The Gronckle can be slow, lazy, and cranky; it has been known to fall asleep mid-flight, waking only when it plunges into the sea or crashes into a mountain.Because of its tremendous weight and small wings, it would seem impossible for them to fly. However, because the wings of a Gronckle beat at a speed similar to that of hummingbirds' or bees' wings, it is possible for one to sustain flight. In fact, a Gronckle can fly backward, sideways and even hover in place. Its tail can be mistaken for the head if little attention is paid. It is also prone to dragon acne. Because of its large stout body and clubbed tail, the Gronckle somewhat resembles an ankylosaur. They spend the majority of the day sleeping. It has huge jaws which it uses to hold food when carrying it to the dragon mound. It has a rather blunt nose horn and fairly stubby toe claws. It legs are practically useless in battle, and due to its short tail it has a fairly small attack range.
The Gronckle can launch a devastating fire attack but is limited to six shots at a time. Both its fire attack and hovering flight pattern makes it a very dangerous dragon. It can simply hover slightly out of reach of the Vikings and then blast them with its powerful fire. Unlike the other dragons, the Gronckle can refill its so called shot limit fairly quickly. Most dragons use a flammable gas, but the Gronckle eats rocks and then melts them in its stomach. So as long as there are edible rocks in the area the Gronckle will be able to refill its shot limit.
The official Website describes the Gronckle as follows: "One of the toughest Dragons in our world is the GRONCKLE. Gronckles have gigantic heads, short bodies, and round tails. Gronckles are lazy, and spend most of their time sleeping in communal heaps. They have been known to fall asleep while flying, waking only when they crash into the ocean or the side of a mountain. Gronckles have relatively small wings that beat as fast as a hummingbird's. They are slow in the air, but make up for this with their maneuverability. A Gronckle can fly backwards, sideways, and even hover. Gronckles attack from the air, where their primary weapon is most effective. Gronckles chew rocks, melting them in their bellies and firing them as balls of molten lava."
"With its bulbous shape, tiny wings and laid-back demeanor, the warthoggish Gronckle is proving to be a fan favorite." Says Sanders, “He is a series of round balls, including warts. He’s just lazy, cantankerous and grumpy, and that makes you like him even better. The critter is known to doze off even in mid-flight as he floats about like the Goodyear blimp. But there is no denying that his fire packs a lethal punch."
A Viking fighting a Gronckle in the opening sceneAdded by Toothless99The Gronckle is the first dragon that students have to fight in the arena. It is used to teach them how to use the shield to block attacks and shown to have a six shot limit. One almost blasts Hiccup, but he is saved by Gobber the Belch. Hiccup learns from Toothless that dragons love garlic grass and uses this to rub the same Gronckle into submission in a later training session. The Gronkle is used to determine who will kill the Mosterous Nightmare and is seen subdued by Hiccup (presumably through scratching a particularly sensitive spot dragons have), earning him that right. Fishlegs on the GronckleAdded by Toothless99Hiccup later gives the Gronkle to Fishlegs during the attack on the Red Death and during the battle, it hovers beside the evil dragon's head, allowing Fishlegs to distract the Red Death by banging on his shield. This also confuses the Gronkle and causes it to crash and flip upside-down, pinning Fishlegs who ends up being okay. The Gronckle and Fishlegs are nearly crushed by the Red Death's foot, but thanks to Snotlout's antics, it barley misses them and the Gronckle is later seen flying around the villiage as Fishlegs' pet dragon.
It is shown in the book that Dogsbreath the Duhbrain and Wartihog both have Gronckles in the Pirate Training Programme. Dogsbreath's is called Seaslug. Stoick the Vast also has a Gronckle called Newtsbreath.
Role in the series
A female Gronckle appears in the series as the mount of Fishlegs. Her name is Meatlug.