|“||The "horror" bit was to make the poor creature at least sound a bit frightening. The "cow" bit was because for a dragon she really was remarkably like a cow. She was a large, peaceful, brown creature, with an easy-going nature. Fishlegs suspected she might even be a vegetarian.||”|
|— How to Train Your Dragon|
Dragon Catching Day
As part of the Dragon Initiation Program of the Hairy Hooligan Tribe, thirteen boys enter the Dragon Nursery where thousands of young dragons are sleeping during Winter hibernation. One of these is Horrorcow, who is actually in the tunnels leading to the main cavern. As the boys had awakened most of the dragons, Hiccup quickly grabbed a dragon and stuffed it into his dragon-catching basket. This turned out to be Horrorcow. Realizing that Fishlegs did not have a dragon of his own and would get exiled, Hiccup gives the dragon to Fishlegs. She was still in hibernation. Hiccup braved the tunnel again and grabbed another dragon for himself, which turned out to be Toothless. Fishlegs names the Basic Brown female 'Horrorcow', to make her sound tough, yet 'cow' because she is nearly a vegetarian.
Training and Confronting the Green Death
Horrorcow was a relatively easy-going dragon, and listened - more or less - to Fishlegs using the 'yelling' technique of training. However, due to her unusual mostly vegetarian diet, Fishlegs had a hard time training her to fish and catch game.
Like all the other tame dragons on the Isle of Berk, she took the side of the presumptive winner in the fight between the Vikings and the Green Death, alternating between leaving and helping the novices defeat the giant dragon. She did help out with the feather-bombing plan, dropping gull feathers on the nose of the Green Death.
Alvin the poor-but-honest-farmer arrived on Berk and told the Hooligan Tribe about the treasure of Grimbeard the Ghastly, located on the Isle of the Skullions. In preparation, Hiccup, Fishlegs, Toothless, and Horrorcow set out to train in 'treasure sniffing' as dragons are good at sniffing treasure. Horrorcow falls into a nap so deep that she cannot be awoken, so gets little training done.
Horrorcow later accompanied Fishlegs and the other Hooligans and their Hunting Dragon on an expedition to the Isle of the Skullions to find the treasure. However, she falls asleep under a bench on the ship on the journey over and, again, cannot be awoken to participate in the treasure hunt.
Horrorcow, along with Toothless, Fishlegs, and Hiccup, float in the small leaky boat, The Hopeful Puffin. The boys are out on the Sea-Known-As-Woden's-Bathtub with the other Hooligan Novices to practice Boarding an Enemy Ship. However, Horrorcow has fallen fast asleep and cannot be awakened, to the point that Fishlegs even needs to prop her head up and out of the water at the bottom of the boat. She sleeps through being knocked off course into the Summer Current, attacking a Roman ship, and escape from a Roman ship. Later she wakes up and wonders if the boys were successful in their practice.
As she is often wont to do, Horrowcow falls asleep during 'Herding-Reindeer-on-Dragonback' lessons. She is awoken when the Viking Novices are attacked by Exterminator dragons, only to play for a time amongst the flames.
Red-Rage Dragon Attack
Horrorcow spent two weeks latched to Fishlegs' head after the red-rage dragons attacked at Flashburn's School of Swordfighting. She finally let go after Fishlegs told her they were out of danger. After Hiccup led the second rebellion attack away, she was seen next to Fishlegs, who was looking down at Hiccup's helmet, fearing his friend was dead.
During the Dragon Rebellion
It is revealed that Horrorcow has been hiding in underground on Berk. After the war ended, she returned to Fishlegs.
Horrorcow is brown and of average size and appearance.
Horrorcow is rather gentle-natured for a dragon. She is not terribly brave and would rather not get into a lot of trouble, similar to Fishlegs. She does not have a high prey drive, as she is a vegetarian, and prefers carrots over fish.
|"How to Train Your Dragon":||Appears||"How to Ride a Dragon's Storm":||Absent|
|"How to Be a Pirate":||Background||"How to Break a Dragon's Heart":||Absent|
|"How to Speak Dragonese":||Appears||"How to Steal a Dragon's Sword":||Absent|
|"How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse":||Absent||"How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel":||Absent|
|"How to Twist a Dragon's Tale":||Background||"How to Betray a Dragon's Hero":||Absent|
|"A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons":||Absent||"How to Fight a Dragon's Fury":||Absent|
- In How to Speak Dragonese, when Horrowcow wakes up on The Hopeful Puffin, she speaks.
|“|| Horrorcow finally woke up from her deep sleep. "Did you get that helmet?" she yawned.|
"Not exactly," replied Fishlegs grimly. "It's a long story.
|— Book 3|
- Early concepts for the How to Train Your Dragon film included Horrorcow, but she did not make it into the finished product.