Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hiccup's new dilemma

This bit of HTTYD2 is one of the most interesting for me. At Comic Con, Dean said that most of Hiccup's problems were completely fixed at the end of the first film, so he tried hard to find a realistic way for Hiccup to be challenged by new things in the second film. Aging him made that easy. Hiccup's new challenge is one that isn't easy to face: maturing.

The new HTTYD2 site gave us a wonderful insight into all this. For a while we've known that Stoick wants Hiccup to take up the mantle of chief and settle down, but Hiccup's attitude towards this had only been hinted at. We now know that he really isn't all that keen on it, and because of that he keeps avoiding his father by flying off with Toothless and mapping new lands. While Stoick sings Hiccup's praises back on Berk, the to-be-chief is always obviously absent. I get the feeling that Stoick will eventually vent frustration with Hiccup over this... lots of frustration. I wouldn't be surprised if Toothless was even blamed. Even Astrid teasingly accuses Hiccup of spending his days "goofing off". 

So... what will wind up happening with this? Hiccup is running because he does not want to become his father, and he is trying to figure out who he should grow into. That's complicated significantly by Stoick and the villages expectations. Shouldn't the home-town-hero be just itching to take up a position of authority? Well... he isn't, and we even got a lovely hint at that in the finale of DoB. Hiccup doesn't want to be squeezed yet again into his culture's view of what he should and must be. "You walk like us, you talk like us, you think like us. No more of...this." comes back to mind. 

I actually feel sympathetic towards Hiccup's plight. My father is a truly amazing man, and although he has never given me pressure to be just like him, I do catch hints and whispers of people, even people I deeply admire, saying I should grow up and follow in his footsteps. I don't feel called to do that. I don't in anyway think that what my father is doing is not truly amazing, but it's just not what I feel led to do... or be. So, it's a normal-ish thing I suppose... what with maturing, to feel torn over what one is really going to mature into. At one end, you want to take advice from people who care about you, but on the other it is tricky to know what you actually should be... because compared to most other people you do know your own personality much better than they do.

Now, the main question I have is this: what will Hiccup eventually do? I sympathize and even empathize with him for running away, for just avoiding the conflict, but I wonder what he will eventually do. I can see two possibilities. One, he does run, and through his running and the conflicts he meet he discovers much more of who he is, who he needs to be, and he grows into that man even if his culture isn't all hunky-dory with it. The second, more book-like option, is that Hiccup starts by running, but eventually the conflict forces him to take up a throne that he himself is reluctant to sit upon. That is very much what has happened in the books, what with him pretty much being forced by destiny to be the King of the Wilderwest. I'd be happy with either... the first because I do like the idea of discovering oneself and finding out what would be best for one to grow into. Just because the culture has an idea of what a man should be, doesn't mean it is correct. I'm not saying rebel for the sake of rebelling, not at all! But if the culture is not right, then conforming to it is wrong, and perhaps Hiccup is not supposed to grow into a chief, perhaps that isn't right for him, and then if that is true it may not be what is right for Berk. Of course... the second option is also quite good as it would emphasize maturing into responsibility. Still... I'm not sure which way the plot will go! In the end... both would require a lot of courage from Hiccup, and I bet it will be a bumpy ride! This issue alone is enough to make the movie incredibly interesting, so toss in Valka, a Dragon extinction, and a war to end all wars, and we're gonna hopefully be getting a very multi-faceted and interesting plot!

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