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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 counterparts. 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; it is 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'.


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.

The only Bewilderbeasts in existence were Valka's one and Drago's one. Valka's one died and Drago's one swam away and never returned. Because of this, the Bewilderbeasts is unofficially extinct.

Development

As mentioned in The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2, initially, the producers wanted simply one 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

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 as 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.

The Bewilderbeasts are arctic dragons and their bodies have a high tolerance to harsh natural environments or frozen and windy oceans.
Bewilderbeast Ice

Hydro jet stream by Drago's Bewilderbeast.

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. 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 or the Doomfang, a large sea dragon that shoots "blue fire" to freeze its victims. However, unlike the Doomfang, 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.

Strength and Combat

The Bewilderbeast can use its tusks and head to battle. Both of the Bewilderbeasts battled with their tusks and headbutt, which is similar to how moose, deer and other animals with tusks or antlers. Also due to the Bewilderbeasts large size they can throw themselves on to enemies and their weight is heavy enough to crush one of Drago Bludvist's war machines easily.

Speed and Agility

Despite being quadrupeds, they can also stand quite well like some cats and dogs, or bears. Their are fast swimmers as they are faster than ships. On land, they are mostly slow walkers, but their tail is flexible enough to swing around.

Underwater Adaptations

Being aquatic, these dragons can submerge and stay underwater for considerable amount of 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 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.

Endurance and Stamina

As Bewilderbeast have shown to take many attacks from other dragons as multiple fire bolts able to withstand with extra of Night Fury Plasma blast. As they have proven to have great stamina able to swim long distance. Though with great armor of skin it was shown that another Bewilderbeast can impaled to another of his kind to easily kill it.

Senses

Drago Bewilderbeast have shown to be able to have great senses of hearing that is quite well being underwater as able to hear Drago commands.

Dragon Controlling

"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 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

The Bewilderbeast is truly the king of dragons. They are one of the most powerful dragons, and are also the largest of all dragons known so far. It is normal for them to have their own 'nest' and to be protectors or guardians of smaller dragons nearby, and they are seemingly generous to fellows in the nest. Generous individuals even chase around fish and gather like baleen whales to feed dragons under their care.

On the other hand, however, they can force or enslave the other dragons even against their will to do the Bewilderbeast's bidding. This feature is quite identical to what the Red Death had demonstrated, but with a much stronger influence, and the fates of the minions really depend on each Bewilderbeast's morality and situation. 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'.

Bewilderbeasts are not born alphas. They earn that position through fighting and gaining their subjects when they finally reach the alpha status. Due to their great size and power, they are rarely challenged by non-Bewilderbeast dragons and are true kings of their nest.

Bewilderbeasts utilize their ice-breathing abilities to create icy shells over their nests. In the process, Bewilderbeasts choose ideal environments to involve natural hot springs (possibly near volcanoes), and they enjoy pleasant hot waters themselves, despite being arctic sea dragons. The trend of habitat selection adjacent to volcanoes is similar to that of the Red Death. The Bewilderbeasts are also rather fond of designing their own kingdoms in terms of ice arts. Additionally, the palaces of kings may also function as obvious marks to show their territories and to show kings' mightiness to avoid needless conflicts with threat effects (may also be useful to find other members of their kind), or as signs of safe shelters or homes to back for those who need or desire security. It was revealed in Dragons: Rise of Berk that the dragons living in the ice nests are called Primals.

Weaknesses

The one weakness of harmonic control is being that it only applies to mature dragons (except Scuttleclaws). Babies, who "listen to no one", are shown to be immune. This force is also said to be weakened when a dragon is distracted by other noises like a human speaking to it. In addition, a simple blindfold is enough to eliminate its hypnotic glare. Also, if a dragon can exercise enough will over the Bewilderbeast's control, it can break free from it's control. Only Toothless has been able to do this with Hiccup's help.

Appearances

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, 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 two known Bewilderbeasts, one that belongs to Drago Bludvist that is dark and menacing, and one that belongs to Valka which is snow-white and calm.
  • 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 muskoxes or other animals such as elephants, or walruses.
  • 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 form.
  • So far, The Bewilderbeast has the highest attack power, joint highest defense with the Fireworm Queen, highest firepower 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.

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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