Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Gorgeous Character Dilemma
Alright! I'm home from my trip, so that probably means I'll be posting with a little more frequency. Considering it has been quite a few weeks since HTTYD2, I've had a little bit more time to delve into it and pull out blog worthy thoughts. One tricky thing is that I lack images! I love posting pics at the tops of posts, but as of now, we lack images of some of the most important moments in the second film! I guess we'll just have to suffer until the movie comes out on DVD. This does discuss the second film. It won't be too spoilery, but I'm still gonna put it on a "read more". Click that read more to see the whole post.
So, anyone else love Valka? Personally, I thought she was a very interesting character. The scene portrayed by the gif above is one of my major reasons for liking the dynamic she introduced. Why? She was flawed. That isn't necessarily a bad thing! It added so much depth to the story. Besides, she isn't the only one. Hiccup is also, to a degree, flawed during the events of the second film. And we can also clearly see that Stoick was flawed in the first movie. The Haddock family is in no way perfect, and that is what makes the characters so rich and in many cases relatable.
But, back to Valka. What I loved about the scene where she offers to let Hiccup stay with her is that what she was offering Hiccup was wrong. It was. The scene was incredibly happy. Hiccup is really and truly excited by what she is offering him, but the things she says are scarily extreme. She wants him to stay with her, pretty much run away himself, and be free as a dragon. What gets scary is when she says things like, "Some of us were just born different." and "This is who you are Hiccup, who we are". At this point in the story, Valka still is unwilling to believe that people can change. She thinks Hiccup is the way he is because he was born that way, and so really he doesn't rub her worldview nearly as wrong as one would expect. But then there comes the reality that people can and did and do change. Stoick changed, Berk changed, and at this point Hiccup believes that Drago can change. They differ on this point, and that is what makes Valka's offer so scary. Yes, it is sweet, but Valka is pretty much telling Hiccup who he is. And that isn't correct. She is wrong about him at this point, and even though her offer may be more tantalizing than Stoick's offer of being chief, I for one am glad to say that Hiccup didn't wind up taking her up on it. And that was what was so strange and beautiful about that scene! It's a gorgeous scene, with touching animation, beautiful lighting, and incredibly sweet music, but in the end it isn't the right path! It isn't the path Hiccup must take, it isn't the path that he is meant for. Valka and Stoick both, to a degree, tried to tell Hiccup who to be, but in the end it turned out that they were both only partially correct. Yes, Valka is not wrong in seeing the freedom and joy and heart that so defines Hiccup and makes him like her, but that isn't all of him.
I do truly believe that if Hiccup would have stayed it would have been wrong. It was tempting, but it was wrong, and I am glad that in the end he was willing to take up the incredibly difficult mantel of chief. He took the much more difficult path even though Valka promised him everything he had dreamed of, and that was an incredible sacrifice on Hiccup's part. I don't know if he is really ready to be chief, but he knows that is who he needs to be, so he is going to try. He is going to try and bring the world of dragons and men together yet again, and it is no easy task.
But the story is not over for Valka! Yes, what she was offering to Hiccup was probably not the best thing in this scene, but then she meets Stoick, then she really sees how much people can change, and she comes to see so much more of Stoick in Hiccup. It is great to note that at first she thinks Hiccup has taken after her so much, but then later she realizes just how much Hiccup is like his father. In the art book, Dean clearly says that he loves that though Hiccup is afraid to lead, he is cut very much from the same cloth as his father. That is SO true, and it is amazing to see that Valka sees that. At first she tells Hiccup that she and he are the kinds of people who are special in their love for dragons, but later she tells him what she sees in him, and what she sees is true. "You have the heart of a chief, and the soul of a dragon. Only you can bring our worlds together. That is who you are, son." That is just so great. I love it to bits. Hiccup starts out running from being chief, then his mother offers him freedom in being like her, but by the end Hiccup and Valka realize that Hiccup is like both his father and his mother, and he is going to bring their worlds together. I love that Valka actually has to see that she is wrong. I love that Hiccup is tempted to believe her early view of him but doesn't, and I love that in the end Hiccup really does seem to mature in discovering himself. He has the bravery of a chief, he returns to Berk because it is his responsibility, but at the same time in order to save the day, he pours his heart out to a dragon in a way that only he could, and that beautiful dragon responds in a way that just proves how incredible his and Hiccup's bond is. Hiccup's courage and willingness to take up responsibility mixes with a bond between boy and dragon that is so strong... and they change the world again.
And I, like Hiccup, and so... so glad to have Valka there to watch it all, to be proud of her son for being so much like her... and yet very different. He is so much like his father in so many ways, and I hope he grows to see that as he strives to live as his father wanted him to.
Posted by Toothless the Nightfury