Monday, May 15, 2017

Speculation: Could a Human Become the Alpha...?

Ok, so I am going to go out on a limb here... because this entire speculation is already based on a running theory. A speculation based on a theory is pretty shaky, but it will be fun to play around with. Based on my theory of how and why the Alpha system works, is it possible for a human to become the Alpha?

Before getting started, I'd like to note that the idea for this post actually came from a good friend of mine who I met in college. I was describing how I felt the Alpha system in HTTYD works, and he made a odd point about my theory. Basically, as most of you who frequent this blog probably know, I feel that the Alpha system is based off of audio/visual inputs, not some sort of mind control. This means that the dragons have an instinct to recognize these inputs that only the Alpha dragon will make. I suppose, hypothetically, any dragon could make these cues, but no dragon will other than the Alpha because they are pretty much instinctively programmed not to. This keeps this powerful, cross-species super weapon intact. Only a dragon who has challenged and beaten the Alpha will act like the Alpha. Other dragons recognize the Alpha and respect that position. Now, whether or not Toothless could put dragons into the red rage would probably depend on if he could physically be loud and imposing enough to reach that instinct inside his fellow dragons. We know at the very least he can pacify them using auditory and visual signals, so maybe he could push that farther into the red rage. Who knows? We'll probably just have to wait and watch. The counter theory to this is that the Bewilderbeasts are pretty much born to be Alphas, and thus they are born with the capacity to "mind control" the other dragons. I really don't hold to this theory, and I spend a lot of time debating against it. It does have some good points on its side, but it just feels inconsistent with a lot of factors that play out in the second film. One reason this theory is popular is because it spares Toothless from any sort of guilt in Stoick's death. I am not trying to toss blame on Toothless, I don't think it is his fault, but according to my theory, it wasn't the Alpha reaching into him and taking control, it was him responding instinctively to commands that he as a dragon has a deep, deep drive to fulfill. It was something inside Toothless being brought up and out, something that suppressed his personality and soul, but at the same time something that IS part of him. He overcomes it in the end, and that is what makes the "Toothless Found" scene so amazing.

So, that's my theory in a nutshell. Now for the speculation. Upon telling this to my friend (who happens to be the one who convinced me to finally get a DS and start playing Pokemon... and who is probably my arch rival in Super Smash Bros... super cool guy), he asked me if a human could ever become an Alpha if they were able to figure out the proper visual and auditory cues. At first I wanted to brush this off and say "No way!", but then I started to think about it... and it just might be possible. I'm not saying it will ever happen, but could it?

First off, queens in dragon nests clearly use auditory signals to give powerful commands to smaller dragons. Their authority is more limited than an Alpha, but they still can wield a lot of power. I have to wonder if a human could pull this off. Could some character actually create the proper signals to control hoards of dragons?

In a way, we have already seen humans doing this! Drago literally makes auditory and visuals cues so powerfully to his dragons that they bow to him! Does that sound familiar? What else have we ever seen the dragons bow to? The Alpha! So, in some way or another, Drago may actually be manipulating this system for his own use. Valka also has an uncanny understanding of the dragons' communication. She uses her staff to communicate with an entire cavern full of them, she leads the Bewilderbeast into battle, and she is able to give a visual cue to Toothless that shuts him down immediately. Honestly, I don't think either of these individuals is functioning as an Alpha in any real way, but I suppose they potentially could. There is just one thing standing in the way:

The current Alpha.

For a dragon to fully move into the role of Alpha, they must challenge and defeat the past Alpha. So, while Drago and his Bewilderbeast are able to torment dragons into following them, maybe even confuse their instincts to follow the Alpha, they are not able to really take control until Drago's Bewilderbeast defeats the past Alpha. Toothless then takes away the position of Alpha when he challenges the Bewilderbeast, and in doing this he shatters the controlling hold that the monster had on Berk's dragons. What I am getting to is this, I suppose... it is hypothetically possible for a human to become the Alpha to the dragons. It would just take very special conditions. They would need to fit in well enough with the dragons to convince them that they are one of them (Valka), be able to give the correct signals (Drago), and defeat the current Alpha. Until these parameters are met, I'd say the world is safe from a human Alpha. With some research and use of a Valka-like costume, I assume Drago might could actually pull this off. He's scarily close already (that scene with Hookfang is nuts), but I honestly don't think it will ever happen (hopefully!!!).

So, what do you guys think? Is this just ridiculous, or do you think it could just be possible?

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