Saturday, June 9, 2018

Well, isn't this SHOCKING

Ok, I do plan on discussing the second half of the trailer in bulk (like what I did with the first half), but before I do that, I want to tackle this whole Toothless-Lightning-thing! I've never really tried to have a solid, scientific theory on the blue Alpha glow we saw in the second movie. I always thought it was just cool looking... but kinda unrealistic. Now I am going to try and offer an explanation on both that and the electrifying scene we witnessed in the trailer. Granted, this will only be a theory. After all, I haven't seen the third film yet!

In HTTYD2, we saw Toothless burst out of the Bewilderbeast's, and surprisingly, he was glowing! As I noted, I've never had a really good guess as to why this would be. Sure, I imagine that the artists chose to do it mostly for the coolness factor, so I decided to let it slide. After all, it did look epic, and the scene itself was a masterful climax. Still... it kinda bugged me. HTTYD has always been fairly grounded in reality. In the recent interview, Dean even noted that he tries hard to keep it that way. This glow being nothing more than "cool" felt kinda lame. However, I could think of no solid explanation for it, so I just moved on. Nearly four years later, and I think I have finally come up with a biological explanation that satisfies me. It may not be canon, but it does feel accurate enough to maybe, just maybe, be correct.

My idea was definitely triggered by seeing Toothless surrounded by lightning (as well as flying on his own... with what looks like an auto-tail??? More on that in another post). Obviously, it is a really cool and striking image (ha... puns). My immediate thought was that Night Furies must have some sort of mechanism similar to that of Skrills. Maybe it wasn't as fine-tuned or safe, but since they are clearly closely related dragon species, it wouldn't be a huge leap in logic to assume that they both have bodies capable of harnessing lightning. However, that first observation led me to something that I think is really exciting. Toothless is glowing blue again! What could it all mean? What is this glow anyway? Is he really going to be able to channel lightning exactly like a Skrill? Allow me to explain my theory of what is going on.

First off, what is the glow? Toothless's fire is an oxygen-acetylene bolt that reaches temperatures high enough to convert some of the gas into explosive plasma. Acetylene is formed from nothing more than carbon and oxygen. I believe the blue glow we see in HTTYD is Toothless's body going into a metabolic overdrive in order to create massive amounts of gas for his flames. It's such an easy thing for his body to do! After all, all he would need is to use some of his own carbon (even some of the CO2 in the air) to create extra shots! Now, the catch is that creating an unbound gas inside an animal could be very, very dangerous. Our body doesn't allow gasses to just roam around the bodies. Oxygen is sequestered away using hemoglobin. So, what is going on here? I think that Toothless's body may have a vascular network running through it, particularly on the top of his torso, that is able to be briefly activated in order to create extra acetylene. The glow could be the result of multiple things. It is possible that his body has a hemoglobin-like molecule that binds to the gas, or his body may force the gas to become a highly efficient and compact liquid by dropping it's temperature enough (which I would say is unlikely, since he looks like this is making him hot, but he WAS trapped in ice when this first happened) or by increasing the pressure in the vessels. Whatever the case may be, I believe there is an acetylene rich fluid flowing from Toothless's back toward his mouth and head, instantly refilling his "shot limit". The glow may be the result of a chemical reaction between the hemoglobin-like molecule and the gas, or it may be the result of the massive amount of heat that could be generated by a supercharged metabolism. After all, the cells of this dragon would need to be working extremely hard to create this chemical, so the extra energy needed for these reactions could be provided by boosting cellular respiration. So, in the end, I think Toothless either has a special vascular system designed to create more acetylene fuel in states of emergency, or this is just happening in his blood. Either way, it might explain the glow!

The next thing that I wanted to explain was this scene of Toothless being struck by lightning. I'd say it looks like this may be genuinely hurting him. After all, he is not a Skrill. Even electric eels hurt themselves when they discharge. However, thinking back on the Skrill did remind me of its first appearance in DoB. I really enjoyed those episodes back in the day, and I remember that the Skrill's lightning had an odd interaction with Toothless's flames. Lightning achieves a plasma form, as does Toothless's blast. In the series, they appeared to cancel one another out. I think the Skrill is able to shoot lightning because it generates a sort of mist or gas that it can exhale. This gas is super conductive, probably kind of wet, and it guides the lightning out of the dragon's body and into the air. I think that Toothless's body is doing the same thing. I think the lightning may be interacting with whatever makes him glow! Note how the glow is only on his back and head, not near his chest. This may allow the electricity to bypass his heart, keeping him from passing out in the air. Originally, this may have been an adaptation the Night Furies developed in order to survive battles with the Skrills (probably veering into head-cannon on that one). Whatever the case may be, I think Toothless may have a special vascular system that not only produces more flammable gas for him, it also serves as a superconductive liquid system that allows him to redirect electricity away from his vital organs. Add that the fact that I believe this system dumps gas into Toothless's mouth, and he could very well use his own acetylene gas to launch lightning... just like a Skrill!

Now, of course, most all of this is speculation. I do think The Skrill may have a liquid, battery like system in its own body... and it is probably far more refined than what we see Toothless doing. However, the concept of Toothless having a unique fire-fuel producing system that also serves as a backup defense against lightning... well that would be really cool! I am assuming Toothless is actually intentionally attracting the lightning in this clip... but I could be totally wrong and this whole post could be bonkers! 

What do you think?

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