The Monstrous Nightmare is a large Stoker Class dragon, and is considered to be one of the most aggressive, powerful, and stubborn species of dragons known to Vikings. It made its debut in the first film, and has made frequent appearances ever since.
- "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."
Described to be the very embodiment of the atypical 'western dragon' of the film, the Nightmare is said to be the most 'classic'. It was is compared to being 'half lizard and half bat', since it could walk on its wings. Nightmares also have snake-like attributes in their behavior.Character Designer Nico Marlet created an 'intimidating flame motif into its shape patterns' and made sure to give it plenty of teeth--ninety seven, in fact. Nico's original concept of the Nightmare, titled Monstrous, features an even more stereotypical dragon. It has four legs, a hunched back, and rounded belly. Previously, the Nightmare only had one set of wings, but a second set was added to further distinguish it from the 'classic' dragon.
- "The designers wanted to add translucency to them to give a whole other level of detail when backlit."
- ―Sabrina Riegel, Head of Surfacing[src]
The animation team decided to give this dragon a somewhat vicious, liquid-based fire that could 'stick onto surfaces and roll off and splash'. The power of CGI had given them a chance to stretch the limits of film making, and Dean desribed that they wanted to move away from the usual propane-based fire, which is used in live-action films as it is easier to extinguish. Thus, the team gained inspiration from fire rising against the ceiling, turned the video upside-down, and gave the Nightmare's fire 'some gravity', which meant that the fire was fluid-based, not oxygen-based.
The Monstrous Nightmare eggs has a surface that looks like they were made of cloth or leather folded together, with a spotted pattern on the base. Its colors vary and they match the colors of the dragon to be born. In "School of Dragons", however, they are brown and smooth with a pattern similar to tree bark.
Hatchling to Adult
Monstrous Nightmares come in many different colors such as purple, blue, 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, except that it has a lower profile due to its sprawled wings; it can use its claw-tipped wings to "crawl" along the floor. Their horns might be used as a visual display and in defense, but the swept back position of the horns means it is unlikely to use them in combat. Its stripe skin patterns seem to mimic that of a tiger's. Find more information on this here. The Monstrous Nightmare is 60 feet long and has a wingspan of 68 feet.
In "Total Nightmare", the first Titan Wing Monstrous Nightmare was seen. While aging, they can lose their stripes to have black spots,similar to the leopard. When they are fully grown and gain barbells, at least, some of them change color when they achieve Titan Wing age. Once they have reached this stage they grow much longer, and may gain spots in more striking colors. With age Monstrous Nightmares seem to also grow beard-like appendages under their chin as a sign of age, as seen by Hookfang in "How To Train Your Dragon 2".
Monstrous Nightmares was one of the most formidable dragons for being one of the strongest.
Monstrous Nightmares breathe an organic Kerosene Gel, which can be hotter than a usual flame and more powerful as well. Their fire is hot enough to burn down a tree in a few seconds.
Its signature attack is known as the "Fire Jacket" or "Fire Burst". This ability makes it 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. They are able set any part of their body on fire as shown they can do even on their horns. They are also able to fire off a larger and more powerful fire blast whilst doing this as shown in the first movie and School of Dragons.
The natural form of the Monstrous Nightmare's kerosene gel was shown to be green in color. The gel is also slimy, being easy to rub against a platform. The gel is highly flammable and is one of the tools to efficiently penetrate the Death Song's amber substance.
The Monstrous Nightmare has also been observed to have a well-developed sense of smell, as Hookfang was able to find Snotlout's scent in 'Defiant One' over a day as he was separated from the ocean. However, it is unknown how strong is their sense of smell exactly.
Strength and Combat
Monstrous Nightmares are among the most physically powerful dragons as they can send heavy Vikings far distance by using their tail and can send a Gronckles flying with extra heavy weight Viking riding on them, by hitting with their wing. Their neck muscles are very strong, as they are able to carry heavy Vikings on their necks, sometimes with an extra weight of a teen Viking with no sign of any struggle with a weapon. Hookfang has proven for his kind that Monstrous Nightmares They have shown to be able to throw an entire Night Fury with its mouth, despite having a Toothache. Monstrous Nightmares has proven by Hookfang that their are able to lift entire weight of Fireworm Queen or can carry a large amount of weight, in 'Snow Way Out' Hookfang carried 2 Snow Wraiths one in a cage and another in a net with just his feet with extra weight of Snotlout.
They are quite powerful fighters as they can show off their combat ability to try to fight off a Night Fury just like how Hookfang has demonstrated to put up a good fight against Toothless twice, although the fight was broken up or unfinished both times. It said that Monstrous Nightmares will never run from fight but this is possible might be true if this dragon knows it can win but against really powerful opponents will flee.
Speed and Agility
Nightmares have been shown to be quite fast, both on land, in water and in the air. Hookfang was able to catch up with Toothless in Thawfest, though it is very well possible that this was the result of Snotlout's training, and that a wild Nightmare isn't capable of this. Nightmares on land have been observed as fast runners while in a straight line, although they have trouble making turns. They are agile and fast fliers as they are able to go around trees and able to dodge many arrows, as demonstrated by Hookfang and Fanghook also Nightmares are able to make flip in the air as well.
Monstrous Nightmares have also been observed to be fast and agile swimmers, as Hookfang proved. It's unknown how long they can stay underwater, but it is possible Hookfang would have been able to hold his breath longer if he hadn't been burdened by Snotlout.
Monstrous Nightmares are excellent climbers on chains and many different types of terrain shown to be able to climb mountains and Viking catapult towers as shown in the first film. They can also climb against stone/metal walls while running quickly.
Monstrous Nightmares have shown to have very intelligent if wanted too such as if they get the good respect that they deserve from their owners, they can learn great skills over a day as demonstrated by Fanghook. But if they don't get sufficient respect from their owners they will show sometimes to prank them and unexpectedly outsmart them, just like how Hookfang has demonstrated many times on Snotlout. Its also possible Astrid Monstrous Nightmare have shown to be able to understand that the punch she gave to the Monstrous Nightmare was use as distraction to be able to save her life later from thrown off the cliff.
They have a hidden ability that Astrid discovered is known as a Wing Blast, 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 even blow a fully-grown Hideous Zippleback to the ground.
Endurance and Stamina
Monstrous Nightmares have high stamina and endurance, as was proven multiple times in the series. In the first film, a Nightmare took hit after hit from Stoick during a raid either with his large hammer or his bare hands and Hookfang was mostly unharmed out of his fight with Toothless. In 'Defiant One', a Nightmare skin shows its durable enough to take a hit by an arrow that was fired by few of the Outcast soldiers, yet wasn't harmed in the slightest. Though, admittedly, arrows are not a very powerful weapon to use against dragons. Nightmares also appear to be able to be extremely resistant to different types of fire, other than their own. As demonstrated by Hookfang as he was able to endure Stormfly's magnesium blast and continue to fight, seemingly unharmed, despite the fact that a Nadder's blast can melt solid rocks within a matter of seconds (Defenders of Berk 'A Tale of Two Dragons') and they can even endure the Lightning Blast of a Skrill still able to fly.
It is unknown if this is true for their movie counterparts as well but according to the Dragonpedia said that baby Monstrous Nightmares have venom until possible grown adults lose this ability. Quite possible use as another away of defense as hatchlings.
Like snakes, Monstrous Nightmare are stated open their jaws wide enough to swallow a full grown Viking whole, as shown in the featurette of the HTTYD film as proven by Hookfang able to fit Snotlout torso in his mouth.
According to Dragonpedia, as hatchlings their are skilled hunters. Just like modern carnivores, Monstrous Nightmares seem to chase their prey down with their great stamina to tired them out to attack. As shown from Fanghook before being tamed he was hunting wild boar as he was chasing down his prey. They could hunt as solitary or possible as pack if they hunted bigger if needed.
A Titan Wing Monstrous Nightmare has enhanced physical attributes and abilities that make them stronger in strength and bulk. Also, their range of fire is increased so targets can be hit at a further distance.Titan wings are proven to be extremely strong able to toss away heavy dragons with its head without struggle over their body or even knocking a dragon off in the air by using their tail. They have a durable body, which can take average blasts from different dragons, or even smashing into trees and other terrain by traveling in great speed. They have higher stamina and speed than a normal Monstrous Nightmare as proven to be fast enough to catch up to Hookfang who has been enhancing his speed for the past few years by hard training.
However, this also causes manuevering difficult, due to being heavier, this means it can't stop itself as quickly, and can't make tight turns
Monstrous Nightmares, in terms of physical weaponry, are supposedly one of the best armed dragons known to Vikings. Their jaws are full of long, sharp teeth or fangs which are said to be slightly venomous in the books. Their long two finger curved claws on both wings have also been to be used as weapons that have shown to be quite powerful, they even have sharp long curved talons. They have been observed to use their tail as a club. They have long sharp spines cover their back. Although their horns could be a potential weapon, they haven't been seen using them in any known media until it shows that from Hookfang use this against Titan Monstrous Nightmare like male bucks will use against each other. They can even use their large wings as weapons such as offensive and defensive.
Behavior and Personality
By nature, the Monstrous Nightmare is fearless and proud. Nightmares are some of the strongest dragons around and they know it. They are very aggressive. In battle, they are said to be the first to arrive and last to leave.
Incendiary in temperament and short on patience, Monstrous Nightmares would incinerate first and think second, according to Dragonpedia.
In Heather Report, Part 2, Snotlout revealed that the Monstrous Nightmare enjoys its horns being pinned to the ground and Astrid was able to tame one by doing so. This dragon later returned and saved her.
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). They are also fast in a straight line, but not so good with turns according to Astrid Hofferson
Despite their name, Monstrous Nightmares are known to have a softer side. In Dragons: Wild Skies, their favorite food are scented flowers. In DreamWorks Dragons: The Series Hookfang at least is known to be fond of eating rats so it is possible that all Monstrous Nightmares like eating rats. At several points of Dragons: Riders of Berk, Hookfang occasionally dozed off or was distracted by leaf, chasing a Gull, or anything else, sometimes they don't even notice that an object as big as a rider falling off them. Being a hot-headed, feisty dragon, they will attack anyone in its way if spooked. Every time Monstrous Nightmares attempt to fight off Toothless, they are blinded by their aggressiveness that Night Furies are a far bigger threat than they think.
While other babies, which drool regularly, baby Nightmares are much different as they slobber packs of punch that their kerosene gel composition makes it akin to lighter fluid.
When born, baby Monstrous Nightmares hatch fast and fiery. They are quick to be separated from the rest of the litter and assert their independence within minutes of their birth, but this hasn't been confirmed as shown on the Dragon Breeding Island when some baby Nightmares were still with their parents. They were shown to be eager to join their parents when setting off the return migration to Berk but like all the others baby dragons, they are unable to fly well due to their small wing and the strong winds that are preventing them to take off.
It was revealed in the episode Total Nightmare, that female Monstrous Nightmares are able to call males that aren't her mate, but another individual of their kind. As Hookfang was shown to help a female dragon of his kind to defend her eggs from Titan Wing Monstrous Nightmare (the first titan wing ever to be seen outside of the Rise of Berk game). Male Monstrous Nightmares are shown to be determined to answer this distressed call .
Their mating habits are similar to a lion's, as seen in Total Nightmare; rival Monstrous Nightmares who are fighting for a mate will want to destroy the predecessor's eggs, much like a new alpha male wanting to destroy the previous alpha's cubs.
These dragons are also extremely territorial, protecting their young and helping other individuals of the same kind. In Total Nightmare, Hookfang was helped a female dragon take care of her eggs. He also pit himself against a larger, stronger Titan Nightmare which was attacking them in order to dominate over it and protect the eggs.
The Titan Wing Monstrous Nightmare has shown to be fiercer and much more aggressive compared to average Monstrous Nightmares. They will fight for dominance over a female Monstrous Nightmare to have their own family, such as male lions do with a pride. Possibility that the Titan Nightmare may have killed the mate of the female Monstrous Nightmare. They will even destroy her first eggs to have their own eggs with the female.
Monstrous Nightmare can also store and heat fish by sticking them to its spines. The Nightmare can then engulf itself in flames and cook the fish, sort of like a barbecue.
If Monstrous Nightmares get a toothache, they would act strange, for example they won't eat for a few days. The dragon would then become agitated, act aggressive and then they will fire uncontrollably. As shown by Hookfang, tamed Monstrous Nightmares can also reject their owners and companions, usually only for a short while.
The true weakness of this dragon is losing their flame as well as their fire burst from hypothermia that could make this dragon become very weak and they can easily die from this. According to Fishlegs they can loose their Fire Burst from old age, exhaustion or injuries. Symptoms include flaky skin, pale coloration and inability to light up. Although Hookfang shown to be able to still fly high, but can lose their altitudes showing off difficulties as they can fly slower. Their other weakness is tying up their snout that they won't be able to use their Fire Burst but they are able to still fight back.
Also, Titan Monstrous Nightmares are unable to maneuver as quickly as younger ones and have difficulty making sharp turns while flying. Their size hinders their mobility of flying and they can be taken down by younger Nightmares. Another weakness is their incredible stubbornness, making them hard to control and very disobedient, as well as the fact that they are very easily distracted by butterflies and flowers.
The best way to earn the trust of a Monstrous 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. While Nightmares are generally tough, tenacious and rebellious, mutual respect and trust will certainly help both parties in the long run.
After Hiccup shot Toothless down, he excalimed happily, asking if anyone saw his achievement. A Nightmare emerged from behind him, causing a groan from hiccup. The next shot depicts Hiccup running away from the Nightmare. Stoick arrives at the scene just before the Nightmare corners Hiccup behind a brazer. The Nightmare runs out of shots and Stoick fights it fist-to-talon, finally, it flies away in defeat.
A Nightmare was kept prisoner at dragon training and the top of the class would've had the 'honor' of killing him. Hiccup was given the chance and instead, tries to connect to him and show the Vikings that dragons are not monsters, but after an outburst from Stoick, he becomes startled and begins to attack Hiccup in defense, until Toothless comes and protects his friend from the much bigger dragon, having no difficulty in subduing the enemy.
Later, when Hiccup is trying to get his friends to connect with the dragons and help fight the Red Death, the Nightmare is the first one he brings out. Snotlout is terrified enough to prepare a broken end of a spear as a weapon, in case Hookfang starts attacking, but Astrid nudges him to put it down. When Hiccup brings him closer to the others, he grabs Snotlout's arm so he can touch the dragon. Snotlout, obviously still frightened tries to resist, until Hiccup calms him and places his hand on his snout and he begins to growl in a purring manner. Snotlout's fear turns to amazement as he has made a connection. During the final battle of the Red Death, Snotlout is seen riding the Nightmare. After the events of this film, the Nightmare was named Hookfang they joined the rest of the team and appeared in almost every other episode of the series.
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.
Bork and Miabella Viking sat by a campfire and fried corn on it when the scent attracted a Monstrous Nightmare. The dragon appeared before them, and Miabella Viking warned Bork. He attacked the ferocious Nightmare with the frying pan spilling the food in the process. The Monstrous Nightmare disarmed Bork, ate the food and retreated. Bork took two pieces of corn and tried to use it as a weapon against the dragon, but failed when the dragon burned Bork by lighting himself on fire (creating popcorn in the process). Hiccup said to befriend a Monstrous Nightmare by giving it respect and a gentle hand its snout.
In Heather Report, Part 1, the Outcasts were trying to train it, but with no results. In Part 2, he was the dragon chosen for Astrid, who was hoping for a Deadly Nadder, to train. She first tried to approach him slowly, but he flamed up, knocking her back. Astrid then tried the direct approach by grabbing his tail. This just made the dragon angry and flung her off. Astrid then remembered how Snotlout pinned Hookfang's horns to the ground to calm him down, and did the same to the fiery reptile. He was relaxed and bonded with Astrid. When Alvin brought out Heather's adoptive parents, she punched the Monstrous Nightmare's nose, after apologizing, so he would flame up and attack. He returned at the end when Alvin was about to throw Astrid off a cliff and saved her. It is assumed he is now living on Berk.
Fanghook, a pink Nightmare, first appeared in The Flight Stuff when Gustav was looking for his own dragon. After rejecting the Terrible Terror and the Deadly Nadder, he found Fanghook chasing boars, picking him because Snotlout described the Monstrous Nightmare as "the most lethal dragon in the known world." However, due to Snotlout's "training," Gustav's relationship with Fanghook was like Snotlout and Hookfang's. Gustav decides to head to Outcast Island after overhearing about the scouting mission from Trader Johan. The two easily get captured in Dagur's new trap, but are soon released by Hiccup. They then work with Snotlout and Hookfang to save Hiccup and Toothless. The next day, Gustav releases Fanghook back into the forest. After Hiccup and Snotlout leave, Gustav calls his dragon and the two continue training together in secret. The duo appeared in several other episodes and are the leader of the Auxiliary Team.
Dragons: Race to the Edge
In Total Nightmare, Snotout believes that Hookfang is going feral after he repeatedly breaks out of his stable to meet a female Nightmare. In an attempt to convince him to return, Hookfang out rightly chose the female's side. Dismayed, Snotlout announces that he does not want to be a rider anymore. The gang quickly round up more Nightmares, but Snotlout refuses, naming them Hookfire, Fangmaster and Hookblazefang as they remind him of Hookfang. They were quickly sent away. As Snotlout leaves, he sees Hookfang laying on the ground. Thinking that the female abused him, Snotlout charges forward, ready to attack. However, the arrival of a Titan Nightmare draws all their attention. The dragons charge, but the Titan sweeps them all off their feet. Snotlout realises that the female had called Hookfang for help in protecting her young from the Titan and recounted everything to the gang when they arrive. Snotlout mounts Hookfang and lures the Titan away from the eggs with a series of winding routes, using its lack of agility against it. They quickly head to the Edge and trap themselves in the dome. They corner the Titan inside and fire at it. Finally, the Titan concedes defeat and leaves.
In Team Astrid, Astrid helped Sven train his Nightmare. The duo then joined the Auxiliary Riders and helpd defend the Edge in that episode. They also attempted to defeat the Frozen Skrill in A Time to Skrill, but failed.
In Night of the Hunters, Part 1, a captive dragon was seen inside a Dragon-proof cage. While a Dragon Hunter taunted him from outside, Ryker warned him not to as they were smarter than him. Cagecruncher lurched forward, nearly hurting the hunter. Ryker had backed off just in the nick of time, claiming that dragons weren't smarter than him.
Firescrapes can first be seen together with Scardian and the rest of the pack when they faced off Trader Johann and kidnapped Fishlegs in Edge of Disaster, Part 1 and 2. He is later seen several times standing beside Scardian, and later patrolling at night. He was later tamed by Hiccup and aided them at Dragon's Edge to fight off Dagur.
In Stryke Out, a fighter Nightmare known as Whip-Slash is introduced. Whip-Slash was first seen fighting with Steeltrap when Ryker visited Arena Host. When Hiccup got captured, Whip-Slash threatened him. Later, Hiccup gave him a fish but the dragon spited it. Then, Hiccup pulled a hook out of his mouth and gave him the fish again. This time the dragon ate the fish. Later, Whip-Slash and Steeltrap tried to melt the menacle tight from the fighter Razorwhip tail but failed
During Valka's recount of her experience just before leaving Berk to Hiccup, a Nightmare appeared in her flashback during a dragon raid. It was shot down and a Viking approached it, ready to end its life. Valka stepped forward and stopped him. The Viking reluctantly left for other dragons and when the Nightmare was said, it was said to join Valka.
This dragon is available on Lava-lout Island in Wild Skies. Described as 'Stop Drop and Roll, Explosive Nightmare', training the Nightmare will unlocked the 'Stop Drop and Roll' achievement.
The Nightmare is the first searchable dragon in the game. Plenty of individuals like Hookfang, his mate and offsprings, Fanghook, Fangmaster, Sven's Nightmare, Girl Hookfang, Firescrapes, Cagecruncher, Exiled Monstrous Nightmare and Valka's Mercy are available in the game.
The Monstrous Nightmare is one of the few free dragons available for riding in this game.
- 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.
- The Monstrous Nightmare quite resembles the dragon Smaug from Hobbit Franchise.
- 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 barbells on their chin.
- In the concept art, it is shown that Monstrous Nightmares have barbells at least three through five but a bit longer then the counterparts from the franchise. So older Monstrous Nightmares barbells might grow longer when aging.
- Monstrous Nightmares have a tendency to spit fire at times, unintentionally, like coughing, sneezing or laughing although most species shoot fire, or their ranged weaponry when coughing, or sneezing.
- In a similar manner, Monstrous Nightmares will unintentionally set its scales on fire while shedding them. This can be troublesome if a Monstrous Nightmare is flying above a village, the scales will become flaming missiles!
- Monstrous Nightmares are said to grow to 70 ft. long. Hookfang, however, is only 61 ft. long with a wingspan of 68 ft. This means Hookfang is either a young adult of his species, or that 70 ft. is the maximum length for the species and most of them grow don't grow that long. This would explain why Fanghook is smaller than Hookfang.
- When Stoick and his army enter the Helheim's Gate, there was one Monstrous Nightmare in the fog that was far bigger than their ships and his kind. Though it could been the shadow figure that could made this dragon seem to be much bigger or this could be the largest Monstrous Nightmare seen possible was killed by Stoick and his men.
- In Rise of Berk, Monstrous Nightmares have three finger claws instead of two when turned into a titan.
- Dragons: Race to the Edge shows Titan Wing Monstrous Nightmares to be bigger and a darker color but without an extra claw finger.
- They are shown to have prehensile tongues as one was able to grab its food. That could make sense as Hookfang often has his tongue sticking out.
- Monstrous Nightmares seem to be much longer than their wings are wide.
- Monstrous Nightmare is the third species to be seen in their titan wing form outside of the Rise of Berk game. The first being the Gronckle in the Book of Dragons short, and the second is the Screaming Death.
- Monstrous Nightmares are based off the book Devilish Dervishes.
- Monstrous Nightmares and Carven Crashers have bit in common as they both use a type of slime to light of their fire power.
- It is possible that the Monstrous Nightmare may be able to resist the Death Song's attack if it performs a fire burst. This way the amber substance might break upon contact with the Monstrous Nightmare's body.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Monstrous Nightmare in the Dragonpedia.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Making Of How to Train Your Dragon - Animator's Corner. YouTube.
- ↑ Otto, Simon. How to Create Your Dragon: The Inspirations Behind the Creatures. (July 10, 2014).