Cross-Post: Idea for a Believable “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” Crossover (Part Two)

original here. dated 2013-01-26.

[A/N: Continuation of yesterday’s post– Idea for a Believable “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” Crossover (Part One). Which is combining the protagonists of Rise of the Guardians (Jack Frost), Brave (Merida Dunbroch), Tangled (Rapunzel… does she have a last name?), and How To Train Your Dragon (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock… the third?). Also, this one has a lot of links to other tumblr posts in the crossover fandom.]

~

[[oh god, there’s a part two. Why? I haven’t even seen Rise of the Guardians yet, there’s no reason why I should be so invested in making this crossover work… Anyway, this one shouldn’t be as fake-technical as the last one]]

Part Two: Important Questions that Influence the Plot and Therefore Should Be Answered

[Some of these answers will (and ought to) vary depending on what kind of crossover we want and where the mysterious/mystical plot takes us and what the answers to preceding questions are. For now, I’ll fill them out with what I personally would like to read (or write if I had the ability to do it justice) or different options we could follow.]

When is this crossover relative to the events of Brave/How to Train Your Dragon/Rise of The Guardians/Tangled?

Post-Brave and post-How to Train Your Dragon, because Merida and Hiccup need to have their own personal/parental/societal issues solved before we mix in the craziness that is a crossover. Also, they’re more settled after their movies–more likely to get along as a group than they were before–Merida gains patience, open-mindedness, and poise; Hiccup gains confidence and social skills… and Toothless. So for both of them, this crossover is a continuation of their stories, a possible what happens next. Also both of them need to be more entrenched in their society in order for the Viking-Highlander political/cultural dynamics to reflect in their interactions.

Then, except for Jack’s origin story, pre-Rise of the Guardians because most of the movie was “present day.” For Jack, this crossover helps solve the question of what he was doing for all these centuries. [[Agh, I just made myself sad, because maybe the reason why he’s so standoffish with the other guardians is because he remembers all the fun times he had with the Merida, Hiccup, and Rapunzel except now they’re all dead. Sorry for those feels.]] He has anywhere from three to eight centuries to cross the Atlantic and have adventures, this crossover doesn’t have much of an impact on his personal narrative.

As for Rapunzel, basically this crossover is an AU of Tangled: instead of Eugene sneaking into her tower to hide, Jack Frost wants to be her friend and help her have fun. We can’t exactly have it be before the movie, because the whole point of Tangled was that it was her first time experiencing the world outside of her tower, and she wouldn’t want to go back to that prison. While we could have it be after the movie, as mentioned in Part One, that means she won’t have her magic hair but she will have a husband and obligations as a crown princess. Hence, complete rewrite of Tangled. So while some events may be the same, and maybe they do end up meeting Eugene briefly, ultimately Rapunzel’s personal storyline is the most altered because of this crossover.

Abilities?

Hiccup: Blacksmithing, Leather-working, Inventions, Dragon riding

Jack: Ice/snow/winter powers, Flight, Invisibility/Intangibility [to those who don’t believe in him], Favoured by the moon, Staff fighting?

Rapunzel: Semi-prehensile, Healing, and Glowing Hair, Frying pan fighting, Favoured by the sun, Strength [enough to pull Mother Gothel up the tower]

Merida: Archery, Horseback riding, Sword fighting, Sensitive to/favoured by the will-o’-the-wisps [or magic in general], Strength [equal to that of her father, considering she blocked his attack and he’s practically a mountain of muscle. oh, and she climbed up Crown’s Tooth barehanded in order to drink from the fire falls]

Dragons? [as in, does Hiccup have Toothless? If so, will the others get dragons as well? Why? Do they even want dragons?]

Yes, Hiccup does have Toothless. Even if that will add slight complications to The Four’s interactions, it’s far more manageable than Eugene. [Maybe that’s the first crisis: the dragons are taken/enthralled again, and so it boosts Hiccup’s confidence independent of his dragon riding abilities without hurting his relationship with Toothless, while also giving a reason for him to turn to the three non-Vikings for help].

I’d prefer for the others not to have dragons, because it would add another three dragons to figure out interactions for, it detracts from their unique talents working together and Hiccup already has a posse of fellow dragon riders. Jack wouldn’t even want a dragon because he can already fly and his attitude isn’t all that conducive to forming a bond with a dragon. Maybe Merida likes the idea of a dragon, but she already has Angus; or depending on if the Viking raiders used dragons, she may be wary of them; or maybe she’s afraid of flying–because of The Four it makes sense (since the boys do actually fly and Rapunzel travels with Jack somehow) and it would add depth to her character. 

Rapunzel similarly already has Pascal, who would be jealous over a rival reptile, and I have a feeling that even if she were to get a dragon it would be a Terrible Terror [possible idea: perhaps in this universe Pascal the chameleon doesn’t exist or didn’t become her pet. This makes Rapunzel lonelier and more likely to cling to Jack, since he’d be her first and only friend. Then, when she happens upon/is given a dragon, she bonds with a Terrible Terror that she names Pascal.]

Antagonists?

The only antagonist from the movies left would be Mother Gothel, and while it is in character for her to do anything in her power to follow Rapunzel, is she a large enough threat that they need all of The Four to deal with her as opposed to just Jack and Rapunzel? Hm, maybe the Kingdom of Corona go to war because Mother Gothel convinces the king and queen that Jack kidnapped Rapunzel on behalf of the Vikings/Highlanders. Or maybe there’s another dragon queen. Unsure how to work Pitch in without it having major repercussions in the Rise of the Guardians, but it does open up the existence of similarly evil, magical beings.

Why do Jack and Rapunzel leave the Kingdom of Corona? [as in, which events are different from Tangled because it’s Jack instead of Eugene? What about Rapunzel’s parents?]

Though Jack and Eugene do have a similar sarcastic charm, Jack is more mischievous than rogue–this means Eugene’s antagonists (namely, Max the horse and the Stabbington brothers) who are after him for stealing the crown will also be missing. However, Jack is as new to Corona and social interactions as Rapunzel–while he’s not as naive as she is, he’s probably not as cunning as Eugene–and because Jack came specifically for Rapunzel he is more likely to follow her lead and to encourage Rapunzel to have fun and be free, as opposed to Eugene trying to get her to go back to the tower.

Plot points of Tangled that would/could stay the same: Rapunzel gets into a fight with Mother Gothel about going to see the lanterns, she uses the excuse of new paints to give her (and Jack) a head start, they happen upon the Snuggly Duckling Inn and make friends with the thugs through song, they get to the castle/capital and enjoy the festivities along with the floating lanterns. Plot points of Tangled that would be different: the chase scene in the reservoir probably wouldn’t happened, at least not with Rapunzel; without Max chasing Eugene, Mother Gothel wouldn’t have turned back so Rapunzel (and Jack) would have the full three day head start; Rapunzel, not having been dragged back the tower, may not have realized the truth of her subconscious painting or her parentage.

All in all, this means that Rapunzel has had a small glimpse of how awesome the outside world is; with nothing anchoring her specifically to Corona, I think she’d want to travel and see even more. Since Jack doesn’t really have anything/anyone else, he’d help/go with her.

How do Jack and Rapunzel leave Corona to get to Scotland/Iceland? And, why Scotland/Iceland?

While Jack can (and, for all intents and purposes, did) fly four thousand miles to meet Rapunzel, both of them need to go at least one thousand miles (the minimum distance between Scotland and the closest estimation of Corona) and Rapunzel cannot fly. We could choose to have Jack literally carry Rapunzel away from the Kingdom of Corona–but he may not be strong enough to fly with another person, especially for that long of a distance–or we could have them go on a road trip via more traditional means (hitchhiking in the 12th century, that sounds fun). The second would take longer, but that would give them time for more character bonding or the inevitable Mother Gothel confrontation if we want it earlier in the crossover.

As for why they choose Scotland/Iceland the reason could be anywhere from the Viking-like Snuggly Duckling thugs mentioning their homeland, or Rapunzel having read about either places in a book or seen in the library atlas, or even something as simple as the fact that Jack Frost would be interested in a place called Iceland (especially considering Berk “snows nine months of the year and hails the other three”) and maybe Rapunzel has never seen snow before.

What do we do with the Viking raids?

As pointed out in Part One, the Viking raids could go in any direction and would majorly affect how Merida and Hiccup’s narratives as they are princess and chief’s son. I’d choose for the Vikings to continue the peace-making trend after the dragons, because it’s one thing to build a friendship when the two cultures are wary versus outrightly hostile.

However, that leads to more decisions that need to be made: how do the Vikings try to make peace? Does the peace treaty include an arranged marriage–if so, how does Hiccup feel about it and does Merida feel any different about this one? Further, how do Merida and Hiccup meet as individuals: in a formal setting as princess and chief’s son (canon: Hiccup is known as “The Dragon Conqueror”) or as anonymous Scottish girl and anonymous Viking boy? Where do they meet–in DunBroch castle, the forest around it, the other clan’s regions, Berk? Do they travel back and forth between Scotland and Iceland?

I’d prefer to avoid the arranged marriage (especially since that may lead to Merida holding a grudge against Hiccup and preventing awesome friendship building) but maybe some kind of cultural exchange host situation, where Merida goes to live in Berk–she’d enjoy how non-political life in Berk is and how everyone is a warrior regardless of gender. In order to make that a pleasant surprise for her, I’d have them first meet in a formal setting in castle DunBroch. How they go from somewhat unwilling ambassadors to friends, I’ll leave for character interactions in part three.

How do Jack and Rapunzel meet Merida and Hiccup?

Aka, how do a couple of magical sort-of-orphan runaways meet a pair of royal warrior children? I don’t know. There are so many different ways this crossover could have gone that there’s no given path that is more likely for The Meeting.

One possibility is: Jack and Rapunzel arrive in Iceland, but Rapunzel is ill-prepared for the cold and Jack can’t really help because it is literally his element [vaguely inspired by this art, but… you know, Rapunzel instead of Merida]. Cue Merida, who is still considered an outsider and thus spends most of her time exploring the area, finding them and bringing them back to Stoic’s house. [Are there will-o’the-wisps in Iceland? Maybe that’s how she finds Jack and Rapunzel.]

What/is there a crisis makes The Four unlock their awesome potential as a group?

What the crisis is mostly depends on who the antagonists are–though we can save some for later, future adventures. Further, in order for the crisis to fully unlock The Four’s awesome potential two points requirements must be met:

1) The crisis must be a large enough obstacle that all of The Four are necessary. If it can be solved with only one or two of them, it wouldn’t be sufficient enough to create the amazing group bond that this crossover is for. For example, Mother Gothel on her own could be defeated by Rapunzel and Jack efficiently–adding a warrior princess and a dragon rider would be overkill.

 2) The crisis should be one that The Four can uniquely solve, it should make them work with each other instead of turning to other people they already know. For example, when the crisis hits there has to be some reason why Hiccup would work with the three outsiders rather than the other dragon riders of Berk without making the other dragon riders weak or jerks out of character. 

In character weakness is fine: the other Berk adolescents’ skills revolve around fighting or riding dragons, if the threat isn’t a dragon or can’t be fought with dragons (because dragons aren’t affected or the antagonist has somehow incapacitated them) then only Hiccup has proven adaptable enough to do anything. Or maybe it’s not-so-conveniently the dragons’ nesting time and, as seen in Gift of the Night Fury, only Toothless has proven loyal enough to stay behind, meaning Hiccup is temporarily the only dragon rider of Berk.

In character jerkiness could also be a reason why the other Berk dragon riders don’t help, though: if the crisis followed Merida, Jack, or Rapunzel, it could be in character for them to leave the outsiders to deal with the problem on their own. Hiccup, having not too long ago been shunned for being different and having already proven a tendency to help others at risk to his own safety, would be the only one of the Berk adolescents willing to help.

It could also be that the reason the other Berk dragon riders aren’t helping is because they are the ones that need to be saved (along with the rest of the village, perhaps) and so it’s the three outsiders and Hiccup who come to the rescue because they are so different. Regardless, there has to be a reason why The Four are four and not nine (including the other five dragon riders).

Beyond that, there are some factors to consider if we want to extend the crossover: Will they continue adventuring after this first crisis? How do they convince their parents to let them go adventuring? What is the goal/reason/justification behind the adventures? Where do these adventures take place?

[[I want to do another thing about my character interaction feels/peeves but… that means there’s THREE parts!]]

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