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For creatures that aren't Wesen, see Non-Wesen.

Wesen (VES-sin; Ger. "a being" or "creature") 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, Chupacabra, and Wendigo).

505-Eyes of a Grimm

When Wesen woge, they are able to recognize a Grimm by looking into their eyes. They 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. Many Wesen find it unsettling to see themselves reflected, and Monroe and Rosalee told Nick that it took some time for them to get used to it. ("Synchronicity")

History

315-Mummy

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 they go after things like museums, archaeological digs, antique auction houses, and sometimes private Wesen collectors if the collector is trafficking stolen Wesen antiquities. Most Wesen 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")

There have also been several events throughout history that were related to some sort of Wesen problem but have long been thought to be caused by a completely separate issue amongst Kehrseiten. For instance, the majority of street riots have been and are instigated by Wesen; the Réveillon riots, the Boxer Rebellion, draft riots during the Civil War, and the Boston Tea Party were all started by Wesen. Specifically during the Réveillon riots in Paris in 1789, Wesen who worked for a Kehrseite factory owner named Réveillon were targeted and killed by other Wesen factory owners who looked down on Réveillon, but because he treated his workers well, many of his Wesen workers were loyal to him.

Characteristics

To date, if there has been a study on Wesen origins, it has not surfaced. 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")

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. Certain species are also susceptible to specific Wesen diseases, such as a rare blood disease that affects canid Wesen and turns them into Wældreór, a rare genetic disease affecting Indole Gentile called Kallikantzaroi, and a rare genetic disease affecting only Blutbaden that turns them into Lycanthropes during the three nights of the full moon. ("Chupacabra") ("The Grimm Who Stole Christmas") ("Lycanthropia") Every creature encountered by Nick Burkhardt is Wesen (excluding La LloronaVolcanalis, the Golem, Mishipeshu, and Jack the Ripper).

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 having a 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, as 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") The lips of Musais secrete a psychotropic substance, making their 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 in order 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 or is inhaled by the victim and shuts down the neurosignals of nerves and heart cells, causing 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, Coyotls, 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") Vulpesmyrca use a similar method to keep the foot of a Willahara woged so they can sell it for the illegal practice of Spedigberendess. ("Bad Luck") Vibora Dorada use their sharp fangs to inject a neurotoxin into their victims. It paralyzes them, and if the victim is woged when they are bit, the neurotoxin will keep them in that state. ("Silence of the Slams")

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 completes the Contaminatio Ritualis, which results in the creation of a red paste that must be rubbed on the stomach of the Hexenbiest. If a Hexenbiest is pregnant during the performing of this ritual, once she gives birth, her powers and ability to woge return to her, and the infant also will have enhanced abilities. ("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). As far as humans turning into a Wesen, it is possible, but it requires dangerous magic and may not be repeatable, as when Juliette turned into a Hexenbiest as a side effect from sleeping with Nick in the form of Adalind in order to restore Nick's powers as a Grimm. ("Highway of Tears") Other than this instance, it appears that humans can only become Wesen in face only by wearing a Wesen mask that has been imbued by a Santeria priest with the ability to transfer the Wesen attributes onto its owner. ("Silence of the Slams")

Behavior

Some species, such as Blutbaden and Fuchsbaus, will perform an action called Vertrautheiten (Ger. "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 (Ger. "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")

Wesen are affected slightly differently by dementia than humans are, but the symptoms can be quite serious. As the condition worsens, their behavior grows increasingly restless, and they start to woge unpredictably and can be become prone to attacking others at random. Wesen suffering from this are not aware of what they are doing when they are in this type of state, and a caretaker or family member will typically contact a Gevatter Tod to help assist in the dementia-stricken Wesen to pass in a more peaceful manner than what might otherwise occur. This responsibility of the Gevatter Tod to protect the Wesen community from becoming exposed to the public is taken very seriously, and some couples, such as Monroe and Rosalee, make a promise to each other to contact a Gevatter Tod if either spouse is ever suffering from dementia. ("Blood Magic")

Genetics

The complexity of Wesen genetics can be hard to understand, but Monroe and Rosalee explained a few things: ("Stories We Tell Our Young")

In a grundfalsch (GROOND-fawlsh; Ger. "fundamentally flawed") or grundverschiedene (groond-vair-SHEED-nuh; Ger. "contrasting styles") mixed-Wesen relationship, there is a Vorherrscher (FOHR-hair-shuh; Ger. "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")

Hybrids

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 he could woge into both his Genio Innocuo self and his Löwen self, though his 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. However, since this transformation was the result of forced genetics, it is left unclear what would happen if the two species had bred naturally. ("The Other Side")

There has been only one documented case of Wesen body parts being successfully transplanted to a human body, but this operation was only successful in the sense that the resulting being did not reject the transplanted tissue and could stay alive. These hybrid creatures are likely better off being dead, however, as they reject what they've become and, as a result, become vengeful, prone to extremely violent behavior and seeking to kill those who are responsible for creating them. They are able to woge each transplanted limb individually. It is unknown if these types of hybrids could survive for very long in their new state. ("The Son Also Rises")

Wesen by Season

Species

For the TV series, there have been a total of 132 Wesen species encountered, mentioned, seen in a diary (one of which was only seen in a promo image for "Map of the Seven Knights"), or seen in Rosalee's spice shop books. There have also been 17 other species seen or mentioned in the Grimm comics, 1 species in the novels, 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

Other

Mentioned/Seen in Grimm Diaries only Wesen

Mentioned in Rosalee's books 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

Novel Wesen

Names by Language

This is a breakdown to show which language each Wesen's name is in. All species that physically appeared, were seen in the Grimm diaries, or were only mentioned in any Grimm media including the TV series, comics, or novels, are included.

Videos

The Wesen of Season 2 - Grimm00:56

The Wesen of Season 2 - Grimm

The Wesen of Season 301:47

The Wesen of Season 3

Grimm Big, Wide World of Wesen Digital Exclusive02:34

Grimm Big, Wide World of Wesen Digital Exclusive

See Also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Wesen

  • Birds and the Bees

    23 messages
    • Some amphibians actually mate with different species, but they don't use the genetic material of the new species, as it is replace during ...
    • As a medical student, I think there are several options to explain this. I'll just explain one to show it can be done. Females have XX-...
  • Genträger

    13 messages
    • So any answers to what a Gentrager is??? Or did everyone just forget about that? And I'd say Royals are not grimms, so they must be s...
    • I for one dont think the royals are anytype of wessen nor do they have the grimm sight because then they wouldnt of needed the seven grimms...

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