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Wesen (pronunciation: VAY-zin, Grimm: VES-sin; Germ. "a being", here "creature"; Spanish: espiritu bestia "spirit beast") is a collective term used to describe the creatures visible to the Grimms. They are the basis not only of the fairy tales that the Brothers Grimm have compiled, but also of the many legends and folklore from many cultures (i.e. Anubis, Aswang, Blutbad, Dämonfeuer, and Wendigo).

When a Wesen is woged, they are able to recognize a Grimm by looking into their eyes. According to Monroe, Wesen can see an "infinite darkness" in a Grimm's eyes that allows a Wesen to see their reflection, where they can see their true Wesen nature. ("Synchronicity")


Wesen are descended from an ancient set of Wesen races known as Pureblood Wesen. Purebloods exhibit traits which make them seem immortal and God-like compared to humans, and in ancient times many of them were worshipped as Gods and Goddesses. Today, however, Purebloods tend to try not to attract attention in an arguably more dangerous world and instead pull ropes on a quieter level than they once did. In doing so, they have generally lost their religious significance, becoming legends to Wesen and myths to Kehrseiten.(Issue 10)


A mummified Anubis

Wesen were once worshiped as Gods in Egypt hence why many Egyptian Gods such as Anubis, Bastet, Tefnut, Ammit, and Khepri are depicted with animal-like features. A few thousand years ago, thousands of slaves were tortured in search of Anubis and a few of them were successfully mummified fully woged. The Beati Paoli are a group of Wesen that formed in the 17th century who are fully against the display of deceased Wesen for the world to see and go after things such as museums, archaeological digs, antique auction houses, and sometimes private Wesen collectors if the collector is trafficking stolen Wesen antiquities. Most Wesen, including the Wesen Council, do not condone their methods, but they often have the same disapproving opinion of deceased Wesen being on display. ("Once We Were Gods")

During and before the Fourth Crusade, Wesen were used to fight in the armies of the Royal families, who used the Grimms to control and police their Wesen armies. Over the years, the Royal families either lost so much global power and influence that they could no longer use the Wesen as armies, or they had no need for Wesen soldiers and let the creatures spread across the world. ("Bad Teeth")

Over the centuries, carnivals have been known to house shows that force Wesen to fully woge for the act. These carnivals date back to Circus Maximus in Rome, but have since become much more uncommon. Despite knowingly showing Wesen in full woge to humans, they technically do not break the Gesetzbuch Ehrenkodex, due to the carnivals in question passing the Wesen off as magic tricks. ("The Show Must Go On")


To date, if there has been a study on Wesen origins, it has not surfaced. Even Sean Renard, who is a half-Zauberbiest of royal patronage, has not heard of any such study and the only studying he's aware of, done by Grimms, has been how to kill them. ("The Icy Touch") Wesen are liminal, that is, they display two states of existence simultaneous within one physical body. ("Happily Ever Aftermath") Physiologically, Wesen are parahuman, exhibiting two distinct sets of DNA within the same system. ("Big Feet") Albert Denswoz and his followers refer to themselves as Duo homo instead of Homo sapiens. Because some Wesen tend to de-humanize themselves in this manner, many treat humans as we would treat animals. ("The Icy Touch")

When in human form, Wesen are, by all accounts, physiologically that way and thus can pass as human. However, certain aspects about them still sets them apart from the rest of humanity, such as the addictive effects that Jay has upon them (which would otherwise be fatal for humans) and their susceptibility to the Yellow Plague. Every creature encountered by Nick Burkhardt are Wesen (excluding La Llorona and Volcanalis).

The community consists of both good and bad creatures ranging from Blutbaden to Bauerschwein to Mauvais Dentes. Individually, Wesen generally behave stereotypically in accordance to their own kind (i.e. the Blutbaden being fierce and vindictive, Siegbarste being dangerously vengeful, or Mellifers for their hive-like mentality and penchant for sending messages). Some Wesen follow ritualistic practices passed down through history (i.e. the Aseveracion and the Roh-hatz). Other than the Grimms, keeping the Wesen in check, only the Seven Houses are aware of the real workings of the world, the majority of humanity is blissfully unaware of their existence.

221-Cracher-Mortel spitting2

A Cracher-Mortel spitting tetradotoxin on a victim.

Ziegevolk, Musai, and Cracher-Mortel all have abilities that allow them to influence or have complete control over people. Ziegevolk use their pheromones to control and manipulate whoever they want, usually women. ("Lonelyhearts") ("One Angry Fuchsbau") Musai's lips secrete a psychotropic substance, making its kiss known to be very euphoric and addictive. After they kiss someone, they are able to easily manipulate their victims, who will do whatever they have to, to prove their love for the Musai, even kill someone or die themselves. ("Kiss of the Muse") Cracher-Mortel have the ability to create an army of zombie-like victims by spitting tetradotoxin on to the face of a victim, which seeps into the skin of the victim and shuts down the neurosignals of nerves and heart cells, and causes suspended animation. Atropine and scopolamine toxins reanimate the victim in a zombified state. In this state, the victim is in a trance and will perform whatever task is asked of them by the Cracher-Mortel. ("The Waking Dead") ("Goodnight, Sweet Grimm") ("The Ungrateful Dead")

Despite being parahuman themselves, many Wesen eat humans (ex: Blutbaden, Schakals, Wendigo, Coyotl, and Mauvais Dentes) or other Wesen (ex: Blutbaden eat Bauerschwein and Seelengut, while Lausenschlange eat Mauzhertz).

Some Wesen, like Raub-Kondors hunt other Wesen, such as Glühenvolk, for their skins. They use a potion called Sauver Sa Peau to keep them woged after death for up to 8 hours so they can skin them. ("Endangered")

117-Hexenbiest spirit2

The Hexenbiest spirit leaving Adalind's body.

In "Love Sick" Nick fights with Adalind and gets her to bite his lip causing him to bleed and some of the blood gets into her mouth. A few seconds later, the Hexenbiest spirit inside of Adalind leaves her body causing her to become a normal person, and lose all of her powers. So far this is the only time that a Wesen became a human and it's unknown if Grimm blood affects other Wesen types the same way. However, it is possible for the Hexenbiest to regain her powers if she gets pregnant and completes the Contaminatio Ritualis which results in the creation of a red paste that must be rubbed on the stomach of the Hexenbiest over the duration of the pregnancy. Once she gives birth, her powers and ability to woge return to her. ("The Ungrateful Dead") ("PTZD") ("Mommy Dearest")

It may also be possible to turn Wesen into normal humans via drugs. Konstantin Brinkerhoff pioneered a series of medicines that would supposedly remove the ability to woge. While the experiments were undoubtedly a failure, ("Big Feet") it must be pointed out that Brinkerhoff insisted that the drugs would work if he'd been given the time to perfect the dosage and delivery system. It was also unclear as to whether the drugs interfered with other Wesen abilities such as enhanced smell (Blutbaden) and increased bone density (Siegbarste).


Some species such as Blutbaden and Fuchsbau will do an action called the Vertrautheiten (Germ. "familiarities") which is a way for two different species to start trusting each other more as being very close to another being is a special and sacred thing for Wesen. They let another Wesen get close enough to "memorize" their scent. To complete the action, the Wesen involved woge and then smell and rub up against each other on both sides of the other's face. ("Revelation")

316-Max woged hand

An Umkippen moment

If Wesen force their woge too many times and too often, their Wesen side can eventually start to take over, a situation known as the Umkippen (Germ. "tip," "upset"). If a Wesen is suffering from the Umkippen, their Wesen side could get out of control and completely eclipse any shred of humanity left if one does not go through some form of intervention. The suffering Wesen suffers blackouts and doesn't remember anything during the time that they lose control. ("The Show Must Go On")


The complexity of Wesen genetics yields some interesting questions. Monroe and Rosalee have some answers ("Stories We Tell Our Young"):

Wesen Kehrseite Kehrseite-Genträger
Wesen 100% 50% 100%
Kehrseite 50% 0% 0%
Kehrseite-Genträger 100% 0% ?

In a grundfalsch (fundamentally flawed) mixed-Wesen relationship, there is a Vorherrsch (prevalence)-- the offspring will be the "more dominant" Wesen type. There are health risks for the developing offspring, of course. ("Stories We Tell Our Young")


In some cases, genetics can get more complicated when it comes to hybrids. It is possible for the offspring of a human and a Wesen such as a Hexenbiest to not be able to woge fully and only have parts of their face and/or other body parts woge as with the case of Sean Renard. It is also possible for the DNA of one Wesen species to be spliced with the DNA of another while in utero which is what Dr. Higgins did with her son, Pierce. Doing so caused Pierce to experience something equivalent to a split personality disorder where the Löwen side would come out without him realizing it, and it would only do so to protect him or eliminate threats/competition from his life.

Wesen by Season

Note: This table does not include non-Wesen beings, comic Wesen, or unused Wesen.

Number of new species seen
Number of new species mentioned/seen in a diary

Wesen Species

For the TV series, there have been a total of 79 Wesen species encountered, mentioned, or seen in a diary and 2 non-Wesen beings encountered. There have also been 17 other Wesen species seen or mentioned in the Grimm comics and 2 species that have never been seen or mentioned anywhere except for on the Season 1 DVD packaging and in Aunt Marie's Book of Lore.

Note: The Rißfleisch and the Waschbar are counted separately between the show and the comics as the Rißfleisch was only seen in a Grimm diary and the Waschbar was only mentioned on the show, but they both appeared in the comics.

Physically appeared Wesen

Non-Wesen Beings

Mentioned/Seen in Grimm Diaries only Wesen

Unused Wesen

These Wesen have never been seen or mentioned on the show, comics, novels, etc. but they were both listed on the Season 1 DVD packaging and in Aunt Marie's Book of Lore.

Wesen Seen/Mentioned in Comics Only

See Also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Wesen

  • Genträger

    10 messages
    • Okay, I'm super confused. Why do people think the royals are human? They're the Wesen royal families aren't they? Don't they want to li...
    • wrote:Okay, I'm super confused. Why do people think the royals are human? They're the Wesen royal families aren't they? Don't t...
  • Create a Wesen

    753 messages
    • Wildesheer9876 wrote:Baobhan Sith (based off of the one of myth) This wesen species is a subspecies of the Musai that look like a musai, ...
    • COLTI Colti(plural - the same) are vampire Wesen from Romania and Moldova.Their name means Fangs in Romanian.The Notable is Co...

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