A Nightmare is usually purple, scarlet, or green and possesses a long, snake like neck and tail. Unlike some other breeds of dragon, it has no forelegs, and its ground-based locomotion is similar to that of pterosaurs; it can use its claw-tipped wings to "crawl" along the floor. Their horns might be used in the same way as other species of horned animals, use them, in order to fight other members of their species and as a visual display. Find more information on this here.
By nature, the Monstrous Nightmare is fearless and proud. Nightmares are some of the strongest dragons around and they know it. They are extremely aggressive. In battle, they are the first to arrive and last to leave.
The best way to earn the trust of a Nightmare is simply to show it the respect it deserves. Placing a gentle hand on its snout and showing you are not a threat to it is the best way to go.
According to Gobber the Belch, the best way to engage a Nightmare is to clamp its mouth shut, leaving it unable to open its enormous jaws, much like a crocodile (however, the rest of the dragon is free to do whatever it wants). In Heather Report Part II, Snotlout revealed that the Monstrous Nightmare enjoys its horns being pinned to the ground, and Astrid was able to tame one by doing so.
Despite their name, Monstrous Nightmares are known to have a softer side. In Dragons: Wild Skies, their favorite food are scented flowers. In several points of Dragons: Riders of Berk, Hookfang occasionally dozed off or was distracted by butterflies or something else.
Fighting, Abilities, and Tactics
As it is quick to anger, the Monstrous Nightmare can be counted on to be the first to arrive and the last to leave in a fight. Its signature attack of their abilities, known as the "Fire Jacket", is to engulf itself in flames (according to Snotlout, by igniting the spit it coats itself in prematurely), resulting in an intimidating offensive and defensive maneuver similar in appearance to napalm or other gel-based incendiaries.
This dragon also has powerful jaws that are armed with sharp fangs and have sharp meat hook-like claws. They are able to use their sharp spines to put fish through it, so later they can save it for later. They can also use their Fire Jacket in order to keep their food warm.
Their long, snake-like necks are capable of swallowing prey the size of an adult Viking whole and their long snake like tail are shown to be used as a club tail. Their tail is powerful enough to send heavy Viking flying for great distance.
Nightmares are possibly one of the strongest dragons known to the Vikings of Berk. They have been seen fighting other dragons, such as Night Furies, Deadly Nadders, and Hideous Zipplebacks. They also have been seen carrying heavy Vikings on their necks and heavy loads in the air.
Nightmares have been shown to be fast runners, fliers, climbers, and swimmers. This was demonstrated with Hookfang. If he wasn't burdened by Snotlout, he probably could have stayed underwater for much longer. When swimming, they slightly resemble an alligator.
The Wing Blast is a hidden ability that Astrid discovered when she temporarily became Hookfang's rider in A Tale of Two Dragons. They use their large powerful wings to create a blast of wind that is so strong, it can bring a fully-grown Hideous Zippleback to the ground. They can use their wings for both offensive and defensive goals. Hookfang has demonstrated that one of his wings is strong enough to push a flying Gronckle with a rather heavy rider, aka Fishlegs, to the side.
Because they are such good fighters, they have a very high stamina and great endurance by being able to stand many attacks. Hookfang proved this in several battles with Toothless, the Screaming Death and other dragons.
In the books
By unofficial Viking law, only the chief, or the son of the chief, can own one. Despite this, Snotface Snotlout, the nephew of the chief, acquires one named Fireworm (How to Train Your Dragon), while Thuggory from the Meathead Tribe owns another named "Killer".
In the books, Monstrous Nightmares are only the size of a Labrador Retriever, and they can't set themselves on fire. While the movie version has a Pterosaur-like anatomy, its book counterpart looks more like a western dragon.
One was used as the last initiation test for the young Vikings (this being before the Vikings befriended the dragons). While in the books, they are described as being the size of a leopard, in the film they are portrayed as much larger. Despite their vicious nature and fierce combat abilities, it is shown that a Night Fury can defeat it through a brief but brutal fight.
- "No dragon is more ferocious, or feared than the Monstrous Nightmare. This gigantic dragon has a long, snakelike neck and tail, and is covered in red scales and long sharp spines. The Nightmare's gigantic head and mouth can swallow Vikings whole. It is highly aggressive, and will never run from a fight. Its fire is thick and sticky, clinging to walls and running down hills like a flaming river. The Nightmare also has a nasty habit of setting itself on fire."
According to the trivia track on the Blu-Ray version of the movie, a Nightmare measures 69 feet in length."This red-and-black creature with a huge wing span produces a kerosene gel fire. “He is the most dragony of the dragons,” Sanders says, “but the thing that we like is that he is the most showy. We always felt he was the Mick Jagger of dragons. He’s a natural-born performer who comes out engulfed in flames because they can set themselves on fire.”"
- In the Live Spectacular, the Monstrous Nightmare looks more like a traditional European Dragon, having four legs and two wings as opposed to the two hind legs and walking on its wings.
- Some Monstrous Nightmares are shown to have tines on their horns like deer. The number of tines could indicate the age of the dragon. Hookfang does not have any tines on his horns, so he could still be a young adult Nightmare. Instead of getting tines for age, they get barbels on their chin.
- Monstrous Nightmares have a tendency to spit fire at times, unintentionally, like coughing, sneezing or laughing.
- Monstrous Nightmares are said to grow to 70ft long. Hookfang, however, is only 61ft long with a wingspan of 68ft. This means Hookfang is either young, small for his species, its simply an error, or 70ft is the maximum length for the species and not all of them grow that long. This would explain why Fanghook is much smaller then Hookfang.
- ↑ How to Train Your Dragon Official Website - Monstrous Nightmare Dragon Characters Section
- ↑ 'How to Train Your Dragon' takes flight - USA Today - Page 5 of 7