The Boneknapper is a species of Mystery Class dragon thought to be mythical by Vikings due to its rare nature. As its name may suggest, the Boneknapper spends its time scouring the land for pieces of bones in order to create the perfect armor for its body.
- "This Mystery Class scavenger covers itself in bones to shield its delicate body. Its choice of armor makes it unpopular with other Dragons!
The Boneknapper is well-protected in its armor while it gets close and delivers a potent stream of fire to its fleeing opponents."
Eventually, the Boneknapper's head evolved into one more similar to that of a Monstrous Nightmare. One by Nico depicted a triple-split tail and two pairs of wings. Most of the design development centered around the bone placement, as well as type of bones used for the dragon. Most, for example, depicted a smaller skull at the tip of its tail, or larger bones along its vertebrae.
The Boneknapper's Egg appears to be fragments of bone, plated and fused together to form an egg. However, it is unlikely that the eggs are made of real bone, which is similar in composition to an egg shell.
Hatchling to Adult
A member of the Mystery Class, Boneknappers are built in a similar birdlike manner as the Deadly Nadder, albeit much larger. Their natural coloration seems to be a dull olive-green and gray, though it can be hard to see under their armor of bones.
Unlike most dragons, which have hard scales to protect themselves from enemies, Boneknapper scales are thin and soft. To counter this weakness, Boneknappers cover themselves in the bones and horns of dead dragons and other animals. As a form of defense, they can use a huge concentration of bones, forming a club at the end of their tail to disarm or injure opponents.
According to Dragons: Rise of Berk, the Titan Wing Boneknapper has orange, pinkish skin with many brown dots on its wings. They still retain their bone armor and most bones remain the same. However, the clubbed end of its tail becomes a smaller, sharp dragon skull.
They can breath bursts of fire that are as large and powerful as that of the Red Death. It does not appear to be very hot as the gang was shown to be able to stay very close to it and the dragon ribcage that got burned was not charred.
- "It searches for the perfect bone for its bone armor."
- ―Hiccup, in Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon, realizing the Boneknapper found the perfect bone on Gobber's belt.
The Boneknapper's main objective is to collect bones to protect itself. Gobber's Nemesis is special, since he will do what ever it takes to get the Terrible Terror pelvic bone, even if it means that he has to risk his own life to get it. The Boneknapper is known to create skeleton armor from the bones of other dragons. As their armored body can protect them from attacks for great defense. They are able to create a club tail out of bones for smashing their opponents. Boneknappers seek the strongest bones for their armor. So every year they discard their old bones and find newer, stronger bones to use for their armor.
Sometimes, this bone armor can be essential for the dragon to perform basic actions, such as roaring. The Boneknapper will often go to extreme lengths to find the bones it seeks, hunting down the fragments for years.
Their stamina, as shown in The Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon, is very high to be able to fly and run well for long distances and show no sign of struggle.
Their size is large and they have shown amazing strength to be able to wear bones of dragons as armor, can carry the weight of seven Vikings and a sheep on their body with no sign of struggle.
They even have the ability to make a powerful roar that needs a special piece of bone, acting as a throat bone on its body in order to be released. This roar can also used as a mating call that can attract others of their kind.
Behavior and Personality
Boneknappers, due to their dependency on bones, spend a lot of time looting piles of dragon bones for the perfect pieces of armor. While they can spend years pursuing a single piece of bone, it is evident that these dragons are extremely determined and are perfectionists when it comes to maintaining their armor.
It is also confirmed that as long as their objectives to collect perfect bone pieces is fulfilled, Boneknappers can be very calm and friendly towards human beings. This can be seen when Gobber gave up his lucky bone and instead of killing him, the Boneknapper affectionately nuzzled him and requested for him to stroke him. And when Gobber relented, the dragon too on a more stereotypical family dog portrayal, lying on its back and thumping its tail.
Without their bone armor, the Boneknapper is as weak as a boneless chicken and is vulnerable to their enemies attacks.
If it's missing a bone in its armor, it also loses its ability to roar.
According to Gobber, to train a Boneknapper, one must give it whatever it desires. It will then become like, "an overgrown puppydog."
The Boneknapper makes a brief appearance in the How To Train Your Dragon film. After Dragon Training, Hiccup reads through the Dragon Manual in order to find information on the Night Fury and ends up finding a page about the Boneknapper as he flips through the book.
The Boneknapper appeared as the main antagonist in Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon, a 15 minute short created for the release of How To Train Your Dragon on DVD. Originally having hunted down Gobber since his teen days numerous times, the Dragon made its first physical appearance on a distant island after Gobber, along with Hiccup and his friends, set out to capture it. Hiccup realizes that Gobber's belt buckle is the piece of bone that the Boneknapper wants, which is missing from its neck. Reluctantly, Gobber gives the piece of bone back to the dragon, where it suddenly becomes quite docile and playful. As a thank you, the Boneknapper lets Gobber, Hiccup and the others ride on its back to get home. With its armor complete, the Boneknapper let out a triumphant roar, drawing other female Boneknappers to follow its mating call back to Berk.
The Boneknapper and its abilities were mentioned in Book of Dragons, in which Gobber explains how he trained it.
The Boneknapper made a short appearance in this Dragons: Riders of Berk Comic as a captive dragon that got free after the gang saved them.
This dragon then appeared as a Rare dragon in Rise of Berk, unlocked by Toothless at level 40 at Dragon Graveyard. Other individuals like Gobber's Nemesis, Boneshedder, Brute Boneknapper and Battle Boneknapper.
This dragon also became available in School of Dragons, where players can also get matching outfits in packs. There is also a quest during which the player founds a female Boneknapper and har baby in the Whispering Death Tunnels.
- The Boneknapper is one of four dragons that have been doubted of existence. Many Vikings believed there was no such thing as the Boneknapper. The others are the Smothering Smokebreath, the Foreverwing, and the Lycanwing, although the Lycanwing is likely not real to begin with.
- Without their armor, the Boneknapper somewhat resemble a cross between a Deadly Nadder, Monstrous Nightmare and a Scauldron.
- In armor, the Boneknapper resembles a Dracolich despite not being undead.
- While Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon shows the Boneknapper looking through the eye sockets of the skull of their armor, the depiction in the book actually reveals that their eyes are on the very front of their head and they are looking through the nostrils of the skull, which implies that their appearances may vary.
- It is unknown if Boneknappers kill to get bones for their armor or scavenge. It could possibly be both.
- A Boneknapper made an appearance in "The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show" as a monster from Sherman's horror movie.