|Name:||Grant Douglas Ward|
formerly: Prisoner of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra Agent, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
|Relationships:||John Garrett (Mentor/SO), Phil Coulson (former Team leader), Leo Fitz (former teammate), Melinda May (former Teammate, ex-lover), Jemma Simmons (former Teammate), Skye (former Teammate, love interest), Christian Ward (brother), Thomas Ward (brother), Kara Lynn Palamas (ally/love interest), "Gramsie" (grandmother)|
|Fandom:||Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (MCU)|
|Other:||Portrayed by Brett Dalton.|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
In season 1, Grant Ward is an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. working with Phil Coulson's team. Later in season 1, it is revealed that Ward was recruited to HYDRA by Agent John Garrett years earlier. Ward believes he owed Garrett for saving his life and giving him a purpose, and works as a double agent in S.H.I.E.L.D..
Ward keeps his secret until he and Agent Hand are escorting Garrett to the Fridge, SHIELD's secret underground prison. He shoots Agent Hand and releases Garrett. Later he returns to join the rest of Coulson's team, so that he can complete his mission for Garrett. However when he is forced to kill Agent Koenig, Skye discovers that Ward iss Hydra, and he kidnaps her in his escape. Ward reveals his feelings for her are real, but this only disgusts Skye. During the final confrontation with his former team, Ward was defeated by Agent May and then taken into custody.
In season 2, Ward remains loyal to Garrett, joining his former mentor after his escape. Even after Garrett's death, Ward continues to work with HYDRA but his motivations are often self serving, and he feels little loyalty to Hydra. Grant Ward sometimes encounters his former Shield teammates, and although they are antagonists, Ward often tries to explain his actions by citing his abusive childhood and claiming his attacks were not personal. He expresses regret, but former Shield team mates don't believe him. It's on a Hydra mission to the planet Maveth that Ward is killed by Phil Coulson.
In season 3, Ward's body is possessed by the Inhuman Hive, who retains Ward's memories but not his personality.
In season 4, a version of Grant Ward appeared in the Framework, a virtual reality simulation in which the Shield agents were trapped. Framework Grant Ward is also a double agent, as a Hydra agent secretly working with the resistance.
At the start of the season, the fandom was split between liking Grant Ward and hating him.
The reveal that he's a HYDRA agent was quite a shock for many. Fans' reactions to Ward after season one varied wildly: from those who think his actions are inexcusable and hate him, to those who emphasize that his abusive upbringing and his mentor Garrett influenced him and want a redemption storyline for him. The discussion rarely remained civil; for example people who defend Ward are often accused of being Nazi sympathizers and being criticized. The argument is often compared to people liking Loki and the Winter Soldier despite their "villain" status. This often causes character bashing for Ward.
- See the "Stand With Ward" page for more information.
"If I was in juvenile hall and getting beat up all the time and completely neglected by my family and possibly saw my brother drown in a well … So yeah, he had to do some crazy stuff to survive. I hope that audiences have sympathy for him because I think they want to believe that the feelings for Skye are for real. I do too personally… and I think that he’s not all bad." -Brett Dalton
"Ward is a wild card. He is in captivity, and when you’re there, all you have is yourself. You’re forced to sit there and think about what you’ve done. So, I think that the next step in Season 2 is going to be, who is Grant Ward? Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? Is he somewhere in between? Certainly, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on that. But, I don’t even know if Grant Ward knows the answer to that question. He’s capable of doing good and bad. He’s done good and bad. But, does that make him a good or bad guy? I’ve never even thought of him as a villain. I think he’s more of an anti-hero. He made some choices along the way. If I had a terrible childhood like that and somebody said, “Nobody will ever mess with you again, if you follow me. You have 10 seconds to decide.” Maybe I’d make that choice. I don’t know. But, that’s exactly what Ward did. And because of that, he is the man that he is today." -Brett Dalton
"Ward was putting his life on the line for a cause that he thought was worthy, and that’s what we do, as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. That’s something that’s going to be brought into question. It’s a great concept because as soon as you’re able to protect someone, you’re able to hurt somebody, at the same time." -Elizabeth Henstridge
The most common pairings for Grant Ward are Grant/Simmons, Grant/Fitz, Grant/Skye, Grant/May and Grant/Fitz/Simmons. Although he has only three canonically love interests; Skye and Melinda May, and Agent 33. He also was romantically involved with Lorelei, although this was under mind control - she has siren-like power over men.
Common Tropes & Themes
- Berserker!Grant: in the aftermath of an episode, where Grant controls an Asgardian warrior staff named the "Berserker Staff" which floods the holder with uncontrollable rage and super strength - a lot of fanworks dealt with the aftermath affects or any possible side affects (usually led to lots of sex).
- Redemption for Grant - Most of these works are set in season 2, but a small number of fics explore the resurrection and redemption of Ward after Hive is defeated in season 3.
- Everyone is Related: fanon sometimes makes Darcy Lewis & Grant siblings (Examples: Higher Than Soul Can Hope by cheekylady, A Family Reunion by mollykakes).
- Alternate Universes
- Not!Hydra AU where Grant has never been Hydra.
- With the introduction of Inhumans, there are several fics where Grant develops powers or has always had powers. Some fans headcanon that he is Hellraiser.
- Framework Grant Ward fics
- So, I’m not the only person with this (horrible) theory (S2 speculation, spoilers 2x14)
Archives and Communities
- Grant Ward tagged works on Tumblr
- out of the shadows, into the light (Grant and AOS Tumblr site)
- Grant Ward: Redemption Stories (Tumblr)
- Stand With Ward (Tumblr)
- fyeahgrantward (Tumblr)
- Ward's Warriors (Tumblr)
- Grant Ward at Marvel Database
- Grant Ward at Marvel Movies Wikia
- Grant Ward at Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia
- Grant Ward at Agents of SHIELD Wikia
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 17 "Turn, Turn, Turn"
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 20 "Nothing Personal"
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 22 "Beginning of the End"
- SHIELD star defends heartbreaking move. Interview with Brett Dalton. TheTVJunkies.com. Published September 30, 2014. (Accessed 1 October 2014)
- Elizabeth Henstridge and Brett Dalton Talk AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 2, Fitz and Simmons, Ward’s Secret, and More. Collider.com. Published September 30, 2014. (Accessed 1 October 2014)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 8 "The Well"