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"Every nest has its queen, but this is the king of all dragons!"
Valka to Hiccup[src]

The Bewilderbeast is a gigantic Tidal Class dragon species that appears in How to Train Your Dragon 2.

The Bewilderbeasts are the biggest of all dragon kinds known in Berk, even exceeding the Red Death in size. Today, only a few of these titans remain out there. They have never been abundant in numbers, but it is unclear whether their populations are small by nature or if they are endangered. In stats, they are stronger in attacks and heavier in build, but less agile than their fire-breathing cousins . They also have a low shot limit.

Official Description

"As with all members of the animal kingdom, dragons, too, must follow a hierarchy of power and leadership."
Dragonpedia
At the apex of that chain of command rules an exceedingly rare alpha dragon to which all others bow - the Bewilderbeast. However, Bewilderbeasts are not born to that alpha status; its earned through combat, vigilance, and most importantly, a desire to protect the dragons in its nest. Fortunately for Bewilderbeasts, there are few other dragons in the world that can match their intimidating stature and ever hope to compete for the designation of 'king of all dragons' they would have to defeat him to take his glory and his role as 'king of dragons'.

Bewilderbeast are also quite impressive architects, fashioning nests out of their self-generated ice and using natural hot springs to provide warmth and sustenance to the flock under its care. From its oasis within this icy cocoon, the Bewilderbeast rules all dragons without bias, without malice, and without question.

In addition to its icy breath and alpha's ability to bend other dragons to its will, the Bewilderbeast is also a formidable force underwater. As a Class 10 Leviathan (the aquatic equivalent of a Titan Wing), a full-grown Bewilderbeast swims at incredible speeds and bursts to the surface to surprising, and devastating, effect.

Development

As mentioned in The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2, initially, the producers wanted simply only Valka to have a Bewilderbeast, but after some thought, decided that Drago should have one too. In order to distinguish both dragons, as well as emphasise contrast between both dragons' personality and background, their design and temperament had to be very different.

Valka's Bewilderbeast gains inspiration from a polar bear, says Pierre-Olivier Vincent, the production designer. Whereas Drago's was inspired by abused zoo animals. Simon Otto, however, says that the Bewilderbeast is a cross between a mammoth, otter and regal lion[2].

Early hand-drawn Bewilderbeasts mainly depict the Bewilderbeasts as colossal dragons, still preserving its 'flat lip proportions' and protrusions on its neck. However, in earlier designs, like in Bewilderbeast Studies by Nico Marlet, the Bewilderbeast had chunkier spikes on its chin. Its lower jaw and chin was somewhat elongated, its eyes were smaller and the frill was smaller. This gave the dragon a somewhat sterner and wiser appearance.

The team also spent a lot of time on the Bewilderbeasts' tusks. Various concept art explores different dimensions of the Bewilderbeasts' jaws, frills and tusks.

"The Bewilderbeast was a huge undertaking due to its colossal size and how close the camera gets to him. Our main challenge was to create textures that worked in ultra close-up to reveal his coral-like amphibian skin and in wide shots to underscore his imposing scale."
―Paolo deGuzman, head of surfacing[src]

Due to the close-ups on the Bewilderbeast, it was especially hard for animators to animate the skin in a realistic way. The skin was designed to resemble a somewhat rocky, coral-like texture. Though both dragons had a similar texture, Valka's was intended to be 'cleaner' and 'purer' in terms of color. Drago's was bumpier and darker.

Physical Appearance

Egg

The egg of the Bewilderbeast is oval and covered in small red spikes that resemble those on an adult Bewilderbeast’s face. It is unknown whether the color of the mother affects the color of the egg. 
Bewilderbeast Egg

Hatchling to Adult

The Bewilderbeast is a very large, spiky dragon with two big tusks protruding form the sides of its head and huge multiple wings. The front side of its body is covered with burr-like spikes, along with two lines of spikes along the eyelids, giving an impression of eyebrows. 'King's frills' can be seen on the occipital region. Protrusions from the back of their head form a mane-like frill. Unlike Red Deaths, Bewilderbeasts are unable to fly for not having big enough wings for flight, mostly due to their colossal body sizes, and it is likely they use their wings to assist them in swimming, similar to a penguin. This makes one of the few weaknesses that makes this species vulnerable.

Proportions of upper and lower jaws are unlike those of usual reptiles, having a fish-like mouth with small teeth. Their lips are similar to those of mammals like humans to enable them 'blow' actions. Interestingly, no nostrils are visible on their faces. Its hard, "coral-like amphibian skin" covers the whole body and the scales provide surprisingly robust defenses to the dragon. In total, this species has many unique characteristics, making it a very mammal-like dragon. Its many colors include ice white, muddy gray, and dark purple.

Being a Leviathan, Fishlegs mentioned that the Bewilderbeast is a Class 10, which means it is the biggest and highest ranked Tidal Class dragon. It is unknown how a Class 1 Leviathan differs to a Class 10.

Abilities

Ice Spikes

See Fire Types.

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Bewilderbeast's Hydro Jet-Stream

A Bewilderbeast's most notable and feared ability is to burst streams of ice-turning water on contact. It does this by sucking up and ingesting masses of water from the sea and storing it in the goiters down its neck. The Bewilderbeast’s breath is so intensely cold and it regurgitates the water with so great a force that when it hits its target, it breaks and tears it apart and freezes mid-splash. Ice expelled by the Bewilderbeast has a very different texture, quality, and color than other ice. Its ice has a greenish tint and freezes in very iconic, arresting ice spikes. This ice-blast is extremely powerful, and can create immense 'glacial explosions' on contact that can destroy and penetrate any artificial structures with ease.

Bewilderbeast Icy Breath

Bewilderbeast's Icy Breath

Bewilderbeasts can either contain freezing air in their bodies or can create cold mists themselves, and adapt this ability to shoot destructive projectiles. This ability to shoot ice is similar to the Groncicle, Shivertooth and Woolly Howl. However, unlike the other dragons, the Bewilderbeast shoots large amounts of freezing water that eventually turn into ice on impact.

Seemingly, they can create glaciers and ice masses that are far larger than their own bodies yet produce small, gentle puffs of mist. The fact that Bewilderbeasts prefer the hot springs near the volcanoes indicates that they do not take cold water into their bodies to utilize ice blasts. The Bewilderbeast's breath appears to be freezing cold, which may be how they eject the sea water and are then able to reduce its temperature to below freezing right as it crashes into its target due to the water undergoing rapid decompression, thus loosing vast quantities of heat.

In Race to the edge the Berserker Bewilderbeast is shown charging up its attack and with a teal light present in its mouth.

Strength and Combat

Being the largest dragons known to Vikings, Bewilderbeasts possess unmatched strength and raw power, which combined with their incredible size and weight makes them strongest dragon of all, outmatching even the Red Death. They can crush massive war contraptions without even noticing it and plow through mountainsides as if they where paper walls.

Bewilderbeast Battle 2

Bewilderbeasts brawling

Bewilderbeasts are docile in nature, and usually avoid encounters and battles, despite their massive sizes. When moved to fight, be it to defend their nests or brawl for dominance, Bewilerbeasts use several tactics for battle.

When battling smaller dragons or humans, Bewilderbeasts prefer to attack from the depths of the seas, emerging with a loud roar and decimating their foes with their Ice Breath, stomping on whatever remains.

Bewilderbeast Battle 3

Bewilderbeasts brawling

When brawling against a large Alpha Species dragon such as a Red Death or Foreverwing, they prefer to use their massive bodies to throw themselves against opponents, while using their heads, tusks and tail for ramming, bashing and swiping, finishing off their opponents with their mighty ice breath. When they encounter another member of their species, however, they tend to honorably duel utilizing only their heads and tusks to lock and push, until either duelist either backs off and leaves or is defeated and consequently killed, leaving the winner victorious and ruler of the territory and nest.

Speed and Agility

On land, Bewilderbeasts are slow walkers and possess virtually no agility, crashing virtually every obstacle in the way, mostly due their titanic sizes and extreme weight.

In the sea however, it is a different story entirely. They are fast and agile swimmers, easily capable to out-swimming and outmaneuvering the fastest of ships and most sea dragons, swimming hundreds of miles in mere hours.

Endurance and Stamina

Being dragons of unheard of sizes, a Bewilderbeast's scales are of the toughest around. They can take hundreds of dragons blasts of all kinds and temperatures, even the mighty Night Fury's plasma blast, and remain unscathed. They do however exhibit weaker underbelly scales, if any, and can suffer damage from other alpha species dragons.

They can fight and battle for long periods of time while showing no sign of strain of fatigue, and can swim for miles and miles at a time without rest.

Underwater Adaptions

Being aquatic, these dragons can submerge and stay underwater for a long time despite being a species of pulmonary respiration. Also, despite their enormous sizes and rather terrestrial form, they are true to their class; capable of swimming in surprisingly fast speed which is faster than the most fine ships. Swimming speed of fully matured Bewilderbeasts are beyond belief; they are capable of ignoring drastic hydraulic drags and water pressures due to their titanic body masses, being agile enough to effortlessly chase oceanic fish to feed other dragons, and are fast enough to demonstrate surprise attacks despite being so large. Also, the swimming itself produces devastating side effects at top speeds. It is likely they use their wings to aid in swimming.

Senses

Bewilderebeasts have very refined senses, particularly their hearing, as Drago's Bewilderbeast was capable of hearing Drago call for him while being completely submerged underwater.

Dragon Controlling

Bewilderbeast Alpha Control

Bewilderbeast controlling other dragons

"He who controls the Alpha, controls them all."
―Drago Bludvist

According to Dragons: Rise of Berk, Bewilderbeasts use their eyes and emit ultrasonic sounds to control dragons' minds. This was shown in the second movie, the Bewilderbeast's bony spines on its head were rapidly vibrating while the pupils on its eyes narrowed into slits, making it seem more likely, plausible, and believable that they are what broadcast the ultrasound. It was once unclear whether this ability is a separated ability or is merely one of its behaviors, but it was later revealed that besides possessing hypnosis like abilities (based in sound waves), each Bewilderbeast devotes sufficient efforts to gain trust and respect from nest mates, and successes must be accompanied by moralities and the kings' own wills to bring happiness and fortunes to other dragons. Once controlling is actuated, all other smaller dragons (including other Alpha Dragons, like the Screaming Death) in the vicinity are under the alpha's command, unable to resist without countermeasures.

The natural history of how the Bewilderbeast species gained this ability is currently unknown.

Behavior and Personality

As Valka said in HTTYD 2, each nest has their queens but the Bewilderbeast is the king of all dragons. They are the most powerful dragon species, and are also the largest of all dragons known so far. Most individuals construct nests within mountains out of their ice that host and protect not only themselves, but many other dragons that either live in the surrounding area or serve the mighty dragon. It was revealed in Dragons: Rise of Berk that the dragons living in the ice nests are called Primals.

Bewilderbeast spewing fish

Bewilderbeast feeding his flock

They are kind and docile in nature, and protect and care for their fellow dragons and underlings, tending to their young and even herding large schools of fish to feed them. On the other hand, however, Bewilderbeasts can be cruel and menacing, forcing or enslaving the other dragons even against their will to do the Bewilderbeast's bidding using their Alpha Control ability. This behavior is quite similar to that the Red Death, but with a much stronger influence. They are leaders of dragons, and are essentially living 'nature' themselves to preordain entire ecosystems; being gentle, 'father nature' or malevolent, 'natural disaster or storm'.

Mostly due to their large sizes, Bewilderbeasts are rare, seldom seen dragons, and prefer to live in the cooler, arctic regions of the Barbaric Archipelago, where they either live submerged in the water or construct their huge ice nests. Oddly enough, Bewilderbeasts prefer to live near hot springs, bathing and living in the warmer waters, despite their otherwise cold environment.

Baby Scuttleclaws on Bewilderbeast

Bewilderbeast tending to young dragons

Bewilderbeasts mark their territories with their massive ice fortresses, and readily combat other individuals who challenge their territory or dominance in an honorable duel-like fashion, utilizing specific moves such as locking tusks or head-butting, with the loser either accepting defeat and scurrying away, or getting killed and disposed of.

Bewilderbeasts are an Alpha Species and one of the strongest dragons around, and as such are often the Alpha Dragon, ruler of all dragons. This title and status is only earned by defeating the previous title holder, be it through honorable dueling or straight-out killing it.

Weaknesses

Being massive dragons, Bewilderbeasts obviously lack speed and agility while on land, mostly unable to avoid large obstacles in their way. Although uncertain at Tiny Tooth and Short Wing stages, Bewilderbeasts are unable to fly, and their wings are used mainly for swimming and for vestigial purposes.

Bewilderbeast weakness

A Bewilderbeast killing the Alpha Bewilderbeast

Bewilderbeasts appear to have thinner, if any, scales in their underbellies, and a blow powerful enough such as the tusks of another individual, in this weak spot is enough to kill a Bewilderbeast.

The one weakness of its Alpha Control is being that it only applies to mature dragons, while "babies" (Tiny Tooth) dragons, who "listen to no one", are shown to be fully immune. This force is also said to be weakened when a dragon is distracted by other noises like a human speaking to it. Also, if a dragon can exercise enough will over the Bewilderbeast's control, it can break free from its control. Only Toothless has been able to do this with Hiccup's help.

A simple blindfold appears to be enough to eliminate a Bewilderbeasts's naturally hypnotic glare.

Appearances

Dragons: Race to the Edge, Season 5

In the episode, "Something Rotten on Berserker Island", there are ice structures underneath the island that are suggestive of Bewilderbeast generated ice.

At the end of the episode "A Matter of Perspective", as the Dragon Riders leave Vanaheim, it becomes clear that part of the dragon graveyard includes the fossilized bones of a Great Bewilderbeast, so ancient and massive as to make up part of the landscape of the island. The Dragon Hunters also seek out a lenses leading to "the king of dragons", presumably referring to the Bewilderbeast.

Dragons: Race to the Edge, Season 6

A Bewilderbeast makes its full appearance in the second part of the series finale. Krogan and Johann encounter it when they try to steal the dragon from its lair beneath Berserker Island. The dragon is attacked by the pair and their minions, only for Krogan's hunters to be frozen. The Bewilderbeast eventually blocks their attack with a wall of ice, leading them to seek another route to it. When Hiccup looks for the dragon to save it, he finds an egg that the creature laid, which Krogan and Johann fight him for. As Hiccup saves the egg from plummeting to its doom, Krogan takes the egg and tries to escape only to be stopped by Toothless. Johann meanwhile is killed by the adult Bewilderbeast when it freezes him solid when he tries to kill Hiccup. It then summons every available dragon to Berserker Island to defeat Krogan's Dragon Flyers and escapes, never to be seen again. Hiccup himself never sees the dragon, and later gives the eggs to the Wingmaidens, who leave it in a place where Valka finds it to raise the dragon in safety, leading into the second of the How to Train Your Dragon movies.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

"You may have an ice-spitting dragon on your side, but we still have a quota to fill."
Eret, Son of Eret lamenting about Bewilderbeast's destruction of his fort
The first mentions of the Bewilderbeast come from Eret, as he angrily remarks to Hiccup and Astrid, accusing them of destroying their fort. It had, indeed, been blasted in ice during Valka's earlier mission to save captive dragons. Eret then taunts them about how Drago would capture them all, including the \ice-spitting dragon'.

Shortly after Valka and Hiccup's reunion, Valka's Bewilderbeast is first seen when she introduces Hiccup to her current home--a beautiful sanctuary made of ice. Valka then explains how the alpha leads and protects all the dragons. Peaceful yet with an air of grandeur, the massive dragon sits in a pool before rising up to greet the newcomers. Toothless and Valka bow in respect, Hiccup remains awestruck as the Bewilderbeast puffs out a cloud of icy frost on him. When it was feeding time, the Bewilderbeast leads a swarm of flying dragons out while he swims underwater, rounding up fish with a trio of Seashockers. Soon, he emerges head first out the water and spits out fish for all the dragons.

"The Alpha! Now, we have a fight!"
―Drago on the Bewilderbeast's face-off

He then appears during the battle against Drago, summoned by Valka. Drago remarks that he had brought a 'challenger' and summons his own Bewilderbeast, a much darker one. The two Bewilderbeasts face-off, but Valka's one lost, only to be impaled by his opponent's tusks. Drago's Bewilderbeast llets out a mighty roar and commands all the dragons, including Toothless. Toothless, forced against his will, kills Stoick and leads the army to Berk.

Over there, the Bewilderbeast wrecks havoc on the village. The gang soon arrives and Hiccup, after some coaxing, releases Toothless from the mind control. They reunite and with trust, a blindfold, and constant talking to distract him from the hypnosis, the duo attacks the Bewilderbeast and Drago. Drago is thrown off and Hiccup declares victory, only to have the Bewilderbeast blast both him and Toothless in ice spikes.

However, Toothless' alpha mode activates shortly after and breaks from the ice. He challenges the alpha (to protect Hiccup) by blasting him repeatedly and throwing him off guard. The other dragons recover from their hypnosis and side against the Bewilderbeast, bombarding him with blows. The Bewilderbeast takes a deep breath and prepares to fire, but amidst the smoke, Toothless unleashes a mighty blasts and knocks off a tusk. Shaken and thrown off his alpha status, the Bewilderbeast admits defeat and swims away.

Games

Dragons: Rise of Berk

After the 'Alpha Update', the Bewilderbeast became a Legendary Dragon in the game and now sits in a throne of ice, opening up new fishing spots and enhancing fishing abilities. It also unlocks Primal dragons.



Trivia

  • In an interview, Dean DeBlois said that the Red Death was the "queen" of Dragons, with the Bewilderbeast as the "king."
  • There are three known Bewilderbeasts, one that belongs to Drago Bludvist that is dark and menacing, one that belongs to Valka which is snow-white and calm, and the Bewilderbeast from Race to the Edge, which greatly resembles Valka's, but is considerably smaller.
  • A Bewilderbeast skeleton was observed in Dragons: Race to the Edge, residing in Vanaheim. This possibly makes it the fifth known individual of its species, and likely an incredibly ancient one, given the fact that the island's geography has even began to grow around and assimilate it.
  • The only living Bewilderbeast to appear in Race to the Edge is the Berserker Bewilderbeast. Hiccup himself never sees the dragon during his attempt to save it.
  • After the Scauldron, this is the second dragon species to spray water as its ranged attack. But it also differs from the Scauldrons' water-breath due to that the Scauldrons spray boiling water, while the Bewilderbeasts spray freezing water.
  • Their combat style is somewhat similar to that of horned mammals, such as muskoxen, elephants, or walruses, and even some dinosaurs such as Pachycephalosaurus.
  • The Bewilderbeast's naturally kind nature (the gentle giants of the sea) is quite similar to those of baleen whales and other marine megafaunas such as whale sharks, basking sharks, manta rays, and so on. However Drago abused his and turned that Bewilderbeast into a enslaved war machine.
  • In original concepts, the Bewilderbeast had a more aquatic leviathan body, instead of its current leonine one.
  • So far, The Bewilderbeast has the highest attack power, joint highest firepower with the Fireworm Queen and the highest jaw strength in the series.
  • The Bewilderbeast is said to be inspired by a mammoth, a polar bear, a lion, and an otter mixed together.
  • According to DeBlois on a USA today article, Bewilderbeasts ingest massive amount of seawater and store it in the ridges called goiters along their necks. When the water is released, their icy breath freezes it mid motion, turning it to ice upon impact.
  • The Bewilderbeast is the third species of dragon credited with the ability of hypnosis, with the first being the Red Death and the second being the Changewing.
  • The Bewilderbeast is the only dragon in the franchise to kill a human antagonist on-screen, as it freezes Trader Johann solid with its icy breath.
  • Since the characters call the Bewilderbeast "King of Dragons" in Dragons: Race to the Edge, it is possible that Valka is the one who came up with the name of the species.
  • The Bewilderbeast is one of the few dragons capable of recharging their shot counter, along with the Gronckle, the Hotburple, the Skrill, the Typhoomerang and the Eruptodon.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Dradon site logo Bewilderbeast in the Dragonpedia.
  2. Otto, Simon. How to Create Your Dragon: The Inspiration Behind the Creatures. (July 10, 2014).

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