"Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile!" - Hiccup, How to Train Your Dragon (movie)
In the books
Toothless is Hiccup's hunting Dragon in the book series, who likes to cause mischief when he can.
Physical Appearence & Personality
Toothless is much smaller than any of the other young Vikings' dragons. He is the most common breed of dragon - Common or Garden, and as his name suggests, he has no teeth. He is portrayed as being a dark green colour with red membranes in his wings. He is also small enough to sit on Hiccup's arm with relative ease. Toothless is incredibly disobedient, and like all dragons very selfish and ungrateful, he is nonetheless quite attached to Hiccup. However, Toothless' behavior does have it's drawbacks, especially when he manages to cause the entire young generation of the Hairy Hooligans to be forced into exile by starting a fight at Thor's Day Thursday celebrations.
To prevent Hiccup's father from being furious over how small and average his son's dragon is, Hiccup's best friend Fishlegs comes up with a legend that Toothless is not a Common or Garden dragon, but is, in fact, a very rare breed called Toothless Daydream and is possibly an offspring of a great dragon leader King Daggerfangs. From then on, Toothless always claims that legend to be true.
Role in the books
At the eastern coast of Berk is an area known as Wild Dragon Cliff, Hiccup uses a dragon basket to capture a dragon for himself. Fishlegs escapes the area without a dragon, meaning he is at risk of exile. Hiccup runs back in to the cave to get another for him and the two leave with a dragon each (Horrorcow and Toothless).
After returning home, Hiccup attempts to train Toothless based on advice from Gobber, but this turns out to be problematic as Toothless' disobedience causes Hiccup's many attempts to fail, eventually forcing him to resort to pampering. During practice for hunting with Fishlegs, Toothless finally agrees to be co-operative on the condition that he is told one joke for every fish he catches.
On Thor's Thursday, during the final part of the rite of passage, Toothless offends Fireworm (Snotlout's Dragon) and there is a huge fight between them all. This means that the younger Vikings have all failed their rite and will be exiled. However, it is not long before 2 giant Sea Dragons arrive with a storm and Hiccup is turned to for help to speak with the dragon. When Hiccup tells the Elders of the remaining dragon's plan to eat them all, Hiccup decides to use this time to gather the boys and their dragons together and come up with a plan to stop stop the Green Death from killing anyone. Toothless decides not to go along with this as he thinks the plan is suicidal and he dislikes the giant dragon a great deal.
The plan seems to be working until Hiccup is swallowed whole by the Green Death. When Toothless sees that all the wild and domestic dragons have left out of fear, he concludes Hiccup is his only remaining family and saves him by making the Green Death sneeze. Hiccup eventually makes the dragon explode, causing him to pass out.
Three hours pass and Hiccup wakes up to find that Toothless has "died" from his wounds. Hiccup correctly guesses he is only in a coma and goes to save him from being burnt at a traditional Viking funeral. Hiccup is recognised as a hero for his efforts and Toothless is saved from the fire.
In the film
Toothless appears as a Night Fury in the film, the rarest and most intelligent species of dragon there is. He plays a similar role to his book counterpart.
Physical appearance and personality
Toothless is much larger than his book counterpart, being much bigger in size than Hiccup. He has jet black scales covering his whole body, his sides having small light patches in a pattern similar to that of a manta ray. Toothless posseses at least two sets of wings (one main pair and two smaller ones near the base of his tail). He is missing the left of his tail fin, lost when Hiccup takes Toothless down with his Bolas-Shooting Ballista. This is later replaced by a mechanical fin that Hiccup constructs himself. Toothless' eyes are a greenish-yellow. He can narrow his pupils to slits when threatened or angry, similar to that of a cat. But when he is docile or happy, his pupils become larger and more dog-like. Toothless gets his name from his sets of retractable teeth.
Toothless is very intelligent and seems to have a dry sense of humor, similar to Hiccup's. He does not take kindly to being offended or anyone offending or endangering his human friend, but is usually playful, docile, maybe even a little teasing when not threatened. He also shows a great curiosity, imitating Hiccup's actions and mannerisms when they initally encounter one another like when he was observing Hiccup draw him, he then tries to draw with a tree branch. Toothless' intelligence shows many times throughout the film, being able to understand Hiccup's words and commands as well as agree with some of what he says. It is shown that he has become aware of Hiccup's crush on Astrid, even seeming to briefly tease him about it.
Relationship with Hiccup & role in the film
Toothless is considered Hiccup's first and best friend in the film. Although initially enraged at the treatment he receives at the beginning of the film, Toothless' curiosity of the human gets the better of him and he soon begins to learn more about Hiccup. After Toothless lets the Viking touch him for the first time and also fit him with the mechanical tail fin, he grows very close to the boy shortly after. He enjoys spending time with Hiccup and they always fly together, seemingly in sync with one another's movements.
When Hiccup unknowingly leads Astrid to the cove, Toothless shows his protective side by assuming that she is a threat. Only through Hiccup's words does he manage to calm down enough, although still being wary. When Astrid threatens to tell the village, Toothless abducts her and strands her on a tree to stop her. Even though Hiccup invites her to a flight to show Toothless is not dangerous, the Night Fury is not convinced and pulls off daring acrobatic moves (corkscrews, loop-de-loops, etc), not to throw her off, but just to terrify her. After she apologizes, Toothless begins to trust her more and assumes she is now a friend, smoothing out his flight.
Toothless senses another threat the next day when he manages to hear Hiccup screaming from afar. Realizing he is in danger, Toothless manages to claw his way out of the cove (for the first time on his own) and immediately rushes to Hiccup's side to protect him from the dragon he is supposed to kill. He refuses to leave his human's side when the Vikings eventually get in on the fight and gang up on him, managing to fight them off and have Stoick at the mercy of his flames. Only when Hiccup screams at him to stop does he let his guard down long enough to be captured.
Toothless is chained up and used a compass to reach the Dragon's Nest. However, as he observes the other dragons flying away, he begins desperately trying to free himself as the Red Deathsuddenly bursts out of the mountain of the Nest. The ship he is chained to is set alight, and both he and Hiccup are thrown into the water when the ship breaks up. Stoick, however, saves both of them and Toothless takes on the larger dragon with Hiccup by his side.Toothless' bond with Hiccup is shown to be very strong indeed when his fake tail fin is set on fire in the ensuing battle. When Hiccup is knocked off his back, Toothless bravely dives into the exploding body of the Red Death to save his human friend, wrapping Hiccup in his wings to protect him as they crashed. Toothless is overjoyed when Hiccup wakes from the battle later, licking him in the face playfully, like a pet would, knocking all sorts of things over while jumping around Hiccup's home happily, and helps him to walk with his new prosthetic leg as a sign of their friendship. Having both lost a part of their body by the end of the movie, this makes Hiccup and Toothless symbiotically equal. Toothless gains a new tail fin at the end of the film, given to him by Gobber, and takes off into the skies with Hiccup once again.
Another example of their incredibly strong friendship is in the new short, Gift of the Night Fury, where Toothless was given the opportunity to fly on his own, without Hiccup. At the end, he trashes the new tail and throws it to some unknown area on the island and nudges the old fin that requires Hiccup to fly. This is like Toothless is saying, "I want to fly with you."
Garden Dragon to Night Fury
The film's 'Terrible Terrors' were originally designed to be a more faithful take on Toothless' original book incarnation. As time went on in development however, it was decided that Hiccup's dragon in the film should have more presence and be able to stand toe to toe with his future tamer and lifelong friend and not just pairing the scrawny Viking with an equally scrawny dragon:
"Setting Toothless up as a threatening presence gave us that vital sense of tension for Hiccup's story," - Chris Sanders (taken from -The Art of How to Train Your Dragon- pg.48)
- The similarities in the film's Toothless to Disney's Stitch (of Lilo and Stitch) are very prevalent, which isn't just a coincidence: the creative team behind the film version of How to Train Your Dragon (Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois) are the very same duo behind Lilo & Stitch
- They are also canine-based and pet of the main character (Stitch being Lilo's "dog" and Toothless being Hiccup's pet)
- In Book of Dragons, Hiccup states that he has never seen another Night Fury. This could indicate that Toothless is the last of his kind, or perhaps Night Furies are just few-to-none in the lands surrounding Berk.