|“||Thunderclaws ARE pretty cute. Feisty, but cute. [src]||”|
|“|| Members of this Tracker Class breed form running, rumbling herds very easily. Talk about safety in numbers... unless you are in their way during a stampede.|
The free-spirited Thunderclaw is all business when it's time to face opponents on the field of battle.
|— Dragons: Rise of Berk|
The Thunderclaw was created using a modular system to mix and match preset body parts onto different dragons. It was created from the same base that was used for the Shovelhelm, Snafflefang, Snifflehunch, Windgnasher, and two other unknown dragons.
Thunderclaw eggs are pear-shaped and are usually tan. They have a dark brown tip with wavy patterns that course down to the bottom of the egg. Occasionally, they come with leopard spots.
Hatchling to Adult
Thunderclaws have a ledge on their chin and a large sail on their back. Their bodies have large spots or stripes as patterns and they have a thick, fat tail. Thunderclaws are a squat dragon with large bodies and short, but strong legs. They are, for the most part, bipedal but can rest on their forelimbs when necessary. They have a large nose horn and an elongated chin. Their hides have colorful spotted markings of varying colors. Some Thunderclaws even sport iridescent scales, as seen during the introduction to Valka's Bewilderbeast in How to Train Your Dragon 2.
Titan Wing Thunderclaws are yellowish green and have dark green spots on their bodies. The ledges on their snout become dark green, along with the spines along its back. The sail on their backs has grown into a sharp spike. Titan Thunderclaws develop spikes under their chin and two prominent canines on their lower jaws.
Sense of Smell
Thunderclaws have an acute sense of smell which allows them to track and locate items easily. This ability has allowed Vikings to classify them into the Tracker Class. They prefer to use their tongues to aid them in smelling, like snakes or lizards. According to To Berk and Beyond, Thunderclaws flick their tongues out in the air like snakes to 'taste' the air and as a result, frequently have their tongues lolling out.
Thunderclaws can shoot either streams of green fire that is similar to the Scuttleclaws’, or streams of normal orange fire. Whilst breathing fire, their nasal horn seems to glow slightly from the inside as they emit flame.
Strength and Combat
Thunderclaws are strong dragons, which is shown when Sailback managed to carry Toothless all the way to Valka's Mountain, when several armored Thunderclaws were able to pull some of Drago's war machines, and when Bonesnarl carried Snotlout with the extra weight of a metal armor while running with minimal signs of struggle. Thunderclaws are also able to break through a metal roof with little to no effort.
|“||Thunderclaws don't fly when they're panicked. [src]||”|
It was revealed in The Serpent's Heir that Thunderclaws don't fly when they are panicking, and tend to stampede on the ground. This could make them easy to capture, which might explain why Drago had so many in his army.
According to Dragons: Titan Uprising, this reaction to stress was utilized by Dragon Hunters, who would spook large herds over cliffs for easy capture. It is unclear if all dragons harvested in this manner survived.
Inhibition of Tracking Ability
Behavior and Personality
This dragon usually lives on the ground, although it can fly when it needs to. They tend to live in packs, and have a tendency to stampede. Staying in groups allow the dragons to have safety in numbers from larger predators. As such, they prefer open plains or tundra which allows them to gather freely in large numbers.
Thunderclaws are herding animals implying a strong social nature. They appear to learn and take orders well from a group leader (or rider or captor). As a side effect of social behavior, the Thunderclaw can feed off the stress and anxiety of others in their group causing panic. They can also be temperamental at times, especially Polar Thunderclaws.
Thunderclaws are relatively easy to train, as they are mostly peaceful dragons. If a person saves a Thunderclaw's life, the dragon will be forever thankful and will stay close to its savior, as it was the case with Sailback and Valka.
Thunderclaws are also trained to pull sleds by the Uruz Tribe, though the exact particulars of their method has not been divulged.
|Main article: Sailback|
|Main article: Rumpus|
The Thunderclaw was first seen in Stoick's recount of his experience with Drago Bludvist, who had arrived at a chief meeting. He told the present chiefs that he could control the dragons, but the audience appeared to disbelieve him. Infuriated by their reactions, the warlord proceeded to leave and summoned two of his armored dragons (one of them being a Thunderclaw), to destroy the hall, killing everyone but Stoick.
Later, a Thunderclaw named Sailback helped Valka lift Toothless up from the water after he was saved by the Seashockers. Numerous Thunderclaws can be seen in Valka's Sanctuary and Drago's Army. Sailback later greeted Hiccup excitedly.
All the Thunderclaws from both Valka's mountain and Drago's army fought viciously against each other in the battle at Valka's mountain. After Drago's Bewilderbeast defeated Valka's, all the Thunderclaws bowed to their new Alpha. After they were freed by Toothless from the Bewilderbeast's control, they fought against the giant dragon. In the aftermath, they bowed to Toothless, acknowledging him as their new Alpha.
During one of their rescue missions, the Dragon Riders saved a Thunderclaw and brought it back to Berk.
When the people of Berk decided to move to the Hidden World, all the Thunderclaws of the island began the journey too, carrying different things, such as ships. They eventually arrived at New Berk, where they settled down for a while.
Many wild Thunderclaws were among the myriad of dragons in the Hidden World who bowed down in front of Toothless and the Unnamed Light Fury, showing respect for their Alpha.
After Grimmel the Grisly captured Toothless, all the Thuderclaws from Berk, along with the other dragons, came to their Alpha's help. However, Toothless ordered them to stop when Grimmel threatened to kill the Light Fury.
Fortunately, the Dragon Riders began an attack on Grimmel's ships and freed the Thunderclaws, along with the other dragons, which returned to New Berk.
When the battle ended, Hiccup realised that the only way the dragons can be safe from humans was for them to go to the Hidden World. After Toothless gave the command to the dragons of Berk, all of them, including the Thunderclaws, said their farewells to the Vikings and flew off to the Hidden World.
|Main article: Bonesnarl|
In The Serpent's Heir, Bonesnarl, one of Drago's armored Thunderclaws, has a main role in the beginning. He refuses to get his head armor casing removed. Later he gets the Scuttleclaw Hatchlings in line, after they run amok for Gobber.
The Thunderclaw's name was revealed in this game. Its Titan Wing form, a battle form and the individuals Sailback and Rumpus were also made available.
- The official measurements given by DreamWorks Animation do not appear to be realistic when considering the relative sizes the viewer sees within the How to Train Your Dragon 2 movie. Based on the Model Sheet for the Thunderclaw along side other known dragons in the series such as the Windgnasher, this dragon should be 30.5 feet (9.29 meters) long and have a Wingspan of 61 ft (18.59 meters).
- The Thunderclaws in Drago Bludvist's army are darker and duller in color than the normal ones, probably because they are not well taken care of.
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