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This article is about the Guardian of Guthix. For the process of dying, see Death (mechanic). For other uses, see Death (disambiguation).
"Grim" redirects here. For the realm, see Grim Underworld.

Death Death Tutor

Harold Death Esquire
Release date 5 March 2013 (Update)
Also known as Grim Reaper
Race Undead (formerly Human)
Members only? Yes
Quest NPC? The World Wakes, Missing, Presumed Death
Location Guthix's cave, Empyrean Citadel, Silvarea
Sells items? No
Gender Male
Examine The guide of souls to the underworld, ready for battle.
The guide of souls to the underworld.
The reaper of souls.
Death chathead
Grim Reaper
Grim Reaper (2007)
Release date 31 October 2005 (Update)
Also known as Death, Grim Spectre of Death
Race Undead (formerly Human)
Members only? No
Quest NPC? 2007 Hallowe'en event, Web of Shadows, Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow, Deathcon II, Some Like It Cold
Location Grim Reaper's office
Sells items? No
Gender Male
Examine He gives you a creepy stare despite his face being hidden.
I wish I could tell where he was looking.
What could be beneath that hood?
Founder and leader of The Horsemen.
Don't fear the reaper.
Grim Reaper chathead

Harold "Death" Esquire[1], better known as simply Death or the Grim Reaper, is a legendary Guardian of Guthix who is responsible for the reaping of souls in Gielinor. He has also been the main figure of most Halloween events. During most of these events, the player had to perform various tasks to satisfy the Reaper.

He also acts as a "Death Tutor"; his office is accessed when new players die for the first time. He will explain about death, item losses, and gravestones. The player may exit at any time through the exit portal. One's gravestone's timer is paused whilst one is within the dimension of the Reaper.

Powers and AbilitiesEdit

Death draws his scythe

Death draws his extremely powerful scythe.

Death is very powerful, and in his role as the regulator of life he is responsible for freeing souls from bodies with his scythe and escorting them to the Grim Underworld, the underworld of Gielinor, where Icthlarin, the Menaphite god of the Underworld, then guides these souls through it safely. The two have a good relationship as both require one another for their respective roles[2].

Contrary to popular belief, Death cannot kill or revive people on a whim, as he is only capable of killing people whose time has come in order to ensure balance.[3]

In combat, he is a fearsome adversary. His massive scythe is able to slice several foes at once and he has an arsenal of magical spells at his disposal. He has been seen using a blue spell that sucks life out of a victim, as well as creating lethal spirit balls which inflict fatal damage when touched. He usually defends himself instead of actively trying to kill others, due to his vow to maintain balance.



Harold Esquire was the first being to die on Gielinor, presumably meeting his end during the First Age. Although it is unknown exactly how he met his end, as he was the first to die, he was likely among the first humans that Guthix brought to populate Gielinor from the human plane. As the first being to meet his end on Gielinor, he became the guide of souls to Gielinor's Grim Underworld, making sure that souls are able to leave their former bodies when they pass on.[4]

At the end of the First Age, Guthix withdrew into Gielinor to sleep, and other gods soon arrived. These included Tumeken and Elidinis, who soon had two children, Icthlarin and Amascut. Icthlarin became God of the Dead, while Amascut became Goddess of Rebirth. Their role was to meet the souls that Death escorted to the gates of the underworld, Amascut would allow those worthy a choice to be reincarnated or to continue to the afterlife, while Icthlarin would escort them through the underworld proper to the afterlife. At some point, Amascut's mind became warped, and began to devour souls, and the underworld is now full of soul-devouring beasts that Icthlarin must guide souls past.

Becoming a Guardian of GuthixEdit

At the end of the Third Age, Guthix awoke from his slumber, sensing the devastation that the gods had caused to Gielinor. Guthix proceeded to bless various beings greatly, including Death, and tasked them with protecting him while he cast the gods out of Gielinor[5].

After Guthix finished casting the gods out, creating the Edicts of Guthix, he tasked some of the guardians with various duties, including Death, whom he tasked with further regulating the balance between life and death, and also bestowed a weakness upon him, ensuring that he cannot kill those whose time has not come, and likewise cannot save those whose time has[3][6]. Guthix then departed back into the ground to resume his slumber, and Death resumed his role as guide of souls to the underworld.

Recent activityEdit

Harold fights Zamorakians

Death fights the forces of K'ril Tsutsaroth during the Attempt to assassinate Guthix.

Protecting GuthixEdit

The following takes place during The World Wakes.

In 169 of the Fifth Age, Death accompanied his fellow Guardians (minus Ocellus and Cres) and other Guthixians to Guthix's Cave after an adventurer had triggered the alarm system. The party arrived shortly after Zilyana and K'ril Tsutsaroth left, unable to open a giant door. Death explained their purpose and formed an alliance with the adventurer, not knowing that they were secretly working for the Zarosians on Sliske's "request". The adventurer managed to solve a locking mechanism for the door and unlock it, allowing passage for the Guthixian group.

At the other end of the door, they met with Cres, another Guardian of Guthix who had been placed to guard Guthix's cave with his automatons. After the adventurer was uplifted to become the newest Guardian by Guthix, Cres concluded that the other factions were about to storm the central room and kill Guthix, so the adventurer was placed as the leader of the group. The attacks indeed begun shortly after, with Bandosians and Zamorakians attempting to penetrate the storage wings. The adventurer aided Death in deterring the fearsome demon K'ril and his forces before dealing with Enakhra and her posse. After she had been dealt with, Zilyana invaded the room with her army of Saradominists, who swarmed the Guthixians. Death managed to easily hold his own in the ensuing battle.

Harold fights Saradominists

Being forced to defend himself from Zilyana's troops.

Zilyana proceeded to sent forth troops in an attempt to kill Juna, who had barricaded the passage to Guthix, while duelling Cres herself. Her troops were vanquished by the adventurer, but Zilyana, thinking the automaton to be Guthix, stabbed Cres in his torso, killing him. At that point, a small party of Zarosians arrived, having avoided all combat by trailing Zilyana's legion. The three parties all pleaded for the adventurer to aid them in protecting Guthix (Guthixians), killing him (Saradominists) or bargaining with him (Zarosians). Death was convinced the adventurer would pick their side, but was devastated and betrayed if they didn't. At that point, Sliske, concealed in the Shadow Realm, broke the seal to Guthix and made his way to the god.

The adventurer attempted to pursue him, but was held back by attacks from Death and the Valluta (in case they didn't side with the Guthixians), who had lost trust in them, or Char and Nex. They survived, however, and witnessed Sliske breaking his promise and killing Guthix using the staff of Armadyl. Guthix then took the adventurer in confidence and took them to a projection of his memories, explaining his history and why he wants the gods banished, before dying. By that time, all factions had arrived to see Guthix's body and, his death having abolished the Edicts, witnessed the arrival of Saradomin to the world. To avoid more battle, he teleported the Mahjarrat, Char and Nex away before leaving with Zilyana to make plans. If the adventurer betrayed them, the Guthixians forgave them, for they had been chosen by Guthix, but Death concluded that the events of the day were "just a taste of what is to come".


The following takes place during Missing, Presumed Death.

Shortly after the dawn of the Sixth Age, Death was kidnapped by Sliske, the Mahjarrat that had slain Guthix, and imprisoned within a shadowy cage within the Empyrean Citadel, a citadel that formerly belonged to Armadyl that Sliske had captured.

Sliske planned to bring all of the major gods to the citadel, intending to use Death to lure Icthlarin there, as, without Death to reap souls, Icthlarin would have no souls to escort through the underworld. Sliske used similar measures to lure the other gods, which included framing Saradominists for the murder of elves and Serenists for the murder of Saradominist monks, and claiming that he was having a "Grand Ascendancy", where he would ascend to godhood.

Missing, Presumed Death

Death, imprisoned in the Empryean Citadel.

Shortly after his disappearance, the World Guardian was recruited by Brother Samwell to investigate the murder of his fellow monks. After their investigation ran fruitless, Icthlarin appeared and told the World Guardian of Death's disappearance. A band of wights sent by Sliske then attacked the duo, and one of them dropped an box, which contained an invitation for Sliske's "ascendancy" at the Empyrean Citadel, and also revealed that Sliske had kidnapped Death. While Icthlarin suspected that the "Grand Ascendancy" was one of Sliske's tricks, he nevertheless travelled to the citadel, taking the World Guardian with him, in order to try and rescue Death.

When the duo reached the main chamber of the citadel, they found Bandos, Saradomin, Zamorak, Armadyl and Brassica Prime, who had also been lured to the citadel. Sliske then presented Death inside his cage, and also revealed that he had captured the dragonkin Strisath. He also revealed that the "ascendancy" was a ruse, and claimed to have obtained the Stone of Jas, and that he would be holding a contest, with the stone supposedly being awarded to the entity to kill the most gods. Icthlarin and the other deities were outraged, and refused to trust Sliske, forcing him to "get things started himself". Sliske then attacked Icthlarin and tossed the World Guardian the key to Death's cage, before proceeding to release Strisath and teleport away, which caused the other gods to flee in fright.

Death escapes

Death teleports Icthlarin and the World Guardian away, moments before being fried by Strisath's breath.

Icthlarin protected the World Guardian from Strisath's dragonkin-breath with a magical shield while they released Death, which they were able to do relatively quickly. After Death was freed, Icthlarin's shield broke, but Death was able to teleport himself, Icthlarin and the World Guardian away before Strisath was able to kill Icthlarin.

After the trio arrived safely back in the Silvarea mountain pass, Death warned the adventurer that gods would die in the coming days, and that as a World Guardian, they would be able to influence their fate. Death then returned to his duty of reaping souls, while Icthlarin returned to the underworld where he stayed.

Leisure timeEdit

Grim Reaper's house

The Mansion of Death during Halloween.

When not reaping souls, Death lives in his mansion, where he has employed butlers and helpers to help him with its upkeep. His touch of death, however, has resulted in hundreds of accidental deaths over the years, despite supposedly only being able to kill people whose time has come. When his 999th servant Alfonse was killed when Death patted him on his back in gratitude, he contacted the Servants' Guild for a new worker and got 10% off due to them being number 1000.[7] While waiting for the servant's arrival, his house became an utter mess, as he is unable to take proper care of himself. His helpers also serve a vital role, as he has tasked them with sending souls to the underworld in his place with fragments of his scythe if he were ever unable to perform his duties.

He is often accompanied by his skeletal pet hellhound, Muncher, for whom he cares deeply, although he is not happy when he disobeys his orders. Death has often had trouble with pets in the past due to their short lifespans, and his touch of death, which resulted in his pet bunny exploding when he tried feeding it a carrot. As such, Muncher, being undead, is the perfect pet for him. Aside from Muncher, he has experimented with undead fish to keep him company (he attempted to achieve this by undoing their deaths with a magical resurrection hourglass he had obtained).[8]

He also enjoys music, and is a big fan of bands such as Adamantite Damsel and Ping & Pong. When the latter two died before their time came, he reversed time so they could make more music for him, although he was saddened by this, as he would much rather have them with him. In addition, Death enjoys crochet and embroidery, stating that it keeps his skeletal fingers flexible.[1]

Death is also one of the five founders, and the leader, of a clan known as The Horsemen. The clan has organised two events in their citadel in the sky known as "Deathcons", with the most recent event, Deathcon II, occuring in 169. He also has an acquaintance known as the Soggy Teabag On The Bench Gremlin, who places soggy teabags on benches[1], and is on good terms with the other Guardians of Guthix (bar Ocellus), although he does not see them often due to his duties. He also has a good relationship Icthlarin, as Icthlarin ensures that the souls Death reaps reach the underworld properly. Death also once had a mentor, whose eyeball he keeps in his living room.

Like all beings, he was bound by the Edicts of Guthix, which dictated that he must always have black robes, a scythe and spiderwebs in his house. He was forced to maintain the quality of these items as well, often needing to sharpen his scythe or to clean or even replace his robes should they get stained with blood (causing havoc in Varrock when he would go to Thessalia's Fine Clothes to purchase new robes). Despite Guthix's death, he still respects the Edicts and continues wearing his apparel.

Holiday eventsEdit

Audio options icon
Encountering the Grim Reaper in his office. (link)

Death was involved in many Hallowe'en events, where he often tasked adventurers with solving problems for him in his mansion, such as removing a spider in his bathtub, or preparing a party for him.

During these events, including those that he was not otherwise involved in, Death appeared when a player died to escort them to their respawn point. When he appeared, he proclaimed a random phrase, a list of which can be seen below;

  • Let me escort you away, (player name)...
  • (Player name) is mine!
  • Now is the time you die, (player name).
  • Muahahahahaha!
  • There is no escape, (player name)...
  • Beware Mortals. (Player name) travels with me now.
  • I claim (player name) as my own.
  • Your time here is over, (player name).
  • I have come for you, (player name)!

After Missing, Presumed Death, players are able to enable a permanent version of this effect, although without the phrases.

2007 Hallowe'en EventEdit

The following takes place during 2007 Hallowe'en event.
Halloween 2010 3

The Grim Reaper in his chair.

During the 2007 Hallowe'en event, Death owned a house located through the Dark House Portal south of Falador. He ordered the player to do his house chores because his servant had recently passed away from his touch of death. One of the first tasks the player was tasked with was to find the skull of the servant in his Garden. The next task was to reorganise his items in the correct spot in the western room. By using his diary, the player could effectively put his items in order. Afterwards, he told the player to try out his obstacle course on the second floor, used to keep his servants on their toes. The player had to do this twice, and after that, he had to talk to the Grim Reaper to receive the Grim reaper hood and a new Zombie Hand emote.

Web of ShadowsEdit

The following takes place during Web of Shadows.

The grim reaper escorting a player away.

In 2009, Death's house was revisited again. He would tell the player he had a spider in his bath, and wanted it removed, being unable to do so himself in case he accidentally killed it with his touch of death (and not because of a fear of spiders or anything like that). If players refused, he would kill them and they would appear outside the portal with all of their items.

After travelling into the Spider Realm (Death appears to own a portal leading to this realm) and speaking to the Spider Queen, the player was ordered to place cobwebs into Death's house, as Death had violated the Edicts of Guthix by cleaning them. After putting cobwebs into his house with the assistance of Eek the spider, the Spider Queen would reward you with a Web cloak and Eek.

Partying is Such Sweet SorrowEdit

The following takes place during Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow.

During the 2010 event, Death was in need of help preparing a party he was hosting. During this event, it became clear that Death is a big fan of Zabeth Corvid, and begged the player to fetch an autograph. After completing little tasks around his house for the party being held, players were rewarded with a Bone brooch (which when used would morph you into a pile of bones) and the Puppet master emote.

Deathcon IIEdit

The following takes place during Deathcon II.

In 2011, Death was revealed to be the owner of his very own clan, with its very own citadel. The player was asked by Frank to help prepare the Citadel for a "DeathCon" event. The player had to perform tasks for Beauty, Frank and Infinity. After this was done, the player had full access to the citadel (with a Deathcon lanyard) and got a Deathcon t-shirt as a souvenir. The player also unlocked the Living on Borrowed Time emote.


Harold Death concept art

Concept art of Harold and his scythe.

  • Death's examine text during the 2010 Halloween event was 'Do not fear the Reaper', a reference to the song of the same name by Blue Öyster Cult.
  • A Postbag from the Hedge later revealed that Death has the catch phrase, "Gotta reap 'em all." This is a pun on the catch phrase "Gotta catch 'em all" from Pokémon. In the same Postbag from the Hedge it was said his customary black robes act as the legendary Reaper skillcape, although this was likely a joke.
  • During Halloween 2007, if a player read the Varrock Herald it would mention a man in black robes wandering around RuneScape stealing peoples lives.
  • The Temple Knights appear to have written a dossier concerning the reaper, which was published in Postbag from the Hedge #35. The complete dossier can be found here.
    • According to the dossier, the Grim Reaper was the Champion of a Belltolling contest, but nobody survived. The only witness was a "zombie" about to terrorise the near town.[9]
  • After completing the 2010 Halloween event, Zabeth Corvid tells the player to tell Grim that "every rose has its thorn", a reference to the song of the same name by Poison. This is also a reference to "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" when they are asked what the meaning of life is, Death says the line "Every rose has its thorn".
    • After completing the 2010 Halloween event, if a player asked about 'every rose has its thorn' they would get a reply saying it happened '...a long time ago, in a dimension far, far away." This is a reference to Star Wars: 'A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away."
  • Death has a mother, who looks exactly like him, as shown in the drawing in his dossier.[9]
  • Death has many aliases, including Grim Reaper, Nigel and Destroyer of Life, as stated in his dossier.[9]
  • He is voiced by the same voice actor as TokHaar-Hok.[10]
  • Even though the Edicts of Guthix dictate that he must wear black robes at all times, the reaper's apparel is blue during and after the Assassination of Guthix.
  • Apparently, Death once had a mentor, whose eyeball he keeps in his living room.


  1. ^ a b c Jagex. Postbag 24 - "Spooky goings on!", letter #4, by Death. RuneScape Postbags from the Hedge.
  2. ^ Jagex. Above the Lore - episode 4: The Secrets of Sliske Mods Osborne and Ollie. Above the Lore podcast, 20 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b Death, "The World Wakes", RuneScape. "When Guthix appointed me as a guardian, I was given the task of retaining the balance of life and death - as well as the power to do so. With all great power, there must be balance, so Guthix also bestowed a weakness upon me. I can only strike a killing blow on those who are due to die. I cannot take the lives of those whose time is not over, and equally I cannot save a life that is due to end... As much as I may sometimes wish to."
  4. ^ Jagex. Above the Lore Episode 10 - Missing Presumed Death Mod Osborne. Above the Lore podcast, 23 September 2013.
  5. ^ Mod Jack. "Order of Ascension - FAQ". Recent Game Updates Forums.
  6. ^ Mod Osborne. Reddit interview with Mod Osborne.*
  7. ^ Death, The Grim Reaper's diary, RuneScape. "A tragic day. Alfonse and I were in the garden looking at the state of a spiders nest. I patted my trusty servant on the back in thanks for all his hard work. Sadly, my touch of death killed him instantly. Feel quite guilty. (...) Ordered a new servant from the agency today and got a 10% discount for getting past the 1000th servant mark. Woo hoo!"
  8. ^ Death, The Grim Reaper's diary, RuneScape. "My plan to make the undead fish is going quite well. I managed to obtain a resurrection hourglass today, so have added that to the fishtank to finish the process. It's so difficult to have pets when everything you touch dies horrifically. I remember having a rabbit once that exploded when I fed it a carrot!"
  9. ^ a b c Jagex. Postbag 35 - "But how do you pruh-nounce Rell-doh?", Temple Knights' Dossier: Grim Reaper, by Wise Old Man. RuneScape Postbags from the Hedge.
  10. ^ Mod Stu. Mod Stu's twitter.*

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