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"This is Berk. Believe it or not, there are worse places to live. Sure, it's winter most of the year. And even when the sun does come out, the temperature barely nudges above freezing. But we're vikings. Cold is relative... And it's an occupational hazard we've evolved ourselves to deal with. So yeah, there are dowsides to life this far north of warm... but the upsides are spectacular!"
―Hiccup's opening narration

"The Ice Castle" is the third volume of the Dragons: Riders of Berk Comics published by Titan Comics on January 6, 2015.

Overview

"ALL NEW COMIC-STRIP ADVENTURES STARRING HICCUP, TOOTHLESS AND FRIENDS (AND ENEMIES)! Astrid's dragon, Stormfly, goes missing, and the whole of Berk tries to track her down! But what dangers will they ultimately face at . . . the Ice Castle? Plus, in a special short story, Snotlout babysits some infant Monstrous Nightmares."

Plot

Chapter 1

When the vikings of Berk clean the snow in the village, the riders and their dragons help by melting it. While Astrid and Stormfly melt the snow at the docks, a strange man sees them, saying that everything he heard is true.

Later, the same man comes to Berk and presents himself as being Arngrim Dammen from the Northlands and that he traveled south so he can trade his surplus of fur. Stoick welcomes him, asking Mulch to find a place for Dammen to stay. However, Gobber doesn't trust him, wanting to keep an eye on him, leaving Stoick enjoy the soft fur.

Meanwhile, all the villagers want to buy a piece of fur from Dammen's market. Astrid however doesn't believe they are more than simple animal furs. Hiccup disagrees, saying that one can be a brawny bold viking of Berk and enjoy creature comfort at the same time and invites Astrid to try one. As he expected, Astrid changed her mind immediately. Then, Dammen speaks with the two of them, saying that her Deadly Nadder is a fine-looking beast and guessing that she is two years old. When asked why he is interested in that, Dammen claimed it was idle curiosity and that "dragons are something of a pet interest". Before Astrid could've done something wrong, Hiccup pulls her out, asking her why she acted like this. Astrid answers, saying that "there is something off about him".

Later at night, in the Great Hall, Dammen tells a story about his adventures at Ice Needles, while Gobber is listening. He soon falls asleep in his chair before the story is over.

Next morning, Stormfly wakes up sniffing and finds a dead chicken outside the academy. She eats it and sees a track of dead chickens. The dragon follows it until she arrives at the docks and passes out. Here, Dammen captures her as he sails off Berk.

Chapter 2

Next morning, Astrid comes at Hiccup's house, shouting that Stormfly is gone and so is Dammen, assuming that he captured her. Hiccup, who was washing the dishes, asks Astrid if she is sure, quickly regretting that he asked. He suggests seeing Stoick before Astrid would do something bad. However, Stoick is even angrier at Dammen. Hiccup tries to calm him down, stating that instead of screaming that should start searching since the Northlands are vast. When Hiccup asks about where would Dammen go, Gobber answers that he remembers in Dammen's stories (which were invented) there were mentioned real places. When asked what he should do, Stoick states that he will sent a full raiding party to find Stormfly and bring her home.

Later, two ships full of men and dragons sail for the Norhlands. Astrid gets annoyed with the speed of the ships but Hiccup states that if they hit a chunk of ice they will sink, and that won't help Stormfly. Astrid is still angry at Dammen for taking her dragon. Hiccup tries o calm her down, stating that at least Dammen let them fur so they can survive the cold. However, Astrid rejects him, saying that she doesn't want it. Quickly, Hiccup comes with an idea: he wants to take the dragons for aerial reconnaisance, so that Astrid can fly on Toothless and feel better. Hiccup tells the other riders to spread around and look for anything they should avoid. Ruffnut and Tuffnut say that even though they received the message, they didn't understand it.

After some time, Astrid notices a few ships and Hiccup states that there is a lot of traffic and that the ships are not local. He decides to warn Gobber and the others.

On the ship, Hiccup describes how all the ships were headed to the same place: "a horse-shoe shape inlet surrounded by tundra" which Gobber recognize it as Balder Bay. However, as they can't go unnoticed that way, Gobber suggest sneaking through The Ice Needles. When Hiccup asks how the rest of the men are going to get up the ice, Gobber says that he'll send the four best ice climbers first who will rig up a cradle lift for the rest of them. When Hiccup remarks it isn't going to be fast, Gobber tells him not to do anything before they reunite. He tells him only to find and fix the location of Dammen's Stronghold. He says that the northlanders have got ice in their veins and warns Hiccup to not underestimate them. Astrid states that Dammen is "guilty of selling the opposition short".

In the air, Hiccup asks the others what's wrong. Fishlegs says that they've been trying to keep the dragons warm, but that Meatlug's sluggish in cold temperatures as well as the other dragons. Hiccup states that he didn't thought of that, but that he noticed how Toothless isn't his usual self. Snotlout remarks that it's getting colder and he has a feeling that the mission it isn't going to go well.

Chapter 3

Gobber is seen encouraging his men who were climbing the ice. Meanwhile, the riders land near a big hole in the ice. Hiccup tells them to stay behind while he and Astrid take a closer look. They discover an ice castle in which Dammen invites everyone to "The Sale of the Century". Astrid insists of going to find Stormfly despite Hiccup reminding of Gobber's warning. However, they come to an agreement to go both undercover.

In the castle, Hiccup remarks how Dammen gave them "local camouflage" to which Astrid replies that she'll thank him with her sword. While Astrid wants to go directly to the dragon pens, Hiccup wants to hear what Dammen is saying. He tells the people how the vikings of Berk trained dragons, turning them "from bitter enemy to potent ally". He says that if not anyone can train adult dragons, they should try with the babies, showing a Whispering Death egg. Hiccup and Astrid realize that it is an auction. Dammen tells that he has eggs of Nadders, Thunderdrums, Nightmares, Snaptrappers and only one Whispering Death. He then asks who starts the bidding, and all the people scream that they want. Hiccup worries about the Whispering Death egg, but Astrid says they can't do anything and that they should regroup.

Later, when Gobber and his crew arrive, Hiccup draws a map in the snow with a spear and explains that Stormfly is kept in some outer pens, along with other dragons, which are very well guarded. Gobber then asks why would Dammem capture Stormfly if he's selling just eggs. Everyone stares at him and he awkwardly says that they should go rescue Stormfly.

In the middle of the auction, Hiccup shows up on Toothless, trying to explain the people what dragons really are. One of Dammen's soldiers points his crossbow at Toothless, but Dammens stops him, telling him to get the nets instead as he wanted to have a live Night Fury. Hiccup continues explaining how dragons are smart and loyal, but "while they can be trained, they can't be tamed". He frees the captured Boneknapper and the captured Timberjack, creating havoc among the people. Before the guards could react, Gobber, his crew and the dragons come and make the Northlanders surrender. Astrid makes her way through them and finds Stormfly in a cage. Meanwhile, Hiccup goes after Dammen, with Toothless firing at his men. He accidentally shoots the egg chest, incubating the Whispering Death egg. It hatches, destroying everything in sight. Hiccup decides to train even though it might be impossible. He approaches the baby, talking to it. He reaches his hand slowly and scratches the dragon under the chin. The baby liles it and lets its head in Hiccup's hand. Meanwhile, Dammen tries to run away eith the remaining eggs, but is caught by the dragons and Gobber's crew. He accepts defeat and surrenders.

On Berk, the riders are cooking fish like marshmallows. Astrid is collecting it in a basket and is happy that Stormfly is back. When Hiccup asks her where the Nadder is, she replies that the babies they rescued brought her motherly side out. Stormfly is then seen taking care of the dragon babies in the academy.

Litter Sitter mini-comic

For more information, go here.

Characters

Dragons

Villains

Errors

  • Hiccup is mistakenly shown with blue eyes.
    • He is also shown blonde in some scenes, despite him having it brown in all others.
  • Despite Dammen saying that he has Thunderdrum and Snaptrapper eggs, there were no babies of those species at the end. Furthermore, there were Gronckle and Terrible Terror babies, despite Dammen not mentioning them.
  • Fishlegs states that no one has ever trained a baby dragon, however all the babies from Gift of the Night Fury were trained by someone.

Trivia

  • Strangely, a Chinese man can be seen at Dammen's auction when the dragons are released.

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