The third installment in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise comes out Feb. 22, and with it, the return of beloved characters Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), Astrid (America Ferrera), and Toothless. And since How to Train Your Dragon won't get another sequel, this new movie is the last of a trilogy. The writer and director of the HTTYD movies, Dean DeBlois, has told multiple outlets that the series was always intended to unfold over three movies, and it sounds like they're truly sticking with that plan.
"When I was asked to come up with an idea for a sequel to the first film, I pitched the idea of a trilogy that would map three acts of one story," DeBlois told IGN last summer. The good news is that you can find more dragon drama similar to the fantastic movie's in the source material for DeBlois's creation. The book series which the HTTYD movies are based upon, written by Cressida Cowell under the same title, includes 12 books, so there are a lot more of Hiccup's adventures in Berk to experience, even if it's not in a movie format.
As sad as it is that The Hidden World is the last movie, it sounds like it'll be an epic farewell. While talking with IGN, DeBlois called The Hidden World "a satisfying culmination," which may sound like an undersell, but ending a series is seriously tricky business, and it's hard to do right.
One of the most exciting aspects of the new HTTYD movie is the discovery of a second Fury dragon — like Toothless — but this time it's a white one, which Hiccup and Astrid call a Light Fury. Toothless and the Light Fury seem to have an instant connection, but Hiccup and Astrid face the challenge of finding a new home for the dragons, and they go looking for a mythical Hidden World. As you can imagine, there are some difficulties and setbacks, and you'll get to see just how much Hiccup has grown.
While talking with Entertainment Weekly last September, DeBlois said, "We thought about it for a long time and came up with what we think is a bittersweet way to say goodbye to these characters, but the right way." And it's not just the audience who'll be bidding them farewell — the characters will have to say goodbye to each other as well.
"The overall theme of the story is letting go, or finding the wisdom to let go, rather," the director told Ew. "So much of Hiccup’s identity, as a leader and an adult, is because of his relationship with Toothless. But if Toothless is not there, who is Hiccup?" Hmm, that's a good question.
All of the changes that take place in the movies ultimately lead Hiccup to his destiny, and DeBlois told IGN that that was his intention with the trilogy all along. "Each installment is some sort of crossroads that Hiccup encounters is part one overall world, that takes him towards his destiny," the writer/director said.
While the ending to the series might make you tear up, you'll still get to enjoy the magic and wonderment that the animated series is best known for. One last time.