Symbiotic lifeforms make up some of the most powerful entities in the Marvel comicsverse, able to bond with living hosts and battle with godlike power and efficiency. One such creature–perhaps the most powerful of all the klyntarian species–is that of Grendel aka the symbiote dragon.
Born before time began, the being has since grown to become a menace of legendary proportions, inspiring endless scrolls of myths and tales about its raging rampages across the stars. Just who is this dark entity and, more importantly, what can it do? Here are ten things you need to know about Grendel the symbiote.
10 It’s Over A Billion Years Old
Grendel, also known as the symbiote dragon, was created by Knull who formed the creature out of the his own blood. Together, they terrorized the cosmic world, murdering whole hosts of ascended beings including gods and various immortal civilizations.
Grendel has watched histories unfold, observing the rise and fall of empires. During the Viking Age on Earth, Grendel terrorized the Nordic villages and Danish tribes. After being frozen in ice, Grendel was later discovered by agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the Vietnam War where the symbiote was taken to a lab and tortured with cruel experiments.
9 Knull Controls The Lifeform
Like all symbiotes, Grendel is just another node on the collective hive-mind network — a living vessel to be controlled by Knull when need be. It was Knull who remote-piloted the dragon during its battle with the Danes, and later the offshoot sub-creation Tyranasaurs as it devoured soldiers in the Vietnamese jungle.
Despite its great strength, power, and viciousness, Grendel is at the mercy of its maker, subject to its will and desires whenever summoned. The creature is particularly ruthless when under Knull’s control and has eradicated countless beings across the stars.
8 It’s Basically A God (Sort Of)
Alluded to in the first installment of this list, Grendel is capable of splitting itself into new, living parasites called offshoots. This makes the creature extremely powerful, able to replicate itself at the mere division of molecules.
A prime example of this occurs after S.H.I.E.L.D. discovered Grendel frozen in ice in the late sixties. The offshoot mutated into a Tyrannosaurs-like monster, running through the jungles of Asia killing unchecked.
7 Inspired the Legend of Beowulf
Another fun fact about Marvel’s parasite dragon: the creature inspired the legend of Beowulf (in Marvel’s universe) during its reign of terror circa the Age of Heroes.
In Marvel’s version, Beowulf is actually a real person who may or may not be one of the Eternals — a powerful alien being from a world far away. However, despite this, Beowulf vanished before his climactic battle with the dragon, replaced by Thor Odinson who defeated the klyntarian even though the victory was attributed to the Danish legend instead.
6 Wide Range Of Devastating Powers
Grendel possesses numerous powers and abilities ranging from the all-powerful to ultra weird. While the creature exhibits the usual traits of symbiotic lifeforms such as super strength, speed, and healing factor; it also enjoys abilities such as camouflage capability and replication through cellular division.
Grendel also possesses the uncanny ability to manipulate matter at will. This makes the creature not only physically dangerous, but metaphysically as well since it can control the atoms and elements of spacetime. It can also communicate telepathically, and move objects with its mind.
5 Weak Against Mjolnir
Of all of the mythological and technological weaponry constructed throughout the Marvel universe, one melee item Grendel is actually weak against is Thor’s mace, Mjolnir. This is in part due to the cosmic nature of the hammer, but also because the klyntarian is weak against lightning.
It all goes down when the symbiote dragon faces off against the Prince of Asgard in a battle of titans. In the story, Thor attacks the creature after Beowulf’s mysterious disappearance post slaying Grendel’s mother. Using Mjolnir, Thor unleashes legs of intense lightning that knock Grendel into a tomb of ice where it remains frozen until S.H.I.E.L.D.’s discovery in 1969.
4 Created to Kill Celestials
In conjunction with being a god itself, Grendel is also a god killer whose original purpose was to destroy Celestials such as J’son the father of Peter Quill aka Star-Lord. Grendel is no different, seeking to rip and tear its godly counterparts until they are no more.
This makes Grendel a literal weapon of the cosmos; a demon of eternity; a force of nature rather than a natural being. Not only this, but Grendel may perhaps be the most powerful klyntarian ever birthed by Knull as it was used as Knull’s personal vessel of destruction.
3 Fire Kills It
While it’s true symbiotes are extraordinarily resilient to heat, they are not impervious to flame. This includes Grendel who, for as powerful as it is, still holds physical limitations (though they are few).
Although it’s true Grendel never battled against the likes of Silver Surfer, an example of the klyntarian’s weakness to extreme heat can be seen in battles with other symbiotes. As such, Silver Surfer dispatched these cosmic menaces by summoning stars inside their bodies, immolating them from within.
2 Weak Against Sonic Weaponry
One notorious weakness plaguing symbiotic lifeforms is their sensitivity to sound. High pitched frequencies physically harm klyntarians, causing them to writhe in pain and even disconnect from their hosts.
Grendel the dragon is no exception to the rule here. Yes, it’s true, for all of Grendel’s great strengths, the cosmic terror is vulnerable to loud sounds just as much as Venom, Carnage, or any other of his species. Speaking of Venom, even the anti-hero himself used sonic grenades to incapacitate the Grendel, although the creature eventually did escape.
1 Body Used To Create Super Soldiers
After discovering Grendel’s frozen form, the dragon was taken back to S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ were pieces of the symbiote where used in a super-soldier program called Sym-Soldiers.
The whole idea behind this was to bond offshoots of Grendel to human soldiers, utilizing the power of the parasite to gain cosmic powers for state uses. However, the plan failed miserably as the soldiers were totally corrupted by the parasites, turning them into agents of extreme brutality.
As one of the most powerful entities in Marvel and one of the lesser-known symbiote, let's find out more about the Grendel Symbiote.