- "Here on Berk we've always done things one way: the Viking way. Since the dragons came the Viking way has become, well, the hard way. Unfortunately some people, like my father, still refuse to change."
How to Pick Your Dragon is the seventh episode in the Dragons: Riders of Berk. It aired on October 3, 2012. It is preceded by Alvin and the Outcasts and succeeded by Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Young Man.
- Thunderdrum makes its first appearance.
- Stoick get his own dragon, Thornado.
- First time Snotlout's family, the Jorgensen's, are mentioned.
Stoick and Gobber brings in a heavily damaged fishing vessel caused by the attacks of a rogue dragon, whom Stoick and Gobber failed to saved the ship from being ransacked due to slow transportation, loosing them another whole catch of fish. Hiccup, again, suggests to his father to why not, use a dragon to make it there within 5 minutes instead of sailing which took them 2 hours, also fending off the rogue dragon for good. But Stoick still does the traditional 'Viking Way', Hiccup tells his father the Viking Way is costing them many ships and fish, Gobber agrees to his appeal by telling Stoick if he uses a dragon he could protect Berk from other great threats, such as Alvin, Stoick is interested to Gobber's pointers and catches his attention, ignoring Hiccup despite he was the one who pointed out in the first place. Eventually, Stoick agrees to ride a dragon and asks Hiccup to teach him.
Outside the Academy, Hiccup introduces Stoick a specific stirrup he built on Toothless to accommodate Stoick's left foot. Hiccup reminds his father first, that to gain a dragon's loyalty is to earn his trust first, Hiccup tries to make him understand it by grabbing Stoick's hand and reach out to Toothless, when Toothless reaches his hand, Hiccup asks if Stoick feels that bond, but Stoick answers he only felt Toothless' dry and scaly skin. Impatient, Stoick just tells Hiccup to let him ride Toothless already, when Stoick gets on, Hiccup tells him to start off slow and easily, with a simple nudge. But Stoick gives Toothless a painful nudge, causing them to start off fast. It results them with an unsuccessful flight as Stoick is unable to control Toothless' tail properly causing them to crash-land in the beach, and though Hiccup apologizes to Toothless, Toothless still makes an irritated expression.
Stoick quits his training and decides to head back and check on the village, however he faces a tall cliff and asks Hiccup to lend him a ride for assistance. When they begin their flight, Hiccup tells his father think about how easy his job would be in a back of a dragon, Stoick still prefers to do his job traditionally but hesitates when he does his first chiefing flying when he spots a Yak farm whose yaks have been tipped over. Toothless spots the hooligans hiding behind a wheelbarrow and Toothless blasts it revealing it to be the Twins responsible, as punishment, Stoick orders them to put all the yaks they tipped back on its feet.
Hiccup then decides to find more things Stoick can get done for today, they ward off a couple of boars who are eating Berk's livestock, and Stoick enjoys Toothless' firing at them. Before they can finally head back, Hiccup takes Stoick high up to the clouds, and gets a majestic view of Berk. Stoick is utterly stunned to see Berk from this perspective, though he traveled every inch of it, he gets a beautiful feeling when he sees his people down below, safe and peaceful. They then fly back home.
The next morning, Hiccup wakes up and notices Toothless missing. When he goes to check it out outside, he notices Stoick has taken a ride with Toothless himself very early but still has trouble flying him properly causing Toothless to fly painfully as he bumps to obstacles as Stoick steers him. Stoick finally unmounts himself from the very exhausted Toothless, where he only paused because he only wanted to grab his hatchet to help the Jorgensons tore down a fence, he fails to listen to Hiccup's pleas that Toothless is his dragon. Meanwhile, Toothless break is short-lived as Stoick misunderstood Hiccup stating and instead realizes that he can just use Toothless to blow down the fence, Hiccup promises to his dragon he can fix this, as Toothless will spend his day doing all of Stoick's work.
After many hours of exhausting flying and work throughout the island, Toothless finally has his freedom to rest. Hiccup watches his dragon tired-out by lifting a 270 pound man, though Astrid states he got his father to ride a dragon, the only problem is, Hiccup needs to get his father off of his dragon. Astrid gives him a piece of advice by doing the old 'Honey and the Hatchet' where Hiccup tells him something good to his father and then tells him the one his father doesn't want to hear.
The next day, Stoick prepares to do his work but cannot find Toothless, who is hiding. Hiccup tells his father he doesn't know and gives him the Honey and the Hatchet, Astrid advised. Though Stoick is well aware, Hiccup tells his father he cannot ride his dragon, Stoick understands but he request his son to then find him a dragon that suits him.
Hiccup introduces him the dragons to choose at the Academy, where the Riders introduce their dragons to him to see if Stoick gets interested. However, Stoick is not interested in any of the dragons, Hiccup tells him Toothless is the only Night Fury and he cannot take him. Suddenly, Gobber gives an urgent word to Stoick, as the rogue dragon has been reported doing another attack on a fishing vessel. Hiccup reluctantly lets Stoick control Toothless and they set off to fight the rogue dragon.
Out on sea, Bucket and Mulch finds their ship encircled by the rogue dragon, when it emerges from the ocean, the rogue dragon reveals to be a Thunderdrum, a tidal class dragon that has the ability to create bursts of deafening blasts, it is also believed his tremendous roar is coming from Thor himself. When Toothless fires a few plasma blasts at it, it retreats to the sea and seems to have flee. Stoick prepares to evacuate Bucket and Mulch, but suddenly the Thunderdrum grabs Stoick with it's tail and drags him into the ocean. Stoick puts up a brutal fight against the dragon, but the dragon matches his strength also. They emerge from the sea and lands on the boat, while fighting the dragon, Stoick finds it to be the perfect dragon for him and finally captures him with a net, where he tells Hiccup that this is the dragon he wanted and all Hiccup needs to do now is to train it for him.
At the Academy, the Thunderdrum is put behind bars and even muzzled. Stoick quickly requests to get started training him, Hiccup tells him he needs to gain his trust first or be seen as a friend, he tells him to approach the dragon gently and make eye contact. When Hiccup releases the dragon, Stoick first approaches it gently and reaches his hand to it's head, but the dragon tries to bite it. Furious, Stoick brutally punches the dragon back to it's cage, and a battle rages, Stoick grabs the tail of the Thunderdrum and jumps on his head, mounting on him, doing it with a brutal approach. Though he is able to ride the dragon, it still tries to resist as it flies out of control throughout the island.
At Gobber's Smith, Hiccup explains his problem with his dad to Gobber of not listening to his statements, but Gobber's advise to Hiccup didn't turn out much of a help. Suddenly, Stoick arrives barely holding to stand up, Hiccup asks what happened, Stoick explains the Thunderdrum to threw him off and fled somewhere throughout the island, he still requests to find the dragon, and again ignoring Hiccup's statement.
Stoick and Hiccup assembles the Riders for a search party for the Thunderdrum. When Hiccup tries to orders the Riders where to search, Stoick assumes command as he interrupts Hiccup, Hiccup starts to feel left out. Despite that, Stoick orders the Riders to cover the West, the North, and the East sides of the island. Moments later, while flying, Hiccup reminds Stoick that when they find the dragon again he recommends to do approach it gently but is ignored by Stoick as he spots the dragon.
When they land to it's cave, Stoick tries to approach it armed with a hammer, but discovers inside the cave another Thunderdrum , but with an injured wing. They realize the Thunderdrum is trying to protect it's injured friend and even take care of it by stealing fish by attacking the fishing vessels of Berk. Stoick orders his son to tell the other Riders and Gobber where they are, Hiccup goes in reluctance. Left alone, Stoick throws away his weapon and approaches the dragon, what Hiccup taught him prior, saying he wants to help the Thunderdrum by trusting him. However, a large herd of boars picks up the scent of the wounded Thunderdrum and approaches them intending to attack.
Surrounded, Stoick tries to defend the dragons, attacking them with it's hammer one by one. Stoick and the Thunderdrum put up a fierce resistance but finds themselves outnumbered. Both realize that they can only hold out if they finally unite, so Stoick once again reaches out his hand, and finally the Thunderdrum trusts him and shows his loyalty, officially training his first dragon. Stoick takes off his muzzle and he rides on him. The boars are no match for the Thunderdrum's roar and they simply fell victim to it, and finally flees.
Just then, Hiccup and Toothless and the Riders arrive. Hiccup asks what just happened, Stoick tells him they finally bonded and tells him that it was all about trust, Hiccup realizes Stoick was actually listening to him the whole time. At Berk, Hiccup and Stoick safely escort the wounded Thunderdrum as Gobber puts it under medical care.
By that, Stoick finally has a dragon, but still does his traditional Viking ways. But after Hiccup and Toothless showed him how to train his first dragon, Stoick realizes that he can do the Viking ways with the Dragon ways.
As Stoick and his Thunderdrum finishes helping two Viking vessels to sail towards the ocean, they then take a stroll throughout Berk with his son, Hiccup and Toothless following also. And both of them fly throughout the horizon with their own dragon.
- "My dad still does things the Viking way. Fortunately Toothless and I showed him the Viking way can also be the dragon way."
- Despite already having saddles, none of the dragons have theirs on in this episode except Toothless.
- It's revealed Stoick's weight is about 400 pounds, (although Hiccup could've been exaggerating.)
- The ending cinematography almost resemble the Test Drive scene in the movie.
- 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
- Julie Marcus as Ruffnut Thorston
- T.J. Miller as Tuffnut Thorston
- Zack Pearlman as Snotlout Jorgenson