Monstrous Nightmare

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Monstrous Nightmare



Emerald green, brilliant scarlet, deepest purple.

Armed with

Scary fangs, extra extendable claws... 9


Nightmares don't need defences... 2


None... 0



Hunting Ability

Amazing to watch... 10



Fear and Fight Factor

Very, very scary... 10

Personality Violent, stubborn, and tenacious. In battle, it's the first to arrive and the last to leave.[1]
Hah! Factor HAIR TRIGGER - Has a tendency to spit fire at off times, unintentionally, like coughing, sneezing and laughing.[2]

Ahh! Factor

FIRE JACKET - Its attack strategy is to coat itself in fire, and attack you as it's flaming from nose to tail.[3]

"Only the best Vikings go after those."
Hiccup talking about the Monstrous Nightmare.
The Monstrous Nightmare is one of the most aggressive, powerful, and stubborn breeds of dragon known to Vikings. Before the Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus was discovered, it was considered the most formidable dragon species.

Dragon Appearance

A Nightmare is usually purple, scarlet, or green and possesses a long, snakelike 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. Find more information on this Dragon's Anatomy here.

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.

Fighting 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 strategy, known as the "Fire Jacket," is to engulf itself in flames (according Snotlout, by igniting 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, sharp teeth and talons like meat hooks. It can also use its tail as a club. 


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 pinned to the ground, and Astrid was able to tame one by doing so.

By nature, the Monstrous Nightmare is fearless and proud. Nightmares are some of the strongest dragons around and they know it. 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.

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.

How To Train Your Dragon (film)

One is used as the last initiation test for the young Vikings before the Vikings befriend 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.

Background Information

"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. This dragon can attack any time of the day or night, from the air or on the ground. 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."[4]

According to the trivia track on the Blu-Ray version of the movie, a Nightmare measures 69 feet in length.

Nightmare out of flames
A Monstrous Nightmare using its Fire Jacket tactic
Toothless99Added by Toothless99
"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.”"[5]


  • In the live spectacular,the Nightmare looks more like a traditional European Dragon. It also has four legs as opposed to the two hind legs and walking on its wings.
  • Some Monstrous Nightmares are shown to have tines on their horns like deers. 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.



  1. How to Train Your Dragon Official Website - Monstrous Nightmare Dragon Characters Section
  2. How to Train Your Dragon Official Website - Monstrous Nightmare Dragon Characters Section
  3. How to Train Your Dragon Official Website - Monstrous Nightmare Dragon Characters Section
  4. How to Train Your Dragon Official Website - Monstrous Nightmare Dragon Characters Section
  5. 'How to Train Your Dragon' takes flight - USA Today - Page 5 of 7
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Basic BrownBlubberwingBreathquencherBullrougherBurrowing SlitherfangChickenpoxerCommon or GardenCuckoo DragonDarkbreatherDevilish DervishDreamserpentDriller-DragonDoomfangElectricsquirmExterminatorFire DragonFlamehufferFlashfangFleshfangGiant Bee-EaterGlow-wormGorgenghastGrimler DragonHorrorsHogflyLeviathorganLoafer DragonMarsh TigerMonstrous NightmareMonstrous StrangulatorMood-DragonMurderous DragonNanodragonPoison DarterPoisonous PifflewormPolar-SerpentPuff NadderPricklepinesRageblastsRed-Hot ItchywormRaptortongueReptoRocket RipperSabre-Tooth Driver DragonScarerSeadragonus Giganticus MaximusSharkwormShortwing SquirrelserpentSidewinderSkullionSky DragonSniffer DragonSquealerStealth DragonStickywormStinkdragonToothless DaydreamToungetwisterToxic NightshadeVampire DragonVenomous VorpentWater DragonWindwalkerWhite Dragon
Seen in the Franchise
BewilderbeastBoneknapperBullrougherChangewingDeadly NadderFirewormFlightmareGrapple GrounderGronckleHideous ZipplebackHobblegruntMonstrous NightmareNight FuryOceanzapRumblehornScauldronScreaming DeathSeadragonus Giganticus MaximusSkrillSmothering SmokebreathSnaptrapperSpeed StingerStormcutterTerrible TerrorThunderdrumTimberjackTyphoomerangWhispering DeathUnknown HTTYD 2 Dragons
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