The Night Fury is a Strike Class dragon that first appears in the movie adaptation of How to Train Your Dragon. It was described as the "Unholy Offspring of Lightning and Death Itself". Toothless is currently the only known Night Fury in the franchise.
Appearance and Characteristics
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 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.
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 he 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. 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.
Night Furies mainly resemble cats 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. In the first film, Hiccup says that a Night Fury "never steals food, never shows itself, and never misses."
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 of the 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 blast 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 on the movie and the TV show. This fire isn't particularly strong, but is 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. The plasma blast has also been seen to carry an electrical current.
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 narrow tight 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 and can knock dragons from the sky.
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 with the extra weight of Hiccup and Snotlout but he struggled lifting Barf and Belch. 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 Stryker 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, notably in a dive bomb. The Night Fury's streamlined sleek shaped body and massive powerful wings helps it obtain a speed limit faster than the speed of sound.
The Night Fury's jet black color and dark scales makes it nearly impossible to spot in the night sky. The only warning that it gives is the sound of the dive-bombing and a loaded blast, right before it attacks with a powerful plasma blast. 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 (as shown by Hiccup and Toothless) 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 Mimic
The Night Fury is extremely intelligent, its intelligence being among highest of all the dragons. 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 on what Hiccup does and can give expressions to respond to him. As it bit like trait of parrot ability to vocalized other species as shown by Toothless was able to repeat words that Hiccup said HTTYD2 as it took five years.
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 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.
Also demonstrated in the second film, Night Furies are shown to be able to "charge" themselves, which gives them more strength, stronger fire with seemingly no limit, and the ability to not only withstand the Alpha's control, but also to break that control over other dragons, which makes a lot of sense, as Toothless was the only dragon able to oppose the Red Death's control even inside its nest. This also give them a more menacing look with their back, nose and mouth glowing bluish color similar to their fire, probably due to the amount and strength of this fire inside them. Toothless, in this form, was able to challenge Drago's Alpha, and not only hold his own, but also free other dragons from control, and order them to attack the evil Bewilderbeast. After that, the Alpha gives up, and the other dragons accept Toothless as their new alpha. This means that the Night Fury is one of the very few dragons, along with the Bewilderbeast, that is capable of forcefully becoming an alpha dragon, making the Night Fury an alpha species of dragon.
A Night Fury's main type of attack style is dive-bombing at it's enemies at a great speed while being completely camouflaged and blended in within the dark night sky. In addition of dive-bombing, the Night Fury will also spit out oxygen/acetylene-fueled charges that will explode and destroy its targets. 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.
Night Furies are said to be amazing fighters. They use their incredible explosive firepower to damage any unlucky foe. It is shown that a Night Fury can switch between different fire styles. In the TV series Hiccup tells Toothless to use "plasma blasts".
Plasma blasts are violet plasma-bolts that explode on target almost instantly. They will turn purple when cooled down as it travels. These blasts can explode easily in air at high altitudes as the fire is taken out of the blast. These are a Night Fury's primary defense and are very lethal.
Night Furies are very agile and swift in flight, using this to confuse their enemies. Toothless is able to fight off Hookfang, a Monstrous Nightmare to protect Hiccup, and he is shown to be strong enough to wrestle against a much larger Whispering Death. While in some cases Hiccup says that he has a limit of six shots, this is actually not concrete, as we can see him shoot many more of them from time to time. It is possible that this limit applies only to the battle typed fire blasts, and the weaker ones have different, if any limit.
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 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. In fact the entire species seems to be scraping the edge of extinction with Toothless being one of the very few members of this great species.
- The growls and croons of Night Furies and Toothless are a combination of various sounds, including Supervising Sound Designer Randy Thom, elephants, horses, tigers, domestic cats, and a jet engine.
- Toothless, a Night Fury, is the only dragon in the first film to be given a personal name.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- According to Rise of Berk, Night Fury scales can be used for hatching eggs, if they are ignited with Night Fury fire. This was only mentioned in the game.
- 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 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 can be just as fast.
- The Night Fury is the crest of the Berk Dragon Training Academy.
- According to 'How To Create Your Dragon', the Night Fury is a mix between a horse, wombat, kangaroo, bat, snake, dog, cat, panther and a bird of prey.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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 prevents greater air resistance than tall sharp spines. This gives the Night Fury a huge advantage in terms of speed.
- The Night Fury is the only Strike Class dragon that doesn't relate to bad weather. The Skrill relates to lightning storms, while the Woolly Howl and the Snow Wraith relate to hail storms or blizzards.
- The Night Fury is the only Strike Class dragon in the How To Train Your Dragon series that is not a wyvern. The Skrill and the Snow Wraith are wyverns as they walk with two legs, and the Woolly Howl is an in-game dragon and has never made an appearance in the TV series and movies.
- 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 for the Dragon Eye in some way, or that he is just connected to finding Dragon Eye lenses in some way.