As woge is impulse-driven, a dead or unconscious Wesen will usually woge back (or "retract") into human form. It is possible to keep a Wesen fully woged after death if the Wesen was kept alive in a heightened state of fear or agitation and if the right drugs were used to preserve the woge. ("Once We Were Gods") If some parts of a Wesen's body, such as the hair of a Wildermann or the eye of a Jinnamuru Xunte are removed before they revert back to human form, then those parts will remain woged even after death. ("Big Feet") ("Mr. Sandman") A substance called Sauver Sa Peau can also keep the body in full woge for 6-8 hours after death. ("Endangered")
Wesen tend to enter woge once something they perceive as a threat comes close to their vicinity. As such, to voluntarily woge without necessary cause can take a while. Wesen develop an ability to woge on demand by rolling their heads or other specific movements. ("Last Grimm Standing") Only other Wesen or Grimms see the movement, as it appears as either an unnoticeable movement or a small twitch to humans.
Monroe once referred to the event as "the first time you 'fang out.'" ("Let Your Hair Down") Monroe also described it as painful to some degree, but one eventually gets used to the sensation. A woge affects the Wesen's body, and also their intonation; as in the way they speak. For most Wesen it usually doesn't affect any items they may have on them, such as clothing, but for Excandescos, they must remove their clothes before they woge to prevent their clothes from getting burned. ("Trial by Fire")
It is hinted that it doesn't occur immediately after birth, but might at an early age depending on the species. William Granger said that Drang-Zorns do not normally experience their first woge until around age 13. ("The Bottle Imp") Until a Wesen woges for the first time, they may not be aware of what they are until such time. Monroe and Rosalee spoke to each of their "first woge" as children, the latter who described as her shocked brother explained what she was. ("The Wild Hunt") They brought up this again when talking to Trubel, explaining that Rosalee was 13 when she discovered that she was a Fuchsbau and that it hits them in adolescence, but that they had family members to help them to learn of their Wesen heritage. ("The Inheritance") This is similar to how Grimms do not manifest their abilities until they are much older. However, unlike most Wesen, Glühenvolks are born fully woged. ("Endangered")
At lesser levels of woge, often triggered by emotion, a Wesen may reveal its true form only to Grimms and other Wesen within the vicinity. Normal people would see no difference. But if they so will it, Wesen can invoke their woge to a level where they can be seen by normal people. Both levels of woge can be captured on film, and can later be seen by any Grimm, Wesen, or human watching the footage. ("Three Coins in a Fuchsbau") ("Natural Born Wesen") ("Once We Were Gods")
Huntha Lami Muuaji and Folterseele are both unique species when it comes to their woges. Huntha Lami Muuaji have only one woge state that is visible to everyone ("Double Date") and Folterseele only woge when someone is sexually attracted to them as a defense mechanism. ("Heartbreaker")
Due to the seemingly inexplicable nature of how a woge occurs, those who are ignorant of the existence of Wesen are, in most cases, driven mad at the sight of one, and think they are going crazy. This can include Grimms who aren't aware of their own supernatural natures.
Outside elements may also cause some Wesen to woge. For example, the full moon can give Blutbaden an increased desire to woge. Even Wieder Blutbaden like Monroe have trouble controlling this desire, and do not like to go out on nights of the full moon. ("Bad Moon Rising") Krampus can only woge from December 1st to the winter solstice, or December 21st. During this time, his woge is so fixed that even loss of consciousness cannot revert him to human form, and the person in question is not even aware of their Wesen nature. ("Twelve Days of Krampus")
Varying degrees of woge
Woge can occur in different degrees, a higher degree of woge yielding a more complete transformation. One particular Wesen, the Jägerbar, has even been observed in a complete transformation into a grizzly bear after first removing her clothes.
Many Wesen have been observed partially transforming, and most known Wesen have been observed transforming only to a degree detectable by a Grimm. Many have demonstrated being able to shift partially by localizing the woge around their eyes. Eye color varies between Wesen, ranging from red to green to electric blue, and many other colors. Other Wesen have only partially woged before, such as Doug Shellow, a Mellifer, morphing only his arm, ("Beeware") and Monroe only woged his hand in front of Roddy Geiger. ("Danse Macabre") El Cucuy is able to woge just her ears ("El Cucuy") and Koschies can woge just their hands. ("Red Menace")
There also appears to be a large degree of separation between the human and Wesen forms. One Klaustreich showed scars on his face in his Wesen form, clearly sustained during past fights, but he did not possess scars in his human form. ("The Thing With Feathers") A male Dämonfeuer also demonstrated this as his human face, but not his Wesen face, was badly damaged. ("Plumed Serpent") A male Coyotl had a scar over the left side of his face and what appeared to be a blind right eye when woged but had none of these injuries while in human form. ("Bad Moon Rising") However, this may be true only for some Wesen, as Catherine Schade, who fought Kelly Burkhardt as a Hexenbiest, had large injuries on her human face after the fight and shortly before she died. Her Hexenbiest form however was not injured. Likewise Diane Rabe was severally injured in her Jägerbar form, and kept the injuries in her human form. ("The Kiss") ("Bears Will Be Bears") This also doesn't apply if the wound in question is fatal. ("Pilot") ("Big Feet") ("Over My Dead Body")
The fact that the injuries kept appearing when transforming suggests that injuries sustained when in one body doesn't have any effect on the other and that woge does not reset either the Wesen or Human forms and that injuries sustained are permanent.
Some species seem incapable of becoming totally human and their Wesen forms and abilities blur together with their human bodies to a greater or lesser degree. One such Wesen is the Siegbarste who retain their dense bone structure and high tolerance for pain even in their human form. ("Game Ogre") Hexenbiests are also known to retain their marks upon their tongues at both human and Wesen forms. ("Beeware") Many types of Wesen (namely canid Wesen and Bauerschwein) have shown to have enhanced senses without morphing, and Blutbaden have also consistently displayed inhuman strength while in their human forms. Spinnetods also retain their regenerative abilities despite being in human form. ("Tarantella") Dämonfeuer are able to breath fire, regardless of whether in human or Wesen form. ("Plumed Serpent") Likewise Murciélago can use their sound attack, in either form. ("Happily Ever Aftermath") Skalenzahne, Hässlichen, and Dämonfeuers are still inhumanly strong while in their human forms. ("Last Grimm Standing") ("Plumed Serpent") ("Leave It to Beavers") Ziegevolk pheromone tricks still work in human form. ("Lonelyhearts") ("One Angry Fuchsbau")
Some Wesen can tell if their own is being truthful or not via their woge. ("Island of Dreams") Königschlange can tell if someone is being truthful, or if they're dead because they can sense weak vibrations such as someone's pulse. ("Over My Dead Body")
Wieder Wesen are Wesen who have mastered control of their Woge. Wieder Wesen often adopt an almost entirely harmless lifestyle, either by choice or out of necessity.
For example, the Wieder Blutbad Monroe switched to a vegan diet to help himself avoid having to confront his Woge, ("Bears Will Be Bears") while the Wieder Spinnetod Charlotte experiences the effects of rapid aging since she is unable to molt without consuming human entrails. She also refrains from wearing shiny things, because Spinnetoden are attracted to them and she is resisting her impulses. ("Tarantella") In addition, Wieder Lausenschlange, such as Quinn, abstain from preying on Mauzhertzen, which allows both species to get along with one another, even to the point of friendship.
They may show signs of "giving in" by instinct, as seen when Monroe shifted into Blutbad form after seeing several kids dressed in red ride past him, but such impulses are often short-lived. Typically, they only succumb to their Woge for defensive purposes; and thus offer themselves an edge during confrontations.
Loss and regaining of woge ability
In Hexenbiests, the ingestion of a Grimm's blood causes the Wesen within the individual to die, and the person is unable to woge into a Wesen form again, effectively rendering the person a normal human. ("Love Sick") However, if a Hexenbiest that loses their powers gets pregnant and they complete the trials of the Contaminatio Ritualis, they can regain their powers by the time the baby is born. The trials include extracting the still beating heart from another Hexenbiest, cutting off that Hexenbiest's hands and feet, and plucking out their eyeballs to bury in a field of flowers. Then the former Hexenbiest who wants to regain their powers must be "accepted," and if they are, they must pick all the dead flowers in the radius of the buried body parts. After collecting the flowers, they must put them into the body cavity of the dead Hexenbiest and sew them in. Soon after the sewing is done, a red ooze will come out of the dead Hexenbiest which must be collected and applied to the pregnant stomach of the former Hexenbiest over the duration of the pregnancy. As soon as the baby is born, their powers return. ("The Ungrateful Dead") ("PTZD") ("Mommy Dearest")
In Huntha Lami Muuajis, the injection of a large dose of female (estrogen) or male (testosterone) hormones when they are in a neutral woged state, hormonally speaking, causes them to be trapped in their female or male form. Although it is unknown if this condition is permanent, it prevents them from being able to woge back into a neutral state. ("Double Date") Similarly, Hexenbiests that drink a potion, of which the most difficult ingredients to obtain include the liver, gall bladder, tongue, and ribs of a dead Hexenbiest that isn't fresh, have their powers and Hexenbiest within them suppressed. ("You Don't Know Jack")
Woge retraction disorder
In some rare cases, a Wesen may not be able to retract or woge back following the transformation. Four such cases were caused by a sudden drop in supply from a subcutaneous drug pump that pumped homeopathic herbs, spices, and trace steroid amounts into the bloodstream of Wildermänner. ("Big Feet")
This was also accompanied by a wild rampage. This may be attributed to the Wesen developing a dependency on the drug that suppresses their woge, since after it ran out, they begin to exhibit dangerous symptoms.
It is possible for a human and a Wesen (such as a Hexenbiest) to have children, where the child is only a half-breed. When such individuals, such as Sean Renard woge, they don't exhibit quite as many morphological changes as most Wesen do. ("The Kiss")
- Main article: Woge/Gifs