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Gronckles are tough. Killing one of those would definitely get me a girlfriend. [src]
  — Hiccup, opening narration  

The Gronckle is a medium-sized Boulder Class dragon that first appeared in How to Train Your Dragon.

Official Description

One of the toughest dragons in our world is the Gronckle. Gronckles have gigantic heads, short bodies, and round tails. Gronckles are lazy, and spend most of their time sleeping in communal heaps. They have been known to fall asleep while flying, waking only when they crash into the ocean or the side of a mountain. Gronckles have relatively small wings that beat as fast as a hummingbird's. They are slow in the air, but make up for this with their maneuverability. A Gronckle can fly backwards, sideways, and even hover. Gronckles attack from the air, where their primary weapon is most effective. Gronckles chew rocks, melting them in their bellies and firing them as balls of molten lava.
  Dragonpedia  
With its bulbous shape, tiny wings and laid-back demeanor, the wart hoggish Gronckle is proving to be a fan favorite." says , “He is a series of round balls, including warts. He’s just lazy, cantankerous and grumpy, and that makes you like him even better. The critter is known to doze off even in mid-flight as he floats about like the Goodyear blimp. But there is no denying that his fire packs a lethal punch.
  — Sanders[2]  


Development

Flies like a cross between a bumblebee and a helicopter, fueled by the roar of a motorcycle. [src]
  — Simon Otto, Head of Character Animation  

Simon Otto also mentions that the Gronckle is inspired by a mix of a pit-bull, a crocodile, a Harley-Davidson, and surprisingly, a helicopter[3]. While the Gronckle evidently gains inspiration from a bumblebee's stature and a helicopter's ability to hover and move in all directions, the Gronckle is also based off walruses and rhinoceroses. The animation team studied their behavior and movements, and imagined how the Gronckle would be like if it had the size and speed of a hummingbird's wings.

While most of the early concept art still preserve its stubby, segmented body, as well as warty skin, several variations on their spikes and body design exist. Gronckle by Nico Marlet, for example, features a much larger lower jaw. Whereas another concept art depicts the Gronckle with a more 'Monstrous Nightmare' like vibe, for it has a significantly longer tongue, frilly nasal horns and eye lids, smoother skin and leaf-like lobes along its back.

Physical Appearance

Egg

Gronckle Egg

Gronckle eggs are the smallest of all the species. Some are a bluish color, while others are goldish, some even purple, and have a rocky appearance. They also bounce around like jumping beans. They are shown to explode when they hatch. Although the eggs are supposed to be barely larger than a marble, it shown that Meatlug's eggs to be just a bit smaller than the average Viking head and snugly fitting inside Viking helmets.

Hatchling to Adult

The Gronckle can be a slow, lazy, and cranky bulldog-like dragon, It has been known to fall asleep mid-flight, waking only when it plunges into the sea or crashes into a mountain. They spend the majority of the day sleeping.

Because of its tremendous weight and small wings, it would seem impossible for them to fly. However, because the wings of a Gronckle beat at a speed similar to that of hummingbirds', dragonflies', or bees' wings,  it is possible for one to sustain flight. In fact, a Gronckle can fly backward, sideways, and even hover in place. However because of their massive weight and small wings they are the slowest dragons in the dragon world. Its tail can be mistaken for the head if little attention is paid to it.

Because of its large stout body and clubbed tail, the Gronckle somewhat resembles an Ankylosaurus. It has huge jaws which can be used to hold food. It has a rather blunt nose horn and fairly stubby toe claws. Its legs are practically useless in battle, and due to its short tail it has a fairly small attack range.

In the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular, Gronckles appear to have a similar body structure as the animated version. However they have much more bulk in their torso and a diminished tail size. This is probably due to design requirements for making real life puppets and robots. The live action Gronckles also have an exit orifice at the very end of their tail which is able to spew out debris and flatulence.

Titan Wing

Titan Wing Gronckle

Titan Wing Gronckles are volcano-like in color, as seen in the games School of Dragons and Dragons: Rise of Berk. They are black with irregular striping and eyes with no visible pupils. Their wings are gray with yellow edges. They mouth and nose are glowing yellow from the lava inside them. Beside the color, nothing else is changed from the adult form. It is unknown if the red stripes are lava or it is just their color.

In the Movie Short, Book of Dragons, the life stages of the Gronckle are presented. It shows a Titan Wing Gronckle as a final stage. Here, the Titan Gronckle looks like a regular adult, except somewhat larger and longer wings. This is most likely the first mention of Titan Wing Dragons.

Abilities

Babies' Abilities

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As eggs, they have a rock-like shape that shows off their Boulder Class classification. Once they hatch, the egg will explode like a grenade, which can cause destruction as seen in Gift of the Night Fury.

As babies, they are able to make up for their tiny wing size with tremendous flapping velocity, like hummingbirds. Just like the adults, hatchlings are able to fly forward, backward, and sideways. Haven't been confirmed, although they tried to fly, they handle the strong winds. Baby Gronckles need a lot of naps just like children. As they were observed to fall asleep in mid-flight.

A baby Gronckle's bark is far worse than their bite. Although they bellow and open their mouths to display their growing teeth, they seldom seen attacking one another.

Rechargeable Firepower

Exiled Gronckle 25

The Gronckle can launch a devastating fire attack but is limited to six shots at a time. Both its fire attack and hovering flight pattern make it a very dangerous dragon. It can simply hover slightly out of reach of the Vikings and then blast them with its powerful fire. Unlike the other dragons, the Gronckle can refill its so called shot limit fairly quickly.

Most dragons use a flammable gas, but the Gronckle eats rocks and then melts them in its stomach. So as long as there are edible rocks in the area, the Gronckles will be one of the few dragons to be able to refill their shot limit. The Gronckle's lava depends on the type of rocks they eat. They are able to produce regular flaming hot lava, lava coated rocks, Gronckle Iron, a transparent material, and lava of different colors.

Jaw Strength and Jaw Expansion

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Like all Boulder Class dragons, Gronckles have extremely strong jaws, being able to crush boulders with ease. They are able to hold large boulders in their mouth, eat them, and shoot back at their enemies as shown by Meatlug. She was also able to hold 3 fully grown sheep in her mouth. 

Strength and Combat

Exiled Gronckle 11

Gronkles have much strength, able to lift heavy Vikings and heavy objects. As expected, the Gronckle uses its brute strength as an advantage when fighting its opponents, whether they are Vikings or Dragons. This was demonstrated by Meatlug several times and a group of Gronckles were able to take on a much larger Screaming Death dragon. Meatlug has left a mighty warrior like Stoick the Vast stunned on the ground for a short period of time, and did the same to a Razorwhip as they can use their tail-club on their belly.

Despite their might, wild Gronckles have been shown to be no match for a Night Fury.

Gronckle Iron Creation in a Forge-Like Stomach

Hiccup-toothless-how-to-train-your-dragon-1 Main article: Gronckle Iron
Spewing iron

This one interesting fact about a Gronckles stomach is that it is able to melt down any type of rock and metal like a forge. By mixing certain minerals and ores, it is able to create an alloy called Gronckle Iron, which can be shaped into weapons and instruments that are lighter and stronger than those made of pure iron. Meatlug was able to create a large amount of Gronckle Iron in the episode, "The Iron Gronckle". Other mixtures allow them to be magnetized and create glass (sandstone alone).

Dragon Root Immunity

Gronckles are one of the few known dragons that are immune to Dragon Root, possibly because of their mineral-based diet. Therefore, it might be possible that the Hotburple, Grapple Grounder, and the Snafflefang are immune too.

Bump Blast

Bump blast

Seen in one of the many Gronckle merchandise toys, these dragons are able to blast off the large bumps on their bodies, which scatter in every direction. This is presumably for self-defense purposes. However, this ability was never seen on screen and it is unknown how Gronckles do it.

Speed and Agility

Interestingly enough, Gronckles are much faster on the ground than in the air, as shown when Meatlug was able to run faster than the objects that were attracted to her magnetic body. They are very maneuverable in the air, being able to go backward, sideways and even hold still to hover. As Meatlug has shown, they are able to stand on their hind legs to walk.

Durability and Stamina

Gronckles have extremely tough scales, able to withstand many attacks from enemy dragons and Vikings. A wild Gronckle was shown to be able to withstand attacks from a Viking's mace without suffering major injuries. This makes them one of the toughest dragons in terms of defense. According to a Webisode, they can survive a crash into a mountain or fall at high altitudes. Despite their small wings and laziness, their stamina seems comparable to that of other dragons as Meatlug is often seen flying for the same length of time as the other dragons.

Weaponry

Dragons Defenders of Berk Season 2 Episode 4 Tunnel Vision Watch cartoons online, Watch anime online, English dub anime1295

Gronckles have a number of weapon-like physical features - the body of armor with bumps, sword-like teeth, sharp tusks, club-like tail, nose horn, claws, and they can use their head as a bludgeon. Meatlug has shown that their flatulence is rather pungent and can be used to stun dragons as large as the Screaming Death. Their club tail is quite a strong weapon, against both Vikings and dragons. Meatlug demonstrated this in battles with a Whispering Death and a Typhoomerang.

Intelligence

Gronckles are shown to be much smarter than they appear, as Fishlegs is able to teach Meatlug many tricks and skills. He was also able to show wild Gronckles how to stop the Screaming Death using their lava blasts.

Senses

Gronckles have a strong sense of smell, which was demonstrated several times when Meatlug found hostile Outcast Vikings from a far distance, or when she found a Changewing egg buried in the sand of a beach.

Weaknesses

Overeating

Eating too many rocks can make them overheat and also cause stomach upset, either of which can cause discomfort, flatulence, and unable to produce lava blasts. Their fire is also dependent on the type of rocks consumed, ranging from those that give them uncontrollable magnetic forces to causing them to barf out glass.

Slow Speed

Gronckles are one of the slowest and laziest dragons, making it easy for them to get left behind by other dragons. They may also fall from the sky from falling asleep in mid flight.

Weak Spots

Like Deadly Nadders, the Gronckle has a specific spot that, when scratched, will cause the dragon to instantly calm down, as it is a sensitive spot for the species.

Gobber found out from being a dragon doctor that these dragons' hard skin has a weak spot under their belly that, when tickled by a single feather, can induce vomiting of lava.

Behavior and Personality

They are usually pretty friendly unless something angers them, and are said to be sociable to most dragons and animals.

As mentioned before, Gronckles are lazy and sometimes cranky dragons. They fly slowly due to their small wings and bulky bodies, but their fire attacks are devastating. They can be sweet-natured and motherly at times, especially towards their hatchlings or their riders. Gronckles can be extremely deadly, considering that they can shoot molten lava. But if you befriend a Gronckle (which is pretty easy), they will love you forever and are very protective over their owners. They like to spend time with their owners, and are very playful.

Gronckles have bit of a dog-like personality as they apparently love to play catch. They love to get their belly rubbed, but according to Fishlegs they don't like to get their chins rubbed. Also they can wine like dogs when upset.

Gronckles are said to be territorial like some other dragons, as proven by a wild Gronckle that was fighting Toothless. As Fishlegs stated, Gronckles can be tenacious dragons if needed.

Training

Book-of-dragons-disneyscreencaps.com-561

Gronckles love to eat dragon nip and can be calmed with it as seen in the first movie. Feeding them rocks can also help one train this dragon. Their main diet is rocks, but they can be fed fish. According to the How to Train Your Dragon game, training a Gronckle can be as simple as feeding the dragon Rack of Lamb.

Appearances

How to Train Your Dragon

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The Gronckle was first seen in Hiccup's opening narration on common dragon species, picking livestock off the fields. The Gronckle is the first dragon that the Viking Trainees have to fight in the arena. It is used to teach them how to use the shield to block attacks and shown to have a six shot limit. One almost blasts Hiccup, but he is saved by Gobber the Belch. Hiccup learns from Toothless that dragons love Dragon Nip and uses this to calm down the same Gronckle in a later training session. The Gronckle is used to determine who will kill the Monstrous Nightmare and is seen subdued by Hiccup (presumably through scratching a particularly sensitive spot dragons have), earning him that right. Hiccup later gives the Gronckle to Fishlegs during the attack on the Red Death and during the battle, she hovers beside the dragon's head, allowing Fishlegs to distract the Red Death by banging on his shield. This also confuses the Gronckle and causes her to crash and flip upside-down, pinning Fishlegs who ends up being okay. The Gronckle and Fishlegs are nearly crushed by the Red Death's foot, but thanks to Snotlout's antics, it barely misses them and the Gronckle is later seen flying around the village as Fishlegs' pet dragon, Meatlug.

How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular

Various Gronckles appear in this theater production of the first movie, including a large, rideable animatronic model, 'wrestle dragon' suits, and smaller puppets suspended for ceiling tracks. The large animatronic Gronckle is one of the dragons the Viking trainees fight with during training.

Racing For The Gold

SpeedSkating-Gronckles2

Two Gronckles appear in the "Speed Skating" video segment. They are small and are tied to the backs of Stoick and Gobber. The Gronckles are being used as a sort of jet pack to propel the Vikings across the snow, wearing skates with an axe-like appearance.

Gift of the Night Fury

Baby gronkle gallery 2

In this short, there were several Gronckles seen on Rookery island, clustered in family groups and tending to their young. They later helped Hiccup ferry a Viking Ship filled with baby dragons back to Berk. This movie short also showed that Gronckle eggs explode when hatching.

Book of Dragons

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The Gronckle's abilities and features were mentioned in this short, along with its life cycle, which composes of the Egg, Tiny Tooth, Short Wing, Broad Wing, and the Titan Wing stages.

We also see that Gronckles will eat sheep. They decimate Bork the Bold's entire flock, except for Willie.

Dragons: Riders of Berk

Bookwirm 1

In "How to Start a Dragon Academy", a group of Gronckles was seen eating Mildew's cabbage and sleeping on his house.

In "Heather Report, Part 2", a wild Gronckle was standing on top of the Dragon Manual when it fell on Outcast IslandSavage and a group of Outcast Soldiers attempted to get the book from her. One of the soldiers tried to retrieve the book, but was violently attacked. Savage asked if one of the others would go get the book, but the others refused. Savage had to get the book himself and, though he succeeded, he got slightly burned by the dragon.

Dragons: Race to the Edge

Season 1

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A wild Gronckle was seen caught in Death Song amber in "Imperfect Harmony". Though not seen, it is presumed that it was freed by the Dragon Riders after they defeated the Death Song.

Tuffnut Junior, Junior Tuffnut and Junior Tuffnut Junior first encountered FishlegsMeatlugHiccup and Toothless shortly before they were ambushed and chased away by the Catastrophic Quaken in "Quake, Rattle and Roll". The three Gronckles were temporarily relocated to Dragon's Edge with all the other Gronckles from Dark Deep, much to the annoyance of the other Dragon Riders. Later, they returned to Dark Deep and befriended the Quaken, who had become more welcoming thanks to Fishlegs and Meatlug.

Season 2

Gothis gronckle spewing

Gothi was assigned to a purple Gronckle when she joined the Auxiliary Riders in "Team Astrid". She then joined the battle for the Edge, helping the gang succeed. They also appeared during their attempt to ward the Frozen Skrill away from Berk in "A Time to Skrill".

Several rouge dragons held Fishlegs captive on an island during the events of "Edge of Disaster, Parts 1 and 2". He managed to tame them when he saved a Baby Gronckle's life. It was choking, and using his knowledge on dragons, he rescued it and it promptly returned to its family.

Season 3

Shattermaster 7

During the events of "Family on the Edge", Dagur was assigned to ride Shattermaster when he begged Hiccup to teach him to ride. Dagur was hoping for a Skrill, and was a bit displeased upon seeing that he'd be riding a Gronckle. In fact, he initially thought that Shattermaster was going to be breakfast for a more powerful dragon. However, he completely changed his mind upon seeing Shattermaster's abilities. The duo then enthusiastically began training with Hiccup, and later Fishlegs and Astrid. Shattermaster was said to be a fast learner, as shown by his mastery of the 'Inverted Gronckle Drop' maneuver. When Dagur was locked up after being accused of spying for the hunters, Shattermaster broke them out, which prompted Fishlegs to comment on how well they had bonded. Upon reaching a Dragon Hunter hidden shipyard, Dagur and Shattermaster charged into battle and laid waste to the Hunters' fleet.

Games

How to Train Your Dragon (game)

According to the How to Train Your Dragon (game), training a Gronckle can be as simple as feeding the dragon Rack of Lamb. The player can customize their Gronckle by altering their head horns, feet, tail style, wing style, color, and back ridges.

Dragons: Rise of Berk

The Gronckle species appears in this game, along with individuals like Meatlug, Meatlug's mate and offspring, Book Wyrm, Gothi's Gronckle, and an Exiled Gronckle, which is one of the Screaming Death's subjects.


School of Dragons

The Gronckle is one of the original starter dragons available to players. They are also one of the few dragons in this game that has its Titan form available, adapted from Dragons: Rise of Berk.

In addition to the dragons the player may obtain, a Titan Gronckle appears on the explorable location The Tempest in the Expansion "Rise of Stormheart". It, along with a Moldruffle, does not have a known purpose as yet, but appear to be generating the energy to steam-power the ship.

Blue Gronckles appear as part of the Snoggletog special Dragon Tactics mini-game. They shoot giant candy can balls that turn to rock and Snoggletog decorations at the player.


Trivia

  • The Gronckle's wing-to-body ratio would mean it would have to beat its wings significantly faster than any hummingbird would need to flap its own wings. It would have to beat approximately 4.1 times faster than any hummingbird.
  • The Gronckle's tusk-like canine teeth make the species, in a sense, the warthog of the dragon world.
  • Gronckles originally come from Dark Deep, as mentioned in "Quake, Rattle and Roll".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Dradon site logo Gronckle. (2018). Dragonpedia.
  2. 'How to Train Your Dragon' takes flight - USA Today—Page 3 of 7
  3. Otto, Simon. How to Create Your Dragon: The Inspirations Behind the Creatures. (July 10, 2014)
Gronckle (Franchise) uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Rise of Berk Wiki page Gronckle. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors). ROBWiki Logo
Gronckle (Franchise) uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Dreamworks School of Dragons Wiki page Gronckle. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors). SODWikiLogo

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