Grimmel the Grisly is the overarching main antagonist of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. He is the main antagonist of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
- “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, but chose to kill it in its sleep instead of training it. As such, 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, save for one — Toothless, possibly because the latter was with Hiccup and sheltered as a result, yet Grimmel was unaware of it.
Hired by the Warlords
- “A year since Drago's defeat and no further along with your dragon army I see.”
- ―Grimmel to the Warlords.
One year after the demise of Drago Bludvist, his 3 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.
- “I am the Night Fury killer. I've hunted every last one, but yours. You are going to give me that dragon.”
- ―Grimmel first 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.
- Grimmel's goals and name is similar to two characters in the HTTYD book series.
- Grimmel’s full name resembles that of Grimbeard the Ghastly.
- Grimmel’s intentions to enslave or exterminate all dragons are similar to that of Alvin the Treacherous from the book series.
- He is currently the most evil villain of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.
- He is considered one of the the seven most evil Dreamworks Animation Villains, along with General Mandible, Drago Bludvist, D-Stroy, Commander Sendak, Morgana, and General Morando.
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