- “Gnarl makes a pretty picture. It's easy when you know how. It's easy when everyone helps. They helped me. Too bad there's no one to help you.”
In 2002, Gnarl got the attention of the Scooby Gang when he killed and flayed a teenage tagger. Willow Rosenberg attempted to stop him by using a spell when she located his lair, only to end being paralyzed by Gnarl who began feeding on the skin of her stomach. Buffy Summers, Xander Harris and Anya Jenkins then intervened having previously entered the cave where Gnarl paralyzed Dawn Summers. Buffy fought Gnarl and after a brief battle she killed him by gouging his eyes with her thumbs. This act released both Willow and Dawn from their paralysis.
According to Anya, he was one of her acquaintances.
- “ A demon called "Gnarl." He's a parasite with these nasty long fingernails. He secretes something through them and uses that to paralyze his victims. He then cuts strips of their skin while they're still alive. It takes hours.”
- ―Dawn Summers[src]
Paralysis Inducement: Gnarl possessed long, talon-shaped fingernails which secreted a paralyzing poison that rendered his victim completely immobile, though they can still communicate through muffles and their body's remain posable. The paralyzes remains with the victim until Gnarl is killed, giving him endless hours to feed their skin alive.
Razor-sharp fingernails: In addition to his paralysis, his nails were also very sharp, causing cuts in his victims skin to inject the poison. He used his nails to completely flay entire human bodies, strip by strip.
Super agility and speed: Gnarl also had acute reflexes and agility, able to appear out of nowhere, strike Dawn and quickly retreat out of the scene. This also proved difficult for Buffy during her fight with him, making her stab him in the foot just to keep him still.
Immunity from Magic: Gnarl was immune to magic as Willow tried to cast a spell on him but did nothing, instead Gnarl claimed he loved spells and kept them as 'pets' and they "leave him alone".
- “They were here. Here they were. And there they went. Gone, all gone, what a pretty song. They sealed you in with me. I love a gifty. Can't wait to unwrap it.”
Gnarl possessed a sadistic and somewhat childlike personality, taunting Willow by claiming her friends didn't care about her while feeding on her. He spoke in singsong, almost nursery rhyme-like couplets as well as in third-person.
Behind the Scenes
- He was portrayed by Camden Toy.
- Gnarl had many resemblances to Gollum from The Lord of Rings series of books.