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Isle of Berk

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If you are looking for the book version of Berk, see Isle of Berk (books)

"This is Berk. It's twelve days north of Hopeless, and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It's located solidly on the Meridian of Misery."
Hiccup , How to Train Your Dragon film.

The Isle of Berk is a relatively small island that's the setting of the How to Train Your Dragon movie adaptation. This island is home to the many vikings of the Hairy Hooligan tribe and many dragons as well. It is based on an uninhabited island to the west of Scotland that Cressida Cowell frequently visited when she was a child. [1]

Berk

Berk from over view


Isleofberk

Berk at night

Geography

Berk, a small island that's twelve days North of Hopeless and a few degrees South of Freezing to Death (the latter two being either figurative modes of speech or, less likely, actual, comically-named places), is located solidly on the Meridian of Misery in the Barbaric Archipelago. Berk is a rather round island, similar to an oval shape, and it looks quite small on maps. It contains many interesting, geological landforms such as rocky arches and cliffs, beaches, waterfalls, streams and several large forests. There is also a massive cavern under the village which now serves as space for dragon stables. In the book series the island is known to grow a plant called the Berk Bog Rose.

Climate

"This is Berk, it snows nine months of the year- and hails the other three." - Hiccup, How to Train Your Dragon film.
"This is Berk, boasting the kind of balmy fun-in-the-sun climate that will give you frostbite on your spleen." - Hiccup, Gift of the Night Fury holiday special.
"Winter on Berk lasts most of the year. It hangs on with both hands and won't let go." - Hiccup, Gift of the Night Fury holiday special.
"But it's too early for a storm, it's still winter. Devastating winter isn't due for another month!" - Hiccup, Animal House
"This is Berk. We've got ice, we've got snow… and we've got more ice." Hiccup, Cast Out Part II

Berk is known to have extremely cold, long winters and short warm summers. However, throughout most episodes and the movie, the weather seems to be typically warm weather.

Notable places

A large amount of places are introduced around Berk despite its size. Places like the Great Hall, all of the houses, and the animal barns.

Village

The village is a place where the vikings of Berk live. The village is filled with large houses with an architectural theme of dragons, and the homes are built on land with a gentle slope. However, these homes had to be constantly reconstructed or repaired after being destroyed during a dragon raid.

The Great Hall

A large room with a large circular table at the centre, surrounded by many normal tables. This is where the vikings gather to plan an attack, communal meals, study (if in Dragon Training), hide during bouts of bad weather (in these instances the dragons and if necessary, farm animals, stay here as well), or celebrate. On the wall are portraits of all the previous chiefs and their sons, the most recent one being of Stoick and Hiccup.

Barn

A large barn exists at the base of the cliffs, and in front of it are large pens for the yaks the vikings domesticated. Chickens and sheep are also kept here.

Weapon Storehouse/The Armory

Obviously, a storehouse for weapons. Apparently there is gunpowder or some other explosive substance inside, which at one point Mildew lit to blow up the Storehouse and frame Toothless .

The Docks

The Docks in Berk have large individual docks for loading and unloading large cargo into the ships. The docks are built from the large cliff of Raven Point. A wooden walkway is built above the docks to view the ships from. This is where Hiccup stood in the film as he watched the ships sail away to the Dragons Nest.

The Haddock House

The Haddock house is built on top of the high slope overlooking the entire village. Their house is mostly larger in comparison with other homes. This house is next to the Great Hall.

Main Room

The Main Room is the main room after entering. This room consists of a fire pit mainly used for cooking and heat. To the left side are many large steps to the second floor and Hiccup's room. In The Terrible Twos, Stoick is shown to sleep down there.

Hiccup's Room

Hiccup's Room mainly has a wooden bed with patterns carved into the head board. On one post of the foot board is where Hiccup keeps his helmet. At the base of the bed is a small wooden chest. Beside the bed is a table and chair that Hiccup sometimes works at. There is a also a large rock slab that Toothless sleeps on.

Gobber's Blacksmithing Forge

Gobber's Blacksmithing Forge is the main blacksmithing shop of the island and was where the vikings got their weapons during the dragon raids. The forge is spacious with many weapons inside. Lately Gobber has become a dragon dentist, so he put up a sign above the forge with a tooth on it, though the forge is still used.

Hiccup's Workshop

Although it's unverified, Hiccup's workshop is located inside Gobber's blacksmithing forge. This is where Hiccup works, on his own time, to build or plan to build things.

Mildew's House

A gloomy house built in the shadow of a cliff on the edge of the village, away and out of sight from the other houses. According to Gobber, the vikings built it there because they find Mildew annoying.

Gothi's House

A house built high up on top of a cliff, that houses the village elder.

Berk Dragon Training Academy

Once the arena where Dragon Fighting class was held, it also housed several dragon species the vikings had captured for training the younger vikings to fight. There was a Deadly Nadder (Stormfly), a Hideous Zippleback (Barf and Belch), a Gronckle (Meatlug), a Monstrous Nightmare (Hookfang), and a Terrible Terror (Sharpshot). Toothless was also imprisoned here a short while. It was also used for the purpose of housing the battle between the best of the Dragon Fighting class and a Monstrous Nightmare. Later, Stoick gave Hiccup the arena to use as the Berk Dragon Training Academy, and a sign depicting Toothless was put up over the entrance. The dragon cages were kept intact, as the dragons were locked up here when they were causing trouble, and also Stoick's Thunderdrum, Thornado, was locked up here with a muzzle when it was still aggressive.

Raven Point

As stated in the film, Hiccup says he shot down a Night Fury that fell just past Raven Point. Raven Point is a mountain peak filled with forests and steep cliffs. At the base of the tallest peak, lay the docks. This is notable because of a large canyon like structure between the tallest peak and another steep cliff.

The Cove

A large sunken area in the forest with rocks, tree roots, and a pond with fish. It was here Toothless crash landed once Hiccup released him, and this was where they gained each other's trust and friendship. The walls are steep enough that Toothless cannot easily get out, though he can if sufficiently motivated, as seen when he escaped to save Hiccup from Hookfang in the film. Vikings can easily enter and exit however. Hiccup occasionally leaves Toothless here when he doesn't want him to go anywhere, as seen when he believes Toothless' aggression around Torch, the baby Typhoomerang, to be a problem and leaves Toothless stranded in the cove as punishment.

In Dragons: Wild Skies

In the video game, Dreamworks Dragons: Wild Skies, you can travel around several areas of the Isle of Berk.

Berk Village

The village of Berk is an area in Wild Skies which is home to the vikings of Berk. It has several houses on a cliff, and progresses downwards to the Dragon Training Arena. The village sits on the edge of a cliff facing towards the open ocean, which has many rock formations and arches rising out of the sea. In the sky, large mountains are seen.

Unlandable Cove

Unlandable Cove features a large damp swamp and several small rock formations rising out of the murky water. There are many plants and vines around this area, and the area is very foggy. Tall trees rise out of the ground on islands in the swamp, and many arches and cliffs are scattered around the outer rim of the area. The Deadly Nadder's lair is found in this spot and the Changewing is also found here.

The Great West Ocean

This area's most prominent feature is the large bay in the middle of the area. Many arches, cliffs and rocks are found around the exterior of the area, and large landforms rise out of the middle. Various waterfalls flow from the tops of the islands and landforms into the water below. The area that can be explored on foot has several ramps that lead to higher cliffs. This is where you encounter the Scauldron.

The Woods That Howled

This area features a large forest and many giant landforms. Vines hang from the bottoms of the mountainous landforms, and at the very bottom of the area is a big thick fog. In the ground area, a large lake is found. A huge rock dome with many holes in it can be found sheltered over a cave entrance, which leads to the lair of the Gronckle as well as the Whispering Death.

Lava-Lout Island

This area has various lava pools and lavafalls around it. The main feature is the giant hollow mountain rising up in the middle, which at the very top houses the Monstrous Nightmare and the Smothering Smokebreath. In a circle around the mountain is a lava moat. It also has many spikes and spiky cliffs scattered throughout the area. The first time you enter you need a Zippleback. Sometimes there is a glitch where if you try to enter with a Typhoomerang, it will say that you need different type of dragon to enter but after a while, you are able to enter Lava-Lout Island.

Black Heart Bay

A large bay is found in the middle of the area, which leads into the ocean. Huge Islands rise out of the sea, with various trees growing on them. Arches and cliffs circle around the place. The ground area is a woodland area with a very rocky and desert area branching off the side, which leads you straight into the Hideous Zippleback's domain. A very big lake is featured lower into the area, with a giantic waterfall splashing into it. A cave system is found behind a waterfall.

Wild Dragon Cliff

A very foresty area, Wild Dragon Cliff features many cliffs with trees dotting the tops. A giant lake sits at the bottom of the area, with a large island rising up out of it. A huge waterfall flows into the lake, and up the waterfall sits the entrance to Badmist Mountain. A giant archway rises above the waterfall. There's a crack in the mountainside which leads to the Typhoomerang's home.

Badmist Mountain

A very large area which sits at the top of the Isle of Berk, many cliffs form a U shape, with the open part of the U facing the open ocean. Several landforms rise up from the barren ground, and a large underground lake can be found in the side of the cliff. This is Toothless' favorite spot on the island, and he can be found in a small alcove of trees on ground level. A wide-spread mist covers up the sky so only a Nightmare can get there the first time you go in due to its huge wingspan.

Wrecker's Reef

A large bay covered in constant snowfall, large spires with bridges connecting to cliffsides dot the area, which is penetrated by a large icy bay. Snow-covered trees are the only foliage. Crabs can be found in the bay. You can locate the Thunderdrum here.

Lifestyle

In the Isle of Berk, most vikings live in houses built out of wood and do their normal jobs such as patrolling the island, farming, fishing, hunting, crabbing, gathering honey or herbs, making clothes, etc.

Opportunities

"We have fishing, hunting and a charming view of the sunsets." ~ Hiccup, How to Train Your Dragon film.
"Any food that grows here is tough and tasteless." ~ Hiccup, How to Train Your Dragon film.

As a sea-faring people on an island, fishing provides a large source of food for Berk and their dragon companions; known species include cod, salmon, sturgeon and eel. Their animal husbandry includes yaks for milk, fur and beef, sheep for wool and mutton, and chickens for eggs and meat. They have farms that grow vegetables like cabbage, and apparently grow a cereal grain as they regularly have bread. It is known that they hunt the aggressive wild boars that live in the forests for food. They likely also forage for wild fruit and foodstuffs like apples and lingonberries from the forest. As they often wear metal armor and extensively use iron for not just weapons, it is not unreasonable to assume that there is at least one local mine or other readily accessible source.

Dragons are becoming an integral part of Berk, usually providing rapid transportation and companionship. Hiccup's Academy riders, however, are the ones that actively train for air search-and-rescue, scouting and village defense. Under Hiccup's direction, riders have learned to steer the natural instincts of trained dragons to assist with fishing and hunting. After discovering that dragons communally defecate daily at three in the afternoon, riders now use this as a fertilizer application system when appropriate. There are also dragon riders that are part of the local firefighting brigade, carrying carts of water to act as water bombers.

Celebrations

"The one upside is our annual holiday. We call it Snoggletog." - Hiccup

The major annual holiday is called Snoggletog which takes place in late November or December. It is very similar to Christmas, with a structure similar to a Christmas tree put up in the center of the village, decorations are put up, and viking children leave their helmets out for Odin to put goodies in.

In the annual Thawfest games, the vikings test their strength and courage in competition. With dragon riding now involved since the peace, the games take place over a period of at least two days, with a third for tie breakers.

Another local holiday is Bork Week, celebrating Bork the Bold. As part of it, Stoick had Hiccup and the trainers put on a dragon air parade to celebrate the first Bork Week with the dragons. They also display Bork's archives in the Great Hall.

A minor holiday is Stump Day, to celebrate those who have lost their limbs. It was mentioned in We Are Family Part I.

Political System

Berk is a Chiefdom. The chief is Stoick the Vast who lives in the village with his son Hiccup. It's also an island of equal treatment, since both men and women can become soldiers and fight battles, rather than just men fighting. At the end of the second film, Hiccup becomes the new chief of Berk.

Dragon Species

A large variety of dragon species live on Berk and it's surrounding islands. Twenty-one different species and counting have been encountered to date. The only known Night Fury lives on Berk, and the first and only Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus encountered so far lived on an island nearby. Other recently encountered species include the Terrible Terror, Hideous Zippleback, Monstrous Nightmare, Deadly Nadder, Gronckle, Thunderdrum, Boneknapper, Typhoomerang, Scauldron, Fireworm, Whispering Death, ChangewingGrapple Grounder and Smothering Smokebreath. The Typhoomerang was first discovered on Berk. Bork the Bold also encountered Timberjacks, Snaptrappers and Skrills on or around the island; and just recently the Flightmare, Fireworm Queen, Screaming Death and the Speed Stinger were discovered there. At the end of the second movie, the Raincutter, the Scuttleclaw, the Stormcutter, the Snafflefang started to live on Berk

  1. http://www.cressidacowell.co.uk/q-and-a.asp

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