Ironhide is a battle hardened veteran, one of the toughest amongst the Autobots. As one of Optimus' oldest and closest friends, Ironhide saw the great potential within Optimus to be more than what he allowed himself to be.
Ironhide emerged from the Well of All Sparks sometime during or before the Golden Age. He was present during the torch lighting which signified the kindling of a new Well on the first colony of Archon. Ironhide became bridgemaster for the Iacon Port space bridge connecting to other colony worlds established throughout the galaxy. When the Rust Plague struck the colonies, Ironhide was ordered to destroy the space bridge in order to prevent the infection from spreading back to the homeworld. Still, he gently gave Prowl time to say goodbye to his friend Bluestreak, who was quarantined on Archon, and refused to break quarantine and risk infecting Cybertron. Ironhide pressed Prowl when it was time, and they destroyed the space bridge, cutting off their cousins on other worlds for all time.
As war broke out between Autobots and Decepticons, Ironhide joined the Autobots under the command of Optimus Prime.
Ironhide first met Optimus Prime during the prolonged stalemate at Praxus. Furious at the loss of his home, Ironhide joined the Autobots despite his cynicism regarding Optimus's leadership. It was at Praxus that Optimus was first showed a preference to stand and fight rather than make strategic withdrawals, and Ironhide slowly but surely began to trust in Optimus. Alpha Trion commented that Ironhide's "pitiless edge" gave the Autobots a necessary advantage in defeating Megatron. When Megatron invaded Teletraan-1 to steal the Plasma Energy Chamber, Ironhide made an uncharacteristically emotional display of anguish when Starscream's Seekers shot down Omega Supreme, who attempted to ferry the Chamber to safety. As Decepticons attempted to claim the Chamber, Ironhide fought one but fell into the crater caused by Omega's impact. He defeated two more who jumped after him, and Optimus lifted him out of the pit, but he fell in again when another Decepticon struck him in the face with a hooked chain. Megatron blasted Optimus, causing him to fall on top of Ironhide, but he ordered his commander to ignore him and stop Megatron. After the battle, Ratchet welded Ironhide's face back together. When Optimus proposed leaving Cybertron on the Ark, Ironhide boarded the Eight Track with him to distract the Decepticons. Realizing Megatron had a beam aboard Trypticon Station, Ironhide and the Autobots boarded the ship and blew up its Dark Energon Facility, causing it to crash. He then boarded the completed Ark and escaped Cybertron through the last space bridge to the Milky Way.
After passing through the unstable space bridge, Ironhide and the Autobots aboard the Ark found themselves in the vicinity of a Cybertronian colony world called Velocitron. Ironhide was assigned to Hound's second response team, as Optimus Prime made planetfall with his initial team. It was a time of great stress between Velocitron's rulers, and the Autobots' arrival from mythical Cybertron only exacerbated the situation. Although the Autobots secured an ally in one of the planet's rulers, Override, they left Velocitron on the brink of civil war during their departure. The next leg of their journey through the Space Bridge brought the Autobots to fabled Junkion, a world composed entirely of space junk. This time, Ironhide joined Optimus, Ratchet and Hound as they touched down on the planet's heterogeneous surface. The Autobot envoys were attacked shortly after landing, as the local Junkions decided they looked like spare parts in the making. With Optimus Prime's blessing, Ironhide unleashed a volley of plasma rockets to help convince the Junkions that these parts weren't for sale just yet. During the Autobots' stay on Junkion, Ironhide assisted Prowl with his investigations, and later interrogation, of the shifty Decepticon-turned-Junkion named Axer. He defended the Ark from attack when the Nemesis finally caught up with them, and remained with the crew when they finally left Junkion on a new heading towards the AllSpark itself.
When the Matrix led the Autobots to the planet Aquatron, Ironhide performed pre-flight checks on Prowl's dropship before the scouting team left to survey the planet. Once it was secured, Ironhide joined Optimus and many of the other Autobots as they flew down to make contact with the Curator, Aquatron's regional governor. Optimus ordered Ironhide to remain with the ships in case of trouble. After Optimus experienced an inexplicable seizure during the tour, however, many of the Autobots became suspicious of their hosts. Rodimus and Bumblebee wanted to take the dropship to explore the reportedly underwater cities of the Aquatronians. Ironhide was suspicious as well, but he didn't want to buck the chain of command by sending them off without Prowl or Jazz's approval while Optimus was receiving treatment. Once his fellow old-timer Kup spoke up in favor of the recon, though, Ironhide let himself be convinced.This seemed to be a mistake when Kup, Rodimus, and Bumblebee broke contact during their deep-sea exploration, and couldn't be located. Ironhide was forced to report his men and dropship were missing to Prime, and took responsibility when confronted by Jazz and Prowl. The recon trio seemingly resurfaced without a scratch, but soon after the Aquatronians revealed their true nature as agents of the Quintessons when the Decepticons arrived. The Aquatronians disabled the Ark and the Nemesis in orbit before politely insisting that the Autobots and Decepticons engage in peace talks, with the Curator as moderator. Optimus skeptically agreed.
Indeed, the "peace talks" were a sham from the beginning, orchestrated by the Curator to fail and bring the Cybertronians before a kangaroo court of trumped up charges before executing them to harvest their energon for an invasion of Cybertron itself. Ironhide also learned during the proceedings that Kup, Rodimus and Bumblebee had been captured during their exploration, only to be brainwashed to provide false testimony against Optimus during the trial. When Optimus and Megatron were separated from the others during a single combat exercise, Ironhide ripped open the Autobots' cells to strike back against the Quintessons' Sharkticon guards. Alongside the Decepticons, they fought a holding action at Hydratron while Optimus and Megatron dealt with their true foes. Afterwards, the Autobots and Decepticons coordinated a joint effort to locate their missing leaders among the wreckage, and found Optimus Prime and Megatron side-by-side atop a friendly Leviacon
Ironhide led a squad of Autobots to defend the Decagon during the Decepticon invasion of Iacon. With the loss of Zeta Prime, Ironhide's old friend Optimus was forced to take command of the Autobots, an act that the old soldier approved, as he was glad that Optimus was finally stepping up to take his rightful place in the Autobot hierarchy. After helping Optimus and his team by clearing a path for them to the Decagon (and taking down two Brutes, tearing one in half), he continued to lead the others to (successfully) push the Decepticons into retreat. After Optimus became Optimus Prime, Ironhide and Warpath joined him on the mission to clear the core of Cybertron that was infected with Dark Energon. Ironhide constantly rebuked the young, aggressive Warpath's shoot-first attitude. Heading to the Omega Gate, the three Autobots found Omega Supreme being tortured with Dark Energon. Freeing the massive Autobot, Ironhide joined Optimus and Warpath in protecting Ratchet long enough to repair Omega to the open the Gate. Heading underground, the three Autobots found space slugs working to clear the Dark Energon crystals. When they were sealed off in a cavern, another slug came in and killed an attacking Decepticon, to which the old, knowledgeable Ironhide offered the universal greeting, but the slug simply ignored them and moved on with its task. The three Autobots then found a trio of slugs with Ion Displacer turrets on their backs, and provided cover fire for the slugs as they made their way through Cybertron. Unfortunately, a corrupted space slug attacked the trio, knocking them underground and killing the slugs. Regrouping at the core, they were attacked by the corrupted slug, and managed to defeat it. Unfortunately, the Dark Energon corrupted the Core, which could only purge the corruption by shutting down all systems, leaving Cybertron uninhabitable and forcing the Transformers to leave Cybertron. Before departing, Ironhide and Warpath witnessed Optimus receive a part of the Core's essence, the Matrix of Leadership.
As the evacuation went underway, Megatron used his orbital station to attacking fleeing transports. A group of Aerialbots under Silverbolt managed to shut down the station's cannon, only to learn that the station itself was a Cybertronian named Trypticon. Ironhide joined Optimus and Bumblebee in finishing off the monster. Though many Autobots managed to escape, a number of them, Ironhide included, stayed behind to fight against Megatron's schemes. Optimus commissioned the building of a new starship, the Ark, to take the Autobots from Cybertron, wherever they may go.
When the Decepticons started sniffing around an Autobot base, Ironhide sent an Autobot rookie to find out what they were looking for. Unfortunately, the rookie was killed by Megatron while letting Ironhide know he'd gotten the data links back up and running. Ironhide was captured by the Decepticons at some point and used in Kaon prison to fight Dark Energon-enhanced Decepticons, but presumably later escaped. Sometime later, Ironhide was contacted by Zeta Prime, who was trying to get hold of Optimus. With the loss of the communications system, Ironhide sent Bumblebee to find Optimus, and a rookie to help Ratchet and Air Raid. Once the rookie had gotten the communication system up and running, Ironhide let him know that he was being reassigned to Kup's care. Ironhide then directed Optimus around the base, guiding him to areas the Decepticons had taken over. Optimus announced they needed to retake Iacon, and Ironhide eagerly told him to lead the way, to which Optimus replied that he was no leader. Despite that, the Autobots retook the Decagon, and Ironhide reported that the defenses were back online. When Ironhide rebuked Bumblebee's suggestion that Zeta Prime's transmissions were leading them into a trap, Bumblebee exploded at him that they'd already lost the war. Optimus's team infiltrated Kaon, where Ironhide was more keen to bash Decepticons than rescue Zeta Prime, until Optimus reminded him of their mission. They found Zeta Prime, but their leader died, and Optimus was subsequently appointed Autobot leader. Optimus sought the services of Grimlock, whose slow processor and reluctance to help irritated Ironhide, almost leading to a fight between the two of them and forcing Optimus to tell him to stand down. The Autobots rescued Swoop, which helped sway Grimlock in favor of their cause, though Ironhide still wasn't sure it was a good idea. He took part in a mission to the core, to free it from the Dark Energon harvesters that were irradiating it. With Cybertron no longer capable of supporting life, the Autobots began to evacuate the planet in Arks, but were attacked by Trypticon Station. Optimus intended to take a strike team up the space bridge to directly assault it, which Ironhide regarded as a suicide mission. Still, he joined the mission, and the station was brought down, but as Bumblebee celebrated their escape, Ironhide pointed out the station was transforming. Trypticon's size gave even Ironhide pause, but he still joined the team that headed for the crash site to take the giant on. At one point, he was pinned down by enemy fire, which the other Autobots helped suppress so he could reach a security access panel. He joined them in defeating Trypticon, and later left Cybertron along with the rest of the Autobots.
Ironhide and Bumblebee were tasked with retrieving information from a Decepticon datacore about the "Trypticon" weapon. They nearly managed to make a successful getaway from Kaon before Megatron and Soundwave arrived, dropping the Autobots in the streets. Ironhide was shackled and imprisoned, whie Bumblebee was scheduled for interrogation under the neural scanner. A lucky power outage during an Autobot raid freed Ironhide from his bonds, and he raced through the detention facility to rescue Bumblebee before the scanner forced him to reveal military secrets. He found the kid, but not before some data was lost to the scanner. On the way out of the prison, the duo were radioed by Air Raid, who offered to provide air support during their escape. Thanks to his creative use of firepower, they were able to escape down a road that had previously been a dead end. Later, Ironhide returned the favour by providing comm support to Air Raid, who was using the data recovered on Trypticon to block the power supply running between Trypticon and the Geosynchronous Energy Bridge. He plotted Air Raid's course through the Decepticon controlled tunnels near the Bridge. After Trypticon Station fell to Cybertron's surface and revealed itself as a gi-normous transforming creature, Ironhide joined Optimus Prime and Bumblebee in racing to the crash site to finish him off. They were separated during the journey, and had to fight through multiple Decepticon vanguards before even reaching Trypticon. Eventually, it was the combined firepower and teamwork of the Autobot forces that brought down the dangerous dinosaur. Ironhide was ready to kick back with some lubricant, but Optimus reminded him that the war was far from over.
Ironhide was assigned, alongside Sideswipe, to retrieve the Dark Spark before the Decepticons could. Once they retrieved the Dark Spark, Ironhide and Sideswipe raced through the underground subways of Cybertron, battling off Insecticons all the way, until they reached the rendezvous point where Optimus and Bumblebee were waiting for them. Ironhide helped Optimus and Bumblebee fend off the Insecticons as Sideswipe called a train to evacuate them. When the train arrived, Bumblebee was the first on board, but the train was in a timer, and left before Ironhide, Prime, and Sideswipe could board. They were forced to wait for the next train, fighting off swarming Insecticons while doing so. When the next train arrived all of the Autobots managed to successfully board, but we're not able to escape, as the Decepticons blew up the train as it was departing. Optimus assigned the Dark Spark to Ironhide to protect, while he stayed behind to draw the Decepticons' fire. This plan proved futile as the Decepticon Sharpshot saw Ironhide take the Dark Spark, and, together with Shockwave, beat down Ironhide and took the Dark Spark from him.
Ironhide is one of the many Autobots involved in the construction of the Ark. During the invasion of Iacon he led a squad of soldiers to defend the Ark's fuelling station which was being attacked by tanks. The battle was not in his favour until Optimus took control of a Neutron Gun turret and later activated Metroplex, destroying the tanks. After Metroplex defeated Megatron, Ironhide was dismayed to learn the Energon saved for the Ark was gone. Later, Jazz reported that he, Cliffjumper and Sideswipe had found an entire reservoir of pure energon that was sufficient to power the Ark. Ratchet then inquired as to how to transport it. After Optimus denied having Metroplex carry it back Ironhide suggested using an old refinery transport. Perceptor argued that the transport guzzled too much energon and Ironhide rebutted that it had the firepower they would need and thus his plan was approved. When the Decepticons attacked the Ark on its way to the portal opened by Shockwave's Spacebridge, Ironhide took part in the battle. At one point he called for air support, saying that one of the blasts fired from the Decepticons had, "Taken a toll on Optimus".
Ironhide and Optimus are very close to each as brothers, and was proud to see him be the leader of the Autobots after Zeta Prime's death.
Ironhide and Ratchet don't interact much, but it is assumed they have a stable relationship.
Ironhide and Bumblebee don't interact much, but they seem to trust one another while fighting Trypticon.
Ironhide is overprotective of Warpath, and wants him to be more careful. Warpath constantly calls Ironhide "old timer." Warpath also thinks Ironhide is jealous of his "fine aim" but according to Ironhide,"he can't be jealous of something he doesn't have."
Ironhide and Grimlock aren't seen together at all in the game, but Ironhide is angry when Grimlock deserts his post.
- "War for Cybertron" (Debut)
- "Fall of Cybertron"
- "Rise of the Dark Spark"
- "Robots in Disguise Mobile Game"
- Ironhide appears in the Robots in Disguise Mobile Game, but he does not make an appearance in the show. He and Prowl are the only non-Mini-Con Autobots to have this trait.
- Originally, Ironhide was to star in that of Transformers: Prime. However, Ironhide's death in Transformers: Dark of The Moon caused the writers to think twice about using him and to avoid confusing children, they instead chose to place Bulkhead in his role despite the fact that Transfomers: Dark of The Moon is not in the same continuity. Despite Ironhide not making an appearance in the show, Bulkhead seems to pass down Ironhide's traits.
- Ironhide's Prime design was based on concept art submitted by Ken Christiansen to Hasbro Studios early in the show's development.