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Dragons: The Nine Realms - What We Know So Far

"How to Train Your Dragon" is coming back, although not in the way you'd expect. The "How to Train Your Dragon" franchise by DreamWorks, which began with the 2010 film of the same name, has scored numerous Oscar nominations and other awards across its three movies, with various graphic novels, video games, and two television series following (via IMDb). However, it is forging new territory through its upcoming series, "Dragons: The Nine Realms." Set to release this winter, the show promises something new and different for "How to Train Your Dragon" fans.

There are still a fair amount of unknowns regarding "Dragons: The Nine Realms." For starters, most of the show's voice acting cast has yet to be formally announced. However, DreamWorks has gone out of its way to explain the basic plot premise that serves as the show's foundation, and surprisingly, it is a major departure from the ancient Viking setting of the films. With that in mind, here is what we know so far about the upcoming "How to Train Your Dragon" spinoff television series, "Dragons: The Nine Realms."

What is the release date of Dragons: The Nine Realms?

According to the series' official page on the DreamWorks website, "Dragons: The Nine Realms" is all set to release on December 23, 2021, on Hulu and Peacock. Like the majority of DreamWorks' contemporary franchises, the series will only be available through streaming services and will not air on TV. This is in contrast to the DreamWorks shows of yesteryear, such as "Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness," which premiered on Nickelodeon in 2011.

Regardless of when or where "Dragons: The Nine Realms" is released, the series promises a very different look at the "How To Train Your Dragon" universe. The plot and characters will be entirely new for the series, so whether you are an older fan of the original "How to Train Your Dragon" films or looking for a new show for a younger viewer in your family, there's sure to be something for everyone with "Dragons: The Nine Realms." But as the show will only be available on these two streaming services, it's up to you to decide if it's worth investing in either Hulu or Peacock to tune in. 

Who is in the cast of Dragons: The Nine Realms?

At the moment, the only cast member of "Dragons: The Nine Realms" announced so far is Jeremy Shada, who will play the lead character, while the rest remains a complete mystery (via Collider). The original film series stars Jay Baruchel as Hiccup and includes further voice acting from stars such as Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, and Jonah Hill (via IMDb). However, since this is a spinoff series that takes place far after the events of the original, it is unlikely that any of these big names will return for "Dragons: The Nine Realms."

Until the rest of the official cast is announced, fans will have to make do by speculating which prominent voice actors might show up when "Dragons: The Nine Realms" becomes available. You can hear Shada's voice-over in the recently released teaser trailer, but other than that, there are no other voice actors who appear in promotional material so far. Until the series debuts on December 23, the next generation of dragon trainers will remain unknown.

What is the plot of Dragons: The Nine Realms?

The original "How to Train Your Dragon" film series is set at the height of the Viking Age and depicts a world in which humans and dragons remain in either constant conflict or servitude. Only the protagonist, Hiccup, manages to establish a constructive relationship with the dragon Toothless in his hometown of Berk. In the third film, "How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World," the dragons eventually excommunicate themselves from humankind and relocate to the eponymous hidden world.

According to DreamWorks' official plot synopsis, "Dragons: The Nine Realms" picks up 1,300 years after the "How to Train Your Dragon" films. In this modern time, humans have practically forgotten their history with dragons. However, a breakthrough geological discovery leads to humanity's rediscovery of the beasts. At some point, a group of kids encounter dragons themselves. But, in order to protect them, they must keep them a closely guarded secret.