|“||A Grimm is someone who can see into the heart of darkness. Someone who sees things other people don't understand.||”|
A Grimm (Ger. "wrath") is a special person who possesses incredible powers such as being able to see the true form of Wesen, even when the Wesen don't want them to. For centuries Grimms have placed it upon themselves to police and hunt the Wesen population and to protect normal humans from the unknown threat around them.
During the Fourth Crusade, seven knights in service to the Seven Houses participated in the sack of Constantinople. These knights were needed to keep the Wesen in line that made up the brunt of the Royals' Army. 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. ("Bad Teeth")
The knights became the ancestors of what would come to be commonly known by the mid-1810s as Grimms (named after the The Brothers Grimm, who, ironically, did not inherit these traits from their ancestors and instead collected and recorded what they believed to be the mythologies of the world) ("The Icy Touch").
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 Wesen Council 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.
It appears that Grimms were involved in the Council of Walenstadt in 1521, where the Gesetzbuch Ehrenkodex, or the rules set to prevent Wesen revealing their true form was set up, as Monroe describes the event as "a Grimm event too" and there were details about it in one of Nick's Grimm Diaries.
In 1682 Grimms signed the Charter of Wittenberg, an agreement with them and the Royals, to let the Wesen Council deal with Grausen.
The problem of over-zealous Grimms likely 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.
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, good heads for observation, and 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 against a possible 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. ("Bad Teeth")
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 steamship sailing from 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 in question, as his "ancestors"), 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 victims' heads. This tactic made them so infamous in ancient Roman times that this led to their original Latin name, Dēcapitāre. This name has since fallen out of fashion and is now only used by traditional Wesen such as Gelumcaedus.
Grimms possess many powers, the most used one is their ability to see Wesen when they are woged, but only if the Wesen is startled, scared, angered, stressed or something else happens that disrupts the Wesen's concentration. They are also able to see woged Wesen on film recordings. ("Three Coins in a Fuchsbau") ("Once We Were Gods") Grimms have absolutely no influence over this ability. Grimms have one to two extra cones in their eyes compared to most people, which allows them to see things most people can't, such as Wesen. ("The Last Fight") A potion such as the Verfluchte Zwillingsschwester can cause swelling in the area of the cones, which causes a Grimm to lose their ability to see Wesen.
A woged Wesen can detect a Grimm by looking into their eyes. According to Monroe they can see an "infinite darkness" in a Grimm's eyes that reflects the Wesen's true nature. However, modern Grimms can use sunglasses to avoid detection from Wesen via eye contact. ("Synchronicity") Nick mentions that none of his ancestors wrote about this trait, and before he learned the answer, he hypothesized that they can naturally sense when he recognizes them. ("Quill") A Grimm's ability to detect Wesen is not limited to sight; Nick has demonstrated the ability to detect the presence of Rosalee Calvert and Andre, despite having been temporarily blinded by the latter. ("Mr. Sandman") Later, he describes a sort of subtle electric tension in his jaw and forehead when there are Wesen nearby. This "sixth sense" alerts the other perceptory senses, in effect amplifying them. ("The Icy Touch")
Due to Grimm's differences in nature, they react differently to Cracher-Mortel spit than other people. The rage stage comes much earlier, and the Cracher-Mortel is unable to control them. They also still possess their Grimm powers making them very dangerous. Nevertheless, despite being disoriented and confused, they are still calmer and don't just charge at people to attack them like other humans and Wesen under the control of a Cracher-Mortel. ("The Ungrateful Dead") ("PTZD")Grimms also possess slightly superhuman strength, durability, agility, reflex, speed, and even morphallaxis ("The Chopping Block"). 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 to 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 on his head, but he recovered in seconds. ("Woman in Black"). He was even able to escape from a beating with a Siegbarste, with the worst of his injuries being a few bruised ribs.
It has also been shown that the blood of a Grimm can destroy the animal part of a Hexenbiest. ("Love Sick") 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. Furthermore it is unable to work if it has been performed before, or if the Hexenbiest has Grimm blood in their veins. As it is the case of Juliette and Adalind due to both having Nick's blood in them, making them immune. ("Bad Luck")
Grimm also possesses greater resistance to arsenic's drug-like effects, and are thus able to resist the effect 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. And when blinded, Nick's hearing is enhanced to the point of hearing from far away as Nick was able to hear Rosalee coming and Hank's conversation with Wu on the phone despite being far away. He was also able to hear a fly buzzing on the ceiling and to destroy many thrown fruit with his kanabo when he and Monroe were testing his hearing. ("Mr. Sandman")
A Grimm's powers can be removed by a Hexenbiest who ingests the vapor of a Verfluchte Zwillingsschwester potion, becoming a doppelgänger, usually the romantic partner of the Grimm, and then having sex with the Grimm. Nick's powers were removed by Adalind after he had sex with her because he thought she was Juliette. A Grimm's first warning of the loss of his powers is the inability to see Wesen woge. ("Blond Ambition") A Grimm's powers may be restored if they have sex with the person that the Hexenbiest disguised themselves as to take the Grimm's powers after that person has inhaled a Verfluchte Zwillingsschwester potion to transform themselves into the appearance of the Hexenbiest. Having one's powers restored is a gradual process that involves some discomfort for the Grimm. ("Cry Luison") ("Highway of Tears")
- Nick Burkhardt (1982 - ) is an American Grimm. He is a homicide detective in the Portland Police Bureau in Portland, Oregon. He learned from his Aunt Marie in 2011 that he is the descendant of a long line of hunters, the Grimms, who protect mankind from rogue Wesen. ("Pilot") He lost his Grimm powers in "Blond Ambition" and regained them in "Highway of Tears".
- Theresa Rubel (1993 - ), An uninitiated, but street smart American Grimm. She was originally from New York and had been on the run and constantly fighting off Wesen since a Siegbarste murdered her foster parents. As a result of having no mentor after awakening her powers, she was unaware of her heritage as a Grimm until she met Nick Burkhardt, who then taught her more about the Wesen world. ("Nobody Knows the Trubel I've Seen") ("My Fair Wesen")
- Kelly Burkhardt (nee Kessler) (? - 2015), an American Grimm and Nick's mother, who was the guardian of the Coins of Zakynthos. Nick believed that she, along with his father, Reed Burkhardt (? - 1994), died in a car accident when Nick was 12. Marie told Nick that his parents had been murdered. Kelly was killed by Kenneth in an ambush. ("Three Coins in a Fuchsbau") ("Woman in Black") ("Bad Teeth") ("Headache")
- Marie Kessler (1958 - 2011), an American Grimm, Nick's Aunt, and librarian who, along with her sister, hunted Wesen since they were teenagers. Prior to her death, she had become notorious among the Wesen inhabiting the Pacific Northwest. ("Pilot") ("Bad Teeth")
- Rolek Porter (? - 2014), an American Grimm who traveled from Pennsylvania with his son, Josh to bring Nick one of the seven keys alongside his equipment and Grimm diaries before he died. ("The Inheritance")
- Evan Jones (? - 1755), Chief Mate of the Doddington merchant vessel. He documented an encounter with a Naiad just prior to the vessel's wreckage.
- Johann Kessler (? - after 1815), a German ancestor of Nick whose state, during Napoleon's reign, was absorbed into the French Confederation of the Rhine. He was loyal to the Archduke Charles of Austria, infiltrating the exiled Former Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's men as a spy. While spying, he came to like Napoleon, a Steinadler, as a person (but not as a ruler). ("The Icy Touch")
- Son of Johann Kessler; David Kaspar Kessler's coach in the Wesen ways.
- Soffya (? - late 1800s), Hungarian; duplicated by a Wechselbalg, triggering the Woge Plague. Executed by the Wesen Council. ("The Killing Time")
- Robert McCormick (July 22, 1800 – October 25, 1890), a British Grimm and a naturalist. Hired by Captain Fitzroy as a surgeon and naturalist during a visit to the Galapagos Islands, the same visit that would lead to his underling Charles Darwin eventually developing the theory of evolution through natural selection. However, McCormick discovered, documented, and dispatched a creature he named Genio innocuo. McCormick goes by a different name when writing in the diary, though this name is highly illegible. It appears somewhat like "Addrtsex Grimm". ("Aunt Marie's Book of Lore")
- Jacob Dortchen (living in early 1700s), acquired the Westphalia Key, known to unlock the Chest of Göttingen. ("Aunt Marie's Book of Lore")
- David Kaspar Kessler (? - 1843), grandnephew of Johann, a British private eye killed while investigating a Spinnetod case.
- Reverend Scheller (? - after 1936), Lutheran minister. Scheller was the only Grimm living in Berlin. He preached that all Wesen were demons that must be destroyed. He locked the Coins of Zakynthos in a safe in the church thinking they would be safe there.
- Mr. Kessler, father of Jonathan. He died 18 years into his son's teaching profession and passed along a decent plot of land.
- Jonathan Kessler (ca. 1876 - after 1936), a wealthy, retired professor who was tricked into helping lift the coins from Scheller in 1936.
- Otto "Hans Berg" Mueller (ca. 1906 - 1936), a spy for the Nazis. He forged a letter from Scheller to so he could pass the coins along to Rudolf Heß.
- Eduardo Grimm (? - after 1936), a Spanish Grimm who escaped to Madrid during an invasion by the Verrat. He seems to have held some sympathy for the Verrat's victims and recorded their nature as a warning to future Grimms. ("Cat and Mouse")
- Crawford Grimm (? - ?), a naturalist who executed a Lausenschlange in Vienna, possibly during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. ("Of Mouse and Man") He also studied the Genio innocuo and produced profile sketches of four G. innocuo. ("Aunt Marie's Book of Lore")
- Mr. Kessler, Kelly Burkhardt's father (? - ?), Nick's grandfather and possible German Grimm, who became ill and bequeathed 17 trunks of Grimm memorabilia to his daughters, Kelly and Marie. He taught them about Wesen from the age of 10 to prepare them for what might come, and took them hunting at the age of 18. ("Bad Teeth")
- Mrs. Kessler, Kelly Burkhardt's father's mother (? - ?). ("Bad Teeth")
- Hilda, Kelly Burkhardt's father's mother's mother (? - ?). ("Bad Teeth")
- An unnamed probable Grimm (? - 2012), who was beheaded near the Schoonselhof in Antwerp, probably by Reapers. His head was not found. ("Plumed Serpent")
- An unidentified Grimm, who was beheaded by Mamoose, Sal Butrell's great uncle, in Copenhagen before becoming a Reaper. ("Leave It to Beavers")
- An unnamed Grimm (? - ?) who in 1928, traveled to Cairo, Egypt to investigate the deaths of two Egyptian guides of the Royal Geographic Society at an excavation in Karnak. After investigating the mummy of an Anubis, he was able to capture and interrogate an Anubis Prisoner. After successfully interrogating him, he dispatched the Wesen after promising to give the mummy a ceremonial burial. ("Once We Were Gods")
- Jose Maria Lopez Diego y Grimm (? - ?), a Grimm, who encountered a Murciélago in the upper Amazon and invented the Murciélago Matraca to defend himself. ("Happily Ever Aftermath")
- Hasegawa (? - ?), a Japanese doctor and possible Grimm. It is known he "shared...abilities" with a Grimm whom he traveled with on a steamer from Singapore. He passed along a scroll written in Japanese describing his encounters with a Spinnetod. ("Tarantella")
- 7 Unnamed Knights (13th Century Grimms) - Ancestors of all modern Grimms. Originally, they worked for the 7 Royal Families to help them keep the Wesen in check. They were also on the Fourth Crusade when they sacked and burned Constantinople, and hid the treasure, that they took from it, along with another mysterious artifact of great power. ("Bad Teeth") One of the knights was captured by the Royals and under extreme torture gave up his key and the information surrounding it. ("Endangered")
- Unnamed, probably Spanish Grimm, who was a Conquistador, and traveled with Cortez's expedition to South America in 1519, hearing the stories of La Llorona, he went to try and kill her, only to fail, and be killed by her. ("La Llorona")
- Jonas (?-1921) a Grimm and compatriot of another Grimm, he was noted to be a powerful warrior. However, when encountering a Matança Zumbido, he was instantly burned to death as he did not take the countermeasures necessary to be immune to its shock. Fortunately, his friend was able to discover this countermeasure later on and avenge him.
- An unidentified Grimm who, in 1921, traveled with an indigenous tribe in the Amazon to hunt down a Matança Zumbido. While his fellow Grimm, Jonas, was killed by the Wesen, he was able to discover a countermeasure against the Wesen's electrical attack and was able to avenge his companion.
- Unnamed, English Grimm, who, in 1622, discovered several Persian Manticores fighting as soldiers alongside him during the Siege of Ormuz. After failing to dispatch the Wesen since there were too many of them for a successful ambush, he witnessed their tenacity in battle. ("The Good Soldier")
- Unnamed, Roman Grimm, who, in 79 A.D., investigated Volcanalis' activities in Pompeii, and was the first Grimm to document the demon, with the help of the high priest of Vulcan, he climbed the volcano and investigated the victims. He then fled with the high priest, just before Vesuvius erupted. Back in Rome he further researched Volcanalis, and found the activities of the inhabitants of Pompeii caused the volcano to erupt. ("Volcanalis")
- Oswald Rayner (1888/9 - March 6, 1961) - a British Grimm who worked for the British Secret Service during World War One. He was positioned in Russia and following Rasputin's attempts to convince the Empress to get Russia out of the war. He was sanctioned by British intelligence to kill him and he was involved in the conspiracy to kill Rasputin. However, as Rasputin was a Koschie, he was very difficult to kill. Rayner wrote his discoveries and experiences with Koschie in a Grimm Diary, but a lot of it was damaged in a fire. ("Red Menace")
- L. Grimm (living during 1870) - a German ophthalmologist in Berlin who befriended a Steinadler and studied him both in life and post-mortem. ("Aunt Marie's Book of Lore")
- P. Grima (living in 1895) - kept a record of Steinadler deaths during the Franco-Prussian War. ("Aunt Marie's Book of Lore")
- H. Grimm (living in 1655) - wrote a Grimm diary entry about the the characteristics of Faeteo fatalis after executing of a family of them. ("El Cucuy")
- Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) - an English Grimm, short-story writer, poet, and novelist who wrote an entry in the Grimm diaries about his encounters with Phansigars in India. ("Highway of Tears")
- Main article: Endezeichen Grimm
Endezeichen Grimms are the worst type of Grimms there is; they are ruthless, xenophobic and sadistic Grimms, who savagely torture and murder Wesen, not caring if the Wesen in question are good or bad since they believe all Wesen are abominations.
- In "The Last Fight", Nick visited an Ophthalmologist because he was temporarily unable to see Juliette or Wu, who were right in front of him. ("Octopus Head") The Ophthalmologist suggested Nick might have one to two extra cones in his eyes compared to most people, which allows him to see things most people can't. This is likely a reference to Tetrachromacy, which is, besides hereditary, also something only women seem to have.