- "Sadness is a matter of perspective, Hiccup. It's how you choose to view something that makes it happy, scary, intriguing, or sad. We don't view this as a day to mourn. It's a day to rejoice. This is a well-earned rest for the Great Protector. We should all be so lucky to have lived such a meaningful life."
A Matter of Perspective is the fifth episode of Dragons: Race to the Edge, Season 5. It was released on August 25, 2017.
A huge lava flow is maiking its way to the main village of the Defenders of the Wing. The inhabitants panic when the Great Protector is flying too slow for it to stop the lava. Fortunately, the Eruptodon's offspring reaches the end of the lava flow and successfully prevents it from burning the village. The older one realizes its failure and acknowledges the younger as the New Protector of the island, but Mala and Throk realizes that the Great Protector's life is almost at an end.
Hiccup is frustratingly working on a secret project but is interrupted by a knock from Astrid, who gives Hiccup a letter from Mala, inviting them to the Changing of the Guards celebration. As they arrive, Mala and Throk explain that the old Eruptodon is now unable to fulfill its duties after 40 years and that she is now free to live out her golden years in Vanaheim; the resting place for dragons. Even though that most believe that Vanaheim is a mythical venue, Mala is certain that the place exists but no human has ever ventured there and warns them that no human should. Hiccup agrees and casts a warning look to the Ruff and Tuff, indicating not to tamper with dragon culture. Mala tells Hiccup that Throk is the most distraught about the Eruptodon leaving, but assures that, from their own perspective, they are rejoicing for the long life the Eruptodon has shared with him. With a last farewell, the Eruptodon sets off for its final home, ending the celebration. The Riders leave the scene to attend breakfast. The Twins, however, stay behind, fooling Throk with an excuse as they plan on following the Eruptodon to Vanaheim.
Moments after, Throk informs Hiccup that the Twins have suddenly left, and quickly realizing where the Twins plan to go, Hiccup and the other Riders leave breakfast abruptly to find them, much to Mala's displeasure. When they arrive at Vanaheim, they strangely find what seems to be statues of dragon sentinels but dismisses them to continue the search. The Twins get caught after being spotted resting in a tree, and they are scolded. After settling things, Hiccup tells the Riders that they need to leave immediately but suddenly the Sentinel statues come to life taking on the dragons by surprise. The Sentinels then go back to their static formation, surrounding the Riders, realizing that they are the reason why no human has ever known about Vanaheim.
When their attempt to escape by splitting up fails, Hiccup suggests that they sneak out on foot but separate, and emphasizes that they do not interact with Vanaheim's sacred grounds. Hiccup's order quickly falls on deaf ears, as the Twins, walking with Fishlegs, touch the bones of dead dragons inside the sacred tombs. They notice that each tomb is the resting place for only one dragon species. On the other side of the island, Snotlout climbs up to a Sentinel resting place and tries to wake it up to no avail, but notices that the dragon smells exactly like the only fruit native to Vanaheim. When Hiccup mounts on Toothless, the Sentinel wakes up and aggressively glares at the Riders, realizing that even sneaking out on foot is pointless.
That night, the Riders make camp and ponder about the Sentinels behavior, they theorize that the Sentinels are able to counter every attack their dragons give because they've encountered numerous dragon species since Vanaheim is a resting place for dragons, but the Twins point out one fault in their theory. Since their arrival, they've been taking notes on the island, including all the tombs of Vanaheim. When Hiccup reviews their findings he discovers that the place has no resting place for the Night Fury, leading them to realize that he and Toothless have the advantage to leave since the Sentinels are not familiar with a Night Fury. Hiccup mounts on Toothless and begins their escape attempt. As they succeed, Hiccup discovers that the Sentinels are blind, and then tries to head to Berk for reinforcements but they stop when he fears that Vanaheim's sacredness will be destroyed once more humans know about the place. Hiccup has no choice but to go back and find another way to free the trapped Riders.
Hiccup and Toothless hide at a remote distance from the Sentinels, while Hiccup struggles to find another answer to get past the Sentinels but after a long moment the Sentinels awoken, not to attack the sleeping Riders, but to tend to the island and do chores in keeping Vanaheim well-suited, even feeding the Eruptodon fruits. With this observation, Hiccup realizes that he needed to do it in a different perspective. The morning after, Hiccup arrives with a sack full of Vanaheim fruit and gives it to the Riders, explaining that the Sentinels are blind and that by smelling just like the fruit, the Sentinels would confuse them as being Sentinels themselves.
When all of the Riders and their dragons are thickly covered with the fruit's scent, Hiccup advises them not to act out of the ordinary, like talking, or their only chance of escape would fail. The plan goes smoothly as the Sentinels are unable to tell that they are dragons with Riders, until Snotlout gets irritated with the Sentinels smelling him too close. Hiccup goes back to try and help Snotlout and Hookfang but are overwhelmed. Thankfully, the Eruptodon does one last rescue as the Great Protector by diverting the Sentinels away from them. Hiccup looks back and gives one last acknowledgement to the Eruptodon. Tuffnut write his final notes on his review of Vanaheim, but Toothless destroys the book, with Hiccup apologetically telling him that no records of Vanaheim should exist as to not risk the island being known by other outsiders. With her duties fulfilled, the Eruptodon finally goes back to her species' resting tomb to live out her final years in Vanaheim in peace.
On the Edge, Hiccup is strolling back to his hut with Astrid, explaining to her that with Mala's earlier advice on perspective, he was able to figure out how they manage to outsmart the Sentinels. Afterwards, they give each other a goodnight kiss to rest up and Astrid smiles and leaves him alone in his hut. Using this great advice, Hiccup starts from scratch to continue creating the unknown device in a different perspective.
- Stormfly uses scent to track the Eruptodon down, being the first time we see her transition from the Sharp Class to the Tracker Class.
- The episode "Snotlout Gets the Axe" is referenced when Ruffnut reminds Tuffnut that she was married to Fishlegs.
- Ruffnut reveals that Vikings don't normally live longer then 40 years.
- This was also true for real Vikings.
- This could be due to sickness, violence (fighting and wars), or bad diet.
- Jay Baruchel as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III
- America Ferrera as Astrid Hofferson
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman
- T.J. Miller as Tuffnut Thorston
- Andree Vermeulen as Ruffnut Thorston
- Zack Pearlman as Snotlout Jorgenson
- Adelaide Kane as Mala
- James Arnold Taylor as Throk