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Villain Overview
Have my dragon ready when I return, or I will destroy EVERYTHING you love!
~ Grimmel threatening Hiccup - his most famous quote.

Grimmel the Grisly is the overarching antagonist of the How to Train Your Dragon animated franchise. He serves as the main antagonist of DreamWorks' 36th full-length animated feature film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the final movie of the trilogy.

He is a ruthless dragon hunter who won the reputation of driving the Night Fury race of dragons to near extinction and has his eyes set on Toothless, the last Night Fury in existence, and will stop at nothing to hunt the dragon down, putting him in conflict with Hiccup along the way. He is the greatest threat to the Dragon Riders and Hiccup's third and final main archenemy.

He was voiced by the Academy Award winning actor F. Murray Abraham, who also played Antonio Salieri in the 1984 film adaptation of Amadeus, Bernardo Gui in The Name of the Rose, and Cyrus Kriticos in Thirteen Ghosts.

Biography

Early Life/Night Fury Genocide

Hiccup: Why are you doing this?
Grimmel: Really? I didn't think you cared! Well unlike you, when I was a boy and I came up on a Night Fury, I killed it where it slept! That simple act of courage made me a hero in my village. So, I decided to kill every last one, bringing real peace to the people of this world.
~ Grimmel explaining his backstory to Hiccup, hinting that he is a dark reflection of him.

When Grimmel was just a boy, he found a Night Fury in a vulnerable state while it was sleeping, but chose to kill it in its sleep instead of training it. As such, the simple act of courage he did made his village considered and treated him as a hero. Motivated by this, Grimmel dedicated the rest of his life to killing dragons, especially Night Furies. He eventually succeeded in hunting down all of the Night Furies, expect for one Night Fury — Toothless, who possibly survived the Night Fury Genocide because Toothless was with Hiccup and was sheltered as a result, yet Grimmel was unaware of it.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Hired by the Warlords

A year since Drago's defeat, and no further along with your dragon army I see.
~ Grimmel taunting the Warlords when he sees that they can’t retrieve more dragons like the amount Drago did.

One year after the demise of Drago Bludvist, his three followers, the Warlords hire Grimmel to capture Toothless, the sole Night Fury that he has not hunted down, because of their problem with dragon poaching; their intentions were to conquer the world by using dragons they are trying to hunt now that they have assumed the leadership of Drago's Army. Grimmel accepts the offer, but hides from them secrets about what he plans to do with Toothless. He plans on using a female Light Fury as bait for Toothless, and frees her at Berk, but leaves a poison dart nearby and hides a trap.

Meeting Hiccup

(pours himself a mug of tea) I hope you won't mind if I help myself? This is, hmm… quite good. (Hiccup ignites his Inferno) That is impressive, but let me finish my drink.
~ Grimmel meeting Hiccup.

Grimmel walks down the stairs and approaches Hiccup whilst the latter is studying his father's notes, and pours himself a glass of tea. He explains to Hiccup how he nearly hunted down all of the Night Furies, and shoots Toothless sleeping under a blanket, not realizing that it was actually Fishlegs who was sleeping under the blanket instead. Hiccup detests Grimmel by proclaiming that he will never give up Toothless. Then, the Dragon Riders come out of hiding and enter the room, revealing Toothless wasn't shot, but Fishlegs.

With that, Grimmel orders his Deathgrippers to attack the Dragon Riders and all of Berk. The Deathgrippers use their acid to burn down Hiccup's house, as well as most of Berk and Grimmel disappears with an ultimatum: if Toothless isn't surrendered the next day, then he will destroy everything Hiccup loves. In response, Hiccup leads the Berkians away from Berk on a journey to find the Hidden World. However, unbeknownst to them, they do exactly as Grimmel had planned. Later after this happens, by the Great Hall, Grimmel reveals to the Warlords exactly where the Berkians are headed.

Capturing Toothless and betraying the Warlords

Call them off, alpha. No reason for her to die, too!
~ Grimmel forcing Toothless into a sadistic choice between letting the Light Fury live and calling the other dragons for help.

Hiccup and Astrid return with Toothless from the Hidden World back to New Berk and find out the Light Fury followed them. It's at this moment when Grimmel decides to strike and capture both Toothless and the Light Fury. However, all of the dragons from the island appear with intentions to save Toothless. Grimmel foresees this, and orders Toothless to call off the dragons as he points his crossbow at the Light Fury. Grimmel succeeds in his mission and leads all of the dragons to the Warlords, but alters their deal, deciding to keep both Toothless and the Light Fury for himself to dispose of them.

Final Showdown and Death

You’ll kill the both of us! Fighting over a dragon, that’s your plan?
~ Grimmel trying to drag Hiccup with him.

Hiccup and the rest of the Dragon Riders, wearing their flight-suits, fly toward the armada to start a battle against Grimmel, much to the latter's surprise. During said battle, Grimmel's platform is quickly destroyed. Because of this, he makes an escape attempt by putting one of his collars on the Light Fury. The collar injects her with his Deathgrippers' venom, allowing him to gain control over the dragon. Hiccup is able to free Toothless, and starts to chase Grimmel down.

However, Grimmel was prepared for this, and shoots one of his darts at Hiccup. The latter jumps off Toothless, thus evading the dart, but this causes the dart to hit Toothless instead, prompting him to plummet toward the ocean. Hiccup drubs Grimmel by kicking him off the Light Fury, and removing Grimmel's collar after seeing Toothless fall. However, Grimmel grabs Hiccup's prosthetic leg, attempting to take him down with him to cause his death as well. Hiccup tells the Light Fury to save Toothless and lets go of her, causing him to almost fall to his demise while Grimmels rips off Hiccup's "wings" to further ensure his death.

However, the Light Fury comes back for Hiccup after saving Toothless. Hiccup removes his prosthetic leg to separate himself from Grimmel, thus allowing the Light Fury to carry him to safety while Grimmel impacts the ocean water below hard offscreen. It's very likely that the impact crushes his bones and effectively kills him; if not, Grimmel surely drowns in the water as he is never seen again afterwards. Thus, his days of dragon hunting are now permanently over.

With Grimmel gone forever, this would be the final time the dragon hunters would come to capture and harm the dragons, who were finally forever safe and currently hiding in the Hidden World until they can eventually co-exist peacefully with humans who care for them. Until then, only the Berkians will guard their secret.

Appearance

Grimmel is a tall, slender man with receded but frizzled gray hair, pale skin, and light blue eyes. He wears a dark brown robe with a hooded jacket and leather armor, brown pants, and grayish-brown boots.

Personality

Grimmel has been referred to as the darkest adversary to all of the Dragon Riders, including the draconic creatures themselves. He is a seasoned, experienced dragon hunter with a very encyclopedic knowledge of dragon behavior, and possesses a deep hatred for dragonkind, believing humans and dragons cannot and should not coexist peacefully together. Despite his hatred of dragons, Grimmel convinced himself that he is a savior who brings peace to the people of the world, believing dragons are nothing more than savage monsters. However, this is nothing more than a mere delusion, as he razed an entire section of the village of Berk and tried to drag Hiccup down with him to his death.

Despite his xenophobic and ruthless nature, Grimmel was also a grounded, pragmatic, and contentious strategist, able to quickly assess a foe and get into their head, playing them into his traps. He is a chessmaster possessing a suave, charismatic, talkative, gentlemanly and friendly nature despite his cold determination. He is also possibly the smartest villain in the series (surpassing even the combination of Alvin the Treacherous, Johann and Viggo Grimborn's intelligence). However, his greatest weakness is his willingness to debunk Hiccup and Toothless's friendship as an illusion, a trait which ultimately led to his downfall.

In spite of his sadism, delusions, and wicked nature, Grimmel seems to possess one tiny bit of nobility, as according to his dialogue between Hiccup in their first encounter, it can be implied that Grimmel once had at the very least respect for Stoick the Vast, Hiccup's late father, because both of them apparently agreed with their views on the danger that represented the dragons, though Grimmel was oblivious that Stoick later changed his opinion. However, in reality, Grimmel has loyalty to no one. When he is called out by Hiccup for sitting in Stoick's chair, instead of showing any signs of remorse, he simply smirks at Hiccup. Also, although he made a deal with the Warlords to bring them all the Berkians' dragons, he altered it and refused to give them Toothless and the Light Fury so he could dispose of them himself, therefore being dishonorable and was never noble in the first place. Due to his true dishonorable nature, he possesses an irredeemable nature of being a villain.

Abilities

  • Dragon Hunting: Grimmel is known as the smartest dragon hunter in the world. His skill in dragon hunting is unmatched. The most infamous example of his hunting skills is the fact that he hunted the Night Furies, a dragon species that is said to be the smartest, fastest, and most powerful species of dragon, to the brink of extinction.
  • Dragon Manipulation: Grimmel was capable of manipulating dragons under the command of Drago's Army.
  • Dragon Riding: Grimmel was capable of riding dragons, which was shown when he rode the Light Fury after drugging her with the Deathgripper venom.

Quotes

My dear Warlords, how go your plans to conquer the world?
~ Grimmel's first line.
That sounds like a nuisance, but I'm in the business of killing dragons, not retrieving them.
~ Grimmel refusing the Warlords offer.
When all of this is set and done, this young chief will bring me the Night Fury. They don't have a leader, just a boy.
~ Grimmel about Hiccup to the Warlords.
Hiccup: What did you do to him?
Grimmel: Nothing that he won't sleep off.
~ Grimmel after shooting the dart.
May I, Chief Hiccup? Hmm, do I say Chief (hiccups) or do I just call you Hiccup? What do you prefer?
~ Grimmel taunting Hiccup for the first time.
Grimmel: You have no idea who I am, do you? Well, your father knew of me. Now, there was a chief. One of the greatest dragon hunters who have ever lived. What would he think of you? He had it right, you know, killing dragons so you can grow up in a better world.
Hiccup: He changed his mind.
Grimmel: And look where that got him.
~ Grimmel telling Hiccup about Stoick.
Let's get to the point. I am the Night Fury killer. I've hunted every last one, but yours. You are going to give me that dragon.
~ Grimmel revealing to Hiccup that he killed all the Night Furies expect Toothless.
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 ideas were to spread? It would be the undoing of civilization as we know it.
~ Grimmel to Hiccup about his racism against dragons.
Ah, a fighting spirit. I love it. Only, I'm afraid you're mistaken. You've never seen anything like me.
~ Grimmel to Hiccup.
First rule of the hunt: always separate the prey from the pack! You just removed yourselves from the equation!
~ Grimmel to the Dragon Riders after they unknowingly fell into his trap.
Now, our little game must come to an end.
~ Grimmel capturing both Toothless and the Light Fury.
Save your breath. The only alpha they respond to is me!
~ Grimmel telling Toothless about the Deathgrippers' loyalty.
Oh, don't feel too badly. You tried your best, but you are nothing without your dragon!
~ Grimmel taunting Hiccup.
Grimmel: You didn't think I'd actually hand you the Night Fury, did you? He's mine to kill!
Griselda: That snake!
Grimmel: I intend to finish what I started! Best of luck controlling them without an alpha!
~ Grimmel betraying the Warlords.
You still think he cares about you! Then let's see who he follows!
~ Grimmel to Hiccup during their flight as the former is about to ride the Light Fury.
You'll kill both of us! Fighting over a dragon that's your plan?
~ Grimmel trying to climb back up.
No!
~ Grimmel's last words before he hits the ocean and dies.

Trivia

  • It is possible that Grimmel had dealings with Drago Bludvist, as Drago wore a Night Fury skin cape to cover his mechanical arm and Grimmel hunted the Night Furies to near-extinction.
  • In many ways, Grimmel is considered an evil version of Hiccup. An example of what Hiccup would have become if he had killed Toohtless the first time they meet.
  • Grimmel is the foremost antagonist in the How to Train Your Dragon series, along with Drago Bludvist, as he hunted the Night Furies to near-extinction, which is one of the two reasons why there was no information in the Book of Dragons and was never seen in the first film, as well as the fact that it was a plot point in some of the episodes. However, he is proven to be arguably even more dangerous than Drago, who was just being driven by revenge to hunt and enslave dragons rather than being driven for sadism and pleasure to kill them without reason. Grimmel also serves as the final antagonist of the series.
  • Although driven for his desire of killing dragons as previously mentioned, considering that he apparently had no specific reasons regarding his motives, it's been debated whether Grimmel just wanted to exterminate dragonkind for pure sadism and delusions, or if he was just trying to eliminate all dragons to ensure the safety of humankind, just as Stoick the Vast, Hiccup's father, wanted in the first film. However, Grimmel razed a section of Berk and tried to kill Hiccup in his final moments, which points to the former.
  • Due to his madness and desire to kill all dragons in existence, Grimmel the Grisly is considered one of the four most evil DreamWorks Animation villains, along with Drago Bludvist (due to his obsession with ruling the world and killing everyone who gets in his way), General Mandible (due to leading many soldier ants to their doom and attempting genocide on his own colony) and Morgana (due to using Angor Rot to kill Merlin's Trollhunters with her Inferna Copula, and forcing him against his own will, brainwashing Angor Rot and trying to plunge the world into an eternal night so trolls can devour humanity), and perhaps one of the most disturbing.
  • Otto Torx, the main antagonist of season 4 from the 3d cartoon Rabbids Invasion served as inspiration for his appearance.

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Books
How to Train Your Dragon: Green Death

Movies
How To Train Your Dragon: Red Death
How To Train Your Dragon 2: Drago Bludvist | Drago's Army (Muddy Bewilderbeast & Eret)
How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: Grimmel the Grisly | Deathgrippers | Drago's Army (Warlords)
Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon: Boneknapper

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Riders of Berk: Alvin the Treacherous | Outcast Tribe (Mildew & Savage) | Dagur the Deranged | Whispering Death | Johann
Defenders of Berk: Dagur the Deranged | Alvin the Treacherous | Berserker Tribe | Outcast Tribe (Mildew & Mildew & Savage) | Skrill | Speed Stinger | Johann† | Screaming Death
Race to the Edge: Johann | Krogan | Viggo Grimborn | Ryker Grimborn | Dragon Hunters | Dagur the Deranged | Berserker Tribe (Mildew & Savage) | Speed Stinger | Skrill | Drago Bludvist | Screaming Death

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