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Symbiote Dragons
Knull (Earth-616) and Symbiote Dragons (Earth-616) from Absolute Carnage Vol 1 5 001.jpg
Official Name
Symbiote Dragons
Editorial Name(s)
Grendel Dragons[1]
Grendel,[2] Klyntar Dragons,[3] Symbiote-Dragons,[4] Symbiotic Dragons[5]
Team Leader(s)
Current Member(s)
Big Mother[6] and numerous unnamed symbiote dragons
Former Member(s)
Identity and Affiliations
Draconic monsters manifested from the living abyss
Base of Operations
Place of Formation
Creators and Appearances
First Appearance



Knull creating a symbiote dragon.

At some point early into his crusade against the Light brought into the universe by the Celestials, Knull learned he could manifest massive wyvern-like monsters out of the living abyss he commanded. Powerful enough to kill most gods, these symbiote dragons were used as everything from mounts to weapons of mass destruction capable of annihilating entire civilizations; and their constituent living abyss could be used to smother entire planets or infect gods and mortals alike, turning them into soldiers for Knull's army.[7][8][9]

Attack on Earth

A pair of symbiote dragons - one black and one red - arrived on Earth and attacked the Danes during the sixth century,[6] establishing a lair in a cave hidden behind a waterfall in Denmark.[10] In time a cannibalistic cult formed, worshipping the symbiote dragons and dedicating grotesque monuments to them.[10] The black symbiote-dragon - dubbed the "Grendel" by the local Danes - was ultimately struck down by Thor Odinson's divine lightning, the backlash of which severed Knull's connection to his hive-mind. While the Grendel was frozen in ice, most of the other symbiote dragons destabilized and dispersed into individual symbiotes, which sought out hosts to fill the void left by their disconnection from Knull; eventually rebelling against him and imprisoning him in the heart of the Symbiote Throneworld, which they renamed Klyntar.[2] Pieces of the Grendel symbiote fell to Earth and bonded to human hosts, who joined the symbiote-worshiping cult and dedicated it to worshiping Knull and freeing him from his prison.[11] The red symbiote dragon - which had become known as "Grendel's Mother" - went on a vengeful rampage and was eventually defeated by Thor as well, its body plunging into the North Sea.[12]

Centuries later, the Grendel symbiote-dragon was unearthed by S.H.I.E.L.D. and samples of its living abyss were used in several supersoldier programs - beginning with the Sym-Soldier Program. However, the Grendel and its offshoots retained their connection to Knull, causing the Sym-Soldiers to go berserk when deployed in the Vietnam War.[13] Most of the samples were appropriated by Weapon Plus and used to start Weapon V,[14] while the Grendel and the Sym-Soldiers were stored in a top-secret location.[15]

Decades later, Knull seized control of the Grendel and sent it on a rampage through Manhattan to reclaim the symbiotes extracted by the Sym-Soldier Program; though he was stopped by the symbiote-augmented antihero Venom and one of the Grendel's offshoots, Tyrannosaurus. The Grendel was immolated in a blast furnace alongside Tyrannosaurus, though a small piece managed to survive.[16] This piece was stolen by the Cult of Knull and bonded to the corpse of serial killer Cletus Kasady - reanimating him and marking him as Knull's apostle.[11] Seeking to restore the Grendel symbiote's deific power and free Knull, Kasady and the cult began hunting everyone who had ever bonded to a symbiote, but he was ultimately killed and stripped of the Grendel symbiote by Venom.[17]

Return of Knull

Awakened by Venom absorbing the Grendel symbiote, Knull destroyed Klyntar and coalesced its constituent symbiotes into a fleet of symbiote dragons, once more embarking on his crusade to annihilate the cosmos.[18][19] While this occurred, Grendel's Mother began amassing an army of her own in preparation for Knull's arrival, coming into conflict with Scream.[20]

En route to Earth, Knull dispatched several of his symbiote dragons to spread as much destruction across the cosmos as possible. One symbiote dragon attacked Spartax, killing two billion people in the span of four hours before being engaged by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Wounded by the apotheosized Star-Lord, it retreated into space to regenerate before attempting to infect him and the other Guardians with its living abyss, but was ultimately destroyed.[21] Several of the remaining symbiote dragons were used by Knull to form a shell of living abyss around the Earth, while others remained separate - hunting down individuals to infect or devour.[22][23]

Powers and Abilities


Symbiote dragons are vastly more powerful than lesser symbiotes, to the point of being capable of overpowering and killing gods;[2] and are highly-resistant to the traditional symbiote weaknesses of fire and sonics.[22] The Grendel symbiote in particular was described as deific due to its direct link to Knull,[24] though it's unknown if the other symbiote dragons possess this status. Symbiote dragons are capable of interstellar flight at speeds fast enough to match the likes of the Silver Surfer, and like lesser symbiotes, they can generate tendrils, blades, and spikes formed of living abyss.[25][26] At least one symbiote dragon possessed the ability to breathe fire.[27]

The living abyss comprising symbiote dragons can be used to spawn individual symbiotes, with the Sym-Soldier Program and Weapon V seeking to weaponize this ability to create suits of bio-armor;[7][14] and Carnage, Big Mother, and Knull using this ability to create armies of minions.[24]


  • Heat: While symbiote dragons are resilient to heat and sonics,[3] they are not completely immune.[22] Two symbiote dragons created by Knull to fight the Silver Surfer were destroyed when he used the Power Cosmic to create stars inside them,[28][9] while the Grendel symbiote was almost completely destroyed by a steel-smelting blast furnace described as feeling as hot as the sun.[29] Approximately one-hundred symbiote dragons were slain by Iron Man's minefield of derelict Kree and Skrull warships,[22] and Star-Lord's Element Gun - in conjunction with the divine power he obtained from the Olympians - was capable of killing a symbiote-dragon.[21]
  • Electricity: Symbiote dragons are extremely vulnerable to high voltages of electricity, which destabilizes them.[30][29]



Like lesser symbiotes, the symbiote dragons possess fangs, claws, and the ability to create tendrils of living abyss to attack and subdue opponents.[25] At least some symbiote dragons, like Big Mother, were capable of breathing fire and other forms of energy.[31]


Symbiote dragons possess wings that enable them to fly at speeds rivaling the likes of the Silver Surfer.[9]


  • Knull's ability to spontaneously create symbiote-dragons is similar to Gorr's ability to create Black Berserkers from the All-Black symbiote.[28][32][33]
  • The Venom symbiote temporarily took on a draconic form while fighting Jhoatun Lau, though this form had four legs and two wings.[34]
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 6) #10 asserts that symbiote dragons have no thoughts or minds of their own, being compelled by ravenous hunger and Knull's hatred of all life, but this is contradicted by Big Mother - who possesses a personality and desires of her own, although in her case it could be because she had been detached for a long time from the Hive mind.
  • One of the Symbiote Dragons that participated in Knull's invasion of Earth was depicted as being an actual extraterrestrial dragon that had been taken over by a symbiote, which it was freed from by Spider-Man.[35]

See Also


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