|Grant Douglas Ward|
|Played By:||Brett Dalton
Trenton Rogers (Child)
Austin Lyon (Teenager)
|Job Title:||Specialist Agent|
|Special Skills:||Combat, Espionage|
|Height:||6′ 3" (1.9m)|
|First Appeared:||1×01 Pilot|
Grant Ward is a Level 7 clearance agent working for S.H.I.E.L.D., a highly skilled “rising star” known for being deadly, precise and cool under fire. Apparently, he’s not so good when it comes to dealing with people, having a tendency to botch interpersonal relations. He’s a quiet one with a bit of a temper, but he’s the kind of guy that grows on you.
Grant Douglas Ward was raised in a house in Massachusetts with his two brothers and a sister. Not much is known about his parents or sister except that they’re still alive (as of 1×19 The Only Light in the Darkness), but the oldest Ward brother, Maynard, was known to frequently torment and beat up his two younger siblings, sometimes for nothing more than "eating a slice of his birthday cake", while their parents did "worse" (it is unclear whether this means they were neglected or also physically abused by their parents). Though Grant tried his best to protect himself and his younger brother, eventually Maynard forced Grant to beat up their younger brother too, which Grant did out of fear of Maynard. The crux came when Maynard dropped a helpless boy – either the youngest Ward brother or a friend of Grant – down a well, and forced Grant to watch, threatening that he would throw the middle brother down the well as well if he threw down the rope to save the boy. It was the first time Grant felt pure unadulterated hatred for another human being.
While the fate of the boy in the well was left ambiguous, Grant considered this period of his life "hell", and was extremely grateful when Agent John Garrett of S.H.I.E.L.D. eventually discovered and removed him from his toxic family environment, contributing to Grant’s decision to join S.H.I.E.L.D., graduating to become one of the best specialist agents of the agency. Because of the traumatic experiences of his youth, he learned to lock away those memories in order to be able to focus on his work, and became extremely anti-social as a result, and he has cut all ties with his birth family since he left them. He is fiercely loyal to Garrett and feels he owes him everything, which contributed to his eventual defection to Hydra alongside Garrett prior to the start of the series.
edit] Season 1
Having worked his way up to a Level 6 Clearance in S.H.I.E.L.D., he was mysteriously pulled out of the Paris office, where he’d been stationed, and recalled back to the United States. There, he was promoted to Level 7 Clearance and transferred to a new mobile command unit spearheaded by Agent Phil Coulson, whom Ward had initially thought dead prior to the Battle of New York months earlier. Being a loner and a specialist agent, Ward was extremely annoyed at being assigned to a team, even though it is only a small team of five, but nevertheless he reported for duty on The Bus), and was joined by teammates Leo Fitz, Jemma Simmons, and to his infinite surprise, the legendary Cavalry, Melinda May
As part of the team’s first assignment, Ward assisted Coulson in the kidnap and interrogation of civilian hacker Skye, a member of the Rising Tide. At first impatient and intimidating with the young woman, he was forced to admit under the influence of truth serum that he found her attractive, among other things. He was the biggest objector to Coulson hiring Skye for their team because of her dubious loyalties, but was quickly brought around when he saw firsthand her courage and ability to improvise well under pressure. At the suggestion of Agent May, he took Skye under his wing as a trainee agent when Skye expressed a desire to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. field agent.
Over time, he became more and more relaxed and amenable in a team setting despite half the team being non-field cleared, even going so far as to socialize with fellow teammates with board and card games, though his on-field persona was as no-nonsense and ruthlessly efficient as ever. An unfortunate turn of events came when Skye’s divided loyalties between the team and then boyfriend Miles Lydon, a fellow Rising Tide hacker, was discovered in the worst possible scenario. While he was devastated both as a Supervising Officer and as a friend, giving her the cold shoulder for days, they eventually patched up.
While he has always been taught and conditioned to be "the whole solution", he has also gradually learned to not only work with a team, but also that the other agents are fully capable of sharing his burdens in one form or another, and that far from him being the only protector of the group, his teammates are also taking care of him in their own ways, especially when, on a dangerous undercover mission to south Ossetia, Agent Fitz told him that Coulson not only told Ward to take care of Fitz, but told Fitz to take care of Ward too. This novel experience was at first slightly disconcerting to Ward, whom is so used to having no one to rely on, but he warmed to the idea that he "was in good hands".
Right after the events of Thor: The Dark World, Ward came into contact with an Asgardian Berserker Staff, which, in addition to temporary super strength, also unlocked his long suppressed memories of his childhood and engendered intense feelings of hatred from the memory of his youngest brother helpless in the well. This caused him to lash out unfairly at half his teammates before he was able to control the rage, though he was later ashamed at the way he behaved and apologized to the rest of the team. He was forced to wield the Staff pieces again to destroy an entire group of infected civilian followers of a Norse paganist hate group, but his temporary strength failed at the very end, and Agent May took up the remaining Staff pieces, getting infected in the process, to finish off the last of the attackers with seemingly little effort and with her emotions almost entirely under control. This shared experienced bonded them together tighter than before, and they turned to one another in its aftermath, commencing a sexual affair they kept secret from the rest of the team.
While respecting the emotional boundaries of the affair, he nevertheless began spending more time with his idol and lover, often seen to spar with Agent May during their time together on The Bus. Whether he is subconsciously becoming attached to the affair or not, he claimed that he isn’t some recruit who "can’t separate church from state" when May accused him of being emotionally compromised during a field mission. When Coulson was kidnapped by the people behind project Centipede, he became the team leader in the interim, continuing to lead the team into the front lines to rescue Coulson despite the injuries he had sustained.
He was initially glad to have managed to rescue Coulson back from Project Centipede, but in the subsequent days, he became concerned with Coulson’s isolation from the rest of the team. He justified the changes in Coulson until one day, his own trainee agent Skye changed as well after Coulson had a talk with her (unbeknownst to him, Coulson had revealed what little he knew of Skye’s origins to her), becoming more focused, driven, and personally invested in taking down Coulson’s kidnappers, Project Centipede. While on an undercover mission he tried to voice his misgivings to Agent May, only for her to not only side Coulson, but casually mention that she’d told Coulson about their affair as well. Confused and irritated, he was then threatened by Coulson with reassignment should he allow the affair to endanger any missions or teammates, as well as May’s outright rejection of his help (which she later allowed Coulson). This resentment reached a boiling point when they discovered Skye’s lifeless body – she was shot twice and left to die while trying to track down Project Centipede’s backer. Ward was extremely torn up about the fate of his trainee agent and friend, and he blamed Coulson for driving Skye into a situation she should never have been in for Coulson’s personal vengeance.
edit] Uprising Arc
Having almost lost his trainee agent, he threw himself back into the mission when his former Supervising Officer Agent John Garrett came in conflict with Coulson, though this was fortunately resolved quickly. He enjoyed reconnecting with Garrett and his new specialist Antoine Triplett, and was extremely resolved in the infiltration of the Guest House facility where Coulson’s "miracle cure", the GH325 drug, was kept. He was a witness to the wild surges of Skye’s condition both before and after the injection of the GH325 drug that miraculously saved her, and was equal parts relieved and disturbed by what had previously been a hopeless situation for Skye turning around abruptly, as well as Coulson’s last minute heel faced turn about giving Skye the drug.
He visited Skye often in her med pod after she has regained consciousness, and was extremely worried of the personal time Coulson took after her recovery, sometimes even missing mission briefings. One such briefing concerned the suspected arrival of Asgardians on earth once again, which brought him into contact with the Asgardian seductress Lorelei, who enslaves him and uses him to eliminate the threat posed by his own team as well as Sif, the Asgardian warrior sent to recapture her. During this time, he was mentally and sexually manipulated by Lorelei, actions which were discovered by Agents Couslon and May in their pursuit of the pair. This, together with the revelation that the person he desired prior to Lorelei was not Agent May (though there is a distinct possibility of Lorelei lying), led May to break off their sexual arrangement after Ward had regained control of himself, though not before he’d almost succeeded in killing May under Lorelei’s influence.
edit] Training and Abilities
Ward was trained by supervising officer Agent John Garrett, who notably gave him a hundred books that Ward was "just getting around to" in 1×02 0-8-4. As a specialist agent, Ward is well-versed in hand-to-hand combat, a qualified sniper, a weapons expert (especially in guns and pistols), and is a certified pilot. He is experienced in diffusing nuclear bombs, a brilliant tactician and undercover spy, and can speak six languages, including Russian, French and Italian. For the last three missions he undertook before being transferred to Agent Phil Coulson’s new team, he received top grades for combat, and the highest marks since Agent Natasha Romanoff for espionage, though he failed miserably in people skills, a fact that is unsurprising to those privy to his family history.
- John Garrett
Ward respects and likes Garrett very much, maintaining an easy relationship with his former Supervising Officer long after he had graduated to be an independent S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. He has not only learned Garrett’s abilities with proficiency, but absorbed some of his characteristics as well, particularly his approach to field work, preferring risk assessment over gut instinct (unlike Coulson). Garrett in turn favors him almost as a star pupil, even going so far as to call him "son" affectionately, instead of the more formal "Agent Ward".
- Phil Coulson
Ward holds a great deal of respect for Agent Coulson, though that respect is tempered by exasperation for the older agent’s frequent brushes against authority and his tendency to use unconventional methods rather than tried and true standard S.H.I.E.L.D. protocol. Ward is often befuddled by Coulson’s apparent foolishness in believing in the best of others despite evidence to the contrary, as with both Skye and former agent Akela Amador, though Coulson generally turns out to be almost always right. Ward began to resent Coulson when the older agent gave him a talking to about his affair with Agent May, and when he blames Coulson for the fatal injury of his trainee agent, Skye.
- Melinda May
Ward, having heard stories of the Cavalry’s Bahrain incident from his days at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, was instantly impressed that Coulson actually managed to get Agent May out of administration to pilot The Bus. He is awe of her at first, and she regards him as an equal and fellow field-experienced agent, as their mutual specialist training enabled them to communicate best with each other. After they both came in contact with the Asgardian Berserker Staff, their shared torment drove them towards each other, and they are now having a sexual affair, which, while he is as aware of the strict emotional boundaries as her, is nevertheless shown to exhibit a small amount of smugness over their relationship. He became annoyed when May told him that she’d confessed to Coulson about their affair without his knowledge, and is resentful that she still trusted him less than he expected her to.
Initially regarding her with no small amount of dislike due to her Rising Tide origins, he also admitted under the influence of truth serum that he finds her very beautiful. He gradually came to respect her bravery, empathy and superior people skills, and agreed to act as her Supervising Officer when she asked to join S.H.I.E.L.D.. The blossoming friendship of the two was spoiled at the discovery of Skye’s then boyfriend Miles Lydon hacking into S.H.I.E.L.D. Hong Kong, and though he gave her a hard time for a while after the incident, the two eventually mended fences. He was disturbed when she changed and became more driven and focused subsequent to learning her origin from Coulson (which Ward was kept in the dark about), and was extremely distraught at her fatal injury, both as her supervising officer and as her friend.
- Leo Fitz
Ward was always a little exasperated at Fitz’s lack of field clearance, his extremely science-oriented language – himself being an agent used to short, succinct orders in plain English – as well as a perceived tendency to not take missions as seriously as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent should. However, he was not adverse to the younger agent’s company, and is sometimes seen playing cards with him. After an undercover mission with the engineer in south Ossetia resulted in Fitz displaying his hitherto unseen inner strength ("I am every bit the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that you are"), Ward came to appreciate Fitz more as a capable and respectable teammate.
- Jemma Simmons
Ward was not particularly close to Simmons in the beginning of their team, though he still regarded her as part of the team and thus, under his protection. The turning point in their friendship came when he saw that she was prepared to sacrifice herself to save the rest of the team when she was infected with a deadly alien virus, and he very much admire her commitment to her job as an agent, as well as in understanding the sacrifices they sometimes needed to have courage to make for the benefit of others.
edit] Memorable Quotes
Maria Hill: What does S.H.I.E.L.D. stand for Agent Ward?
Grant Ward: Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.
Maria Hill: And what does that mean to you?
Grant Ward: It means someone really wanted our initials to spell out "shield".
edit] Other Appearances
No appearances outside Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at this stage.
- ↑1×08 The Well