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Bewilderbeasts breathe ice blasts, which can freeze on impact and can also be used to create shelters for their dragons. [src]
  Fishlegs  

The Bewilderbeast is a gigantic Tidal Class dragon that first appeared in How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Official Description

As with all members of the animal kingdom, dragons, too, must follow a hierarchy of power and leadership.
At the apex of that chain of command rules an exceedingly rare alpha dragon to which all others bow — the Bewilderbeast. However, Bewilderbeasts are not born to that alpha status; it is earned through combat, vigilance, and most importantly, a desire to protect the dragons and all other creatures in its nest. Fortunately for Bewilderbeasts, there are few other dragons in the world that can match their intimidating stature and ever hope to compete for the designation of "king of all dragons".
Bewilderbeasts are also quite impressive architects, fashioning near-impenetrable nests out of their self-generated ice and using natural hot springs to provide warmth and sustenance to the flock under its care. From its oasis within this icy cocoon, the Bewilderbeast rules all dragons without bias, without malice, and without question.
  Dragonpedia entry for Valka's Bewilderbeast  
In addition to its icy breath and alpha's ability to bend other dragons to its will, the Bewilderbeast is also a formidable force underwater. As a Class 10 Leviathan (the aquatic equivalent of a Titan Wing), a full-grown Bewilderbeast swims at incredible speeds and bursts to the surface to surprising, and devastating, effect.
  Dragonpedia entry for Drago's Bewilderbeast  


Development

As mentioned in The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2, initially the producers wanted only Valka to have a Bewilderbeast, but after some thought, decided that Drago should have one too. To distinguish both dragons, as well as emphasize the contrast between both dragons' personalities and background, their design and temperament had to be very different.

Valka's Bewilderbeast gains inspiration from a polar bear, says Pierre-Olivier Vincent, the production designer, whereas Drago's was inspired by abused zoo and circus animals. Simon Otto, however, says that the Bewilderbeast is a cross between a mammoth, otter, and regal lion.[1]

Early hand drawn Bewilderbeast sketches mainly depict them as colossal dragons, still preserving its 'flat lip proportions' and protrusions on its neck. However, in earlier designs, like in Bewilderbeast Studies by Nico Marlet, the Bewilderbeast had chunkier spikes on its chin. Its lower jaw and chin were somewhat elongated, and its eyes and frill were smaller. This gave the dragon a somewhat sterner and wiser appearance. The Bewilderbeast originally could shoot fire, but it was later changed due to Pierre-Olivier Vincent's suggestion that it breathes ice rather than fire.

The team also spent a lot of time on the Bewilderbeasts' horns. Various concept arts explore different dimensions of the Bewilderbeasts' jaws, frills, and horns.

The Bewilderbeast was a huge undertaking due to its colossal size and how close the camera gets to him. Our main challenge was to create textures that worked in ultra close-up to reveal his coral-like amphibian skin and in wide shots to underscore his imposing scale. [src]
  — Paolo deGuzman, head of surfacing  


Due to the close-ups on the Bewilderbeast, it was especially hard for animators to animate the skin realistically. The skin was designed to resemble a somewhat rocky, coral-like texture. Though both dragons had a similar texture, Valka's was intended to be 'cleaner' and 'purer' in terms of color. Drago's was bumpier and darker, with blunter horns.

Physical Appearance

Egg

Egg

The egg of the Bewilderbeast is oval, snow white, and covered in small red-brown spikes that resemble those on an adult Bewilderbeast's face and back. It is unknown whether the colors of the spikes reflect the colors of the hatchling inside. The egg is quite small relative to the size the dragon inside will become. A human can easily lift and carry a Bewilderbeast egg, with it perhaps not being longer than about two feet end to end when observed in the hands of an adult human.

Hatchling to Titan Wing

There have been no examples of juvenile Bewilderbeasts portrayed in the DreamWorks Dragons media thus far.

Adult Bewilderbeasts are incredibly massive four-legged dragons with a pair of gigantic, tusks protruding from the sides of their heads similar to that of an elephant. They have a flat, almost hominid shaped face with a wide mouth and pink interior that has somewhat flexible lips. They have two large eyes that can come in one to two colors. Situated between and around the eyes are a collection of short, almost antennae-like spikes that can vibrate rapidly. A large flaring crown of spikes fan out from the back of the head. Irregularly sized spikes continue along the breadth of the shoulders and then dwindle down to a single row along the back and dorsal aspect of the tail. According to Dragons: Rescue Riders, these spikes on the head and back may have a crystalline structure rather than a fully organic one.

Bewilderbeasts also have an immense chest cavity and neck. The neck, while short, is pleated like those of baleen whales and can expand to serve as a reservoir for water. The body tapers down at the waist and hips and into a long, fluked tail. The front legs have fins along the backsides. While they cannot fly, Bewilderbeasts do have a pair of wings originating from their shoulders, but the wing sails are attached to the length of their trunk, making them ideal for swimming.

Bewilderbeasts come in various shades of gray from snow white to sooty grey. The assorted spikes may be tipped in other colors such as red or brown.

Abilities

Freezing Water Breath

Closeup of the destructive Ice Blast

Bewilderbeasts are able to breathe out supercooled water from their mouths that solidify on contact with an external surface, much like freezing rain. Because water in its solid state - ice - has a more expansive volume and crystalline molecular arrangement, the watery breath can form huge ice crystals even rivaling the size of the Bewilderbeast itself. These ice structures are a particular teal or aqua color, similar to blue ice found in glaciers and other large masses of ice. Pure water without any impurities like salts and without air bubbles is a bluish color.

Bewilderbeasts are able to modulate their freezing water breath. They can create huge volumes of ice-on-contact that can destroy large objects and even large human-made structures. Conversely, they can breathe out a small puff of water that can settle on an object gently and form a thin layer of frost.

Most examples of the Bewilderbeast's freezing water breath ability are preceded with an internal expansion of a grooved area in their ventral throat similar to that of rorqual whales, then followed with a powerful or delicate expelling of the supercooled water from their mouths. However, in the final season of Dragons: Race to the Edge, the Berserker Bewilderbeast is seen appearing to charge up its attack by an open mouth backlit with a teal-shaded light.

Dragon Mind Manipulation

The Bewilderbeast calls all the Dragons
He who controls the Alpha, controls them all. [src]
  — Drago Bludvist  

Bewilderbeasts are able to manipulate the minds of most dragons, appearing to bend their wills. Drago's Bewilderbeast is seen utilizing this ability against a large group of smaller dragons, including Toothless. As shown in How to Train Your Dragon 2, the Bewilderbeast's antenna-like spines around its eyes rapidly vibrate, along with brisk dilation and contraction of the pupils when this mind manipulation is in active use. The vibrations of the spines suggest an auditory component to the manipulation. According to director Dean DeBlois, this auditory mind control uses ultrasound[2][3], which may be why humans appear unaffected. It is unknown if other animals are able to be influenced by this ability.

The Bewilderbeast appears to also be able to passively employ this Dragon mind manipulation ability. As shown by the Berserker Bewilderbeast, the dragon is able to broadcast this manipulation in a radius around its nest while sleeping, in order to protect its lair and the egg within. All other dragons are driven away and refuse to go into this unseen perimeter.

RTSC-376-Alpha Crystals

Crystals derived from the large spines along the Bewilderbeast's back also are able to transmit this dragon mind manipulation ability, without the Bewilderbeast itself being present. Two so-called Alpha Crystals are struck together emitting a vibration, which subdues nearby dragons and opens them to commands from the being holding the crystals. It is unclear if these Alpha crystals are obtained from a living Bewilderbeast and those spines have a crystalline structure, or if they are obtained from the bones - perhaps fossilized - of a deceased dragon.

Strength and Combat

The battle between 2 Bewilderbeasts

Due to their colossal size, Bewilderbeasts possess nearly unmatched strength and raw power. They can crush massive war contraptions without even noticing it and plow through mountainsides as if they were paper walls. Their scales and hides are thick and durable, able to withstand numerous weapons that would be problematic for other dragons. Human spears laced with Dragon Root bounce right off as seen when the Berserker Bewilderbeast was attacked, and a simultaneous onslaught of various smaller dragons' firepower at Drago's Bewilderbeast caused little damage, though it was bothersome to the beast.

When moved to actively fight, Bewilderbeasts use several tactics for battle. When battling smaller dragons or humans, Bewilderbeasts prefer to attack from the depths of the seas, emerging with a roar and decimating their foes with their icy breath, and stomping on whatever remains. When brawling against another Bewilderbeast, the tusks are the main weapon used, each wrestling and grappling with their tusks to flip over and gain dominance over the other. The combat scene witnessed in How to Train Your Dragon 2 shows the victor killing the loser, but it is unclear if a dominance battle would end in the loser's demise in the wild without human impact.

Underwater Adaptations

a full-grown Bewilderbeast swims at incredible speeds and bursts to the surface to surprising, and devastating, effect.
  Dragonpedia entry for Drago's Bewilderbeast  

These dragons appear to be mainly aquatic, but also do not appear phased by being on land. They do not have any visible nostrils, so may absorb needed oxygen by other means. Their bodies are streamlined for swimming at high speeds and are capable of ignoring drastic hydraulic drags and water pressures due to their colossal body mass. They are agile enough to effortlessly chase and catch a large number of fish, and are fast enough to demonstrate surprise attacks despite being so large.

Weaknesses

Large Size

Bewilderbeasts lack speed and agility while on land

A Bewilderbeast's massive size can be both an asset and a drawback. While they can stand erect on land, their movements are cumbersome and slow. They have difficultly climbing up land higher than themselves, and risk damaging the land trying. They are likewise unable to get higher in the air than they can lunge from the water and as adults are not able to fly. It is unknown if smaller juvenile Bewilderbeasts have some flying ability or are more agile on land, before they attain their massive size.

Limitations on Hide and Scale Durability

The previous Alpha defeated and killed

While Bewilderbeast hides are especially thick and resistant to many attacks with pre-modern human weaponry and many other dragon attacks, they are still able to get wounded, though not mortally, as mentioned about the many scars on Drago's Bewilderbeast. Likewise, similarly large-sized dragons, such as another Bewilderbeast, are able to pierce their hides and mortally wound them. The underbelly, as with many other dragons and animals, seem more vulnerable.

Limitations with Dragon Mind Manipulation

Break free of their manipulations if they have a loyalty that is stronger than that of another dominant dragon

The mental control exerted by Bewilderbeasts seems to only work with mature brains. The manipulation has no effect on Tiny Tooth dragons, who still have developing brains and are themselves learning restraint and control.

A dragon under a Bewilderbeast's active thrall can potentially break free of their manipulations if they have a loyalty that is stronger than that of another dominant dragon, such as the friendship and loyalties than can arise between a human and dragon. Closing off the senses of sight and hearing can also diminish the mind manipulation effect.

Certain dragon species are also immune to Bewilderbeast influence at any life stage. At present, only the Bubblegill dragons are known to be unaffected. It is unclear how they are able to withstand the ability.

Behavior and Personality

Given their unique abilities of manipulation of dragon minds if needed, and the capacity to be a provider and protector for smaller dragons, Bewilderbeasts are naturally inclined to become the alpha in a dominance hierarchy amongst all dragon kind. They are capable of providing food, protection, and shelter for others and, if needed, can use mind manipulation. Wild or naturally raised Bewilderbeasts appear to have an authoritative yet reclusive and non-aggressive demeanor. This leads the Bewilderbeast species to be referred to the "King of all Dragons". Dragons under their care may be referred to as "Primals", according to Rise of Berk.

Due to their small numbers and impressive abilities, Bewilderbeasts are seldom pushed to aggression, a shown by the Berserker Bewilderbeast who didn't attack Johann and Krogan until she was attacked first. Except where the dragons under their care are threatened or are challenged for an alpha position. Challenges are rare and typically come from other Bewilderbeasts or similarly colossal dragons, though smaller dragon challengers are possible. In such situations they can become very violent, controlling, and deadly. Raised abusively in captivity, the Bewilderbeast's less aggressive and nurturing tendencies can be subsumed and twisted, and its abilities used for war and domination.

Comparative Statistics


Appearances

Dragons: Race to the Edge

Season 5

Sentinel 318

In the episode, "Something Rotten on Berserker Island", there are ice structures underneath the island that are suggestive of Bewilderbeast generated ice.

At the end of the episode "A Matter of Perspective", as the Dragon Riders leave Vanaheim, it becomes clear that part of the dragon graveyard includes the fossilized bones of a Great Bewilderbeast, so ancient and massive as to make up part of the landscape of the island. The Dragon Hunters also seek out lenses leading to "the King of Dragons", presumably referring to the Bewilderbeast.

Season 6

Hiccup-toothless-how-to-train-your-dragon-1
Main article: Berserker Bewilderbeast
Bewilder 1

A Bewilderbeast makes its full appearance in the second part of the series finale. Krogan and Johann encounter it when they try to steal the dragon from its lair beneath Berserker Island. The dragon is attacked by the pair and their minions, only for Krogan's hunters to be frozen. The Bewilderbeast eventually blocks their attack with a wall of ice, leading them to seek another route to it. When Hiccup looks for the dragon to save it, he finds an egg that the creature laid, which Krogan and Johann fight him for. As Hiccup saves the egg from plummeting to its doom, Krogan takes the egg and tries to escape only to be stopped by Toothless. Johann meanwhile is killed by the adult Bewilderbeast when it freezes him solid while he attempts to kill Hiccup. It then summons every available dragon to Berserker Island to defeat Krogan's Dragon Flyers and escapes, never to be seen again. Hiccup himself never sees the dragon, and later gives the egg to the Wingmaidens, who leave it in a place where Valka finds it to raise the dragon in safety.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Hiccup-toothless-how-to-train-your-dragon-1
Main article: Valka's Bewilderbeast
Hiccup-toothless-how-to-train-your-dragon-1
Main article: Drago's Bewilderbeast
You may have an ice-spitting dragon on your side, but we still have a quota to fill.
  Eret, Son of Eret lamenting about Bewilderbeast's destruction of his fort  

An alternate opening shows Valka's Bewilderbeast destroying Eret's Fort to rescue the trapped dragons there. It leaves footprints in the mud which Toothless notices when he and Hiccup approach to survey the damage.

The first mentions of the Bewilderbeast come from Eret, as he angrily remarks to Hiccup and Astrid, accusing them of destroying their fort. It had, indeed, been blasted in ice during Valka's earlier mission to save captive dragons. Eret then taunts them about how Drago would capture them all, including the 'ice-spitting dragon'.

Shortly after Valka and Hiccup's reunion, Valka's Bewilderbeast is first seen when she introduces Hiccup to her current home — a beautiful sanctuary made of ice. Valka then explains how the Alpha leads and protects all the dragons. Peaceful yet with an air of grandeur, the massive dragon sits in a pool before rising to greet the newcomers. Toothless and Valka bow in respect, Hiccup remains awestruck as the Bewilderbeast puffs out a cloud of icy frost on him. When it was feeding time, the Bewilderbeast leads a swarm of flying dragons out while he swims underwater, rounding up fish with a trio of Seashockers. Soon, he emerges out from the water and spits out fish for all the dragons.

The Alpha! Now, we have a fight! [src]
  — Drago on the Bewilderbeast's face-off  

He then appears during the battle against Drago, summoned by Valka. Drago remarks that he had brought a 'challenger' and summons his own Bewilderbeast, a much darker one. The two Bewilderbeasts face-off, but Valka's one lost, only to be impaled by his opponent's horns. Drago's Bewilderbeast lets out a mighty roar and commands all the dragons, including Toothless. Toothless, forced against his will, kills Stoick and leads the army to Berk.

Tumblr nlghb5xgEH1u2b7pzo5 500

Over there, the Bewilderbeast wreaks havoc on the village. The gang soon arrives and Hiccup, after some coaxing, releases Toothless from the mind control. They reunite and with trust, a blindfold, and constant talking to distract him from the hypnosis, the duo attacks the Bewilderbeast and Drago. Drago is thrown off and Hiccup declares victory, only to have the Bewilderbeast blast both him and Toothless in ice spikes.

However, Toothless' Alpha mode activates shortly after and breaks from the ice. He challenges the Alpha (to protect Hiccup) by blasting him repeatedly and throwing him off guard. The other dragons recover from their hypnosis and side against the Bewilderbeast, bombarding him with blows. The Bewilderbeast takes a deep breath and prepares to fire, but amidst the smoke, Toothless unleashes a mighty blast that breaks off a horn. Shaken and thrown off his Alpha status, the Bewilderbeast admits defeat and swims away.

RTSC-66-Leyla

Dragons: Rescue Riders

Season 5

In "Return to the Sunken City", the Rescue Riders uncover a tablet within another stone tablet, containing information about the Bewilderbeast and Alpha Crystals hidden in the sunken Viking-Dragon city of Valantis.

Games

Dragons Hero Portal

Drago's Bewilderbeast appears as the 'big boss' in the final stage of this game. The player must play as a dragon/rider pair and defeat him.

Dragons: Rise of Berk

After the 'Alpha Update', the Bewilderbeast became a Legendary Dragon in the game and now sits in a throne of ice, opening up new fishing spots and enhancing fishing abilities. It also unlocks Primal Dragons.


The Dragons: Rise of Berk Bewilderbeast finds unique items to complete special collections for Primal Dragons and resources such as Fish and Runes. Collection items include: a sail from Eret's Ship, a Bewilderbeast-decorated medallion, Valka's Shield, and others.

School of Dragons

A Bewilderbeast hybrid, called Chimeragon was introduced in the game in December 2020, as part of a Snoggletog event.

In July 2021, Valka's Sanctuary was introduced in the game, with a giant Bewilderbeast residing inside. The dragon helps Dart, Pouncer, and Ruffrunner reach their adult stage. It is unclear whether or not the Bewilderbeast is intended to be Valka's Bewilderbeast, as the events of the game take place after How to Train Your Dragon 2, yet Valka has a strong connection with it.

Dragons: Titan Uprising

TU-Bewilderbeast2

Another Bewilderbeast has moved into Valka's Mountain in the Frozen Tundra, known as "Valka's Sanctuary" in this game. The player and his or her team of trained dragons must defeat the Bewilderbeast to advance in the game. The Bewilderbeast has become mysteriously agitated, causing dangerous havoc amongst the local dragon population.

DreamWorks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders

A Bewilderbeast is not seen but is mentioned in character dialogue while at Valka's Mountain. Bewilderbeast motifs also appear on ice blocks and tiles in the ruins beneath Valka's Mountain.

Trivia

  • Asterisk-TransparentThe official measurements of the Bewilderbeast, as released by DreamWorks Animation are "520 feet (158.49 meters) in length", and "150 feet (45.72 meters) in wingspan".
  • In an interview, Dean DeBlois said that the Red Death was the "queen" of dragons, with the Bewilderbeast as the "king".
  • The Bewilderbeast is currently the only dragon species in the franchise to kill a human antagonist onscreen, as one freezes Johann solid with its icy breath.
  • Since the characters call the Bewilderbeast "King of Dragons" in Dragons: Race to the Edge, it is possible that Valka is the one who came up with the name of the species.
  • According to Richard Hamilton, the Bewilderbeasts in How to Train Your Dragon 2 were meant to be smaller than the Red Death in the first film.[4]. Hamilton's statistics about the Red Death's size are, however, incorrect as seen in The Art of How to Train Your Dragon among other sources.
  • In some interviews[3] relating to How to Train Your Dragon 2, director Dean DeBlois sometimes refers to the expandable area of the neck on the Bewilderbeast as 'goiters' for storing water. This term is incorrect, as a goiter refers to the medical condition of an enlarged thyroid.
  • The Universal Studios Beijing live show, Untrainable features a tusked, ice-spitting dragon in an animated segment which appears to be based on early concept art of the Bewilderbeast.

References

  1. Otto, Simon. How to Create Your Dragon: The Inspiration Behind the Creatures. (July 10, 2014)
  2. Abrams. Bryan. (Date Posted - June 9, 2014). How to Train Your Dragon 2's Writer/Director Dean DeBlois. Motion Picture Association - The Credits.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Truitt, Brian. (Date Posted - June 9, 2014). A guide to the beasts of 'How to Train Your Dragon 2'. USA Today.
  4. "Really? Where does it say that? I'm not doubting you, just surprised. For those of us who worked on ##HTTYD2, the BWB was always meant to be smaller than the RD." (Date Posted - December 9, 2018). Twitter.
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Bewilderbeast uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Dreamworks School of Dragons Wiki page Bewilderbeast. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors). SODWikiLogo
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