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The Last Dragon in the World is the third episode in the first series of the 2019 television series Moominvalley.

Synopsis

Moomintroll finds a real dragon, just the right size to be a pet. All he wants is for the little dragon to love him back, but can it be tamed?

Plot

A blue and orange bird flies over the forest surrounding Moominvalley, then swoops onto a branch, drawn towards the sound of a mouth-organ. Snufkin travels down a path, playing his new spring tune, and the bird whistles his tune. Snufkin challenges the bird to play a different tune, and the bird copies the song he played on his mouth organ, making him laugh. Snufkin pauses by a tree and smiles, seeing Moominhouse in the distance. He continues his journey onward, playing his spring tune as the bird copies him, flying overhead. Elsewhere in Moominvalley, Moomintroll creeps across the forest floor, pretending to hunt prey before jumping out and 'striking' - pulling up his fishing jar from the river to see if he has caught anything. The jar is full of murky river-water, and Moomintroll sighs, saying that he is "fed up". The plants nearby rustle, and Moomintroll calls out "Snufkin?" before Little My appears, teasing him for thinking she could be Snufkin. Moomintroll seems annoyed, reminding Little My that he wanted to be alone, and tells her that he's fishing for a wobblybug. Little My asks if he intends to eat the bug, and then realises he wants to keep it as a pet that he can "boss around". Moomintroll, irritated, tells her off for annoying him, and Little My says that she has better things to do, and leaves, warning Moomintroll that he will catch a cold sitting there all day. He complains that she "thinks she knows it all", however a cloud covers the sun and he sneezes, grumbling at proving Little My right. At last, he captures something interesting in his fishing jar, and, as he peers into it, the shape of a dragon becomes visible in the murky water. Moomintroll is amazed, reaching up to touch the glass and jumping away when the dragon head-butts it. He comments that the dragon is "so angry" even though it's "so very small", and he realises that reminds him of someone else he knows - Little My. The blue and orange bird lands near Moomintroll, whistling Snufkin's tune, and he realises it's a new spring tune and says "Snufkin's coming, he has to be", his wait finally over. Moomintroll lifts up the dragon in its jar and says how he can't wait to show it to Snufkin. The little dragon roars back in response.

Near Moominhouse, Moominpappa prepares to chop up wood, readying the axe in his paws. Moomintroll runs past, talking excitedly to himself about finding the dragon, and spins Moominpappa off balance - he swings his axe and cuts his top hat in half instead of the wood. Moomintroll apologies and continues rushing back to the house. Moominpappa looks at the two halves of his hat and comments: "the youth of today".

On the porch of the Moominhouse, Moomintroll whispers to the dragon that he is to be his and Snufkin's secret. As he tiptoes towards the front door, a teapot turns to follow him, and Little My's head pops out of it. She asks him what he caught, and he quickly hides the jar behind his back, telling her that it's nothing. Little My asks why he's hiding the jar if he caught nothing, and Moomintroll surreptitiously slides the jar onto a waiting tea trolley, showing her his bare paws and saying" "what jar?" Little My narrows her eyes and says to Moomintroll: "I'll find you out, you tricksy old beanbag." Moominmamma greets Moomintroll and, to his distress, pushes the tea trolley carrying his fishing jar inside the house, revealing Mrs Fillyjonk sat inside, who is visiting them for tea. Moomintroll politely asks Mrs Fillyjonk how she is, to which she replies "extremely anxious". Moomintroll snatches his jar from the tea trolley before Moominmamma can accidentally offer it as jam to Mrs Fillyjonk, running away with it and telling them that it has "gone bad" and that he will "destroy it". Mrs Fillyjonk says that she knew something bad was going to happen, and Moominmamma tries to reassure her by saying "worse things happen at sea", which only causes Mrs Fillyjonk further anxiety, as she has just arranged a sailing trip.

Moomintroll runs back outside, bumping into Muskrat, who is lounging in his hammock. They both look at the jar, and Moomintroll tells him that it isn't a dragon, and Muskrat replies in his usual pessimistic form that it doesn't matter, as "everything is meaningless anyway". Moomintroll climbs up the ladder into his bedroom with the jar balancing on his head, and locks the door before letting the dragon out, deciding that it is safe to do so. The little dragon jumps out and catches it's breath, and Moomintroll guiltily realises the jar needed air-holes. The dragon gives him a small roar, and bites him when he tries to reach out for it, and Moomintroll decides that he should try to train the dragon before Snufkin arrives. He tries to beckon the dragon towards him when it walks away, however it steadfastly ignores him, and when he tries to feed it a leftover pancake it instead catches a fly to eat. Moomintroll continues to watch the dragon in awe, saying how clever it is. He then goes for lunch, joking that he hopes he doesn't have to eat a fly, and tells the dragon to "stay" and "be good" before closing the door. The dragon flies away after he closes the door.

At lunch, Moominpappa sticks both halves of his hat back together with some honey. Moomintroll, lost in thought, pushes his food around into the shape of a dragon, which he quickly messes up when Little My peers over in interest. Little My comments aloud that "certain people" are keeping secrets about something in a jar, which Moominpappa says sounds exciting. Moominmamma says that if someone wants to keep a secret then they can, looking over at Moomintroll, who whispers in her ear. Moominmamma tells everyone that nobody is allowed into Moomintroll's room without his permission, and Little My blows bubbles in her glass of milk in a threatening way. The spring tune is heard in the distance, and Moomintroll peers around quickly, however he sees the blue and orange bird again and becomes unhappy, thinking it is merely the bird singing. The bird gestures with a wing towards the river, and Moomintroll excitedly says Snufkin's name and smiles, seeing his best friend walk towards the bridge over the river, playing the tune on his mouth-organ. Instructed by Moominmamma to finish his lunch before leaving the table, Moomintroll hurriedly eats his food before rushing to see Snufkin, and Moominpappa comments that secrets give his son a hearty appetite. Little My goes to follow Moomintroll, however Moominmamma points out her unfinished lunch, and she stabs a fork into her broccoli, angrily.

Snufkin hears Moomintroll calling his name and running towards him and looks up with a grin. As Moomintroll catches his breath and approaches, Snufkin calmly leans against the bridge, greeting him, and Moomintroll adopts a cool persona, copying him and acting nonchalant. Snufkin asks him how his winter was, to which Moomintroll replies that it was long, unhappily, and Snufkin tells him that his winter was "much the same". The two share a smile, and Snufkin begins to fish in the river while Moomintroll subtly asks him what he knows about dragons. Snufkin says that they are extinct, and Moomintroll drops his nonchalant persona, excitedly talking about the possibility of a dragon still existing, and being devoted to the one who caught it. Snufkin looks over at him challengingly, saying "impossible". Moomintroll jumps up, saying that he's found a dragon and that he wants to show it to Snufkin. Snufkin asks if the dragon is in Moomintroll's room to keep it safe or to keep everyone else safe, and Moomintroll continues his dramatics, saying that the dragon is "extremely dangerous", but adds that he's sure the dragon will like Snufkin. Snufkin smiles, surprised, and follows Moomintroll to his room as he eagerly calls him to come after him. While Moomintroll gestures wildly and tells Snufkin more about his dragon, Little My watches from the porch, picking her teeth with a toothpick. She stuffs the toothpick into her hair and creeps away.

Moomintroll locks the door to his room after he and Snufkin enter, proudly presenting his dragon, only for Snufkin to comment that the dragon is nowhere in sight. They find it flying around the ceiling, circling the lamp. As Moomintroll tries to get the dragon down with a net, Snufkin says "try not to hurt him" to which Moomintroll replies "don't worry, I'll be gentle". The dragon sets the net on fire and Moomintroll looks at it, distraught, Snufkin telling him that he was talking to the dragon, not Moomintroll. Outside the bedroom door, Little My attempts to pick the lock with her toothpick, desperate to know Moomintroll and Snufkin's secret, however the toothpick snaps and she lets out an angry outburst before looking sly and sneaking away again.

Inside the bedroom, Moomintroll continues to try and get the little dragon to obey him, complaining quietly that it is showing him up in front of Snufkin by not responding to his offering of an apple core. Snufkin tells Moomintroll that the dragon is more interested in hunting outdoors for food, and Moomintroll worries that it would fly away if he let it out. Snufkin sympathetically reminds him that "you can take the beast out of the wild, but you can't take the wild out of the beast." Moomintroll picks up the rope from his fishing jar and realises he can use that as a leash for the dragon. Outside Moominhouse, Little My climbs up the rope ladder to Moomintroll's room with a stick in her mouth, which she uses to prop open the window before leaping inside to surprise Moomintroll and Snufkin. However, they have already left and the door to the room locks, the stick snapping and the window shutting also, and Little My yells angrily at being trapped inside the room. Downstairs, Snufkin and Moomintroll look at each other at the loud noise, and Snufkin shrugs.

Moomintroll takes the dragon for a walk, Snufkin walking alongside him, although he shakes his head at Moomintroll's attempts to keep the dragon as his pet. The dragon spots a fly and pulls Moomintroll through the forest after him, and he ends up stuck in a log as the dragon happily eats its prey. Snufkin watches from the side of the river as Moomintroll tries to tug along the stubborn dragon, then gets pulled into the river when it chases after a fish. Snufkin helps Moomintroll out of the river and pats his hand reassuringly as he takes the rope from him and sets the dragon free. To Moomintroll's displeasure, the dragon lands on Snufkin's shoulder before he tries to shoo it away, then flies after him loyally, grateful to the one who let him be free. Moomintroll follows them back to Moominhouse, looking upset.

In the kitchen, Moominpappa reads facts about dragons aloud from an old book, while bees begin to fly towards his honey-coated hat and land atop it. The little dragon sits in the middle of the kitchen table, laden with tea and cake, and Moominmamma asks if it has a name, to which Moomintroll replies "it's nothing special", causing the dragon to roar at him. The dragon bites Little My as she reaches for a slice of cake, and she complains, with Moomintroll suggesting that his dragon was just trying to protect him. Little My scoffs, saying "your dragon? Don't you mean Snufkin's?" as the dragon lands on Snufkin's shoulder once more. Moomintroll sniffs, upset, and Snufkin quickly places the dragon under the tea-cosy before excusing himself from the table, saying that he is going fishing before shutting the door. The dragon burns through the tea-cosy and it lands on Moomintroll's head, while Moominpappa reads from the book about dragons being stubborn and never changing their minds, unintentionally upsetting Moomintroll further. The dragon sits by the window, staring after Snufkin, and it begins to turn grey. Moomintroll sighs before opening the door, and the dragon regains it's colour as it flies outside. Little My complains that she didn't get a "proper look" at the dragon, and Moomintroll dramatically responds that if she wants to see the dragon, it'll be on Snufkin's shoulder. He leaves the room, their tea-time over.

Outside on the bridge, the dragon rejoins Snufkin, who acknowledges that it is a handsome creature, however that doesn't mean he wants it around all of the time. He tells the dragon: "don't you see, there's Moomintroll to think of" and wonders what to do with the dragon. A Hemulen in a rowing boat approaches the bridge, and Snufkin looks up in interest.

On the porch, Moominmamma sews up the hole in the tea cosy, Little My sitting beside her. They watch as Moomintroll sadly drags himself from one side of the porch to the other, sighing dramatically. Moominmamma suggests that he should go outside, enquiring: "what about your best friend?" Moomintroll begins to complain about the dragon not being loyal to him, before realising his mother was talking about Snufkin. Moomintroll looks thoughtful before walking down to the bridge to see Snufkin. Little My attempts to follow him, again, however Moominmamma threads her needle through Little My's dress and pulls her back. Little My resigns herself to this and sits again.

Down by the river, Snufkin holds out the sleeping dragon in his hat, offering it to the Hemulen. He tells the Hemulen that it doesn't bite and reassures him that he doesn't need to do any paperwork, however, as he hands over the dragon in his hat, he reminds the Hemulen that "just because I'm giving him to you, doesn't mean he's yours". Snufkin sees Moomintroll approaching and hurries the transaction, the Hemulen looking worried when he mentions that it is a dragon, however Snufkin pushes the boat away with a cheerful "bon voyage!" The boat sails away and Snufkin walks to greet Moomintroll on the bridge, similar to their earlier reunion. Snufkin begins fishing again, and Moomintroll asks if the dragon is catching fish for him, however Snufkin feigns ignorance and nonchalantly comments that he hasn't seen the dragon since he left Moomin's house. Moomintroll is confused and surprised, and Snufkin tells him that "dragons will be dragons", saying that if a dragon sees a fly, then it forgets about everything else. He says that dragons aren't very loyal, and he and Moomintroll share a smile. Snufkin comments that the water is high for the time of year, and Moomintroll says that it'll make it harder to catch fish, joking that they'll be further down. The two of them laugh together, then Moomintroll pauses, and says: "what happened to your hat?"

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