Are the Grimms, as exemplified by Nick Burkhardt, Wesen (the monster people of the series)?

He has demonstrated unusual fighting ability as well as the ability to recognize Wesen and seems to be immediately recognized as a Grimm, in the same way as other Wesen. The powers are also passed on by blood, similar to the Wesen.

On the other hand the Wesen do not consider him to be "one of them", in fact quite the opposite.


3 Answers 3


UPDATE: IN S2E21, the Season 2 Finale, when specifically asked "is Nick a Wesen" Monroe and Rosalee immediately (and vehemently) explain that he is not, that he is human.

Based on the idea that Wesen are all distinct species (or perhaps sub-species), no, Grimms are not.

Grimms are all descended from human knights that participated in the Fourth Crusade, where they found a treasure that apparently needed protecting. Grimms are never referred to as Wesen, and all Wesen seem to group them into a "not us" category, so whatever Grimms are, they are not Wesen. However, they do appear to have some level of supernatural ability that normal humans do not have, including:

  • The enhanced physical skills
  • The ability to see Wesen even in disguise
  • The ability to destroy the Wesen part of a Wesen, turning them human.

These abilities are also genetic, but do not manifest in every descendant of a Grimm. This means that "Grimm" is not a species, but rather a talent or trait, like red hair or good singing voice, that is passed on genetically from human to human. It appears that Wesen/human hybrids exist, so perhaps some Grimms are also part Wesen, but that is not the norm.

(Note that at least one Wesen has stated that a Grimm "couldn't be" a Wesen, but no explanation was given as to why.)


This was discussed in episode 2x21, The Waking Dead":

Without revealing spoilers I'll just say that three Wesen in unison were adamant that Nick (or any Grimm) was NOT Wesen. Of course the Wesen community may be culturally conditioned to think that way and they could be wrong but from a Wesen POV the answer is definitely No.

  • Just saw this last night, thanks for the answer! This site has spoiler markdown, so if you want to include the spoiler we can mark it as such.
    – C. Ross
    May 16, 2013 at 17:39
  • @C.Ross I blindly added it anyway 'cause I'm interested in the series, but am a bit behind. (Literally blindly: As soon as I saw "the latest episode", I blurred my vision so I wouldn't see it. So there may be stuff spoiler'd that doesn't need to be)
    – Izkata
    May 16, 2013 at 23:12
  • @Izkata its only spoilery in that if you're mostly caught up, there's really only one person they could be talking to.
    – KutuluMike
    May 17, 2013 at 2:46

"Grimms are all descended from human knights that participated in the Fourth Crusade"

This does not means those knights were not Wesen. (I'm almost sure it was not said "human knights". I think what was said was "crusaders". That would mean knights but not necessarily human)

"These abilities are also genetic, but do not manifest in every descendant of a Grimm"

This only means that Grimm are recessive gene and other Wesen are dominant gene.

A talent would not be recognized unless in use, a trait could.

Although I think Grimms do are a kind of Wesen that would not explain removing the Wesen part of a Wesen unless you think a gene being disabled or that Wesen is a kind of a curse like Werewolves are handles in may stories.

  • 1
    The show implies that Wesen are actually different species, just ones that are genetically compatible enough to produce hybrid offspring with humans (like Captain Renard, a hexenbeist/human hybrid). Since species is not a gene, but an entire genotype; you cannot have a genotype skip a generation. "Being a whatevergermanword Wesen" is a defining characteristic of the Wesen's species, while "Being a Grimm" appears to be a genetic trait that some genetically human creatures have.
    – KutuluMike
    May 13, 2013 at 17:18
  • 1
    (The "removing a Wesen" part, BTW, makes my brain hurt because it 1. contradicts everything else we know about Wesen, and 2. He never tries to use it again. I'm hoping we learn more about it later, but for now I'm going to pretend like it's something specific to hexenbeist.)
    – KutuluMike
    May 13, 2013 at 17:20

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