Thursday, January 30, 2014

Me, Book!Hiccup and Movie!Hiccup

During a long and somewhat scattered conversation with Inhonoredglory, we were trying to pin down why I liked Hiccup so much and how we both related to fictional characters differently. It was a fascinating topic, and in the end she asked me a question that I had never considered. "I know you don't quite relate as much to book!Hiccup, so why do you think that is?" 

So... I'd never even really thought of it! I like both or them, I think book!Hiccup is an amazing character and I am happy that the movie kept some of his similarities with his counterpart, but why do I relate SO MUCH to Movie!Hiccup and so little to book? It was neat to try and figure out. Now, please don't take this as me saying I don't like the books. I do. I love them. I'm very sad that they are almost over. I don't have to strongly relate to a character to appreciate them, but when I do strongly empathize with one (ahem, Movie!Hiccup), I usually stick with them for years and years.

Alright, onto the interesting question!!! Book!Hiccup and me? Wow… never thought this through, but I can see tons of reasons. I might just try and list them, but there are probably more.

1. His age. Book!Hiccup is eleven when we first meet him. I was fifteen when I read the book after seeing the film. Movie!Hiccup's life was at the same stage as mine, so I felt a lot more empathy for him. It was super easy to put myself into the shoes of a guy my age as opposed to a child.

2. I know Cressida in the first books ALWAYS pointed out how normal Hiccup looks, but in truth he is an absolutely extraordinary person. One thing would be his ability to speak to the dragons. I do LOVE that as a story element, but it quickly isolated me from Hiccup. It actually made Book!Hiccup feel almost superhuman… like he had this magical ability no one else had. Movie Hiccup was much less phenomenal. Sure, he was clever and had a knack for art and building things (two things I relate to. I just love it when I make something that works), but in the end he actually WAS just a normal guy who wound up changing the world through POWERFUL normal things that even I feel like I have (love, conviction), so it made movie Hiccup more relatable. Not that book Hiccup was not convicted, but at least when I met him in the first book, he didn't really compare with Movie!Hiccup. Now he does, now he shows conviction, but in book 1? He doesn't yell at Toothless and he tries to save his village. Honorable, yes. Convicted, yes… but just not to the "Kill Ring" degree.

3. Also, TOOTHLESS! Yeah, one reason I am so happy to relate to Movie!Hiccup is because I'd LOVE to have what he has. He's got movie!Toothless, and you already know how massively wonderful I think that dragon is. Book!Toothless… he's cute, but he's just NOT what Movie!Toothless is at all. So, the loyalty, power, love, fierceness, and friendship displayed by the Night Fury made me really want to be Movie!Hiccup. The common/garden dragon didn't really make me envy Book!Hiccup all that much.

4. Another thing would be that I met movie Hiccup first, fell in love with him, and then it was just weird to see him being so different in the books.

5. Though I love the story element of fate (and believe fully in God's providence XD), the fact that little Book!Hiccup is sort of destined for greatness makes him harder to relate to. He's more of a messianic figure in that way, especially with his whole stepping into the kingdom. Movie!Hiccup will eventually have to chose whether or not to take hold of the reigns and be chief, but his feels like so much more of a normal decision. Book!Hiccup hardly has a choice, he will follow in the footsteps of his ancestors. He's amazing, but he's a little too amazing. I can't think of a single time where Book!Hiccup was wrong, and because of that he's actually too ideal to be me.

6. I can actually see movie!Hiccup, as well as hear him, so that just makes him easier to want to be like! Book!Hiccup… well all we get to see are Cresseda's illustrations. 

7. Though there IS tension between father and son in the books, the way it was handled in the movie felt far more relatable because it was far more subtle. You didn't have people jeering at Hiccup that he would never be chief, you just had movie!Hiccup quietly feeling like he truly was a disappointment to everyone. The way movie Hiccup so badly wished to get his dad's approval really grabbed me. I know book!Hiccup wanted it as well, but I don't recall it being as big of an element in the first book at the very least.

8. Also, this goes with the age, but I've never really been bullied to the extent of book!Hiccup. I've never been picked on physically. The book Berk felt a lot more cruel when it came to people, while the movie Berk did not need to do that because there was a massive WAR going on. Now, I've TOTALLY felt the vibes that were given to Movie!Hiccup coming from other people, but I've never been around guys who would actually just flat out shove me over or anything like that. Just another reason I found movie!Hiccup more relatable.

9. The fact that movie!Hiccup was the first to see dragons as not evil was also more relatable. I've always loved reptiles, so I loved seeing a movie where the hero stepped up and said that the creatures were not the monsters that everyone assumed. Book!Hiccup just trained his in a better way, won its heart and its loyalty against all odds, but Movie!Hiccup was being different.

10.  And then again… I'd give almost anything for the kind of friendship Hiccup has with Toothless in the film. Just the uniqueness of it all, the way he found a friend he could truly trust after all that time of everyone else being distant and disappointed. That feeling of acceptance he got first from Toothless was magical in the movie, one of the strongest pulls I think (The Night Fury to scrawny, ordinary boy relationship is probably my favorite thing of all in the entire film), so since that wasn't really there at all in the book, it sort of left me hanging. Sure, book!Toothless would eventually "accept" Hiccup and prove his loyalty, but he's kind of a shrimp and a sissy of a dragon, so being accepted by him doesn't really compare to being accepted and loved by the Unholy Offspring of Lighting and Death Itself.

So, there you have it! Ten reasons I relate to movie!Hiccup more. I do LOVE book Hiccup, he's an amazing and well developed character who deserves a lot of thought, analysis, and love for himself, but he's just not quite as relatable!

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