- "I'm not looking for mercy or absolution. I just want you to know, I've been where you are right now. Filled with rage, wanting revenge... I chose HYDRA for petty, personal, selfish reasons... for a father figure, for vengeance... for closure. But what I saw today gave my life meaning. For the first time ever, I have a sense of satisfaction that I never experienced when I was seeking revenge."
- ―Grant Ward to Phil Coulson
Grant Douglas Ward was one of the leaders of HYDRA. A former HYDRA infiltrator in S.H.I.E.L.D. disguised as a Level 7 operative, he was abused as a child by his family. As a teenager, he tried to burn down his family home. Ward was imprisoned until he was freed by John Garrett, who trained Ward to become a cold-blooded killer. Ward eventually became more loyal to him than to HYDRA. As an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., he was recruited onto Coulson's Team, working with them on all their missions, pretending to be gruff and anti-social and to become emotionally attached to the team.
During the HYDRA Uprising, he killed Victoria Hand but still maintained his cover as a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. He broke cover on John Garrett's orders and rejoined HYDRA. Despite harboring feelings for Skye, he followed all of Garrett's orders. When Garrett's HYDRA cell lost the Battle at Cybertek, he was imprisoned by Coulson.
Ward managed to escape many months later and rejoined HYDRA under Daniel Whitehall. However, he left the organization again after Whitehall's death along with Kara Palamas. They started a path in order to close their wounds and move forward that culminated in kidnapping Bobbi Morse, whom they considered responsible Palamas' brainwashing.
Ward ended up accidentally killing Palamas, and he rejoined the remnants of HYDRA, deciding to rebuild the organization and become its new leader. His quest brought him in conflict with Gideon Malick, one of the last heads of HYDRA's old guard, but eventually they made an alliance to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. and fulfill HYDRA's oldest goal: the return of HYDRA's ancient Inhuman leader to Earth. While on Maveth, he was finally killed by Phil Coulson, but his corpse was taken as a vessel by the dark Inhuman and brought back to Earth.
- "My older brother, he didn't beat up my younger brother. He was crueler than that. He made me do it, and I let him. I was afraid."
"What about your parents?"
"They were worse."
- ―Grant Ward and Skye
Grant Douglas Ward grew up in Massachusetts and had a difficult childhood. He had an abusive older brother who would frequently force Ward to beat up his younger brother. His parents were even worse. Ward also had a sister with whom he no longer has contact.
An incident in particular that had a profound effect on Ward was when his older brother threw his younger brother into a well and would not allow Ward to rescue him. Ward eventually managed to do it without his brother knowing.
- "I'm curious, did you know your brother was in the house when you set it on fire?"
"No sir I did not."
- ―John Garrett and Grant Ward
In 1999, Ward went AWOL from the military academy to which he had been sent, stole a car, drove over 1000 miles home, and set fire to his parents' home. Unknown to Ward, his older brother Christian was inside. Christian survived but pushed for the courts to try Grant as an adult.
Recruited by Garrett
- "I work for a secret organization that's always looking to recruit young men like you."
"And why should I trust you?"
"You shouldn't. Don't trust anybody, ever, especially me."
- ―John Garrett and Grant Ward
While being detained at a juvenile detention center, Ward was unexpectedly visited by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent John Garrett, who offered him a choice - leave with Garrett now and be taught the skills needed to survive, or face prison, where his family was pushing for Ward to get the maximum sentence for his crime. When Ward asked why he should trust Garrett, Garrett responded by telling him to never to trust anyone, especially not him. Ward agreed, and Garrett's men broke him out of prison.
Trained for HYDRA
- "First few weeks were rough, then I realized my thinking was limited, so I started raiding cabins. Got some tools, tent, life got easier. Gonna build a cabin over there."
"See I told you you could do it. Damn son, you stepped up in a big way, I couldn't be prouder if you were my own."
- ―Grant Ward and John Garrett
Garrett drove Ward into the middle of a forest and left him there with just a dog called Buddy, telling him that from now on he would have to survive on his own, hunting for food and building a place to sleep. Garrett promised to return in a couple of months, but he instead left Ward for six months. Ward managed to raid nearby cabins, build his own camp and survive with ease. Garrett was impressed by Ward's efforts and promised to teach him how to shoot.
For five years Garrett subjected Ward to a number of grueling survival tests in the Wyoming wilderness, eventually molding him into a cold, driven survivalist. Garrett eventually revealed to Ward that he was not, in fact, loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D., but to HYDRA. By this point, however, Ward followed Garrett no matter what, so he agreed without question to join HYDRA. Garrett made Ward prove his emotional detachment by asking him to kill his loyal dog Buddy. 
Early S.H.I.E.L.D. Career
After proving his worth, Ward became a full-fledged agent, rising through the ranks under Garrett's tutelage and supervision. Deputy Director Maria Hill gave Ward top marks in combat and the highest espionage rating since Natasha Romanoff, giving him low marks only in his people skills.
Mission in Paris
Grant Ward and his team were assigned to a mission in Paris, France. Ward was assigned to break into a hidden vault belonging to the international criminal Vanchat and steal a Chitauri neural link which had come into Vanchat's possession and that he was going to sell to an unknown buyer. After taking the link, he was discovered and fought his way to the top of the building, where he was extracted by helicopter.
- "What does S.H.I.E.L.D. stand for, Agent Ward?"
"Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division."
"And what does that mean to you?"
"It means someone really wanted our initials to spell out "shield.""
- ―Maria Hill and Grant Ward
Before the Battle of New York, Agent Phil Coulson, an old friend of John Garrett's, was slain at the hands of Loki and days later restored to life through unknown means. Garrett, whose health was beginning to fail, tried to find out how Coulson was revived, hoping he could restore his own health through the same means.
When Coulson assembled a new team of specialists to investigate new, strange and unknown threats, Garrett suggested to Coulson that Ward be a part of his new team, ostensibly to "smooth out" Ward's "rough edges", but in reality, Ward was Garrett's undercover asset attempting to discover the truth about Coulson's resurrection.
During the team's first mission together, they encountered a Rising Tide "hacktivist" known only as Skye, who was their only lead in the case of Michael Peterson. Having had some negative encounters with Rising Tide after their release of classified data during ongoing operations, Ward took an instant dislike to Skye. She was also an unknown factor that neither Ward nor Garrett had calculated. To gain Skye's trust, Coulson and Ward came up with a plan to pretend to give Ward a truth serum and have him tell her some very low level intel about S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mike Peterson later kidnapped Skye and they discovered the Extremis in his blood would cause him to explode, so Ward joined the rest of the team to stop him. Ward tried to subdue Peterson with a chokehold but failed. He later took a higher position and aimed a sniper rifle at Peterson while Coulson tried to calm him down. Leo Fitz; however, gave him a Night Night gun and Ward shot Peterson with it, knocking him out cold and cooling down his Extremis. After the mission, Phil Coulson recruited Skye to the team as a consultant, over Ward's objections.
Protecting the Team
- "Where's your side arm?"
"If I need a gun, I'll take one."
"Right, I forgot I was working with the cavalry."
- ―Grant Ward and Melinda May
The team's second mission took them to Peru to investigate an 0-8-4. While Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons investigated the item itself, Ward and Melinda May were attacked by the local military. They defended themselves until Coulson appeared and revealed he knew their leader Camilla Reyes. The encounter remained pleasant until the team were attacked again, this time by local rebels. Ward used a Thunderstick to knock out many of the attackers but the team were forced to retreat. Ward pulled the 0-8-4 out of the wall and they escaped to the Bus.
However, when on the Bus, they were betrayed and hijacked by Camilla Reyes' soldiers. The team was tied up but managed to escape with the help of Melinda May. As a team they were able to retake the Bus by blowing a hole in the side of the plane, killing many of the soldiers. Skye's quick thinking also helped to save Ward's life when he nearly fell out of the plane himself. Ward saw a way to learn more about her, thus removing any unknown element she might bring into the mix. Ward agreed to be her "Supervising Officer" and oversee her training and education.
Acting as Skye's S.O.
- "I don't ever want to do another pull-up again."
"You ever find yourself hanging off the edge of a building twenty stories up, you're gonna want to do at least one."
- ―Skye and Grant Ward
Ward began her training in combat and weapon training, specifically how to disarm an opponent. However, he felt that Skye was not fully committing herself to it or to S.H.I.E.L.D.. Coulson suggested a different, more personal approach. Ward responded by giving some details of his personal life and rough childhood to Skye, describing his so-called "defining moment" to her.
The team received a call that a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist named Dr. Franklin Hall had been kidnapped in an attack which involved an invisible substance picking up and throwing down trucks. The team investigated and Fitz and Simmons learned that the attack was caused by an element called Gravitonium, which could change the effects of gravity. Ward and Coulson investigated who had supplied the vehicles and equipment for the attack, leading them to a man who had been paid in gold. When they learned where the gold had originated from, they learned that Hall was being kept by billionaire Ian Quinn.
Ward's training became useful when Skye went on an undercover mission to rescue Dr. Hall in Malta, Ward objected when Skye volunteered to infiltrate the compound of Ian Quinn, citing the fact that she was not nearly qualified yet for such an operation. When Skye completed her mission, allowing Ward and Coulson to infiltrate the compound, she used Ward's training to good effect when disarming Quinn. However, she felt she was not ready to shoot someone so she made her escape, but had to be rescued by Ward in the end who fought three of Quinn's guards to protect her. After the operation, Skye seemed to fully commit herself to her training and S.H.I.E.L.D.
Searching for Akela Amador
Coulson requested that his team investigate the case of rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Akela Amador, who was believed to have been killed but had turned up doing dangerous and seemingly impossible missions with her eyes closed. Coulson and Ward retraced her steps and tried to locate her, arriving in Zloda, Belarus. They spoke to an Innkeeper, who claimed that Amador had correctly sensed the woman had a tumor, making Amador's abilities more of a mystery. While they were continuing their investigation. Fitz and Simmons traced a video signal that seemed to be Amador's point of view; they quickly realized that Amador was looking at them. Fitz, Simmons and Skye were in a van that was attacked by Amador, who drove into its side, knocking it over.
After Melinda May and Phil Coulson captured Akela Amador, Fitz used the signal from the video technology in her eye to build Backscatter Glasses to impersonate her. Ward wore these glasses and went on Amador's next mission. He used the key card Amador bought with the diamonds she stole to enter the Todorov Building in Minsk, Belarus. There he was given the awkward mission to seduce the guard. When this failed, he knocked out the guard and entered a room with a series of strange symbols on the wall. After seeing the symbols, the Englishman informed him the mission was complete. As Ward left the building an alarm was triggered, and he fought his way out of the building. Along the way he accidentally looked in a mirror, alerting the Englishman of the deception, luckily Fitz and Simmons were able to remove Amador's false eye before it exploded.
After the mission, Ward played cards with Leo Fitz, who seemed strangely confident about his chances of beating Ward. Fitz claimed Ward had a tell which would reveal to Fitz if he was lying. However, all of a sudden ,Fitz folded and left the table, leaving Ward confused. What Ward did not know was that Skye was behind him using the Backscatter Glasses to spy on Ward's cards, and when she told Fitz she would be able to see him naked, he panicked and left the game, although Skye did still use the glasses to see Ward naked.
Questioning Skye's Loyalty
A few weeks later, the team was seemingly betrayed by Skye, who alerted her boyfriend, hacker Miles Lydon, that S.H.I.E.L.D. was closing in on him while tracking down a leak that endangered the life of Hong Kong resident Chan Ho Yin. Ward cuffed Skye and took her and Lydon into custody aboard the Bus. When Ward produced evidence that Lydon had accepted payment of one million dollars for the information that endangered Chan's life, Skye was infuriated and felt betrayed by Lydon.
Later, when the operation to extract Chan from captivity by the Centipede Project (actually John Garrett's HYDRA-funded science group) went sour, Ward released Skye from custody and accepted her help in rescuing Coulson and Melinda May. Skye very quickly managed to hack Centipede's mainframe and release the locked doors, allowing Coulson and May to escape. Coulson later agreed to let Skye remain on the team as long as she came completely clean with the team and agreed to wear a Tracking Bracelet at all times. 
Saving the Scientist
Fitz continued to modify the new Night-Night Guns for Ward to inspect, he was however unsatisfied with the weight, and when he left he heard the team mocking him with funny voices. When strange deaths started occurring where the victims' bodies were found floating with a hole in the forehead, Coulson's team was sent to investigate. Ward found Skye following him and getting a little too close for comfort, although she insisted she was simply observing her S.O.. The team eventually found a connection between the victims and were able to find another man just a few minutes before he died. This man revealed that he was friends with the other victims and they had taken a Chitauri helmet during the Battle of New York, which had given them all an alien virus. The man later died and Simmons checked the team for the virus.
When the team regrouped on the Bus, it was discovered that Jemma Simmons had been infected by the virus. Trapped on the Bus, they knew that when the virus killed her, it would cause an EMP which would crash the plane. Fitz helped her in an attempt to find a cure, and in a last ditch effort they used samples to the Chitauri helmet to produce one; however, it appeared to be fruitless. Simmons knocked out Fitz and jumped out of the plane to save the others, but the cure did in fact work and Ward jumped out of the Bus to rescue her. Ward administered the cure to Simmons during free-fall and used a parachute to save both their lives. This action earned him unquestionable trust with the group.
- "Are you familiar with the term slam and cram?"
"No and I don't think I want to be."
"How attached are you to your pinky?"
"Very, very attached, and before you ask another terrifyingly vague question, let me be clear. Any plan that involves even one of those scenarios isn't going to work for me."
- ―Grant Ward and Leo Fitz
When the team had a stopover at the installation known as The Hub, Agent Victoria Hand explained that enemy forces had obtained a weapon called the Overkill Device in Georgia, which had the power to wipe out their own missile systems and render S.H.I.E.L.D. defenseless. Ward volunteered for the mission, as did Melinda May; however, Hand said they needed someone who could disarm the weapon so she assigned Ward and Agent Leo Fitz to the mission.
Ward entered the assignment watching the back of the inexperienced Leo Fitz. He went in search of his previous contact Yuri Dubrovsky, only to learn that Dubrovsky had been killed and another group of mobsters had taken over. They were taken hostage by a mob boss called Marta. Ward suggested various ways they could escape, none of which Fitz liked as they involved cutting off body parts or risking their lives. However Fitz's technical knowledge came in helpful as he was able to repair the mob's television after a black-out, which earned them a safe trip to where they needed to go.
The next morning the pair used a camouflage blanket to hitch a ride on the underbelly of a truck which brought them to the compound. Ward took out the guards and they discovered the Overkill Device. While Fitz disarmed it, Ward learned that Hand had not sent in a rescue team. He tried to convince Fitz to leave before the alarm was sounded but Fitz refused, proudly stating that he was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent just like Ward and just as brave as him. Fitz surprised Ward with his quick thinking, adaptability, and courage during the assignment, they managed to escape when Phil Coulson and Melinda May sent the Bus to rescue them.
- "I'm working it out."
"You're punching things. The last thing you need is to punch things."
- ―Grant Ward and Melinda May
After Thor saved the Earth from the wrath of Malekith and the Dark Elves, Ward, along with the rest of the team and S.H.I.E.L.D., proceeded to clean up the mess the battle had left in Greenwich. Any piece of alien technology was taken and stored away with S.H.I.E.L.D.; Ward discovered a piece of Malekith's ship and took it away for storage. Later they were called to investigate the mystical weapon known as the Berserker Staff, which had been discovered by Norse Paganists leaders Jakob Nystrom and Petra Larsen.
While searching for the second piece of the Staff, Ward came across the piece and Professor Elliot Randolph, who the team had earlier consulted about the staff. Ward stopped Randolph from stealing the staff piece but as he attempted to take it from Randolph, the Staff infected Ward with its mystical strength but also brought back a dark memory he had long hidden. As the effects of the Staff continued to affect Ward, his anger rose, causing him to lash out at the other team members. Randolph was locked away on the Bus and questioned, and Coulson developed a theory that Randolph may in fact be an Asgardian. He had Ward test the theory by trying to stab Randolph in the neck, and Randolph bent the blade. He revealed he was in fact an ancient warrior who had destroyed the Staff and hidden the pieces across the world.
The team finally located the final piece of the Staff thanks to Randolph. When Ward and the team arrived they were confronted by Nystrom, who had beat them to the location. He stabbed Randolph in the heart with a piece of the staff, nearly killing him. Seeing no other choice, Ward grabbed a piece of the Staff and attacked Nystrom. After a difficult battle, Ward defeated Nystrom and the remaining Paganists, while also fighting through his own dark memory, which caused him to collapse at the end of the battle. When Larsen and another Paganist arrived, Ward was exhausted and could barely stand, so Melinda May took the staff herself and defeated the Paganists.
Later at a bar, Ward apologized to Skye who let him know if he ever needed to talk she was there. As he went to his room he saw May with a bottle; after a brief moment of eye contact, she entered her room, leaving the door open, and Ward soon followed. Seeing May as the biggest threat to his mission, he allowed things to get intimate.
Ward defended his team again when they were charged with investigating and protecting a woman called Hannah Hutchins from mysterious destructive events happening around her. The team learned the attacks were being done by Hutchins' old friend Tobias Ford, who had become trapped between dimensions. Ward tried to fight off the attacker and could not. In the end, Melinda May was able to convince the man to leave Hutchins alone, and Hutchins allowed him to die.
Ward and May continued their relationship, often training together when they weren't going to bed together to release stress. They soon learned that a criminal called Edison Po had been broken out of prison with the help of Centipede Soldiers. Seeing the difficultly of their upcoming missions, Coulson recruited the help of Mike Peterson, who had been training as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Ward protested but Coulson was sure Peterson would be an asset to the team.
Coulson and Ward went on a mission to investigate one of the Centipede Soldiers who was identified in the CCTV, Brian Hayward. As they drove to the location of Hayward's sister, Ward managed to get Coulson to open up about his previous relationship, which included dinners at the Richmond. When they met the sister of Hayward, Ward approached her telling her Heyward had won the lottery and needed to contact them. They traced her call when she called her brother to tell him what had happened, giving them the current location of Centipede.
The team attacked the location of Centipede, and engaged in a battle with the Centipede Soldiers. During the fight Ward threw himself in the path of a punch intended for May, much to her annoyance. In the aftermath of the battle Peterson was wounded and Brian Hayward was executed by Centipede. Back on the Bus Peterson received a call from Raina that his son Ace had been kidnapped by Centipede. The team met with Raina and Ward took a position with his sniper rifle; however, the position of the meeting did not allow Ward to see their conversation. When they came back into view, Coulson was being taken by Centipede. Before he could react, a massive explosion seemingly killed Mike Peterson, and Ward was shot in the shoulder while Coulson was taken away in a helicopter.
- "No single agent is that important."
- ―Victoria Hand and Grant Ward
Ward was involved in the mission to rescue Coulson, this first involved the capture of Vanchat, a criminal who had connections to Raina. After threatening to throw him out of the Bus, Vanchat revealed vital information about Raina. Victoria Hand took a personal interest in the mission, however she had a strong distrust of Skye. When Skye tried to hack into S.H.I.E.L.D. Hand ordered her off the plane, she first asked Ward and May's opinion, although Ward defended her May said she was not of enough use. When Skye was leaving the plane Ward, Fitz and Simmons provided her with an untraceable phone to call them, trusting her to do her own investigation.
This plan was successful and Skye was able to give them Coulson's correct location, however Victoria Hand believed he was in a different location due to her own intel so did not provide back-up. The team arrived at the area together, with some new gadgets provided by Fitz to take out the Centipede Soldiers. Ward engaged with one of these soldiers, and after a long and intense fight, used a Night-Night Bracelet to knock him out. Coulson was rescued by Skye and Raina was captured. Ward and the rest of the team gladly welcomed Coulson back onto the Bus and watched as Raina was taken away to prison by S.H.I.E.L.D.
- "And you can't think of any reason a top student would want to go after you?"
"No. Um, the top students are my friends. It's competitive here, but we usually don't resort to knocking each other off. This isn't operations. No offense."
- ―Grant Ward and Seth Dormer
The team's next mission took them to the S.H.I.E.L.D. academy where Anne Weaver informed them that someone was attacking the students with freezing weapons. Ward was tasked with interviewing the students involved, including Seth Dormer and Callie Hannigan, to learn the truth about the attacks.
Through his investigations the team were able to learn that the attacks were being done by Seth Dormer and Donnie Gill, the two students who had been injured in the attacks, as they had attacked each other to ensure they were not the suspects. The pair were being funded by Ian Quinn, and they launched their weather machine which caused a super storm; Ward became trapped with the other students in the middle of the storm. The machine was destroyed in the storm and Dormer was killed by a lightning strike and Gill was arrested.
Ward assisted his team on other missions with his skills as an undercover specialist. He and Melinda May were teamed up on a mission to infiltrate a train where they had learned an item Ian Quinn had purchased was being moved. Ward was tasked with appearing as a train conductor while the team searched for Quinn's purchase. While he was speaking to May while changing into his train conductor clothes, May revealed that she had told Phil Coulson about their relationship, much to Ward's horror. Ward continued the mission but was attacked by one of Quinn's assassins. He alerted Coulson and the pair jumped from the train to safety. One of Quinn's guards threw a Dendrotoxin Grenade which knocked them out; when they awoke they believed no time had passed and that the train had simply vanished.
Ward and Coulson made their way back to the Bus to try to figure out what had happened. They both however had a great deal of trouble operating the Holotable while they tried to research the grenade that was thrown at them. Ward took the opportunity to speak to Coulson about his relationship with May; Coulson warned him that if it ever endangered the team, Ward would be punished by being forced to guard Emil Blonsky's cryocell, located at a facility in Barrow, Alaska. They were interrupted by the arrival of their seeming ally Luca Russo who was promptly murdered by Melinda May, who had been tortured by the traitorous Russo.
The team were able to locate Simmons back on the train and learned that Fitz and Skye had moved to Ian Quinn's Villa, alone. The team attacked the villa to rescue them. Ward arrived and shot Quinn's guards with the Night-Night Guns. Ian Quinn was quickly arrested but was found with blood on his hands. telling Coulson it was dangerous to make Skye go in alone. Skye was later found with two bullet wounds to the stomach after she had been shot by Quinn. Simmons was able to save her life by putting her in a Hyperbaric Chamber.
Back on the Bus the team began thinking about finding some kind of medication for Skye to save her life. Ward took a moment and punched a S.H.I.E.L.D. jeep; Melinda May tried to comfort him and told him not to blame himself, but he responded by saying he was not blaming himself. May thought he was speaking about blaming Fitz and Coulson, but in reality he was blaming John Garrett, whom he knew had given the order for Skye to get shot. At the thought of losing Skye, Ward's feelings for her grew as his relationship with Melinda May waned.
- "Garrett wants Quinn. It's my job to make sure Garrett gets what he wants. Now where is he?"
"Can't help you there."
- ―Antoine Triplett and Grant Ward
The next day John Garrett arrived on the Bus asking to take Ian Quinn into custody, Coulson ordered Ward not to allow Quinn off the Bus, this led to a fist fight between Ward and Antoine Triplett, Garrett's new right hand man. However Coulson and Garrett were able to come to an understanding where Quinn would stay on the Bus until Skye's life had been saved.
The team traveled to the Guest House where Coulson had been treated for his own injuries, once they arrived they were unable to get through the doors as they did not have the correct passcode. So the team broke in and engaged in a fierce firefight with the guards. Garrett and Ward were able to kill both the guards but soon learned that the base had been set to self-destruct. Coulson and Fitz searched the base to find the GH.325 which had saved Coulson's life, while Ward and Garrett tried to turn off the self-destruct.
Coulson and Fitz were able to find the GH.325 and the team made their escape, Ward took Fitz back to the Bus to give the GH.325 to Simmons. Garrett and Coulson soon arrived just as the base exploded, when Coulson arrived he ordered Simmons not to give Skye the serum but she already had. Skye began to spasm but soon her heartbeat became more regular and she began to recover. As Skye recovered, Ward admitted to her that he blamed himself for her injury, but Skye reassured him by promising him that she would train harder after her recovery.
Encounter with Asgardians
- "You're a fine warrior."
"I am, so put your hands behind your back and get on your knees."
"Men kneel before me, I do not bow to them."
- ―Lorelei and Grant Ward
The team found a signal in the desert which Coulson recognized as the arrival of an Asgardian. The team drove to the location of the signal and witnessed the arrival of Lady Sif, whom Coulson had briefly met in New Mexico. Lady Sif explained that an powerful sorceress named Lorelei had escaped the Asgardian dungeons during the war with Malekith and the Dark Elves. She had the power to control the will of men with her voice and touch, and this power had previously allowed her to almost take control of Asgard.
The team tracked her down where she had already amounted a small army of local police and a biker gang, who were all blindly loyal to her. Ward fought many of the bikers, and his fighting skills greatly impressed Lorelei, who was able to use her voice to put Ward under her power. He drove her away to safety and willingly gave her information about the team. After spending the night together in Las Vegas, Ward was candid with Lorelei about his feelings toward Skye and May and told her that Coulson's Team stood between her and world domination.
Together, they hijacked the Bus, and took control of Leo Fitz. When Coulson arrived back on the Bus with Sif, Fitz told her he had repaired the Asgardian Collar needed to stop Lorelei, but in reality Ward locked her in the room and ejected her from the plane. Ward appeared with Lorelei and she kissed Ward in front of May to mock her, Ward had a lengthy fight with May, in which he eventually got the upper hand and aimed his gun at her. He would have killed her if his gun was not empty, Sif then managed to get the Collar around Lorelei, ending her control over Ward. May punched Ward in revenge, effectively ending their relationship.
Hunting the Clairvoyant
When Deathlok attacked John Garrett and Antoine Triplett, Coulson arranged a meeting with some of the heads of S.H.I.E.L.D. including Victoria Hand, Jasper Sitwell and Felix Blake. They discussed a plan to find and stop the Clairvoyant. Grant Ward witnessed Skye becoming an official S.H.I.E.L.D. agent so she could access the Index allowing S.H.I.E.L.D. to investigate the Clairvoyant. Ward was teamed with Triplett to investigate Elijah Fordham, they discussed what they would do when they found the Clairvoyant, Triplett discussing how he had lost his partner in an attack by the Clairvoyant, and asked Ward what he would do if Skye had died. Before they could find Fordham, they were called to help Felix Blake against Deathlok.
Deathlok was found in Pensacola, Florida, and Coulson and Garrett led a raiding party, including Ward, to Thomas Nash's location. After a few short battles with Deathlok, Nash was located, who was paralyzed and could only speak through a computer. Phil Coulson swore to lock him away, Nash none-the-less continued to mock Coulson but when Nash threatened Skye's life, Ward fired a single shot into Nash's heart and killed him.
With Nash dead, Ward was arrested and locked in the Cage. After a while Coulson had learned that the true Clairvoyant was in fact an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Coulson came into the Cage and confronted Ward, asking if he had been ordered to kill Nash to protect the real Clairvoyant, although Coulson was correct, Ward continued to lie and deny any knowledge about the Clairvoyant. However Skye informed Coulson that they had a serious problem, Coulson came back a few minutes later with Melinda May unconscious, now believing she was connected to the Clairvoyant. The Plane was taken over by S.H.I.E.L.D. and rerouted to the Hub.
- "There's like a hundred guys out there."
"Twelve, level five foot soldiers, basic armor package and no other way through. The others are depending on us."
"But it's suicide."
"Not if I don't die, and if I do, maybe I deserve to."
- ―Skye and Grant Ward
During the HYDRA Uprising, Ward explained to Phil Coulson that Victoria Hand, who was believed to be the Clairvoyant, could not get the research and items stored on the Bus, so Coulson had Skye download all of the data onto an encrypted hard drive. They were later joined by John Garrett who had also been attacked by S.H.I.E.L.D., while they were on the Bus they received an encrypted message that revealed HYDRA was coming out of the shadows.
S.H.I.E.L.D. fired upon the Bus and the team escaped with the help of Leo Fitz's Mouse Hole. Ward and Skye worked together to battle through the Hub. As they hide in a storage room to prepare for the battle, Ward volunteered to go out alone to fight the guards so she could complete her mission regardless. Ward and Skye expressed their feelings for one another and shared their first kiss. With the kiss giving him new energy and determination, Ward ran out of their hiding place and fought off a dozen of the guards before re-teaming with Skye to cut the power across the Hub.
When Coulson, Leo Fitz, and Melinda May were surrounded by HYDRA agents and John Garrett, who revealed himself as both the Clairvoyant and a HYDRA operative, Ward and Skye were able to switch off the power in the facility which gave Coulson the opportunity to fight Garrett, they were able to overpower the HYDRA agents and Victoria Hand arrived to arrest the Garrett and the other HYDRA agents. Ward witnessed Garrett being taken away by S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson tried to comfort him and explain that his mentor was HYDRA. Ward however was already working out a plan to free Garrett.
Ward requested to join Hand in transporting Garrett to the Fridge, claiming that Garrett was his S.O. and he'd like to be the one to lock the key to his cell. Once airborne, Victoria Hand mocked Garrett and asked Ward if he'd like to kill the true Clairvoyant. Ward silently stood up and loaded his gun, Hand smiled awaiting Garrett's death, much to her surprise; however, Ward immediately shot and killed the two S.H.I.E.L.D. guards next to Garrett, before turning the gun on Hand and shooting her three times, killing her. He then freed Garrett and they escaped. As Garrett piloted the plane he retold Ward one of his many war stories while Ward contemplated his next move.
Ward traveled to Raina's prison, fought and killed the guards and unlocked her cell door. This was immediately suspicious of Ward's presence so he presented her with a gift from the Clairvoyant, a new flowered dress. Ward took her to Havana, Cuba to introduce her to their mutual benefactor. At the Barbershop Headquarters, Garrett introduced himself and explained he was not the Clairvoyant as she expected, but a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent with a high security clearance, Ward smiled at her confusion and disappointment. Garrett welcomed her to HYDRA. Ward and Garrett presented Raina with the drugs from the Guest House and the encrypted hard drive Skye had created so she could perfect Project Deathlok.
- "A little warning next time? You know they had automatic weapons."
"I couldn't resist, it was too good a line."
- ―Grant Ward and John Garrett
Afterwards, they went off with Agent Kaminsky to raid the Fridge, Ward arrived pretending to be delivering John Garrett to his cell. However the guards refused to let them inside without Victoria Hand present, Ward claimed Hand was going to meetings to finish the HYDRA invasion. Realizing they would not be able to convince the guards to let them in, Ward had Kaminsky fire at them from a helicopter until the guards let them in.
Once inside Ward shot both guards and Garrett released a gas which killed all the remaining guards. Once inside Garrett revealed to Ward that the Slingshot Program was a fake and Nick Fury had kept all the alien weapons he had found. While Garrett began releasing its prisoners, including Blackout, Ward took a team of agents and obtained the Fridge's confiscated weapons, including the Berserker Staff, the Peruvian 0-8-4. Ward made a bet with Garrett that there was something hidden under the floor and revealed the Gravitonium, winning him a steak dinner.
Raina spoke to Ward about how difficult it must be for him to have betrayed Coulson, Ward explained that although he owed Coulson something, he owed Garrett everything. Later however, Raina reported that only Skye could decrypt the hard drive, Ward was ordered to return to Coulson's Team to get the pass codes from her. Knowing that Coulson would have learned that the Fridge had been raided, it was decided that Ward should look like his been in a fight. Before he went to Providence, Ward had Garrett hit him several times, damaging his face and cracking his ribs, as he punched him, Garrett made Ward recite that he was an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D..
"Ward is HYDRA"
- "I was on a mission. It wasn't personal."
"It was - you did not just say that. "It wasn't personal"?"
- ―Grant Ward and Skye
When Ward arrived at Providence, he was greeted by Skye and taken to Jemma Simmons to look at his injuries. While Simmons watched up his many cuts and injuries, Ward lied to Coulson's Team about the Raid of the Fridge, telling them that when they arrived HYDRA had already taken over and he killed John Garrett as Garrett was freeing the prisoners. Coulson decided to take half the team to Portland, Oregon to pursue one of the escaped inmates named Blackout, but Agent Eric Koenig insisted that they all pass the Lie Detector first.
Ward barely passed his test. He did this by using a thin piece of metal stabbed into his finger; when he told the truth he stabbed himself to give the machine the impression that his reaction to telling the truth and lying were the same. During the test it appeared that this technique was not working as Eric Koenig became suspicious of his answers and drew a gun. Ward worked out clever answers to questions like "Are you HYDRA?" and when Ward was asked why he was there, he chose not to lie and simply answer he was there for Skye, which was true. Agent Koenig accepted these answers and welcomed Ward onto the base.
Skye and Ward sat together and discussed recent events, with Ward telling Skye that he was not a good man, which she strongly denied and told him that he was before the pair shared a romantic kiss. Later, when Skye and Koenig discussed using NSA satellites to watch the prison break, Ward knew it would expose his part in the scheme; therefore, he pretended that he agreed with the plan to ensure Skye remained unsuspicious before he murdered Koenig, strangling him and hiding his body in a closet.
When Ward struggled to find Skye in the Providence base, he went to the closet to check she had not discovered Koenig's body. He soon found and convinced Skye to leave with him on the Bus, telling her that Coulson had sent them orders for her to unlock the hard-drive, holding hands with her as they left. Unknown to Ward, Skye had already found Koenig's body and realized that he was a member of HYDRA. She had left the message "Ward is HYDRA" for her teammates to find and went with him.
- "Do you - do you think this has been easy on me? Do you have any idea how hard it was? The sacrifices, the decisions I had to make? But I made them. Because that's what I do. I'm a survivor."
"You are a serial killer."
- ―Grant Ward and Skye
Ward flew to Ruthie's Skillet in Los Angeles since Skye told him that the encryption was location-based. He began to get nervous the longer Skye took to unlock the drive, but she insisted that it was more complicated than he understood. Ward noticed that more and more police officers were arriving in the cafe and asking members of the public to leave. Knowing he was about to be arrested he tried to get Skye to leave with him, but Skye revealed she knew his affiliation and had called the police. The officers attempted to arrest Ward but he easily fought them off, Skye tried to escape by getting herself arrested but Ward shot the two officers. Skye got in the car but as she tried to escape, Deathlok, Ward's back-up, apprehended her.
Ward and Deathlok took Skye to the Bus, where Ward tried to explain to her that his feelings were real, but Skye was too upset to listen. She called him a murderer and a Nazi, much to Ward's anger, and told him she would not unlock the hard drive for him. Seeing that Skye would not answer to Ward, Garrett ordered Deathlok to shot Ward with a Heart Stopper to induce a heart attack. As Ward lay dying, Deathlok told Skye that he would only save him if Skye unlocked the drive. Although Skye hated Ward, she could not bear to watch him die so she agreed to unlock the drive. Deathlok brought Ward back to life, but Ward remained bitter about the incident.
As Ward prepared to fly the plane away to safety he was stopped when Maria Hill arrived. The two traded insults and Hill threatened to shoot Ward out of the sky if he attempted to escape, but Ward confidently said that not only did she no longer have that kind of authority any more and took off. What he did not know was Hill was simply distracting Ward long enough for Phil Coulson to board and rescue Skye. Coulson managed to get aboard Lola and drove out of the plane despite Ward and Deathlok shooting at them. Ward tried to turn the plane around and go after them, but Garrett ordered them to continue with their mission.
A Terrible Choice
- "I know that you care about us Ward!"
"You're right, I do, it's a weakness."
- ―Leo Fitz and Grant Ward
With the codes, Grant Ward returned to Cuba, and Raina was able to finish recreating GH.325. Garrett ordered the abandonment of the Barbershop Headquarters for the new Cybertek Manufacturing Facility, and Raina told Ward about rumors she had heard about Skye's parents. Before the members of the Centipede Project could leave, Ward found Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons spying on them. After Ward captured the two and brought them onto the Bus for questioning, Fitz activated the EMP Joy Buzzer that further damaged Garrett's cybernetic parts, nearly killing him as he was already suffering from organ failure.
Garrett ordered Ward to kill Fitz and Simmons. Fitz and Simmons were able to escape their guards, resulting in Ward chasing them until they locked themselves in a Medical Pod. Ward demanded that the two unlock the door, but Fitz tried to remind Ward of their friendship and stated that he knew Ward cared about them. Ward finally admitted that he still cared about his former friends, but he called it "a weakness" and then ejected the pod with Fitz and Simmons in it from the Bus into Atlantic Ocean. When he returned to Garrett, Ward lied to him and claimed to have definitively killed Fitz and Simmons. At the same time, Ward learned that he had had Raina inject him with the GH.325. He witnessed Garrett's body beginning to spasm and glow; when he stopped, Ward asked him how he was feeling, Garrett simply answered, the universe.
Worrying about Garrett
Ward witnessed John Garrett showing off his new strength as he ripped a door off it's hinges and began carving strange symbols on it, claiming that he was writing down the ideas that were now in his head. Ward tried to talk some sense into Garrett, telling him that he was a little freaked out and questioning their loyalty to HYDRA, but he had little success as Garrett continued to rant and promised that now it was time for Ward to take whatever he wanted.
Ward traveled with John Garrett to the new Cybertek Manufacturing Facility. On the flight there, he became worried about the state of Garrett's mind. He confided his worries with Raina, who agreed to talk to Garrett. Despite his concerns, he stayed with Garrett. When they arrived at the Facility Garrett began to mock General Jacobs, who was being given a tour by Ian Quinn. When Jacobs demanded to know why he could hear gunfire, Garrett brutally murdered the General without warning by ripping out his rib and stabbing him in the neck with it, as Ward could only look on in horror. When he asked Garrett what this was the beginning of, Garrett told Ward it was the beginning of the end.
Ward was forced to lock up Jacobs' entourage. After he had done that, he caught Raina and Ian Quinn attempting to flee with the Gravitonium. He accused Raina of putting thoughts in Garrett's mind but she then changed the subject, claiming that Skye is the key to the evolutionary change and when comes to pass, she and Ward could be together. Although Ward knew Skye perceived him as a monster, Raina cast doubt on that and asked if he was truly was a monster or was what Garrett made him. She then claimed when Skye's hidden darkness comes to light, they could be monsters together.
- "You said our thing was no strings attached. Looks to me like the ice queen got her feelings hurt. Reminds me of the old days."
"You were never on top!"
- ―Grant Ward and Melinda May
When Coulson's Team broke into the facility, Ward demanded Garrett give him some orders, only for his mentor to respond with confusing words about independence. He then received a call from Skye, who boasted that she had taken control of the Centipede Soldier control center. After taunting Skye about Fitz/Simmons' supposed deaths, Garrett tasked Ward with apprehending Skye. He found Skye who had taken Kyle Zeller hostage with a bomb strapped around his chest. He called her bluff, reminding her that she could have let him die the last time but she did not. Skye expressed pity for him for betraying their team, declaring Fitz a hero for wanting to believe there was good in Ward.
As she stated that some people are just born evil, Ward concurred, admitting she woke up a weakness inside him. He aimed his gun at her and threatened to take what he wanted from her. Skye, however, remained strangely confident and told him she had a weapon more powerful than a bomb which would destroy him; when he asked why that was, she explained because he slept with her, and she was immensely furious. Ward was then attacked by Melinda May, with whom he engaged in a long battle. During the fight, they tried to kill each other with buzzsaws and various other weapons they could find. The fight ended when May managed to get her hands on a nearby nail gun and started bolting his foot to the floor. Despite pleas from Ward, May punched him in the jaw and fractured his larynx, before knocking him unconscious with a kick to the head.
Ward was brought before Coulson, angry that Ward had lied to them from day one. Coulson asked May if she got all her anger out, she said she had not as Ward was still alive, she also told him that Ward was unable to speak due to his fractured larynx. Coulson told him that Fitz/Simmons had survived his assassination attempt, although Fitz may never be the same again. Coulson left him a question: Who are you without John Garrett? He was then taken into custody by U.S. Marines.
Prisoner at the Playground
- "I told Coulson weeks ago that I was willing to speak to you to give you intelligence. Why now? Something bad happened?"
- ―Grant Ward
Grant Ward became a prisoner in one of the vaults in the Playground. In his time he hurt himself by running at the walls and other tactics. He also attempted suicide by cutting his wrists with a folded piece of paper. Once he recovered he refused to speak to anyone except Skye. For three months, Phil Coulson sat outside Ward's cell but Ward refused to speak. Ward was eventually questioned by Skye about Carl Creel's connection with John Garrett and HYDRA. Ward told her about Creel's abilities. He also provided information on how HYDRA was communicating between its factions. Before Ward could give any information about Calvin Zabo, her father, Skye left and returned Ward to isolation.
Later when the team was attempting to track down Donnie Gill who had now gained cryogenic powers, Skye came down to gain information from Ward. The two were sidetracked, discussing Ward's alleged abuse by his family who are now considered well-known, respectable people. Ward told her that HYDRA, when coming after a gifted, will first try to recruit them or, if the former fails, terminate them. He also told Skye that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s morals were going to lead to its defeat.
Leo Fitz, feeling that the others were keeping secrets from him, discovered Ward in his cell. Ward was happy to see Fitz again and told him that rather than kill Fitz and Simmons, he ejected their pod into the ocean to give them "a fighting chance." Enraged, Fitz explained how the loss of oxygen caused him brain damage and that he was now useless to his team, who he revealed had left to go after Gill. Fitz then tried to make Ward feel his pain by removing the oxygen out of his cell to kill him. A gasping Ward, desperate to stay alive and concerned about the team's well-being, revealed that HYDRA brainwashed some of its agents, including Gill, who was used by HYDRA to take the Sandbox. Fitz allowed Ward to live and, with Mack's help, informed Coulson and the group about this.
Upon returning to the Playground, Skye confronted Ward, who reminded her of his promise to always tell her the truth. She wanted to know if he was brainwashed into working with HYDRA; he told her he was not. He then told her that he could lead her to her father.
Bonding with the other agents, Skye admitted that she once had a crush on Ward. Meanwhile, Fitz felt that Ward was getting more respect than he was from the others.  Ward thought Skye wanted to talk about her father when she returned to Vault D weeks later, but she came to ask him about the Words of Creation. Ward told her that Raina was the one who gave him the information on Skye's father but she believed that Raina was playing him. Ward desperately hoped that she was not carving the Words of Creation. Their conversation gave Skye the clue she needed to recognize that Phil Coulson was the one writing them. Later when Raina told Coulson that she wanted to bring Skye to her father she realized that Ward was right after all.
Transfer and Escape
- "I thought we were rebuilding trust, Coulson. I can help you. I'm still part of your team."
"My team? You are not, nor will you ever be on my team. You dropped Fitz and Simmons out of a plane, you murdered Victoria Hand and Eric Koenig, you betrayed every one of us, you deluded son of a bitch!"
- ―Grant Ward and Phil Coulson
When HYDRA attacked a United Nations summit posing as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Grant's older brother Christian attempted to hunt down the agency, Coulson had Skye talk to Grant about his brother in hopes of finding out anything. Grant begged Skye not to let him know he was there. He then changed the conversation to Calvin Zabo, which provoked Skye to angrily denounce Cal as a murderer. As a result, Coulson interrupted them and cut them off. Skye came back and Ward revealed to her that her father was trying to rescue her from HYDRA agents and that her mother was killed in the rescue attempt.
Ward then tried to convince her to set him free so he could take her to him. Skye however revealed to him that he was being transferred to his brother's custody, much to his horror. Phil Coulson later came down as Grant tried to convince him he could still help them and that he was still part of his team. Coulson angrily listed the many atrocious actions Ward committed (dropping Fitz and Simmons out a plane, killing Victoria Hand and Eric Koenig) and told him that the only reason he was imprisoned at the Playground was because he was of use and the only reason that he was being transferred was because Christian was of more use.
Coulson escorted him into a truck, advising the FBI agents not to give Ward a single inch. As he walked to the truck, Ward saw all of his former friends, including Fitz, and other agents watching him. Ward then saw Skye and Simmons and called out to Skye, but Simmons then told him that if she ever saw him again, she would kill him. As Ward was about to enter the van, he told Coulson to tell Skye that he would keep his promise to take her to her father. Inside the van, Ward, who had been practicing this in his cell, dislocated his thumb, freeing himself of his handcuffs, and overpowered the agents.
Ward knew that S.H.I.E.L.D. was pursuing him so he went a bus station in Philadelphia and, in a locker, got money and supplies. He also strapped explosives to himself which deterred Antoine Triplett from pursuing him.
The bus took Ward to Atlanta where he saw a woman on page 117 of her book. Calling himself Zack, he then helped Eliza and her son, Graham, onto a bus to Dallas. When Eliza wanted further conversation, he opted to sit with the woman reading her book, who was also on that bus. After flirting with her, Ward revealed that he knew she was an agent of Coulson's because she is still on page 117. Ward showed her his bomb and left the bus. However he boarded another bus headed to Boston with Lance Hunter on board.
In Boston, Ward met Sunil Bakshi in a bar run by a member of HYDRA. During the meeting, Ward asked Bakshi to whom he answered, as Strucker was overseas, to which Bakshi replied that he answered to Daniel Whitehall. Ward also asked if he could meet Whitehall, to which Bakshi replied that Whitehall was busy, but then Ward told him that he could get them close to Coulson. Ward then killed the bartender and the two HYDRA agents that accompanied Bakshi; Bakshi was then tied up and left for S.H.I.E.L.D.
Stopping off at a hotel, Ward took a shower, shaved off his beard and put on a new clean suit before calling Sunil Bakshi's phone. When Skye answered, he greeted her and said he hoped that she liked his present of Bakshi, explaining that he had promised Bakshi a face-to-face with Phil Coulson. He told her that he was planning on delivering similar presents to S.H.I.E.L.D. in the future. He hung up the phone before she could trace the call, then made plans to track down and confront his brother. 
Killing Senator Ward
- "I didn't squeeze the trigger when *you* killed all those people!"
"No. It is my fault. I let you all hollow me out, control me."
"Spare me the non-apology. I'm a senator."
- ―Christian Ward and Grant Ward
Ward soon found Christian as he was talking to his wife and setting up a date with his mistress. Ward sneaked up to the car and silently murdered his brother's security team in seconds before smashing Christian's car window with a man's head and violently pulling his brother out of the car. As Christian rolled down a hill and looked up in horror, Ward simply smiled and said that he had heard Christian had been looking for him.
Ward handcuffed Christian and forced him to walk through the woods where they had grown up, Christian continued to try and manipulate Ward by reminding him of his many crimes, but Ward ignored him and forced him to continue walking. Eventually Ward had them go to the well from their past  that their parents buried as their younger brother Thomas had almost drowned in it. Christian was forced to uncover the well while Ward watched, the brothers continued to debate their past and Ward insisted that Christian was still living in denial about his abusive past towards him and their brother. Eventually Christian found the well, but took a chance and attacked Ward before attempted to flee. Ward soon caught up and bushed Christian's head against a tree.
Ward dragged Christian to the well and threatened to drop him inside if Christian refused to admit to his part in torturing Thomas in their youth. Eventually, Christian tearfully admitted his part. Grant then embraced his brother and they walked back to the road together, making it appear to Christian that he had forgiven him, but in reality he was setting him up. Grant had recorded what Christian said. When they got back to the house, Grant killed Christian and their mother and father and burned down the house, making it appear to be a murder-suicide case. Grant put the recording of Christian's confession in the remains of the house to further ruin Christian's appearance to the public.
Return to HYDRA
- "Everyone deserves a second chance, but few are willing to do what it takes to earn one."
"I completely understand. I think my skills could be of use to you. I know sacrifice, what it takes to move forward in life."
"I have no doubt that's true."
- ―Daniel Whitehall and Grant Ward
Later, Ward had a meeting with Daniel Whitehall, asking if he could work with him in HYDRA. Whitehall accepted and showed Ward news footage of the alleged murder-suicide of Senator Christian Ward and his parents. Calvin Zabo entered the meeting, Zabo was immediately interested in Ward due to his experience being a part of Coulson's Team. Ward asked Zabo about his experiences meeting Coulson, claiming that it can be a tough experience.
Tracing the Tracker injected into Raina, Ward found her aboard the cloaked Bus and Whitehall had it surrounded by four HYDRA Quinjets. Ward boarded the Bus with other operatives as Skye, Melinda May, Lance Hunter, Antoine Triplett, Billy and Sam Koenig surrounded him with guns drawn. When Skye saw him working with HYDRA, she told him to pick a side, reminding him of how he had kidnapped Sunil Bakshi for them; he told her that he has.
Ward then told them that if a shoot out began, all would die as the HYDRA Quinjets flying outside would shoot the Bus out of the sky. He promised that if Raina and Skye came willingly, nothing would happen and they would be allowed to go free. Sam Koenig asked what promise did he give his brother before killing him. Ward simply replied by asking who Koenig's brother was. Though the Koenig brothers and the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team had Ward in a cross fire, they chose not to shoot. The women left with Ward, however Daniel Whitehall ordered the Bus to be destroyed regardless.
Keeping His Promise
Ward took Skye to the HYDRA base at the Ponce de León Theater in San Juan; as they walked together Ward admired how much Melinda May taught her while he had been gone, noticing Skye was already looking for an escape strategy and remaining calm under the circumstances. Skye continued to question Ward's loyalty to HYDRA and why he had taken her, and Ward assured her it would be revealed soon. He took Skye to reunite her with her father, who was waiting patiently. He left the pair alone to meet.
Daniel Whitehall decided to have a meeting with Ward, Raina, Skye, and Calvin Zabo to discern Ward's motivation for bringing the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to their base and defying his order to destroy the Bus. Raina revealed that Ward loved Skye and his desire for her outweighed his allegiance to HYDRA. When Whitehall ordered Skye to pick up the Diviner, it caused a dangerous stand-off, with Ward aiming his gun at the HYDRA guards. Although they were able to kill a few of Whitehall's men, Ward, Skye and Zabo were captured by HYDRA.
While bound and guarded by Agent 33, Ward asked her about her resemblance to Melinda May. She talked of her loyalty to Whitehall and Ward commented on how he was once loyal to John Garrett who had gone insane. Ward witnessed Whitehall torture Calvin Zabo and mock Skye about her mother's death. When the Battle for the Kree City began, Ward talked to the guard that replaced Agent 33 long enough for Zabo to free himself, sneak up behind the guard and kill him. Ward asked Zabo to free him, but he refused, citing that he did not want Ward and Skye to see him kill Whitehall.
Ward managed to free himself from the chair shortly after Calvin Zabo left, then freed Skye, saying that he would get her to safety. However when Ward's back was turned, she took the dead guard's gun and shot Ward four times in the side and left him for dead, noting that he should never turn his back on the enemy. Ward was saved by the Bulletproof Vest he wore. Agent 33 came to him emotional over the death of Daniel Whitehall. He told her that she was free from HYDRA and, together, they can find her place in the world. She then helped the injured man leave the scene.
The Closure of Kara Palamas
Over the next few weeks, Agent 33 treated Ward's injuries and nursed him back to health, they developed a strong flirtatious relationship and Ward felt he owed Agent 33 a debt.
Helping Agent 33
- "I guess it's fair to say we all hide our true selves don't we?"
"Or we just wait for the right time to reveal the truth."
- ―Selwyn and Grant Ward
Ward was able to track down the inventor of the Photostatic Veil to a diner; once there, he and Agent 33 discussed their short history together while Ward ordered the pancakes from the waitress Rhonda. Agent 33 still struggled to make decisions for herself now that her controller Daniel Whitehall was dead. Before their pancakes could arrive, the inventor of the Veil got up to leave; Ward and Agent 33 pulled out their guns and captured him.
They took Selwyn back to their hotel room and forced him to fix the mask. Although he was unable to remove the mask, he was able to get it working again to cover up her scars and fix her voice, allowing her to transform her face into anyone at will. Once he was finished, he and Ward discussed how Agent 33 could use an old photograph to make the mask give her old face back, and Ward revealed that he was unaware of what she really looked like. Once they were satisfied that Selwyn had done all he could to assist them, Ward killed him to ensure he did not tell anyone about them.
When Ward returned, Agent 33 had turned her face into Skye's; using Skye's face she tried to seduce Ward, but he insisted that he wanted to be with her, not anyone else. He explained that his feelings for Skye had gone when she shot him. As she was clearly upset at the rejection, Ward cheered up Agent 33 by handing her Sunil Bakshi's file, who was being held in a prison by Glenn Talbot. He then proceeded to tell her a very edited story of how John Garrett saved him from his family's cruelty and how, after he had a confrontation with them, he was free to be his own man. Ward promised her they would kidnap Bakshi and help her gain revenge. 
- "What are you doing here?"
"Just lending a hand."
- ―Sunil Bakshi and Grant Ward
Using the Photostatic Veil to disguise herself as Glenn Talbot's wife, Carla, Agent 33 gained entry into the facility. Once she was inside she turned off the security cameras, allowing Ward to arrive and kill the guard at the desk. Together they located Sunil Bakshi, who was initially delighted to see Agent 33, believing her to still be loyal to HYDRA, although as soon as Ward appeared, he knew he was in danger. When Bakshi attempt to control her using the Faustus method, Agent 33 knocked him out and Ward took him outside in a wheelchair.
Once they were back at the hotel, they tied down the captured Bakshi and used the Faustus method to brainwash him. Agent 33 was able to turn the mask off to reveal her true scarred face. Ward smiled at seeing her true identity and, to show her that it was time for a new beginning, introduced himself to her again, and she introduced herself by her real name, Kara. Kara then began to taunt Bakshi when he asked if his compliance would be rewarded, while Ward watched closely.
Recruited by Coulson Again
- "Hey baby."
"Hey sweetie. Why don't you stop by? Would love to catch up."
- ―Grant Ward and Phil Coulson
In Mexico, Ward bought a cactus for his and Agent 33's house while she called her mother. However, Agent 33 was captured by Phil Coulson and Deathlok, and Coulson used her phone to call Ward to inform him of her capture. Ward immediately drove to the restaurant where Agent 33 was and was disarmed by Deathlok and directed to a booth with Coulson in it. Ward listened as Coulson mapped out a deal, in which Ward would help infiltrate HYDRA and then have his bad memories wiped.
Ward agreed to take the deal, and he and Agent 33 gathered their belongings in preparation for the mission. Ward took Sunil Bakshi along, to help with the infiltration, assuring Coulson that Bakshi was now loyal to his and he was happy to comply with anything Ward ordered him to do. In Coulson's Quinjet, Ward asked how Leo Fitz was doing. Fitz exploded out of his seat at him, and had to be restrained by Coulson and Lance Hunter, leaving Ward's question unanswered.
Ward watched from the Quinjet as Bakshi and Deathlok met with List, where he realized that the mission was about finding Skye. When Bakshi offered to trade Deathlok to List for his experiments in exchange for a meeting with Wolfgang von Strucker, Coulson believed Ward had betrayed them. A standoff ensused with Coulson and Ward aiming their guns at each other while Agent 33 held Leo Fitz by a knife. Ward convinced Coulson to trust him and lower his gun so Fitz could instruct Deathlok to go along with the plan and not fight back against HYDRA.
When List left for Milwaukee, Ward and the others followed him to Calvin Zabo's old office, where the HYDRA agents stormed the building in an attempt to capture any gifted individuals. Ward, Coulson, Agent 33, and Lance Hunter went inside as well, separating in an attempt to find Skye. Ward and Coulson fought their way through many HYDRA agents, before seeing Skye, who started towards them before suddenly being teleported away by Gordon. When Agent 33 found them with an injured Hunter, Ward advised Coulson to retreat, since they were outmanned and outgunned. Coulson chose to allow Ward, 33 and Hunter to escape while he surrendered to S.H.I.E.L.D..
On the Team Again
- "My days with HYDRA are over; I'm just an independent contractor now, trying to make amends."
- ―Grant Ward
Ward followed the Bus with a Quinjet while Coulson was being questioned, as they flew Ward suggested that Agent 33 could fly, offering to teach her how. When Coulson was allowed to continue his plan he messaged his agents in the Quinjet and Ward landed the Quinjet on top of the Bus. Once at the Playground, he was placed under guard with Kara under the order of Robert Gonzales.
Ward was present at a meeting with Robert Gonzales, Phil Coulson, Melinda May and Bobbi Morse where they discussed the plan to attack Dr. List and rescue Mike Peterson and the other enhanced individuals HYDRA was holding hostage before destroying the facility. Ward explained that Sunil Bakshi was no longer working for HYDRA but was instead working for him, although May remained highly skeptical. Gonzales put the matter up to a vote and it was decided that they would move ahead with the mission, using Coulson's Team only. Ward later spoke to Agent 33 and convinced her to stay at the Playground in an attempt to learn more about who she was before being captured by HYDRA.
Arriving on the Bus with Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, a loud noise was heard causing everyone to raise their guns at Ward who denied any involvement. It was quickly revealed that the noise was Skye being teleported onto the Bus; Ward noted they finally had the original team back together. On route to the Arctic HYDRA Research Facility, Ward began breaking down the plan to attack the base; however, sensing that there was too much tension, Ward chose to speak out about his previous actions since being revealed to be an undercover HYDRA Operative. He expressed that his greatest regret was not the people he had killed but the fact that his actions had destroyed the team. Skye remained pleased that she had shot him however.
When the Bus was spotted by HYDRA, the team ran into the Quinjet and used that to escape while the Bus was shot out of the sky and destroyed. Once they landed, they ran to the base and broke in, soon they encountered Sunil Bakshi who had just killed one of List's soldiers who was following him. Ward calmed Bakshi's mind before they continued on their mission, with Bakshi insisted on joining Ward. Ward and Bakshi joined Skye and Jemma Simmons as they were attacked by HYDRA soldiers, Skye demonstrated her new powers of creating shockwaves and knocked out the guards. When Ward suggested she should thank him for allowing her to gain her powers, Skye said she would simply not try to kill him again.
The team soon found Mike Peterson, who had been tortured by HYDRA and had lost an eye and his cybernetic leg. While Jemma Simmons attended to his injuries, she ordered Ward to find a stretcher to help get him out. While Ward was searching for one, Simmons sneaked up behind him and attempted to assassinate him with a Splinter Bomb. Ward was saved when Sunil Bakshi sacrificed his own life to protect his master. Realising what had happened, Ward aimed his gun at Simmons and demanded to know why she had tried to kill him, she reminded him that she had promised to kill him if she ever saw him again. Ward noted that Simmons had changed and he was disappointed in her, before making his escape.
After Coulson's Team had successfully destroyed the HYDRA base and freed Mike Peterson and Lincoln Campbell, Ward phoned Coulson, saying he thought he would rather escape before ending up in a prison cell or with his brain erased. Ward explained that he knew the team would never forgive him but Kara did deserve forgiveness and so he was leaving her at S.H.I.E.L.D. to rebuild her life as an agent.
In reality, however, Ward had organized a plan for Kara Palamas to use the Photostatic Veil to disguise herself as Melinda May and fly Bobbi Morse to Ward's location. Once Morse learned of Palamas' deception, the pair had a fight and Morse knocked Palamas out, but as Morse walked out of the Quinjet, Ward shot her in the head with an I.C.E.R. Ward and Palamas then dragged her unconscious body back onto the Quinjet and tied her up. Ward told Palamas that for her to get full closure, Morse's suffering would have to be prolonged before they killed her. He then shot Morse, who was regaining consciousness, three more times.
Torturing Bobbi Morse
- "Kara tells me you don't like needles"
- ―Grant Ward to Bobbi Morse
Ward and Kara Palamas took Bobbi Morse to an abandoned warehouse, where they tied her to a table. Ward revealed to her that they had learned from Sunil Bakshi that it was Morse who had sold out Palamas' location to HYDRA, leading to her capture and torture at the hands of Daniel Whitehall, and they wanted her to confess this to them to give Palamas the closure she needed. When Morse remained calm and confident, Ward opened his toolbag and took out a long sharp needle before revealing that he knew Morse hated needles.
Ward explained his plan of torture to Morse, that he had used an anesthetic to remove any sensation of pain from her as he pushed needles under her fingernails, knowing that Morse would be able to push away most pain he inflicted to her. He explained that this way, the sensation of unbearable pain, would hit her body all at once. He offered to avoid this pain if Morse confessed her sins. Morse however told Palamas that she had made a choice while at HYDRA to give away the location of one S.H.I.E.L.D. Safe House, not knowing if it was empty or not and believed she had done the right thing. Morse told them that she would never give an honest apology to them and she would make the same call again.
Eventually Palamas saw in Morse's eyes that the pain was finally engulfing her body. She told Ward and they embraced as they watched Morse suffer. Morse attempted to convince Palamas that Ward was playing with her emotions and using her as his slave, explaining that Ward was using symbolic targets from her past to make her believe he cared for her. Palamas however revealed that she knew all about Ward's past with John Garrett, and how he had killed many S.H.I.E.L.D. agents including Victoria Hand but she was in love with him nonetheless and would always stand with Ward.
Bobbi Morse's Escape Attempt
As Palamas slept, Ward visited Morse, who had been suffering from the pain for hours. Ward complimented her on her resilience before comparing himself to her, as they both hid their true identities from the world. Ward attempted to convince her once again to end her suffering by admitting she betrayed her and thus giving Palamas the closure she needed, but Morse refused, calling Ward a hypocrite as he had betrayed his entire team. Without warning, Morse managed to rip off her restraints and attacked Ward. The pair engaged in a fierce fight until Palamas came to Ward's aid and together they overpowered Morse before Ward broke her kneecap by stomping on it. Ward offered Palamas the chance to shoot Morse, but she refused, citing that it did not feel right as she did not feel remorse. Ward told her he knew what to do instead.
A Terrible Mistake
- "Kara? No, no. Kara, no. Kara, look at me. Look at me! No, no, no, no! No, Kara! Look at me, Baby. Come on. It’s… It’s…"
- ―Grant Ward
Ward and Palamas tied Bobbi Morse back to a chair and rigged a rifle behind her. Ward explained that as Morse had clearly shown no regard for her own life, he would force her to watch as someone else was killed while attempting to save her. He told her that the rifle was set to fire at the doorway when someone opened it, killing them instantly in front of her eyes, which would give them the closure they desired and break her heart.
When a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Lance Hunter and Melinda May arrived to rescue Morse, Ward decided he would kill May as payback for nailing his foot to the floor and fracturing his larynx. Taking out several agents of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, Ward overheard a message on the S.H.I.E.L.D. radio for all agents to move to the south corner and await May's arrival. Ward hid himself and the moment he saw May, he grabbed her and fired three fatal shots into her stomach. To his horror however, he discovered that he had accidentally killed Kara Palamas after she had disguised herself as May. Ward begged her to stay with him but she died in his arms, breaking Ward's heart.
Return to HYDRA
- "You understand who you work for now? Good, I'm done flying solo; I miss having a team around me. I want more names."
"Hail HYDRA to that, what's the plan sir? Chaos?"
- ―Grant Ward and his HYDRA team
Ward escaped to the Goldbrix Tavern; there he sat staring at a photograph of Kara Palamas. A group of thugs that he had hired to find the remaining HYDRA members showed up and gave him a list of names. Ward told them that he wanted more names, but their leader, Kebo, told him that HYDRA no longer had any leadership, and that he cannot give them orders anymore. Unhappy with this answer, Ward smashed Kebo's head into the bar and ordered the others to get more names so he could form a team. When one of the thugs asked him what the plan was, Ward looked down at Palamas' picture and simply replied "Closure".
- "HYDRA is fractioned, in pieces. We're gonna rebuild it, the right way. By force."
- ―Grant Ward
A few months after his return to HYDRA, Ward had successfully found many new recruits who were fiercely loyal to him and his control; all of whom were loyal to the founding values of HYDRA. With Kebo as his second-in-command, Ward made his goal to reunify HYDRA's splintered cells and to clean the organization from soft and greedy members who cared only about wealth and not about power, which he blamed as the main reason for HYDRA's decline and inevitable failure.
Seeking to find new members who could bring something to his organisation, Ward set his sights on Werner von Strucker, the son of HYDRA's late leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. Ward found Carmine, a HYDRA agent who knew of von Strucker's location. He stole Carmine's new sports car and drove into him, driving into his warehouse base with Carmine still on the bonnet. As they drove with Carmine clinging on for dear life, Ward and Kebo spoke about the old HYDRA's greed. Ward slammed on the brakes, sending Carmine flying; he and Kebo then walked over to him and demanded to know von Strucker's location.
Under fear of torture and death, Carmine quickly gave up the information and told Ward that Werner von Strucker was living on a boat, purchased with his father's money. Ward and Kebo scouted out the area and spotted von Strucker having a party on the boat surrounded by beautiful women in bikinis and his security team. Ward and Kebo once again spoke about how the old HYDRA wasted their money and never used it to its fullest potential, as von Strucker would never let his ship out of the dock. Ward then ordered Kebo to sneak onto the boat and unleash a bag full of rats to scare away the women so they would not be harmed in the upcoming fight.
Once the women had run away, Ward casually walked onto the boat where he was soon stopped by a large security guard; without stopping, Ward knocked out the guard before walking onto the boat. Despite multiple guards attempting to stop him, Ward continued to walk forward and knocked out guard after guard with minimal effort, disarming them before knocking them out or throwing them overboard. Before long, Ward came across Werner von Strucker, but was hit in the face by a guard; angered by the blow to his jaw, Ward shot and killed the guard before kidnapping von Strucker.
Recruiting von Strucker
Ward and Kebo brought Werner von Strucker back to their base where they told him that he had never earned a single thing in his life and had wasted his family's money. Ward demanded that he hand over all his wealth to them by giving over his banking passwords. When von Strucker resisted, Ward punched him in the face and made it clear that he was not asking for his money but was going to get it. He ordered Kebo to torture von Strucker until he handed over the money.
Before long, Ward returned to find Werner von Strucker trying to kill Kebo. When von Strucker tried to use his family's name as leverage, Ward made it clear that he knew who he was, noting that Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was one of HYDRA's greatest leaders before dying a meaningless death. Ward told him that he had earned his respect and, in a technique that John Garrett had used with him years earlier, gave him tacos as a reward. Ward and von Strucker then explored the base where they discussed their families before Ward explained his goals for the new HYDRA. For his first mission, Ward sent von Strucker to get close to Melinda May's ex-husband Andrew Garner by posing as a student.
Kebo was able to recruit a new soldier in HYDRA, who offered them a crate full of weapons as a show of faith after killing Spud to gain entry. As they examined the box Ward and Kebo discussed their plans for the new HYDRA, noting key comparisons between his vision and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s values, claiming he almost viewed it as a shame that he was going to destroy the agency.
Showdown with Hunter and May
Ward met with Kebo when he arrived at their base with the recruit; however, to Ward's horror, the recruit turned out to be Lance Hunter, who was on a mission to kill Ward. A firefight broke out with Hunter stealing a gun and firing at the HYDRA agents. Ward and Kebo were able to get to cover and discovered that Hunter had seemingly come without backup; however, before long, Melinda May arrived to assist Hunter. Ward ordered Kebo to tell Werner von Strucker to film the murder of Andrew Garner to threaten May.
Although the video horrified May, Hunter refused to surrender, instead advancing on Ward and Kebo while firing his gun at the pair. With no other choice, Kebo managed to break a window by throwing a desk through it and ran to the truck with Ward behind him; however, Hunter managed to fire a shot which wounded Ward in the shoulder, causing him to fall hard on the ground. Kebo was able to bring his boss to safety as they drove away and escaped while Hunter continued to fire down at them without landing a shot.
A New Ally
Having found themselves a new hideout, Ward and Kebo watched as new weapons were unloaded from a van. Ward discussed how S.H.I.E.L.D. had sent Lance Hunter to try to kill him and accused Kebo of being sloppy as he had allowed him into HYDRA, noting that everyone wanted him dead. They changed the subject to Werner von Strucker, who had disappeared after failing to kill Andrew Garner. Ward ordered Kebo to hunt down and kill von Strucker before S.H.I.E.L.D. could find and question him.
As more weapons were being unloaded, Ward was shocked to see that Kebo had returned without Werner von Strucker. When Ward attempted to question him over this, Kebo handed him a phone without a word. Ward picked up the phone and found himself speaking to Gideon Malick, an old HYDRA ally to Baron Wolfgang von Strucker who was feared by everyone who knew of his reputation. Malick accused Ward of making many mistakes during his time as the Director of HYDRA and offered his assistance in locating von Strucker. When Ward questioned why Malick would do this, he was told that Malick had chosen a side. Ward then sent Kebo with a team of operatives to Strucker's location in Lisbon, Portugal.
Ward met with Gideon Malick and they discussed Werner von Strucker, who had survived the assassination attempt and fallen into a coma. Malick asked Ward if revenge was his only goal but Ward insisted that his goal was to assassinate Phil Coulson and destroy S.H.I.E.L.D., as he believed without Coulson, S.H.I.E.L.D. could never return. As they were speaking they were interrupted when Malick received a call from Rosalind Price.
Malick had a dinner of octopus served up for the pair of them and explained why the octopus was HYDRA's symbol, describing it as smart and the ultimate killer. Malick continued to press Ward for a request and they discussed how HYDRA's leadership had been destroyed due in part to Ward; Malick made it clear that he knew Ward was looking for Baron Wolfgang von Strucker's secret vault, which was said to contain HYDRA's greatest weapon, but Malick insisted the vault did not exist. However, Ward argued that Malick had killed Werner to become sole owner of it. Ward suggested that they use the weapon inside it to good use for HYDRA.
Malick was called away by Giyera and explained that he would not support Ward's plan of revenge against S.H.I.E.L.D.. Ward insisted that he would find Wolfgang von Strucker's vault with or without Malick's help, but Malick informed him that although he was a fine predator, he was not top of the food chain as he left. Malick's team of assassins arrived and attacked Ward, but he was able to defend himself. After a brief but violent fight, Ward was able to overpower and kill all but three, shooting two and plunging a knife into one of the men's throats.
Ward put the three surviving assassins in a row and demanded that they surrender the location of the von Strucker vault. When they refused, Ward threatened them with torture. As the men managed to stay strong, Ward took a torch and explained that he had always been a fan of fire; he then dragged one of the men out and held the flame to his face, explaining that the key was to ensure the person knew how much it was going to hurt. Finally, one of the men told him the vault was in Zepkow, Germany; having gained the information he needed Ward killed them.
Hunt for the Vault
- "Ladies and Gentlemen please return to your seats with your seat-belts fastened. You may experience some turbulence coming up, don't be alarmed, that's just your pilot diving to equalise cabin pressure before you freeze to death. Oh and from all of us here at HYDRA, thanks for flying with friendly skies."
- ―Grant Ward
Ward boarded an airplane to Moscow to hunt down Baron Wolfgang von Strucker's vault. When they reached cruising altitude, Ward flirted with a Flight Attendant who provided him with a drink. They continued to flirt and she suggested that he come stay with her when they reached Moscow; however, Ward explained that he would not be going to Moscow, but that this was the only plane flying over where he needed to go.
He informed her of his intention to leave the plane in mid-air by blasting open the doors and ordered her to strap in. Ward then put on a parachute and spoke on the intercoms, telling the other passengers to strap themselves into their seats, explaining that soon the pilot would be forced to make the plane dive down before they all froze to death, noting that it was HYDRA that had killed them. Ward then used an exploding watch to rip off the door, allowing himself to be sucked out as the plane crashed, killing everyone left onboard.
Learning HYDRA's History
Ward eventually located Baron Wolfgang von Strucker's hidden vault and broke inside, ripping a hole through the ceiling and dropping in with his gun raised. Ward discovered that Gideon Malick was already there and waiting for him. Malick explained that he had not been impressed by Presidents or alien technology but he was impressed by Ward and suggested that Ward should be HYDRA's second head next to him, but Ward expressed his desire to kill Malick.
Malick instead asked Ward if he knew of HYDRA's origins, and he said that HYDRA was founded during World War II by Red Skull using Nazi funding, but Malick explained that their history was far older than that. He opened Strucker's safe and pulled out a piece of the Monolith, explaining that the stones had the power to teleport users to another world. He explained how an Inhuman was born thousands of years ago, so powerful he was banished from Earth, and HYDRA aimed to bring him back, using the ATCU to build It an army. Malick vowed to help Ward destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. in exchange for learning how they brought Jemma Simmons back from the Monolith planet.
- "You see, S.H.I.E.L.D. showed us how to turn the monster off, now we want to know how to turn that back on."
- ―Grant Ward to Andrew Garner
Having spent a few days researching HYDRA's long history, Ward went to visit Andrew Garner, who was being kept in a S.H.I.E.L.D. Containment Module. Garner threatened to kill Ward by ripping a hole through his chest, but Ward remained confident. Ward explained that he would not be sedating Garner but instead would use a gas which would force Garner to transform into Lash. Ward then told Garner that he had found a new way to torture Melinda May using him, before filling the Containment Module with gas and watching Garner suffer.
Having learned that Rosalind Price had discovered Gideon Malick's connection to the ATCU, Ward was sent to assassinate her. Ward took position across the street and shot Price in the throat while she was having dinner with Phil Coulson. Once she was dead, Ward phoned Coulson and compared Price's death to Kara Palamas', noting that he wanted Coulson to watch someone he cared for die in his arms. As Ward defended Malick's plans, he informed Coulson that he had sent a team to kill him before hanging up and leaving him to die.
Returning to the HYDRA base, Ward was complimented on his successful mission by Malick, although he was confronted about nearly killing Coulson, who had barely escaped with his life. Ward claimed that he wanted to put Coulson through his paces, but Malick claimed that this was not something he wished to leave to chance, despite Ward's desire for Closure. Malick told him more about HYDRA's history with the Monolith, claiming Ward was risking everything, but Ward told Malick that he knew Coulson better than Coulson knew himself.
Kidnapping Fitz and Simmons
In order to discover the secrets of returning from the Monolith, Gideon Malick organised the kidnapping of Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons. The pair were brought before Ward and Malick, who explained the situation. Simmons quickly realised their end goal; when Simmons tried to attack Malick, Ward noted that her rage was new. When they both refused to help, Ward recommended that Malick separate the pair.
Ward went to speak to Simmons alone, who claimed she was not scared for him while Ward noted that while being trapped on Maveth may have helped her bravery, he felt that when he dropped them in the sea he had made her a stronger woman. As Simmons told him to do his worse, he promised he would not hurt her; however, he left her to be tortured by Giyera instead. While Simmons screamed in pain, Ward visited the enraged Fitz. Ward mocked Fitz while he begged him not to harm Simmons, but Ward sat down and listened to Simmons' screams of pain.
As Ward continued to mock Fitz, he got a call from Phil Coulson. To Ward's horror, Coulson revealed that he had kidnapped his brother Thomas Ward, who was being held at gunpoint by Lance Hunter, before hanging up. Ward soon called back and was allowed to speak to his brother and tried to claim that S.H.I.E.L.D. were the bad guys who had killed the woman he loved. Thomas explained that he had been hiding from Ward all these years and confronted him about killing their parents and Christian Ward. Ward tried to justify his actions but Thomas refused to hear any of it. Coulson then picked up the phone and revealed he had traced the call to Ward's location. Enraged, Ward attacked Simmons and tried to force her to reveal her secrets.
Ward's methods proved effective and soon Leo Fitz agreed to help them in exchange for ensuring the safety of Jemma Simmons. Ward brought Fitz to the HYDRA Castle to meet with Gideon Malick and Simmons who were already there, and Ward mockingly noted that Fitz now had the chance to give up the world for the woman he loved.
As Ward prepared to face S.H.I.E.L.D., he was approached by Malick, who told him that he needed him to lead men into Maveth. Ward hesitated as he had desired to kill Phil Coulson ever since Kara Palamas' death; however, Malick told him this hatred was a weakness, to which Ward took great offense. Malick explained he had tried to find a suitable partner for years, testing Alexander Pierce and John Garrett, but he had his faith in Ward himself. He told him to lead their men to the other side and look the ancient Inhuman in the eye so they could work with It to control the world.
Agreeing, Ward put on a military uniform and prepared to go through the Monolith's portal. As the room began to shake, the Monolith pieces created a portal which Ward's soldiers jumped through. Malick took a moment to remind Ward to find It and bring it to the same spot within twelve hours when they would reopen the portal, shaking his hand. Ward and Fitz then jumped through the portal and arrived on Maveth in the middle of a sandstorm. Ward then ordered his team and Fitz to get moving so they could find the Inhuman.
- "Hail HYDRA."
- ―Grant Ward
Leo Fitz paused to look at his program; moving towards Ward and explaining a function. As he talked, Fitz made a move for Ward's gun; Ward easily stopped him and thrust him down a ridge, climbing down after him. Ward told Fitz that if he did not return from Maveth, Jemma Simmons would die a slow and horribly painful death and it would be Fitz's fault. Fitz told Ward that Gideon Malick had only sent him because he was expendable; Ward ignored the comment and ordered him to keep moving.
One of Ward's soldiers called him over, and Ward and Fitz ascended a rise to see an ancient HYDRA shrine. They continued on, and Fitz found the hideout of Will Daniels. He entered the cave without telling Ward what he was doing, and Ward followed him inside and threatened to shoot Daniels, who Fitz was talking to. Ward held his gun to Daniels' head while Fitz frantically explained that Daniels was their guide to finding the Inhuman. Ward saw the Project Distant Star Return insignia on Daniels' uniform and decided to leave him alive to guide them.
Ward walked behind Daniels and Fitz. Daniels led them to the region of Maveth he had dubbed the "no fly zone". As they walked, a sandstorm arose and Ward ordered the team to take shelter. As they stayed behind some rocks, Ward realized that they had to keep going, only to find that Daniels and Fitz had killed his agents and escaped. As he stood with his two remaining HYDRA agents, they were shot by Phil Coulson, who then shot Ward in the shoulder. Ward was taken prisoner by Coulson and the two followed Daniels and Fitz to find the portal before it closed.
As Ward and Phil Coulson encountered Leo Fitz and what was supposedly Will Daniels beating him, Coulson shot Daniels from behind. At this moment, Ward broke free and started brawling with Coulson. Due to his injuries and the fact that his hands were tied together, however, Coulson managed to gain the upper hand and eventually had him at the verge of death.
Coulson stood over the beaten and defeated Ward as he lay in the dirt, but briefly hesitated. However, upon remembering all of the pain and death Ward had caused him, his friends, and allies who he had tortured or killed including Victoria Hand, Eric Koenig, Bobbi Morse and Rosalind Price, Coulson slowly crushed Ward's chest with his mechanical hand. With Ward too injured to defend himself, Coulson proceeded to break his ribcage, eventually stopping his heart from beating; after nearly two years of tormenting S.H.I.E.L.D., Grant Ward was dead.
Though Grant Ward was effectively killed on Maveth, it would not be the end of him. The Will Daniels that was attacking Fitz during Ward's bout with Coulson was actually the dark Inhuman possessing the astronaut's corpse. While Daniels' body was incinerated by Fitz through use of a flare gun, the embodiment of the being escaped from the then burning corpse and made its way into Ward's body. Making use of the body as a new host, the Inhuman followed Coulson and Fitz, escaping back to Earth through the portal where it sought out Gideon Malick.
- "I'm agent Grant Ward. I could rupture your spleen with my left pinky... blindfolded."
- ―Jemma Simmons imitating Grant Ward
Grant Ward, while infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D., generally has a bad temper but is able to stay calm and collected during sticky situations. He is slightly anti-social with strong morals and is known to be "deadly". On his days off, however, he enjoys a nice book or even singing along to his favorite West Side Story song. As time progresses, Ward seems to soften somewhat, developing friendships with his fellow Agents, which eventually is cemented upon rescuing Agent Simmons after she jumps from the Bus. Ward does not seem overtly interested in relationships but for a time has a purely sexual relationship with Agent May. However, when he begins to develop feelings for Skye, this arrangement ends.
- "See, I've seen the real Grant Ward, the one buried deep inside. He's a coward who always has an excuse or someone else to blame."
- ―Bobbi Morse
In reality, Ward is a master manipulator, who is able to adjust his personality in order to gain the trust of others. While he still manages to retain a calm and collected personality, he has very little of the loyalty or morals that he previously demonstrated. His only loyalty is to John Garrett, to whom he claims he owes everything. He does seem to have some reservations about Garrett's actions. Beyond that, he seems more than willing to work against Phil Coulson and his team. However, when Raina pointed out that Coulson was a good man and asked him if he owed something to a man like that, Ward admitted that he did owe Coulson something, but he owed Garrett everything. At the same time, he could not bring himself to directly murder Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons and instead ejected them into the ocean.
During his imprisonment, Ward evolved to being his own person, as he was previously restricted by his almost blind loyalty towards Garrett, to the point of even ignoring his own desires. Ward became more remorseless and manipulative as he demonstrated when he knew Skye's pressure points and attempted to use his knowledge of her father to exploit them. He also murdered numerous guards during his escape and his brother and his parents as revenge for the years of abuse they put him through. When he was reinstated as a member of HYDRA he still continued to aid S.H.I.E.L.D. to re-earn their trust, particularly Skye's, but this ultimately ended when she and Simmons attempted to kill him on separate occasions. As a result, he grew a far darker personality and sadistic tendencies, as shown with the kidnapping of Bobbi Morse and torturing her in order to give Kara Palamas the closure she needed. When he accidentally killed Kara Palamas, that was the last straw for Ward; he vowed revenge against S.H.I.E.L.D. and was willing to join HYDRA as its new leader into order to gain "closure".
During his time as the new head of HYDRA, Ward had become more arrogant and narcissistic. He was dismissive of the previous generation of HYDRA, believing their greed was what led to the organization's collapse. When he recruited Werner von Strucker, he assumed that after one act of savagery that the boy could murder Andrew Garner, an act that caused Gideon Malick to chastise him.
Even with his dark personality, Ward cared deeply for his younger brother, Thomas; after fifteen years separated, Grant still loved him. When Coulson had Hunter point a gun to Thomas's head, Grant swore that he would cut Fitz from head to toe if they hurt him.
- "Remain alert around Agent Ward. He's a trained killer, one of the best."
- ―Daniel Whitehall
- Master Martial Artist: Ward was a master in hand-to-hand combat. Maria Hill evaluated his fighting skills with the highest available marks for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s standards. Daniel Whitehall considered him as one of the best killers. He managed to defeat multiple whose strength surpassed his, even defeating the enhanced Centipede Soldiers.
- "He's a specialist; cold blood is a basic requirement."
- ―John Garrett
- Master Marksman: Ward is an extremely accurate marksman skilled in sharpshooting and sniping. John Garrett recommended Ward to take this course in S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy after Ward spent time in the woods using this skill to hunt for food. Ward has famously made a shot from over 1000 yards; Ward says it was 2000. He was also able to shoot Rosalind Price from a long distance, aiming accurately at her neck in order to let her die slowly in front of Phil Coulson.
- Multilingualism: Ward is fluent in 6 languages, including English, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and one more. Ward used this skill in missions in Paris, South Ossetia, and Peru, most times as an undercover agent. He has used such skills on the train in Italy, in the Todorov Building in Belarus, and when arriving at the Barbershop Headquarters in Cuba.
- Master Spy: Ward is a proficient agent trained in espionage, stealth, disguise and infiltration. He has spent years on some missions as an undercover agent. When taking a Lie Detector test, Ward put splinters of cable wire into his fingers to confuse the sensors. Infamously, Ward used this skill to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. as a HYDRA operative, spending years gaining trust and respect. When questioned by Raina, he explained to her methods that he used to solidify his place on Coulson's Team.
- Expert Pilot: Ward is a competent pilot, able to maneuver a huge aircraft such as the Bus.
- Expert Tactician: When Ward suspected that S.H.I.E.L.D. was pursuing him, he knew that they would send agents that he had never met. Ward observed that Bobbi Morse was not changing her page as she pretended to read a book. He also spotted Antoine Triplett at the bus station, subtly revealing his explosives to the agent. After the death of Kara Palamas, Ward made his goal to rebuild HYDRA from the ashes, starting with a small cell of only four operatives. Six months later, Ward had dozens of operatives under his command, all of them unscrupulous and trained in brutal fights to the death.
As an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a HYDRA operative, Ward is highly skilled with all types of firearms.
- Smith & Wesson M&P: The Smith & Wesson M&P pistol is the standard sidearm carried by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and, as such, Ward used it to threaten or shoot most of his enemies, such as the soldiers from the Policia Militar de Perú that surrounded him in Llactapata, and killing Thomas Nash in Florida. He also used it as his sidearm when working for Daniel Whitehall in HYDRA, grabbing it to defend Skye in Puerto Rico. He obtained one of these when he briefly worked with Phil Coulson again searching for Skye in Milwaukee and in a mission to rescue Deathlok and Lincoln Campbell from HYDRA in their base in the Arctic, and kept it while he kidnapped Bobbi Morse, using it to kill Kara Palamas believing she was Melinda May.
- Smith & Wesson M&P Compact: Ward started using this pistol as his standard sidearm when his alliance with HYDRA was revealed, and used it to threaten Skye during the Battle at Cybertek.
- Heckler & Koch USP: Ward obtained one of these pistols while he was enthralled by Lorelei, and he used it to try to kill Melinda May inside the Bus.
- Browning Hi-Power: Ward obtained one of these pistols used by the guards of the Todorov Building in Belarus when he infiltrated the facility.
- FN Five-seveN: The standard side-arm used by HYDRA security officers. Ward began to use it following his recovery from being shot in Puerto Rico, being the gun that Agent 33 was carrying when she saved him.
- Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380: Ward carried a small compact semi-automatic pistol as one of his hidden weapons when he went to a rendez-vous with Phil Coulson in Mexico. However, he had to put it in a table along the rest of his weapons when Deathlok scanned him to protect Coulson.
- Smith & Wesson Model 64: A revolver handed by John Garrett during his time in Wyoming, Ward fired in the air when Garrett ordered him to kill his loyal dog Buddy.
- Heckler & Koch UMP45: Both Grant Ward and John Garrett used these submachine guns during the infiltration into the Guest House.
- Mossberg 500 Field: A shotgun that Ward managed to obtain by 1999 while lost in the forests of Wyoming.
- M4A1 Carbine: The standard weapon used by S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Team members, that Ward also used while tracking Deathlok and the Clairvoyant in Florida.
- Nemesis Arms Vanquish: During his first mission with Phil Coulson and his team, Ward assembled a Nemesis Arms Vanquish rifle along with a telescopic sight, bipod, suppressor and railed handguard in case Michael Peterson had to be killed due to the instability of the Extremis in his blood.
- Desert Tactical Arms Stealth Recon Scout: Ward used this rifle to act as a sniper during the hostage exchange when Ace Peterson was to be liberated by Raina and Phil Coulson became kidnapped by the Centipede Project.
- McMillan Tac-50: Ward obtained one of these rifles and used it to hunt during his days in the forest of Wyoming.
- Garrote: Ward carried a polyfiber garrote with metal handles as one of his hidden weapons when he went to a rendez-vous with Phil Coulson in Mexico. However, he had to put it in a table along the rest of his weapons when Deathlok scanned him to protect Coulson.
- Wenoka Squeeze Lock Knife: Ward carried a knife as one of his hidden weapons when he went to a rendezvous with Phil Coulson in Mexico. However, he had to put it in a table along the rest of his weapons when Deathlok scanned him to protect Coulson.
- Thunderstick: A small staff that releases a wave of sonic energy to incapacitate surrounding targets, Ward used it to escape from a group of rebels that were surrounding his inexperienced teammates in Peru.
- Night-Night Pistol: Sometimes, Ward needed to apply non-lethal force to subdue a target without permanent harm, favoring the use of the Night-Night Pistol designed by Agents Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons. This weapon renders the target unconscious to be safely captured, such as when he raided Ian Quinn's mansion in Italy while searching for Skye.
- I.C.E.R. (Pistol Version): After Agent Leo Fitz improved the technology of the Night-Night Gun, Coulson changed the now obsolete weapon and favored the use of the pistol version of the I.C.E.R.s. He used two of these in a fight during the Battle at the Hub.
- Berserker Staff: Ward accidentally touched the staff in Seville, gaining superhuman strength, but being overwhelmed by memories of his childhood. Having already suffered its side effects, Ward used the staff as a weapon in Ireland to defeat a group of Norse Paganists.
- Backscatter Glasses: Ward used these glasses to mimic Akela Amador's eye implant and complete her mission in Belarus while Jemma Simmons extracted her implant.
- Remote Beacon: Grant Ward and Leo Fitz were ordered to activate this beacon to let S.H.I.E.L.D. know the moment they deactivated the Overkill Device developed by a group of separatists in South Ossetia. Despite Ward tried to make Fitz leave before the separatists attacked them, Fitz stayed with him, and Ward activated the beacon.
- Flash Bomb: Ward used a Flash Bomb to interrupt a transaction between Emily Deville and Vanchat in order to arrest him.
- Night-Night Bracelet: A small device developed to inject dendrotoxin directly into a Centipede Device, Ward realized that its design was not practical in combat against Centipede Soldiers, and during its "field test", he had to remove the dendrotoxin capsule from the bracelet and made the soldier swallow it.
|Appearances for Grant Ward|
- Grant Ward's death marks the third time Phil Coulson had killed a main antagonist in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
Behind the Scenes
- Brett Dalton and his character Grant Ward share the same birthday.
- The writers of the show limit the actors' knowledge of future events. Due to this, Dalton himself had no idea Grant Ward was a member of HYDRA until shortly before the reveal.
- A HYDRA operative named Agent Ward appears in Secret Wars: Hail Hydra. He was later introduced to the main Marvel Comics universe.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.01: Pilot
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.19: The Only Light in the Darkness
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.08: The Well
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.21: Ragtag
- ↑ How Soon Could Grant Ward Find Redemption On Agents Of SHIELD?
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.20: Nothing Personal
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.07: The Hub
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.02: 0-8-4
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.03: The Asset
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.04: Eye-Spy
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.05: Girl in the Flower Dress
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.06: FZZT
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1.09: Repairs
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.10: The Bridge
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.11: The Magical Place
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.12: Seeds
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.13: T.R.A.C.K.S.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.14: T.A.I.T.I.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.15: Yes Men
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.16: End of the Beginning
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.17: Turn, Turn, Turn
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.18: Providence
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.22: Beginning of the End
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.06: A Fractured House
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.01: Shadows
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.03: Making Friends and Influencing People
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.04: Face My Enemy
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.05: A Hen in the Wolf House
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.07: The Writing on the Wall
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.08: The Things We Bury
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.09: Ye Who Enter Here
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.10: What They Become
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.14: Love in the Time of HYDRA
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.18: The Frenemy of My Enemy
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.19: The Dirty Half Dozen
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.20: Scars
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 37.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.21: S.O.S. Part One
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.22: S.O.S. Part Two
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 39.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.02: Purpose in the Machine
- ↑ 40.0 40.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.04: Devils You Know
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.06: Among Us Hide...
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.07: Chaos Theory
- ↑ 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.08: Many Heads, One Tale
- ↑ 44.0 44.1 44.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.09: Closure
- ↑ 45.0 45.1 45.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.09: Closure