dirty work." He has these Small Shadows that act like drones when independent or fly under its wings like canons on a fighter jet that shoot exploding molten lava! Not to mention the high intelligence factor and agility of the Small Shadows makes them quite formidable on their own. They're just so cool! What's the dynamic of their relationship, and how does it work? Where do these unclassified dragons belong in the dragon classes? How do they breed?

 

But the franchise has largely ignored Shadow Wings. Aside from Dragons: Rise of Berk having them in their game and one episode of Dragons: Race to the Edge featuring them, Shadow Wings of either form are nowhere to be seen. In fact, I think this is the only show dragon to not get a blurb on the official How to Train Your Dragon website, which...what the heck, DreamWorks?! What's up with that? I demand a Shadow Wing page! *pouts*

 

Oh, well. If the franchise can't tell me more about these creatures, I'll just to have to theorize in their place! XD

 

Theory 1: The Small Shadow Wing and Alpha Shadow Wing are two different species that formed a sort of symbiotic relationship. The Alpha Shadow Wing controls the Small Shadows similar to how the Red Death controlled its dragons and uses them to gain food and added firepower for protection. In response, the Small Shadow Wings gain the added protection of the Alpha Shadow. This is actually a very common theory for Shadow Wings across the fandom, and I definitely go with the majority on this one. I do think the Shadow Wings are two different, albeit closely-related, species. My belief comes from their anatomy being very different - they do not seem to share the same skeletal structure - and how they are present on Dragons: Rise of Berk. Rise of Berk presents the dragons as two different types of dragons that you can get, indicating they are their own species. They also refer to the dragons as "cousins," indicating once again that they are not the same species but closely-related species.

 

So the question is, if they are two different species, why do the Small Shadow Wings and Alpha Shadow Wing work together? Well, Rise of Berk also tells us that the Alpha Shadow acts as a protector to the Small Shadows, and an interview from the writers of Dragons: Race to the Edge stated that the Alpha Shadow gets Small Shadows to "do its dirty work," indicating that, as smart as the Small Shadows are, the Alpha is the brains of the operation, or at the very least, the one who sets the goal of a hunt. So Small Shadow Wings stay with the Alpha for protection, but how does this relationship work and what "dirty work" does the Alpha Shadow get out of this?

 

I think the relationship works because the Alpha Shadow controls the Small Shadows much like other alpha dragons, such as the Red Death. Using its sonic roar, it sends out a call a Small Shadow, and only Small Shadows, simply can't ignore...not that the Small Shadows really want to ignore it, considering they see the Alpha as their protector. They evolved this relationship as their ancestors developed their symbiotic relationship, perhaps originally being the two similar species or even the same species that then evolved to have very different traits as they each took their roles.

 

As for what the Alpha gets out of this, absolutely having a bunch of bombers attached to your wings increases your offense capabilities. Big as it is, I doubt this is the main reason for it to have this relationship, but it may be a contributing factor, especially considering I don't think it has much in the way of armor (Theory 3). But I think the main thing the Alpha gets out of this is food. With as big, slow, and cumbersome as the Alpha is compared to the Small Shadows, it doesn't seem like it'd be much of a hunter without their help to herd prey towards it. Much like the Red Death uses its subordinates to get food, the Alpha Shadow uses the Small Shadows for aid in hunting.

 

Theory 2: The Small Shadow Wing and Alpha Shadow Wing are both Mystery Class dragons. Since these dragons are unclassified, I decided to theorize what class they would be in if they were in a class. And for doing so, I went through each class.

 

Stoker Class is a no-go. Neither of these dragons shoot fire. Small Shadows shoot explosive molten lava, and Alpha Shadows have a sonic roar.

 

The Boulder Class could fit the Small Shadows do to them shooting lava, but that's the only Boulder trait they seem to have. Alpha Shadows don't seem Boulder at all, and I think these two close relatives would be in the same class because they work together and are classified together as a "type" of dragon, so no Alpha in this class seems to rule out the Small Shadow. Besides, not all lava-spewers are Boulder Class. The lava-breathing Foreverwing is actually a Mystery Class dragon.

 

Neither species seems to have any particularly sharp features, ruling out Sharp Class.

 

I've seen an argument for Small Shadows being Tracker Class since they are seen to herd Hiccup and Toothless, but I don't think this shows particularly strong tracking abilities so much as simply strong shadowing tendencies...hence the name. And we don't see anything to indicate Tracker for the Alpha Shadow, so I'm ruling out that one, too.

 

These dragons don't live in the ocean, so they're not Tidal Class.

 

Now the Strike Class is one that's actually been pushed for Small Shadows, though not for the Alpha Shadow. The reason is that these dragons are shown to be fast and intelligent. In fact, some people have actually claimed that the Small Shadows are faster than Toothless, making them the new fastest dragon. But while the Small Shadows are intelligent, I don't think they are shown to be faster than the Night Fury's top speed as implied by many fans. They only ever catch up to Toothless when he's ascending, which is when he flies at his slowest. So I do think they fly faster than the Night Fury's typical speed, at least when carrying the 175 pounds of a rider's weight. But they are never shown to reach the sound barrier-breaking speeds of a Night Fury diving. So while the Small Shadows are definitely fairly fast dragons in the dragon world, they aren't necessarily Strike Class-fast. Maybe they are, but that's yet to be seen. We also don't know their Jaw Strength, which is important because Strike Class dragons have "vice-like Jaw Strength." Finally, Strike Class dragons are said to have "precise accuracy," and maybe it's just that Toothless is amazing at dodging, but the Small Shadows don't seem very good at hitting him or Hiccup in flight, even when they catch the two unawares. So I don't think Strike Class is a fit, regardless of speed and intelligence. As for the Alpha Shadow, despite being smart, it's definitely way too slow to be Strike Class.

 

So that leaves us with the Mystery Class as the only option left, and yes, I do think this is where these two species belong. I know the Mystery Class has become kind of a catch-all class, but the Shadow Wings really do fit in every way. The Mystery Class is a class for dragons we don't know much about, which...yeah, fits the Shadow Wing species pretty accurately right now. But it's also the class for dragons who hunt their prey or face their foes in surprising ways, like turning invisible or covering itself in bones or metal or turning itself into an exploding spiky ball of fire. I find it hard to believe that few things are more "surprising" than a dragon calling smaller dragons to attach themselves upside down to its wings to turn the dragons collectively into a fighter jet. (I mean, who even thinks of that?) So yeah, these dragons seem like straight-up Mystery Class dragons. No contest.

 

Theory 3: Possible Small Shadow Wing statistics: Small Shadows have a high Speed statistic, a mid-level Armor statistic, a mid-level Firepower statistic, and a Venom statistic of 0. It will be hard to judge statistics because I don't have a lot to go on here. In fact, I don't really have many ideas for Attack, Jaw Strength, or Stealth, and even Shot Limit is hard to determine from the episode they feature in (though it's definitely greater than 3, but that's the case with most dragons). However, for the other four statistics, I think I can make a few vague predictions.

 

In Dragons: Race to the Edge, the Small Shadow Wings are shown to be very fast. It's stated that, in their exhausted state and without a Night Fury dive to help, they're even "quicker" than Hiccup and Toothless, which could mean both faster and/or more agile than Toothless' typical flying style, but either way, it's a fairly fast animal.

 

In Dragons: Rise of Berk, the Small Shadow has mid-level Power and Defense statistics. These stats define how hard a blast hits a ship in battle (Power) and how hard of a hit a Small Shadow can take (Defense), which correlates with the Firepower and Armor stats of the official statistic. For this reason, I think Small Shadows have mid-level Armor and Firepower stats.

 

As for Venom, since the Small Shadow is not stated to have any Venom - and most likely doesn't if it needs such elaborate schemes to immobilize its prey - I think it has a Venom stat of 0.

 

Theory 4: Possible Alpha Shadow Wing statistics: Alpha Shadows have a mid-level Speed statistic, a low-level Armor statistic, a mid-level Firepower statistic that's at least one less than the Small Shadow Wing's, and a Venom statistic of 0. Once again, I don't really have any ideas for how to measure Attack, Jaw Strength, Stealth, or Shot Limit with this dragon, but I can use the same sources to determine vague estimates for the other four stats based on the show and Rise of Berk game.

 

In Dragons: Race to the Edge, the Alpha Shadow is shown to be fast enough to at least put Toothless on a good run, but it is stated to be slower and less maneuverable than he is. For this reason, I don't think this is a fast dragon but also not a particularly slow one, either, being more mid-level in Speed.

 

In Dragons: Rise of Berk, the Alpha Shadow has Power and Defense stats we can use to predict Firepower and Armor, much like the Small Shadow. But interestingly enough, both its Power and Defense stats are lower than they are for their smaller cousin. Its Power is still mid-range, so I think it would have a mid-level Firepower stat, but it is lower than the Small Shadow's, so I think it would be at least one number lower in the Firepower stat. As for Defense, it's actually on the low end of the scale, so I think it may have a low Armor stat. Perhaps it doesn't need much armor thanks to the added defense of the Small Shadows and the fact that the Small Shadows take most of the hits during hunting.

 

As for Venom, once more, there's no indication of any venom for this dragon, so I think it has a Venom stat of 0.

 

Theory 5: The Small Shadow's blind spot is behind it. Small Shadows have large eyes that face somewhat forward but are also toward the sides of their heads, giving them a great vision range. They probably only lack sight directly behind them.

 

Theory 6: The Alpha Shadow's blind spot is also behind it, and it's a much bigger blind spot. The Alpha Shadow's eyes are similarly placed, giving it a similar vision range, I think, but they're eyes are much smaller compared to the rest of their body and sunk in to a dip in the head, making that blind spot behind it much wider than the Small Shadow's.

 

Theory 7: Shadow Wings will eat just about anything, including humans and other dragons. Small Shadows mostly eat the Alpha Shadow's scraps. The Shadow Wings ate the Dragon Hunters at the sentry point Hiccup and Toothless found and intended to eat Hiccup and Toothless as well. The Shadow Wings do something interesting, if a bit heinous, to Hiccup and Toothless in the Dragons: Race to the Edge episode "The Longest Day"; they hunt them. And the fact that they do this leads me to believe they had no qualms eating them. In fact, Hiccup eventually finds many remains of the Dragon Hunters that were once on the island, even a few bones stripped bear of flesh (including skulls). All this leads me to believe the Shadow Wings ate the Dragon Hunters who failed to escape...and maybe all of them if they all failed to escape. The fact that they would be willing to do this leads me to believe that they will eat just about anything, from wildlife to humans to other dragons, whatever the Small Shadows can herd into the waiting jaws of the Alpha Shadow. Once the Alpha Shadow has been fed, the Small Shadows would get whatever's leftover, fulfilling the two roles of their relationship.

 

Theory 8: Shadow Wings can live in a variety of habitats. In the TV series, we see Shadow Wings living a typical forested Archipelago island, but in Dragons: Rise of Berk, they're said to hail from Mani's Teardrop, an island with a landscape that looks like the moon. These seem like very different habitats - one forested and the other rocky and barren - leading me to believe that Shadow Wings are not limited to any one ecosystem. So long as they can find food, they can probably settle, and seeing as they'll eat almost anything, that opens up a world of possibilities for homes for them.

 

Theory 9: Small Shadows are colorful to lure in potential prey. Alpha Shadow Wings tend to be green or a dark greenish blue to blend in with their environment. Small Shadows are shown to come in interesting colors. We mainly see them blue, though in Rise of Berk they can also be red with green tips or even pink. Blue, red, and pink are all horrible colors for blending in to most environments, so it seems that Small Shadows want to be seen. Given that they tend to trick prey into coming toward them initially, they may even want to be seen by their prey to lure them. Alpha Shadows, meanwhile, are green or near navy blue. Green is great for blending into most environments with foliage, and navy blue makes a dragon well equipped to disappear in low-level light conditions. Alpha Shadows may be using their coloration to stay hidden until the Small Shadows can herd the prey in their direction, at which point they finally reveal themselves.

 

Theory 10: Alpha Shadows don't mate for life and even compete with one another for alpha positions over their Small Shadows. But Small Shadows can mate for life, having mates within the same pack. Both mate annually. Alpha Shadows certainly don't mate for life, I don't think. There's only one Alpha Shadow for every Shadow Wing, and in fact I think under most circumstances two Alpha Shadows meeting leads to a battle for leadership over their packs. I think, like many dragons, they mate once year and this is the only time of year Alpha Shadows may come together peacefully. Small Shadows, however, could very well keep mates with them within their packs. Though they also probably mate annually, their pack lifestyle with an alpha of a different species equips them to be able to pair-bond within their pack.

 

Theory 11: Alpha Shadows roar to attract mates. During their mating season, since Alpha Shadows don't live with other Alpha Shadows, they will need a way to find each other. Given these dragons naturally have a useful sonic roar that disorients other dragons and calls Small Shadows to them and sort of "controls" them, I think this roar may also have a third use: it may be used to call mates toward them.

 

Theory 12: Both Shadow Wings' offspring grow up very quickly. Most dragons' offspring seems to reach adulthood within a year, so the case is probably the same for Shadow Wings. If one matures faster than the other, I think the Alpha Shadow might be slower at reaching adulthood due to its bigger size, but if the Typhoomerang can grow up within a year, then so can the Alpha Shadow.

 

Theory 13: The Shadow Wings' closest relatives are each other. Dragons: Rise of Berk states that these two species are cousins, so we know they are closely related. Since their body plans don't seem to be heavily shared by any other species, I speculate that they are each other's closest living relatives, with no close relatives among other dragon species.

 

Theory 14: Small Shadow Wings may take other "alphas" in the absence of an Alpha Shadow Wing. This theory comes from a particular Shadow Wing from Dragons: Rise of Berk: Spring's Shadow. Spring's Shadow is a Small Shadow that has decided to help Springwing, a Changewing, hide her eggs when she needs help. This leads me to believe that Small Shadows left without an Alpha Shadow to guide them may end up taking other alphas of dragon species that are bigger than them...like Changewings. Though it is unknown how Springwing views the relationship - as a pack animal, she may just see her Shadow as a packmate - the Shadow sees Springwing as its alpha in its eyes.

 

Theory 15: Snogglewing doesn't have any Small Shadow subordinates. Instead, it gets its food from humans. Snogglewing is an interesting Alpha Shadow. He is known as one of the first trained dragons, though his training was accidental. To avoid upsetting the dragon, generations of Vikings have fed it, and it has become rather docile toward humans as a result. There is no mention of this Alpha Shadow having any Small Shadows with it or any account of these same humans having to appease them, so I don't think Snogglewing has any Small Shadows under his command. This is probably because he doesn't need to have them. If he's being fed by humans, then he doesn't need a flock for hunting.

 

 

And that's all I have on Shadow Wings! As usual, feel free to say whether you agree, disagree, or have anything to add. In fact, I really encourage it this time. I'm eager to hear any other thoughts other people might have on these creatures!

 

Next week, we'll be doing another request, this one from DragonGeek13: the Silver Phantom! This is one of my favorite dragons and a dragon I've already had many thoughts on, so I'm super excited! ^_^

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Shadow wings

Hey Whisper!
Absolutely well done, you did an amazing work
Personally I prefer the Sherlock Holmes style, and this time it helped me a lot
Here are my theories about these guys

1) The small shadows have a nice vision, but can't see well things that don't move
I noticed this after re-seeing the episode. Despite them being so intelligent, they could not understand that in the cave the thing in front of them was not Hiccup, they thought it was him becuase it was the only figure similar to their prey
So I deduced that they cannot see well unmoving figures and base their actions on the shape of them

2) The small shadow's hunting strategy is due to their strange vision
When they pretend the scene of a hurted dragon to abtire preys, they do it in a hide less environment like the beach
Also to reach the hurted dragon the prey has to move, so they can see it and recognize it if it is unmoving
This suggest me that this is a strategy to solve their eye problem

3) Small shadows can recognize a possible danger and even retreat
When Hiccup and Toothless were on the beach and Toothless charged a shot in order to protect Hiccup, the small shadow in front of him made a face like it understood that the purple light meant danger, even if it did not know the plasma blast

4) Small shadows are able of fast thinking
After seeing the purple light the small shadows ran away, but I don't think it was because they were scared
My theory is that, immediately after seeing the danger, they ran on a favorable environment where they would attack with the advantage of surprise
This is demonstrated by the fact that they attached again after a few minutes
This makes me think that they are able to rapidly think about a counterattack for their enemy

5) Small shadows, despite what wiki says, don't shoot molten lava
I looked many times at those balls shot by the small shadows, and I deduced that the substance they are made is not lava because
1 it is too solid when shot
2 it explodes with too much violence
3 it has different versions
So I deduced that the orange substance was not lava, but something different

6) Small shadows shoot a particular fluid that has different grades of stability depending on the temperature it has
That substance is very interesting, becuase it can be shot in different states
1 as a solid ball that explodes after a few seconds
2 as a ball that explodes near immediately
This makes me think that this substance has a different stability, possibly related to its temperature
When the fluid is heated a lot, it reaches a solid state that makes the explosion happen later, when it is heated just a bit it explodes earlier
This is supported by the TV show:
The solid balls were shot with a larger rate because they needed more heat, while the fluid balls were shot at a higher rate(when the shadow wing calls the small ones and attacks Toothless) because the process needed less heat

7) Small shadows have 2 collegated organs, with the first one producing the fluid and the second one acting like a furnace
The small shadows have to produce the fluid that they shoot, and this action needs an apposite organ.
But this organ cannot be the same that gives heat to the fluid, becuase all the fluid would have the same treatment
So I deduced that there is a second organ that heats a portion of fluid that is pulled inside it

8) Small shadow's weaknesses are being too over confident and underestimating their preys
The small shadows defeated by Hiccup and Toothless were defeated becuase they did not expect to be outsmarted and trapped by their enemies
This suggests me that they probably think they are the most intelligent around and underestimate every creature

9) The shadow wing has a very poor eyesight and uses most the sense of smell
If you look at the shadow wing eyes, you can see that they) are in the opposite parts of the head, giving the shadow wing an horrible front vision
So I deduced that this animal cannot see very well and senses the preys with its sense of smell

10) The shadow wing doesn't fly so fast becuase it can barely see where it is going and may crush on a surface
I deduced this after seeing the final scene with Toothless and the shadow wing
It reached a great speed and was not able to avoid the water
This made me think that it flies not so fast in order to have the time to avoid obstacles

11) The shadow wing roar is similar to the thunderdrum ability, but less powerful
If you look at the shadow wing's roar you can see that it is very similar in shape and effects to a thunderdrum's one, but less effective. This may mean that their abilities are quite similar

12) The shadow wing's flight style is used to advantage the small shadows
In the TV show we can see that the shadow wing doesn't flap its wings often, preferring gliding
This is becuase for the small shadow is enough difficult shooting upside down, without adding the movement of the wings

13) The shadow wing's weaknesses are its head and being lazy
The shadow wing's head is very big and also heavy, so it unbalances a lot the dragon while it is flying, making it less manouverable
Now, about being lazy... I deduced it thinking about how the shadow wing acted during the episode.
The small shadows actively hunted Hiccup and Toothless, leading them to the shadow wing, who acted passively waiting. Also after failing the first bite it decided immediately to call its friends to give it help. This makes me think that this is a lazy dragon that lives like a male lion, doing nothing and fighting just when it is needed

14) The shadow wing and the small shadows perform the combined attack strategy to defeat dangerous enemies and easily overwhelm the prey without destroying it
The combo of these two species is extremely powerful, and I think it is used just in 2 cases:
1 fighting a powerful enemy like big dragons like typhoomerangs, pack dragons like changewings and even a gigantic dragons like the screaming death. All of these are extremely strong enemies, but I don't think they could resist such a hail of fire and explosions. Even the screaming death would not resist a high amount of shots on its head
2 well, I told you that the shadow wing is lazy. What is easier than defeating the prey with a hail of explosions? But such a big power would destroy the corpse of the prey, leaving nothing to eat. Whisper, you said that the small shadows don't have a high accuracy; I thinks they did it appositely to do not damage too much their meal

15) The small shadows usually stay upside down on the wings of the shadow wing, but may change position and have different attack stiles
I thought a lot of time about this
Against Hiccup and Toothless the shadows had the advantage, but what if they were outnumbered or surrounded? I think that in such a situation they would grab a different body part of the shadow wing like the tail or the head in order to create a different combination of attack to better counterate their enemy
The shadow wing is just the mother station, the cannons can move where they prefer

I want you opinion Whisper, waiting for and answer!!!!

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Shadow Wing Reply

Oh, thank you! Looking forward to your theories too!

 

1) and 2) Ooh, these are good thoughts! I never even noticed that, but that would fit very well!

 

3) Possibly, but I do think it's also possible that knowing that another dragon shooting fire at them is dangerous may be a learned behavior, regardless of the fire type.

 

4) This idea fits perfectly, especially with the fact that we know they are rather intelligent!

 

5), 6), and 7) I'm afraid I'm going to say what's canon is canon, so if they say it's molten lava, it's molten lava. For my own personal theories, I do try to explain the canon rather than argue it. But you are right in that the molten lava they breathe does not behave like lava. I don't think the fact that the substance is liquidy and flowing is evidence against it being molten lava - lava is liquid rock, after all, it should be liquid or at least somewhere between liquid and solid - but the violent explosions really don't make sense, you'r right about that. Had they not said "lava" specifically, I would agree with you because they really didn't do a good job of representing molten lava, I think. But it is their fiction, I suppose. Either way, I like the idea you have they shoot their firepower at different temperatures to give different results regarding explosion and solidity! That makes a lot of sense.

 

8) You're probably right on the money with this one! They do seem to get rather cocky.

 

9) This is also quite possible, since the Alpha Shadow Wing does use the Small Shadow Wings for hunting, making great eyesight less necessary for survival.

 

10) This is also quite possible! It would certainly fit the Alpha Shadow's behavior in flight.

 

11) This one is actually confirmed in canon! After all, nothing says Thunderdrum like a "sonic roar," but it does seem to be a bit weaker.

 

12) This makes perfect sense, I quite agree.

 

13) Possibly, as these both make sense, but I'm not sure "lazy" is the term I would use. I think it is a creature that is simply naturally less energetic and more easily tired because it has evolved alongside the Small Shadows and has learned to rely on them.

 

14) Ah, yes! This would perfectly explain how the Alpha Shadow helps give protection to the Small Shadows; together they overwhelm all enemies!

 

15) Hmm...I see no reason this couldn't happen. There could be many ways the Small Shadows attach to the alpha's wing.

 

Overall, lot of great thoughts here! ^_^

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Great job!

Ooh, now I really want to see Shadow Wings in the School! Both types! I did have a small theory: Some Small Shadows might mate with the pack of their Alpha's mate to reduce inbreeding mutations. If they kept breeding only in their pack they would eventually become too inbred.

Also, what's your opinion on the odd bomb-like lave ball that one of the Small Shadows fired at Hiccup and Toothless when they were in the ravine? It seemed to be a different type then the lave they had fired before.

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Thank you!

Oh, I would love to see Shadow Wings at the School, too! That would be so cool! ^_^

 

Ooh, now I really want to see Shadow Wings in the School! Both types! I did have a small theory: Some Small Shadows might mate with the pack of their Alpha's mate to reduce inbreeding mutations. If they kept breeding only in their pack they would eventually become too inbred.

 

I don't think these dragons are actually closely-related enough to crossbreed, but you wouldn't have to worry about inbreeding. Pack animals in the real world, like wolves, lions, hyenas, and even nomadic human clans, always have a mechanism for avoiding inbreeding even when they mate within their pack, normally by the youngsters going off to find a new pack or start their own pack when they reach adulthood. Sometimes one gender stays and another leaves, but always there's at least one group of youngsters leaving. (In human clans, for example, we usually marry off one gender of our offspring and keep the other, or in the case of lions, young males always leave the pride while females may or may not stay. With wolves, on the other hand, both genders generally leave to find their own way.) So new youngsters are always joining old packs or starting new ones, and youngsters born in those packs are always leaving, creating a flowing gene exchange. Otherwise we'd have a lot of inbred social animals in the real world. (The fact that youngsters do this was also the basis for my theory a few months back on why all baby dragons are immune to alpha and queen control, which would also make young Small Shadows immune to the Alpha Shadow's call until they reach a certain age.) ;)

 

As for the lava ball...I'm really not sure. The problem is the lava the Small Shadows shoot really doesn't behave much like lava. I think the animators messed that up a little here, if I'm honest. The explosive "bomb" they dropped in the ravine and the explosive shots they shoot in "fighter jet" mode don't make much sense for lava in nature, quite frankly. But Jarnunvosck up above suggested it might have something to do with temperature, and that I think is a good theory to help explain the different reactions. The hotter the lava, the more liquid it would be, whereas the explosive ones are probably more solid and so are cooler. I also think it's possible gas bubbles are involved? Perhaps hot gas trapped within these near-solid lava balls is what causes these explosions. I don't think any gas bubbles in lava, half-cooled or not, could cause such violent explosions in real life, but I guess that's where fiction comes in.

 

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Thank you!

Thank you for answering, but with the first one, I meant that the Small Shadows serving one Alpha Shadow, and the Small Shadows serving the other Alpha Shadow might mate with each other. I wasn't sure if that was really clear. ^^ I was also aware of the way lions and wolves and others get around that problem, but I thought it might be possible.

Anyway, thanks! :)

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Oops!

Ah, okay! My bad got a bit confused about what you were saying there. But anyway, glad I could answer the other question. XD

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     YES!  Thanks a ton, and

     YES!  Thanks a ton, and good job getting so much info from so few sources. These guys really deserved a second episode.

 

   I shall now go away smiling and happy.

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No problem! Glad you liked

No problem! Glad you liked them! ^_^

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Silver Phantom Theories

Silver Phantom Theories

 

This week, we're doing a request by DragonGeek13: the Silver Phantom!

 

Okay, guys, hands-down, this is my favorite Stoker Class dragon and favorite non-ice dragon in general. I know it's a game-based dragon - in fact one found in only one source across all canon (School of Dragons) - but I just love its biology, I like its firepower and its abilities, I like most of its design, I adore it's personality...I just love this creature! My love of ice dragons is pretty much the only reason the fiery Silver Phantom isn't my favorite dragon or my main dragon in SoD. And because of that, full confession: I wrote most of these theories months ago, back when I first made my Silver Phantom OC Legacy (main dragon character in an Avatar-inspired steampunk-based AU with the working title Elementals: Land of Dragons.) I was just so excited for this dragon that I had to theorize ideas, and I was over the moon when it finally popped up on my request list so I could share my ideas! I did still research and add a few things this week, too, of course, and hopefully I've been able to express just how happy this dragon makes me with my many thoughts on it. ^_^

 

Theory 1: Possible Silver Phantom Statistics: The Silver Phantom has a high Stealth statistic, a medium Jaw Strength statistic, an Armor statistic of 10, an Attack statistic of 12, a Speed statistic of 18, a Firepower statistic of 15, and a Venom statistic of 0. The only official statistic the Silver Phantom has is Shot Limit (which is 6), but believe it or not, when estimating the other official statistics of this game dragon, I think we actually have enough information on it to make at least a rough estimate for every single other statistic! Thanks to this dragon's class, description, game stats, and the book's dragon it's based on, we have a lot to go on here.

 

For one thing, the Silver Phantom is said to be near-invisible in the clouds, especially at the incredible heights it flies at. In fact, it's sometimes mistaken for a ghost or a whisp, hence the "Phantom" part of its name. So I have to believe it has a high Stealth stat.

 

The Silver Phantom is also Stoker Class. Stoker Class dragons tend to have high Attack stats (14-18 for medium-sized Stoker dragons) and medium Jaw Strength stats (4-7 for medium-sized Stoker dragons). Being a Stoker Class dragon, I think the Silver Phantom would follow the pattern on this.

 

Now Armor, Attack, Speed, and Firepower, I believe can be taken from School of Dragons. In fact, I have complete confidence in these since School of Dragons is the one that invented the franchise version of this dragon.

 

Health stats in School of Dragons are supposed to show how well your dragon can take a hit when battling ships and therefore correlates with the Armor statistic. Health level varies with the dragon's level, but most other dragons with the same Health level as the Silver Phantom that have official statistics (namely the Speed Stinger and Hideous Zippleback) have an Armor stat of 10, so I believe the Silver Phantom does as well. This would match its class, for Stoker Class dragons tend to have mid-level Armor stats.

 

Now for more static game stats: in the game the Silver Phantom has an Attack Power of 6. This is the same as the Hideous Zippleback, Speed Stinger, Catastrophic Quaken, and Sentinel, which have an official Attack of 12, so I believe this to also be the Silver Phantom's Attack stat.

 

In the game, the Silver Phantom has a speed of 9.2. The dragon with the same speed and official stats (Snow Wraith) and the dragon with a stat of 9, every close to it (Razorwhip) both have an official Speed of 18, so I believe this is the Silver Phantom's Speed stat, which would make it as fast as the slowest Strike Clss dragons and match the description of its blazing speed!

 

Finally, School of Dragons also gives us the Phantom's firepower! In the game, it has a firepower of 7.4. No other dragon has this exact Firepower statistic, but the closest is the Monstrous Nightmare at 7.3, and the official Firepower stat for the Nightmare is 15, closely followed by the Hotburple and Hideous Zippleback with a game firepower of 7.2 and an official Firepower stat of 14. This leads me to believe the Silver Phantom probably has a Firepower statistic of 15 like the Monstrous Nightmare. Once more, this matches typical Stoker Class statistics, for it is a basic requirement that all Stokers have a high Firepower stat for their size, and 15 is pretty high for a medium-sized dragon. Anything as fiery as the Nightmare has my respect for Firepower.

 

Finally, most dragons, including all Stoker Class dragons with known stats except the Terrible Terror, have no venomso I'm guessing the Silver Phantom is much the same and has a Venom stat of 0.

 

Theory 2: Silver Phantom fire is about 2000°C (3632°F), making its fire one of the hotter fires in the dragon world. Its fire possibly has a hydrogen base. Oh, yes, I went as far as to try to figure out this dragon's fire base! I haven't attempted such a thing since the Scuttleclaw, but this turns out to be a lot easier with Stoker Class dragons with specific fire color than it is for just about any other dragon whose fire base is unknown.

 

So Stoker Class dragons usually have a fire based on some sort of organic compound, generally a gel or gas. For the Monstrous Nightmare, it's kerosene; for the Terrible Terror, it's propane; and for the Red Death, it's methane. (Compare this to the metal-based fires of the traditional Sharp Class dragons; the Deadly Nadder has a magnesium-based fire, and the Scuttlclaw has a fire with a base of a copper compound, for example.) Also, I theorize that the Silver Phantom is a relative of the Typhoomerang, Timberjack, Monstrous Nightmare, Terrible Terror, and Night Terror (Theory 21), which all have firepower based on natural gas or oils such as propane and kerosene or the unknown oil that the Timberjack uses, which is almost certainly an organic compound. So this tells me that the Silver Phantom probably has some sort of hydrogen- or hydrocarbon-based fire as is characteristic of its class and as seen in its proposed relatives.

 

Now the Silver Phantom breathes blue fire. This is significant both for heat and composition. While you can't always judge a fire's temperature based on the colors - its chemical components are far more important - there are colors that indicate greater heat than others. For example, yellow methane and propane fire has a temperature of about 1000°C (1832°F) - these are the fires of the Red Death and Terrible Terror respectively - while blue methane fire has a temperature of about 1960°C (3560°F) and blue propane fire has a temperature of about 1980°C (3596°F). So for any given chemical that can burn in multiple colors, blue flame = hotter fire. So we need to find an organic compound that easily burns blue to find the composition, and from there we can find the temperature of this fire as well.

 

So I think the Silver Phantom's fire is pure hydrogen, and the reason is the color. The difference between blue and yellow flame, in the cases of organic compounds like propane and methane, is oxygen content. If there is enough oxygen in the reaction from the start, the gas will undergo complete combustion, which means every bit of it will combust into flame at about the same time, and this produces a pure hot blue flame. If it does not undergo complete combustion, soot is produced from the remaining gas and you get a yellow flame and a greater production of carbon monoxide instead of carbon dioxide. (Quick PSA: if you have a gas burner that uses propane or natural gas, particularly a stove, you always want to see a blue flame. Otherwise you could be producing a dangerous amount of carbon monoxide in your home, not to mention wasting your gas, which costs you money. If you see a yellow flame, it is time to clean the gas burner and, if that doesn't solve the problem, get the burner properly serviced.)

 

Now it's easy to say that maybe the Silver Phantom is able to achieve complete combustion where a Terrible Terror or Red Death is not, but I just don't think this is logical. There's a lot of things going on inside the body of an organism and many blending gases, for one thing, which could interfere with the chemical reaction of combustion and therefore prevent complete combustion. Also, oxygen is already a precious resource to a vertebrate animal, and if it combusted nearly all the oxygen necessary for a large blue flame - whether that oxygen was from the air or its own body or both - it would practically be gasping for more air after each shot. So the idea of any dragon producing complete combustion seems highly implausible.

 

However, hydrogen is a readily available gas in the environment, easily made by the body if need be, and because it's such a small molecule, it always completely combusts and always burns blue, with a burning temperature of about 2000°C (3632°F). So while not quite an organic compound (there's no carbon involved in the chemical makeup), hydrogen seems like the logical base chemical combusted in the Silver Phantom's fire, with a fire temperature of about 2000°C.

 

I also want to note just how impressive that intense heat is! Most dragons in this franchise, based on the color of their fire and the chemical at their fire's base, are probably producing fire closer to the temperature of 1000°C or possibly even cooler (yes, including the lava breathers), so having a temperature as high as 2000°C is noteworthy. The Silver Phantom's fire temperature may be comparable to a Razorwhip, which also breathes bright blue flame that is said to be able to "burn the flesh off a man from 100 feet away." Only the really hot-breathing dragons such as the Fireworm, Smothering Smokebreath, Armorwing, Deadly Nadder, and Night Fury can surpass this intense heat. So while the Silver Phantom doesn't have the hottest dragon fire (the Deadly Nadder's magnesium fire is at least 1000°C hotter), it still has hotter fire than about 95% of the other dragons in this franchise, which may well explain its high Firepower stat and its place in the Stoker Class.

 

Theory 3: The Silver Phantom doesn't shoot splays of fire but instead shoots condensed masses of fire in fireball form. Continuing on with the Silver Phantom's fire, how does it look when produced? In School of Dragons, it produces a ball of flame, but so do all dragons in the game, regardless of whether or not their movie, show, or Rise of Berk game counterparts actually breathe streams of fire. Since the Silver Phantom has no other canon comparison, whether or not it shoots fire that plays, streams of fire in a single line, or condensed fireballs is a mystery to unravel.

 

The game has given us a clue. The Silver Phantom has two "skills" in School of DragonsStable Quests: Speed and Focus. The Silver Phantom's high speed has been confirmed in canon multiple times, including in both of its School of Dragons descriptions and in its School of Dragons speed stat, but this is the only place where we see Focus as a skill. Nowhere else is their a trait mentioned for the Phantom that indicates what "Focus" means.

 

Other dragons with the "Focus" skill include the Monstrous Nightmare, Terrible Terror, Hobblegrunt, Scuttleclaw, Armorwing, Night Fury, and Rumblehorn. We know this means that "Focus" does not allude to a dragon that can hold attention to something; otherwise the Boneknapper would have it and the Monstrous Nightmare, Terrible Terror, and Scuttleclaw certainly wouldn't. The skill could also refer to precision and accuracy in shooting by the fact that the Night Fury, Rumblehorn, and Terrible Terror have this skill. The Night Fury is said to "never miss," and the Terrible Terror and Rumblehorn are both described as dragon "snipers." However, the Monstrous Nightmare and Scuttleclaw are said to not aim very well, not because they are necessarily incapable of it but because they are rather explosive with their flames due to their "fire first, think later" mentality. So I think focus has to do with "focusing" the flame - that is, shooting it in a condensed mass or condensed stream, something which all of these dragons are able to do. Based on this information, I think we can rule out the idea that the Silver Phantom splays fire everywhere. It either shoots in a condensed stream or in condensed fireballs.

 

But which is it, streams or fireballs? I think either is equally likely, but for now, I'm going to say fireballs just because School of Dragons made this dragon and so they're fireball representation can be taken as accurate. But I wouldn't knock people for having it shoot a very focused stream of fire, either, in their fanart.

 

Theory 4: The Silver Phantom has excellent sight, hearing, and smell, especially sight. The Silver Phantom of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise is based on the Silver Phantom of the How to Train Your Dragon books, which, according to The Incomplete Book of Dragons, has excellent senses of sight, hearing, and smell. While I always hesitate to give a dragon it's book counterpart's traits, I think these traits make sense to apply also to the Silver Phantom of the franchise, since like its book counterpart, it is a dragon that flies at high altitudes. Any animal that flies high in the sky needs strong senses to detect things far below them. Keen eyesight is especially important to high flying animals so they can spot potential food in the sky as well as upcoming obstacles or incoming trouble from other flying objects. For this reason, it is a trait found in all high-altitude-flying birds, and I would think it would also be found in high-altitude-flying dragons.

 

Theory 5: Silver Phantoms have hallow bones with air sacs. Not all dragons in this franchise have hollow bones (even though they probably should to be believable). We know this because the franchise has made a big deal about the Stormcutter having hollow bones as if this were a unique dragon trait. We've also seen dragon bones in the Dragons TV show and School of Dragons, and they are clearly not honey-combed and hollow. But the Silver Phantom is a dragon that I think, like the Stormcutter (and possibly Red Death and Foreverwing), also has hollow bones and air sacs to make it lighter. This is because the Silver Phantom is said to be a dragon that rarely touches the ground and flies at the highest altitudes of any dragon and is also among the fastest dragons in the franchise, rivaled only by Strike Class dragons and other species that are also the fastest in their classes. Yet despite all this, the Silver Phantom has irregular wings with deep, wide grooves in them, giving them a tattered look, and these would be poor at creating proper lift for the animal since it decreases the wing's surface area and makes the air against the wing uneven. In flight, an animal needs to overcome drag with thrust and weight with lift, so making the dragon lighter in weight should help with the relatively poorer lift in its wings.

 

Frankly, in real life, flight for this body type with those tattered wings would be impossible, but giving this dragon hollow bones makes the suspension of disbelief just a bit easier.

 

Theory 6: The Silver Phantom's wings make a whistling sound as it flies. This is a theory not made by me but actually by Voltaic-Soda on DeviantArt. In her picture of the Silver Phantom, she mentioned she thinks that, due to the open spaces in its tattered-looking wings, this dragon makes a whistling sound while it flies through the air. I really like this idea, so I'm going to agree with her on it!

 

Theory 7: Silver Phantoms have a stiff spine, which is why they lack agility. In School of DragonsSilver Phantoms are shown not to be very agile dragons. Their pitch rate is pretty typical and certainly no better than average, their turn rate is not super low but lower than average, and they don't accelerate all that well, though they're also not poor accelerators exactly. All-in-all, they give the impression of a dragon with competence in flight but kind of lacking in the agility department, just a little. I think this is because Silver Phantoms have a very stiff spine. This is a trait seen in many long-flying birds that allows them to hold their shape and anchor their head and wing muscles even when face strong gusts of wind. For the Silver Phantom, a dragon that spends most of its life in the air and reaches the highest altitudes of any dragon, it probably has a similarly stiff spine, which, while giving it incredible flying endurance, would limit its agility a bit.

 

Theory 8: The Silver Phantom is often found flying out over the ocean, wandering far from land, and its diet is composed of saltwater fish. Now I've said before that, if there is nothing stated about a dragon's diet and there is no evidence to the contrary, I always assume that a dragon's main diet is fish...and that's exactly the main basis for this theory as well. The Silver Phantom probably eats fish because it is a dragon. But there is also evidence in the Silver Phantom's anatomy and biology to support this. The Silver Phantom has a long neck, great for dipping down into the water to censored up fish. We also know it flies at very high altitudes and very rarely comes down for a rest, and this is a common feature of many seabirds that wander far from shore - like the albatross - due to the lack of perches available far out at sea. On top of that, the Silver Phantom's School of Dragons promo on Tumblr told us to "ride the ocean breeze" with the Silver Phantom. Strong ocean winds would allow us to do that and be perfect for keeping this "rarely touches the ground" dragon high up in the air. So I think the Silver Phantom not only normally eats fish but is largely a dragon of the ocean habitat, flying high over the sea far out from land and sometimes diving down to snat.ch up fish.

 

Theory 9: Silver Phantoms are able to drink saltwater but prefer freshwater; they have dense salty "tears." This is a trait of talked about in a number of Tidal Class dragons right now, with the most similar one to the Phantom being the Windwalker, but I think this Stoker Class dragon has this trait, too. If you have a large, air-breathing vertebrate spending most of its time far out at sea, whether you're in the air or the water, the animal is quickly going to face a freshwater shortage. Seabirds, such as albatrosses, seagulls, and even penguins, are known to handle this problem by actually being able to drink saltwater. They can absorb the salt and send it to a pair of glands above each eye, which secrete the salt in a dense fluid. Grooves in marine birds' skulls allows the water to drain off them. Silver Phantoms may have a similar way of getting rid of salt to consume saltwater, perhaps having glands somewhere for salt secretion. The most logical place for this shed of salt seems to be near the eyes, potentially the corner of the eye like the salty tears of a mammal. This seems like the best location because the large eyes sitting atop the skull of the Phantom create a groove just in front of the eyes that would channel any liquid down the side of the nose and off the body.

 

Now, this is not to say Silver Phantoms wouldn't also be able to drink freshwater. Seabirds are often described as "reveling" in freshwater puddles and streams, enjoy a good bath and drink when possible. They simply secrete less salt when given a freshwater option. Likewise, I think Silver Phantoms would also be able to drink freshwater and would prefer it if given the option. But they don't require it.

 

Theory 10: Silver Phantoms have large hearts, huge lungs, and high hemoglobin levels. As mentioned before, Silver Phantoms are said to fly higher than any other dragon. Since we know the Typhoomerang can reach stratosphere levels, we know Silver Phantoms get at least that high, which matches the description of them flying so high that their rider is in danger of passing out at their highest flying points. In order for such a large creature to breathe in such a thin atmosphere, the Silver Phantom has to have a way of being very efficient with its oxygen. High-elevation animals - including high-elevation humans - in places such as the Himalayas do have traits that help with such issues. Huge lungs help an animal gather large quantities of air to get as much oxygen as possible, while a large heart and high hemoglobin levels allow the body to use as much as that oxygen as possible. (Hemoglobin is your blood's oxygen-transport mechanism.)

 

Theory 11: Silver Phantoms are vulnerable on the ground. If Silver Phantoms spend most of their time in the air and "rarely touch the ground," it's safe to say that it is relatively vulnerable on the ground. Again, just like when I theorized the same thing for the Timberjack, that is not to say they are defenseless; they still have their intensely hot firepower that they can shoot with precision, and they are still very strong should they swipe you with a wing, tail, or horned head. That said, they are probably not able to really dodge, chase, or maneuver on the ground, putting their fighting skills at a considerable disadvantage. And if I'm right about their armor stat only being average, they're not in a good position to withstand taking multiple hits, especially with their wings being such prominent targets. If you find yourself up against a Silver Phantom, your best bet is to force it to the ground and attack its wings.

 

Theory 12: A Silver Phantom's blind spot is underneath its head and chin. I already theorized this is the blind spot of the Timberjack, and I think the Silver Phantom has the same blind spot for the same reasons. Their eyes are well-placed for a wide vision range, sitting on top of the face and pointed out to either side while still being directed forward and taking up a significant amount of the face. A long and maneuverable neck also means they can turn their head in nearly any direction. But with eyes placed on top of their heads, Silver Phantoms are sure not to spot you beneath their head unless they tip their head vertically downward.

 

Theory 13: Silver Phantoms are solitary. We have no representation of the Silver Phantom outside of School of Dragons, so we never see them properly interact with each other and other dragons, but we do have a few clues about their sociability. One clue is that Silver Phantoms are said to be reclusive, preferring to "remain at a distance" from both humans and other dragons. They may just be reclusive with other species and not each other, but it's not entirely clear. Second, in School of Dragonsstory of the arrival of this dragon to the School of Dragons, a single male Silver Phantom lands by the School lake, only to be befriended by Eret. There's no mention of any other individuals accompanying him. For these reasons, I think Silver Phantoms are largely solitary and shy creatures. Much like many deer species of forest environments, they probably mostly live solitary and secretive lives but are not entirely opposed to socialization.

 

Theory 14: The Silver Phantom is diurnal; also, it appears to "glow" in the dark. There's a number of things to suggest this is a daytime creature. Not only do most dragons in this franchise appear to be diurnal, but the Silver Phantom is said to blend in with the clouds up above with its silvery coloration. The clouds are only silvery-colored during the day, when the sun is reflecting off of them, so that must be when this dragon roams. At night, this silvery coloration would actually reflect any light that might be about and give the Phantom a soft glow. This would make them really easy to spot, ruining their camouflage. But it would be a beautiful sight!

 

Theory 15: Silver Phantoms can sleep while flying. You may notice that I keep, and will, keep comparing Silver Phantoms to birds. So let's talk about birds for a moment. The albatross is the bird whose anatomy and biology is most like the Silver Phantom's, I think, and it stays in the air for an impressive 46 days and can travel over 10,000 miles. The longest flying seabird, however, is the frigatebird, which can stay in the air for 2 months. But the ultimate flyer is actually the little common swift, which spends a staggering 10 months in the air at a time. How exactly do these birds accomplish such feats?

 

Well, a study that came out of Germany in 2016 may have the answer. By monitoring frigatebirds in flight, scientists found that some birds do, in fact, sleep in flight, switching to "sleep mode" at night. They accomplish this by sleeping several minutes at a time, normally resting one hemisphere of the brain at a time (something humans also do when sleeping in a new location) but sometimes even resting the whole brain. In the study, the frigatebirds did this while circling rising air currents, and if they had one hemisphere active, as they usually did, they had the eye connected to the active hemisphere facing the turn, suggesting they were still watching where they were going while they were napping.

 

Now this is not a behavior the franchise has associated with dragons. It is mentioned that Gronckles and Hotburples may fall asleep while flying and that their wings keep beating when it happens, but it's also said that this sometimes causes them to plummet out of the sky or crash into mountainsides, so they don't really sleep while flying so much as fall asleep while flying and then crash. But I think Silver Phantoms may be a dragon that, much like long-flight birds, can actually sleep while flying by resting one hemisphere of the brain at the time. This way the Silver Phantom can maintain a life mostly spent in the air even while asleep.

 

Theory 16: Silver Phantoms mate for life, coming together each year to mate and raise their young. Now for another Silver Phantom theory based on birds but this time on the albatross. Apparently I'm not the only one to use this bird for Silver Phantom comparisons. My friend BeckyL97 from DeviantArt has also suggested that perhaps Silver Phantoms have similar mating patterns to albatrosses. Despite being solitary for part of the year, albatrosses actually mate for life, and each year they come together at the same place to mate and raise their young. I think this makes a lot of sense!

 

Theory 17: Silver Phantoms breed annually. Their horns help make them attractive to mates. It is my belief that nearly all dragons breed annually, as we have seen that Monstrous Nightmares, Deadly Nadders, Gronckles, Hideous Zipplebacks, Changewings, and Razorwhips all do. So yup, unless given evidence to the contrary, I'm going to keep theorizing this for nearly every dragon. I also think the Silver Phantom's horns may play a role in attracting mates, at least initially, since they are an odd feature for this dragon to have. Their length and straightness actually counters most utilitarian uses they might have, leading se.xual selection to be the best explanation for their existence.

 

Theory 18: Silver Phantoms nest on seaside cliffs. A dragon of high altitudes that eats saltwater fish is probably going to be nesting in a location that is highly inaccessible to nest predators, easily accessible to the dragon parents, easy to take flight from, and near their major food source. Seaside cliffs fit this criteria perfectly.

 

Theory 19: Silver Phantoms are flying within days of hatching (perhaps even within hours) and reach full size very quickly. As stated many times, it is my belief, based on evidence like Torch the Typhoomerang, that most dragons reach their full size very quickly, probably within a year, and I think Silver Phantoms are no different. And regardless of how quickly they grow in size, I also believe Silver Phantoms are flying very soon in their life. This is because this is a species that is said to "rarely touch the ground" and so I think the young would likely have to be flying very soon. Also, unlike birds, there is little reason to have a Silver Phantom delay learning how to fly. Birds have to fledge before they can fly; that is, they have to grow in their flight feathers. Since dragons fly with wing membranes like bats or pterosaurs, rather than with feathers like birds, dragons don't fledge and therefore have no physical reason to delay learning to fly. Mental development could potentially delay learning flight, but we also see in Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury that baby Monstrous Nightmares, Deadly Nadders, Hideous Zipplebacks, and Gronckles can lift off into the air and hover for a few moments even within their first day of hatching (though a strong wind can easily knock them down), so it is not unreasonable for a dragon adapted to fly for most of its life, like the Silver Phantom, to be flying within 24 hours of hatching. That said, I do think they will still need to stick with to the nest for a little bit because I don't think they will be taking the long, multi-day flights their parents can take immediately.

 

Theory 20: Silver Phantoms can use their wings to make powerful wind blasts. In Dragons: Defenders of Berk, we see the Monstrous Nightmare as the ability to make powerful gusts of wind by pulling up suddenly from a fast flight and clapping their wings together. While we never see the Typhoomerang do this exact move, we also see it make great gusts when clapping wings. This leads me to believe other large-winged dragons can do this. I suggested this before as an ability of the Timberjack as a result, and I think it's also something the Silver Phantom can do...though, just like Hookfang didn't know he could do it, not every Silver Phantom might have figured out this trick.

 

Theory 21: While they are gentle, level-headed, and agreeable, Silver Phantoms are also stubborn when they feel they should be. We know only a little about the Silver Phantom's personality, but we do get a little bit of a description (more than can be said for most game-based dragons). School of Dragons has emphasized that they are "calm and serene" and "make great companions." It's also pointed out that they are "reclusive" and "keep their distance from humans and other dragons," which indicates they are shy and perhaps a bit skittish before they are tamed. But no matter how calm Phantoms are, they are still Stoker Class dragons, which have always been described as "hot-headed" and "always ready to go." Since they are calm and not rambunctious, I think the Phantom's signature Stoker Class "readiness" comes from its great strength and endurance - both canonically described - while its signature hot-headedness comes, not just literally from their very hot firepower, but also figuratively from being rather stubborn when they feel they are in the right. Calm, level-headed animals can still be stubborn, especially if they have smarts and a mind of their own. While mostly agreeable, if they think their rider is being rather dumb about something, or is simply being unreasonable, the Silver Phantom may calmly but staunchly refuse to obey. (I had a horse like this once; she was great because she was well-mannered, friendly, and gentle but also wouldn't just follow her rider's lead if she thought her rider - usually me - was being stupid. And often she was right and I was wrong.) XD

 

Theory 22: The Silver Phantom's closest relative is the Typhoomerang, followed by the Timberjack and Monstrous Nightmare. Many people have pointed out that the Typhoomerang and Silver Phantom share many anatomical similarities, and not only do I agree with this but I think it indicates these two are each other's closest relatives. I've also theorized before that the Typhoomerang is a relative of the Timberjack, making it a Silver Phantom relative as well. The Typhoomerang is also said to be related to the Monstrous Nightmare, and the Timberjack has horns similar to the Nightmare, so the Nightmare is probably also a relative of these dragons, perhaps even more closely-related than the Timberjack given that it has the same number of limbs. The Monstrous Nightmare is also said to be a relative of the Terrible Terror, which is a relative of the Night Terror, so if the previous relations are correct, these dragons are also more distant relatives of the Silver Phantom.

 

Bonus: Disproving the "fastest dragon" theory. The Silver Phantom had a flaw on its Wikia page. The Wikia stated that the Silver Phantom is super fast...which it is. But the Wikia goes on to say that it may be "even faster than Toothless and the Typhoomerang." This fact has been used by fans to argue that this Stoker Class dragon should be in the Strike Class. But it really shouldn't be the basis for any argument or discussion because, quite simply, it's not true according to canon.

 

Now the basis for this incorrect theory is that, in the book series, the Silver Phantom - the dragon on which the franchise's Silver Phantom is based - is indeed the fastest dragon out there, even faster than the Windwalker and Rocket Ripper. But the Silver Phantom of the franchise is not the Silver Phantom of the books, any more than the two versions of the Monstrous Nightmares, Deadly Nadders, Devilish Dervishes, Prickleboggles, Gronckles, and Windwalkers are the same. Therefore any fact about the Silver Phantom in the books should not be automatically taken as canon fact for the franchise's Silver Phantom unless the traits fit within the franchise's info.

 

We do actually have a very good idea of the Silver Phantom's speed, and while it's incredibly fast, it is not the fastest dragon. As stated up above in Theory 1 when discussing the Silver Phantom's possible Speed stat, School of Dragons does give us a really good estimate for how fast the Silver Phantom really is (and since School of Dragons invented this dragon, their stats are definitely accurate in this case). Comparing it to dragons with known official stats, the Silver Phantom is as fast as a Strike Class dragon, but it's only as fast as the slowest Strike Class dragons, the Snow Wraith and the Woolly Howl, the first of which has a Speed stat of 18. This puts it at about the same speed as the Shivertooth, Razorwhip, and Slithersong, the fastest dragons in the Sharp Class and Mystery Class respectively. This does make it one of the fastest dragons in the franchise, no doubt about that, but it is not quite as fast as the Skrill on lightning and definitely doesn't reach the very top speeds seen in the Typhoomerang, Triple Stryke, and Night Fury.

 

I did remove the incorrect information on the Wikia regarding the Silver Phantom's speed, but since it's apparently been there awhile, I wanted to address it here, too.

 

 

And that's all I have on Silver Phantoms! As always, feel free to leave any thoughts, whether they agree or disagree, or anything you think I missed.

 

Next week, we'll be doing another request, this one from BeckyL97 on DeviantArt: the Thunderclaw!

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Ginger and Jaxomis
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Starspirit the Silver Phantom approves!

Beautiful! ^-^ The Silver Phantom is one of my favorite book dragons, and it's becoming one of my favorite dragons all around now, too! I've always had a soft spot for sky-type dragons. (And ice dragons) Well done! :D

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Thank you! ^_^

Thank you! ^_^

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I was right! About a year and

I was right! About a year and a half ago, i came up with a fictional adventure for my OC, Eek the Firetamer. Him and his Silver Phantom found a mountain by the sea where Silver Phantoms come together to breed each year. It was under attack by hunters, and Eek and his sister helped to fend it off. THAT MATCHES THEORY #16!

 

Also, his dragon discovered that it can make gusts of wind with its wings and it along with the other silver phantoms used this maneuver to fend off said hunters. THAT MATCHES THEORY #20!

 

That makes my story seem even better now that the things in it have these headcanons. However, I will admit that my Silver Phantom was also able to shoot electricity like in the books, but that doesn't matter.

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Great minds think alike!

Oh, wow, that's so cool! Have you ever written anything about Eek and his Silver Phantom, because that sounds like a fun read!

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Thunderclaw Theories

Thunderclaw Theories

 

Today we are doing a request from BeckyL97 on DeviantArt: the Thunderclaw!

 

So you guys might not know this, but I do poke around at other theories people have about whatever dragon I'm doing each week. And here's an interesting fact: if you Google "Thunderclaw theory" or "Thunderclaw headcanon", you actually get analysis on what people who are both Ravenclaws and Thunderbirds in the Harry Potter franchise are like. ...Wasn't what I was looking for, but I did find some interesting reads for the Potter nerd in me. XD

 

But that aside, I had a lot of fun with this dragon! Thunderclaws are one of those dragons that often gets forgotten, and I think that's a crying shame. I'm rather fond of these no-nonsense soldiers who, when off-duty, just want to be giant lapdogs for their Viking companions. In a way, it's hard to get a more ideal friend than a Thunderclaw in a world where you may need to battle now and then; they are both brutish warriors and gentle, lovable friends! Hopefully my theories do these fantastic creatures justice!

 

Theory 1: The Thunderclaw's blind spot is behind them and under their chin. Thunderclaws have very small eyes put very far forward on their head, so while they have a decent vision range, they probably don't have a spectacular one. Their eyes are far enough forward to see around their nose horn, but underneath that large chin and behind them, they definitely won't be catching glimpses of anything.

 

Theory 2: The Thunderclaw's arms are small because they don't do much with them. Thunderclaws have these pudgy little arms. They can lean forward and support their weight on them, which I think is their main purpose for being there at all, but beyond that, they probably don't really use them. Much like a therapod dinosaur (such as Tyrannosaurus rex), the Thunderclaw's stance on its hind legs and its large head that's useful for grabbing things has made most uses for their forelimbs obsolete, so now they are really only used to support the dragon when it wants to lean forward and get close to the ground on all fours.

 

Theory 3: The Thunderclaw's sail helps it keep steady while turning at a run. The Thunderclaw has a sail on its back, and since this is such a distinctive feature, it must be useful for something. Though Thunderclaws fly - even pretty fast - they mainly keep to the ground if they can, even preferring to stampeded if frightened rather than fly. Given how bulky these dragons are, it's odd that they can run fast and swiftly without falling over...unless the sail on its back helps the Thunderclaw stay upright when it makes tight, fast movements.

 

Theory 4: Thunderclaws like open environments. are said to generally be dragons that prefer to run on the ground and are normally found in rumbling herds. That leads me to believe that these dragons like to live in open spaces. This is backed up by the fact that they can be found at the Rookery, which is an open, barren, rocky location, and at Dead-End Island, which is stated to have a rocky coast that making docking there almost impossible and is stated to be a barren place devoid of Vikings.

 

Theory 5: Thunderclaws can eat fish but mostly eat ground-dwelling organisms. Thunderclaws are shown in How to Train Your Dragon 2 eating fish so we know that is possible. This is also their main diet in Dragons: Rise of Berk because that's the only food for dragons in that game. But I don't think fish is normally the Thunderclaw's main diet. The reason is it's a Tracker Class dragon. Here's the thing: a strong sense of smell is not very good for a land-based fish eater. It's difficult to track fish by smell if you're not actually in the water with them. And Thunderclaws spend a lot of time on land stampeding around in herds, so I'm going to rule out fish as the main thing they track and hunt. Not to mention they use their tongues mainly for their sense of smell, not just their nose, and having your tongue lolling out to pick up scents works way better in the air than in the water.

 

So if Thunderclaws aren't mostly eating fish, what's the main food they're after? Well, based on their tracking skills, running skills, and sharp teeth, they're definitely after meat, so I think they mainly go after ground-dwelling organisms, both big and small. I'm sure they're also not opposed to birds, but seeing as they instinctively run when frightened rather than fly, I'm guessing hunting on the ground is much more natural them. Anything from large deer to little rabbits may be fair game.

 

Theory 6: Thunderclaws are mostly low-altitude flyers and don't fly much in foul weather. So as I just mentioned, Thunderclaws instinctively prefer to run rather than fly. Now How to Train Your Dragon 2 shows them being pretty good at flying; they can battle in the air, they can battle while wearing heavy army, they can charge at a mountain from the air, they're not bad flyers. But if running is something they prefer over flying, then they are probably are only inclined to fly when it's necessary for travel, hunting, or battle and stick to the ground if given the option. For this reason, I think Thunderclaws mostly prefer to be low-altitude flyers and would rather not fly if the weather is bad. But just don't think that means you should underestimate their flying; having a preference not to doesn't mean they can't if they need to.

 

Theory 7: The Thunderclaw's nose horn, long chin, and colorful physique are used to attract mates. Male Thunderclaws may also ram heads to compete for mates. Thunderclaws have a lot of impressive features, including a nose horn, a long chin, and a colorful hide. These don't seem to have a survival function, which leads me to believe they may have these features simply because Thunderclaws see them as attract. Thunderclaws are often shown to take some inspiration from cattle, and in the bovine world, bulls tend to ram heads when trying to win themselves females. With their own tough heads and their tendency to charge at things, Thunderclaws may very well exhibit similar mating behavior.

 

Theory 8: Thunderclaws are diurnal. Thunderclaws are mostly shown being active during the day throughout the franchise, which leads me to believe that's when they're active. Also, they are colorful dragons, and colorful creatures are generally diurnal animals because that's when their colors are going to be seen.

 

Theory 9: Thunderclaw wing claws are used for mating. Thunderclaws have claws on their wings. Given the Thunderclaw's biology - running on the ground or flying - these claws don't seem very useful, but perhaps they are positioned in such a way that they can take a light grip on something, so maybe they are used in mating.

 

Theory 10: Thunderclaws don't mate for life. Most other dragons don't seem to, so I don't think Thunderclaws do, either. Also, if we continue comparing them to cattle or even reptiles that use their tongues to scent the air like Thunderclaws, none of those animals mate for life, either.

 

Theory 11: Thunderclaws breed annually. Other dragons seem to, so Thunderclaws probably do, too.

 

Theory 12: Thunderclaw eggs are colored for camouflage and found in nests on the ground. According to Dragons: Rise of BerkThunderclaw eggs are various shades of brown with a patterning to them. In nature, these are perfect colors to camouflage eggs in a that are in a dirt- or ground-based location in the environment, so I'm pretty sure these eggs are meant to camouflaged and Thunderclaws lay them in nests that are situated on the ground (as opposed to atop rocky cliffs or in trees or something like that).

 

Theory 13: Thunderclaws grow up very quickly. Other dragons are shown to grow up quickly, so Thunderclaws probably do as well.

 

Theory 14: The Thunderclaw's closest relatives are the Mudraker, Snafflefang, Shovelhelm, Rockstomper, Moldruffle, Snifflehunch, and Windgnasher. There are a number of dragons that share a similar body shape to the Thunderclaw because they were built by computers off of basically the same mess of traits. These are the Snafflefang, Shovelhelm, Snifflehunch, Windgnasher, Mudraker, Rockstomper, and Moldruffle, so these are probably the Thunderclaw's closest relatives. It's closest relative of all is probably the Mudraker, which has a similar skull and the same sail on the back. As a relative of the Snafflefang, that also makes it a distant relative of the Gronckle, Hotburple, Groncicle, and Catastrophic Quaken.

 

Theory 15: When a Thunderclaw eats glowing algae, it glows green. As mentioned for other dragons of this body type, I think the Thunderclaw glows green when it eats glowing algae. The reason is both the Rockstomper and Gronckle are shown to glow green when they eat glowing algae, as mentioned in my Shovelhelm theories, and these are both relatives of these dragons. These leads me to believe the color a dragon glows is based on its genetics, so related species glow similar colors. That would mean the Thunderclaw glows green when it eats this algae, too.

 

Theory 16: Thunderclaw Island is not forest. On Hiccup's map, we get a good look at Thunderclaw Island, which is almost certainly named for the Thunderclaw Island found there. Now this island is just shown to be a brown crescent on the map, not much else, which leads me to believe that this island does not have a lot of heavy foliage, unlike most of the islands in this franchise which are shown to have forests. This actually makes sense with the Thunderclaw's biology; if this is a dragon that runs about in rumbling herds, it would be prone to trampling vegetation, which would mean it's more likely to be found grasslands or rocky locations, not forests.

 

Theory 17: It frequently rains at Overcast Island. Overcast Island is an island in Dragons: Rise of Berk where the Thunderclaw can be found. Nothing is stated about this island, but we can infer from the name that it is often overcast over the island. Since it is cloudy so often there, I think it probably rains pretty frequently on that island.

 

Theory 18: Thunderclaws were discovered after the Rumblehorn's discovery but before the events of How to Train Your Dragon 2As mentioned in the Shovelhelm theories post months back, Hiccup didn't really show all that much surprise at the different species in Valka's Sanctuary. He wasn't running around asking what each type of dragon was. The only dragon he seemed unfamiliar with at all was the Bewilderbeast. This leads me to believe that these dragons, including Thunderclaws, were known to Hiccup and the other Berkians before the events of How to Train Your Dragon 2. However, Thunderclaws are members of the Tracker Class, a Class newly created by the Dragon Riders after the discovery of the Rumblehorn. So I think that the Thunderclaws had to have been a fairly recent discovery, found sometime after the discovery of the Rumblehorn Skullcrusher.

 

Theory 19: Drago's many Thunderclaws are from Thunderclaw Island, and he has so many because they live in herds. So here's an interesting question: why are most of Drago's dragons Thunderclaws? We know he actually has many different species in his dragon army, but Thunderclaws are by far the most prominent, even the 20 or so years ago when Drago first came to Berk to make his ultimatum to Stoick the Vast. So...are Thunderclaws just Drago's favorite dragon? What's the deal here?

 

I think there's actually multiple reasons for this. For one thing, if you look at Thunderclaw Island on Hiccup's map in relation to Eret's Fort, it is very close by, just a little to the northeast. Being an island very close to where the dragon trappers working for Drago set up their base, I've no doubt Eret and his crew commonly hunted there. This would keep Thunderclaws in constant supply for Drago's army for awhile. But I also think Thunderclaws being herd dragons plays a lot into their numbers among Drago's ranks. For one thing, the fact that they live in herds would probably make trapping a lot of them at once very easy. For another, it would also make them very easy to control and dominate, as they would be used to following some sort of leader and working together with that leader. Now they are far from the only pack dragons in the franchise, but they are probably the most ideal pack dragons for this. Singetails and Changewings are difficult to control, Deadly Nadders are flighty, Speed Stingers can't fly, and Night Terrors, Terrible Terrors, Smothering Smokebreaths, and Fireworms are tiny. Of the dragons that tend to live in large groups, Thunderclaws are the perfect mix of docile and friendly and powerful and intimidating, making them easy to turn into mass-group weapons.

 

Theory 20: Drago's Thunderclaws are more dully colored than Valka's because of mistreatment. One of the things you'll notice about Drago's Thunderclaws is they tend to have much duller colors than Valka's Thunderclaws. The Wiki has suggested the theory that perhaps this is because Drago's theories aren't getting the best treatment in terms of exercise, sunshine, and/or diet, and I think that makes a lot of sense.

 

Theory 21: Aurvandil is albino. One of the Thunderclaw characters introduced in Dragons: Rise of Berk is Aurvandil, and I personally think, based on this dragon's coloration, that he's probably albino. Though not pure white, this Thunderclaw is extremely pale in color and even has white or grey eyes rather than the typical yellow. This very much matches the effects of albinism in some reptiles such as leopard geckos and ball pythons.

 

 

 

And that's all I have on Thunderclaws! As always, feel free to mention whether you agree, disagree, or have anything to add.

 

Next week, we will be doing a request from Lack Lunarson: the Boneknapper! Now this should be interesting!

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#AddtheThunderclawtoSoD

Wow! Great job! This makes me want Thunderclaws in SoD even more!

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^_^

Oh, gosh, I would love to have Thunderclaws in SoD!

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Boneknapper Theories

Boneknapper Theories

 

Today, we're doing theories on a dragon requested by Lack Lunarson: the Boneknapper!

 

The Boneknapper is simultaneously a very early dragon in this franchise and very prominent but also mentioned spearingly. It's very, very briefly mentioned in the first movie and is one of the dragons in the Book of Dragons short, the Book of Dragons book, and Dragons: Ultimate Guide to the Dragons. It's also a dragon in games Dragon Training Academy, Dragons: Rise of Berk, and School of Dragons, even getting a blurb on the website of that last one. It also had a brief cameo in some of the comics. But for all of the material it's been in, it's only been in the limelight once: its own stand-alone short, Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon. It was an interesting dragon to research, to say the least.

 

As far as the dragon itself, I really like this guy and find it quite fascinating! Hopefully my theories portray it well!

 

Theory 1: The Boneknapper's blind spot is behind it. With eyes facing forward and a helmet-like skull on its head, the Boneknapper's biggest blind spot will be behind it, for its eyes aren't oriented for a wide vision range.

 

Theory 2: The Boneknapper is primarily a scavenger. Boneknappers probably can eat fish, but seeing as they cover themselves primarily in the bones of other dragons, I think they're mostly scavengers, like Grim Gnashers. They eat whatever dead and dying they can find, sometimes stripping the flesh off the very bones they intend to wear.

 

Theory 3: Different Boneknappers may build armor from the bones of different types of dragons. Many people attempt to figure out what skull the Boneknapper wears. I think they most closely resemble the skull of an Armorwing or Monstrous Nightmare for the upper jaw and perhaps a Scauldron for the lower jaw or possibly the lower jaw of another Boneknapper, and perhaps these are the dragons whose skulls are most likely to be used due to how well they fit. But honestly, I don't think we are meant to pinpoint any specific dragons. I think different Boneknappers wear different bones of different dragons, each designing their own unique armor. So why does every Boneknapper appear to have the same skull? ...Repeated computer models are the easiest way to represent a dragon species.

 

Theory 4: The Boneknapper uses bones to press on a pressure point on its chest so it can roar properly. In Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon, Gobber's Nemesis can't roar until he retrieves the bone he needs from Gobber. Seeing as the mechanism for terrestrial vertebrates like reptiles to make sound is all internal, this seems very strange. So I decided to look at how certain animals produce sound to see if I could find an explanation.

 

Mammals like us use our larynx to produce noises, but since dragons are reptiles, I decided to look at reptiles instead. In truth, most reptiles don't make many noises. Outside of a few grunts and hisses, the majority of lizards, snakes, turtles, and crocodilians are mute, with only a few thousand species being particularly vocal. Many of the fairly silent ones even lack vocal cords. So, given that and the Boneknapper's bird-like body shape, I think the best place to look for how a Boneknapper might produce noise is to look at the feathered, warm-blooded reptiles, the birds.

 

Birds produce sound thanks to a mechanism called the syrinx, which is quite different from a mammal's larynx. Rather than being in the throat, it is located in the brea.st where the trachea branches into the lungs. Noise is produced by vibrating the membrana tympaniformis - the walls of the larynx - and the pessulus, a piece of cartilage stretched across the first pair of bronchial cartilages, the cartilage that supports the branches of the lungs.

 

Now this mechanism should produce sound without anything external, as it does in birds and possibly most dragons in this franchise. But what if the dragon can't produce enough tension to vibrate the membrana tympaniformis without something pressing against the chest where the syrinx is located? That may be what is going on with the Boneknapper and why it needs its chest properly covered in bone in order to be able to roar.

 

Theory 5: The Boneknapper's main strategy of defense is actually fear. Bone is a weird choice for armor. Yes, it is a lot stronger than skin. It's not a bad choice for armor if you have an Armor stat of 2, which is what the Boneknapper has without its armor. (It's described as being a bit like a big boneless chicken in that form.) But still, bone armor is not...great. Dead bone is a dry and brittle material, and animals like dragons that are shown to be able to bite through living bone would have no trouble breaking through dead bone. Its armor would also be extremely easy to smash and break off. I doesn't make sense that a dragon would evolve to cover itself with this material rather than simply evolving better stealth (like the equally soft-skinned Changewing did) or evolving tougher skin...unless the armor serves another purpose aside from just being armor.

 

In one of his videos on his YouTube channel Hello Future Me, Tim Hickson suggested that Boneknappers use their bones not just for armor but also intimidation. He pointed out that, according to Dragons: Rise of Berk, the Boneknapper's bone-collecting behavior makes them "unpopular with other dragons." This makes sense, since dragons are shown to care about the remains of their dead and view them as an almost sacred remnant of past dragons and the Boneknapper wearing them shows a blatant disregard for this. Some animals also have a natural aversion to their own dead (we humans do, for example) which is a survival mechanism meant to keep us away from the danger that killed whatever else killed our kind, so other dragons may keep away from the Boneknapper simply because they find it unsettling. Furthermore, if I'm right about the Boneknapper eating dead and dying dragons, then dragons may want to avoid it simply because they don't want to be around a dragon that is willing to eat them. Whatever the case, other dragons would find the Boneknapper to actually be kind of scary.

 

Tim goes on to point out that the Boneknapper's other traits also match this idea that the Boneknapper's survival strategy relies on it being intimidating. This is a huge dragon, able to rival the Stormcutter in size, and its loud, thunderous sonic roar would be quite threatening. In fact, its roar is so loud some claim it can "rip the flesh from your bones"...which, given the Boneknapper's desire for your bones, may be true to an extent, but most likely it just might permanently deafen you. The only dragons that are more likely to burst your eardrums are probably the Thunderdrum, Screaming Death, and possibly the Alpha Shadow Wing, but otherwise, the Boneknapper would probably win a yelling contest.

 

All of these traits - its size, its roar, and its appearance as a walking skeleton - would make the Boneknapper pretty scary even when it's not trying to be. This may also explain its calm and friendly nature; an animal that looks and sounds super threatening already does not generally need to act aggressively on top of that in order to keep nefarious characters away from it. It would also match my theory of them being scavengers, since many land-based scavengers are large and intimidating so they can claim carcasses. (Just look at the big lions, which steal/scavenge 70% of everything they eat, as opposed to the smaller hyenas, which hunt 50% of their own food. Yeah, lions are the real bullies of the Serengeti...Disney.)

 

(To see Tim Hickson's full video, go to this link. I will reference this video again later in this post, too.)

 

Theory 6: Boneknappers have a methane-based fire. It's been pointed out multiple times that the Boneknapper's fire resembles the Red Death's fire. For this reason, I think their fire is made up of the same material, so since the Red Death's fire is composed of methane, than the Boneknapper's fire is probably also composed of methane.

 

Theory 7: Boneknappers are diurnal. The only time we see Boneknappers active is during the day, and in order for their intimidation factor to work, they need to be easily visible. So I think these dragons are diurnal.

 

Theory 8: Boneknappers have a good memory that they use for detective work. Boneknappers are said to hunt down the perfect bone for their armor at all costs. This is pretty intense. Gobber's Nemesis even follows Gobber for years. But despite this, these dragons aren't Tracker Class. While it's said they have excellent hunting instincts, at no point are they said to be particularly good at tracking. Also, the fact that Gobber's Nemesis only encounters Gobber properly a handful over times over about 30 years indicates that he's actually not the best tracker around. So what makes Boneknappers such good hunters, and how do they keep finding the bone they want or the being in possession of that bone? I think it's a combination of severe determination and a good memory. Boneknappers probably have very average senses of smell, sight, and hearing for a dragon, which is still more sensitive than the senses of a human, and they remember sights, sounds, and smells very well. Their persistence also allows them to follow these clues with extreme fixation. Boneknappers aren't amazing trackers because of any natural ability; rather, they are ambitious detectives!

 

Theory 9: Boneknappers don't mate for life. Most dragons don't seem to mate for life, so I don't think Boneknappers do, either. Also, they are said by the franchise to be solitary creatures.

 

Theory 10: Boneknappers breed annually. Most other dragons seem to, so Boneknappers probably do as well.

 

Theory 11: Boneknappers like to nest in caves and caverns. In a School of Dragons quest, the player finds a Boneknapper mother and her offspring at a boney nest in the Whispering Death tunnels under Berk. This not only tells us that Boneknappers build their nest from bones as well as their armor and that mothers dress their offspring in their first bone coats, but it also seems to indicate that Boneknappers like dark, hidden places for nesting, such as caves and caverns where they can hide away.

 

Theory 12: Boneknappers grow up very quickly. Other dragons seem to, so Boneknappers probably do as well.

 

Theory 13: The Boneknapper is related to the Armorwing and Sword Stealer and more distantly related to the Monstrous Nightmare. Also, debunking the theory that Boneknappers and Armorwings are the same dragon. The Boneknapper has been theorized many times to be a relative of the Amorwing and Sword Stealer, including in the video by Tim Hickson that I mentioned up above (Theory 5), and I agree very much with it. These dragons have a similar body type and coat themselves in armor, so I think they stem from a common ancestor. The Sword Stealer and Armorwing probably share more relation with each other than either does with the Boneknapper, but the Armorwing is probably the Boneknapper's closest relative of the two, given that they both have their eyes in the same place on their skulls. Armorwings also share some similarities with the Monstrous Nightmare, which makes me think this is a more distant Boneknapper relative. The Nightmare is also said to be Terrible Terror relative, which is a cousin to the Night Terror, and I've theorized before that the Nightmare is also related to the Typhoomerang, Silver Phantom, and Timberjack, so I believe all these dragons are also even more distant relatives to the Boneknapper.

 

Now there has been a theory among some fan circles that the Boneknapper and Armorwing are actually the same species of dragon, and Armorwings are just individuals that "evolved" to wear armor. First off...that's not the proper use of the word "evolve." Evolution is the changing of genes within a population of organisms. Populations evolve; individuals do not. (Basically, don't take your definition from Pokemon; they had a very terrible English translation, in the case of this word.) But even that aside, these two dragons definitely are not the same species. They not only have different armor but also very different sizes and fire types. Also, Boneknappers don't have horns unless they are wearing a skull with horns. (The Book of Dragons' picture of a boneless Boneknapper shows a dragon that more closely resembles a Sword Stealer.) So these two are not the same dragon. But as stated before, I do think they are close relatives of one another.

 

Theory 14: Boneknappers aren't allowed on Vanaheim. Vanaheim is guarded by the Sentinel dragons, which keep away intruders, keep old dragons from leaving, and even defend ailing and dead dragons from being consumed by the Grim Gnashers (which I get the ailing part, but what's wrong with giving the Grim Gnashers a dead dragon meal before you light the funeral pyre, eh? ...Anyway.) There are bones in burial mounds all over this island, which the Sentinels place themselves after cremating dead dragons. This should be a Boneknapper's paradise. But given how protective and aggressive the Sentinels are and given how they treat bones almost as sacred remains and my previous theory about how Boneknappers might scavenge dead dragons, I doubt the Sentinels would allow Boneknappers anywhere near the dead remains they guard. In fact, they probably view them with the same condemnation they view the carrion-eating Grim Gnashers with.

 

Just let my dear scavengers scavenge, you stony-hearted gargoyles! (Get it, 'cause Sentinels are stony and look like gargoyles...I'll shut up now.)

 

Theory 15: Dragons go to Graveyard Island when they are either not descended from the flocks that traditionally go to Vanaheim, they can't reach Vanaheim because it's much further away, or because they were kicked out of Vanaheim. Now this theory is actually referencing another theory from my Bewilderbeast theories page, which you can see here. That theory was another made by Tim Hickson rather than myself, but basically the idea was that Vanaheim became a sacred resting place for dragons because an old dragon king Bewilderbeast died there, and the descendants of his flock continue to come there to hideever since. However, Vanaheim is not the only resting place for dragons in the franchise. In fact, it's not even the first. The first is Dragon Graveyard Island. Dragons: Rise of Berk describes this island like so: "Scattered amongst the dark sandy beaches are bones of forgotten dragons. But you better not take one, or the Boneknapper will have a bone to pick with you!"

 

Now I know what some may say: "This island being in Dragons: Rise of Berk doesn't mean anything, the TV show confirmed that dragons hideat Vanaheim, the TV show is more canon than the game, ect." And mind you, it is true I trust the show more than the games...but Dragon Graveyard Island doesn't come from the games, not originally. It actually comes from the short Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon, which was made by people who worked on the first film, so honestly, I trust it a lot more than I trust the TV show. There's even an island at the very edge of Hiccup's map from the official website that seems to be the Dragon Graveyard as it appeared in the show:

 

Dragon Graveyard Map 2 by WhispertheWolfie

 

This island also appears in the second movie, though its identity as the Dragon Graveyard is not so obvious:

 

<br/><a  data-cke-saved-href="http://oi63.tinypic.com/16itwe1.jpg" href="http://oi63.tinypic.com/16itwe1.jpg" target="_blank">View Raw Image</a>

 

But regardless of the maps, even just looking at the short, canonically it's been proven; Vanaheim isn't the only place dragons go to die, and Hiccup and his Dragon Riders know that because they've been to both islands. Or at the very least, Vanaheim isn't the only island with piles of dead bones of dead dragons.

 

Now if you look at the map, Dragon Graveyard Island appears to be incredibly far east compared to Vanaheim, if this far-east cut off island really is the right one. For this reason, I think this is an alternate resting place for dragons. It may be a place where dragons go to hidewhen they can't make the journey all the way to Vanaheim but can make the journey to the Dragon Graveyard due to distance. It may also be the case that the Dragon Graveyard is for dragons that aren't descended from the flocks of the ancient Bewilderbeast of Vanaheim and so don't have a tradition of doing there.

 

There may also be something slightly more sinister about the Dragon Graveyard. Rise of Berk called the bones of the dead here "forgotten dragons." They are scattered, lost to time...and used by Boneknappers as fashion accessories. Compare this to Vanaheim, where the bones of the dead are put in sacred burial mounds and guarded by the Sentinel dragons, remembered and treated with reverence. So perhaps, along with the other reasons I mentioned, the Dragon Graveyard may also be an alternate resting place for dragons who aren't "allowed" on Vanaheim. This would be dragons that have been seen as foes by the Sentinels for some transgression that they knew about from their own kind some how. For example, perhaps Grim Gnashers and Boneknappers themselves are condemned to this resting place. I think this case would generally be rare, though, and the above cases are far more likely to explain the piles of bones here.

 

Theory 16: Gobber's stories about Boneknapper encounters didn't actually happen...at least, not the way he told them. In Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon, Gobber has a lot of stories about his episodic adventures running from the Boneknapper. They include frozen Vikings punching him the face, meeting a hammerhead yak and a hammerhead whale, and even encountering Thor. I don't think these happened quite the way Gobber told them. I think he did a lot of embellishing here, which means the events he told aren't entirely reliable. It would fit with his character. But at least we do know he wasn't lying about that Boneknapper.

 

Theory 17: The Vikings in the glacier were frozen by a Bewilderbeast. This theory is not actually mine but suggested theory by Lack Lunarson (the requester for this dragon). Their suggestion is that the Vikings in the glacier Gobber found were frozen by a Bewilderbeast. This would make sense since the Vikings appear to have been frozen almost instantly, given how they were frozen. Again, I think one of them punching Gobber in the face was just an embellishment on Gobber's part, but the Bewilderbeast is still the best explanation for how those Vikings got in that glacier in the first place.

 

Theory 18: Phil di.ed, most likely as dragon chow. In Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon, Gobber has a faithful sheep companion named Phil, who he treats a lot like the way he would eventually treat Grump. However, this is the only material Phil appears in, and I have a grim explanation for that...I think Phil di.ed. He either di.ed of old age - sheep only live about 10 years - or he was killed for someone's dinner, be it Viking or dragon. Given how he wasn't seen in the first film, indicating he wasn't old, and given how fond Gobber was of him, I think getting eaten by a dragon was the most likely end for him. (Poor Gobber. At least now he has Grump.)

 

 

 

And that's all I have on Boneknappers! As always, feel free to say whether you agree, disagree, or have anything to add!

 

Next week, we'll be doing a request from Oda: the Raincutter!

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Theories

Well done Whisper!

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Why would I need a subject?

Well done! :) You've got to love Gobber's storytelling skills! XD

~Ginger

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Thanks, guys!

Thanks, guys!

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Hi! :)

I have a question and one statement sort of related to this. How do you figure an animal's possible traits and behavior on apperance alone?

 

As for the statement I forgot to mention I officially became an animal science major this year (along with my art minor). :D

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From Anatomy to Life History

Ooh, congratulations! ^_^

 

Figuring out an animal's potential traits and behavior based on appearance...uuuuhhhh, so I kind of got carried away and wrote a very long answer. Like I always do, I suppose. I guess consider it a thorough answer. XD

 

In the real world with living observable animals, the truth is we rarely do this...or at least, rarely only do this. We usually observe behaviors in animals to learn about what makes their physical traits useful rather than the other way around. Sometimes people make hypotheses about behaviors based on appearance, but if possible, these are quickly tested in the field through observation. But of course, when you're working with extinct animals or animals that are hard to locate and observe, that tends to be when we play the guessing game of, "This animal looks like this, so what does that mean about what it did?"

 

So first and foremost, when looking at an animal and trying to recreate how it would behave, the base of it is breaking the animal down to its individual traits and then saying to yourself, "Okay, what could the animal be doing that would make these traits useful?" You take it trait by trait, if you can, and you go from there. And the more your picture grows from figuring out basic things, the more you can put traits together and their broad behaviors together to form a fuller, more detailed picture.

 

Sometimes the answers are obvious: sharp pointed teeth = meat-eater, long legs = good runner, wings = flying animal, ect. Some are a bit more nuanced but still pretty easy to figure out; for example, large claws on the forelimbs of a small, torpedo-shaped body generally mean the animal was a burrower. And some are things that come with experience; it's intuitive that long necks are good for reaching up or down for things, but some might not know that long necks on flying animals specifically are almost always used for getting food in water.

 

Other traits can be very strange or nuanced, like tusks or horns or a weird-shaped skull. If the trait's use isn't obvious or at least something typical, generally scientists turn to animals we know of that have those traits or traits similar to those to see what they do with those traits. Then we theorize that perhaps this other animal that we can't observe used the trait for a similar, if not the same, behavior. For example, when paleontologist saw the thick skull of Pachycephalosaurus, they theorized that dinosaur may have use this helmeted skull to butt heads like many modern-day bovids with hard skulls and horns do today, such as bighorn sheep and musk oxen. Or, what if you find an animal with a hump? And sometimes we may extrapolate further; if an extinct or rare animal shares a similar environment and many similar traits with an observable animal that indicate similar behaviors, we may hypothesize that they had similar niches and led a very similar lifestyle. (I used the word "similar" way too much in that sentence...)

 

Still other times, we look at the animal's closest relatives, and if we don't have a DNA analysis, the traits of the animal are used to classify it so we know what its closest relatives probably are. Using dinosaurs again as an example, paleontologists look at a lot of bird and crocodilian behaviors to see what traits crop up in the living archosaur branch. For species such as the recently extinct golden toad (declared extinct in 1989), we have the luxury of observing really close living relatives with similar habitats and nearly identical anatomy.

 

Physics are also applied when coming up with hypotheses for an animal's behavior based on an its anatomy. Say you want to know how fast an animal runs, but all you have are its bones? Using mathematics, you can figure out where muscle attachments probably were and therefore estimate a weight, then figure out the animal's center of gravity based on its stance and musculature, then estimate how strong its legs were and how wide its stride was, and from there you can theorize a possible walking and running speed. Similarly you can use bone structure to figure out if an animal could or could not stand up on its hind legs. Or when looking at a flying animal that seems too big to take off from a standstill, you know just from the physics that the animal had to have some sort of jump or drop-off to get the necessary thrust to get in the air, which tells you they had some special take-off manuever.

 

And finally, it's important to note that the natural world is full of contradictions or weird things that may never have another equivalent. We now know we were wrong about Pachycephalasaurus; while the comparitive method led us to believe they head-butted each other, physics has come forward to say that doing so would cause too much brain trauma and kill them in a few blows. And what were the plates on a stegasaurus for? Thermal regulation? Tricking predators into thinking it's even bigger? Se.xual attraction? A combination there-of? The world may never know. (I think it's a conspiracy to keep paleontologists arguing forever.) XD

 

Knowing all that, it may come as no surprise that doing all this without any outside info can still feel like you're waving your hands frantically in the dark hoping to eventually grasp something (hence why theories on dinosaur behaviors are constantly changing or being challenged). It's far more helpful if you have even a little outside information about the animal aside from just the appearance, even if you can't directly observe their behavior in their environment.

 

Any documents about the animal's behavior that you can review can help you figure out if you're headed down the right track with your behavioral hypotheses...though depending on the source, you may or may not have to take those documents with a grain of salt. (Documents for extinct animals, for example, may include non-scientific, biased accounts, like those of the dodo bird or moa bird, or it may include very reliable scientific papers, like those describing the golden toad.) Even if these accounts don't answer your questions fully, they can give you clues to head down the right path. If you have a trait that could be used for multiple things, you may use an account to say, "Well, I have this trait that could be used for something with trees or something different in water. This account says this animal was observed sitting in water, so this trait was most likely used for the behavior involving water!"

 

Knowing the animal's environment is also a huge help. Different physical traits may be used for different things in different environments. For example, large claws in a forest environment could be for climbing or hooking branches to pull them down, while large claws in a desert environment are more likely to be the claws of a digger. Or, going back to the previous vague example, if you have a trait that could have something to do with either trees or water and you know trees weren't much of a thing in that environment but water was...well, now you know what hypothesis to go with. That sort of thing. Environments can also help you find things you may have overlooked; for example, if you have a very big animal that you know lived/lives in an extremely arid environment, you may want to try to find a trait that would help the animal store food resources.

 

And finally, if you have the animal in a captive situation where you can observe its behavior in an unnatural setting, you can use how it responds to certain stimuli to determine what sort of things it naturally faces in its environment. If it seems interested in chasing things, it's probably a chase predator. If it prefers to stalk and pounce on things, it's probably a stalking predator. If it's very docile, it probably has little reason to be aggressive, either because it has few predators or it has a built-in defense mechanism such as venom or poison. If it is quite flighty, it is probably an animal that is hunted regularly and flees to avoid danger. So on, so forth. But these do need to be taken with care. Traditionally a lot of captive studies were done to theorize things even about commonly observed wild animals, but some have led to some very faulty conclusions due to the captive environment, or social changes made in that environment, having a bigger influence on the animal's behavior than previously anticipated. For example, the study that led us to theorizing about wolves having a pecking order with alphas, betas, ect. for their pack structure was from a captive study...but one with a bunch of young unrelated wolves thrown together to sort themselves out Lord of the Flies-style, all without any need for cooperative hunting. We now know this study to be incorrect, and it's all because we didn't have the cooperative, family-related pack structure of a wild wolf pack in the captive study.

 

Once you have everything you can gather, you use more than one technique at a time to put it all together and build a piece of life history for the animal. Let's say you have an animal that is very big and lives in an arid environment...a woolly mammoth, perhaps. It has a hump. You consider what other animals have humps and you think of muscle humps, like that on a bull or moose, or perhaps a fat storage hump, like a camel, and apply the one that makes the most sense for your animal. Well, since it's big and lives in an arid enviroment, it probably needs to store up some fat pretty often, so it's probably a fat storage hump. That means that when they come across food, they probably gorge themselves to build up that storage as much as possible and then may experience long stretches without food. Given their size and the fact that their environment is also rather spacious and sparse, they probably traveled very far to find food. You figure from its structure that it can travel about as fast and as long as its living relative of the same size, the African elephant, which will migrate huge distances annually if it dwells in deserts. Also, you know that woolly mammoths are herbivores from their teeth and you know they lived in very snowy locations and that herbivore food is scarce in winter. So you know the hump was probably used to help get through winter but the mammoth still needed to find at least a little something even then. So you look at what other herbivores who live in snowy locations do to find food to eat. They often dig through the snow. Elephants will sometimes use their tusks for rooting, which mammoths also have, so you theorize the mammoth must dig through the snow using its tusks.

 

Putting it all together: from the mammoth's hump, teeth, size, environment, knowledge of its living relatives, and knowledge of living animals with similar traits or similar habitats and diets, you have hypothesized that the woolly mammoth ate huge amounts of food in one sitting when available, could survive long stretches with only little amounts of food by storing fat in its hump, would most likely migrate to various food sources throughout the year, and would find what food it could in winter by digging through the snow with its tusks. All that from some frozen carcass someone dug up in Siberia and dumped on your dissection table.

 

Key word is still "hypothesized," not proven. Can't prove it if you don't see it. But hey, if you did it right, you're probably right. And if you're not, some evidence will probably pop up eventually to debunk you. :P

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Thank you! :D

Your long detailed answer was very informative and interesting. I was mainly curious because I created a fictional species and wasn't sure about habitat, behavior, etc. so I wondered what if you went off of design alone? I'm also not sure what kind of animal career I'd like to do yet but I'd like to study and learn more about animals they're quite fascinating and that's why I like reading your dragon theories. :)

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Thank YOU! :D

Yeah, for fictional animals, it's mainly taking those techniques you use with real animals and being more...eh, creative with them, let's say. ;) Same rules apply, but you're not worried about real animal relations as strongly and there aren't really wrong answers so long as you can adequately explain it.

 

Oh, thank you! ^_^

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Raincutter Theories

Raincutter Theories

 

Today's theories were requested by Oda for the Raincutter!

 

I have a lot of love for this dragon, and I can't entirely explain why. It does have a lovable personality with its intelligence, dorkiness, and inclination for gratitude. It also is a high-flying dragon that can soar even through the most intense storms. I also think many of the colorations it comes in are just beautiful. But mostly, I think I came to love it so much because I became very fond of my own Raincutter in Dragons: Rise of Berk, same way having a Deadly Nadder starter in School of Dragons and Dragons: Wild Skies made me overly fond of Deadly Nadders. Still, there is a lot to love about this dragon even on an objective level, what with all the reasons I mentioned. It's one of my favorite Sharp Class dragons and perhaps one of my favorite dragons in general!

 

Even so, this is another one of my shorter theory lists. It seems clear by now that, except in rare cases, my love for a dragon has little impact on whether I have more or less theories on a dragon; it simply depends on what information I can draw from. Still, I hope I was still able to add a bit to the lore of the Raincutter!

 

Theory 1: The Raincutter's bulk helps stabilize its flight in heavy winds. According to the franchise, Raincutters have their many fins and back sail in order to make this bulky dragon a swift and agile flyer, and to a point, I think that makes sense. But the back sail still doesn't make sense with this dragon flying through maelstroms. The Raincutter is said to swiftly fly through rain, snow, and sleet and even prefers cold and wet conditions to warm and dry conditions. But storms such as they can often generate high winds, which would catch in the sail and potentiall blow the Raincutter off course or even blow it over. This is why sailing vessels bring in their sails when caught out in a storm. But perhaps the Raincutter can counteract this with its bulky, pot-belly body. This bulk keeps it from being so easily blown over by the wind.

 

Theory 2: The Raincutter's blind spot is under its chin. The Raincutter has quite a sizable chin. I doubt it will be able to see around that. Also, it has tendrils on the underside of its chin, indicating that it may need to make up for the fact that it can't see there. So let's talk about those tendrils next.

 

Theory 3: The Raincutter's tendrils on its chin are stingers, which they use to immobilize its food. In its promotion for the its release of the Raincutter, School of Dragons stated the Raincutter has "ferocious stingers." I originally figured this was a mistake, but as it turns out, that might actually be the case. The Raincutter does have a Venom statistic of 6, so stingers would make sense with its stats. So the next question is, is there a logical place for the Raincutter to have stingers? Well, what about those tendrils on its chin? They could very well be venomous stingers much like the tentacles of a jellyfish!

 

The next question then is, what are these stingers for. Well, they may be used to immobilize any grubs it is scooping up out of the wet mud, much how jellyfish immobilize the prey they catch in their tentacles.

 

Theory 4: Raincutters use their wing claws to help them scrape the ground for grubs and, like some birds, they will tap their feet very lightly on the ground a little to draw worms and grubs closer to the surface. I actually got this idea from some fanart. Raincutters are one of many dragons that have claws on their wings, and their wings are actually large enough that these claws can easily touch the ground when the Raincutter is on all fours. Since they grab worms and grubs during rain weather, what if they sometimes use their wing claws to dig them up? The franchise says they use their long necks to dip their heads up and scoop up loose, wet dirt, but this method wouldn't always guarantee you get enough grubs, and for an animal as big as a Raincutter, sometimes you may need to dig a little deeper to get just enough food...literally dig a little deeper.

 

It's also been suggested by a friend of mine, BeckyL97 on DeviantArt, that Raincutters may tap their feet on the ground a little to try to reach grubs. This will cause vibrations in the soil, which lures worms toward the surface. Many worm-eating birds use this technique, stomping their feet on the ground to achieve this. Given how much bigger Raincutters are, they wouldn't need to stomp so much as tap, but they may very well use a similar technique, especially if it's not raining enough to be drawing the worms to the surface the way the Raincutter would like.

 

Theory 5: Raincutters have grease-based fireballs. Raincutter fireballs are said to be "rain-resistant," indicating they're quite difficult to put out with water. This, to me, indicates a grease fire. A grease fire is a fire with an oil (grease) fuel base that is non-polar and therefore repels water, which is polar, so it will continue burning even if it is exposed to water. In fact, if the fire is on a surface, the water may sink below the oil before it evaporates and therefore ends up spreading the oil, and thereby spreading the fire. This means that if a Raincutter sets something on fire, water won't be able to put out the flames and may actually make the fire worse!

 

Theory 6: Raincutters don't mate for life. Most other dragons don't, so I'm assuming Raincutters don't.

 

Theory 7: Raincutters grow up very quickly. Most other dragons do, so I'm assuming Raincutters do.

 

Theory 8: Raincutters are social creatures and are not heavily territorial. Raincutters are shown to be very friendly and understanding dragons who are very much into showering gratitude on those who are good to them. This rather benevolent attitude leads me to believe that this is a rather social animal. Also, Raincutters are shown to be comfortable living in groups in the franchise. We see a number of Raincutters, including Thump, fitting right in with Valka's Bewilderbeast's flock, and Icecutter apparently likes being part of the Bewilderbeast's flock in Dragons: Rise of Berk. Puddlemuck, meanwhile, (another Raincutter from Dragons: Rise of Berk) likes to play games even as an adult, which is a very social behavior. All-in-all, this dragon seems like a team player who values their friendships, and so it's hard to picture it living alone all the time.

 

Theory 9: Raincutters have a daredevil side to their personality. Raincutters are said by School of Dragons to be "only for those who enjoy a high-flying winged companion!" Dragons: Rise of Berk has also stated that Raincutters "love playing games." These things lead me to believe that the Raincutter is okay with being something of a thrill-seeker. So any Viking interested in a Raincutter...keep that in mind. ;)

 

Theory 10: The Raincutter's relatives include the Threadtail, Hobblegrunt, Thornridge, Devilish Dervish, Windstriker, Prickleboggle, and more distantly, the Scauldron, Razorwhip, and Shivertooth. The Raincutters shares a similar body model with the Threadtail, Hobblegrunt, Prickleboggle, Thornridge, Windstriker, and Devilish Dervish, so I think these dragons are relatives of the Raincutter. However, I think all these dragons are a bit more closely related to each other than any of them are to the Raincutter. I also think that the Raincutter and Scauldron have a similar enough shape to theorize that the two might have a genetic relationship as well, though a bit more distant than the other dragons I mentioned. Finally, the Razorwhip and Shivertooth also show distant relations by showing similarities to dragons like the Windstriker and Thornridge.

 

Theory 11: When the Raincutter eats glowing algae, it glows green. In School of Dragons, we learn that Razorwhips glow green when they eat glowing algae. So since the Raincutter is probably a Razorwhip relative, I think they do as well.

 

Theory 12: The Belching Bog is a bog that releases a lot of bog gas. The Belching Bog is a location in Dragons: Rise of Berk where, so far, you can find Raincutters and only Raincutters. This location has been given no description whatsoever from the game, but we know from the name that it's a bog. I think it may get the "Belching" part of its name from bog gas. Also know as marsh gas or swamp gas, depending on what wetland you are located in, bog gas is biogas produced by rotting materials in marshlands. (It's this gas that often makes wetlands so smelly.) The gas includes hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide, but the main component is methane, which...to put bluntly, is also the main gas component of burps and farts. Bog gas often escapes the bog in gas bubbles released from the muck and mud, so it's almost like the bog is "belching."

 

Bonus: Debunking the "Raincutters behave more like Tidal Class dragons than Sharp Class dragons" theory. I originally wasn't going to comment on this, but honestly, after searching around the fandom for Raincutter headcanons this week, I kept coming across this, so I feel I have to address it. And I admit...I don't get it.

 

The idea that Raincutters are more like Tidal Class dragons than Sharp Class dragons is reiterated throughout the fandom like it's fact, and...I just don't think they do. Do people think this because "rain" is water? Is it because they have a similar body shape to the Scauldron?

 

So let's just break this down. The Tidal Class is described by the franchise as "ferocious" and "vicious," though they don't go after humans generally unless disturbed. They are described as some of the most wild dragons and notoriously difficult to train. They tend to have breathe weapons that are not fire and generally gorge on fish. Most of them need to keep their skin moist to stay healthy. Of course, there are exceptions to all of these in the class, but that's the stereotypical Tidal Class description. As for the only real criteria, what truly makes a dragon a Tidal Class dragon would be the fact that they need to live in or near the ocean.

 

Pretty much none of that matches the Raincutter, not the stereotype or the criteria. Raincutters are understanding and easily give out gratitude. They are fairly easy to train. They can breathe blasts of water, but their main firepower is blasts of rain-resistant fire. They don't eat fish but instead eat grubs from the soil. While they prefer wet conditions and some even like to soak in icy pools, they don't live in water and they don't up and di.e if their skin dries out. And they don't need to live anywhere near the ocean; in fact, they prefer temperate rainforests. The only thing they seem to share with the Tidal Class is that they're both based around the "water" element, I guess.

 

But what's interesting to me is that School of Dragons says the Raincutter is only for those who want a "high-flying companion." While high flying is something seen in multiple classes, the Tidal Class is usually not one of those. While a number of Tidal Class dragons are great flyers, most don't fly in the air much, instead swimming in the sea. The exceptions are the Windwalker and Sand Wraith, but which can both fly high, but they still prefer to be close to the water or buried in the beach sand respectively. The Raincutter's high flying, more than anything, just doesn't sound like typical Tidal Class dragon behavior.

 

Another argument I've heard is that, due to having a body type similar to a theropod dinosaur and possessing a sail on its back, the Raincutter is reminiscent of a Spinosaurus, which was a very aquatic predatory dinosaur. And if there was a dragon based on the behavior of a Spinosaurus, I'm sure it would be Tidal Class, for Spinosaurus is thought to have been a swimming fish-eater, likened very much to the earliest whales. But though the Raincutter looks somewhat like a Spinosaurus, it doesn't really act like one. A creature that spends time in rainforests eating worms and grubs and one able to reach high elevations is very different from the water-going, fish-hunting behavior of Spinosaurus.

 

All-in-all, the Raincutter does show a fondness for wetness, and according to Dragons: Rise of Berk, it can shoot water blasts. But everything else about it doesn't match typical Tidal Class behavior or even contradicts it.

 

Meanwhile, what do they need to do to be Sharp Class? Well, the franchise has stated that Sharp Class dragons tend to be large and intelligent, though not always. They also tend to be firebreathers, but they have a wide range of breath weapons. What they all are is prideful and possessing sharp anatomy. The Raincutter is not stated to be prideful; in fact, it is instead described as "dorky" by the franchise. So we only know it to be prideful only because it is a Sharp Class dragon, not the other way around. But they are large and very intelligent and breathe fire, like the Sharp stereotype. Also, they have their sharp fins and sail to earn their class designation. In truth, Sharp Class dragons are so diverse that it's hard to find any other "stereotypes" for the class, but the Raincutter meets all the criteria and stereotypes we have, or at least doesn't contradict them.

 

So no, I think it's safe to say that the Raincutter does not more closely resemble the Tidal Class in behavior compared to the Sharp Class. In fact, the Raincutter is pretty stereotypically Sharp Class. It just so happens to be a Sharp Class dragon that really likes the wet and can occasionally shoot water at things.

 

Now if you want to add Tidal Class dragon headcanon traits to your Raincutter, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You can make it behave more like a Tidal Class dragon in your fiction if you prefer that for your rain-themed dragon. I myself have played up the rain and water elements of my own Raincutter OC, Rainshed. (I mean, she's an AU character who's rider comes from the Water Kingdom...can't get more "water" than that.) But to say the Raincutter behaves like a Tidal Class dragon based on canon information...eh, not so much. That's stretching their water abilities at best.

 

 

 

And that's all I have on Raincutters! As always, feel free to say whether you agree, disagree, or have anything you'd like to add!

 

Next week, we'll be doing a request from Soulofthefoxy: the Changewing! Time for the mysterious dragon of invisibility!

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Changewing Theories

Changewing Theories

 

This week, we'll be looking at theories for a request from Soulofthefoxy: the Changewing! This dragon is probably my favorite Mystery Class dragon, so I had a lot of fun looking stuff up for it.

 

Interestingly, this is the only dragon I can think of where the social structure of their groups is basically confirmed. DreamWorks states they have a social structure like lion prides, which means we have group of females protected by a single male or a pair of males, with whom the females mate. We also know where the nest and how the pack protects their eggs. And we know what they eat, how they hunt, and where they live. So for this one, I'm mostly just looking at anatomy and geography. Still, I think I found some pretty interesting stuff. I got to delve into antennae, magic acid, and chromatophores! ...You'll see what those all are down below. Hope you enjoy!

 

Theory 1: Changewing's blind spot is underneath the horns on its cheeks. So the Changewing has these odd horns stick out of either side of its face, and the way their positions, I'm pretty sure they make some pretty obvious blind spots for the Changewing.

 

Theory 2: The Changewing's feelers help them feel out something's texture, and their leaf-like appendages can aid in camouflage. So Changewings have these...I guess antenna is what most of the fandom calls them? Some call them tendrils? I like the term "feelers" because, even though it sounds less cool than the other two but "antenna" refers to arthropods and "tendrils" refers to plants, while "feelers" are a nice blanket term (though they do kind of look like tendrils, but I digress). But anyway...what are they for? The Changewing has a Venom stat of 0, so they can't be stingers or anything like that, so...what?

 

I do think they work a little bit like an arthropod's antennae in that they sense the world around them, and I think they'd be the most useful for feeling texture. Changewings not only change the color of their skin to match their surroundings but also their texture. Perhaps these feelers help them get a more accurate "feel" (ha) for the texture of whatever they're blending into.

 

But if that's the case, why do these feelers have leaf-like appendages on them? Perhaps, being a forest dragon, these make a Changewing seem more like its forest. Now they don't really need to have added camouflage like this when they can literally change their scales at will, but we get the impression from the show that they are generally in their default form and have to actively camouflage themselves. This means they sleep in their default form. Therefore maybe it's beneficial to them to continuing having some camouflage even when they're not actively trying to do so. On top of that, these leaf-like sprouts on the antenna may simply help the Changewing appear to be more like the environment it's blending into.

 

Theory 3: Changewing acid is magic acid or something chemically similar. Now I didn't actually come up with this theory but instead found it on the Wikia, and after researching it further, I think there's something to this theory. First, no, magic acid isn't literally "magic." "Magic acid" is the common the term for the chemical FSO3H·SbF5. It is a type of "superacid" and is an extremely dangerous substance. As pointed out on the Wikia - and I did check on this and it appears to be accurate - magic acid is green in color, melts through just about anything you can think of, and produces a toxic black smoke, just like Changewing acid. Items it can melt/burn include glass, plastic, rock, metal, and living tissue. When first created, scientists were so amazed at its ability to completely dissolve a paraffin wax candle before their eyes that they thought it was a magic trick, hence the name. Basically this is an acid that can melt you The Arch of the Covenant-style...not pretty. Now this acid does react violently to water and Changewing acid doesn't, so it's not a perfect line-up, but Changewing acid is still pretty darn similar, making me believe that, even if Changewing acid isn't exactly magic acid, it may be something chemically similar. (Actually, given that, magic acid sounds like it's slightly scarier than Changewing acid. Sometimes fact really is more frightening than fiction.)

 

Theory 4: Changewings have chromatophores, pigmented organs, in their scales. These chromatophores are triggered to change to camouflage through heat. Changewings can change the color and texture of their skin to match their surroundings to the point where they are practically invisible, but...how? Well, the only animal that has this ability to nearly the same degree is one of the Internet's favorite invertebrates, the cuttlefish. The cuttlefish achieves this superpower because its integument (skin or body covering) contains chromatophores, pigmented organs composed of an iridophore, a reflector made up of a number of thin films, and a leucophore, which scatters light. The cuttlefish shifts its color and pattern by expanding its chromatophores and manipulating the iridophore and leucophore. The full mysteries of the cuttlefish's great camouflage are still being studied, but that's a short version of what we do know as of now. I basically think Changewings have their ability by the same or at least similar mechanisms, having their own form of chromatophores in their skins.

 

But do you want to know the best part about all of this? Cuttlefish are actually colorblind. Go figure.

 

But that's not the end of the story. nathanviking actually messaged me with his own idea of how the Changewings trigger this camouflage ability: heat. Nathan's evidence comes from two things: the Dragons: Race to the Edge episode "A Gruff Separation" and the Light Fury's own camouflaging abilities.

 

In "A Gruff Separation," the Thorston twins each acquire shed Changewing skins that they then later use as invisibility cloaks. The skins are visible when lying on the ground or just being held, but their camouflage abilities turn on again when one of the twins drapes themselves in one, even though the skins are no longer attached to the Changewing. It also is able to camouflage a rock the skin is placed over. Nathan suggests this may be the Changewing skins responding to heat. When draping a rock that has been sitting in the sun, it is responding to that heat, and when draped over a person, it is responding to the person's body heat.

 

We also see a similar mechanism in the Light Fury. The Light Fury can't actually change the color and texture of its scales to match its surroundings the way a Changewing can, but it can make its scales reflective and mirror-like, which gives it a similar appearance of invisibility against the sky or dense foliage. But the Light Fury can only make its scales mirror-like by super-heating its scales, hence why it triggers this ability by shooting an explosive fireball and then flying through it. If heating up the Light Fury's scales is the trick for changing them, why can't the same be true for the Changewing, just on a less drastic scale?

 

So if Nathan's theory is true, that means the Changewing controls its body temperature consciously to a certain extent, and it heats itself up to camouflage and cools itself down to reappear. This heating up of its body causes its chromatophores to shift and change.

 

To provide my own additions to Nathan's theory, this may also explain why Changewings don't like cold compared to many other dragons. Changewings are rarely shown living in cold environments; in fact, Changewing Island is one of the most southern isles in the Barbaric Archipelago, and Melting Wing and Springwing, two Changewings from Dragons: Rise of Berk, are said specifically to not emerge until the weather warms up in the spring. We also see that Changewings migrate seasonally, heading south in the winter and north in the summer, just like many real-life bird species that try to avoid cold winter weather. It may be that Changewings have a hard time camouflaging in cold weather. We know they are capable of blending in with snow, as shown by the Frost Skin in School of Dragons and the fact that they can be found at the Shivering Shores, but it may take more energy to generate the heat necessary for the camouflage when the environment outside is chilly. Since it may be exhausting for them to use this ability continuously in cold weather, that would explain why they need migrate to climates where they can camouflage while still conserving their energy.

 

Theory 5: It takes a lot out of a Changewing to breathe blue fire. Little-known fact: according to Hiccup's map in How to Train Your Dragon 2, Changewing's can breathe blue fire. It is also shown breathing fire at Bork the Bold in Book of Dragons and in one of the Dragons: Riders of Berk comics, so this is not too inconsistent. But while this little bit of info probably just steams from mistakes, this isn't actually the first time we've heard about a normally non-fire-breathing dragon being able to breathe blue fire. The Thunderdrum is supposed to be able to do this, but doing so apparently takes a lot out of the dragon and makes it extremely vulnerable. I think the Changewing is probably the same way. It can shoot blue fire, but this move takes a lot out of it, so why bother with that when you can shoot acid that eats through everything?

 

Blue Fire Changewing by WhispertheWolfie

 

Theory 6: Changewings breed once a year. Other dragons we've seen breed do, so I assume Changewings do.

 

Theory 7: Changewings grow up very quickly. Other dragons we've seen grow up do, so I assume Changewings do.

 

Theory 8: The Changewing communicates with a lot of visual signals. Changewings are said to mimic a lot of what they see, and they are said to change colors uncontrollably when they're very emotional. So visual signals are clearly something they're in-tune to and can tell you something about them. For this reason, I think these pack dragons communicate a lot through visual signals.

 

Theory 9: Changewings live on the small island next to Scauldron Island. If you look at Hiccup's map, a Changewing is drawn next to a small island that's near Scauldron Island. A line is drawn between the Changewing and this island. So I think Changewings can be found on this island.

 

Scauldron Island Map 2 by WhispertheWolfie

 

Theory 10: Changewings only live on the Shivering Shores during the warm part of the year. According to Dragons: Rise of Berk, Changewings can be found at the Shivering Shores. But this is a very cold location, and Changewings are shown to migrators. So I think it's safe to say that the Shivering Shores is only a summer territory for Changewings; they all leave during the colder half of the year.

 

Theory 11: The Shivering Shores is kept cold by the lack of East Atlantic Current bringing warm water to it. I already explained this theory on my Flightmare theories post and it wasn't short, so rather than type that out again, I'll just link it you here.

 

Theory 12: The Clover Coast is an island covered in clover, even close to the beaches. The Clover Coast is a temporary searchable location in Dragons: Rise of Berk where Night Terrors and Changewings can be found. I covered this theory in my Night Terror theories post, so I'll just link that here.

 

Theory 13: A Triple Stryke named Scoulder lives on Changewing Island. This headcanon is one I mentioned in my Triple Stryke theories post, which you can see here.

 

Fun Fact #1: Did you guys know that Hiccup has actually (somewhat) trained a female Changewing named Phantom? She features in the Dragons: Riders of Berk comic "The Legend of Ragnarok."

 

Fun Fact #2: While hypnotized by Phantom, Hiccup actually kissed Tuffnut. ...I just really felt it was important that everyone knows that because there is not enough fan content about it. XD

 

Fun Fact #3: Phantom also hypnotizes Hiccup to nearly walk off a cliff. ...Phantom is fun. XD

 

Fun Fact #4: The story in the DreamWorks Press: Dragons mobile game, which currently only has Book One Flight of the Returnwing, is told in second person and features the reader as a mysterious stranger shipwrecked near Berk with no memories of their past and a dragon egg in their possession. After being rescued by Hiccup and Toothless, we learn the egg is a Changewing egg, and the reader/stranger bonds with the baby dragon. (And they never finished the story, what the heck?! In fact, the fact that this story was never finished is why I made my latest OCs, Stray and his Changewing Faith, last month, who basically have the backstory of Flight of the Returnwing...because I was just so dang miffed that we never found out what happened next.)

 

 

And that's everything I have on Changewings! As always, feel free to say whether you agree, disagree, or have anything to add.

 

Next week, we'll be doing a request from SingingRedfox: the Windstriker!

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Now you see it, now you don't!

Great job! ^-^ Got to love those deadly dragons!

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Thanks!

Thank you! Yeah, Changewings are great!

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Changewing theories

Hey Whisper! Very well done, I love these theories
As usual, I add something more:

1 Changewing acid is produced in a sack near the stomach which acts like a mantice, and the neck augments the pressure, even moving it
For non fire breathing dragons like the scauldron and the changewing, hitting the spot needs something more. The scauldron acts like a firefighter pump, but the changewing has not this ability. The mechanism is the same, but less powerful, indeed the changewing has to rapidly move the neck to shoot at a long distance
This is seen in the tv show in the first episode with the changewing

2 The changewing produces a lot of mucus
In order to not be melted by its own acid the changewing must have an internal defense. In my opinion the most logical is the production of a lot of thick mucus that contrasts the changewing acid, and even miscelates with it, making the acid viscous, it's like a slime

3 Changewing skin is not alive, it's dead skin, and acts like a shied
The changewing needs to take off its exuvia, the dead skin that covers its body. This is because the exuvia doesn't grow, once formed it is not part of the body. This makes me think that, while attacked, under it there is forming a new exuvia, less durable. Maybe the exuvia protects the young skin from the acid, which could possibly burn it? Also this fact supports your theory whisper: the camouflage happens thanks to a physical reaction, not biological

4 Changewing eyes are on the top of the head to help the changewing while camouflaged
The changewing can become invisible while attacked to a surface or even in the air. Well, while on a surface it usually stays unmoving, so maybe those eyes on the top of head help it see better. This can be seen in book of dragons

5 The changewing hypnotises changing the color of its eyes
It is impossible that the changewing can actually rotate its pupils in that way
The changewing can change the color of its eyes to camouflage, so why couldn't it be able to act like a cuttlefish and create a disorienting effect?

Debunking about the changewing breathing blue fire: in the book of dragons the changewing breathing fire was an error, but the map is interesting. Looking at it, more than fire it makes me think that is a spray of blue acid, maybe created by opening just a bit the jaws
This creates 2 options:

1 it is a more powerful acid that changes its color

2 a group of changewings adapted to an unusual habitat and produced a new type of acid

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Love these theories!

Thank you! ^_^

 

Oh, man, I love your theories, too! I don't have really anything to add to any of these; I think they're all pretty solid! The hypnosis one is a particularly neat idea!

 

The only one that's incorrect is that absolutely Changewings do breathe blue fire according to Hiccup's map. It not only shows it, but it says it. The words next to the Changewing say, "This dragon can shoot blue fire." That's the reason I included a picture of the quote on the map, to show what it says. So the fact that they shoot blue fire is not theory at all but actual canon according to the movies, no question about that. My theory about the fire taking a lot of energy out of them was simply meant to explain why we never see them shoot this fire despite that.

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Wiggles the whispering death ate my subject

What if the silver phantom's wing whistling is another reason it is called a phantom. Maybe it sounds ghostly when you don't know where it's coming from.

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Ooh, that's a really neat

Ooh, that's a really neat idea! I like it!

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Boneknapper and Changewings!

       Okay, it's been awhile. Let me first say, thank you for going over the Boneknapper. I am so glad to see it explained (also glad your hypothesis on why it couldn't roar matched my hypothesis). I do think I can create an answer to Gobber's wild stories, but it relates way back to one of your early theories.

  1. The first story is pretty straightforward and not much to explain. The only thing that needs it is the frozen Viking punching Gobber. The solution? The viking's hand was frozen to the chest. When Gobber pulled the chest out, it got stuck for one second, then broke free. This resulted in chest, and frozen hand, launching at Gobber, punching him in the face. 

  2. Gobber stranded on the island is a little tougher, but I have the answer. There were, in fact, a good number of sharks. Gobber had to get past them, but they really didn't cause that much trouble. Gobber was just getting to the Island when the Boneknapper attacked. But something on the bottom of the sea noticed all the commotion going on and went to check it out. It saw the Boneknapper and attacked. Gobber mistook it for a hammer-head Yak when, in truth, it was actually a Submaripper. Gobber, never seeing one before (and only seeing it for a second), mistook it for a whale.

3. Now this one is a little bit of a stretch unless you take into account your theory of HTTYD and Trollhunters being in the same universe. In this scenario, Gobber is chased through the jungle up a volcano, and has to "jump" across it. When, out from the volcano leaps....a Hammerhead Yak? I think it's more likely a Gumm-Gumm Troll. Look at it's build and the time of day it is. Why it wanted the Boneknapper, who knows? But it makes pretty good sense.

   4. Even I cannot fully explain the final story (it seems unlikely that Thor threw a lightning bolt into the ground and a Troll riding a Submaripper came forth). I'll just try to explain Thor as maybe a magical sorcerer or maybe a Viking on a a foggy mountain top with a canon. But you can explain this any way you wish.

 

   That finishes up my Boneknapper discussion. 

 

 I do have one final question(s). You've mentioned the comics multiple times. Are they still being made? Is there a single big book with all the comic book stories within, or are they only sold individually? How long have they been being published?

 

Thanks for doing the Boneknapper theories and look forward to your next one.

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Gobber Tales and Comics

Hey there! No problem, glad I could cover Boneknappers for you!

 

Ooh, I like these explanations a lot! #1 and #2 make great sense to me, and while #3 and #4 are a bit of a stretch, the idea that Gobber saw a Gumm-Gumm Troll is too good! ^_^

 

Ah, the comics! There have been different series of comics. The cheaper ones were the Dragons: Riders of Berk comics and the Dragons: Defenders of Berk comics, written by Simon Furman and printed by Titan Comics. They were publish from 2014 to 2016 and are no longer being produced. There were 6 Riders of Berk comics but only 2 Defenders of Berk comics. You can buy each volume separately, but I think there's also collector's editions that have multiple volumes in one book. I bought them on Amazon separately as each volume came out. They're not being sold in stores anymore, but I think you can still get them online from sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

 

The second set of comics, the official How to Train Your Dragon graphic novels, are printed by Dark Horse Comics. These graphic novels have much more detailed and elaborate artwork and are co-written by HTTYD and HTTYD2 director Dean Deblois himself, along with Richard Hamilton (a writer for DreamWorks who has written To Berk and Beyond and the Race to the Edge episode "Total Nightmare"). These comics are meant to bridge the second and third movies.

 

The first one, The Serpent's Heir, was released February 28, 2017. (I bought it on Amazon the day of its release; I buy most of my books on Amazon.) I also saw it in a few bookstores last year, but I don't know if any stores would have it now. But like the other comics, you can still find it online. The plot takes place mere moments after the end of HTTYD2.

 

The second one, Dragonvine, is actually going to be released this coming September 4th, so only a few weeks away! That one will feature the Silkspanners. (In fact, I've been holding off on putting Silkspanners on my list of dragons available for theories until its release. I'm now thinking of making them my Halloween special.)

 

There's been no announcement for a third How to Train Your Dragon comic, so we don't know if they're going to make another or if they're stopping at two.

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Windstriker Theories

Windstriker Theories

 

Today we're doing a theories request from SingingRedfox: the Windstriker!

 

The Windstriker is, in my opinion, the ultimate HTTYD dragon of air. It's a dive-bomber with "wind" in its name that breathes hot air as its breath weapon; it's the air dragon! Unfortunately, though, despite being a dragon in How to Train Your Dragon 2, there's not a lot of info on this creature. All we have are its scenes in that movie and Dragons: Rise of Berk. But that just means more stuff for me to theorize on, I suppose. Hope you guys like what I came up with. :)

 

Theory 1: Statistics: mid-level Attack, high Speed, high Firepower, relatively high Shot Limit, mid-level Armor, mid-level Stealth, Venom statistic of 0. With the Windstriker, we are once again looking at a dragon without any official statistics, and unfortunately this is another one of those where I don't have School of Dragons to work with. But I will be using trends in the Sharp Class and Dragons: Rise of Berk to come up with a few ideas for all of them aside from Jaw Strength.

 

Since the Windstriker is Sharp Class, it probably has a mid-level Attack stat, a relatively high Shot Limit, and a mid-level Stealth stat because this is standard of Sharp Class dragons. I also think it has a high top Speed because it is said that dive-bombing is its special ability, making it a fast dragon. And because most dragons have no venom, I think it has a Venom statistic of 0.

 

Now for Firepower and Armor, I'll be looking at Dragons: Rise of Berk's Power and Defense stats, since Power is how powerful a dragon's blast is and Defense is how well a dragon can take a hit. The Windstriker has a very respectable Power stat, so I think it has a high Firepower statistic. Its hot air blasts must be quite powerful! And it has a middle-of-the-road Defense stat, so I think its Armor statistic is mid-level, which also matches with the Sharp Class very well.

 

Theory 2: The Windstriker's blind spot is behind it. The Windstriker has eyes set forward on its head but also placed to the side, giving it a wide vision range. Really the only true blind spot for this long-necked dragon is behind its head.

 

Theory 3: Windstrikers eat fish, which they dive-bomb to catch. Their bluish coloration is meant to blend in with the sea and sky. I've stated before that, unless I find evidence to the contrary, I tend to assume dragons eat fish as a default. Windstrikers are even shown being fed fish by the Bewilderbeast in How to Train Your Dragon 2, so we know they can eat fish. And honestly, I think a fishy diet fits with the Windstriker and its abilities. Why? It's a long-necked dragon that dive-bombs. And what does that have to do with fishing?

 

Let's talk about the gannet.

 

The gannet is a sea bird that dives to catch fish. There are three species, the Northern gannet, Cape gannet, and Australasian gannet, and they all use the same dive-bombing technique for feeding. These predators can dive from the height of a 30-story building nose-first into the water below, reaching speeds of over 60 mph. Just before they hit the water, they fold their wings back in order to streamline their bodies into a torpedo shape in order to slice through the water at just the right moment so they don't hurt themselves from that intense drop. They can dive over 40 feet below the water's surface, at which point they may have sna.tched up a fish in their beaks or continue swimming below the water's surface to grab at fish swimming by with their long necks and sharp beaks.

 

https://media3.giphy.com/media/pqxTH1Eis4fFEWJTBv/giphy-downsized-large.gif

 

https://media2.giphy.com/media/GgBlQYrzlXwQg/giphy.gif

 

The Windstriker might go after fish in much the same way. It may dive-bomb into the sea at high speed after fish and, once below the surface, can even swim after them. In fact, this diving ability and their long necks and elongated jaws are also the reasons my friend SingingRedfox also suggested that they are fish-eaters that dive for fish, as long necks and jaws are typical features of animals that attempt to catch fish in the water.

 

There is even one Windstriker from Dragons: Rise of Berk, Boiling Billows, that is said to breathe its hot air breath underwater to make it "pleasantly warm," which indicates that releasing its breath weapon underwater is something the Windstriker would do in the first place. If this dragon is an apt swimmer to go after fish, this becomes more believable, and it may even use its hot breath to "boil" schools of fish alive.

 

If the Windstriker is a fish-eater, this would also explain its coloration. Every Windstriker so far has been mainly some shade of blue. Some are closer to grey, others closer to green, but all are a blue shade. This may be to help them blend in with the ocean.

 

Of course, their blue coloration may also help them blend in with the sky. This theory was suggested by SingingRedfox and also makes a lot of sense, considering how much time they spend in the sky. So I propose their coloration is probably helpful for both the air and the sea.

 

Theory 4: Windstrikers are diurnal. SingingRedfox also pointed out that, if the Windstriker's blue coloration is meant to blend in with the sky, then that would logically make these dragons diurnal, for the sky only appears blue during the day.

 

Theory 5: Windstrikers live in social groups and may even mate for life. They have impressive nose horns to attract mates and colorful patterns to tell each other apart. Windstrikers show a lot of inclination to live in social groups. For one thing, in How to Train Your Dragon 2, we do see them living comfortably in a social setting with many other dragons. But also, I think these dragons are relatives of the Hobblegrunt (Theory 11), and you may recall that I theorized Hobblegrunts are social because they have a lot of empathy for others, obvious social cues (their vibrating frill that communicates emotions and their mood-changing coloration), and the fact that they are shown nesting in groups in School of Dragons. If the Hobblegrunt is social, its relatives may very well be social animals, too. And if we're still comparing Windstrikers to gannets, gannets are also social birds that flock together, so if the Windstriker is similar to them behaviorally, it would make sense for them to be social.

 

But even with all that, I have one more bit of evidence: Galesplitter. This individual Windstriker is said to have never been trained but is still tamed because it "simply appears to prefer Viking society over nature." (I've personally always pictured Galesplitter as that one teenager who prefers their phone and gadgets to paying attention to things and has never gone camping nor ever wants to.) But for a dragon to prefer Viking societies with no rider bond to encourage that relationship, it has to have a certain amount of empathy, which is a trait mainly seen in social animals. For all these reasons, I believe you're most likely to see Windstrikers in flocks of their own kind.

 

If I'm going to compare the Windstriker to the gannet, then there's also evidence that these dragons mate for life. Gannets form monogamous pair bonds that, while separate for the rest of the year, join together at the same nesting spot each year to raise their young. Their nose horns may be best for the younger Windstrikers to attract mates.

 

Now normally I say colorations are also meant to attract mates, but in this case, I'm not as sure. Windstrikers are all a shade of blue, as I noted before, and that seems to be for survival reasons rather than attraction. They have bright colorations and patterns against this blue that differ quite a bit, but if they are social animals, these colorations may simply be a way of allowing them to be easily identified by their peers when among a flock of individuals. Even the nose horns may contribute to this a little. After all, a high-flying, diving animal like the Windstriker likely relies very heavily on its vision and so would be the kind of animal to communicate with visual cues.

 

Theory 6: Windstrikers live and nest on high cliffs. Windstrikers are said to be dive-bombers that fall out of the air from incredible heights at incredible speed. Just from this, we know they can manage high altitudes and don't mind a bit of height. I also theorized that they dive into the water to catch fish. All of this leads me to believe that Windstrikers probably like to nest high on seaside cliffs, where it's easy for them to get to and easy for them to find food but difficult for most egg predators to reach them. In Dragons: Rise of Berk, it is even stated that they are often found at Windswept Ruin, and while the only description for this place is "This island holds too many secrets," that sounds like a place with a lot of cliffs due to weathering (Theory 13). They are also said to be found at a place called Shredstone Walls, a place where Razorwhips are commonly found which is outright stated to be an island with cliffs. Everything fits with this being the home location of the Windstriker.

 

Theory 7: The Windstriker's wing claws help it cling to cliffsides. If the Windstriker hangs out on cliffs a lot, it probably needs a way to truly "hang" onto those cliffs. This might explain the hooked claws on their mid wing joints.

 

Theory 8: Windstrikers can fly through storms. Windstrikers are said to be quite impressive flyers, so they are good contenders for flying through a storm. But the best bit of evidence for this is Galesplitter, a Windstriker from Dragons: Rise of Berk. Its name indicates it can fly even through gales.

 

Theory 9: Windstrikers breed annually. Other dragons seem to, so Windstrikers probably do. Also, if we're still comparing them to gannets, they breed annually, too.

 

Theory 10: Windstrikers have spiky eggs to deter predators. Female Windstrikers have a lining to protect them from the spikes. Windstriker eggs are studded with spikes, so I personally think that's to keep predators from trying to bite or swallow them. And if these eggs are going to have spikes, the mothers probably also have a protective lining so that they aren't stuck with these spikes when laying these eggs.

 

Theory 11: Windstrikers reach full size quickly. Other dragons are observed growing up very quickly, so...yeah.

 

Theory 12: The Windstriker's closest relative is the Devilish Dervish, followed by the Hobblegrunt, Threadtail, Thornridge, and Prickleboggle. It also shares a slightly more distant relation with the Raincutter, Razorwhip, and Shivertooth. The Windstriker has a body type that, thanks to a dragon body generator, is seen in a number of dragons in the franchise, including the Hobblegrunt, Threadtail, Thornridge, Prickleboggle, Devilish Dervish, and Raincutter. For this reason, I and SingingRedfox believe these dragons to be its closest relatives. In terms of head shape, the Devilish Dervish comes the closest, so I believe that dragon is the Windstriker's closest relative. The Raincutter, meanwhile, is more distantly related than the rest in this group, I think, due to body differences.

 

Now it has been stated that the Windstriker's and Razorwhip's silhouettes look alike and therefore they are probably close relatives. Due to body structure, however, I don't think they're as close as some have implied compared to the dragons I've already listed, but I do think the Razorwhip is related to this whole group, just not as closely. By extension, I also think the Shivertooth, which in body structure most closely resembles the Razorwhip (remember, I go with original versions, so Dragons: Rise of Berk version for ghd Shivertooth), would also be a slightly more distant relative.

 

(Interestingly, all of these relatives, aside from the Hobblegrunt and Threadtail, are Sharp Class, so it seems Sharp Class is the common and historic feature of these dragons.)

 

Theory 13: When the Windstriker eats glowing algae, it glows green. In School of Dragons, we learn that Razorwhips glow green when they eat glowing algae. So since the Windstriker is probably a Razorwhip relative, I think they do as well.

 

Theory 14: Aside from the Bewilderbeast, Hiccup knew every species he encountered in Valka's Sanctuary before he was taken there. Back during my Shovelhelm theories, I discussed the fact that I think every dragon species in Valka's Sanctuary, aside from the Bewilderbeast, had already been discovered by the Berkians. Hiccup showed no great awe at encountering any of these dragons and didn't ask what they were all called, so I assume he was familiar with them. This includes the Windstriker. I'm not sure when the Windstriker was discovered or if it was even in the Dragon Manual before Hiccup tamed Toothless, but it was definitely a known dragon before the events of How to Train Your Dragon 2.

 

Theory 15: Windswept Ruin is an island with heavily-weathered cliffs and sparse large-growth vegetation. As mentioned before, this is the key location to find Windstrikers, but it also doesn't really have a lot of description aside from being an island. But I think it probably has heavily-weathered cliffs. Not only did I theorize this is ideal nesting habitat for the Windstriker (Theory 5), but for something to be "windswept" is to be exposed to strong winds, which can cause weathering in rock over time, meaning the wind "ruins" what was there before. I think this constant wind weathering has probably formed cliffs on this island's shoreline and possibly inland, too, if it has any peaks. This constant weathering would also tear away soil, making it hard for deep-rooted plants like trees to take hold. The vegetation here is probably sparse, and what is here is weather-resistant, like grass and weeds.

 

Theory 16: Shredstone Walls' cliffs are made of granite. This is a theory I stated in my Razorwhip theories, given that this is mainly a Razorwhip location, so you can find that on my Razorwhip Theories post here.

 

Theory 17: The Retired Windstriker is an old Titan Wing Windstriker that was taken out of the ring by its caretakers so they could preserve their old champion fighter for viewing. The Retired Windstriker is a Windstriker from Dragons: Rise of Berk that was "trained to be a champion." This indicates that, like the "Champion" dragons in the game, this dragon was trained in the cruel dragon fights to brawl. But it is not a "Champion" and can't even be used to brawl; it is "retired." On top of that, it has a basically identical appearance to the Titan Wing Windstriker in the game. This all leads me to believe that this Windstriker is so old that it has grown into a Titan Wing and, while once a champion in the dragon fights, it was retired from the fights as it reached old age to be viewed with awe by dragon fight fans who remember its many wins. It has since been rescued from the dragon fighters, along with the Champion dragons, by the riders of Berk.

 

 

And that's all I have about Windstrikers! As always, feel free to say whether you agree, disagree, or have anything to add!

 

Next, we'll be doing a request from piggyxl: the Shockjaw!

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Shockjaw Theories

Shockjaw Theories

 

Hi, everyone! Before I get to our dragon today, I have some cool news! Rookyaoi let me know that Richard Hamilton, a writer for an episode of Dragons: Race to the Edge, To Berk and Beyond, and some of the School of Dragons blurbs and co-writer of the How to Train Your Dragon comics, admitted on his Twitter that the Sand Wraith was originally going to be the "Sand Fury," just like the Snow Wraith was originally going to be the "Snow Fury," before the team decided to keep the Night Fury and Light Fury unique. This confirms a number of things. For one, we now know with certainty that the Sand Wraith is a Night Fury relative. For another, we know that Ludia's dragons released on Dragons: Rise of Berk weren't made separately without DreamWorks' knowledge but instead were made with direct interaction with DreamWorks. And third...I guess "Wraith" is the go-to replacement word for "Fury." XD

 

But yeah, that's all pretty neat! Relevant this week, too, because the dragon we're doing is another dragon that originates on Dragons: Rise of Berk: the Shockjaw, requested by piggyxl!

 

So there's two version of the Shockjaw: the Rise of Berk (RoB) version and the School of Dragons (SoD) version. As usual, when there's two version I go with the original, and that's the RoB one. To point out the differences between them, the RoB version has a longer, thicker neck; a thicker, torpedo-shaped body; and smaller, stubbier legs. From a biological perspective, it's built more like one would expect an aquatic animal to be built to propel itself through the water, while the SoD version is more generically terrestrial-like.

 

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/riseofberk/images/8/88/Shockjaw_-_NBG.png/revision/latest?cb=20140808071519

 

Also, the RoB version is notably bigger than the SoD version. In SoD, the Shockjaw is a relatively small dragon comparable to a Night Fury, but the original RoB version I will be making theories for is actually closer to the size of a Deadly Nadder...not huge, but not small.

 

It also should be noted that neither of these dragons would actually be ridable. The fin that starts on the head and extend down its back to the individual flukes completely eliminate any place for a rider to sit or even put straps around the dragon, and they are far too tall to straddle even if a saddle with a lifted tree were placed over it. You can even see it in School of Dragons; any time your avatar mounts your Shockjaw, your avatar pretty much gets impaled...up the cro.tch. Fun. XD And in Rise of Berk, the dragon is bigger, so the fin is even taller. The only way you could possible sit on this dragon is if its fin and flukes were completely folded down, which would severely hamper this dragon's agility, according to its description. So, yeah...not rideable. Sorry. I promise, I'm as disappointed as the rest of you. :/ But hey, it's still trainable. You can have it as a companion.

 

But that disappointment aside, this dragon really deserves love! I mean, not only does it seem like a friendly dragon - or at least, we're told it's not aggressive (that's all we know about the personality, but still) - but it's also a powerful one! School of Dragons claims it has almost no weaknesses, and it's even so powerful that Boltbite, a Shockjaw from Dragons: Rise of Berk, was actually mistaken for a Skrill! Not to mention this thing is something of a speed demon in the sea or the air! It's a dragon worthy of respect, no doubt. I hope my theories do it justice!

 

Theory 1: Possible Shockjaw statistics: The Shockjaw has a low Armor statistic, an Attack statistic of 14, a Speed statistic of 17, a Firepower statistic of 12, and a Venom statistic of 0. The Shockjaw is one of those dragons with no official stats aside from Shot Limit, so we can try and figure out the rest! Now I don't have any idea what its Jaw Strength or Stealth might be, but I think we can estimate Armor, Attack, Speed, Firepower, and Venom.

 

For Armor, we can look at Defense from Dragons: Rise of Berk. It actually has a very low Defense, so I think this dragon actually doesn't have great armor.

 

For Attack, Speed, and Firepower, we can look at the same stats in School of Dragons. Shockjaw's Attack Power in the game is 7. This is the same Attack Power as the Skrill, which has an official Attack of 14, so I think the Shockjaw would as well.

 

As for Speed, the Shockjaw has a game speed of 8.3. Now the Razorwhip has a Speed of 9 and has an official Speed of 18, and the Monstrous Nightmare and Singetail both have a Speed of 7.5 and an official Speed of 15. Meanwhile, the Death Song has a game Speed of 8.2 and an official Speed of 17. So I think the official Speed of 17 makes the most sense for the Shockjaw. This is pretty fast, which matches all of its School of Dragons descriptions.

 

Now for Firepower. The Shockjaw has a game firepower of 6.7. This is the same game firepower as the Razorwhip and Changewing. Now both the Razorwhip and Changewing have an official Firepower statistic of 12, so I think the Shockjaw does, too.

 

And finally, most dragons don't have venom, so I don't think the Shockjaw has any, either, giving it a Venom statistic of 0.

 

Theory 2: The Shockjaw's blind spot is behind it. With eyes positioned toward the top of the head and facing mostly forward and somewhat to the side. The Shockjaw likely has good vision in front of it and even pretty good peripheral vision, but it won't be seeing much behind it.

 

Theory 3: The Shockjaw's tendrils have electrolytes that create electric currents. You may recall me mentioning electrolytes back when I did my Seashocker theories. Well, as it turns out, electrolytes are used by every strongly electric animal (all of which are fish). It only makes sense that Shockjaws would also utilize these in their own electric organs, which the franchise tells us is the franchise under their chin.

 

So how do electrolytes work? Electrolytes are modified muscle cells. When the organism wants to employ its electricity, it sends a signal through its nervous system that causes ion channels in these organs to open. These channels allow sodium to flow through, which momentarily changes the polarity, generating an controllable electric current.

 

That's pretty much the whole theory, but I did discover something very strange about the Shockjaw's design that I thought was intereting. You see, I tried to look for other organisms with electric organs that stick out of the face, much like the Shockjaw's tendrils. But no organism has this, regardless of whether they are weakly electric or strongly electric. But many organisms, from elephantnose fish to sharks to dolphins to platypuses to echidnas, have specialized electric sensors called electroreceptors on their face. (In fact, for dolphins, these electroreceptors are literally whiskers, and in the elphantnose, it's an elongated chin. Both of these correlate the most strongly to the Shockjaw's tendrils.) Here's the thing; electric organs tend to be internal (and rarely near the head...though electric rays beg to differ on that) because they use the body's own natural ions to produce a polarity that creates a current. Sensors, meanwhile, are often projecting from or on a projecting part of the body in order to pick up as many electric signals as it can outside the body and are normally found near the head, where they can easily send messages to the brain about what's in front of it, the same as other specialized environment sensors like your eyes and nose. If the Shockjaw had been made in a realistic biological sense, it would actually have an electric organ in its abdomen or near its tail, and its chin tendrils would instead be electroreceptors. The design the franchise gave us is really more of an inversion of what would actually make sense. Now there's nothing particularly wrong with that in a fictional universe; I just thought it was interesting.

 

Also, how do electric organisms not electrocute themselves? Well, that's a mystery biologists haven't quite unraveled yet. We'll just assume that Shockjaws, as well as Seashockers and Skrills, protect their bodies from electrocution by the same means that the strongly electric fish do, whatever that may be.

 

Theory 4: Shockjaws use active electroreception to sense their surroundings. Pretty much every electric organism has electric receptors. In fact, for weakly electric organisms, active electroreception, or electrolocation, is the main purpose of their electricity, and even strongly electric organisms use weak pulses for a similar purpose. Animals such as electric eels and electric rays start of their electric current to create an electric field around their bodies. Objects that disrupt this field allow the animal to get an idea of where the object is and possibly even how big it is and what shape it has and even whether or not it is alive.

 

Now do I think Shockjaws have this same ability? ...To a point, I do. But you see, I ran into a problem while writing this: the Tracker Class.

 

The Tracker Class has become problematically confusing the more the franchise adds dragons to the class that track by means other than smell, and sometimes it's hard to tell what should qualify as Tracker Class. Tracker Class dragons include the Deadly Nadder, Rumblehorn, Snifflehunch, Windgnasher, and Thunderclaw, which use their sense of smell to track (with the Thunderclaw using its tongue as an important organ in its sense of smell). But the remaining dragons are the Common Rockstomper, Mudraker, and Submaripper. The Common Rockstomper can use vibrations from its horns to track things in the ground. It uses sound rather than smell. The Mudraker also uses sound, using "echolocation" underwater, a.k.a. sonar. Meanwhile, the Submaripper, a dragon duel-classified with the Tidal Class, the Shockjaw's own class, senses vibrations in the water similar to a crocodile or alligator, using touch as its sense. Not only is this yet another not-smell sense used for tracking, but it also shows that a dragon can be in two classes at once.

 

But there are other dragons outside the class with similar abilities. The Seashocker has sonar and the Night Fury has echolocation, but neither of these are Tracker Class dragons or even dual-classified. One is Tidal Class and the other is Strike Class. How are these not Tracker Class dragons but the Mudraker is?

 

So yeah, it's really hard to say whether or not the Shockjaw is allowed to have strong electroreception given that it's not a dual-classified Tracker Class dragon. But I think I found a way to make it all fit (for the Shockjaw, anyway). I think the Shockjaw does have electroreception...but its electric field is limited and doesn't have a lot of range.

 

The Shockjaw produces super-powerful electric zaps, but that doesn't mean its electric field of reception is going to be huge. It just means its field is going to be particular strong. Electric fish allow their electric current to range across pretty much their entire body, so the electric field they use for sensing encompasses them completely. But this isn't the case for the Shockjaw. The Shockjaw seems to only generate electricity through its jaw. Its tendrils generate the electricity, which they can shoot as lightning bolts from their mouths. So their electric field will not encompass them completely, making the field not very useful for sensing everything around them. However, it would still be powerful enough to let them know if there's any prey close by while swimming through murky waters. Perhaps they even use this sense to know how far away their prey is so they know how powerful their blast needs to be to hit them. So the electrolocation ability wouldn't be all that useful for tracking over distances, hence why the Shockjaw isn't in the Tracker Class, but it's still great for detecting things nearby and excellent for informing the Shockjaw on how to use its blasts.

 

Theory 5: Shockjaws eat fish. They use their speed and shocking abilities to help them hunt. It's been mentioned in School of Dragons that Tidal Class dragons generally eat fish. This makes sense; if you live in the ocean, that's the most readily available food source. So yeah, the Shockjaw probably eats fish. I've already mentioned in the previous theory that it may detect nearby fish using electrolocation, and being a fast swimming dragon that's able to generate bioelectricity, it likely chases down and shocks its prey.

 

Theory 6: The Shockjaw's coloration is for camouflage. Most of the Shockjaws in the franchise are green, blue, or both, with Snappy-Zappy-Sand-Zapper being the exception. (We'll get to him next.) I believe this green and blue coloration is meant to blend in with the ocean, which aids in their ability to hunt and avoid predators and enemies.

 

Theory 7: Snappy-Zappy-Sand-Zapper took to hunting in the sand because of his coloration. Snappy-Zappy-Sand-Zapper is a pale Shockjaw named by Ruffnut. I'm not entirely sure what caused this - he has yellow eyes, so he's not an albino - but it is an unusual coloration compared to other Shockjaws. We learn that this Shockjaw "waits under the sand to zap unsuspecting Vikings and dragons." Perhaps this Shockjaw took to that behavior because of his coloration. Since he couldn't blend in with the ocean, he eventually learned he could blend in with the sand. Heck, he may even be descended from Shockjaws that utilized this strategy for generations, hence his coloration.

 

Theory 8: Shockjaws are hunted by Scauldrons and will use their electric shocks to ward them off. Scauldrons are said to hunt smaller sea dragons. Now as mentioned before, Shockjaws aren't actually that small (remember, this is the original Rise of Berk version), but they're still smaller than your typical Scauldron, and Scauldrons are powerful enough to hunt Seashockers, which can also grow to be sizeable dragons and also have shock abilities. So there's no reason Scauldrons couldn't hunt Shockjaws. However, much like the Seashocker, the Shockjaw likely uses its electric shocks in an attempt to protect itself.

 

Theory 9: Shockjaws are not deep diving dragons but prefer to stay toward the surface of the water. Shockjaws seem to be based on sea otters. Now sea otters can dive to depths of over 300 feet, but generally they stay in pretty shallow water and forage close to the shore. For this reason, I think the Shockjaw is also not a deep-sea dragon and instead stays fairly close to the surface.

 

Theory 10: The Shockjaw has a fatty layer under its skin that keeps it warm. Shockjaws are shown to be able to tolerate really cold temperatures, as seen by the Shockjaw Deepfreeze. Another neat thing about them is that they're kind of shaped like a torpedo...round. The Shockjaw has this thick, blobby neck and very round body with rather small legs. It may be very long, but it's also very round. So what makes this guy so round? Well, maybe it has a layer of fat under its skin. Many marine mammals have this to keep warm in the cold ocean depths. In mammals, this fatty layer is called "blubber," but the Shockjaw is not a mammal but a reptile, so it can't be blubber specifically. But perhaps the Shockjaw has evolved something analogous to that.

 

Theory 11: The Shockjaw has to keep its skin wet or it will perish. School of Dragons claims in one of its Shockjaw promos that the Shockjaw's "dominance in the skies and strength as a swimmer leaves it with virtually no weaknesses." But "virtually" means "nearly," so it does have at least one weakness, and I think I know what that weakness may be. In Dragons: Riders of Berk, we learn that Tidal Class dragons need to keep their skin wet or else they will d.ie. Now we know there certain exceptions to this, specifically the Sand Wraith and Thunderdrum, but no other Tidal Class dragon has been confirmed to be an exception to the rule. So I assume the Shockjaw is much like most of its class and that it suffers from this same weakness. This might very well be this powerful dragon's only weakness if we're to believe School of Dragons' statement, but it is a weakness nonetheless.

 

Theory 12: Shockjaws don't like storms, especially swimming through the ocean in storms, but they can fly through them. In Dragons: Rise of Berk, the main place to find Shockjaws is the Inner Ocean. Its description reads: "This span of water separates Berk from Meathead Islands. It is normally calm, but be warned! As saying goes - when it rains it pours and when it pours be careful of the Shockjaws!" This indicates the Shockjaw tends to attack during storms but not when the ocean is calm. This may be perhaps they don't like how the storm stirs up the sea. Remember, these dragons probably like to stay near the surface and so wouldn't escape the storm just by diving deeper. Instead, it would fly up into the air and, being already on edge, would be more inclined to attack things that disturbed them. But the fact that they do surface and can attack travelers during storms indicates that they are able to fly through storms, an impressive feat indeed!

 

Theory 13: Shockjaws breed annually and don't mate for life. They are solitary but may gather in single-gender groups. I know I mention it almost every week, but most dragons we've seen breed appear to mate annually and don't mate for life, so I think that's the same for Shockjaws, too. But we can also get an idea of Shockjaw social lives by, once again, comparing them to sea otters. Sea otters tend to be solitary animals that are open to socialization. They mainly hunt and travel alone, but they may congregate in single-gender groups. Perhaps Shockjaws are very much the same, mostly living on their own but sometimes teaming up with dragons of the same gender.

 

Theory 14: Shockjaws lay their eggs on the shore. The shell includes electrically-charged projections, charged by the mother, which ward off predators. Shockjaws are air-breathing, so I don't think we'll be seeing these dragons' eggs laid in the ocean. Otherwise the babies would drown. So they must be laid on land.

 

Now the Shockjaw's egg looks very interesting, being a glowing purple egg with these projections coming off of it and some sort of aura surrounding it. I think this aura is probably electricity, which is stored by those projections. This electricity is made to protect the eggs from predators who may otherwise think they are a good snack. As to how these eggs acquire their electricity, it could be from the baby, but the shell of an egg actually comes from the mother's body nutrients, so I think probably the mother charged up the egg. Since her electricity comes from her mouth, not her rear, she probably charged up the projections on the eggs after laying them by zapping them. She may have to do this regularly to keep the egg charged.

 

Theory 15: Baby Shockjaws ride on the mother's belly while she swims on her back in the water. As mentioned before, Shockjaws seem to take inspiration in their design from sea otters. Sea otter moms are pretty neat. Unlike most otter species, sea otters rarely ever go on land, even sleeping while floating in the water. But baby sea otters are slow developers and don't even really start swimming on their own until they're 3 months old. So how do mother's care for their babies? Well, when she goes foraging, she leaves the baby floating on the surface, sometimes tied in place by kelp. But when not foraging, you can find a mother sea otter with her pup riding on her belly while she floats on her back. I theorize that Shockjaws may do something similar.

 

In fact, I think a Shockjaw's trainer could also ride their Shockjaw in the water this way. Hey, look, a realistic way for you to ride a Shockjaw!

 

Theory 16: Shockjaws grow up very quickly. Other dragons seem to, so Shockjaws probably do as well.

 

Theory 17: The Shockjaw has otter-like behavior, being playful and sociable. They are also intelligent. Since Shockjaws show similiarities to sea otters, I think they would have otter-like behavior. Otters do not form consistent social groups and are therefore defined as "solitary," but when encountering others of their kind, they are very sociable and communicative, even often coming together in groups to sleep in order to keep themselves safe. They are also very playful and energetic and will engage in all sorts of games with others of their kind, anyone else that will play with them, or anything they can find! This can also make them come off as easily distracted, but don't think this means they are weak-minded. Sea otters are well-known tool-users, using rocks and kelp for breaking apart shells to get at their food and tying themselves, their prey, or their youngsters in place. These behaviors are largely learned by watching their mothers or even other sea otters; not all sea otters use tools the same way and some don't even use them at all. Some even invent their own uses for tools. This type of learning behavior indicates an extremely high level of intelligence, to the point where sea otter intelligence has been compared to that of dolphins.

 

Because of this, I assume Shockjaws have a similar personality and intelligence. I think these are extremely intelligent dragons and they are playful, energetic, sociable, and perhaps a bit easily distracted.

 

Theory 18: Black Heart Bay is commonly subjected to flooding. Black Heart Bay is a location where you can find Shockjaws and Thunderdrums, and since this theory was explained in the Thunderdrum theories post, I'll just link to it here.

 

 

And that's all I have on Shockjaws! As always, feel free to say whether you agree, disagree, or have anything else you'd like to add!

 

Next week, we'll be doing another request, this one from Lack Lunarson. The request is for the Submaripper, but since there are two dragons with that name, the type wasn't specified, and the two dragons seem to have similar abilities, I'm actually going to do both Submarippers, the original one from the Dragons: Riders of Berk comics, which Dragons: Rise of Berk renamed the Ripwrecker, and the one from Dragons: Race to the Edge. This will be an interesting one, no doubt.

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Submaripper and Ripwrecker Theories

Submaripper and Ripwrecker Theories

 

Hey, everyone! So today I had a request from Lack Lunarson for the Submaripper. The type of Submaripper, however, wasn't specified, and since there are two of them, I decided to do them both in one post! There is the original Submaripper that features in drawings in the second movie, one of the main series comics co-written by Dean Deblois, a number of comics from Dragons: Riders of Berk series, and Dragons: Rise of Berk, where it is called the Ripwrecker. The other Submaripper goes by no other name than Submaripper and came onto the scene years after the Ripwrecker-Submaripper, featuring only in the Dragons TV show and Dragons: Rise of Berk.

 

I'm going to level with you guys: there's very few dragons in this franchise that I don't like, but the Submaripper - the second one - is one of them. And it's not because there's anything wrong with the dragon. It's a fine dragon. But I just can't help but be annoyed with it because the creators of it who worked for the show thought it would be alright to use a name already used. It is, of course, possible they were unaware of the other Submaripper, but that shows a troubling lack of awareness of their own franchise. And I somehow doubt they were completely unaware of the Submaripper, for they gave their version the same whirlpool-creating power the original had.

 

To Dragons: Rise of Berk's credit, they did their best to justify this. In a Tweet, they stated that people calling the Ripwrecker a Submaripper was a "mistake" and that the "real" Submaripper is "still out there."

 

Regardless of my feelings, I've done my best not to over the second Submaripper with my preference for the original and give this dragon a fair shake all the same. I've also done my best to to find some way to justify the show Submaripper and the original Submaripper/Ripwrecker sharing a name and the Ripwrecker's case of mistaken identity. I've often said that, regardless of how you feel about the canon, this thread is not made for arguing against canon; it's for justifying it. I've got to follow my own rule, now don't I? ;)

 

Also, to avoid confusion between the two Submarippers, I will be calling the original Submaripper the "Ripwrecker" for the rest of this post, since that is a second name it has been given, and the I'll call the second Submaripper the "Submaripper" since it has no canon alternate name. And without further delay, here we go!

 

Theory 1: The Submaripper and Ripwrecker are two different species, but they are relatives. Before we get into theorizing about two different types of dragons at the same time, we have to ask ourselves...what is the relationship between these dragons?

 

So at one point, the Ripwrecker was called the Submaripper. Its name was changed in preparation for the release of the other Submaripper in the TV show. Now likely the reason for this, we know, is because the creators behind the Submaripper either didn't do their research or didn't really care...again, kind of why I'm not a fan of that dragon. But could we justify this in-universe? Maybe.

 

Let's assume both of these animals really are called "Submaripper" by people, though "Ripwrecker" is a term also sometimes used to differentiate that Submaripper from the other one. In our world, we also tend to call animals by names in a rather arbitrary manner. Some animals get various names in the same language, like "orca" and "killer whale" being the same animal. Other times, we call animals by names of other animals that they're not related to. American bison often get called buffalo even though they're not buffalo at all or are even in the same genus, though they are relatives. The case is similar with African and Asian elephants, which are both called elephants and have similar appearances and behaviors but are, again, not even in the same genus. The Tasmanian wolf and grey wolf, meanwhile, not only aren't the same thing but are about as far apart in relation to each other as mammals can be. So sharing a name does not mean two animals are the same animal. It often means they share similar characteristics, but it doesn't always indicate anything about their biological relation.

 

Looking at the Ripwrecker and the Submaripper, I have a hard time believing these are the same dragon. Their anatomy, especially their skulls, is just too different for me to buy that. Plus, the Ripwrecker has a firepower - it shoots acid - but the Submaripper really doesn't, unless gas bubbles and upchucking ships count. These are definitely not the same species.

 

But I do think these dragons are relatives of each other, perhaps each other's closest living relatives. They are both sea dragons with six limbs - four legs and two wings - short necks, and long tails. They both have a spine down the back, and they both are capable of making whirlpools and even use that as their main attack strategy. It's easy for me to believe that these two are a bit like the bison-buffalo relation; they sometimes share a name, but one also has a different name, and they're not the same animal, but they are similar animals with a somewhat similar heritage. However, I don't think they're as closely related as, say, the Gronckle and Hotburple are to each other or as closely related as the Deadly Nadder and Scuttleclaw are to each other or even as closely related as the Night Fury, Sand Wraith, and Woolly Howl are to each. I don't even think the Ripwrecker and Submaripper are close enough to breed with each other. But perhaps they are close enough to be in the same family. Again, I see them more as being a like the bison/buffalo relationship, which are still in the same family but aren't close and can't have viable offspring, as opposed to something like the horse/donkey relationship, where they're in the same genus and can have an offspring together.

 

Theory 2: Possible Ripwrecker statistics: The Ripwrecker has a mid-level Armor statistic, a mid-to-high level Firepower statistic, a Shot Limit statistic of 8, a Venom statistic of 0, an Attack statistic of 20, a Speed statistic of 16, a Jaw Strength statistic of 30, and a Stealth statistic of 12. The Submaripper has official statistics, but the Ripwrecker does not. So that leaves me to figure out what its statistics might be.

 

Admittedly, this is always easier to speculate on when the dragon is in School of Dragons, but no luck this dragon. Still, we can figure out a little about its Armor and Firepower from its stats in Dragons: Rise of Berk. It appears to have a mid-level armor statistic that, while not much lower than the Submaripper's, is somewhat lower, so I think it has a mid-level Armor that's lower than the Submaripper's (which is 14). It also has a mid-level Power that leans towards high, which leads me to believe it has a mid-to-high level Firepower, like many Tidal Class dragons.

 

I also think it has a Shot Limit of about 8. Most Tidal Class dragons appear to have this Shot Limit. And for Venom, I think it has a Venom of 0, like most Tidal Class dragons and dragons in general.

 

Now for Attack, Speed, Jaw Strength, and Stealth...I think we can attribute the Submaripper statistics. These dragons are similar enough in abilities and how they affect Vikings that they are called the same name, so they probably have similar skills in reference to the statistics. This seems to be especially true of Attack and Stealth, since they hide and attack in the same way, and though the Submaripper is bigger, the Ripwrecker has a lot more firepower, which should even them out. Given this, the Ripwrecker's Attack would be 20, Speed 16, Jaw Strength 30, and Stealth 12.

 

Theory 3: The Submaripper's and Ripwrecker's blind spots are below it and behind it. The Submaripper has eyes set on the sides of its head but directed forward and toward the top, so it should see pretty well in all those directions. However, this would me it has a small blind spot behind it and an even bigger blind spot below it. This makes sense, as the Submaripper is generally at the sea floor looking up and around at its prey. Even its jaws are oriented up.

 

While the Ripwrecker doesn't have eyes exactly in the same place, it would have similar blind spots. With eyes facing forward on top of its head and a huge nose and chin blocking his field of vision, it is going to have a hard time seeing behind it or below it. In fact, because its eyes are so close together and oriented so far forward, the blind spot behind it will be much larger than the Submaripper's.

 

Theory 4: The Submaripper and Ripwrecker both can breathe underwater and above water. The Ripwrecker's antennae are gills and so are some of the Submaripper's kelp-like spine appendages, though those likely also double as camouflage. Both species lay their eggs underwater. While both of these dragons are clearly able to breathe above the water and even have nostrils for just that purpose. But I also think they can breathe underwater. The reason is because of evidence given in certain stories.

 

In Dragons: Race to the Edge, we first meet the Submaripper when Viggo has managed to chain one to the ocean floor in the Straits of Baldur. This Submaripper continues to take down ships above it while chained there but never seems to struggle for breath even though it has no chance whatsoever of surfacing to get air, given the length of the chain. This leads me to believe it must be alright breathing underwater.

 

Now at first, I thought the Ripwrecker was different in this manner and was just an air-breather. However, in Dragons: Rise of Berk, one Ripwrecker, Sinker-Claws, was said to only "rise of the depths" when the air was cold enough, indicating that it stayed deep in the sea most of the year. If it never came to the surface in the warm weather, then it has to have a way to breathe underwater.

 

So how are these dragons doing this? Well, the Ripwrecker has two antennae on its head, which may actually be some sort of gills. The Submaripper also has many kelp-like appendages on its head that may serve a similar purpose, though the fact that they continue down its body also indicate those may just be for camouflage to disguise itself when it sits on the sea floor. They could possibly also be breathing oxygen through their skin, like many amphibians do.

 

The fact that they both breathe underwater would also explain their eggs. In Dragons: Rise of Berk, the eggs of both these species are surrounded by water. This may be because the two actually lay their eggs underwater. They are possibly the only dragons that can do so; most dragon eggs would drown if this was done, given they are mostly air-breathing animals.

 

Theory 5: Submarippers and Ripwreckers are weak flyers. Both of these dragons have small wings compared to their body size and seemed to mostly use them for swimming about in the ocean. They rarely come to the surface, and when they do, they are rarely inclined to fly, though they can if they want to. For this reason, I think they're both probably pretty weak fliers. It's even said of one Ripwrecker, Bergemine, is a kindly Ripwrecker that lets children ride on her back but that adults are too heavy for her. Ripwreckers might be smaller than Submarippers, but they're still pretty big! They can easily lift a 400-pound Viking with just their long, appendage-like tail. The fact that this dragon can't fly carrying an adult Viking just goes to show that their flying is super weak. If you're looking for these creatures, you're best keeping your eyes on the sea.

 

Theory 6: The coloration on the Submaripper and Ripwrecker are used for camouflage. Sinker-Claws spends most of his time in the depths of the ocean because he not only likes cold but he's also not well-camouflaged. The Ripwrecker is generally a shade of blue, while the Submaripper is typically also green, blue, or brown. These are all great colors for blending in with the ocean and so are likely colored for camouflage. Sinker-Claws, the red Ripwrecker, is likely just an odd mutation, which may explain why it spends so much time in the deep ocean where the light is dim and its color is less obvious.

 

Theory 7: Submarippers and Ripwreckers are solitary and mate once a year. They don't mate for life. Both of these dragons have appeared in actual stories in the franchise, and every time one is encountered, they are alone without any others of its kind unless they are greeting an alpha (in the Ripwrecker's case). This leads me to believe both of these species are solitary. Dragons this big would have a hard time getting enough resources for themselves in if they lived in groups, anyway. I also think they mate once a year and don't mate for life because most other dragons don't. Also, Submarippers are mostly compared to frogs and eels by the franchise, and those are animals that almost never form monogamous pair bonds.

 

Theory 8: The Submaripper's egg has no shell to allow water to more easily pass through it. The Submaripper's egg has an interesting feature; unlike the Ripwrecker's egg, it's not only underwater but also lacks a shell. I think this is to allow water to pass through the egg unhindered, which may help the egg keep shape and allow the embryo to get plenty of oxygen. Since the egg is not laid on land, it has less need of a shell for protection.

 

Theory 9: Submarippers and Ripwreckers grow up very quickly. Other dragons seem to, so I think Submarippers and Ripwreckers do, too.

 

Theory 10: Submarippers and Shellfires compete for the exact same resources in each other's environments. Submarippers and Shellfires are said to be "natural enemies." But how do two species become "natural enemies"? Well, they compete for resources. (Even humans abide by this. When do we go to war? When one guy has something that the other guy wants.) Submarippers and Shellfires probably go after the same prey, which means one hunting in the territory of the other is a huge threat to the other's survival. It's possible they even compete for shelter resources, preferring the same type of nesting areas.

 

Theory 11: The Sullen Sea is a cold bay or strait and so-named because of the presence of Ripwreckers. In Dragons: Rise of Berk, the Sullen Sea is the main location to find Ripwreckers. This location can actually found in the book series, where it is said to normally be frozen over, but strange sounds - likely from the gigantic Doomfang dragons found there - can be heard when the ice starts to crack. Likewise, the franchise version of the Sullen Sea is full of sea dragons. Seashockers can be found their sometimes, which are said to be able to slice through ice with their sharp fins, and Ripwreckers can also be found there, which are said to prefer cold, so the Sullen Sea is likely an extremely cold place. It is also said that, "Any disturbance in these calm waters will alert the Ripwreckers circling within. It is recommended that any Viking traveling by boat wait for the tide to drift them back out to sea." So we know that the Sullen Sea is not part of the wider ocean but a specific smaller body of seawater within it, perhaps a bay or strait. And given all this, I think it's safe to say that the Sullen Sea is named because of the trouble with Ripwreckers there. It is probably quite a "sullen" place if all who venture there are likely to meet their doom at the mercy of a very large sea dragon!

 

Theory 12: The Caves of Jotunn are named because its dark, hidden location is reminiscent of those where you would find jotunn in legend. The Caves of Jotunn are a network of natural caves underneath Berk. In the Dragons: Riders of Berk comic "Underworld," a group of former Berk Vikings set up camp here, led by Captain Fiske, who has a grudge against Berk and as a result intends to take it out from underneath. He also has a rivalry with an old Ripwrecker, and the feeling is mutual. Eventually the Ripwrecker is led to him by Astrid, and the two battle within the caves until they collapse, effectively letting their thirst for revenge kill them both.

 

The one question left unanswered for me is, why are the Caves of Jotunn given that name? Well, in Norse mythology, jötunn were the race of creatures that were human-like but were neither man nor god. They included giants, trolls, elves, dwarves, and the like. So I think it may be that the cave was said to be home to trolls, elves, and/or dwarves, creatures that traditionally dwell in dark, hidden places in Norse folklore.

 

Theory 13: Deepkeeper is part of the reason dragons choose to nest at the Rookery. Deepkeeper is the Submaripper who guards the hatchlings at the Rookery every Snoggletog. I personally think his presence may be part of the reasons some dragon species nest here; they may know that, thanks to his presence, their eggs will be pretty well-protected.

 

 

And that's all I have on the two Submarippers! Feel free to say whether you agree, disagree, or have anything to have. And even if I don't like the dragon myself very much, do feel free to leave your feelings of love for the second Submaripper! Or, if you rather, join me in expressing love for the original Submaripper! Or express how you like both!

 

Next week, we'll be doing a request from Oda: the Thornridge! Ooh, I've been looking forward to this one!