You guys, he's too young to know right from wrong. He's just following his instincts. I know what it's like to be all alone in the world. We can't just shun him.[src]
In "Tone Death", the Dragon Hunters had found Garff when he was still an egg. When the Riders showed up, the hunters launched the egg so they could make their escape while they saved it.
While Fishlegs and Hiccup couldn't figure out what kind of egg it was, Chicken sat on it to keep it warm, despite it being much larger than she was. Surprisingly, Garff hatched from the egg shortly after, only to start crying and screaming. The Riders were annoyed by his screams, not knowing how to calm him down. Tuffnut came up with a name for the baby dragon and they put him in one of the dragon stables for the night. Garff finally stopped crying after Chicken "sang" to him, only for him to respond by blasting her with amber and trying to eat her. The Riders were horrified to learn that their new dragon was a baby Death Song.
The next day, the Riders wanted to get rid of Garff (especially Snotlout), but Heather refused, knowing exactly what it's like to be alone. Snotlout decides to take him to Melody Island, but Hiccup reminds him of what happened the last time they were there. Heather begins to sing to Garff, which puts him to sleep, along with the twins and their dragon. Hiccup then realizes that singing might not just be a way that the Death Song draws in prey, but also to communicate. This gave the riders the idea to sing to Garff to train him.
Unfortunately, Garff still blasts each rider, except Heather, with amber regardless of whether or not he likestheirsongs. Seeing that their method isn't working, Hiccup decides to take Garff to Melody Island and find the adult Death Song and constructs a fire blade. They keep the baby dragon quiet with a combination of Heather's singing and Dragon Nip.
Once they arrive, they find that the Death Song managed to escape the cave that Hiccup and Earsplitter trapped him in, and are soon attacked by him. Garff flies over to the older dragon and cries. The Death Song approaches him and begins to sing. Garff responds with his own song, but the dragon whacks him into a cliff wall with his tail. Hiccup realizes Garff is singing the songs the Riders taught him and the Death Song doesn't like them. They all try singing another song to calm the older dragon but to no avail. Just as he is about to attack, Garff flies back to protect them and begins to sing. This time, the Death Song accepts Garff's song and flies off with his newly adopted child.
Garff ends up staying on Dragon's Edge after this and bonds closely with Stormfly and Astrid.
Having taken up residence on Dragon's Edge following the Dragon Hunters' attack, Garff becomes a problem when he begins attacking other dragons in "No Dragon Left Behind", with the exception of Stormfly, who is his best friend and has become immune to his song. This prompts the riders to attempt to relocate him to a new island, only to find it home to a pack of Slitherwings that capture Garff and seemingly poison Stormfly. However, in reality, Stormfly is mourning Garff's apparent loss, as Garff's amber was unable to cling to the poison-coated hides of the Slitherwings. Garff is able to protect himself from their poison by encasing himself in his amber, and is eventually rescued by the riders, who soon relocate him to another island.
When the Dragon Riders learned that Krogan had been using a Death Song to capture Singetails for his Dragon Flyers in "Family Matters", Astrid decided to check on Garff to make sure he was not taken. Upon reuniting with Garff, the Riders realized that the Flyers had captured Garff's adoptive father instead. Despite the dangers that Hiccup stated, Astrid insisted to bring Garff along for their rescue mission. The Riders managed to find the island where the Flyers imprisoned Garff's father, and Garff's attempt of rescue led to him being captured and the Dragon Riders trapped. However, with the unexpected aid of a Cavern Crasher, the Dragon Riders put an end to the Flyers' Singetail breeding program and allowed Garff to reunite with his father.
When the Berserker Bewilderbeast let out a distress call across the archipelago in "King of Dragons, Part 2", Garff was the first dragon to arrive on the scene as he encased a Dragon Flyer in amber and led thousands of other wild dragons to attack Johann's forces.
As a baby dragon, Garff had a habit of crying, which was especially irritating to others. The reason why his crying is so loud is because of his species. The only time he stopped was when someone sang to him.
As with most children, Viking or Dragon, he was shown to have a big appetite. He was often seen licking his lips at the sight of Chicken, even though she technically hatched him.
Having grown up, Garff stopped crying and spitting amber all the time. He became more intelligent and understood that the Riders are his friends and not his food. He didn't even attack Chicken, but was instead happy to see her. Not just this, but he also formed a strong bond with Stormfly, a dragon that is not his species, showing that he can limit his appetite.
However, despite this, Garff still follows his instincts when it comes to hunting. He attempted to eat Smidvarg but was stopped by the Riders just in time.
Even though he is almost an adult, he is still a puppy-like and playful dragon, as shown in several occasions, such as when he sings with the same voice he had as a baby.
Abilities and Skills
Despite being only a few days old, Garff has displayed early signs of skills most Death Songs learn as adults.
Song Mimicry: Having listened to the Dragon Riders' many songs, he was able to repeat them in an attempt to communicate with the adult Death Song.
Intelligence: He is able to understand and respond appropriately to the Riders' songs, such as when Snotlout insulted him in his song prompting him to blast his face with amber. He also realized that, in order to protect himself and Stormfly from being poisoned by the Slitherwings, he had to cover in his own amber.
Firepower: As a child, he is able to shoot out blobs of amber big enough to immobilize a chicken. As an adult, he is able to cocoon himself in amber to protect himself from Slitherwings.
Hunting Skills: Much like the adults of his species, Garff uses his amber blasts to trap his prey before devouring it. However, he has yet to master the ability to lure his prey towards him via his song.
Endurance and Stamina: Garff was able to get back on his feet shortly after the adult Death Song whacked him into a cliff wall with his tail. He also learned how to fly on his own only a few days after he hatched.
Not for all our dragons. I mean, these two have bonded so well that Garff's song doesn't even affect Stormfly anymore.[src]
After Garff returned back to Dragon's Edge for a while, he and Stormfly grew closer. By the time of "No Dragon Left Behind", Stormfly had become Garff's best friend and appeared to be the only dragon unaffected by his singing.
Stormfly fell into a mild depression when she was forced to say goodbye to Graff, falsely leading the Dragon Riders on to believe she was dying. She eventually managed to move past her sadness with Astrid's help and support.
Stormfly was very happy to reunite with Garff again in "Family Matters".
All right. There you go. That's a good boy. I'm here, Garff. I'm here.[src]
— Astrid, nursing Garff
Since "Living on the Edge", Astrid became a motherly figure to Garff and the closest rider to him. She nursed him back to health and brought him along to Dragon's Edge to keep him safe from the Dragon Hunters.
When the time came to relocate Garff in "No Dragon Left Behind", Astrid was very reluctant to let him go as she and Stormfly had grown very fond of him.
During "Family Matters", when Death Song amber was found beneath a Singetail's wing, Astrid immediately grew concerned about Garff. After checking if Garff was safe, Astrid insisted, against Hiccup’s wishes, that they bring Garff back to the Edge with them, arguing he would lonely all by himself. Once the Dragon Riders figured where the Flyers might be holding other Death Song, Astrid yet again persisted they bring Garff along, despite Hiccup’s objections and the fact that Garff was an untrained dragon.
Hiccup: "Oh, he stopped cry . . . He stopped crying."
Tuffnut: "That's because Chicken sang to him. Didn't you hear that? Oh, the pipes on that chicken."[src]
— Hiccup and Tuffnut, after Chicken calmed Garff
When Garff was in an egg, Chicken took on a motherly side by sitting on the egg. When the egg hatched and baby Garff cried profusely, Chicken "sang" to him to calm him down, but Garff blasted Chicken with amber.