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The Red Death is the main antagonist of How to Train Your Dragon. It is a Stoker Class dragon and second only in size to the Bewilderbeast, which is the largest of all dragons.

Role in How to Train Your Dragon

The Red Death was a vicious dragon that enslaved hundreds if not thousands of dragons, acting as both their queen and a brood parasite. Gronckles, Hideous Zipplebacks, Monstrous Nightmares, Terrible Terrors, and even Toothless, one of the few remaining Night Furies, fell under its spell. This dragon was responsible for the many attacks on Berk, commanding its underlings to raid the area to procure their overlord food. Any dragons who failed to offer enough meals were themselves eaten as punishment. Its presence was unknown to Berk's Vikings until it and its nest were discovered by Hiccup, Astrid and Toothless, whereupon they saw its brutality and it attempted to eat them.

Toothless, later captured by Hiccup's father, Stoick the Vast, was later forced to lead the Viking armada to the nest, where it emerged to attack the Vikings. Though Stoick's forces attempted to stop it, the dragon queen easily routed the Vikings, and was intercepted by Hiccup, Astrid, Snotlout, Fishlegs, and the twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut, all astride dragons. Though the twins, Astrid, Fishlegs and Snoutlout all were able to keep it at bay for a time, it was only the combined efforts of Hiccup and Toothless that turned the tide of the attack. Engaging the dragon head on, they lured the great beast into the air, where they tricked it into chasing them into the clouds. There, Toothless began peppering the Red Death's wings with fire until it retaliated, searing the entire area with flame. Toothless and Hiccup, now out of time due to Toothless' prosthetic tail fin being burned, tricked the dragon into diving after them. As they raced toward the ground, Hiccup had Toothless fire a shot down the Red Death's throat, causing the fuel for its flame to ignite in its throat. When the Red Death realized the ground was approaching and tried to pull up, it could not; Toothless' fire had burned holes in its wings. Thus, the Red Death crashed and exploded, catching Toothless and Hiccup in the blast.

Though Hiccup and Toothless survived the fight, Hiccup lost his left foot to the dragon's flame. However, the Red Death's demise had a positive side effect: the Vikings of Berk and the dragons it had previously enslaved became united forever, beginning a new age of peace.

The Red Death is later mentioned in DreamWorks Dragons: The Series by the Berserker Clan chief Dagur the Deranged, when he hears that Hiccup killed the creature.


The Red Death was a cruel and bad-tempered dragon, with no mercy to its subjects, or rather, its slaves. Though it likely controls its minions using fear, it may, like the Bewilderbeast, have some form of mind control. According to Berkian legend, the Red Death lives 2,000 years and, before it dies, lays 3,000 eggs. The hatchlings then fight each other to the death, a process that can take up to 100 years, until only one survives.


The Red Death is gray with red, coral-like spike on its back, six limbs (four legs and two wings), six eyes (and as such it has no blind spot), as well as a huge clubbed tail. Its skull is heavily armored. Its fire is akin to a superheated pyroclastic cloud. The Red Death measures 400 feet long, 99 feet tall, about 60 feet wide.This could also as such be considered a Leviathan Class dragon.


  • There may be many Red Deaths, as Valka states that every nest of dragons has its queen.
  • Despite being called a queen, the dragon's gender is ambiguous (which means it has no gender).
  • According to Valka that every nest has a queen meaning there are more Red Deaths out there.