In How to Train Your Dragon 2, how exactly does alpha control work? This entire question is all spoiler, so don't read past this if you're planning on watching the movie.

  • So at first, the evil Bewilderbeast has to look directly at Toothless to control him.

  • Later on, the Bewilderbeast controls dragons who not only aren't looking at him, but are indoors.

  • Then, Toothless is able to block his influence out with a blindfold.

So is control sight-based or not?

2 Answers 2


Sight is a strong part of it. Sound is the other part.

That rachety low sound that the Bewilderbeast was always making? Notice how the volume on it went up when he was exerting dominance? Any dragon that could hear that was in danger of its influence. I may be wrong, but I would also swear that when Hiccup put the blindfold on Toothless, he also took care to cover his ears with it (although that may not have lasted long, the way they were flying).

For bonus points, you could hear a very similar sound being put out when the Vikings landed at the dragon nest in the first movie.

It seems like they've done a lot of work in linking actual animal behaviors to these mythical dragons. The direct control thing may not be found in nature, just like dragons aren't, but just about every other element is. Alpha dominance in many animal packs is a combination of factors, so sight and sound may not even be the only two.


The mind-controling is not sight-based, but some dragons, such as the Bewilderbeast, have what can only be described as a type of psychic natural powers. And when Toothless became alpha, he had to defeat the Bewilderbeast to become the true alpha, and the other dragons merely follow Toothless because they respect him.

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