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My infiltration into the Berkian world, years of building trust, behaving as if I were some buffoonish fop, kissing the boots of Stoick the Vast and his scrawny heir to the throne, all in pursuit of the one thing I could not obtain myself: The King of Dragons. [src]
  — Johann revealing his true intentions  

Johann was a seafaring trader who visits the Isle of Berk from time to time, offering goods to barter for. However, in Dragons: Race to the Edge, he was revealed to be secretly working against the Dragon Riders by pretending to be their ally for years.

Biography

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Physical Appearance

Johann has dark brown hair and beard tied into a twist knot. He also has a long scar under his left eye. According to School of Dragons, Johann possesses a scar resulting from Harald Forkbeard slashing him, although it is unclear if this is the scar seen under his eye.

Johann wears a cream-colored dirty sack hat on his head, long-sleeved shirt with deep blue white-swirled imprinted tunic and deep red sari over it, light grey cloth bracers on his arms (each bit of cloth goes between the second and third finger), brown belt with a yellow pack and knife around his waist, multi-colored pinstriped trousers, and light brown boots.

Personality

Obviously, this is why there are leaders and followers. [src]
  — Johann  

During his travels throughout the Barbaric Archipelago, Johann pretended to be a likable, yet clumsy, easily frightened, and overly dramatic tradesman, whom everyone on Berk adored and greatly anticipated his visits (except Snotlout). During such visits, his bargains seemed reasonable, and he even gave away an object freely from time to time. These occasional visits, as well as his exotic sales items, earned him the trust of respect of many throughout the Archipelago, including Chief Stoick the Vast and Gobber the Belch, who both seemed to have enjoyed his company and were quite willing to mend his boat whenever it was damaged. Johann showed himself to be a charismatic salesmen, using a variety of skills to attract potential customers, appearing and speaking in a very cultured manner, while telling tales of his many adventures around the world, which drew the interest of many on Berk and made them more willing to purchase his goods. However, despite his apparent friendly relations with Berk, he is still a businessman first, and refuses to divulge the secrets of his other customers, unless intimidated to.

During this time, Johann also made himself appear to be an extremely timid individual, with an extremely fearful disposition whenever danger emerged, during which he often sought help from others, namely the Dragon Riders, to aid him during his time of need. When helped, Johann would express his gratitude in an almost sycophantic manner, which often annoyed those around him, namely Snotlout. Despite this he was seemingly willing to help the riders on numerous occasions, even when it wasn’t within his best interest, such as when he helped them rescue Hiccup and Toothless from Outcast Island or when he risked his safety to personally steal a map to Viggo’s dragon auction. Thus, many assumed him to be a bumbling yet ultimately kindhearted and valuable ally to possess in the fight against the Dragon Hunters

However, after the Dragon Flyers managed to obtain Heather's dragon eye lens, it is revealed that the entirety of Johann’s kind and easily frightened personality is nothing but a façade to hide his true devious nature. In truth, Johann is exceptionally intelligent, greedy, ruthless, sadistic, and psychopathic, having only pretended to be an ally to the the Dragon Riders, when secretly he was manipulating them the entire time, and orchestrated many attempts to have them and Berk itself eliminated. He only begrudgingly pretended to be kind to Stoick, the riders, and Berk in order to get close to them, and often used their trust against them by either distracting them from his plans or to sending them into dangerous situations in the hopes of killing them. In contrast to his friendly facade, in which he acted as an ally and friend of the riders, Johann, in actuality, bears a strong hatred for the Dragon Riders for constantly foiling his plans and surviving his many attempts to kill them. It is also revealed that the stories of his adventures were in fact the tales he stole from real merchants, whom he murdered in secret while plundering their wealth, further exemplifying his deceitful and ruthless nature.

Johann’s violent temper during one of his mood swings.

Johann is also extremely patient, willing to wait for many years in order to completely gain Stoick and Berk's trust (though Snotlout has doubted him several times already) before putting his plans into action, all the while enduring several setbacks along the way. He is thoroughly obsessed with finding the mythical “King of Dragons”, desiring to exploit its ability to control other dragons as means of establishing himself as the richest person in history and will go to whatever lengths to achieve this, no matter how immoral they may be. Johann’s cruelty is not limited to his enemies, as he will sacrifice his own hunters and betray his allies without any hesitation. This was shown when he attempted to have Viggo executed when he felt he had outlived his usefulness and planned on later doing the same to Krogan, in order to ensure that he alone would have possession of the “King of Dragons”.

In contrast to his timid facade, Johann is also a very capable fighter, being more than willing to dirty his own hands in fight, with his daring in battle bordering on fearlessness, as seen when he rushed into battle and successfully tranquilizers Viggo’s Skrill when none of his forces were able to do so. However, Johann true personality has shown multiple recurring indications of mental and emotional instability, possibly indicating that he is borderline insane. His years of acting under his buffoonish tradesman guise “sniveling up to every Viking in the Archipelago”, has left him deeply bitter, being near constantly angry and undergoing violent mood swings in which he instantly switches from cold and calculating to wrathful and frenzied at the slightest provocation. The way he acted violently towards Snotlout, Ruffnut and Tuffnut in “Breakneck Bog” hinted at this instability and his true nature.

Abilities, Skills, and Talents

Johann, you are full of surprises. [src]
  Hiccup, after Johann showed him a secret passage to the Sandbuster's underground hideout  

Though many saw him as a kind-hearted simpleton, Johann was actually incredibly devious.

  • Intelligence: Johann is an extremely clever individual and has been revealed to be a master of deception, who battles with his intellect and his skills in combat. He is revealed to be behind nearly everything that has happened to the Riders since "Breakneck Bog" and he even managed to outwit Hiccup and the Riders numerous times - though he was never able to have them killed. His intellect has helped him outsmart the most intellectual minds like Viggo, who thought Johann would be easy to fool when he betrayed him.
    • Acting/Deception: Johann was a cunning master of deceit, and a very gifted actor seldom dropping his façade. He was able to convince every member of the Hooligan Tribe that he was an ordinary merchant so that he would understand their strengths and weaknesses. Johann was extremely patient and waited for years to gain the Hooligans' complete trust until the time was right for him to strike. He would often charm them with stories that he either made up or stole from real merchants that he assassinated had killed. Johann could also tell if Viggo was betraying him through his time with the Vikings of the Archipelago.

Johann's mastery at throwing knives

  • Strength and Combat: Johann was exceptionally deadly in combat, and his primary weapons were daggers that he had hidden beneath his sleeves. Johann was also rather strong and proficient in physical combat, able to punch and pin down Hiccup for a short time. He also was able to break off the Bewilderbeast ice that was on him and had numerous real merchants plundered and assassinated after taking the tales of their travels. He also seems to have some skill in wielding a spear laced with Dragon Root when he attempted to kill Hiccup. Despite his skills, they are inferior to Viggo Grimborn, as he was easily pushed him back, despite holding a knife in Viggo’s neck.
  • Endurance and Stamina: In “Frozen”, Johann was able to keep walking even after accidentally falling from a roof and then having a paralyzed Meatlug landed on him in a cart.
  • Marksmanship: He was a capable marksman as shown when he threw his daggers with near pin-point accuracy and when he shot down the Skrill with a single crossbow bolt that was laced with Dragon Root.

Relationships

This section requires expansion.


Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III

At first, Hiccup was oblivious to the fact that Johann was an enemy, as he thought Johann was just a tradesman cooperating with Berk as well as an informative trader who had been on many expeditions which led to his great knowledge about materials, plants, locations and sometimes, other Vikings in the Archipelago. When Johann finally revealed his true colors, Hiccup was not entirely surprised as he was reminded by every single perilous situation that involved Johann himself.

Stoick the Vast

Stoick, much like many of the Vikings on Berk, appreciated Johann's trading goods and didn't suspect anything iniquitous. However, after finding out about Johann's perfidy in "No Bark, All Bite", Stoick is certainly seen to be angered as he orders all of Johann's previous shipments and supplies to be destroyed.

Gobber the Belch

Much like many of the Vikings on Berk, Gobber appreciated Johann's trading goods. Johann once sold Gobber a bunch of scrap metal that Gobber greatly appreciated.

Astrid Hofferson

Snotlout Jorgenson

From the start, Snoutlout didn't like Johann due to his long stories and buffoon nature. Snoutlout and the twins once left Johann stranded on a rock in the middle of the sea, thus angering Johann when he got back to Berk. At one time Johann banned Snoutlout from touching his things because the latter always broke them and caused a huge mess without paying for them or taking responsibility. After Johann was revealed to be bad, Snoutlout gloated that he knew all along, even though he really didn't, earning him a shut up shout from the other Riders.

Ruffnut and Tuffnut Thorston

Snoutlout and the twins once left Johann stranded on a rock in the middle of the sea, thus angering Johann when he got back to Berk. But other than that incident, Johann and the twins seem to get along. After Johann was revealed to be bad, the twins wanted to throw him in a pod of Scauldrons but at the same time they admired his intellect for fooling everyone.

Fishlegs Ingerman

Fishlegs and Johann seem to get along fine. However at one point Johann thought of abandoning Fishlegs to a group of wild and angry dragons, something Snoutlout agreed with. But Johann did help save Fishlegs. Fishlegs was however angry that Hiccup letting Johann ride Meatlug.

Heather

In "Have Dragon Will Travel, Part 1", Johann is seen to be giving Heather information about Dagur, which convinces her that he is good. But, as shown in "Sins of the Past", Johann manages to convince Heather to give up her Dragon Eye Lens to Krogan in return for Windshear.

Viggo Grimborn

As revealed in "Sins of the Past", Johann and Viggo, along with Krogan, are seen to be working together in a tenuous alliance to retrieve the King of Dragons. However, in "Triple Cross", Viggo proved to Hiccup that he would rather fight alongside him than Johann, and betrayed his evil allies.

Ryker Grimborn

Ryker likely knew that Johann was working with them, but it is ultimately unknown what their relationship was like.

Krogan

As stated above, Krogan has formed a somewhat tenuous alliance with Johann and Viggo together in their mission to retrieve the King of Dragons. In "King of Dragons, Part 2", Johann and Krogan are seen working together to gain the Bewilderbeast egg Hiccup managed to obtain.

It is later revealed that Johann wanted Krogan's head on the end of a long spike so that he can claim the Bewilderbeast for himself.

Toothless

Toothless picks up on Hiccup's mood toward Johann, so when Hiccup is annoyed with Johann, Toothless is annoyed as well. In "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", when Stoick and Hiccup are irritated with Johann for bringing Berserker metal scrap to Berk, releasing a brood of baby Smothering Smokebreaths, Toothless growls at him.

When Johann revealed his true intentions in the Sandbuster cave, Toothless did not hesitate in turning against him.

In the episode "King of Dragons, Part 2", Johann attempted to kill Hiccup as the latter hung onto a cliff, only for latter to be saved when Toothless knocked Johann away with a plasma blast. In the end, the Berserker Bewilderbeast freezes and kills him while stopping him from killing Hiccup with a spear.

Meatlug

Johann briefly rode Meatlug in "Edge of Disaster, Part 2", during a mission to rescue Fishlegs from a group of feral dragons. He was reluctant to climb onto her back at first, due to the Gronckle's eagerness to reunite with her rider.

Derrick

While Johann did disparage Derrick's beard, after having complemented him on it to his face, it is clear that Derrick and Johann were very close, as he is referred to as one of Johann's trading brothers and Johann is shocked and saddened by his death.

Appearances


Trivia

  • From his attire, it can be assumed he holds Middle Eastern or Eastern European heritage. His name, however, is a Scandinavian form of "John".
  • Despite his betrayal and death, Johann is still an ally in Rise of Berk, likely due to the lack of any other notable trader characters in the Franchise who could fulfill his role in the game instead of him.
  • Johann calls most male characters 'Master', and most female characters 'Miss'.
  • The way Johann hid his daggers was probably inspired by the Assassin Brotherhood from the Assassin's Creed franchise.
  • Johann's method of stealing actual merchants' stories after killing them is similar to how Gilderoy Lockhart from the Harry Potter franchise stole other wizards' accomplishments after he obliviated their memories.
  • Johann's name, occupation, and character design seem to be an explicit reference to Trader Jones from cult British TV show Charlie Chalk.
  • Though Johann has many hidden daggers in his sleeves, everyone (including Johann himself) is completely oblivious to the dagger on his belt.
    • In fact, in "Breakneck Bog," he tries to "threaten" Hiccup by claiming that he has a knife in his boot, then says he doesn't, disregarding the fact that he has one on his belt.

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