Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Young Man
Season 1,Riders of Berk, Episode 8
Vital statistics
Air date October 10, 2012
Written by Unknown
Directed by Unknown
Episode guide
Previous Next
How To Pick Your Dragon Dragon Flower


"Measuring up to a Viking father isn't easy, especially when that Viking father is also the Chief of your village. So when get a chance to prove yourself, you jump on it."

The episode starts off with Hiccup and Stoick standing side-by-side. Bucket is painting a portrait of them on a round shield, to go on the wall with all the other chief-and-son portrait shields in the Great Hall. Stoick fondly reflects on the day he and his father had theirs painted, the only one of them together, as he points out that shield on the wall. Adding that this is also a great day as well, he encourages Hiccup to remember to keep his shoulders back and chin up, with his chest out.

Later that day, the teens are looking at the other shield portraits in the hall, discussing how Hiccup is going to be joining them tomorrow and become a part of history. Snotlout stops by one and comments this portrait as being a "history of goofballs; what a clown". Fishlegs explains that this one is of Hamish the First, their richest and most revered leader with his son, Hamish the Second. Snotlout mockingly pretends to be Hamish I and says in a high, nasally voice to kiss his 'pointy shoes'. Ruffnut and Tuffnut pretend to do so, so they can set up to shove him over Tuff while on his hands and knees to trip him. Snotlout's slamming into the wall causes the Hamish shield to fall and it hits him in the face with the back. Fishlegs is immediately worried and carefully hangs the shield back up. A piece of parchment then unexpectedly falls off the back, which Snotlout manages to snatch up. On closer inspection it turns out to be a map. A treasure map with clues encoded as riddles. Gobber suddenly walks up and takes it, explaining that it’s too dangerous for anyone to try; many great Vikings have lost limbs, their lives and their very sanity looking for this treasure. He's amazed that there's a copy: they were all supposed to have been purposely destroyed. Fishlegs realizes that it's for the treasure of Hamish I. His son buried him with it and created the maps: his clues were so complicated, that only a brilliant mind could ever decipher them. Gobber tells them even he and Stoick went after it once. They ended up high in a mountain snowstorm, and "fought like badgers" over what the clues meant. They were lucky to make it back alive, and with their friendship intact. He tells the teens in no uncertain terms that for their own good, to forget they ever saw the map, and walks off with it. However, it looks like the twins, Snotlout and Fishlegs have no intention of doing so...

The next day, it’s time to reveal Bucket’s painting and hang it up. The sheet is pulled off from the top of the painting and everyone cheers. But Hiccup notices something off in the painting; he looks buff. He doesn’t look like himself at all. No one else seems to notice particularly the girls. His dad only says that it is him, only bigger and stronger; Mulch makes it worse by saying that the portrait is how a chief's son should look like. Actually Stoick seems to like him better that way. Suddenly, Hiccup feels unwanted.

He and Astrid walk away from the Great Hall and through the village, Hiccup lamenting that his father likes the portrait version more than that of who he really is: even his very name proves it. Everyone knows that it's Viking tradition to call runts a "hiccup". As if to prove his point a Viking herding a family of sheep along encourages a runty lamb he's named Little Hiccup into his arms so it can keep up and the Viking greets Hiccup. The real Hiccup sighs. He wonders what he has to do to have his father accept him for who he is; Astrid says that he does... he just accepts the painting more.

They walk up to Gobber's smithy and see a nervous-looking Fishlegs. He starts making obvious bird calls off to the side while denying that there's anything going on. “Where are they?” asks a somewhat annoyed Hiccup. When Fishlegs just switches to owl hoots, Hiccup and Astrid walk around the side themselves. He sees the twins waiting, and then Snotlout climbs out the window ungracefully onto the ground, having retrieved the treasure map. After commenting on what a horrible lookout Fishlegs is, Snotlout says he can probably find the treasure. Astrid is completely incredulous, repeating how some of the best Vikings in history have been killed trying to find it. "And I'm next," says Snotlout proudly. Astrid is dead set against it: she wants to be around to see her next birthday. When Fishlegs says that they'll be legends remembered in song, Astrid points out that he'll be dead; not even Stoick, the village's greatest living warrior was able to find it. Hiccup ponders on this fact for a moment. When he takes the treasure map Astrid thinks he's going to talk some sense into them. As it is, Hiccup decides that it might not be such a bad idea to look for the treasure. After all, if even his dad couldn't find it, what would he say if Hiccup pulled off something even Stoick the Vast couldn't do: how great would that be! Astrid decides to come along anyway, says she can't leave him alone with them, pointing to Ruffnut and Tuffnut having a who-can-whack-each-other-on-the-head-the-hardest contest. The map displays six clues, each in continuity with the previous: solving one will lead you to where to solve the next one. Snotlout reads out the first clue:

"Where the land meets the sea, in the crook of the master's knee, that's where your search will be...gin."

Hiccup notices how he's seen a "crook in the master's knee" before, and takes them back to the Great Hall to the portrait of Hamish the First and Hamish the Second, where they'd first found the treasure map. Hiccup points out that the knee of Hamish the First is bent ("crook of the master's knee") and it is pointing towards a rock formation in the background of the painting. He guesses that they have to search for a similar rock formation on the beach ("where the land meets the sea"). Riding on their dragons, the dragon trainers head to that spot on the beach, where Hiccup reads the next clue:

"From here you see the sea that's been sewn, look to where water turns to bone."

Hiccup interprets "water turns to bone" as ice (because ice is as hard as bone, not to mention white), and exclaims that the clue must refer to the glacier nearby... and sure enough, there's an opening in the top half.

Meanwhile, back in the Great Hall, Stoick and Gobber are arguing because Gobber had not destroyed the map, despite knowing the dangers. Gobber admits that he thought that he and Stoick could try again at searching for the treasure, as they "turned back too early" the last time; and besides, it only cost them a couple of toes (from the snowstorm incident, no doubt). Stoick gets up and tells Gobber that they have to find Hiccup and the other dragon trainers before they get themselves killed, and walks out, asking aloud why Hiccup would do something so risky. At that question, Gobber looks over at the portrait of Hiccup and Stoick and gets a dejected expression, implying that he already knows.

Back at the beach with the glacier, the dragon trainers have walked into a giant cavern within the ice, where Astrid points out that there is something embedded below. Hiccup reads out the next clue:

"Call on Magni; you'll go astray. Freya, though, will show the way."

Snotlout, disregarding the clue, tries to break the ice around the object by banging his helmeted head on it; however, the ice cracks and sets off a trap that nearly smashes his head, were it not for Hiccup spotting it triggering and yanking him back. Hiccup and Fishlegs realize that Magni is known to be the god of strength and Freya the goddess of fire. Hiccup has Toothless melt the ice away from the object, which turns out to be a piece of forged metal. Ruffnut asks if this is the treasure, and Hiccup says that it must be something that leads them to the treasure, and that it is only the first piece. The cavern suddenly starts to destabilize; the teens make a quick getaway on their dragons before the space partially collapses.

Stoick and Gobber, looking for the teens with Stoick's Thunder Drum, search the beach and find Toothless' prints. Gobber concludes, by sniffing some sand grains, that they were just there an hour ago. The rumbling of the glacier's ice is all they need to figure out that the trainers had found something. This only confirms that Gobber had been right; he had thought of the glacier too. Stoick asks why they ended up spending a week digging in the sand, but Gobber reminds him that that had been Stoick's idea. Stoick marvels how it had taken them a month to get to that point, while his son has gotten farther in one afternoon. Gobber agrees, noting that they've been bested by "the little hiccup", when men like them think themselves to be the "big, strong Vikings". Stoick wants to know what his friend is getting at and Gobber reminds him about the painting. Stoick puts two and two together, now realizing that Hiccup's out to prove himself. The three look off at the glacier.

From the flat top of a rocky spire, the teens look out over the ocean and Hiccup examines the next clue:

"At the edge of the world, amidst the raging sea, in the serpent's mouth lies another key."

After some brain storming among them, this leads Hiccup to notice a rock jutting out of the ocean that seems vaguely similar to the picture of a serpent on the map. Hiccup is about to have Toothless take off, but Fishlegs quickly points out that a Night Fury has too large a wingspan to hover in the shearing winds around the serpent; they'll only get themselves killed. Hiccup then suggests that Fishlegs, who rides the small-winged Gronkle, can take him to the rock. Suspended by a rope tied to Meatlug's saddle strap, Hiccup has Fishlegs hover over the serpent's mouth where Hiccup can see a key. Out of arm's reach, Hiccup uses his prosthetic foot to flip it into the air and catches it. The gang heads towards the forest. In the forest, Hiccup discovers that the keys fit together to form part of a larger key. Ruffnut asks Hiccup what he plans to do with his portion of treasure. When he replies that he's not really in it for the treasure, Snotlout quickly calls dibs on his share. Astrid asks Hiccup that he knows that he doesn't have to find the treasure, but he tells her that his father apparently thinks otherwise; she only responds to this with a worried expression. The team reaches a cliff face with a vaguely triangular wall made of tighty-fitting stones set in it. Hiccup comments that this must be the spot where the next puzzle would be, as "Why else would anybody build a wall in the middle of the woods?" He then reads out the next clue:

"The world is right when stars align. When not in sync, then danger you'll find."

Snotlout complains that he wouldn't want to wait till nightfall to look for the treasure, but Hiccup assures him that the "stars" mentioned in the clue doesn't mean literal stars, since their previous clues used metaphorical language to describe things. While Hiccup tries to puzzle out the clue, Fishlegs walks closer to the wall, presumably to inspect it, and remarks that there are shapes carved into several of the stones, and those specific stones have finger grips. The other teens move towards the wall as well, and Hiccup tells them to keep an eye out for anything that looks like a star. Snotlout finds a stone with a star carved into it and starts pulling it out, but the wall starts to shake and tremble, threatening to collapse around them. Snotlout can't push the stone back in with his own strength, but Hookfang helps him to quickly do so after he screams for help. Hiccup reasons that "in sync" means that there must be another star and that they must be pulled at the same time, and so asks Ruffnut and Tuffnut to take care of it. Using their twin bond, they easily and simultaneously signal Barf and Belch's dual heads to pull the stones free. The wall reveals itself to actually be a door as it opens up down the middle and slides back, revealing a dark cavern. Humans and dragons enter, but when Toothless finally does, the door closes behind him. With the aid of two torches, they go further in, but stop when they notice an elevated change in temperature; the result of what looks to be easily a hundred Fireworms, tiny dragons whose skin can burn hotter than the sun. The teen's dragons rush into action when the Fireworms attack, and repel them with their fire, with Barf and Belch, Toothless and Hookfang scattering them away from the lower central area. During the fight, a ring of fire ignites and shows seven pedestals in the center, each with a key piece on them. Snotlout urges Hiccup to grab them all so they can leave, but Hiccup explains that it's a choice:

"Something pure and something strong, look first to yourself and you won't go wrong."

Thinking the clue narrows it down to a choice between two pieces, Fishlegs reasons that strong is the piece made of iron, but Astrid points out that iron isn't pure, which would be the gold piece. The dragons defend as they can, but Hookfang runs out, and then Meatlug covers until she runs out. As Stormfly picks up the slack, Hiccup chooses the piece he sees his reflection in (look to yourself). Suddenly, all the Fireworms flee the room: the floor beneath Hiccup and Toothless falls through as a cave-in commences. Toothless makes the jump out from the center, but Hiccup doesn't and falls; Toothless immediately turns around and dives after him. Reluctantly, Astrid leaves with the others through openings Snotlout spots near the ceiling, as Fishlegs points out that there will be no one left to help Hiccup if they become trapped too.

At the bottom of the pit beneath the Fireworm/pedestal room, Hiccup notices an oddly-shaped hole in the floor. He takes the three objects from the glacier, the serpents mouth, and the pedestal room, and puts them together, forming one key. Hiccup then inserts the key into the floor then turns it, and the key rises as the top of another pedestal, which opens a secret passageway. Hiccup starts walking through the passage with Toothless behind him. Outside, Astrid and Fishlegs are digging through the rubble from the cave-in (as Meatlug happily snaps up some of the tossed stones as snacks) in order to find Hiccup. After arriving with Gobber on his Thunder Drum, Stoick looks at the teens and immediately recognizes the situation. Inside the cave and across a stone bridge, Hiccup and Toothless arrive to a room with a pedestal surrounded by gold: the burial room of Hamish I. On the pedestal, inside a stone ring jutting out from it, sits a rolled-up piece of parchment that Hiccup pulls out and reads what's written on the outside:

"This treasure was passed from father to son. I leave it to you, the next worthy one, for only a hiccup could get this far. From one to another, be proud of who you are."

Hiccup then unrolls the parchment to reveal another portrait of Hamish I and Hamish II - a detailed illustration of the true Hamish II, a hiccup; perhaps Hamish II even made it himself. Hiccup realizes that Hamish II knew that only another hiccup could find the treasure: a Viking, not of muscle, but a Viking of the mind. Marveling at the vast wealth of gold, Hiccup reasons that maybe being a 'hiccup' isn't such a bad thing after all. Then, the pedestal's ring, with no parchment to hold it up, drops down and sinks the pedestal into the floor while two more pedestals rise on either side of it and several steps away from each other, one bearing a typical Viking warhammer and the other a quill. Hiccup then notices another riddle on the floor:

"In between the body and mind, a choice must be made on what you find. At this moment you must look to yourself, as only one path will give you true wealth."

Two stone pillars then fall, the rubble blocking the entrance as the treasure room starts to collapse. Hiccup realizes that in order to survive, he must choose either the hammer or the quill. Hiccup makes his choice as Stoick, Astrid, and Fishlegs are still digging through the rubble. Everyone outside notices a hill collapsing behind as they rush to investigate. When the dust clears, Hiccup, who chose the quill, and Toothless are all right. The quill was located in the only safe spot to stand while the hill collapsed around it. Stoick and Hiccup rush towards each other and embrace in a hug. Hiccup then shows everyone the real treasure: the portrait of Hamish I and hiccup Hamish II. "That's not treasure." Snotlout says. "To a father, it is." Stoick replies. Stoick then apologizes for making Hiccup feel like he had to find the treasure to prove his worth to Stoick. Hiccup replies that he had to do it for himself. Stoick and Hiccup embrace each other in another hug.

The scene shifts to the Great Hall where everyone looks as Bucket replaces the original Stoick-and-Hiccup portrait with a more accurate one showing Hiccup as he truly is, wearing his Viking helmet and holding a rolled up piece of parchment with both hands in front of him. As Hiccup does the closing narration, Stoick puts his hand on his shoulder, looking as proud of his son as he does in the painting.

"I've spent most of my life trying to prove to my dad that I could be his kind of Viking. As it turns out, I already was."


  • This is the first time fireworm dragons are seen.
  • When Stoick and Hiccup are posing for the portrait, Stoick is carrying a sword. When the portrait is revealed, he is carrying a hammer.
  • The runic script in the map mixes the letters "w" and "h".
  • It is revealed that a Night Fury's wingspan is 48 feet.
  • When Astrid first sees the first painting, she seems dazzled by the way Hiccup looks (this may be implying that she thinks Hiccup looks hot). She says "who cares?", may be implying also that she prefers the painting of Hiccup instead of the real Hiccup. If you look, Ruffnut clearly looks similar. Combining this with her flirtst in the film, it would stand to reason she has a slight crush on Hiccup.
  • Stoick notes Bucket became an excellent painter when he lost half of his brain to his past dragon attack.
  • Bucket uses his fingers to paint, which obviously make his fingers covered in paint. But in later scenes when he positions Hiccup and points to the duo, no paint is visible on his fingers.
  • This episode is similar to the second book How to Be a Pirate. Hiccup goes on a treasure hunt, facing difficulties that only he can over come. In both the book and the episode, Hiccup winds up leaving the treasure behind.
  • Freya is not the goddess of fire. In Norse mythology, she is the goddess of love, beauty and fertility.