Dragon Root is a plant that appears in the How to Train Your Dragon Franchise on multiple occasions. Mainly only the root stock is seen.
Dragon Root is a tree with a tall trunk and a roughly oval-shaped crown. It appears to be a broad-leafed deciduous tree, but this cannot be confirmed. Dragon root ideally requires full sun to grow. The rootstock itself is large, knobby and whitish in color, often fading to green. This rootstock is often partially above ground. Smaller roots can branch off of the main root. The root may be a large, thick stubby taproot. It is also possible that the part designated as a root is actually a type of rhizome. This is a possibility because the rendered "root", after being coated on an arrow, can still potentially produce plants, as seen in "Not Lout". This would be similar to a potato in that a bit of potato tuber (a type of rhizome) can produce plants.
Dragon Root as portrayed in the Franchise is not seen in the real world, though there are several plants with the common name "dragon root". Two related plants, Arisaema triphyllum (more commonly known as Jack-in-the-pulpit) and Arisaema dracontium, are sometimes called "dragon-root. Both are native to North America, are herbaceous plants (not trees), and generally prefer shade. The roots of both have been used in the past in herbal medicine, though raw the entire plant is toxic. The roots need to be cooked or dried before they become edible.
Dragon Root in the Franchise is a very potent behavior modifier and sedative for most dragon species, except the Gronckle.
Almost all dragon species - even trained dragons - are effected by the presence of Dragon Root. Presumably merely the smell can cause agitation and aggression between dragons. The riders of tamed dragons are able to handle them and calm them to some extent, with difficulty, until the dragon root can be removed from their presence.
In "A Tale of Two Dragons", Gronckles are seen to be immune to the behavioral effects of dragon root. Fishlegs theorizes this may be due to her rock-based diet. However, other Boulder class dragons are effected differently by dragon root and dragon root products (such as dragon root-tipped arrows). The Screaming Death appears to be attracted to it, while the Catastrophic Quaken and the Eruptodon are both affected by dragon root-tipped arrows. It is unknown what effect dragon root may have on other unmentioned Boulder Class dragons.
It is also unknown if Dragon Root affects Tidal Class dragons in the ocean, as the best way to dispose Dragon Root is to drop it into the sea. Tidal Class dragons may have an immunity to it, similar to Gronckles. Possibly the scent of the dragon root dropped in the sea will wash off after a certain amount of time, nullifying its effects on Tiddal Class dragons.
Dragon root's effect on humans is unclear. At one point Snotlout steps on an arrow coated in dragon root, and Astrid gets shot in the leg, and both were fine other than the obvious physical wound. However, Dagur the Deranged passes out when an arrow struck him in the back, though this might have just been from the force of the blow. Hiccup was rendered unconscious when he breathed in a gaseous form containing dragon root, though it probably contained other ingredients since it was a purple smoky cloud. It did take Hiccup longer to pass out than Toothless.
All the ingredients listed below, when cooked together make the antidote to Dragon Root tipped arrows, as revealed by Dagur in "Enemy of My Enemy".
A dragon root tipped arrow processing camp was seen in "Not Lout".
- The large central taproot of the dragon root tree is harvested and chopped into smaller pieces, using an axe
- The chunks of root are then boiled in a large cauldron, presumably with water. Presumably it is boiled down until a thick green liquid is obtained.
- Pre-made arrows are hand-dipped into the dragon root concoction and allowed to air dry. Care is taken to lay them out individually.
- The arrows with dried dragon root are stored in crates and ready to ship.
As shown in "A Tale of Two Dragons", when the riders were clearing Mildew's cabbage field when Hookfang and Stormfly started to fight. It was later sensed by Meatlug while she and Fishlegs were investigating the spot where the fight started and she uncovered it in the field. When Hookfang and Stormfly started fighting again, Barf and Belch got too close to the root and started to act crazy as well. While Toothless held Barf and Belch and Hookfang knocked them aside in order to calm them down, Astrid and Snotlout calmed down their dragons enough and used Hookfang's wing clap and Stormfly's single spine shot to help Meatlug remove the root and fly out to drop it into the sea.
In "Cast Out, Part 1", after his takeover of the Outcast Tribe, Dagur and Savage did experiments with it on dragons. Dagur then used it as a trap for Hiccup in order for him to surrender Toothless to him. He left it inside the Academy so that the dragons would begin to fight over it, and Hiccup would come to stop them. Fishlegs then used it to lure the Screaming Death to Outcast Island, after doing that he dropped it into the sea just like the last one so the Screaming Death would stop following him.
During the events of "Night of the Hunters, Parts One and Two", the Dragon Hunters used dragon roots at high concentrations and coat them on their arrows. The arrows can effectively knock dragons out of the sky in one shot without fatal injuries. They have been used multiple times as the Dragon Hunter's main weapon. The first time was when Ryker shot down Stormfly.
As shown in "Stryke Out", a group of Hunters use the root in a gas form to knock out dragons for transport. Snotlout unintentionally set it off after Hiccup and Toothless were trapped, and the gas knocked them both out.
- Arisaema dracontium on Wikipedia
- Arisaema dracontium. Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Retrieved (July 14, 2017).
- Arisaema triphyllum. Henriette's Herbal Homepage. Retrieved (July 14, 2017).