KZ: Hey Hiccup, thanks for chatting to us bro. What attributes make a good dragon rider?
Hiccup: Patience, courage and hopefully a strong stomach.
KZ: Training a dragon is obviously pretty challenging. Is there anything else you think it would be tough to train?
Hiccup: Oh boy, that’s a very good question. My relatives would be pretty hard to train, also any animal with rabies would be pretty hard to train. Cats are near impossible to train. They don’t listen to anything.
KZ: If you could choose, what would your viking name to be? Something bloodthirsty and/or weird is totally appropriate.
Hiccup: “Mouldy Cheese the Magnificent”!
KZ: What three tricks would you most like your dragon to be able to do?
Hiccup: The laundry, dishes and homework.
KZ: Is dragon etiquette the same as dog etiquette, as in, do you have to pick up after them?
Hiccup: Oh boy! Yes. Mercifully I haven’t had to but yes, clean up after all your animals: your roos, your dingoes, all of them! 100% yes! 1000% yes! If you have a pet then you are automatically responsible for its bowel movements.
KZ: What do you think it is about dragons that fascinates people so much?
Hiccup: I think they symbolise everything we don’t know for better or worse. They are the wildest dreams of our imagination or a nightmare, 'cause they can be scary too. I think it's that, plus we never got to see what the dinosaurs were like which I suspect is where every dragon myth comes from. People finding bones 2,000 years ago and not knowing what the heck they were. And the fire breath is also very intriguing.
KZ: Hiccup and Toothless communicate pretty well, do you speak fluent dragon now? Care to share a few key phrases?
Hiccup: Oh boy! My personal command of the dragon tongue is quite poor because usually every time I speak dragon, I end up eating regurgitated fish from Toothless’ stomach so I’ve learned not to talk too much around him.
KZ: In some ways it’s the other way round, the dragons understand the humans although the humans haven’t quite figured out dragon-speak?
Hiccup: That’s exactly what it is. A bit of trivia: cats don’t miaow when they’re just with other cats. They only miaow when people are around. I know this to be true because some university students in Ottawa built these cat houses for stray cats and filled them with dishes of dry food every day and then video-taped them as part of an experiment. Then they watched the way the cats related when people weren’t around and they didn’t really miaow.
KZ: How do you get dragon drool stains out of leather?
Hiccup: You don’t. You just have to deal with it. The real answer is don’t let them drool on your leather.
KZ: And, finally, what top tips can you share for getting a dragon (or any companion/pet) to follow directions.
Hiccup: Food. 100% food and the promise of food. Or food and tickles. I’d say the promise of food or the promise of tickles.