SPOILERS: The following article contains spoilers for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, in theaters now.
There's a lot going on in How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World. The film explores more of the massive fantasy world, introduces a full-blown army led by Dragon Warlords and juggles the joy and pains of love. For a film to tackle so much and not stick the landing with everything is understandable, and while the movie is good it never reaches the level of its predecessors.
Not helping matters is the complete waste of time that is the supposed "love triangle" between the teenage Snoutlout (Jonah Hill), the completely uninterested Valka (Cate Blanchett) and Eret (Kit Harington). The bit is played for laughs, but only ever manages to be distracting while adding literally nothing to the film. Why wasn't this bit just cut from the film to make room for more of the things the movie actually accomplishes well?
After the events of How to Train Your Dragon 2, Valka returned to her home of Berk after spending over a decade living with the dragons. However, she's returned to a place that doesn't have her beloved husband Stoik (Gerard Butler), who died in the film. She becomes a trusted adviser and dragon rider for her son Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), and has fully reentered human society.
Unfortunately, that means she has to put up with Snoutlout, the aggressively boisterous dragon rider. Even during the opening siege against Dragon Trappers, Snoutlout keeps trying to flirt with Valka, who is both decades his senior and just lost her husband a year ago.
The decision to have him go after her stems from the same overall tone of the character. Snoutlout talks a big game, and even suggests that if Hiccup were to vacate the role of chief then he would be the obvious replacement. But he's clumsy, often getting saved by his dragon and then insisting he is the most valuable warrior among the Dragon Riders. It's meant to be played for laughs, but just comes across as annoying and misguided.
What makes matters worse is when Eret gets involved. A former dragon trapper himself before falling in with the people of Berk, Eret has become something of a chief dragon scout for Hiccup. His skill are noticed by Valka, who compliments him a few times in the film.
This sends Snoutlout into a jealous rage, and at one point he climbs on top of multiple wooden boxes just to look down at Eret and yell at him about "trying to steal my girl." To his credit, Eret doesn't seem interested in either Snoutlout's anger or Valka romantically. He just goes about his job, carrying his weight in a way that Snoutlout never even gets close to.