The Night Fury is a Strike Class dragon that first appeared in the film adaptation of How to Train Your Dragon book series. It was described as the "Unholy Offspring of Lightning and Death Itself". Toothless is currently the only known Night Fury in the franchise.
The Night Fury was originally inspired by a black panther screensaver on one of the story artist's monitors. The image was 'striking and electrifying, with those eyes staring out from the darkest black face', says Dean DeBlois.The Night Fury's personality, appearance and behavior is a mix between a horse, wombat, kangaroo, bat, snake, dog, cat, panther and a bird of prey. Night Furies were designed to be the most mammalian of mammals, and were made to be 'cleaner, sleeker and stealthier' than other dragons.
This dragon was carefully crafted to make sure its intelligence and emotional personality came through without anthropomorphizing it. The Night Fury's behavior similar to that of common pets--cats, dogs and horses, were intended to evoke relatable emotions from viewers. To study it's behavior in the making of Gift of the Night Fury, an animator stuck a ball of tape onto his cat's tail and filmed its reaction.
The growls and croons of Night Furies and Toothless are a combination of various sounds, says Supervising Sound Designer Randy Thom, including his own voice, elephants, horses, tigers, domestic cats, and a jet engine.
Considering that Toothless, the one and only Night Fury, as well as main dragon character, needed to be very expressive, the Night Fury has a significantly much more controls on its face than other dragons. As such, the team had much more rigging around its eyes, ears and mouth. This allowed plenty of minute details, like the angle, shape and size of the eye, to be altered. The Night Fury has a total of over 4,000 controls for its CG model. The Night Fury's first smile was inspired by Simon Otto's first smile .
Night Fury eggs are oblong, almost similar to that of a chicken egg, and are smooth. In order to blend in with the night sky, they are jet black albeit with lighter blemishes.
Hatchling to Adult
The Night Fury is the fastest, smartest, and rarest of the known species of dragons, as Toothless might be the last known member of his species. It is medium-sized with a sleek, dark body with black coloration. It has faint lighter patterns similar to that of a manta ray.
The Night Fury somewhat resembles an axolotl or a gecko in general appearance and has two pairs of wings with a shape similar to a bat, two mobile, ear-like appendages on the back of its head that show its mood and help it hear, as well as other pairs around their jaw depending on their age. They also have a pair of large, yellowish-green, cat-like eyes and sharp retractable teeth. Unlike most dragon species, the Night Fury has a short neck and lacks any kind of horns. The dragon is about 26 feet in length.
In flight, the Night Fury's wingspan is unrivaled, bearing approximately 48 feet, making it resemble some sort of jet plane. This allows it to fly faster, longer and further than any of the other dragon species. It uses tail fins on its tail to help steer and maneuver, similar to an airplane rudder. However, a Night Fury will be incapable of flying if one of these fins is missing or destroyed which shows that they are also used for ballast in flight. It is capable of taking flight from a standing start like a pigeon.
When the Night Fury's 'Alpha' mode is unleashed, its spines, the ridge between its eyes, the inside of its mouth, and the nose glow translucent blue, reminiscent of the blueish plasma blasts it fires.
Night Furies have been proven to be one of the fiercest dragons for man or dragons.
FirepowerSee also: Fire Types
The Night Fury has the ability to shoot bursts of purple-colored flames, which are composed of acetylene and oxygen. The blast was called a plasma blast by Hiccup since the TV Series. Plasma blasts explode directly upon impact, sometimes exploding in midair at higher altitudes because of the cut off oxygen supply. The Night Fury can fire at different levels of power, such as a blast weak enough to be deflected by a wooden shield, and a blast powerful enough to destroy an entire catapult tower.
These blasts can be fired with pinpoint accuracy. The Night Fury also has the habit to light and warm up the place where it will sleep, as seen in the movie and the TV series. This fire isn't particularly strong, but is said to be incredibly hot, and can light up fireplaces, stoves and lamps. The flames and blasts are known as plasma because the heat created by the fire is hot enough to ionize gases produced by the flames. The fire has also been seen in a blue color and also to carry an electrical current.
It can tone down its fire for different applications; for example, it can fire concussive blasts that can knock people off their feet (though not significantly harm them), while at the same time being able to destroy entire battlements with more powerful blasts. They can use fire to bend the bars of the training arena in Berk, and can also stun dragons with their fire.
The Night Fury's plasma blast can sometimes be reflected off surfaces such as rock walls. They can use this as a tactic to take out fast moving objects in tight, narrow spaces. It was shown when Toothless fires a reflective blast to take out Heather and Windshear.
A strange effect was discovered, that when the plasma blasts of a Night Fury and the lightning blasts of a Skrill meet head on, a massive explosion of a electrical plasmatic surge will form that can knock dragons from the sky.
The Night Fury's main type of attack style is using a dive-bomb. Using their great speed, Night Furies fold their wings to create a streamlined, aerodynamic shape while they dive from the sky. At the last moment, they release a plasma blast at its target and open their wings to create drag and then lift off. The blast can then do destructive damage, as it has even been seen to knock a Red Death to the ground. If a Night Fury does this at night, they remain completely camouflaged and blended in within the dark sky so its targets won't see it coming.
Strength and Combat
The Night Fury is also known to be very strong, even for a dragon of their size, being able to hold off Vikings like Stoick and other Vikings in the first film. He can also fly with a heavy load of Stoick, who is 350 pounds with an extra weight of Hiccup. Toothless has also shown to push a Whispering Death head on, though he was charging from a low altitude, it still takes a strong force to push a Whispering Death to the ground.
Toothless could also carry Hookfang by his tail that weighted over 5,000lbs with the extra weight of Hiccup and Snotlout. He also shown to struggled lifting Barf and Belch with extra weight of Hiccup. In one of the TV series, Toothless used his tail to knock out two guards. In Stryke Out, in the Race to the Edge series, Toothless not only knocked back a Razorwhip with his tail, but also knocked a Triple Stryke onto the floor with a flip of his tail.
Toothless is also a very strong and persistent fighter on the ground. He has easily taken on Gronckle in very easily short battle, also taken on Monstrous Nightmares, and fought Whispering Deaths, as well as being unable to fly, with only the help of Hiccup to shorten the fight, as Toothless could have kept on fighting until one succeeds completely. He has proven against a Triple Stryke is one of the few dragons on the ground to be formidable opponent.
Speed and Stealth
The Night Fury is the fastest known dragon. It is said to reach speeds that break the sound barrier, however, the one known instance of this happening is in the Riders of Berk series (right). This could, however, just be a visual effect and not actually breaking the sound barrier. The Night Fury's streamlined sleek-shaped body and massive powerful wings help it obtain a speed limit rivaling a real-life P-51 Mustang. Night Furies don't have sharp spikes or spines, instead, they have short and thin fin-like spines. The reason for this is because the short fin-shaped spines prevent greater air resistance than tall sharp spines. This gives the Night Fury a huge advantage in terms of speed.
The Night Fury's jet black color and dark scales make it nearly impossible to spot in the night sky. The only warnings that it gives is the sound of the dive-bombing with a loaded blast, right before it attacks with a powerful plasma blast, as well as the stars disappearing behind it. The only way to spot a Night Fury flying at night is when it passes its flame-engulfed blast. Hiccup was able to shoot one down as it flew past a burned catapult tower that it just shot.
The Night Fury is a incredibly agile dragon. Night Furies are able to dodge many blasts from dragons, arrows and catapults. They also have a very quick reaction to an opposing threat. On land, they are able to outrun and outmaneuver most other dragons and even being able to jump to and leap from various objects like trees or walls. In the 1st and 2nd series of Race to the Edge Toothless never got hit once by a dragon root arrow due to his expert dodging and weaving. Night Furies tails are also of the main sources of their flight, and altering the tail can change its abilities.
Night Furies have an uncannily great sense of hearing and they are able to hear long distances, as proven by Toothless when he was able to hear his rider yelling from the cove. Night Furies have a good sense of smell from a certain distance until they lose track. It is able to fly at night and find its way. Night Furies have large eyes which give them excellent nocturnal vision as they are adapted to fly at night. However, their night vision is limited to a sufficient light source. They cannot see well in complete darkness, thus they will use echolocation, such as in a cave, or when their vision is restricted.
Stamina and Endurance
Night Furies, being excellent flyers in speed and agility, also have extremely high stamina, as Toothless has proven to fly many times without any break between in the TV Series. Night Furies are also shown to be quite tough, like all dragons. They can survive falls from the sky with fairly minor injuries as demonstrated in the first movie and the TV series. Also they can use their wings to repel weapons as also shown in the TV series and in Race to the Edge where a bunch of arrows bounces off Toothless' wing. However, in the TV series when a Dragon Root arrow managed to hit Toothless he seems to have a more severe reaction to it than the other dragons, being considerably weakened hours after the arrow was removed and only regaining his strength after being given a cure for the poisoning.
Intelligence and Mimicry
The Night Fury is extremely intelligent, surpassing all known dragon species. Toothless can almost completely understand everything said to him, he also can express human emotions. Night Furies also seem to be able to command other dragons to an extent, such as when he told the other dragons to back off when he was facing the Whispering Death. In We Are Family, Part 2, Toothless was captured and imprisoned in Outcast Island and he was able to outsmart two Outcast soldiers by himself by pretending to be unconscious and tricking them into freeing his mouth muzzle. Night Furies also seem to be one of the few dragons who attempts to show creativity.
Toothless is also able to mimic Hiccup's actions and can give expressions as responses.
In DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk, episode We Are Family, Part 1, Toothless demonstrates the ability to use echolocation. When Night Furies are at locations where their visual sight is limited, making it dangerous to fly, they can use a special roar. This roar, visualized as a purple colored sound waves bounces off all objects and obstacles nearby and allows the dragon to avoid them, even in mid-flight. Unlike bats, this roar, or at least part of it, is still low enough to be within human hearing range; humans are able to hear the dragon using the roar. Night Furies can also use this method when they are trying to find an object in open areas where visibility is low, such as when Toothless was trying to locate the Snow Wraith in a snowstorm in episode Dragon Eye of the Beholder, Part 2. This sound wave is in a sonic ringed shape, rather than a lined sound wave.
Night Furies have incredible jaw strength, and it is said that the jaw strength is equivalent to 12 Great White Sharks biting at the same time. They can also retract their teeth, to avoid chipping and breaking when not in use. The retractable teeth is what earned Toothless in How to Train your Dragon his name.
Night Furies are shown to be good swimmers as demonstrated by Toothless. He can swim in high speed and hold his breath for a while, but Night Furies do have a limit and will drown unless they have access to air, as evidenced in the first movie and several episodes.
In the second movie, Valka showed Hiccup hidden spines on Toothless' back, that even the dragon himself didn't know about, most likely because he lacked other Night Furies to show that feature to him. After that he is able to extend them at will. Those "flaps" are flat, leathery fins, placed in 'V' shape and extending from his back, to the end of tail. They gave him more maneuverability and control in flight. As Valka was able to do this with the first Night Fury she'd ever met, there is probably a similar or equivalent ability in another dragon species.
Night Furies are also shown to have a dominance display where they "charge" themselves which gives them stronger firepower. As they charge themselves, their plasma blasts' heat increases to its hottest potential. When this happens, their spines, from their nose to their tail tip, as well as their nose and mouth constantly glows blue. Night Furies are only known to gain these abilities and uses this display when they challenge the current dragon alpha, or some very powerful force. When charged, Night Furies can also release the control the Alpha has on other dragons. In the first movie, Toothless could ignore the Red Death's call from even inside it's den, and in the second movie, he can ignore the Alpha as long as something covers his eyes and ears. After Toothless 'charges', he can no longer be hypnotized.
The Night Fury has no known unique weakness, making them one of the hardest dragons to combat. However, a Dragon Root arrow may cause more of a side affect as it can make the Night Fury very weak and vulnerable for long period of time, while other dragons will recover faster, as seen in "Enemy of My Enemy".
The dual tail fins on the Night Fury's tail allow it to remain stabilized in flight. If one is damaged or missing, they will be unable to fly properly (though Toothless has been shown making short glides without Hiccup, just not prolonged high-altitude flight).
Otherwise they share all the weaknesses that other species have: they are allergic to eels, are poisoned by Blue Oleander flowers, react to Dragon Root, and are affected by the Grimora parasite.
Behavior and Personality
According to the Dragon Manual, the Night Fury is considered to be so aggressive that it is likened to the "unholy offspring of lightning and death itself". Night Furies are generally very aggressive to any form of threat they find, similar to how the other dragons treat the Vikings of Berk. But they are also curious creatures that attempt to understand new things they observe and are intelligent enough to attempt to recreate the actions that they see. Night Furies, in comparison to most other dragons, are very capable of communicating, and seemingly understanding human speech: the best evidence of this is when Toothless makes a noise in agreement with Hiccup regarding the fact that the Red Death can fly or when Hiccup orders Toothless not to kill Astrid and Stoick. They are, however, fiercely loyal and protective. Once a bond is formed, it is close to unbreakable.
Toothless also does not have a very hard time getting his emotions noticed: for example, Toothless growled when Hiccup stepped on his drawing, or snarled in disgust and fear when Hiccup mentioned he put an eel in Toothless' dish. Toothless' pupils dilate when he is in a good mood, and narrow to slits when startled or aggressive. Their ears are also very expressive, constantly perking and dropping to signal their emotions and their opinions.
Night Furies mainly resemble cats, dogs and bats. Such behavior can be seen when Toothless licks himself, walks in a circle before laying down, and scratches himself just like cats do. Night Furies resemble bats because they hang themselves upside down, are nocturnal, and use some form of echolocation. They also resemble dogs because they are playful and very loyal when trained, and tries to understand what humans are saying. In the first film, Hiccup says that a Night Fury "never steals food, never shows itself, and never misses."
They occasionally hang and sleep upside down like a bat. Sometimes when they are getting ready to sleep, they singe the ground with their fiery breath, while walking in a circle, much like dogs and cats do before laying down.
Training a Night Fury is very hard. Hiccup trained Toothless without too much difficulty because Toothless couldn't fly and was stuck in a cove. A wild Night Fury will likely just fly away and ignore you unless you catch its interest (a good way to do that is with fish). The only other way is to catch it (which is extremely hard since no-one before Hiccup has ever done it). It is preferable to catch it without hurting it (which is even harder than catching it). Another way is to find its egg and train it when it hatches. This is even harder since Night Furies are the rarest of all the dragon species. Yet a third way is to nurse one back to health, then try and bond with it. In fact the entire species seems to be on the very brink of extinction, with Toothless being one of the very few members of this noble species left if he is not already the last of his kind.
Night Furies are very reclusive and distrustful. If ever found, the first step to training it would be to gain its attention, as Hiccup did by presenting it with fish and drawing him in dirt. Next, one has to gain its trust and show that you are of no threat which Hiccup had done by throwing away his blade. Like training most other dragons, training this dragon requires mutual respect and trust. After that, the good old method of strengthening a bond via placing a hand on his snout works best.
According to the How to Train Your Dragon (game), training a Night Fury can be as simple as feeding the dragon Beef. In this game, there are multiple Night Furies and their favorite food is beef.
A Night Fury is seen attacking Berk during a dragon raid during Hiccup's opening narration, letting out a blast and sending a watch tower to bits. In an attempt to prove himself, Hiccup shoots down the Night Fury with his cannon, sending it shrieking down the sky. During the crash, the dragon loses it tail fin and remains stranded, bound in bolas.
Hiccup tracks the Night Fury down the next day, determined to cut its heart out and bring it back to the village, but is unable to do so after seeing how scared the dragon is. Thus, after much thought, he frees the Night Fury. The Night Fury pounces on Hiccup, and roars before fleeing, much to Hiccup's surprise. He had expected it to kill him.
Hiccup attempts to find the Night Fury the next day, only to find it stranded in a cove. He realises its missing tail fin, and the dragon notices Hiccup on the edge of the cove.
That night, he reads the Dragon Manual, only to find that no information on the Night Fury, whatsoever, can be found in it. All the encyclopedia mentions is "Size Unknown. Speed Unknown. The unholy offspring of lightning and death itself. Never engage this dragon. Your only chance, hide and pray it does not find you.Never engage this dragon. " He then compares the black pages to his sketch of the dragon.
The next day, Hiccup brings some fish over. The dragon approaches him. They hesitate for a moment and Hiccup holds the fish out warily. The dragon growls as Hiccup reaches for his dagger unconsciously, but relaxes into a puppy-like sitting posture when Hiccup discards it. It approaches Hiccup warily as he holds out the fish. It accepts it, revealing his toothless mouth. But within a split second, he reveals the teeth. The dragon demands for more, but upon seeing that Hiccup has no more, he regurgitates the fish and offers it to Hiccup. Hiccup reluctantly eats a mouthful and smiles, the dragon smiles back. But when he attempts to touch it, the dragon snarls and leaves.
The Night Fury makes himself comfortable at a spot, only to see Hiccup beside him. Grumpy, he leaves to sleep. When he wakes up, he sees the boy drawing in the sand. Curious, he walks over and watches his figure in the sand in satisfaction before uprooting a tree and drawing Hiccup. Hiccup, in amazement, stands up and walks to Toothless.. Toothhless growls whenever Hiccup steps onto his drawing. Soon, Hiccup makes his way to the dragon. Slowly, he reaches his hand out, and Toothless lays his head against it. Struck with confusion and awe, Hiccup leaves.
The next day, he returns with a basket of fish and a prosthetic tail. While Toothless is occupied with the fish, he hooks the tail up. Toothless takes off immediately, with Hiccup on his tail and nearly crashes into the cove walls. Hiccup quickly spreads the tail fin and the duo flies upwards. Toothless flicks him off his tail and they both crash.
The following days, Hiccup returns with new prototypes--tails, saddles and more. He invented a saddle and tail fin that work in correlation. They spend a lot of time trying to fly and Hiccup ends up finding out more on the little quirks of dragons. One day, they head out the cove for a test drive. With his cheat sheet in hand, most goes smoothly for them, until they fly higher and higher... and Hiccup loses his cheat sheet. The duo plummet to the ground, both flailing wildly. Hiccup quickly grabs hold of Toothless and gets onto the saddle, clicking the stirrup. They fly safely and finally, triumphantly make their way to an island for a peaceful celebration.
Astrid, jealous of Hiccup's success in Dragon Training, confronts him. Only to notice his dragon. After a shaky introduction, Astrid runs away, only to be lifted up by Toothless and Hiccup. Toothless, upset with her attitude, brings her for a wild ride, only slowing down when she apologised. They then go for what was dubbed as 'Romantic Flight'. However, Toothless is drawn to a sound and leads the Vikings to the Dragon Mountain. Astrid is tempted to tell Stoick of the Nest, but Hiccup stops her for Toothless would be killed.
On Hiccup's unfortunate initiation test, Toothless breaks out of the cove and runs towards Hiccup's cries. He breaks into the Arena and faces off with the Nightmare. Eventually, the Vikings swarm in and attack him. They force him into captivity and use him to lead them to the Nest. Hiccup, with the rest of the teens, ride other dragons over to save Toothless.
Over there, the boat Toothless was on sunk, and Hiccup jumps in to save him, but fails. Stoick rescues his son and jumps back to save Toothless. Returning the favour, Toothless brings Stoick back up to the surface. The duo then take off, and face off with the Red Death. After blasting the Red Death to death, they attempt to escape the cloud of flames, but the tail fin catches fire and Hiccup is knocked off Toothless' back. Toothless plunges down into the flames to save Hiccup, wrapping him between his wings.
The fog clears, and Stoick stumbles around, finding his son desperately. Seeing Toothless on the ground, but Hiccup nowhere to be seen, he falls to his knees, apologizing profusely to his son. Toothless then reveals Hiccup under his wings, safe, but with an injured foot. Stoick thanks Toothless with tears in his eyes. Both of them are then taken back to Berk to rest.
Toothless wakes first, and greets Hiccup, who is surprised that he was in their house. Toothless looks down at Hiccup's left foot, replaced with a prosthetic, much like his own. This formed a physical bond between the duo, and he helped Hiccup walk to the doorway, where they revealed that Berk has allowed dragons on its grounds. They finally take off together, with the rest of the team and a new tail fin, This Night Fury has since became one of the main characters and appeared in all other episodes, shorts and movies.
- Toothless may be the last Night Fury, as Hiccup said he has never seen another. Valka also mentioned that he may be the last of his kind. Although a comment she made about never having seen one so close implies she might have seen another from a distance before she was reunited with her son. However, she may have simply seen Toothless himself from a distance. (This line is only used in a featured clip, but is removed in the film, as it conflicts with her knowledge of Toothless' split spine ability). Eret also believed Night Furies were extinct, as he says that he "thought they were gone for good", further indicating that Toothless is possibly the last Night Fury in existence.
- A fan theory suggests that Drago Bludvist supposedly was responsible for the extinction of Night Furies, as the dragon skin cloak he wears somewhat resembles Night Fury skin. This has not been proven and remains hypothetical at best.
- Although Night Furies seem to be on the brink of extinction (due to fact that Toothless is the only known one), the exact cause of this endangerment to the species is unknown, it's extremely unlikely that humans are the cause, as the only advice the Book Of Dragons has towards Night Furies is to "run, hide and pray it doesn't find you".
- Another explanation for the Night Furies' rarity might be that they are not native to the Barbaric Archipalego, nor the Edge.
- It is also likely that Night Furies are solitary and have wide ranges, with only one in each territory, and Toothless' (when he was still wild) covered up most of Berk's surrounding archipelago.
- While the Night Fury is clearly adapted to hunting and flying in darkness, Toothless is mostly active during the day. It is likely he adapted to diurnalism to match his activities to the Vikings and spend more time with Hiccup.
- When a Night Fury is about to fire on an unsuspecting target(s), you can hear it charge and ready itself for the attack. Villagers take that opportunity to prepare themselves for the worst. Because of that opportunity, Hiccup was able to figure out if Toothless was about to attack, locate him, and take him down.
- If their tail fin is badly damaged, they aren't able to fly at all. As symmetrical fins help maintain the stability of flight, a Night Fury without a tail fin would not be able to maintain stable flight or fly in high altitudes. In addition, the tail fin has been carefully adapted to angle itself or spread to change the dragon's direction of flight,speed and even the flight stability. As such, the tail fin is essential in maneuvering in the air.
- According to the School of Dragons website, Night Furies shoot lightning. This could explain why their shots are called plasma blasts as fire and lightning are both examples of plasma, a state of matter, which is the form of high-energy ionized gas.
- The Night Fury is the symbol for the Strike Class, and if you look closely the symbol only has one tail fin (suggesting that Toothless is the individual depicted).
- The game says Night Furies don't like fish, despite them liking fish in other media.
- They are the fastest fliers of the dragon world, but according to the Dragonpedia, Typhoomerangs and Triple Strykes can be just as fast.
- Also, in 'A Time To Skrill' the Skrill was shown to travel up a lightning bolt towards the clouds at an insane speed, it appeared to travel faster than any dragon seen before. However the official stats on Dragonpedia say otherwise (It is possible the stats are incorrect due to several other inconsistencies).
- The Night Fury is the crest of the Berk Dragon Training Academy.
- The Night Fury's rounded conical face, large almond-shaped eyes and wide mouth containing peg-like teeth resembles that of the alien experiment Stitch from the Disney film Lilo and Stitch. This is no coincidence, as Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders were also involved in the film, and incorporated Stitch's features into Toothless, likely to to make him seem both frightening at times and endearing at others.
- There is a lot of uncertainty about their shot limit, even if some sources and even Hiccup himself in one episode states that his limit is 6, that fact might not be entirely true as even in original movie, in final fight, he was able to give more than 10 shots, with 7 full powered ones in quite quick succession, this may be because the Night Fury is able to reload its shots quickly.
- Due to the fact that Night Furies eat fish it can be deduced that Night Furies live near large bodies of water.
- At the end of "Maces and Talons, Part 2", the Night Fury is seen as a center of some code. This could mean many things, and possibly that a Night Fury is extremely important to the Dragon Eye in some way, or that it's just connected to finding Dragon Eye lenses in some way.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Night Fury in the Dragonpedia.
- ↑ Otto, Simon. How to Create Your Dragon: The Inspirations Behind the Creatures. (July 10, 2014).
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 DreamWorks TV. 100 Facts Only True HTTYD Fans Know | THE DREAMWORKS DOWNLOAD. YouTube.
- ↑ How to Train Your Dragon : Creating Dragon Sounds and Roars. YouTube.
- ↑ The Making of How to Train Your Dragon - Animator's Corner. YouTube.
- ↑ Creative Spark: Simon Otto. YouTube.
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