In the books
Gobber the Belch is a six-and-a-half foot tall maniac who is tasked with training Hairy Hooligan teens in various skills needed to become a Viking: catching and training dragons, pirating skills, sword-fighting, and rudery (trading insults). He is incapable of speaking in any tone of voice other than a bellow.
In the film
In the course of Berk's long wars with the dragons, Gobber lost his left hand and right leg in battle with the creatures (the picture is reversed). He has managed to replace his missing limbs with a variety of metal prostheses of his own design and creation. His arm can be interchanged with other items such as a hammer or axe if need be (similar to Alvin the Treacherous in the books).
Since he is no longer able to take an active part in the war, Gobber is left responsible for the village's smithy and armory, keeping the other Vikings supplied with weapons and also with supervising the village's youngsters in Dragon Training.
Hiccup, the son of Chief Stoick, was tasked to assist Gobber in the armory ever since he was a small boy. Even though Gobber taught him a fair amount of skills which he would later put to good use, Hiccup's clumsiness eventually made him into the despair of Gobber, his father and the whole village. Seeing Hiccup's desire to become a true Viking, Gobber was the one who convinced Stoick to admit the boy to Dragon Training.
After a typically clumsy start, Gobber was amazed when Hiccup became the new class's most proficient trainee, being able to incapacitate the beasts without the need for weapons. His skill grew so much, he even outclassed the fierce Astrid and earned the right to kill a dragon.
When Stoick ordered the entire village to embark to the island where the Dragons' Nest was located, Gobber went along with them although with some signs of nerves when asking what the plan for the attack was. The Vikings inadvertently released the Red Death from the Nest's depths and it soon set fire to their ships. Trapped on the island, Stoick ordered his people to flee to the other side of the island while he distracted the dragon by baiting it. As his oldest friend, Gobber volunteered to do the same. Together, they bought enough time for the Vikings to retreat. Gobber shared equal amazement when Hiccup and the other Vikings arrived on dragonback and take down the Red Death.
Later, when Hiccup had been wounded defeating the dragon, Gobber crafted a metal prosthetic to replace his lower left leg, cleverly adapting Hiccup's custom-made dragon-saddle with a matching left metal stirrup to accommodate the new foot. When Hiccup regained consciousness, Gobber welcomed him home by presenting him with a brand-new prosthetic tail fin for Toothless that would allow them to fly again.
After the events of How To Train Your Dragon, Gobber's house was set alight one night. With some help from the now peaceful dragons, the house was saved but Gobber was convinced that a dragon had caused the fire. Mentioning his old tale of the Boneknapper, he set out to try and take down the beast once and for all to prove to the rest of the village that it was real, with his pet sheep Phil in tow. Hiccup, fearing for Gobber's safety, decided to tag along, and convinced his friends to come too.
Using a small long boat to reach a distant island, Gobber told stories of his previous encounters with the mythical dragon, including stealing a treasure box from frozen Vikings, being saved by Hammerhead Whales and Yaks and failing to trap the Boneknapper himself in a forest. The sheer odd nature of his stories soon tell the Viking teens why the village do not believe his claims of the Boneknapper being a real dragon.
Now stranded themselves after their ship sinks, Gobber convinces the Viking youngsters to help him catch the Boneknapper, using Fishlegs as bait. Unbeknownst to them, the Boneknapper appears behind them and begins to attack. In the confusion, the group are trapped beneath a gigantic ribcage. Luckily, Hiccup notices what the Boneknapper wants. The treasure Gobber took from the frozen Viking was a small belt buckle made of a tiny bone fragment. As the Boneknapper is always attempting to find the perfect bones for it's armour, Hiccup notices the belt buckle fits the outline of a missing fragment from it's neckplate. With some persuasion, Gobber agrees to give the bone back and the dragon becomes docile and friendly.
The Boneknapper flies the group back home, joined by others of it's species, as Gobber laughs that Stoick will have to believe his claims now.
Riders of Berk
In episode 2-Viking for Hire, Gobber finds his duties as a weapon-smith superfluous with the current peace. With Hiccup's urging, Stoick has Gobber help him with his chiefly duties. However, Gobber proves lackluster at best. Gobber then decides to help out at Dragon Training, offering to use his weapons to "encourage" the dragons. Hiccup asks him to make saddles for the other dragons instead, but Gobber goes over the top, adding cumbersome "extras". After Hiccup glumly declines Gobber's future assistance, Hookfang suddenly goes on a rampage. Gobber arrives to help, during which he realizes that Hookfang has a bad tooth, and removes it. Afterwards, Gobber realizes his new calling as a dragon dentist.
He still stands as Stoick's trustworthy right-hand man. The series also highlights Gobber's practical wisdom and experience. He is the one to figure out why the animals have stopped producing in Animal House, and reveals that the Book of Dragons is wrong about the Scauldron in Dragon Flower.
Gobber's prostheses include:
- Spiked Hammer
- Stone Hammer
- Blacksmithing Hammer
- Blacksmith's Tongs
- double-headed Axe
- long Hook
- short hook
- Drinking Tankard/Mug
- Spit for roasting food
- Jingle Bells
In Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon, additional prostheses are shown in Gobber's flashbacks, including:
- "Well, they need toothpicks don't they?"
- "Hiccup. If you ever want to get out there to fight dragons, you need to stop all...this."
- "Now you're thinkin' about this all wrong. It's not so much what you look like, it's what's inside that he can't stand."
- "I'll pack my undies."
- "Don't worry. You're small, and you're weak. That'll make you less of a target! They'll see you as sick or insane and go after the more viking like teens instead."
- "I believe in learning on the job."
- "Blind spot yes, deaf spot, not so much!"
- "And with one twist, he took my arm and swallowed it whole!"
- "Who would have thought it, eh? He has this way with the beasts!"
- "Then I can double that time."
- "Every bit the boar-headed, stubborn viking you ever where."
- "Fishlegs, I know what I didn't hear. But, I could feel it..."
- "No need to panic, kids. I've been shipwrecked many times!"
- "You never forget your first shipwreck..."
- "Someone forgot to brush!"
- "Ah, safety's overrated!"
- "Ah! Here's Mildew with the complaint of the day."
- (To Stoick about Mildew)"He's right, he's hideous."
- "You can tell him the part about how proud you are of him!"
- "Grab a weapon! No time to be choosy!"
- "Eeh? Hildegard? Doesn't seem like a Hildegard to me. Let's go with Magnus."
- "Diplomacy? Check. All right, what's next?"
- "I thought maybe we could train them by threatening to kill them. That's how my daddy taught me to swim."
- "I've got my axe and I've got my mace, and I love my wife with the ugly face! I'm a Viking through and throouugghh!"
- "Oh come on! You can't tell me my saddle is heavier than Fishlegs!"
- "I would never shoot you Hiccup. Unless I absolutely had to."
- "Stand back. I came here to do what I do best."
- "I've forgotten more about dragons than most men will ever know."
- "This reminds me of the time I moved my mother in with my goat. She was mean, ornery, ate everything in sight. The goat was so sacred of her, she couldn't give milk. Mothers and goats don't mix. Same with farm animals and dragons."
- "Dragons are complex creatures, Hiccup. They operate on many emotional levels. Me? I've only got the one."
- "You want to dance, big boy? 'Cause I've got my dancing shoe on!"
- "Listen to yourselves... My feet are cold! You're Vikings! Everything is cold!"
- "Dumb. Well that suits you."
- "I think I showed sufficient respect to a sash that says "dumb."
- "All you lousy outcasts, you'll never take me alive!"
- "I'm better than okay, I'm in heaven!"
- "Well that's ruined. I'll never get that yak to vomit again."
- "It's my skivvies. They're glorious!"
- "I may need to change my skivvies again."
- "I've seen a Nadder's spine slice through a man's eyeball like a grape. I've watched my own arm get devoured by a Monstrous Nightmare. But never, never, have I seen anything so disturbing... as that old man's bare behind! Here, take this to your dragons. I'm going into the forest to scream."
- "Look at those goosebumps!"
- "Eh, whatever it is, it's giving me the willies."
- "Trick question, don't answer it."
- "He's really got a handle on that whole "deranged" thing."
- He seems to be overly interested in Hiccup's relationship with Astrid.
- Was the one that make Hiccup's leather baby diapers (Viking for Hire).
- Gobber sings a special song when he's happy (Viking for Hire):
- "I've got my axe, and I've got my mace, and I love my wife with the ugly face. I'm a viking through and through!"
- Gobber is said to resemble a yak (Animal House).
- Gobber used to play the pan flute in a band (The Terrible Twos).
- He names all the weapons he makes and forges, always referring them as female (In Dragons We Trust).
- He and Stoick had once went on a treasure hunt but failed to figured out the clues (Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Young Man).
- His left hand was eaten by a Monstrous Nightmare (Dragon Flower).
- He has a fur vest in he movie, but a leather one in the show due to budget constraints.
- Heather Report Part I is the only episode Gobber didn't appear in. He had a very small cameo in Heather Report Part II at end. He was behind Heather as she was saying to Hiccup and Astrid that maybe they'll see each other again.
- Gobber is shown to have good detective skills (We Are Family Part II).
- In Riders of Berk, Gobber usually rides with Stoick on Thornado. He will get his own dragon in Defenders of Berk.