|“||You know what your mistake was? Thinking dragons could be trained. But a dragon's gonna do what a dragon's gonna do. It's their nature. And nature always wins. [src]||”|
|— Mildew to Hiccup|
Mildew is a cantankerous and ugly old Viking, the secondary antagonist in Dragons: Riders of Berk and an anti-hero in Dragons: Defenders of Berk. He lives in a small house on the outskirts of Berk, sharing it with a sheep named Fungus. He is voiced by Stephen Root.
Unlike most of the Vikings on Berk, Mildew has a deep, unrelenting hatred for the dragons, and was determined to get rid of them but he is never successful. He is now an Outcast helping Alvin the Treacherous train dragons.
In "How to Start a Dragon Academy", it was shown that Mildew was the most prolific of the Vikings to complain about the dragons, pushing Stoick to cage them or drive them away. Dragons destroy his cabbage field, but the Dragon Riders are able to train the dragons to replant and fertilize it.
According to Mulch in "Animal House", after a storm known as the "Blizzard of Olaf," it took some Vikings a week to dig an unlucky Mildew out of the ice — "and the rest of their lives to wonder why they bothered".
During the events of "In Dragons We Trust", Mildew then framed the dragons for destroying things around Berk, successfully causing them to be banished. He makes it look as though the dragons have stolen shoes, wrecked the Great Hall, and finally destroyed the armory. He used fake dragon props to accomplish his goals. Only Hiccup manages to see these devices. Unfortunately, Mildew then disposes of the evidence by throwing it out to sea. When the dragons are banished, Mildew is the only one who celebrates.
Following up on the events in the previous episode, in "Alvin and the Outcasts", Hiccup tried to find the evidence Mildew had disposed of in the last episode, but to no avail. Mildew has the nerve to keep heaping the blame for the lack of weapons on Hiccup and the dragons even after the dragons left, when he learns the Outcasts are offshore of Berk. When Alvin the Treacherous arrives and searches for the "Dragon Conqueror", Mildew tries to tell him but is knocked out by Astrid. At the end of the episode, he was furious to see the dragons once more — the village having accepted them back after the dragons helped them drive off Alvin's men, but was warned by Stoick, along with Hiccup saying that he may not have the evidence that proved he framed the dragons, but will not forget it, leaving a frustrated and disappointed Mildew.
As shown in "Dragon Flower", Mildew was seen buying mysterious items from Johann, in exchange for cabbages. The next day, all of the dragons become ill for an unknown reason. Although everyone throws out what they bought from Johann, the dragons are still sick. Fishlegs tells them that the cause is the blue oleander flower, which is poisonous to reptiles which means poisonous to dragons. Tuffnut says that he saw Mildew plant them the previous night. When Stoick, Hiccup, and Astrid interrogate Mildew, he pretends to not know of the flower's "special properties". Hiccup, Stoick, and Gobber board a ship to find the Scauldron, a dragon that feeds off the oleander, and whose venom can be used as an antidote. Mildew is dragged onto the longship, much to his displeasure, because it was his fault the dragons were sick. When the Scauldron is found, Mildew is threatened by Stoick to wind up with the bucket that's supposed to be used to get the venom or Stoick will throw him overboard. However, before the venom can be drained, the sea dragon escapes, but not before biting Mildew's butt, trying to get the flower that was stuck to his pants. Gobber takes Mildew back to his workshop and uses a large needle-like object to pull the poison out of the old man, much to his discomfort.
In "When Lightning Strikes", lightning from thunderstorms strike the metal perches recently set up for the dragons, and seemingly follow Toothless. Mildew accuses Toothless of causing lightning strikes due to his status as "the unholy offspring of lightning and death itself" — according to the Book of Dragons — and rallies up the citizens to banish the Night Fury. When Hiccup proves to everyone that the lightning is really attracted to metal, Stoick suggests taking the iron statue of Thor, built to appease the thunder god (but failed), and placing it high up in the mountain, where the gang puts it directly outside Mildew's house. When the next storm comes, the lightning goes through the statue and into Mildew's house, shocking him repeatedly.
During the events of "We Are Family, Parts 1 and 2", it is revealed that he set a trap for Hiccup and Toothless by forging a map to an island with Night Furies. It is also revealed that he has joined the Outcasts. His method of trickery was personal and devious. Mildew used Hiccup's love for Toothless as bait and then lured them both into a trap. Not only this but he ensured that none of the other kids would come. His actions alone led to Hiccup and Toothless being captured by Alvin and his men. Upon seeing Hiccup captured, he openly mocks him for falling into a trap set by a silly old man. It is unknown how long Mildew has been in league with Alvin, but it might help explain how convenient Alvin's arrival to the island was before.
Mildew begins to regret what he has done after Alvin locks him up and takes away Fungus to be cooked as his final meal. He then helps Hiccup escape, and both Hiccup and Mildew work together and befriends a Deadly Nadder with Hiccup's help. "Unfortunately", Mildew is dropped from the Nadder that Gobber is riding, and falls back onto Outcast Island as the gang is making their escape. Later, it is revealed that he and Fungus were all putting on an act so that he could learn all the Dragon Training secrets from Hiccup — Mildew truly is a traitor to Berk. He then begins to tell Alvin the information he learned from Hiccup. With that information, Alvin was able to train a Whispering Death.
Mildew makes a cameo appearance in the comic, "Dragon Down", where he is seen talking to a group of Hooligans, about dragons literally raining down terror, saying, "...I told you these dragons would rain down Doom and Destruction upon our heads. I just never knew it would be quite so literally!", as Hookfang sheds his flaming scales from the sky.
In the comic, "The Legend of Ragnarok", Mildew stands in front of the Great Hall and preaches that Ragnarok is approaching.
In the comic, "Dangers of the Deep", Mildew begins with his usual complaining. In this case, Berk is having a fish shortage and the fishermen are coming back with empty nets. Mildew and the others seek out Stoick to solve their problems. Mildew exclaims, "... 15 mouths to feed and not a solitary sprat between 'em!" It is not clear whose "mouths" Mildew is referring to — it is possible that he has an extended family.
Later in the comic, Berk becomes under attack by Alvin and the Outcast Tribe while most able-bodied villagers are off in the Veil of Mists searching for fish. Mildew is actually anxious to help defend Berk to the death if need be. A young Hiccup instructs Mildew to lead the Hooligan Youth in manning the coastal defenses. Due to Mildew's physical activity and acrobatics, he strains his back in the end.
In "Live and Let Fly", Mildew came up with the idea to plant a cluster of Whispering Death eggs in an underground network of tunnels so that they would hatch and destroy Berk. He and Savage oversaw this plan being put into action while Alvin and his wild dragons distracted the Dragon Riders, but what he was unaware of was that one of the eggs was a Screaming Death egg.
As shown in "Worst in Show", Mildew, Alvin, and Savage infiltrated Berk to investigate what happened with their previous plan, which, unknown to them, resulted in the creation of the Screaming Death. Mildew managed to save himself from Alvin's wrath by suggesting they use the tunnels to infiltrate the Dragon Academy to kill, spy, and kidnap and, later on, helped the other two to kidnap Meatlug, who had been neglected by Fishlegs at the time. When they tried to make their escape, he was knocked unconscious by Butt and Head, who had been trained by Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and only came around to see that they were all drifting on wreckage. Alvin immediately knocked him unconscious again when he tried to make them look on bright side.
In "Cast Out, Part 2", he was then seen feeding a Whispering Death as he showed Hiccup, where the eggs came from that, were planted under Berk and asking if there was a giant red egg Screaming Death egg and was later seen fighting Dagur and his Berserkers.
As shown in the Icestorm Island expansion pack in School of Dragons, three years after the end of the First Berserker War, Mildew was found on Icestorm Island. He states that he moved to the island to get away from all of the dragons on Berk and Outcast Island. He even moved both his house and Fungus to the island as well. He stole four Groncicle eggs and destroyed their nest for an unknown reason. Fortunately, the player is able to find the stolen eggs and help the Groncicles rebuild their nest. He then decides to stay on the island and distract the Berserkers while Hiccup and the others could get away from the island. His final fate remains unknown.
Mildew looks like a typical old man. He is tall, has white hair, and has wrinkly skin. Mildew is also always seen carrying a wooden staff. He wears a sleeveless brown scaly tunic, brown pants, brown boots, and two white armbands with leather strings going across them. On his tunic, above his shoulders, he has two shoulder pads on each shoulder. The shoulder pads are brownish or bronze-ish with a protruding pattern that somewhat resembles a smiley face. He also has an uneven pronounced underbite.
Mildew is a consummate complainer. It is implied that his house was built so far away from the village because of his abrasive personality. In fact, he is the most unpleasant person on the Isle of Berk and has few if any redeeming qualities.
Due to his staff decorated with dragon teeth, and the fact that he had a pair of Hideous Zippleback feet, a Monstrous Nightmare claw stick, and a Gronckle head in his house, it can be inferred that in his glory days he was an excellent dragon-slayer, this would explain why he is so rude and arrogant.
Mildew also seems to dislike Hiccup, probably due to Hiccup's befriending of the dragons, and seems to relish the idea of Hiccup being gone, as evidenced by his attempt to turn Hiccup over to the Outcasts in "Alvin and the Outcasts". It is also evidenced when he turns the entire village against Toothless in "When Lightning Strikes". This dislike reaches a peak when Mildew actually betrays the entire island of Berk by sending Hiccup into a trap set by Alvin. Mildew also had the gall to put the blame for his behavior on Hiccup for befriending dragons.
Mildew hates dragons more than anyone else on the island, and he talked about holding a party to celebrate the banishment of the dragons from Berk. And he was the only one who was not happy about the dragons returning. In fact, Hiccup's words, "There are those who will never accept the dragons, and will do anything to drive them away." proved to be all too prophetic in many situations.
Mildew is also frightened of certain dragons, in "Dragon Flower", He was scared of the Scauldron that Hiccup and the other Vikings were trying to get some venom from, which later bit Mildew on the backside. Also, a Whispering Death snarls at Mildew, which involved Mildew running away on a Deadly Nadder.
Mildew also seems to not particularly care about the feelings of other people, as he was openly gloating about the banishment of the dragons while everyone else was miserable. He has also proven that he will go to any lengths to get rid of the dragons, even treachery. Mildew's alliance with the Outcasts seems to have wrung the complaining out of him, mainly because Alvin might kill him for complaining. He also is shown to be the sort of person who believes in doomsday prophecies and conspiracies. The only living thing he cares about aside from himself is his sheep Fungus.
Abilities, Skills, and Talents
- Intelligence: Mildew has shown great intelligence, as he thought of clever ways to get rid of dragons. He thought of blaming dragons by stealing Vikings' boots with Zippleback feet, destroying the Great Hall with Nightmare claw marks, and Toothless for destroying the weaponry. He also used blue oleanders to make the dragons sick. Mildew even thought of a way to lead the Hiccup to the Isle of Night that will be a great trap for Alvin. He was also the one who thought of the idea of putting Whispering Death eggs under Berk to create chaos, including a large, red egg — although he wasn't aware that it would hatch into the Screaming Death.
- Strength and Fighting Skills: Although he is an old man, Mildew have shown some fighting skills by using his staff to fight off several Outcasts and Berserkers.
- Farmer: Mildew loves farming cabbages, a job that he takes very seriously.
- Dragon Slayer: During his younger life, Mildew was a capable dragon slayer, proven by a picture of him slaying a Monstrous Nightmare and other dragons.
- Dragon Trainer and Caretaker: Mildew does pay attention to Hiccup very carefully to train a Deadly Nadder. He did get on the dragon but was afraid. ("We Are Family, Part 2") He also managed to help Alvin train a Whispering Death, as well as become the caretaker of dragons.
- Acting: Mildew is able to act well enough to lie to make Hiccup believe that he will change his opinion of dragons to escape Outcast Island.
|Riders of Berk|
|1. "How to Start a Dragon Academy":||Appears||11. "Heather Report, Part 2":||Absent|
|2. "Viking for Hire":||Appears||12. "Thawfest":||Absent|
|3. "Animal House":||Mentioned||13. "When Lightning Strikes":||Appears|
|4. "The Terrible Twos":||Absent||14. "What Flies Beneath":||Absent|
|5. "In Dragons We Trust":||Appears||15. "Twinsanity":||Absent|
|6. "Alvin and the Outcasts":||Appears||16. "Defiant One":||Absent|
|7. "How to Pick Your Dragon":||Absent||17. "Breakneck Bog":||Absent|
|8. "Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man":||Absent||18. "Gem of a Different Color":||Absent|
|9. "Dragon Flower":||Appears||19. "We Are Family, Part 1":||Appears|
|10. "Heather Report, Part 1":||Absent||20. "We Are Family, Part 2":||Appears|
|Defenders of Berk|
|1. "Live and Let Fly":||Appears||11. "A View to a Skrill, Part 2":||Appears|
|2. "The Iron Gronckle":||Absent||12. "The Flight Stuff":||Absent|
|3. "The Night and the Fury":||Absent||13. "Free Scauldy":||Absent|
|4. "Tunnel Vision":||Absent||14. "Frozen":||Absent|
|5. "Race to Fireworm Island":||Absent||15. "A Tale of Two Dragons":||Mentioned|
|6. "Fright of Passage":||Absent||16. "The Eel Effect":||Absent|
|7. "Worst in Show":||Appears||17. "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes":||Absent|
|8. "Appetite for Destruction":||Absent||18. "Bing! Bam! Boom!":||Absent|
|9. "Zippleback Down":||Absent||19. "Cast Out, Part 1":||Absent|
|10. "A View to a Skrill, Part 1":||Absent||20. "Cast Out, Part 2":||Appears|
|"Dragon Down":||Appears||"The Legend of Ragnarok":||Absent|
|"Dangers of the Deep":||Appears||"Underworld":||Absent|
|"The Ice Castle":||Absent||"The Endless Night":||Absent|
|"Dragons: Rise of Berk":||Absent||"School of Dragons":||Appears|
|"How to Train Your Dragon":||Absent||"How to Train Your Dragon 2":||Absent|
|"DreamWorks Dragons: Wild Skies":||Absent||"Dreamworks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders":||Absent|
|"Dragons: Titan Uprising":||Absent|
- Mildew carries a staff that has been decorated with dragon teeth.
- Mildew seems to be considered quite ugly by Viking standards, as evidenced by Gobber the Belch, claiming he was hideous in "How to Start a Dragon Academy", and that his bare behind was the most disturbing thing he had ever seen in "Dragon Flower", as well as Astrid dropping him in distaste after Alvin had turned his back.
- In "In Dragons We Trust", Mildew mentions that he had three wives, who all died at some point to which he states are pleasant memories, suggesting he did not like them despite being married to them.
- Mildew is likely based off of Ebenezer Scrooge. This is evidenced by him often saying "Bah." when Scrooge's phrase is "Bah hum bug." The two old men are also equally cantankerous.
- Toothless is the only dragon that Mildew called by name.
- There is an element of irony to Mildew's actions as his reason for joining the Outcast Tribe is his hatred of dragons living peacefully on the Berk, only to end up teaching the domestication of dragons to the Outcasts himself.
- As shown in "Cast Out, Parts 1 and 2", Mildew is the only one who knew about the large egg of the Screaming Death, he may be the one who put the egg in the box without the others knowing.
- A member of Drago Bludvist's army who looks distinctly like Mildew briefly appears in "King of Dragons, Part 2". This was later proven to be an Easter egg by Brook Chalmers.