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I am the Night Fury killer. I've hunted every last one, but yours.
~ Grimmel to Hiccup.
You wish dragons to be free, among us, like equals? A toxic notion, my boy. History has shown that we are the superior species. What if your misguided ideas were to spread? It would be the undoing of civilization as we know it.
~ Grimmel about dragons

Grimmel the Grisly is the overarching antagonist of the DreamWorks animated How to Train Your Dragon mainstream franchise.

He is a devious and ruthless dragon hunter who believed that all dragons should be eradicated and won the reputation of a hero by driving the Night Fury race to near extinction, leaving Toothless the last Night Fury in existence. He has his eyes set on Toothless, and will stop at nothing to hunt him down, putting him in conflict with Hiccup and Berk along the way, which later cemented him as the greatest threat they faced. He is Hiccup's final and true archenemy, as well as his most hated and dangerous enemy he faced.

He was voiced by F. Murray Abraham, who also played Cyrus Kriticos from Thir13en Ghosts.


He serves as the unseen overarching antagonist of DreamWorks' 19th full-length animated feature film How to Train Your Dragon, the unseen main antagonist of Book of Dragons, the unseen overarching antagonist of the DreamWorks' Dragons TV series, DreamWorks' 29th full-length animated feature film How to Train Train Your Dragon 2 and Dragons: Dawn of the New Riders, the main antagonist of DreamWorks' 36th full-length animated feature film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and one of the two posthumous overarching antagonists (alongside Drago Bludvist) of How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming.


When Grimmel was a boy, he found a Night Fury which was in a vulnerable state. However, instead of befriending it, he instead killed it where it slept, a very cowardly way to kill a dragon. After that, he was seen as a hero by his village. Since then, he's been killing dragons out of delusions that he's "bringing real peace to the world".

Eventually, he killed off all Night Furies, or so he thought. After that, he dedicated his life to killing off dragons. Eventually, he found six Deathgrippers and drugged them with their own venom so they listen to him, and only him. He became famous for his tactics and killings of Night Furies, and he eventually met Eret, Son of Eret at some point in his life. He also knew of Stoick, who he complimented as one of the best dragon hunters to ever live. Eventually, Grimmel is hired by the Warlords, who are hell-bent on conquering the world just like their master, Drago Bludvist, was, by controlling all dragons.

He finds out that one Night Fury, Toothless, is still alive, and uses the Light Fury as bait. He then goes to the Isle of Berk and sets up a trap for the both of them, so he can kill them. The next day, Eret warns Hiccup and his future wife, Astrid, about Grimmel, telling them not to underestimate Grimmel. That night, Hiccup, in his own house, finds Grimmel pouring tea into a mug and drinking from it. The room is very dark and Grimmel is attired in very dark clothing, like a serial killer walking into someone's home in a horror movie. He shoots "Toothless" (really, Fishlegs in a costume) with a tranquilizer dart, and tells his backstory to Hiccup. They also talk about Stoick, the former Chief of Berk before Hiccup, and Grimmel says that he would be disappointed in Hiccup.

Hiccup tells Grimmel that his father changed his mind, so Grimmel says that was what caused Stoick's death. Later during their meeting, Hiccup tells Grimmel he's never going to give up Toothless, and the rest of the Dragon Riders (besides Hiccup) burst into the room. After that, Grimmel has his Deathgrippers burn down his house, and warns Hiccup that if Toothless isn't surrendered the next day, then he'll destroy everything Hiccup loves. As his house burns down, Hiccup sees that much of the village of Berk is burning as well. So, Hiccup and the Berkians leave Berk to search for the Hidden World, but little does he know he's doing exactly as Grimmel wants, as now, the latter can potentially kill the dragons like it's a piece of cake.

One time, Valka warns Hiccup that the Warlords' army is approaching, so they and the rest of the Dragon Riders head off to capture Grimmel. However, Grimmel is Crazy-Prepared, causing them to unknowingly fall into his trap, and Grimmel revealed to Hiccup that he drugged his own Deathgrippers, and would eventually be disposed of. Grimmel then tries to use his Deathgrippers to burn the Dragon Riders alive, but they barely manage to escape Grimmel's trap, only one problem: Ruffnut is missing, as she is held captive by Grimmel. During her annoying talks, Grimmel finds out that the Berkians have moved to a new island (New Berk), and begs Ruffnut to leave on the baby dragon he has prepared to be fed to his Deathgrippers, which she does. However, Grimmel uses this advantage so he and the Warlords can track her to New Berk.

Once there, Grimmel is able to capture both Toothless and the Light Fury. All the other dragons rush to help Toothless and the Light Fury, but the two Deathgrippers that aren't carrying Grimmel's flying contraption defend Grimmel and force the dragons to not fly anywhere, with one of the Deathgrippers literally backing them up at one point. Grimmel orders Toothless to hold off his dragons or he's going to kill the Light Fury. Toothless knows that he can't rescue the Light Fury and kill Grimmel at the moment, so he's forced to make a choice. Because he loves the Light Fury, he has his dragons not attack Grimmel, so the latter flies off to the Warlords and their army, still having Toothless and the Light Fury still chained up. When Grimmel does go to the Warlords, he reveals he was never going to give them Toothless and was going to kill him anyway, and mocks them that they'll be out of luck trying to control their dragons without an Alpha dragon.

Wearing their flight-suits, Hiccup and the Dragon Riders come to the rescue just in time, and start a battle against Grimmel and the Warlords. As the Warlords are defeated by being trapped in one of their own cages, Grimmel's flying contraption burns and two of his Deathgrippers' shackles connected to it aren't broken, so they drown as the flying contraption falls into the ocean. To make an escape attempt, Grimmel drugs the Light Fury with one of his Deathgripper venom collars, while his other four Deathgrippers pursue Hiccup and Toothless while they try to stop him. However, when the Deathgrippers try to kill them both, Toothless uses his lightning abilities to finish them off. After that, Hiccup jumps off Toothless and flies directly at Grimmel.

However, the latter fires a tranquilizer dart at Toothless, thus causing him to go unconscious and fall. Hiccup kicks Grimmel off the Light Fury, but Grimmel makes one last attempt to kill Hiccup by trying to drag him down with him, claiming that fighting over the Light Fury would kill the both of them. Hiccup takes off the Light Fury, thus freeing her from Grimmel's control. He then desperately tells her to save Toothless, and lets go of her as he and Grimmel plummet thousands of feet to the ocean. As the Light Fury saves Toothless from his death, Grimmel starts to tear up Hiccup's flight-suit to make it easier for him to die, but the Light Fury arrives, and Hiccup takes off his prosthetic leg, much to Grimmel's horror. The Light Fury rescues Hiccup at the last moment while Grimmel plunges into the water below hard, which finishes him off because of the water's hard pressure.

What Makes Him Pure Evil?

  • He killed a Night Fury in its sleep when he first met it instead of befriending it or killing it in a fair fight, and his tribe hailed him a hero. Because of this, he started believing that humans and dragons cannot co-exist and that therefore, all dragons have to be wiped out from the world to make it a better place by killing off all dragons, despite being aware that they are sapient.
    • However, this belief is only by his own twisted standards, as he was willing to terrorize Berk to lure them to another island so he could kill off their dragons, as well as luring the Dragon Riders into a trap so he could burn them alive; that's also not to mention that he follows the ideal that mankind is the superior species.
  • He plotted to wipe out all dragons, starting with the Night Furies. He was successful in his Night Fury genocide and the only reason why he didn't kill Toothless is because he did not know the latter was sheltered with Hiccup, and when he learned about his existence, he was desperate to kill him. The genocide, while not shown on screen, can't be dismissed as usual offscreen villainy since it has a clear story impact, mainly because:
    • The reason why he is after Toothless is because he wants to finish the Night Fury genocide he started all those years ago.
    • The genocide on Night Furies is the reason why the Book of Dragons by Berk had no information on the Night Furies because only Grimmel was able to experience Night Furies in his own eyes and killed them all before any other person can witness them. This leads to Hiccup try figuring out how he can approach Toothless and figure out his strengths and weaknesses himself.
      • It is shown that Toothless was unaware of his abilities to extend the spines along his back for maneuverability or to cloak himself. This implies that most, if not all other Night Furies had been killed off by the time Toothless had hatched from his egg, leaving none to educate the young dragon on his 'hidden' abilities.
      • This also lead to his downfall as he underestimated how powerful Toothless is, as he didn't know Night Furies can cloak by summon lightning/electricity from an electric storm when they absorbs it's plasma energy.
    • The Night Fury genocide had impact in the Dragons: Race to the Edge episode, "A Matter of Perspective", because no Night Fury was able to enter Vanaheim as Grimmel killed them all and Toothless was the first Night Fury to enter the sacred resting place of all dragons, which gave the Dragon Riders an advantage they used to escape.
    • While most other villains in the franchise also attempted genocide on dragons, all of them were barely successful as none of them managed to bring an entire species of dragons into near-extinction with only one dragon living, which makes Grimmel's genocide uniquely vile for the franchise's standards and stands out compared to other genocidal villains like Johann, Viggo, etc.
  • It also implied that he wipe out nearly all the Light Furies, a species of dragons that is similar to the Night Furies as there are a few of them in the Hidden World and this would explain The Light Fury hostility to Hiccup in the beginning of the film.
  • He drugged the Deathgrippers into obedience against their will using their own venom against them, knowing they are not immune to their own venom. He also doesn't care if the venom has other effects on them. He does this using the venomous drug needles into the collars he put on his Deathgrippers, which include multiple drug needles. It also implied that Grimmel was going to dispose of the brainwashed Deathgrippers once he killed all dragons in the world. This actually makes sense, as Grimmel's only use for them was that of enforcers and given their brainwashed status, they would have been unable to defend themselves. This showed he has no care for them and views them only as tools instead of living creatures. He was only surprise that both Hiccup and Toothless manage to defeat the remaining 4 or he witness Toothless hidden ability that he didn't account for or even seen before, despite his years of hunting Night Furies to a near-extinction.
  • He feeds the Deathgrippers baby dragons he imprisoned, evidenced by the fact that one baby dragon was caged and he was intending to feed it to his Deathgrippers. Once he gave Ruffnut said baby dragon, he mentions that "the Deathgrippers will have to forgo dinner".
  • He created a partnership with the future warlord Eir Stormheart, who only knew him as an anonymous trapper with the initial "G". Their dealership was that he gives her dozens of dragons for her to use against their will so that she could put them through experiments to her advantage, while she gives him a drug that can brainwash dragons for him to use to his advantage. Grimmel then conducts the experiments on her which agonizes them and drives them insane.
    • He was aware of the extreme psychological torture that all of these dragons would be put through because of these experiments, and they were also given armor to keep them under a constant state of agony and insanity to be used as shock soldiers.
    • He betrayed Stormheart despite their deal and conducted these torturous experiments himself on other dragons for them to be used as his own personal shock soldiers.
  • After the Chimeragon that he captured was released from him by a scholar at Scriven Rock who found the dragon, Grimmel had his hunters burn down the sanctuary that Hiccup built for said Chimeragon as well as other dragons.
  • When the Warlords hired him to kidnap Toothless, Grimmel accepted it by killing one of their captured dragons (onscreen) when it tried to escape.
  • He releases the Light Fury, but only so he can set up an unseen trap for Toothless and the Light Fury while they are introducing each other. Along with the trap was a poison dart filled with Deathgripper venom, which is used to drug dragons.
  • He sneaks into Hiccup's house and has his Deathgrippers burn it down, threatening that if Toothless is not surrendered, then he will destroy everything he loves. It's shown that at least four other houses were burned down.
    • Because of his attack on Berk, the Hooligan Tribe are forced to leave the island they called home and search for a new one, which was done to have the tribe abandon their position by leading them astray so he could more easily slaughter their dragons.
  • When the Dragon Riders attempt to apprehend Grimmel, he leads them into a trap where he signals his Deathgrippers on them so that they would burn alive through their flaming acid breath.
  • Upon finding out about New Berk because of everything Ruffnut told him, Grimmel lets her leave while riding on a large baby dragon to fly over to New Berk, and uses her dimwittedness to track her to the island's location as she didn't know he and the Warlords' fleet were following her to round up the dragons.
    • When he arrives at the island, he chains both Toothless and the Light Fury, with the other dragons and their riders watching in fear. Grimmel gives Toothless a sadistic choice between calling the other dragons to help him and the Light Fury and Grimmel kills the Light Fury, or he doesn't call the other dragons for help and Grimmel lets the Light Fury live, and gives off said threat while pointing his crossbow at the Light Fury.
    • It was due to Grimmel's threat that Toothless, fearing the Light Fury's life, holds off the other dragons to show he chooses the latter option, but it's very likely Grimmel was planning to kill the Light Fury anyway later on due to his delusions about killing dragons.
  • He betrays the Warlords by revealing his true intentions to kill Toothless instead of surrendering him to them, proving that he is more evil than them.
  • When he noticed Hiccup and the dragon riders coming towards them on their flightsuits he attempted to kill the Light Fury and Toothless out of spite but Toothless manage to get his mouth open and attempt to blast him. While he narrowly escape the plasma blast he made no intentions to free 4 of his Deathgrippers who where chained to it.
  • He brainwashes the Light Fury into his control with one of his venom darts, and even uses her as a living shield to make her take Toothless' blast instead of him.
  • When he spotted Hiccup and Toothless charging at him, he shot his Deathgripper arrow at Hiccup, knowing Hiccup would dodge it and it will hit Toothless.
  • In his final moments and knowing he is going to die, he tries to kill Hiccup after the latter knocks him off the Light Fury, grabbing his prosthetic leg to take him down with him, even angrily tearing off Hiccup's flightsuit armor wings and other parts of his armor along the way to ensure his demise.
  • The threat Grimmel posed was basically the last straw and was what forced Hiccup to have the dragons hide in the Hidden World and hide from humans in order to not attract bigger threats for Berk and the dragons themselves also. He also had the last laugh as all dragons including the ones from the TV series (this include Heather's and Dagar's dragons Shattermaster, Windshear, and a Dagar’s Triple Stryke and also the Defenders of the Wing's dragon the Great Protector) were also forced to go to the Hidden World for their protection.


  • He is one of the two How to Train Your Dragon villains to be Pure Evil, the other being Drago Bludvist.
  • Despite Drago is arguably more dangerous and having much more resources than Grimmel by having a vast army consisting of humans and dragons (that to he’s Bewilderbeast is by far he’s most powerful dragon and Grimmel only has 6 dragons and an airship and bunch of weapons), Drago is arguably less eviler than Grimmel mainly because him having a "tragic" backstory about his family being killed by dragons made him a villain in the first place, despite said tragedy is weak in the grand scheme of things, on the other hand Grimmel never had a tragic backstory at all and he killed a bunch of Night Furies only for fame and glory.
    • It is theorized that due to him being older than Drago he made his Deathgrippers destroy villages, one of them might of been Drago Bludvist's, which lead him to be driven by revenge. If it is true, this makes Grimmel more evil than he originally was and responsible for Drago's descent to villainy.
    • It is possible that Grimmel is responsible for the death of Toothless' parents as he is responsible for the extinction of the Night Fury race. Although, it remains obscure and a fact.
  • Grimmel is technically considered the malign/evil version of Hiccup, serving as an example of what Hiccup would have become if he had killed Toothless the first time they met, and how he would have desired to kill all dragons rather than save them.
    • Grimmel can be considered a foil to Hiccup if he killed Toothless in the first film and went down a path of Pure Evil instead of sparing him and going down a path of Pure Good.
  • WickedBinge ranked him as not only the most evil HTTYD villain but also as Dreamworks Animation's most evil villain to date.

External links


           WhiteDreamWorksLogo.png Pure Evils

Animated Movies
General Mandible | Tzekel-Kan | Drago Bludvist | Grimmel the Grisly

Live-Action Movies
General Roth'h'ar Sarris | Commodus | Robert Turner | Assef | Judge Turpin | The Fallen | Jerry Dandridge

TV Shows
Ke-Pa | D-Stroy | Sendak | Bloodwolf | Horde Prime | White Bone Demon | Dr. Emilia

See Also
Tales of Arcadia Pure Evils