I’ve been thinking about this since I first watched HTTYD 2, and I think I should make a decent analysis for the first time. I hope you enjoy reading it ;)
I’m sure you have noticed that the bond between Valka and Cloudjumper is not the same as Hiccup and Toothless’s, or the people at Berk with their dragons. Their bond is much stronger, by far.
In the movie, we see Valka standing without problems on Cloudjumper’s back while he’s flying. Everytime the dragon spins or turns, she walks around his neck until they balance again. Simply mind-blowing.
Valka knows what her partner is going to do before he does it!
A question shows up: Do we ever see her talking with Cloudjumper? Not really. She doesn’t say “Good boy, Cloudjumper!” or “Go get’em, Cloudjumper!”. She doesn’t even tell him to turn or to stop as they fly. Dragons don’t give orders to each other. Just as well as Valka knows what he’s capable of, Cloudjumper knows what Valka wants him to do, without commands, or reins. She doesn’t need a saddle because she’s not going to fall, she’s not afraid of falling either. Cloudjumper and Valka are ONE when they fly, it’s like if she was part of him. She knows each one of his movements, and he knows what she’s thinking. Their bond is so deep that they communicate without words.
Hiccup and Toothless’s friendship is still developing. After all, 20 years together are not the same as 5. Hiccup needs to hold onto Toothless and pulls when he wants to tell his dragon to turn or spin (also there’s the prosthetic tail-foot problem). Valka doesn’t need all that, because she knows that Cloudjumper will carry her safely where she needs, without forcing anything. Just like Cate Blanchet said, it’s THRILLING to watch her riding Cloudjumper.
Their flight is so smooth, so elegant. If what they have is not communication, then I don’t know what it is.
(As a little interesting note, we never see any images of Cloudjumper being controlled by the evil Alpha)
Indeed, Valka must know how it feels to be a dragon.
Hiccup has many things to learn from his mother.
I hope he pays attention.