The Defenders of the Wing are a tribe of dragon worshipers on the island of Caldera Cay.[1] They were initially introduced as antagonists; wanting to kill the Riders because of the idea that they were working with Dragon Hunters. But, after realising the rider's true allegiance, they soon became some of the Riders strongest allies.

They first appeared in the episode Defenders of the Wing, Part 1.


Unlike all previously encountered tribes, the Defenders don't seem to be based on Vikings and are rather designed as an Asian civilization, with a lot of Chinese and Japanese elements in their clothing, weaponry and architecture. The Defenders seem to be a monarchy, ruled by Queen Mala who is very protective over her kingdom and all dragons, which the Defenders see as holy beings. Especially the Eruptodon, a Boulder-Class dragon that lives inside a volcano on Caldera Cay and prevents it from erupting for which it is worshiped as the Great Protector. The Defenders frequently offer it tribute, like food and flowers.

They seem to have a vast knowledge of dragons but any contact, like flying on their backs, is strictly forbidden. Thus the Defenders do not bond with dragons and don't know about dragon training.


The Defenders lived in peace with the dragons on their island; they also established a relationship with the Eruptodon, whom they called "The Great Protector". At some point they also encountered the tribe of Dragon Hunters that came to be led by Viggo Grimborn, and a lasting antagonism developed between the two factions. Viggo later played this fact to his advantage in his conflict with the Dragon Riders, whom he tricked into traveling to the Defenders' island with a map he had made out to make it look as though they were his allies. Using their arrival as a distraction, Viggo and his men then snuck onto the island and captured the Eruptodon, taking it to Dragon's Edge in order to activate the volcano there, effectively enabling Viggo to eliminate both his greatest enemies. However, the Defenders and Riders were able to work together to save both islands and the Eruptodon, and soon joined forces against Viggo.

Mala, queen of the Defenders, came to believe that Rider Snotlout Jorgenson might prove to be a worthy king, but Defender law required that he pass a series of tests in order to earn the position. Though Snotlout was surprisingly capable, he failed the final test and was thus disqualified.


The Defenders' clothing comes in a variety of garments, depending on the gender. While the males wear sleeveless black tunics with built-in shoulder guards that end in 2 layers front and back, the females wear long-sleeve tunics that also end in layers. Both genders wear identical hooded masks that cover most of their faces so only their eyes can be seen.  They also wear black leather leggings, and tall black leather boots. When needing to get close to the volcano, they coat their clothing with Eruptadon saliva, as it aids as a fire retardant.

Political System

Caldera Cay is a monarchy. Mala is currently the Queen of Caldera Cay and the Defenders. During her reign, Mala chose Snotlout Jorgenson as her king. However, to prove his worth, Snotlout had to undergo three trials to prove himself worthy of being Mala's king.

To become king, Snotlout had to undergo three trials:

  1. Walk the Pool of Valor, which was lava pool.
  2. Survive a water maze filled with poisonous and giant eels.
  3. Take a shot for Mala by taking the arrow.

However, Hiccup had Toothless sabotage the final trial and Snotlout failed to catch the arrow before Mala was able to grab it.

Tribe Members

  1. Queen Mala (Chief)
  2. Throk



  • This is the first time a tribe other that Berk has both men and women as background characters.
  • This is the first time another dragon-friendly tribe is introduced to the franchise, other than Berk.
  • The masked members are redesigned models of Hiccup and Heather
  • The Defenders of the Wing and The Wingmaidens are the only known tribes who have a woman (Mala and Atali respectively) as their leader


Notes and References

  1. A4320bfb10853844e8d50a3a78b42219 Caldera Cay on Hiccup Haddock III's Journal/Map.

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