In Dragons: Defenders of Berk, Gustav is named the Dragon Academy's junior-apprentice-auxiliary-reserve-back-up-replacement-rider-in training-fourth-class by Hiccup. When Gustav returns again in Dragons: Race to the Edge, he is promoted to captain of Berk's auxiliary team.
Gustav is about 12 years old in the first and second seasons. He's worn an off-white sleeveless tunic with Hiccup's stitching and Snotlout's vest, helmet, belt buckle, pants, and fur boots. At the age of 16, he still wears the same helmet, but now his same tunic comes with Snotlout's stitching, and he also wears Ruffnut's old vest and blue boots, Snotlout's belt buckle, and wears Astrid's shoulder guards as knee pads. On his arms, he wears Tuffnut's old cloth bracers, and around his neck, an old necklace with a dragon's claw or tooth. He was briefly seen with Dagur's old helmet in "Something Rotten on Berserker Island".
Although young at heart, he shows a loyalty and faithfulness to his mother, despite the fact that she had traded him for a "stone of good fortune" and still remained close with her. This trait rubs off on his dragon, Fanghook, as he is loyal to Gustav. He admires Snotlout and his ability to train a dragon to the point where he gets his own dragon named Fanghook. Gustav often times mimics Snotlout's personality, although he is easily scared, mostly because he is younger, as shown twice to run away: once in "Gem of a Different Color" and he attempted to flee in "The Flight Stuff", although he was stopped by Snotlout.
Although much too young, he wants to become a Dragon Rider and often sneaks into the Training Academy to play. Even though he and his dragon, Fanghook, got off on the wrong start, both dragon and trainer show a close bond with each other.
Gustav tends to overestimate his abilities, which often gets him into trouble. He often tries to do things on his own instead of working with others, similar to Heather. Though unlike her, Gustav does this to prove himself. This usually backfires and he requires saving from his own actions.
Abilities, Skills, and Talents
Gustav is the youngest trainer at the Academy, and one could argue he is not the greatest either. Though he did learn some things from Snotlout. This led to him training Fanghook.
- Dragon Training and Riding: Gustav is the youngest trainer at the Academy. When Snotlout was convinced he was going to die, he decided to recruit Gustav to be his replacement. Snotlout taught him about mounting, respecting, feeding, and eventually riding a dragon by using Hookfang as the example. Gustav, however, wasn't very good at any of this as he was inexperienced. Snotlout's teachings did, however, influence him to attempt to train his own Monstrous Nightmare, which he named Fanghook. Over the next few years, he became a more experienced rider by himself before being trained by Astrid to become a member of the Auxiliary Team.
- Sheep Rider: He was able to ride a sheep, pretending it was a dragon.
- Acting: He had shown as a young boy to be somewhat cunning. He tricked Hiccup and Snotlout into believing that he had released Fanghook back into the wild and was able to trick Dagur into going into an unstable cavern alone only to be ambushed by Hiccup.
- Leadership and Teaching: As the captain of the A-team it can be assumed that the team follows Gustav's lead and have been taught more about riding from him since Astrid never completed their training.
|“||Fanghook! So what should we practice today? [src]||”|
|— Gustav to Fanghook, as they secretly train in the forest|
Gustav first encounters Fanghook when he was looking for his own dragon. At the time when he found Fanghook, Fanghook was hunting boars. After Gustav manages to get his attention, he attacks Gustav. After a while, they bond enough for Gustav to get on his back (although he was still too small to sit tight properly, especially without a saddle). After he and Fanghook help on the scouting mission, Hiccup tells him to release Fanghook into the wild, in which Fanghook unwillingly obligates, which saddens him and his dragon. After Hiccup and Snotlout leave, Gustav calls his dragon back and continues to train him in secret. Fanghook shows affection for Gustav by biting him, but not enough to hurt the young boy. Their bond for the next three years grows much stronger as shown to be really protective of each other now as Fanghook saves his life from falling off a cliff.
Gustav is shown to not have a very close relationship with his mother. Yet he remained loyal and obedient to her despite the fact that she had traded him for the stone of good fortune. She also doesn't seem to pay attention to him as Gustav can be gone for three days without her noticing.
Gustav is shown to admire Snotlout, often times mimicking his action and personality. He showed extreme loyalty to him when he was traded to his mother. Snotlout stated that he had grown to like Gustav, even to the point of entrusting Hookfang to him when he thought he was going to die and training him. Snotlout grew annoyed when Gustav began to "replace" him and was not hesitant to throw him out; however, Snotlout was there to comfort him (in the Snotlout way), when Gustav became frightened after being caught in Dagur's trap.
When Snotlout was convinced he was going to die, he wanted to train Gustav to ride Hookfang, becoming his replacement in the Academy. Though Gustav really did his best and was shown to like Hookfang, this plan didn't work. This made him find his own dragon and train it. Since the training he has done with Hookfang, he met a wild Nightmare after Snotlout said that Monstrous Nightmares are the most lethal weapon of the known world and named him after it, possibly a way to show Hookfang his way to be thankful for his help.
Gustav is shown to listen to Hiccup about being too young to be riding or training dragons. Though he has shown to dislike it a lot since he's really determined to have a dragon of his own. Though believing Snotlout was going to die, he was really excited to become a Dragon Rider for Hookfang. Everyone told Gustav he was still not ready, even Hiccup watched him to see his training from Snotlout, but it was a failure. He sadly told him to leave again which he went to prove himself to Hiccup that he will find his own dragon named Fanghook. Though still thinking this is still a mistake, he gave him a chance to see what he has to be a Dragon Rider. He even tries to encourage each mistake he made until Snotlout was revealed he wasn't going to die and he watched Snotlout throw him out of the Academy. Gustav overheard about the mission about Dagur new invention to try again to prove himself but came failure when he was caught by the trap of the invention but Hiccup uses his battle cry to tell Gustav use for his dragon to set free from the trap. Which he escaped thanks to Hiccup but was frightened how dangers this was decided to leave but saw Hiccup get trapped by Dagur, but he still was afraid but Snotlout told him advice to save Hiccup which they were successful. But Hiccup told Gustav that he was still not ready to be a Dragon Rider so he made a deal with the young boy that he can learn by working in the Dragon Academy, which he was very excited. Though Hiccup told Gustav to release Fanghook back to the forest in which he watches how hard it was for Gustav to do so but he was very proud of him to do the right reason.
|“||She sure is something... [src]||”|
|— Gustav, admiring Astrid|
Gustav, like Snotlout, has a large crush on Astrid. This is very evident in Race to the Edge, where Gustav daydreams about Astrid. He also flirted with her while she was training him, which she called "creepy". He was so distracted by her beauty that he was unable to assist them at the time, due to him not being able to train, because of, as previously stated, Astrid's beauty. Despite Gustav's perverted crush on Astrid, Astrid saw Gustav as one of the most experienced Riders of the Auxiliary, naming him captain of the Auxiliary.
|“||Dagur obviously saw something in me that you didn't. Heroism. Loyalty. I spent a lot of time with him when he captured me and Fanghook. [src]||”|
|— Gustav to Snotlout, about how he ended up in the 'apprentice program'|
While they did not interact in their first encounter, Dagur's men tried to shoot Gustav and Fanghook down. Even though he was scared, Gustav still fought back with Snotlout to save Hiccup. The two officially met when Dagur captured him. When Dagur told his men to feed Gustav to the eels, the young rider said he could get Dagur the Dragon Eye. Gustav managed to convince Dagur to use his plan of being a hostage instead of facing the Dragon Riders head on. It was later revealed he didn't really side with Dagur but tricked him into the cave he found earlier to get the Dragon Eye back.
|Riders of Berk|
|1. "How to Start a Dragon Academy":||Absent||11. "Heather Report, Part 2":||Absent|
|2. "Viking for Hire":||Absent||12. "Thawfest":||Absent|
|3. "Animal House":||Absent||13. "When Lightning Strikes":||Absent|
|4. "The Terrible Twos":||Absent||14. "What Flies Beneath":||Absent|
|5. "In Dragons We Trust":||Absent||15. "Twinsanity":||Absent|
|6. "Alvin and the Outcasts":||Absent||16. "Defiant One":||Absent|
|7. "How to Pick Your Dragon":||Absent||17. "Breakneck Bog":||Absent|
|8. "Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Young Man":||Absent||18. "Gem of a Different Color":||Appears|
|9. "Dragon Flower":||Absent||19. "We Are Family, Part 1":||Absent|
|10. "Heather Report, Part 1":||Absent||20. "We Are Family, Part 2":||Absent|
|Defenders of Berk|
|1. "Live and Let Fly":||Absent||11. "A View to a Skrill, Part 2":||Absent|
|2. "The Iron Gronckle":||Absent||12. "The Flight Stuff":||Appears|
|3. "The Night and the Fury":||Absent||13. "Free Scauldy":||Absent|
|4. "Tunnel Vision":||Background||14. "Frozen":||Absent|
|5. "Race to Fireworm Island":||Absent||15. "A Tale of Two Dragons":||Absent|
|6. "Fright of Passage":||Appears||16. "The Eel Effect":||Absent|
|7. "Worst in Show":||Absent||17. "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes":||Absent|
|8. "Appetite for Destruction":||Absent||18. "Bing! Bam! Boom!":||Absent|
|9. "Zippleback Down":||Absent||19. "Cast Out, Part 1":||Absent|
|10. "A View to a Skrill, Part 1":||Absent||20. "Cast Out, Part 2":||Absent|
|Race to the Edge, Season 1|
|1. "Dragon Eye of the Beholder, Part 1":||Absent||8. "Crushing It":||Absent|
|2. "Dragon Eye of the Beholder, Part 2":||Absent||9. "Quake, Rattle and Roll":||Absent|
|3. "Imperfect Harmony":||Absent||10. "Have Dragon Will Travel, Part 1":||Absent|
|4. "When Darkness Falls":||Absent||11. "Have Dragon Will Travel, Part 2":||Absent|
|5. "Big Man on Berk":||Absent||12. "The Next Big Sting":||Absent|
|6. "Gone Gustav Gone":||Appears||13. "Total Nightmare":||Absent|
|7. "Reign of Fireworms":||Absent|
|Race to the Edge, Season 2|
|1. "Team Astrid":||Appears||8. "Edge of Disaster, Part 1":||Absent|
|2. "Night of the Hunters, Part 1":||Absent||9. "Edge of Disaster, Part 2":||Absent|
|3. "Night of the Hunters, Part 2":||Mentioned||10. "Shock and Awe":||Absent|
|4. "Bad Moon Rising":||Absent||11. "A Time to Skrill":||Appears|
|5. "Snotlout Gets the Axe":||Absent||12. "Maces and Talons, Part 1":||Absent|
|6. "The Zippleback Experience":||Absent||13. "Maces and Talons, Part 2":||Absent|
|7. "Snow Way Out":||Absent|
|Race to the Edge, Season 4|
|1. "Defenders of the Wing, Part 2":||Absent||8. "Gold Rush":||Absent|
|2. "Gruff Around the Edges":||Absent||9. "Out of the Frying Pan":||Absent|
|3. "Midnight Scrum":||Absent||10. "Twintuition":||Absent|
|4. "Not Lout":||Appears||11. "Blindsided":||Absent|
|5. "Saving Shattermaster":||Mentioned||12. "Shell Shocked, Part 1":||Appears|
|6. "Dire Straits":||Absent||13. "Shell Shocked, Part 2":||Absent|
|7. "The Longest Day":||Absent|
|Race to the Edge, Season 5|
|1. "Living on the Edge":||Absent||8. "The Wings of War, Part 1":||Appears|
|2. "Sandbusted":||Absent||9. "The Wings of War, Part 2":||Appears|
|3. "Something Rotten on Berserker Island":||Appears||10. "No Dragon Left Behind":||Absent|
|4. "Snotlout's Angels":||Absent||11. "Snuffnut:||Absent|
|5. "A Matter of Perspective":||Absent||12. "Searching for Oswald... and Chicken":||Absent|
|6. "Return of Thor Bonecrusher":||Absent||13. "Sins of the Past":||Absent|
|7. "Dawn of Destruction":||Absent|
|Race to the Edge, Season 6|
|1. "In Plain Sight":||Absent||8. "Triple Cross":||Absent|
|2. "No Bark, All Bite":||Absent||9. "Family Matters":||Absent|
|3. "Chain of Command":||Absent||10. "Darkest Night":||Appears|
|4. "Loyal Order of Ingerman":||Absent||11. "Guardians of Vanaheim":||Absent|
|5. "A Gruff Separation":||Absent||12. "King of Dragons, Part 1":||Absent|
|6. "Mi Amore Wing":||Absent||13. "King of Dragons, Part 2":||Appears|
|7. "Ruff Transition":||Absent|
- Gustav's dragon, Fanghook, is named after Hookfang, which is Snotlout's dragon.
- Due to the error in the Dragons: Riders of Berk episode, "Gem of a Different Color", it is believed that Gustav and Hildegard were siblings. This is incorrect, as their mothers have different character designs. Gustav's mother incorrectly said Hildegard was her baby, though the two moms were both seen earlier.
- Gustav is the youngest Dragon Rider, though he is unofficially part of the Dragon Academy.
- Gustav is the second person to have a dragon who is not in the Dragon Academy.
- Like Astrid, Heather, and Hildegard, Gustav is one of the few younger Vikings to have an actual name.
- Gustav and Heather share one small similarity: they pet their dragons on different sides while facing the Riders in the same direction.
- Gustav has the same helmet and vest as Snotlout. The stitching on his tunic is the same pattern as Hiccup's.
- At first glance, Gustav looks like a miniature version of Snotlout.
- In "Cast Out, Part 1" and Dawn of the Dragon Racers, a boy that bears a strong resemblance to Gustav is seen, though he has a different helmet and clothing.
- According to Art Brown and Douglas Sloan, Gustav is 12 in the first two seasons. He is 16 by the first season of Dragons: Race to the Edge.
- In "Something Rotten on Berserker Island", Gustav wears Dagur's helmet from Riders and Defenders of Berk when he becomes Dagur's Berserker apprentice.