It goes without saying, but… SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!
Well folks, the third film confirms it.
In 2014, fans of the family franchise How To Train Your Dragon were surprised to hear a throwaway line from one character during the second movie.
In How To Train Your Dragon 2, Gobber the Belch, seasoned warrior and friend to main character Hiccup’s family, makes a small comment about his relationship status. While hearing about Hiccup’s parents and their marital woes, Gobber mumbles the line, “This is why I never married. This and one other reason.”
The ever perceptive ears of LGBTQ fans picked up on this line fairly well and began to speculate. Was Gobber saying that he was gay or possibly just not interested in dating?
Later, Gobber’s voice actor Craig Ferguson admitted that the line was simple ad-libbing, but director Dean DeBlois decided to keep it.
“The nice thing that Craig brought to it is, it’s such a hand-off line that I think for the older members of the audience, it’ll take them a moment to realize, like, ‘Did he just say what I think he said?'” says DeBlois. “And then you’re moving on. [The movie] treats it like normalcy, and that’s what I really like about it. Because I’m a gay man, and I don’t draw attention to myself for that reason. It’s just a fact of who I am, and the way the world is, and it’s nice to treat it as just a passing notion that isn’t something that people have to get so up in arms about. I think it makes people chuckle, and in every test screening we’ve had, it’s always gone over really well. I know there are probably a few people whose feathers it will ruffle, but you can’t worry too much about that. Particularly in 2014. It’s so prevalent out there, in TV shows and movies. It’s the norm, as it should be. I’m proud of it. It contributes to the daring and progressive quality of the storytelling of this [planned] trilogy.”
Now, the third film has released and it looks like DeBlois is doubling down on what was once an ad-lib.
Though How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World just came out yesterday, early reviews have already explained some of the movie’s plot. Namely, a few scenes involving Gobber.
In the third film, Gobber seems to express his sexuality more openly. He expresses attraction to the muscular Eret (voiced by Kit Harrington) and says he’s built like a Norse God. Later, he’s even seen staring at Eret’s butt.
As DeBlois explained above, he resonated with that throwaway line and decided to evolve the character to fit that. While, at first, it may sound like his non-reciprocal attraction is played up as a joke, there's actually a quiet strength in this development.
Being gay is only one facet of the character. He’s a seasoned warrior, a mentor to the main character and his friends, an engineer for the village, and an aide to the dragon kind. With so many already on his plate, the character got to have more going on with his story by representing all of us.
But if you want to see that representation yourself, you’ll have to go see the film. How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World hit theaters on February 22. Go see it now.