Know Your Wesen: A Grimm Guide to the Good, Bad, & Ugly

Grimm is packed to the gills with all manner of Wesen — half-human, half-beast creatures that were once believed to only exist in fairy tales. As it turns out, Wesen walk among us and are, curiously, concentrated en masse in the city of Portland. Detective Nick Burkhardt has encountered a number of different types of Wesen in the show’s past two seasons — and it looks like there are even more Wesen rearing their furry or scaled heads in Season 3 and beyond.

In the past, Grimms took a “kill first, ask questions later” stance when it came to all Wesen. What makes Nick a different kind of Grimm is the lengths he’s gone to to reach out to the Wesen community and realize that — just like humans — there are good Wesen and bad Wesen. However, unlike humans, certain species of Wesen are more naturally predisposed to being likeable critters while others have a mean streak that dates back to the Middle Ages or earlier.

It’s hard to keep track of who’s who and what’s what with so many different types of Wesen popping up. Here’s a quick n’ dirty guide to the good, the bad, and the ugly Wesen that have made appearances in the Grimm television series to help you keep things straight. (After all, not everyone has access to Aunt Marie’s trailer of Grimm lore!) Some Wesen don’t necessarily fall into neat categories of good or bad… but here is a list of some of the different type who haven’t strayed too far from their native characteristics within the confines of Grimm as a series.

The Good


01 - Eisbiber Hard-working, industrious, but slightly cowardly, Eisbibers are gentle, peace-loving folks who — like their animal beaver counterparts, have a knack for building and fixing things. Eisbibers’ curiosity can often get them in trouble, but they are generous and loyal to a fault when someone has shown them a kindness. (Think back to when Nick helped the Eisbiber community and they showed up with baskets of goodies and hand-made quilts for Nick and Juliette.)

Notable Eisbibers: Bud Wurstner (Nick’s refrigerator repairman / football-watching buddy)


02 - fuchsbau Previously, Fuchsbau — fox-like Wesen — had a bad rap. Their reputation as being sly and cunning, not to mention their penchant for engaging in some unsavory activity (selling human organs) saw their species frowned upon by other Wesen. However, like foxes, they do have an intense loyalty to those they consider friends or (an unofficial) part of their pack. Of the canine-like Wesen, the Fuchsbau are easily the most friendly and willing to deal with humans. Since the arrival of Rosalee Calvert, Monroe’s girlfriend and the owner of the local apothecary, Fuchsbau have been portrayed in a much more positive light on Grimm.

Notable Fuchsbau: Rosalee Calvert (mentioned above) and her brother Freddy; Sam Bertram, a shop-owner who swallowed the Coins of Zakynthos to protect them from falling into the wrong hands.


03 - schweinbauer These pig-like Wesen are almost always preyed upon by Blutbaden. Like the Eisbiber, a Bauerschwein doesn’t have much in the way of preternatural strength, although they do have a laid-back, easy-going nature. They get along well with humans and (again, like the Eisbiber) have a reputation for being hard-working, and for their partnership with humans and even Grimmm mostly due to their common enemy, the Blutbaden.

The Bad


04 - cracher mortel This creature isn’t particularly fearsome looking, but the Cracher-Mortel is capable of spitting a natural chemical born of their own bodies that turns humans into zombie-like creatures. The chemical compound causes distress and pain when it makes contact with humans and submits them completely to this bad-to-the-bone Wesen’s will. The Cracher-Mortel looks like either a puffer fish or blowfish and has a cultural affinity to Voodoo. In fact, one of the most notable Cracher-Mortel in the Grimm-verse, Baron Samedi, takes his name from a powerful Voodoo deity / loa and even sports a top hat much like his namesake.

Notable Cracher-Mortel: Baron Samedi, the Wesen responsible for turning a good chunk of Portland into zombies, along with Nick Burkhardt before a cure was concocted by Rosalee.


05 - schakal A Schakal is a jackal-like Wesen that may be the cruelest and most naturally evil creatures in all of of Wesen-kind. They are one of the subspecies of Wesen that have a reputation for eating humans — particularly babies and children. They are known for their superhuman strength and cunning and have very sharp teeth — all the better to eat you with, my dear! The Shakal tends to stick to working with their own kind, and even then, they are very suspicious of their cohorts motives. Fun bunch to be around!

Notable Schakals: Adolph Hitler (who also possessed the legendary Coins of Zakyntha); Ian Flynn, Hans Roth, Akira Kimura, and Soledad Marquesa — the quartet of international assassins bent on finding the coins and who were responsible for murdering Nick’s father.


06 - blutbad These wolf-like Wesen have a name that loosely translates from the German to “blood bath.” True to their name, Blutbaden are among the most feared of all Wesen. They are know for their intelligence and ruthlessness, as well as their intense bloodlust and pack mentality. They have superhuman strength and, like many of the canine-type Wesen, heightened senses of smell.

Monroe and (to a degree, his friend, the late) Hap Lasser were two reformed Blutbaden (Wider BlutBaden) who rejected the aggressive inborn nature of their species. Monroe actually follows a vegan / vegetarian diet, as well as taking up meditation and artistic pursuits to keep his negative Blutbad traits in-check.
Notable Blutbaden: Angelina Lasser, Lance Calvin — the minister who was a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” that brought new meaning to the term “fleecing the flock.”

Notable Weider Blutbaden: Monroe, Hap Lasser

The Ugly


07 - siegbarst The Siegbarste are an ogre-like species of Wesen. Unlike Shreck, they’re not ogres of the friendly variety, although they are quite intimidating. Even in human form, they retain a lot of the characteristics of their Wesen form. They are also very hard to subdue due to their high tolerance for pain. Siegbarste have some serious rage issues — which is a vast understatement. While violent and hold onto grudges tighter than dead man’s fist, Siegbarste are destructive, but nowhere near as inherently evil as other types of Wesen. They are prone to criminal acts and capable of extreme (and admittedly creative) acts of violence, but lack the wits and charisma to pull off more elaborate schemes.

Notable Sigbarste: Criminal Oleg Stark who came gunning for Nick’s partner, Detective Hank Griffin, who played a role in Stark’s initial incarceration.


08 - murcielago Named for the Spanish word for “bat,” these Wesen have fiery red eyes, sharp teeth, and claws and a high-pitched shriek that can damage human — and Wesen — sense organs — and are particularly harmful to Blutbaden. They also have the ability to fall several stories without any damage and have supernatural hearing. Murcielago have South American origins. They’re super strong and the only thing that soundly (pardon the pun) defeats them is Grimm-designed device that emits a frequency heard only by the Murcielago that drives them batty and disorients them.

Hexenbiest / Zauerbiest

09 hexenbiest It doesn’t get more ugly or more evil than a Hexenbiest! The Hexenbiest is the female form of this species of Wesen, while the Zauerbiest refers to the male. As the Germanic equivalents of their names insist, these Wesen possess the powers of a witch (female) or sorceror (male). Their appearance is ghoulish, looking borderline demonic with rotting flesh and cataract-like eyes. In human form, however, the Hexenbiest is a very attractive creature, although it is a rarity for a Hexenbiest to have a relationship with a human since their dark ways soon manifest and are naturally off-putting to most humans. In some cases, however, they do have relationships with humans and are capable of possessing half-breed children. (Captain Sean Rennard is the product of a royal and hexenbiest union, which may account for why he’s not totally reprehensible and has some more redeeming qualities.) Despite striking fear in the hearts of every single subspecies of Wesen in their world, Hexenbiests can be stripped of their powers — although they can recover them through an equally elaborate ritual.

Notable Hexenbiest: Adalind Schade (Hexenbiest); Captain Sean Rennard (half-Zaurbiest / half-Royal), Frau Pesch

About the Author:

Lana is a content author with Dish Systems, a provider of Dish Network bundles offering special promotions and pricing.