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I'm a bit confused about a scene in How To Train Your Dragon. When the Vikings reach the nest, they open holes and the dragons are flying away. Why didn't they do that in the first place and wait for the humans?

I mean, they had input/output ability from the nest (they could fly to the village to steal some food). Could it be that the queen kept some dragons as "prisoners" and only a subset of the dragons were going to the village, so that they are doomed to get back in the nest, so that they didn't lose their friends (just a thought, not a clue of this in the movie)?

I was wondering if someone could explain this to me or if it really is a plot hole in the story.

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I don't have official source or script to draw from. However, my read on that scene is that they were waiting for the humans.

The whole nest seems to be in a sort of button-up-and-fortify mode. The most the Vikings sniff of a dragon is the tail that gets whisked out of sight. This is more than likely intentional - note that the eerie sound that continues while the Vikings land and fortify continues right up until they punch the hole. It's a very similar sound to the sound the other Alpha dragons make in the second movie, while exerting dominance or control. The Alpha is holding it's nest on tight guard, possibly to pounce once it feels right.

That all seems to go out the window when Stoick signals a fireball launched in. Whether that was just an agressive surprise, or read as some kind of direct challenge, I couldn't say for sure. The dragons in the tunnel though, didn't move until that moment, and it mostly seems to be an action of I'm-getting-the-heck-out-of-the-way as that Alpha decides to muscle out and deal with this personally.

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