How to Train Your Dragon Wiki
How to Train Your Dragon Wiki

Grimmel: "The Deathgrippers will have to forgo dinner."
Ruffnut: "Ewww. You feed your dragons... dragons?"[src]
  — Grimmel and Ruffnut  

The Deathgripper is a medium-sized Strike Class dragon that first appeared in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Official Description

Deathgrippers are a monstrous species with their protruding tusks, foreclaw pincers, and poisonous clubbed tails. Traveling in packs like wild dogs, Deathgrippers enjoy hunting for prey and should be avoided at all costs.
  Dragonpedia stat cards  
Deathgrippers are venomous, violent, and vile dragons. Perhaps a real Berkian trainer can bring out their softer side... but for now: avoid at all costs. The monstrous Deathgripper can hack, slash, and bludgeon a foe with lethal force. They should be avoided at all costs... unless they are on your side.
  Dragons: Rise of Berk  


We want to make every one of our dragons interesting and intriguing, so the idea for the Deathgrippers was that they could reveal a scorpion pincer from the tail, or they could protrude their tusks and pull them in, or do other things to get themselves into a heightened, surprising state by changing aspects of their body.
  Simon Otto  

Dean DeBlois stated that the Deathgrippers were designed by Jean Francois Rey.[1]

According to Simon Otto, Deathgrippers were inspired by scorpions, black widow spiders, and hunting dogs.[2]

Physical Appearance

ROB-Deathgripper Egg.jpg


In School of Dragons, the egg of a Deathgripper is large and oval, with scale patterns all over it. It is red in color, with dark blue, almost black, circular stripes, radiating around the circumference of the egg, similar to the baby dragon when it is hatched.

In Dragons: Rise of Berk, the egg of a Deathgripper is covered is spike-like ridges and protuberances, acting like so many other dragon eggs, the role of protection. The egg has horizontal black and red stripes: thick bands circling the many facets of the egg, which give it the appearance of some kind of jewel.

Hatchling to Adult

Deathgrippers are medium-sized dragons with long, sharp tusks protruding out from their lower jaws and a row of armored plates lining their backs. They have large yellow eyes and their coloration is mainly red with black stripes. These stripes occasionally merge into spots, similar to those of a Monstrous Nightmare. The tails of Deathgrippers are telescopic, just like those of a Razorwhip, and are tipped with a venomous scorpion-like stinger. They are, however, not prehensile.

In place of front legs, Deathgrippers possess jagged, razor-sharp pincers similar to that of a mantis. The dragon's back legs are shorter and thinner with two claws on each of them.

Titan Wing


A Titan Deathgripper embraces a mighty appearance, with its bold long tusks and a highly venomous pin-like tail used to spike their prey in a matter of seconds!
  School of Dragons  

Titan Wing Deathgrippers are much larger than their Broad Wing counterparts. They have two more tusks, one on each side of their mouths. Their spikes and claws increase in size and are much sharper. Their stingers become longer and their tails become thicker, especially towards their ends.


Acid Blasts

These dragons are no joke, Deathgrippers can launch green acidic blasts that are able to melt through nearly anything imaginable.
  School of Dragons  


Deathgrippers are capable of launching long streams of rabid acid at their intended targets. The acid is green and highly flammable, often catching fire when exposed to oxygen, allowing it to destroy wood, stone, and metal very easily.

Venomous Sting

Deathgrippers have a fascinating control over their own venom. One strike from a Deathgripper's tail paralyzes the prey. A second strike puts it out of its misery. A third strike makes the body of the prey poisonous to the touch!
  World of Dragons  


Deathgrippers possess a scorpion-like stinger at the tip of their telescopic tails, which they use to inject their venom that has sedative effects on humans and other dragons. The stinger is surrounded by four large scales and is hidden in a club-like sheath when not being used.

Deathgrippers typically use their stingers on their prey three times, with the first jab paralyzing the victim, the second killing it, and the third saturating the corpse with poison that paralyzes anyone who touches it.

As mentioned in Slaughterdijk's description, Deathgrippers are able to use their stingers to insert a small dose of venom into a small wound on the body of their victim. This dose is small enough that it won't be noticed at first, but it will eventually spread to the rest of the victim's body, paralyzing it and enabling the Deathgripper to make a meal of it.

As mentioned in Fenrir's Eviscereaper's description, Deathgripper venom specifically does not numb the victim's pain receptors, enabling the victim to feel the pain of being dismembered piece by piece before finally being put out of its misery. However, as mentioned in Grim Hornettle's description, at least some feeling is numbed by the first sting of a Deathgripper.

As mentioned in Grim Hornettle's description, it is possible to survive the paralysis incurred by the first sting of a Deathgripper. However, the unfortunate victim will be left with a burning rash covering their whole body as the paralysis wears off, leaving the victim feeling a full-body "pins and needles" sensation.

The venom also boasts a potent hypnotic effect that expert hunters make use of to control their intended quarry. Through an injection apparatus strapped to the head, the Deathgripper's venom can warp the minds of the infected into helpless obedience. It is unknown if this effect comes as a result of the dosage of venom, or if their are any other ingredients used.

Strength and Combat


Deathgrippers are considerably strong dragons, as four of them are able to carry Grimmel's airship over long distances with no signs of struggle. They can use their pincers to claw their enemies and their stinger is able to pierce through stone as well as pull and pry blocks from structures. Even when sheathed, they can use their clubbed tails to knock over enemies. A single Deathgripper was able to knock Cloudjumper in mid-flight. Three of the hunter's Deathgrippers were able to burst through the roof of a rock tower and tried to chase the Dragon Riders down with ease.

Endurance and Stamina

Deathgrippers are able to survive with almost no wounds after being buried under the wreckage of a rock tower.

They have large amounts of stamina, as seen by four of them, who are able to travel long distances while also carrying an airship, without showing any signs of exhaustion.

Retractable Tusks

THW-Deathgripper, Ragnar.jpg

Deathgrippers possess forward facing tusks that can retract backwards into its lower jaw to be hidden and extend to impale prey or to simply intimidate enemies. According to the Marshland Deathgripper's description, these tusks are also used to lift up plates in other dragon's armor in order to enable the dragon's stinger to be better able to inject venom into its prey.

Foreleg Pincers

Deathgrippers have front legs that have evolved into pincers. These pincers are used both for walking and for holding prey in place during an attack. The claws of some individuals, such as Glaivedriver, are strong enough to sever limbs.

Venomous Teeth

The teeth of some Deathgripper individuals, such as Glaivedriver, can be used to inject deadly venom into their prey.

Speed and Agility

Deathgrippers are very fast in the air and on land. They can fly fast enough to catch up to a Night Fury and move quickly to deliver deadly strikes on their victims. They are also demonstrated to be very agile, as Grimmel's Deathgrippers are able to make incredibly tight turns and twist themselves into complex shapes when pursuing and attempting to strike other dragons.

Acute Senses

Deathgrippers have a well-developed sense of smell and hearing. They could tell that Hiccup and the Dragon Riders were approaching Raven Point in the middle of the night. As mentioned in Slaughterdijk's description, Deathgrippers can use their forked tongues to smell blood from up to twenty miles away.


Being Strike Class dragons, Deathgrippers have a high level of intelligence. This was demonstrated by Grimmel's Deathgrippers, who were able to understand commands through the hunter's whistles and finger snaps.

Some Deathgripper individuals, such as Slaughterdijk and Glaivedriver, are capable of planning out complex hunting strategies. These strategies involve stalking the prey, creating a brief scuffle in which the dragon fakes a loss, but actually makes a small wound on the prey's body, using the blood from the wound to track the prey, waiting until the small dose of venom in the wound paralyzes the prey, and then dragging the prey to their nest where it is eaten or using the sound of the wind to cover their movements before attacking the prey from above.


Lack of Venom Immunity

THW-Deathgripper, Grimmel-3.jpg

Deathgrippers are not immune to their own venom, just like the Speed Stinger, and it can even be used against them, such as when Grimmel used it to drug six of them into complete obedience. While they can be drugged by their own venom, it is unknown if they are also vulnerable to the other effects of their venom.

Behavior and Personality

They are highly attentive of their surroundings and prepared for the unexpected, allowing them to indomitable become leaders in the sky.
  School of Dragons  

Deathgrippers are highly aggressive dragons that live and travel in packs. They also tend to play with their prey before killing it, with some individuals, such as Fenrir's Eviscereaper, specifically enjoying consuming prey that is terrified and in pain.

Despite the pack-hunting behavior that is typical of the species, some individuals, such as the Miasmic Deathgrippers, are solitary due to their cannibalistic nature. Upon hatching, the babies are so focused on food that they start to eat each other in order to obtain sustenance, with the only survivors being those who manage to get away from the others. It is because of this behavior that these Deathgrippers lay thousands of eggs in a single nest, hoping that at least a few will be able to survive the slaughter and eventually produce the next generation. This solitary behavior is only broken during the mating season, where female Deathgrippers eat their mates in order to ensure that their eggs will mature faster. Other individuals, such as Glaivedriver, are solitary based on personal preference rather than behavior.


This stated, it is possible to tame a Deathgripper, but the process of winning its confidence is no easy matter. It is easiest to do so by starting with Deathgripper hatchlings, imprinting as their mother as they emerge from the egg.
  Marshland Deathgripper's description in Dragons: Titan Uprising  

Deathgrippers are extremely difficult to train, but a person can train one by imprinting on it as a hatchling immediately after it emerges from the egg.

However, as shown in School of Dragons, adult Deathgrippers can be trained as well. If a person saves a Deathgripper's life, the dragon will be grateful towards its savior, and even allow itself to be ridden.

Comparative Statistics


How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Hiccup-toothless-how-to-train-your-dragon-1.png Main article: Grimmel's Deathgrippers

Grimmel the Grisly managed to drug six Deathgrippers with their own venom, subjecting them to complete obedience so that they would only listen to his commands. The famed hunter was assisted by the Deathgrippers throughout his numerous hunting expeditions, including his quest to capture and kill Toothless. Ultimately, as they succeeded in forming a strong barrier around the latter and Hiccup in the sky, the Night Fury summoned lightning from the clouds that electrocuted the Deathgrippers and sent them falling into the ocean. It is unknown what became of the Deathgrippers afterward.


Dragons: Rise of Berk

The Deathgripper was introduced in this game in the October 2019 update.

School of Dragons

Deathgrippers were added to the game in the update 3.0.0. as trainable dragons.

Dragons: Titan Uprising

Several Deathgripper individuals, such as Marshland Deathgrippers, Miasmic Deathgrippers, Slaughterdijk, Sappheral, Fenrir's Eviscereaper, and Glaivedriver, and hybrids, appear in this game.


  • Asterisk-Transparent.png The official measurements given by DreamWorks Animation do not appear to be realistic when considering the relative sizes the viewer sees within the Franchise. Based on the Model Sheet for the Deathgripper, this dragon should have a Wingspan of 39 feet (11.8 meters).
  • The Deathgripper bears resemblance to Cloudjumper's concept art and may also be based on it.
  • The Deathgripper's green flammable acid is similar to the properties of the wildfire substance from Game of Thrones.
  • The Deathgripper is similar to the Sabre-Tooth Driver Dragon from the books.
  • When any number of dragons are drugged by the Deathgripper venom solution used by Grimmel, their behaviors resemble those of the dragons under the Bewilderbeast's control in every way: their pupils retract and their expression becomes listless and unresponsive to their surroundings until they are put into combat, whereupon they become fierce killing machines.
  • As revealed by concept artist Jean Francois Rey, the Deathgrippers were originally called "Deathclaws".[3]


Deathgripper uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Dreamworks School of Dragons Wiki page Deathgripper. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors). SODWikiLogo.png
Deathgripper uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Rise of Berk Wiki page Deathgripper. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors). ROBWiki Logo.png
Deathgripper uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Dragons Titan Uprising Wiki page Dragon Species. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors). Wiki-Wordmark-TU.png

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