|“You're playing with a power that can not be controlled. It will consume everything, even the Serpentine!”|
|— Wu to Pythor|
The Great Devourer was a monstrous snake worshipped by the Serpentine as a god, believed to consume all of creation if left unchecked. According to legend, it could only be unleashed if the Serpentine tribes united and found the four silver Fangblades. It was responsible for Lord Garmadon's transformation to evil, as it bit him as a child and corrupted him with its venom. The Serpentine then tried using the Devourer to scare the people of Ninjago underground to protect them from the Golden Master. However, this only fueled the people's disgust for the Serpentine. Around this point, the Devourer was sealed underground.
When Lloyd freed Pythor, he schemed to awaken the Devourer by uniting the Serpentine and finding the Fangblades. Pythor successfully did so at the Lost City of Ouroboros, where the Devourer consumed him and Wu before heading to wreak havoc in Ninjago City. The Ninja battled the Devourer, until Garmadon seized the Golden Weapons and vaporized the beast.
Despite all, the Devourer's demise would only create further conflicts. Its venom revived the Stone Army, its eggs were used by Krux to breed an army of Vermillion Warriors, and the destruction it caused during its rampage through Ninjago City would ultimately motivate Harumi to become the Quiet One after the beast was responsible for both of her parents' deaths. Needless to say, the massive serpent had a tremendous influence on the future of Ninjago.
In his early days, the Devourer was just a small green viper with an ominous poison that could turn the purest of hearts evil. He bit a young Garmadon, infecting him with darkness, and began to grow into a titanic monstrosity. The ancient Serpentine somehow took control of the Devourer and used her in their initial invasion of Ninjago—following the Serpentine's defeat, the beast was sealed under the Lost City of Ouroboros. He also laid the Vermillion Eggs, creating the Vermillion.
The Great Devourer's existence was revealed when Cole and Zane entered the Constrictai Tomb. While searching for the inhabitants, the two Ninja discovered a crude mural on the wall depicting the Serpentine gathering before an especially massive snake. Zane translated the drawings as a prophecy: when the Serpentine united as one, they could find the Four Silver Fangblades and unleash the Great Devourer, who would consume all of Ninjago and turn day into night.
The Great Devourer made his first true appearance in a flashback Master Wu had before he set out to find Lord Garmadon's Dimension, when the old man told his students how Lord Garmadon's descent into evil began when he was bitten by a strange green snake in the bushes. Wu explained that the snake—a young Great Devourer—was a legendary beast that would consume all in his path, and his venom could turn even the most noble soul into a being of pure evil. He charged the Ninja with finding the four Fangblades before the Serpentine could, as the Fangblades were the keys to the Devourer's revival.
Despite the Ninjas' best efforts, Pythor managed to collect all of the Fangblades and retreat to Ouroboros, where the Devourer was thought to have been imprisoned. Placing the Fangblades in the teeth of the statue overlooking the Slither Pit arena, Pythor commanded the Devourer to awaken, expecting him to emerge from the statue. To his surprise, the beast was not within the statue, but beneath the arena itself, and he was far larger than Pythor had expected.
More frightening still for the Anacondrai General, Master Wu revealed that the Great Devourer was not bound to obey the one who awakened him—in fact, he had no qualms about eating the Serpentine along with the rest of the world. As Master Wu prevented Pythor from fleeing, the Great Devourer burst free of his stone prison, immediately swallowing Pythor and Master Wu whole.
The Ninja attempted to escape the Devourer in the Destiny's Bounty, but they only succeeded in making the beast even bigger when he ate their jettisoned ballast and the ship itself. However, the escape gave them time to reach Ed & Edna's Scrap N Junk, where they used a Tornado of Creation to build the Ultra Sonic Raider. Equipping their new vehicle with Zane's recording of the Sacred Flute, they managed to deal some damage to the Devourer, also discovering a small weak spot on the top of his head. However, the Great Devourer destroyed the Ultra Sonic Raider's sonic cannons and withdrew to attack Ninjago City.
The Ninja followed the Great Devourer and managed to prevent him from consuming any innocent civilians, but the monstrous snake proved too powerful for them to defeat. Even the arrival of Nya's Samurai Mech and the Ultra Dragon did little against the Devourer. Eventually, Lord Garmadon arrived and revealed that the only way to slay the Devourer was to use the power of all four Golden Weapons, which only he could do. Despite their misgivings, the Ninja agreed, with Kai also telling Lord Garmadon about the Devourer's weak spot.
While Lord Garmadon left to prepare his attack, the Ninja distracted the Great Devourer, leading his on a mad chase around the city. Eventually, they were able to immobilize the beast by tangling his body in buildings and tricking him into biting his own tail, leaving his weak spot wide open as Lord Garmadon combined the energies of the Golden Weapons with his own dark powers. Declaring his actions as vengeance against the Great Devourer for dragging him down the path of evil, Lord Garmadon leaped from a skyscraper and plunged through the creature's weak spot, causing the Great Devourer to explode spectacularly, releasing large amounts of venom onto the city.
Despite his destruction, the Great Devourer's evil influence continued to plague Ninjago—literally—as his defeat flooded the city with venom. The Ninja spent a large amount of time helping the city's cleanup efforts. When Skales was attempting to assert his leadership over the Serpentine, Skalidor suggested unleashing the Great Devourer again, only for Skales to strike the Constrictai General for the bad idea.
Lord Garmadon called his Serpentine forces together on the Black Bounty for a brainstorming session on how to defeat the Ninja with his new Mega Weapon. Upon hearing that the weapon could only create, not destroy, Lasha suggested recreating the Great Devourer. Lord Garmadon was not amused by the idea, and had the Venomari Scout thrown overboard as a sign of his displeasure.
The Great Devourer's venom dripped onto several pieces of Stone Army merchandise at the Ninjago Museum of History, bringing them to life. Later, some more venom dripped on the Giant Stone Warrior exhibit found by Misako, bringing the ancient soldier to life.
More of the Devourer's venom seeped deep underground, activating an entire army of Stone Warriors, which were suddenly awoken, sealed in a hidden tomb unearthed by the Serpentine—although this also ended with the Serpentine themselves being sealed away once again.
As the Digital Overlord searches Wu's memories, the rise of the Great Devourer can be seen.
An ancient Serpentine legend revealed that the Serpentine were, in the beginning, trying to save the people of Ninjago from the Golden Master, and tried to use the Great Devourer to scare the people of Ninjago underground. However, the people defeated the Devourer and believed that the Serpentine were the enemy, and drove them underground.
Later in the episode, it is revealed that Pythor survived his time in the Great Devourer's stomach, although the experience turned his scales white.
Master Chen kept a scale of the Great Devourer in his Hall of Fame. Garmadon brought up the Devourer when he and Nya were about to be fed to Clouse's pet, he stated that he destroyed the largest snake so karma has ensured the second biggest snake would come after him.
Game of Masks (Flashback)
During the Great Devourer's rampage, Harumi's parents were killed after the massive serpent destroyed their apartment in Ninjago City. After hearing Lord Garmadon was the one that defeated the Devourer, Harumi set out to resurrect Garmadon to exact vengeance on the Ninja—namely Lloyd for releasing the snake tribes that released the Great Devourer—for indirectly killing her parents and their poor efforts to stop the Devourer.
Ultimately, Harumi allowed Lord Garmadon to create the Colossus, which wreaked havoc on Ninjago City in a similar fashion to what the Devourer did (even down to both of them destroying Destiny's Bounty).
The Great Devourer had an insatiable appetite and the ability to consume anything that he came across. Whenever he consumed something, he grew larger and more powerful—the Ninja noticed that he would have been truly unstoppable if allowed to consume the bustling metropolis of Ninjago City.
In combat, the Great Devourer normally used his tremendous size and nigh-invulnerability to his advantage, attempting to swallow anything in his path and smashing opponents with his spiked tail. His venom was capable of bringing inanimate objects to life and could corrupt even the purest individuals into wrathful megalomaniacs against their will, such as the case of Garmadon.
Additionally, he seemed to display a sense of tactical thought, tricking both the Ninja and the Ultra Dragon into thinking they had either defeated or escaped his, only to suddenly ambush them when their guard was lowered. Despite his massive size, he was also incredibly fast and had the ability to burrow through the ground with ease.
The Great Devourer only displayed two real weaknesses over the course of the show. Like the Serpentine, he appears to be intolerant of the Sacred Flute's music, to the point of physical pain. He also had a small weak spot on top of his head. If he took a particularly powerful blow to this point, it would result in his death, as evidenced when Garmadon used the Golden Weapons to finally destroy him once and for all.
- The Great Devourer has only appeared in one LEGO set, 9450 Epic Dragon Battle. Physically, he bears more resemblance to the young Devourer seen in Master Wu's flashback in "Tick Tock," and he is significantly smaller than the Devourer seen in the show—in fact, he appears to be approximately the size of the statue in Ouroboros' Slither Pit.
- In one of the supplementary Ninjago comics, it is implied that the Overlord was responsible for creating the Great Devourer by corrupting a snake with darkness, thus the Overlord might be responsible for turning Garmadon evil in the first place. This theory is supported by the end of "Rise of the Spinjitzu Master": when Lloyd defeats the Overlord, Lord Garmadon is purified of the Devourer's venom.
- The Great Devourer not turning Garmadon evil would have changed the majority of the events in the series. Garmadon would not have become obsessed with the Golden Weapons, which would mean he would never have been banished to the Underworld, so the pilot episodes would never have happened. Lloyd would never have released the Serpentine while trying to follow in his father's footsteps, which would mean the Serpentine would have never released the Great Devourer, which would mean the Devourer's venom would have never revived the Stone Army, so that extremely alters Seasons 1 and 2. Also, Garmadon would not have helped the Overlord escape the Dark Island, so Season 3 would not have happened. Season 4 still would have happened, but Zane would not have died and instead he would just join the ninja, along with the other Elemental Masters, in the Tournament of Elements. Season 5, the Realm of Shadows, Season 6, and Dark Island Trilogy would have still happened, along with Day of the Departed, Pythor's Revenge, and Season 7. However, since Garmadon was never turned evil in the first place, the Sons of Garmadon wouldn't have tried to resurrect him, which would mean Seasons 8 and 9 wouldn't have happened.
- The Ninja immobilize the Great Devourer by tricking him into biting his own tail. This is another reference to ouroboros—often depicted as a snake eating its own tail—the concept of cyclical events and entities.
- The Devourer is one of the four most powerful and largest beings of Ninjago, the others being the Overlord (the most powerful), the Preeminent (the largest) and the Colossus.
- The Great Devourer's true relationship to the Serpentine is unknown. He was considered a ruler and god of the Serpentine, but they immediately hid in fear of him when he was released, as they were avoiding the considerable threat of being eaten.
- According to Kai, the four Silver Fangblades were made from the original teeth of the Great Devourer.
- The Great Devourer's abilities and traits appear to be larger-scale versions of the Serpentine's tribal abilities. He has the Constrictai's rapid burrowing abilities, the Anacondrai's ability to swallow things whole, and the effects of his venom could be interpreted as a mixture of Hypnobrai Hypnotism and the Fangpyre's Bite.
- Physically, the Devourer's green skin and tendency to secrete mass amounts of fluorescent green venom hearken back to the Venomari, but his long fangs resemble the Fangpyre and his pink eyes are similar to the Anacondrai.
- As it turned out, the Great Devourer is apparently female, as it laid Vermillion eggs sometime after the Serpentine War. These eggs were later obtained by Krux, who used them to breed his army.
- However, a story that was taken down from the LEGO site used masculine pronouns for the Devourer.
- Also, in "Day of the Great Devourer," the Ninja used masculine pronouns.
- The Great Devourer bears the most resemblance to the Venomari, just as Clouse's pet beared the most resemblance to an Anacondrai.