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How to Train Your Dragon 3 will bring the trilogy to a definitive end 'the right way,' says director

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Sep 14, 2018, 12:06 PM EDT

Next year, How to Train Your Dragon fans will bid farewell to Hiccup and Toothless in the franchise's third installment, The Hidden World. It's definitely poignant, but writer/director Dean DeBlois says the trilogy capper will be the perfect sendoff for these beloved characters. 

"We thought about it for a long time and came up with what we think is a bittersweet way to say goodbye to these characters, but the right way," he told Entertainment Weekly

This means bringing back a familiar face in the form of Hiccup's father, Stoick the Vast (voiced by Gerard Butler), despite his death in the second movie. According to EW, Hidden World will play around with time like never before, devoting entire scenes to flashbacks and flash-forwards. 

"[Stoik's inclusion] offers a warm hug to the character one last time," DeBlois added. "The overall theme of the story is letting go, or finding the wisdom to let go, rather."

In the sequel, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) will have to contend with a new bad guy, Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), who, it seems, is responsible for killing off most of the Night Furies in the world. In addition, Toothless (the last Night Fury in existence) finds love in a Light Fury. 

“What we’re seeing in this story is Toothless learning to trust his own instincts,” said producer Brad Lewis. “It’s not just a B-story. This is a potential agent of change that forces Hiccup to consider what sort of leader he wants to be, or even can be, without Toothless.”

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World soars into theaters on Friday, March 1, 2019.