original here. dated 2013-01-25.
[A/N: When I first wrote this, I don’t think I had actually seen Rise of the Guardians but thankfully my take on it wasn’t too far off. Also, before Frozen so… while I wouldn’t necessarily go adding in the Arendelle sisters, they could easily make cameos. Actually, if I were to do this brainstorm/outline again I’d probably have Jack’s part involve the plot or characters of Frozen.
Also, also, before How To train Your Dragon 2, obviously.
Also, also, also, I actually prefer “How to Train Your Brave Tangled Guardians” to “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” but the latter was the more common way to refer to them… also “The Big Four?”]
[[“Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” is the apparent name of the crossover featuring Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians, Merida from Pixar’s Brave, Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled, and Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how a crossover could be feasible/believable without being too out there for any of the characters or any of their canon worlds, so that’s what is happening here.]]
Part One: Mechanics of Chronology and Geography
First off, we need to fuse all four of their universes together. Luckily this is pretty easy because all of them have magic (or dragons which implies magic), which we can use to hand-wave many issues away. One of the main issues being the four different historical/chronological contexts. I’ve seen different posts on tumblr which basically state that Merida is in 9th-10th century Scotland Highlands, Hiccup is 10th-11th century Scandinavia (possibly Iceland), Jack is 16th-18th century North America, and Rapunzel is 15th-18th century central/southern Europe.
Oookay, so that’s anywhere from a seven to nine century difference. But magic can be used to hand-wave the history discrepancies; for example, Tangled’s Kingdom of Corona is estimated 15th-18th century because of the architecture/how advanced it’s technology is–well, maybe its success came from the wide-scale acceptance and celebration of magic (let’s say, specifically sun magic). Maybe the Puritan movement likewise happened earlier because of this cultural acceptance of magic (or rather, in resistance to this acceptance), thereby Jack’s family settling in North America happening a few centuries earlier.
Additionally, Brave is estimated to be the earliest because this was Scotland pre-British/Christian influence but we can argue in this mashed up universe that the Highlanders’ respect, if not outright acceptance of magic, maintained Scottish autonomy for much longer than it did in our universe. As for the Vikings, well, we know what their opinions are on dragons but we don’t know how they feel culturally about magic or if they have any magical/mystical interactions beyond large fire-breathing reptiles.
The argument for moving the How to Train Your Dragon timeline is tenuous at best because of it’s degree separation from magic (magic has more chronological/cultural influence and hand-wavy ability than dragons, even if dragons do imply the existence of magic) but maybe the presence of dragons similarly lengthened the Viking society beyond our own universe’s history.
All in all, let’s meet in the middle and say 12th century. However the point is that, in a universe with dragons, semi-sentient celestial bodies and will-o’-the-wisps, and magic, cultures and societies would evolve at different rates than they do in our universe so The Four could exist at the same moment in time without necessitating time travel.
Another issue is geography. Though luckily this one is not as much of a universe-building problem as it is mechanics/logistics which may actually contribute to this crossover’s mysterious/mystical plot.
We know from Brave that the Scottish Highlanders have defended their homes from Vikings before, it probably isn’t meant to be the same generation or tribe of Vikings as in How to Train Your Dragon but let’s say they are. And anyway, Gobber’s Scottish accent (via Craig Ferguson) and position as blacksmith (and general subservience) could imply he’s a fosterling (aka hereditary thrall, as in his parent(s) may have been taken as thralls/slaves from one of the raids and while his position isn’t as demeaning as a first generation thrall’s he still isn’t of the noble warrior caste). Also, he looks remarkably like the MacGuffins in colouring and stature. Anyway! The point is that Merida and Hiccup could interact without any major changes to their cultural/societal narratives.
Jack and Rapunzel, on the other hand, require more of a stretch. Jack is in a completely different continent while Rapunzel is stuck in a tower–I’m assuming the crossover happens instead of the events of Tangled [[because a) we want to keep the magical hair and b) we don’t want to complicate The Four’s dynamic with the addition of Eugene, especially not with the addition of Eugene as a husband]]. But Jack can fly. I don’t know if he flies long distances in Rise of the Guardians, but since he’s a moon-winter zombie-ghost, flying across the Atlantic Ocean is probably not outside his abilities. But why would Jack fly that far? We could just brush it off and say he’s just wandering around the world for the sake of wandering, but here is an opportunity to merge geographical logistics with plot. For what reason would Jack fly to Europe? To meet Rapunzel.
Let me explain this answer: Jack is a lonely moon-winter zombie-ghost. In Rise of the Guardians canon, Jack is alone for roughly three hundred years and our new timeline implies a further five hundred years of isolation. Regardless of which you choose, that’s a ridiculously long time to be alone. Even if this is the universe where magic is undeniably real, and thus people would be more likely to believe/see him, Jack is from the anti-magic Puritan society. Even if they could see him, they damn magic as satanic worshipping and would probably think he’s a demon or the anti-Christ or whatever.
Anyway, Jack had to have wondered if there were others like him, so a girl who was born through sun magic? That sounds similar enough to justify a four thousand mile flight. (Maybe he hears about it from another group of settlers who travelled through/originated from Corona or the Puritan settlement uses Rapunzel’s disappearance as proof of magic’s inherent evil or the Man in the Moon decides to be nice and not vague or something else).
So there’s Jack going on a quest to meet Rapunzel in the Kingdom of Corona meanwhile, the Viking raids on Scotland theoretically puts Merida and Hiccup in the same place if on different sides of battle. Let’s resolve that matter before we move on to combining all four of them.
As previously stated, lines from Brave and How to Train Your Dragon’s… Gobber proves Highlander-Viking interaction in the form of raids. If the crossover happens after the events of How to Train Your Dragon and depending on which way the mysterious/mystical plot wants to go, we get to choose how the consolidation of Vikings and dragons affects the raids on Scotland: do the Vikings, making peace with one of their long-time enemies, decide to make peace with another long-time enemy OR do the Vikings, having turned one long-time enemy into an ally, become more efficient at battling their other long-time enemy OR something else entirely?
And–even if the crossover happens before the events of HtTYD–because Merida and Hiccup’s interactions are based on their nations’ interactions, what does that mean for them as firstborn children of their respective chief/king? This means politics: possible arranged marriage to broker peace between their two warring nations OR kidnap/hostage situation until demands are met OR something else entirely?
That’s a lot of things to consider and while it may make things more complicated and difficult, it can also lead to a more interesting and engaging plot. Yes, we could just sidestep the issue of the Viking raids entirely by having Merida or Hiccup (or both of them) running away from home but I honestly don’t think we should–firstly, because that removes some of the feasibility of the crossover and we should embrace whatever in canon makes the crossover easier.
Secondly, unless it’s one of them running away from a kidnapping/hostage situation, it’d be out of character for either of them to do that: when Merida wanted to escape being a (literal) trophy wife she didn’t do it by running away, she took (albeit poorly thought out) action to change her fate; further, even though Hiccup was the pariah of his village he still tried to do his best to contribute (in an unorthodox manner).
Thirdly, there will still be that political animosity between the two cultures according to the dialogue from Brave so even if one ran away from home they wouldn’t run towards a long-time enemy (especially considering their status as princess/chief’s son) so for them to meet, both of them would have to leave home and randomly bump into each other.
It’s just more statistically sound for Merida and Hiccup to be in the same place, either Scotland or Iceland, because of politics so Jack and Rapunzel can go there as opposed to three different paths crossing in the middle of nowhere. I mean, you can do that if you want to because stories are never statistically sound anyway, but this whole endeavour was to make the crossover more feasible.
The point is, regardless of what we choose to do with the Viking raids on Scotland, we should end up with Merida and Hiccup interacting with each other because of politics either in Scotland or Iceland (or both, maybe they travel back and forth to visit each other) while Jack, essentially, finds and gives Rapunzel a lift out of her tower in Corona. We’ve successfully made four individual narratives into two, now we’ve just got to squash them together into one massive crossover. Huzzah!
[[That’s more plot than mechanics, though, so I’m going to put that in Part Two… oh god, I can’t believe there are multiple parts, this is taking over my brain]].