Ooh, okay, okay. So there’s some differences between the Temeraire style versus the How To Train Your Dragon style of dragon riding, and I feel like in order to best translate the Naruto world, I’d have to pull bits and pieces from each.
So in HTTYD, the dragons are more like pets–cats/dogs/birds–with roughly the same level of intelligence. Maybe the bigger ones (the Queen and the Alphas/Bewilderbeasts) are a little more intelligent but, over all, they’re animals. Amazing, magical animals yes, but animals all the same.
In Temeraire, the dragons are sentient (if not sapient–because they are a different species and would have different way of thinking/prioritizing) and they’re massive. The majority of the dragons in HTTYD would be in the courier or light combat classification, and Temeraire has an additional two larger classes of middleweight and heavyweight.
Maybe the Queen and Alphas/Bewilderbeasts are middleweights? But the heavyweights are like ships–they have captains and flight crews of up to forty people as well as a ground crew and they can straight up carry smaller dragons easily. The larger the dragon, the longer the lifespan and dragon’s captaincies tend to be passed down in a family for multiple generations.
And while Temeraire style dragons don’t quite have a telepathic bond with their captains there’s a little bit of a… imprinting process? Like, if newly hatched dragons don’t imprint on a person, they go feral and won’t ever take a captain. And while captaincies can and will eventually be transferred it’s not as good as the original imprinted captain. (I think? It’s been a while since I read any Temeraire stuff)
Probably, the bijuu are the only heavyweights that exist in this dragon rider AU. The problem is, though, that I’m pretty sure the Uchiha clan would at least have had some light combat dragons that Sasuke would have inherited–if not middleweight–and those also require crews (but probably smaller, about ten people). Unless Itachi killed them all? But how would that even… hrm…
Okay so if we want Team Seven to have similar relationships in this AU as what they have in canon, then they either need to be part of the same dragon’s flight crew OR they are each captains of different dragons who are part of the same flight formation. On the one hand, Naruto really ought to be captain of Kyuubi and Sasuke ought to be captain of at least one if not multiple Uchiha clan dragons, but it would be weird for Shikako (from a “clan of ground walkers”) to be captain of her own dragon as well.
So maybe… maybe the Uchiha only had the one middleweight–for the clan head’s line–and a bunch of light combat/couriers. So Itachi could have killed his father, inherited the family dragon, and killed all the light combat/couriers leaving Sasuke without a dragon to captain. Then the Kyuubi, who had not liked Kushina and won’t even give Naruto the time of day, is hibernating away. The threat of his existence is enough to deter the other countries from invading, but it’s true that they can’t utilize his full potential until Naruto can convince him to fight on Konoha’s behalf.
So Team Seven is the crew of Pakkun, the Hatake clan’s middleweight (and maybe the other dog summons are Pakkun’s ground crew?). The other members of Pakkun’s flight formation are Ningame carrying Team Gai, Enma (who Asuma has a strained relationship with) carryin Team Ten, and… Akamaru carrying Team Eight?
Yeah, so, Enma is the oldest dragon and has loudly stated that he prefers Hiruzen–his first captain–to Asuma so there’s that drama. Pakkun and Ningame are about the same age and imprinted on their respective captains at about the same time. Akamaru is the youngest and only recently imprinted on Kiba–so while they have enough potential to be combat ready, and Kiba is technically Akamaru’s captain, Kurenai is captain of the crew. Hinata might or might not inherit her father’s dragon–or, like in canon, it might end up with Hanabi.
Erm, well, most likely because battle styles are different, flight formations aren’t used very frequently so the different Teams are independent of each other.
In Temeraire, this is during the Regency Era so Britain is at war–hence flight formations and flight crews. While I’m reluctant to say there’s full-blown war going on in the Elemental Nations, it’s very likely that the Air Force is meant to maintain the territories/borders. Akatsuki is probably trying to instigate full blown war in order to capture the bijuu (as per canon) although this time they’re actually doing it to take over the world not to do a giant genjutsu or summon an alien princess monster.
So they’re starting a world war as a distraction for some heists and murders to take over the world? … yeah. That sounds about right. And, hey, this actually makes Nagato’s Uzumaki heritage important rather than just some bullshit throwaway thing that wasn’t explored at all! 😀
So Shukaku is near feral. Technically Gaara is his captain, but only technically–Karura was his captain before and, as per canon, died in childbirth, and Shukaku is so pissed off and bitter and basically Shukaku and Gaara have a worse relationship than Enma and Asuma, not even bringing up how Shukaku is at least twice as big and powerful as Enma.
The Nibi and Hachibi are, again, as per canon, pretty well behaved and captained by Yugito and Killer B. Professional, if not intimate. Sanbi has already been stolen and is captained by Kisame. Akatsuki’s threat is due to that they probably have a way to rewrite dragon imprinting/brainwash them like Drago and the Bewilderbeast in HTTYD2. Etc. etc.
I like the idea that Waterfall has Nanabi–the sole heavyweight not owned by the Big Five–and no middleweights whatsoever. Only couriers and light combat class. So there’s just this massive sparkly dragon surrounded by tiny dragons.
I feel like the jinchuuriki who are missing nin wouldn’t translate all that well because how do you lose track of a 50 ton dragon? And their forty person crew. It’s not like being a single jinchuuriki where it’s just like I, an individual, will leave the village in the middle of the night and hide from hunter nin. A bijuu leaving would be like a battleship just sailing away and no one being able to find it–not only would the entire crew have to agree, the captain and bijuu would have to as well and continuously hide?
… Actually… I guess that’s not too out there if they focus more on threats than subtlety. “I am leaving now, if you try to make me and my captain stay I will attack you and I am the most powerful dragon in your military” instead of “Lalala, I’m a massive dragon disappearing in the night, no one can find meeeeee.”
And a lot of the adventure is Team Seven flying around, stumbling across the Akatsuki conspiracy, and trying to convince the other countries to listen/trying to convince the missing captains to join the efforts to stop Akatsuki/trying to convince Kyuubi to accept Naruto as his captain.
Ultimate big bad in this AU would be Pein aka Nagato, I think, because I don’t know how an Obito-Madara storyline would work, much less the Zetsu-Kaguya and Indra-Ashura nonsense. LET THE UZUMAKI NAME BE RELEVANT!