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About the Show

About Grimms

Grimms are several families of special people, who possess incredible powers, such as being able to see the true form of Wesen, even when they don’t want them to. For centuries they have placed it upon themselves to police and hunt the Wesen population, to protect normal humans from the unknown threat around them.

History of Grimms

During the Fourth Crusade, knights in service to the Seven Houses participated in the sack of Constantinople. These knights’ exact numbers are not specified. The knights brought back a treasure from Constantinople so powerful, that they feared it coming into the possession of their masters. They hid the treasure and created a map in seven parts.

The knights are the earliest known Grimms, and the ancestors of all modern Grimms. These knights were needed to keep the Wesen in line that made up the brunt of the Royals’ Army. The Brothers Grimm, who have no surviving descendents today, were descended from these knights. It is not clear if the term Grimm originates with the brothers or predates them.

Over the next several centuries, the Grimms served as the (usually) freelance police of the Wesen world, dispatching those who could not live in peace with humans (by contrast, the Verrat enforced the internal rules of Wesen society). As a general rule, it was the responsibility of the Grimms to hunt down “the bad ones”, those aggressive and malicious Wesen who preyed on humans or other Wesen. The majority of Grimms were only exposed to the Wesen community through these malcontents, leading some of them, namely the Endezeichen Grimms, to consider all Wesen abominations that needed to be exterminated.

The problem of over-zealous Grimms eventually led to the creation of the Reapers, an order dedicated to eradicating them in a “who watches the watchers?” situation.

At some point the Grimms became aware of the Coins of Zakynthos and their inherent resistance to them; knowledge of the Coins was included in Grimm archives and individual Grimms were encouraged to seize the Coins and keep them safe.

When Europeans began to colonize the Americas, Grimms were present early on to document and defend against the New World’s previously unknown Wesen.

By the 21st century, Grimms were feared almost without exception by the entire Wesen community. In Portland, Oregon, a single Grimm, Nick Burkhardt, has become aware of his abilities and seems to be redefining what the Wesen thought they knew about the Grimms.

Nature of Grimms

Grimms are tasked with policing the creature world, making sure that those who harm humans are stopped. For this reason many wesen mistrust or fear them, even having their own set of Wesen fairy tales warning wesen children about the Grimms. Grimms possess superior fighting skills, and good heads for observation and Nick Burkhardt, a Grimm uncanny instincts for people and their personalities, even besides their ability to sense the supernatural. So police work seems a rather good fit, as is law.

In “Cat and Mouse“, it is revealed that, although most Grimms broke with the Royal Houses centuries ago, Grimms occasionally work for the Seven Royal Houses and with the Verrat, helping to enforce order among the wesen. This is another reason why even a sole Grimm can inspire so much fear from wesen: the prospect of bringing the wrath of a Royal Family upon themselves if they do anything to an enforcer.

Within a single family group, not all members of a Grimm’s family become Grimms. In some cases, entire generations can pass without any relative showing signs of their abilities, only for several Grimms to emerge in the same generation. As a general rule, females become aware of their abilities earlier than males. The Grimms themselves, or at least the Kessler/Burkhardt branch of the family, did not know why this was.

Although the majority of the Grimms discussed so far are of European descent, Grimms seem to be found worldwide, as the episode “Tarantella” involves a European Grimm meeting a Japanese doctor with all the abilities of a Grimm on a train in Singapore. However, documentation of New World species of wesen appears to have been conducted by European Grimms. It is not clear if all Grimms are genetically related (though it is implied, as on all occasions Nick’s referred to any Grimm inquestion, as his “ansestors”), and if so, how many generations back the relationship goes.

Grimms seem to have preference for decapitation and there are many references to them cutting off their victim’s head.

Powers

Grimms possess many powers, the most used one is their ability to see Wesen for what they really are, but only if the Wesen is startled, scared, angered, stressed or something else happens that disrupts the Wesen’s concentration.

Assumedly, Wesen are able to recognize Grimms because a Grimm responds to the morphing, since the only times when they never noticed Nick witnessing them shift before him were when they were distracted, preoccupied, or not in any way giving Nick their full attention. However, there may be another means of identification that we have not seen yet as even when Nick keeps his face passive upon seeing a Hässlich – as he did in “Leave It to Beavers” – the Hässlich still knew who he was. If this recognition of him is because Nick is well known in Portland’s Wesen community or not is still up for debate. It is possible that Wesen identify Grimms not by the way they react to when they Woge, but by being able to see their image being reflected off the Grimm’s eyes. Nick mentions that none of his ancestors wrote about this trait, and hypothesizes that they can naturally sense when he recognizes them. However, it has been shown that the Wesen only recognizes the Grimm in question if they see the Grimm observe them woge.

Grimms also possess superhuman physical traits, such as strength, durability, agility, reflexes, and speed. This allows them to go toe to toe with any Wesen, except Siegbarste, and survive things that would kill a normal person. Nick was able take on a Skalenzahne (one of the strongest known Wesen) and defeat it. His aunt, despite dying of cancer, and weakened by the drugs, was still able to kill her human attacker, and showed no fear to Monroe. Grimms’ strength can also be measured in the fact they can casually take down Wesen who possess superhuman strength, such Jagerbar’s or Klaustreich, and can easily overpower humans. Grimms’ durability is particularly notable; several times Nick has shrugged off blows from creatures with incredible strength. For example, when facing a Schakal, the creature smashed a toaster around his head, but he recovered in seconds. He was even able to escape from a beating with a Siegbarste, with simply a few bruised ribs.

It has also been shown that the blood of a Grimm can destroy the animal part of a Hexenbiest. In essence, the Hexenbiest becomes human after this and is no longer a part of the Wesen world. It is currently unknown if this will work on other members of the Wesen world.

Grimm also possesses greater resistance to temptation than humans, and are the only beings able to resist the temptation of the Coins of Zakynthos.

As well as this, Grimms seem to have a natural aptitude for fighting, particularly against Wesen, and with ancient and medieval weapons. They also possess incredible observation abilities and keen instincts. There also seems to be some natural aptitude in the Grimm lines of artistic talent as there are many detailed pictures in Aunt Marie’s books from the other Grimms and Nick shows an aptitude for drawing as well.

Endezeichen Grimms

The Endezeichen Grimm (“end sign”) were the worst of the worst, a sect of merciless, intolerant Grimms devoid of any compassion whatsoever. It is said that they would roam the countryside mercilessly killing men, women, children and pets. It did not matter to Endezeichen Grimms if a Wesen was good or evil: in the eyes of Endezeichen Grimms all Wesen are inhuman abominations to be eradicated. Endezeichen Grimms were known to be inhumanely brutal, torturing captive Wesen and cutting fingers, toes, arms, legs, even genitals as grisly trophies. Their brutal tactics and indiscriminate killing of Wesen set Endezeichen Grimms apart from regular Grimms, who usually only kill evil Wesen, and even then resort to the quickest and cleanest method. To this day Wesen parents make sure to tell their children about Endezeichen Grimms via Albtraume fur Wesen Kinder, the Wesen equivalent of fairy tales.

The Sterbestunde G (“hour of death”) was their symbol, which was stylized to look like a human skull. Endezeichen Grimms branded it into every Wesen they killed and drew it with the blood of their victims on every house of every village that had Wesen in it.

Aside from their brutal tactics and the Sterbestund G Endezeichen Grimms had additional trademarks. Endezeichen Grimms wore black hooded cloaks that went down to tops off their feet; concealing their entire body. In addition to their cloaks Endezeichen Grimms wore full face masks that had a vague skull-like appearance. The Endezeichen Grimms likely wore these garments to conceal their true identity from humans, Wesen, and regular Grimms. This would make it much harder for anyone to bring the Endezeichen Grimms to justice thus allowing them to kill Wesen with near impunity.

The Endezeichen Grimms are generally thought to have died out by most Wesen, but their memory is still powerful. As a result of the Endezeichen Grimms, most Wesen fear all Grimms and will do everything they can to flee from them, due to the fact that for centuries, they had no way of knowing whether or not the Grimm is an Endezeichen Grimm.

Speculation-
It is possible Endezeichen Grimms are still around, but are simply extremely rare. This could explain how Ryan Smulson got the Endezeichen Grimm branding iron, cloak, and mask which he subsequently used to copy them. Alternatively, their equipment could simply have been persevered, while they as an order are extinct.

Endezeichen Grimms have similarities to the Reapers. Like Endezeichen Grimms, Reapers wear long dark clothing and draw their trademark symbol with the blood of their victims. These similarities between the two groups may or may not be coincidental. It is possible that the Reapers were originally created in order to hunt down Endezeichen Grimms, using the Grimms own tactics, to keep other Wesen safe.