|“||Every ten years the sky lights up with Aurvandil's Fire, and when it does the Flightmare appears. Its spectral glow and banshee-like scream are unmistakable.||”|
|— Fishlegs Ingerman|
Fright of Passage is the sixth episode of Season 2 in the TV series, Dragons: Defenders of Berk. It aired on October 24, 2013. It is preceded by "Race to Fireworm Island" and succeeded by "Worst in Show".
|“||Hiccup must help Astrid face her fear of the terrifying Flightmare, a ghostly dragon that seemingly "froze" her uncle with fear, shaming her family name. With Fishlegs' help, they discover there's more to the Flightmare than meets the eye.||”|
|— Official Website|
- The Flightmare is introduced.
Every ten years Berk is plagued by the attacks of a mysterious and frightening dragon called the Flightmare during the Aurora Borealis, which is also known by the Vikings as Aurvandil's Fire. When Aurvandil's Fire struck, the Villagers avoided being exposed and ran to their homes in fear of the Flightmare’s arrival. As a young girl, Astrid does not cower and has the confidence to confront the Flightmare herself, but her Uncle, Fearless Finn Hofferson tells her that this not her fight . . . yet. He tells her to stay put and attempts to confront the dragon and stop it from attacking Berk once and for all. When the dragon confronts him, it begins to glow very brightly and Fearless Finn seemingly becomes "frozen with fear". Just then, the dragon causes damage to the village before leaving. The Vikings who witnessed Fearless Finn's confrontation with the dragon claimed that he was seemingly ‘frozen’ with fear. Astrid then moves to go after the Flightmare and is stopped by Gobber who tells her that it is going to take more than a wee axe to defeat the Flightmare. Astrid then shouts in anger hoping to one day avenge her uncle and her family name.
In the present, being exactly a decade later, there are only a few hours until Aurvandil's Fire arrives. Astrid is seen sadistically destroying several objects in the Academy, training for her revenge thinking that she is ready. Snotlout makes Astrid angrier when he teases her about her family name after the incident with Fearless Finn, mentioning that when that when the Flightmare comes the Hoffersons Freeze. Hiccup tries to tell Astrid that the Flightmare may not come this year, but Fishlegs states that the Flighmare does come every ten years, as well as mentioning that it's glow and scream are unmistakable. Fishlegs also mentions that the Flightmare’s appearance is so terrifying that it freezes its prey with ‘fear’. Snotlout continues to joke about this, and Astrid lashes out at him, knocking him to the ground and putting her foot on Snotlout's head. She angry yells at Snotlout if he really thinks it is funny that her family's name was ruined by the Flightmare, to which Snotlout responds that he did a couple of minutes ago, but that he can now see how it is upsetting her.
Just then the Twins arrive, bringing food supplies and they themselves mention that the Flightmare is coming, saying that that is the only thing anyone's talking about, except for Astrid’s Uncle, despite Hiccup telling the twins to not talk about those things. Astrid hurriedly leaves and goes elsewhere. Tuffnut and Ruffnut then go into the bunker to get ready for the Flightmare's appearance, and as Tuffnut puts it, to get ready for the end of the world.
At sunset, Hiccup sees Astrid planning to set out and get revenge on the Flightmare, but Hiccup attempts to stop her by telling that it’s gonna take all of them to stop it, but Astrid tells him that what if it never gets to Berk and tempts Hiccup to track down, learn and train the Flightmare. Hiccup replies that training dragons aren't the only thing he thinks about. Astrid asks if he really said that with a straight face. Fishlegs arrives to give Hiccup the research he asked for, and it reveals the Flightmare’s location saying that it always starts on the Northern Swamp and comes towards Berk with same route every time. Fishlegs advises them if they want to get closer to it they’ll have to be stealthy, and basically invisible. Astrid sees this as an advantage to achieve her revenge and hops on Toothless and asks Hiccup about when they are leaving.
Once Aurvandil's Fire appears, Gobber alerts the Vikings to go to their homes for their own safety. Snotlout and Hookfang pass by the villagers and overhears that some of them are going to an exclusive emergency bunker at the Academy created by the Twins, and is told that by Gobber. Snotlout is confident that he can squeeze in, even though Gobber tells him that the Bunker has been booked for months.
At the Academy, the Twins are already expecting people to arrive, and they come up with a secret signal so they know who is in and who is out. Snotlout arrives at the Bunker and tries to end and Tuffnut checks the list and tells him that he is not on the list and therefore cannot enter. Gustav then goes by and is allowed into the Bunker. The twins tell Snotlout either is in or out but he can't just stand there. Tuffnut offers him a way to get in, by saying they will let him in if he gets them a rainbow colored chicken. Snotlout accepts and gets frustrated when he discovers Hookfang was also booked into the Bunker.
Meanwhile, Hiccup and Astrid are attempting to get close to the Flightmare, but Hiccup advises to proceed with caution and to see if there is anything they can learn about it and see if they can find a way to redirect it and if the plan falls apart that they would immediately fall back to town. Astrid seemingly accepts, repeating the words, "I understand Hiccup," when Hiccup tells her to, but in an unconvincing tone. They soon arrive at the Northern Swamp, and Hiccup reminds Astrid to observe only. The Flightmare appears, and Hiccup says it lives up to the expectations. Hiccup decides to fall back, but Astrid, who is still determined to get her revenge on the Flightmare, jumps off Toothless. Astrid, by doing what her uncle did, confronts the Flightmare and challenges it, saying exactly what her uncle said, but instead of his name, with her name. Astrid is then sprayed by the Flightmare with some kind of mist, which "Freezes" her. Unable to move, Astrid becomes an easy target and the Flightmare comes back for another attack, but Hiccup and Toothless manage to save Astrid and fend off the Flightmare for now.
Hiccup drags Astrid to Toothless and they fly off, and fall back to the clouds and blend in and are unable to be spotted by the Flightmare, so it returns to its territory. Once the Flightmare is gone, they land on the ground. Hiccup shakes Astrid in an effort to get her to move again. Astrid is then no longer paralyzed, as the mist wears off. Hiccup and Astrid realize the mist she got sprayed with by the Flightmare only temporarily paralyzed her, and realize that her Uncle was not actually frozen with fear. Hiccup decides to follow the Flightmare and to redirect it. They follow the Flightmare, and once they reach a river they discover that the river is glowing.
Meanwhile, Snotlout brings a chicken to the Twins, which he painted multiple colors, pretending it to be a ‘Rainbow colored chicken’ and the Twins are fooled by it. However, the Twins tell him that they wanted two rainbow-colored chickens and Snotlout pulls a second chicken from behind his back that he had painted, and gives it to the twins, and asks the twins to let him in now since he did what they asked. The twins though say that he’s nearly there and give him a list containing a few more things they want Snotlout to get. Growing more frustrated, Snotlout accepts.
At Fishlegs’ home, Fishlegs is trying to figure out why the Flightmare always takes the same route, following the stream from the Northern Swamp to the village. When Fishlegs sees Meatlug still eating in a time of danger, he realizes it’s following its food: Glowing Algae. Meanwhile, Hiccup and Astrid discover the glowing algae. Hiccup examines the algae having and notes that the glow is some sort of reaction to Aurvandil's Fire and he concludes that that is why the Flightmare always following the same path to the village. Astrid at first does not get it, and Hiccup asks the question, you ever tried to get between Snotlout and a bowl of mutton, to which Astrid responds yes, and that it is something you only do once. Astrid gets it and realizes that the Flightmare thinks we want it's food, with Hiccup adding that it attacks us because it thinks we are a threat to its survival.
Suddenly, the Flightmare spots them. Hiccup says need to get back on Toothless so they can go into the clouds and hide, but Astrid points out that that is not possible since Toothless had eaten some of the glowing algae and his whole body was now glowing blue. Hiccup and Astrid climb ono Toothless and head up into the clouds. But, due to his skin glowing, they are spotted by the Flightmare and it blinds Toothless causing him to crash. Hiccup tells Toothless to roll and Toothless narrowly avoids being hit by the Flightmare's paralyzing mist. Astrid distracts the Flightmare and it pursues her, and Hiccup and Toothless quickly grab Astrid avoiding getting hit by the Flightmare's mist, and they head into a cave and lose the Flightmare.
Just then Toothless’ glows wear off, and Hiccup and Astrid set off on Toothless to follow the Flightmare. Astrid asks Hiccup how are they going to stop the Flightmare, with Fishlegs showing up at that moment with reinforcements, and Astrid jumps on to Stormfly. Hiccup and Fishlegs devise a plan to stop the Flightmare from reaching Berk, which is to create a new channel for the river in order to divert the flow of glowing algae out to sea.
Back at the Academy, Snotlout, exhausted, brings everything the Twins had put on the list, including a sturgeon dressed as Stoick. But the Twins tell him that he has missed one thing on the list, a singing Terrible Terror. Snotlout is shocked to hear that and takes another look at the list, and realizes the Twins are just adding more things to the list. Tuffnut tells Snotlout arguing with bunker management can result in him being permanently banished from the bunker. Again, Snotlout frustratingly accepts.
Meanwhile, Astrid quickly engages the Flightmare while Hiccup and Fishlegs attempt to dig a new channel that goes out to sea. Hiccup and Toothless continue to blast the ground to construct the new channel to the sea, while Fishlegs attempts to block the original channel to prevent it from flowing to Berk. The Flightmare sees this as a threat to its food and paralyzes Fishlegs with its mist. Hiccup realizes this and gets Fishlegs back on Meatlug, and the mist wears off, and Hiccup tells Fishlegs that the Flightmare paralyzed him with his mist. Hiccup states that they need to keep cutting the channel, but notes that the Flightmare is guarding it. Astrid then mentions that she has come up with a way to distract the Flightmare, and suggests they feed their dragons with the Algae and use the Flightmare's own defense mechanism against it. Outnumbered and overpowered, they manage to blind and disorient the Flightmare, causing it to crash down to the ground allowing them to finish off the channel out to sea. When the Flightmare regains control of itself again, it discovers it’s food flowing outwards to sea and desperately follows its food, and with that, it is prevented from ever coming towards Berk again.
Back on Berk, Gobber is asleep and Stoick awaits the Flightmare's arrival. Stoick wakes up Gobber and orders him to alert the villagers, upon seeing what he thinks is the Flightmare. Stoick then sees three glowing dragons, thinking that there is more than one Flightmare but Gobber tells Stoick to stand down as they are not Flightmares. Stoick and Gobber are surprised that Hiccup, Astrid, and Fishlegs dragons are glowing. Hiccup tells them that their dragons are glowing and that is a long story. He then announces the good news that they managed to get rid of the Flightmare for the good. Stoick congratulates him proudly and tells the hiding villagers to come out as the Flightmare is gone for good.
As the villagers come out of their homes, Hiccup makes an announcement, saying that they learned a lot about the Flightmare tonight and that he will explain it all to them. He finishes the announcement by saying that the most important thing they learned tonight was that Fearless Finn Hofferson was indeed fearless, just like all the Hoffersons are, and thus clearing Astrid's family name. Stoick tells them that they’ll finally get to watch the beautiful Aurora of Aurvandil's Fire freely for the first time. The Twins arrive and they decide that they want glowing dragons, and Tuffnut tells Ruffnut to put that on Snotlout’s list whenever he comes back.
Moments later at the Academy, Snotlout arrives finally bringing a singing Terrible Terror but is shocked to discover it’s been cleared out after the announcement that the Flightmare is gone for good. Snotlout responds by telling the Terror to stop singing and is in deep frustration, and he states he really wanted that yak butter parfait.
Meanwhile, the Flightmare flies towards the horizon as it follows the flow of the glowing algae away from Berk.
- This episode title is a play on the term "Rite of Passage".
- This is the first episode in the second season that doesn't mention Alvin or the Outcasts.
- Astrid's uncle, Fearless Finn Hofferson, may be a reference to another Cartoon Network series, Adventure Time.
- There's a scene where Toothless, Meatlug and Stormfly glow brighter when next to each other. The riders may have learned it since the previous Fireworm encounter.
- The little girl in the series is re-colored for a younger Astrid, making her the first character seen at a younger age.
- The way Astrid introduces herself to the Flightmare is the same way as her uncle.
- The Vikings refer to the Aurora Borealis as Aurvandil's Fire.
- An aurora also occurs in the original film without the Flightmare's appearance, so Aurvandil's Fire is likely a very specific aurora
- This episode explains why Astrid trained so hard to fight dragons in the first film.
- An error in the beginning, when the teens are in the academy, part of Astrid's hair on the right side was over her headband.
- It is revealed that Terrible Terrors are capable of singing.
- Apparently, Astrid has tried to get between Snotlout and a bowl of mutton (sheep).
- Fishlegs knows how to knit.
- He is the first character in the series for this to be revealed.
- It is revealed that Snotlout loves yak butter parfait.
- In the flashback, behind Astrid was her house, which had a wooden Deadly Nadder head above the door. This is an error made by the animators because the flashback was from the time when Vikings fought Dragons.
- Jay Baruchel as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III
- America Ferrera as Astrid Hofferson
- Nolan North as Stoick the Vast
- Chris Edgerly as Gobber the Belch
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman
- Andree Vermeulen as Ruffnut Thorston
- T.J. Miller as Tuffnut Thorston
- Zack Pearlman as Snotlout Jorgenson
- Lucas Grabeel as Gustav Larson
- Brook Chalmers as Fearless Finn Hofferson