|“||It's what I regret the most. Not the lying, the SHIELD agents I had to put down, and I'm sorry,not even for dropping you two in the ocean. It's this. My actions destroyed this. And I'll regret that forever. Because there were good times, right? Before? I mean, for a while there, we were a good team.||„|
|~ Grant Ward, unsuccessfully trying to apologize for his crimes to Coulson's team.|
|“||My family did a number on me. Stripped me down. Left me...hollow. I was a shell. So, when someone finally did come along, and offered to build me back up, I didn't resist. Even though what he really did was make me a killer.||„|
|~ Grant Ward|
Agent Grant Douglas Ward, or simply Ward, is a major character in ABC series, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. He is the protagonist-turned-major antagonist, as the true secondary antagonist of Season 1, the tertiary antagonist in Season 2, and the secondary antagonist in the first half of Season 3. He is arguably the main antagonist of the entire series due to his personal ties with the protagonists and influence that remained even after his death. He was an agent of HYDRA who was one of many that infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. He strategically got himself placed inside a team of agents led by Phil Coulson and while he feigned interest and emotional investment in most of them, he developed genuine feelings towards Rising Tide hacker Daisy "Skye" Johnson. He answered directly to the Clairvoyant, who was actually his mentor at S.H.I.E.L.D. John Garrett. He had a very troubled childhood that rooted from tension with his family, particularly with the most trouble coming from his older brother, Christian. He was the co-leader of HYDRA with Gideon Malick until his death at the hands of Phil Coulson to avenge his girlfriend Rosalind Price and Grant's other victims. After his death, his body became the host of an evil Inhuman creature known as Hive, the creature that inspired HYDRA. He will return in the remaining half of season 4 again as a potential antagonist.
He was played by Brett Dalton, who then portrayed the Inhuman Hive, who assumed the form of Ward.
- "I'm everyone's type."
- ―Grant Ward
In reality, Ward is a master manipulator, who is able to adjust his personality in order to gain the trust of others. While he still manages to retain a calm and collected personality, he has very little of the loyalty or morals that he previously demonstrated. His only loyalty is to John Garrett, to whom he claims he owes everything. He does seem to have some reservations about Garrett's actions, but mostly in regards to Skye. Beyond that, he seems more than willing to work against Coulson and his team. However, he could not bring himself to directly murder Fitz and Simmons and instead ejected them into the ocean.
During his imprisonment, Ward evolved to being his own person, as he was previously restricted by his almost blind loyalty towards Garrett, to the point of even ignoring his own desires. Ward became more unpleasant, remorseless, and manipulative; he knew Skye's pressure points and attempted to use his knowledge of her father to exploit them. He murdered numerous guards during his escape and threatened to blow up a bus full of innocent people. He went so far as to murder his brother and parents, before finally being reinstated as a member of HYDRA, even after selling one of them out to Coulson. While Ward does manage to retrieve Raina and Skye, he did not destroy the Bus, despite Whitehall's ordering him to do so. However, as Raina pointed, the only reason for Ward's actions in aiding both S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA was that he loved Skye, and his feelings for her have outweighed any allegiances he once had.
- "I'm agent Grant Ward. I could rupture your spleen with my left pinky... blindfolded."
- ―Jemma Simmons imitating Grant Ward
Grant Ward, while infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D., generally has a bad temper but is able to stay calm and collected during sticky situations. He is slightly anti-social with strong morals and is known to be 'deadly'. On his days off, however, he enjoys a nice book or even singing along to his favorite West Side Story song. As time progresses, Ward seems to soften somewhat, developing friendships with his fellow Agents, which eventually is cemented upon rescuing Agent Simmons after she jumps from the Bus. Ward does not seem overtly interested in relationships but for a time has a purely sexual relationship with Agent May. However, when he begins to develop feelings for Skye, this arrangement ends.
- Expert Hand-to-hand Combatant: Ward is an expert in hand to hand combat. Maria Hill evaluated his fighting skills with the highest available marks for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s standards.
- Master Marksman: Ward is an extremely accurate marksman skilled in sharpshooting and sniping. John Garrett recommended Ward to take this course in S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy after Ward spent time in the woods using this skill to hunt for food. Ward has famously made a shot from over 1000 yards; Ward says it was 2000.
- Multilingual: He is fluent in English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Ward used this skill in missions in Paris, South Ossetia, and Peru, most times as an undercover agent. He has used such skills on the train in Italy, in the Todorov Building in Belarus, and when arriving at the Barbershop Headquarters in Cuba.
- Master Spy: Ward is a proficient agent trained in espionage, stealth, disguise and infiltration. He has spent years on some missions as an undercover agent. When taking a Lie Detector test, Ward put splinters of cable wire into his fingers to confuse the sensors. Infamously, Ward used this skill to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. as a HYDRA operative, spending years gaining trust and respect. When questioned by Raina, he explained to her methods that he used to solidify his place on Coulson's Team.
- Expert Pilot: Ward is a competent pilot, able to maneuver a huge aircraft such as the Bus.
- Expert Tactician: When Ward suspected that S.H.I.E.L.D. was pursuing him, he knew that they would send agents that he had never met. Ward observed that Bobbi Morse was not changing her page as she pretended to read a book. He also spotted Antoine Triplett at the bus station, subtly revealing his explosives to the agent.
As an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a HYDRA operative, Ward is highly skilled with all types of firearms.
- Smith & Wesson M&P: The Smith & Wesson M&P pistol is the standard sidearm carried by S.H.I.E.L.D.agents, and, as such, Ward used it to threaten or shoot most of his enemies.
- Smith & Wesson M&P Compact: Ward started using this pistol as his standard sidearm when his alliance with HYDRA was revealed, and used for o threaten Skye during the Battle at Cybertek.
- Browning Hi-Power: Ward obtained one of these pistols used by the guards of the Todorov Building When he infiltrated the facility.
- Smith & Wesson Model 64: A revolver handed by John Garrett during his time in Wyoming, Ward fired in the air when Garrett ordered him to kill his loyal dog Buddy.
- Heckler & Koch UMP45: A submachine gun that Ward, Garrett and Coulson used during the raid of the Guest House.
- Mossberg 500 Field: A shotgun that Ward managed to obtain by 1999 while lost in the forests of Wyoming.
- M4A1 Carbine: The standard weapon used by S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Team members, that Ward also used while tracking Deathlok and the Clairvoyant in Florida.
- Nemesis Arms Vanquish: While investigating Michael Peterson, Ward assembled a Nemesis Arms Vanquish rifle along with a telescopic sight, bipod, suppressor and railed handguard in case Peterson had to be killed due to the instability of the Extremis in his blood.
- Desert Tactical Arms Stealth Recon Scout: Ward used this rifle to act as a sniper during the hostage exchange when Ace Peterson was to be liberated by Raina and Phil Coulson became kidnapped by the Centipede Project.
- McMillan Tac-50: A sniper rifle used by Ward to hunt during his days in the forest of Wyoming.
- Night-Night Pistol: Sometimes, Ward needed to apply non-lethal force to subdue a target without permanent harm, favoring the use of the Night-Night Pistol designed by Agents Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons. This weapon renders the target unconscious to be safely captured, such as when he raided Ian Quinn's mansion in Italy while searching for Skye.
- I.C.E.R. (Pistol Version): After Agent Leo Fitz improved the technology of the Night-Night Gun, Coulson changed the now obsolete weapon and favored the use of the pistol version of the I.C.E.R.s. He used two of these in a fight during the Battle at the Hub.
- Even before his reveal in the episode Turn, Turn, Turn, he was seduced and turned evil by Lorelei two episodes earlier and ended up having sex with her.
- Ward is similar to Agent 23 from Get Smart, as both are double agents who are revealed to be working for an opposing organization and eventually betray their teammates. However, whereas Agent 23 is the main villain, Ward is the secondary villain.
- If you define the words in Grant's name individually, Grant means "great", Douglas means "dark", and Ward means "protector". Consequently, Grant Douglas Ward means "Great Dark Protector", possibly alluding to his true nature.
- Ward is similar to Prince Hans from Frozen:
- They're charming and good-looking.
- They initially appeared to be good, but turned out to be evil.
- They manipulated their alleged love interest.
- They grew up in abusive families and were abused, which ultimately turned them to evil.
- It is speculated that Ward is an adaptation of Taskmaster, due to Ward not being adapted in the mainstream 616 Marvel Universe 2014 comic-book series S.H.I.E.L.D., based on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.(the other character from the show not adapted there is Skye, since she is revealed to be the show's take on Daisy Johnson AKA Quake). Another probable reason why he isn't in the 616 universe is because fans are aware he's a Hydra sleeper so it seems pointless to present him as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the comics. There was also a speculation that he's this reality's Hellfire (the treacherous member of Secret Warriors in the comics). Recent developments make both theories near-impossible, since Ward is now just a corpse possessed by It. Though his background is similar to Eric Williams, before he became the Grim Reaper, as It is holding. Coulson's prosthetic hand possibly foreshadowing it.
- Ward's death marks the third time Phil Coulson killed the main antagonist in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the first two being John Garrett and Daniel Whitehall. Ward is also the first main antagonist Coulson hasn't killed behind his back.
- A recurring theme in the show has Ward shot in every mid-season finale so far. In Season 1, he gets shot by a Centipede Project helicopter (probably specifically ordered by Garrett in order to keep Grant's cover). In Season 2 he gets shot by Daisy four times in the back, and in Season 3, he gets shot by Coulson two times. In all instances he had body armor. However, in the Season 3 mid-season finale, Coulson finally kills him on the planet Maveth, leaving behind his prosthetic hand (the murder weapon) and Ward's body.
- In the penultimate episode of Season 3, Absolution, Daisy mentions to Coulson how Ward was brainwashed. Though this statement remains ambiguous, it's possible he was indeed brainwashed this whole time. During the second half of Season 1, Ward is completely loyal to Garrett, following him and obeying him without any regard for the consequences of his actions. After Garrett's death, he loses purpose in life and apparently tries to kill himself at least three times during his imprisonment after Season 1. In Season 2, he makes a string of contradicting and irrational decisions (Risking his life to get Coulson a new HYDRA informant, hours after escaping custody by killing four people, only to later kill his abusive parents and older brother and rejoin HYDRA so he can keep his promise to Daisy by reuniting her with her father). After Daisy shoots him in the back, Ward is seeking personal independence, not quite working for anyone until his lover Agent 33 dies and he decides to become the new leader of HYDRA. All of the potential evidence mentioned above is supported by the state of Agent 33 after Whitehall's death, as both her and Grant exhibit signs of derangement after their masters' deaths. It's also notable to say that 33 acted antagonistically even after it was proven by her brain scans that the Faustus method didn't have any effect on her mind anymore, other than mental trauma. Could also be interpreted that Daisy learned through her experience that there's more than one method of brainwashing and thus, emotional manipulation was likely the method under which Ward could have been brainwashed.