The Merlopians are minifigures representing aquatic beings in Ninjago.
The ancient Merlopians already lived beneath the sea when the the First Spinjitzu Master arrived in their world, when the Endless Ocean was virtually empty of landmasses. Along with a group of islanders, they joined the First Spinjitzu Master in launching an attack against Wojira, a monstrous serpent who wielded the powers of Wind and Water through the Storm and Wave Amulets she wore upon her head. Despite their brave efforts, Wojira was only defeated when the Merlopian warrior Nyad, the first Elemental Master of Water, mergd with the seas to overpower Wojira and strip her of her amulets and powers. While the Merlopians took charge of the Wave Amulet and the unconscious serpent, the islanders accepted custody of the Storm Amulet from the First Spinjitzu Master.
The Merlopians consist of at least three distinct races of aquatic beings: an octopus-like variant that included the royal family; another race that appears to have been closer in appearance to humans; and a race of eel-like beings resembling ancient members of the Serpentine race. The first of these is notable in that members of it have been seen with humanoid legs or tentacles, while the second seems to have become incredibly rare by the time of Kalmaar.
Unlike his oldest son, Trimaar held no animosity towards the surface-dwelling species of their realm, believing that they could coexist peacefully though separate from one another. He also had no sense of anger over the "loss" of territory resulting from the creation of Ninjago Island, being content with the realm he had inherited. Trimaar condemned Kalmaar's distaste for "inferior" species, and discouraged his interest in Wojira. While the two were having this same argument yet again one day, they came across a sunken ship, and then spotted a group of giant eels attacking something.
Acting nobly, Trimaar acted to drive off the eels, finding that their intended victim was a young child. The boy was too young to remember anything of his past, and was ignorant as well of the fate of his parents. To Kalmaar's disgust, Trimaar decided the adopt the youngster, naming him Benthomaar. Trimaar would raise the youngster as his own, loving him as much as his biological son. Indeed, as the two grew older it was Benthomaar who proved the most loyal of his sons, while Kalmaar continued to pursue forbidden knowledge and to strike out against innocent surface-dwellers to satisfy his bigotry.
Unfortunately, Trimaar would learn too late of the depth of Kalmaar's villainy, only after the crew of the Hydro Bounty were brought before him in Long Live the King. They revealed that Kalmaar had attacked their vessel, and further that he was attempting to awaken Wojira. Trimaar demanded that Kalmaar be brought before him, and Kalmaar admitted to his actions while condemning his father as a weak fool. When Trimaar reminded his son that he was both his father and his king, Kalmaar responded with a blast from his trident that mortally wounded Trimaar. He then blamed his father's injuries on the surface-dwellers, turning all of Merlopia against them.
Bentho, finding his badly wounded father, attempted to get him to a healer. Realizing his time was short, however, Trimaar told Bentho the truth about his injuries and urged him to help the surface-dwellers escape. Lovingly, Trimaar then told Bentho that he truly was his son, despite not having been born to Trimaar, before passing on. Benthomaar would subsequently dedicate himself to honoring his father's last wishes and stopping his usurper brother.
Trimaar bears a strong resemblance to his son Kalmaar, but with differently colored eyes. He also has a beardlike growth on his chin. Trimaar also wears golden shoulder armor, resembling that seen on Kalmaar's physical minifigure but not the show version.
Like Glutionous and other members of their eel-like race, Gripe uses the same head design originally created for Char and the Pyro Whippers. He is distinguished from most of his compatriots by having green coloring where they have light blue. He also has a golden pauldron on his right shoulder, possibly as an indication of rank.
When Gripe served Kalmaar, he kept with Kalmaar the secret of the resurrection of Wojira from all Merlopians, and even from King Trimaar of Merlopia. But when Kalmaar killed his father and rose to power, he carried out with his master a plan to raise Wojira and destroy the entire surface world. And when Kalmaar captured the Storm Amulet, and with it awakened Wojira, he and the other Merlopians launched an attack on Ninjago City and tried to destroy the entire human race. But when Benthomaar destroyed Kalmaar's trident, and Wojira was released from Kalmaar's control, the other Maaray Guards fled after Wojira ate Kalmaar.
- Season 14: Seabound
Nyad was the original Elemental Master of Water, and like Benthomaar was a member of the most human-like sub-group of Merlopians.
Nyad was a skilled elemental master, capable of using her abilities to communicate with sea life. She was particularly well known for communicating with whales, who would serve as a means of transportation for her. Nyad is best known, however, for taking part in the epic battle against Wojira alongside the rest of her people, the islanders, and the First Spinjitzu Master. Nyad bravely mounted the head of the monstrous serpent, breaking her trident in the attempt to dislodge the Storm and Wave Amulets from Wojira's head.
When this effort failed, Nyad used her powers to merge with the ocean, becoming a being of incredible power who was able to overcome Wojira. However, the transformation also left Nyad as an elemental, unable to return to her original form. She thus disappeared into the waves, leaving the unconscious Wojira and her sources of power to her allies. Over time, Nyad would be memorialized in legends and myths, with her name later inspiring that of another Master of Water: Nya.
- Nyad's name, in addition to being based on Nya's, is a play on Naiad, a type of water spirit from Greek mythology. Interestingly, Naiads were associated with freshwater, whereas Nyad had power over all water and was notable for her connection with the sea.