While the first How to Train Your Dragon film was a queer-friendly triumph, the sequel erases all signs of its LGBTQ characters, and upholds fragile masculinity above all else. The third and final instalment of the franchise, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, is a queer nightmare.
The director of the new movie, Dean DeBlois, told E! News at the Cannes premiere that Gobber, voiced by Craig Ferguson, would come out as gay in HTTYD2. The decision wasn't written into the script, but came from an ad-lib Ferguson made while recording the line. The original line said "This is why I never got married." Ferguson riffed on that, adding "and one other reason".
It's worth noting that this wasn't the first time that a mainstream animated film featured a gay character: Mitch in 2012's ParaNorman was the first openly gay Viking. But despite the lack of feather-ruffling at the time, there is now.
In HTTYD2, Gobber's sexuality is revealed by his reaction to watching a married couple bicker. It's a small moment, but it's an important one. And that's because it shows how compulsive heteronormativity tries to sneak into every corner of society. Whether it's parents cooing over their baby girl or a television show teasing a gay relationship that doesn't happen, the cisheteropatriarchy is everywhere. The only way to fight it is to reclaim the power of love and equality. And that's what HTTYD2 is all about.