The Dashing Design of Greavard

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Good day, Pokémon Trainers! Have you ever noticed how certain events in Pokémon GO give special attention to a single Pokémon or the community itself tends to hype a new Pokémon up? Have you ever wondered why this Pokémon specifically and what its origins are?

Well, that’s where the Dashing Design series comes in! Where I’ll be your guide as we take a look at the franchise history, concept, and potential design inspirations of specific Pokémon. We’re on the second article in this format. And this time we will be looking at the star of this year’s first part of the Halloween event, starting with the goodest ghost boi Greavard!


Franchise History General icon

Source: Trailer

Greavard is a relatively recent Pokémon. It was first introduced in the ninth generation of mainline Pokémon games, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. In fact, it was one of the earliest Paldean Pokémon introduced. Paldea being the region the ninth generation of Pokémon games takes place in. It was initially teased on twitter (Now X) before being properly introduced in a really neat “found footage” style trailer released later (rather fittingly) on October 25th, 2022:

Etymology and Design General icon


There’s actually a decent amount to cover with our fluffy friend. So let’s start with the name. Greavard is probably a mix of the words “Graveyard”, a type of burial ground, and a Briard, a breed of dogs characterized by its long sheets of fur.

Source: By Ducroccobo on Wikipedia

Another possible source of inspiration for the name is the word “Greaves” a residue from animal fat-based candle production commonly used as animal feed. Considering both the candle motif and the fact that it’s a food material for dogs makes this connection a strong possibility.


Source: kittypokemonsalot

While Greavard’s name may take inspiration from the Briard, its actual design may stem from the similar-looking Catalan Sheepdog. The Catalan Sheepdogs look strikingly similar to Briards, having the same long lengthed fur. However, unlike the Briards, Catalan Sheepdogs are native to Spain, which Paldea is based off of, allowing for a stronger connection.

As for its Ghostly inspiration, I feel like I cannot provide a definitive answer. The reason being that there are just too many ghost dogs in myths and folklore around the world. Just in Spain alone, there’s the Pesnata and Dips, there’s the Barghest from the UK, and then there’s the Cadejo, which is all white when good. And it should be noted that Greavard itself is mostly pale white, barring its shiny.

White is very common in iconography regarding ghosts and the dead. For example, the white sheet ghosts that appear in old cartoons. This is because white is often the color of choice for mourning in many cultures. The dead are often adorned in white before being buried and in some instances, people related to the newly departed wear white as well. This along with the bone-shaped candle adorning its head solidifies its connection with the dead. As candles are often lit on grave sites to commemorate the dead. And it is a particularly common custom in certain Spanish-speaking countries.

But coming back to the white sheets for a bit. One might wonder why white adornments are common in depictions of the departed. It very likely has to do with what people associate with the color white. It generally represents a blank canvas. Hollow, unadorned, empty. Symbolizing a new beginning that is yet to be. Perhaps white is even a bit lonely when taken into consideration alone. And this description fits Greavard perfectly. Consider its Violet pokédex entry:

This friendly Pokémon doesn’t like being alone. Pay it even the slightest bit of attention, and it will follow you forever.

Despite this, Greavard’s candle absorbs the life force of those near it, until they faint or fall asleep. Thus making it once again all alone. A rather cruel fate for a shepherd dog, as they are known to be friendly, popular with children, and loyal to no end. Or consider the Japanese story of Hachiko (A story echoed in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s story) where a dog eternally waits for its dead master. And to put the final nail in the coffin, its Japanese name is Bochi, which means cemetery but can also be a part of the term HitoriBocchi, meaning loneliness.

Houndstone General icon


So, uhh, ya, kind of a sour note that little Greavard. In the first “Dashing Design” article, I talked about Smoliv’s evolution as well. And I think it’s all the more necessary this time around. Because if we end up just analyzing Greavard, I feel like we leave on a rather sour note. So without further ado, let’s look at its evolution, Houndstone!

Source: Trailer

Name and design wise Houndstone doesn’t deviate far from its prior evolution. Its name is a combination of “Hound”, a generic name for dogs, and “Headstone” a type of commemorative stone that is attached to the ground of a grave. In terms of design, it looks more withered, older, and more mature. Its jaw is bigger, probably to bear the weight of the headstone that is replacing the candle. This brings us to the most striking feature, of course, the headstone. 

Again, going with Pokédex in Pokémon Violet:

A lovingly mourned Pokémon was reborn as Houndstone. It doesn’t like anyone touching the protuberance atop its head.

With age comes wisdom. And now Houndstone has the knowledge and experience to know that the candle that has turned into a headstone saps the life energy of others. Also looking at the Scarlet Pokédex this time around:

Houndstone spends most of its time sleeping in graveyards. Among all the dog Pokémon, this one is most loyal to its master.

Greavard’s entire evolutionary line focuses on loyalty. Its signature move is Last Respects, a move that gets stronger the more Pokémon have fainted in your party. So I think the overarching theme for Houndstone is “perseverance due to a strong desire for genuine connections”. Houndstone is smart now, it knows how to get close to others without bringing them harm. Its loyalty transcends its own mortality. It does not forget its fallen comrades, rather its conviction grows and it does more damage. And thus the little Greavard is no longer lonely. Carry on loyal friend!

Conclusion General icon

And there we go! Admittedly a bit darker than the first Dashing Design on Smoliv. But I think Greavard’s story is ultimately a positive one. With its loyalty and perseverance, I believe it’s never quite alone. And this is why, Greavard’s design, is quite dashing!

Goodbye for now, Pokémon trainers. Priom-out!

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Pokémon fan since as early as object permanence allows. Me and my Pokébuddy, PoppyGO are here to hopefully help you with all of Pokémon GO's going-ons!

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