tek's rating:

DreamWorks Dragons, on Cartoon Network / Netflix
HTTYD Wiki; IMDb; TV Tango; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
Caution: Spoilers.

This series takes place after the 2010 movie How to Train Your Dragon. It began in 2012, at which point I didn't have access to Cartoon Network, so I couldn't watch it. But in 2014, I began watching it on DVD, about a week before the sequel movie hit theaters. (I wouldn't be able to see that, of course, since I never get to go to the movies. But I probably wouldn't even want to see it before seeing the TV series.) Anyway, I don't think "DreamWorks" is really part of the show's title at all, it's really just "Dragons: Riders of Berk" (season one) and "Dragons: Defenders of Berk" (season two). But I'm including "DreamWorks" in the title because some websites do, and because it wouldn't make much sense for me to include the subtitles of each season in the title of this page, and just calling it "Dragons" feels insufficient. (But I suppose none of this matters.) And there's going to be a third season on Netflix (originally announced as "Dragon Masters," but before it aired it was changed to "Race to the Edge"), which I also won't be able to see until it comes out on DVD. Oh, and I should say that many of the characters are voiced by the same actors in the series as in the movie, though there are a few exceptions.

Dragons: Riders of Berk
BCDB; Wikia
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; iTunes; Peacock; Vudu

So, at the end of the movie, the Vikings of Berk had learned to live in peace with dragons, thanks to Hiccup and the Night Fury dragon he had tamed, Toothless. And, of course, thanks to Hiccup's friends and their dragons. Astrid has a Deadly Nadder named Stormfly, Fishlegs has a Gronckle named Meatlug, Snotlout has a Monstrous Nightmare named Hookfang, Ruffnut and Tuffnut have a two-headed Hideous Zippleback (whose heads are named Barf and Belch). Anyway, in spite of the Vikings and dragons no longer being mortal enemies, the dragons still cause a great deal of trouble in the village, at the start of the TV series. Because of that, an old man named Mildew wants to rid Berk of dragons, and it's fairly easy for him to get the rest of the villagers on his side. And the village's chief, Stoick (Hiccup's father), has little choice but to go along with the will of the people. However, Hiccup comes up with a plan to start training the dragons. He manages to prove that dragons' natural inclinations, which normally lead to chaos, can actually be put to productive use. And so, Stoick allows him and his friends to start a dragon academy. And eventually Stoick gets a dragon of his own, a Thunderdrum named Thornado.

The show also introduces various new dragons, as well as new Viking characters. One of the people we meet this season is Trader Johann, who travels between the different islands in the Barbaric Archipelago, of which Berk is a part. He trades with all the different tribes, and everyone's always happy to see him. Another character is a young Viking around Hiccup's age, named Dagur the Deranged. He has recently replaced his father as chief of the Berserker tribe, which has a tenuous peace with the Hooligan tribe of Berk. But the most important recurring character we meet is Alvin the Treacherous (voiced by Mark Hamill), the leader of a tribe called the Outcasts. (Most of the Outcasts are pretty random, but Alvin's right-hand man is named Savage.) The Outcasts become major antagonists, and want to learn Hiccup's dragon-taming secrets, so they can use dragons to wage war against the Hooligans of Berk. Oh, and Mildew eventually joins the Outcasts.

Dragons: Defenders of Berk
BCDB; Wikia
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; iTunes; Peacock; Vudu; YouTube

This season, the Hooligans still have to worry about the Outcasts, but the Berserkers also become enemies. At first, Dagur is obsessed with killing Toothless, but later he becomes obsessed with capturing him and making the Night Fury his own. Eventually, the Outcasts and Berserkers form an alliance against Berk, though Alvin and Dagur never really trust each other (for good reason). Also this season, we'll be introduced to more new dragons, the most important of which is the Screaming Death (a larger and more fearsome variation of the Whispering Death). The Screaming Death causes trouble in several episodes. Another important dragon we meet is the Skrill, which appears in a pair of episodes, and which Dagur wants to capture, since it is the symbol of the Berserkers. The season ends with another pair of episodes, in which Dagur causes a great deal of trouble for the Hooligans and nearly accomplishes his goal of capturing Toothless. But ultimately he is defeated, thanks in part to Alvin and Mildew aiding Hiccup. And thanks in part to the Screaming Death. And of course, thanks to all of Hiccup's friends. Anyway, aside from the ongoing story arcs, there are always lots of stand-alone episodes with lots of different things going on. I should probably mention that in one episode, Stoick has to let Thornado go, for a reason I won't spoil. And I think that's all I need to mention about the season.

Dragons: Race to the Edge
A.V. Club; BCDB; DreamWorks; official website; Netflix; Wikia

Review coming someday. But I will say I'm not quite sure if this is actually going to be considered the third season of this show, or the first season of a new series. I can at least say that it'll be set a few years after the second season, with the main characters being about 18 or 19, whereas they were 15 or 16 in the original movie and the first two seasons of the show. I think.

CGI index

How to Train Your Dragon (franchise)
TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia

movies: How To Train Your Dragon * HTTYD 2 * HTTYD: The Hidden World * short films
TV: DreamWorks Dragons * HTTYD: Homecoming
Web: Race to the Edge * Rescue Riders * The Nine Realms