Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Theory: Why EGO Killed [Spoilers]

This theory about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 contains spoilers (obviously). But it will still be here when you’re done watching the movie, hopefully. This theory is available as a video (above) or as a transcription (below). 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was, in my opinion, a fantastic follow-up to one of Marvel’s best movies and much better than the usual MCU sequel. But there is one aspect of the movie that has been driving me and plenty of other fans crazy with confusion, and that has to do with Ego the Living Planet, portrayed in his human form by Kurt Russell.

As you may recall, we find out in the movie that Ego is Peter Quill’s biological father, and the two share genetics that allow them to channel a powerful godlike energy. At first, Peter is thrilled about the truth of his parentage, being promised to help Ego carve out a new world of their making. But he’s instantly broken from Ego’s spell when told the full, sinister story.

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And that’s where I started to scratch my head with this movie. The explanation for what Ego has really been doing and why for thousands of years is a bit…strange, even for a living planet. We find out that Ego has visited countless planets over the years, and Peter is hardly the first child he’s had brought to him by Yondu. He tells Peter that he’s been searching for him ever since Yondu decided to keep him as his own, but that raises a big question.

If Peter is so important to Ego, then why did he trust Yondu of all people to go get him? And when Yondu betrayed Ego, why didn’t he bother to hunt down the ravagers?

This theory gets to the bottom of this and one other big question. Why would Ego want to kill Peter Quill’s mother? When he tells Peter that he put the tumor in Meredith Quill, Peter rightfully turns on his father and their entire dynamic shifts completely. But after seeing the movie, I couldn’t understand why Ego would want to kill Meredith in the first place.

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If Meredith is the one person who has given birth to a child that has the right genetics for Ego to charge his planet, then why kill her off and put all your hopes into one child? In the movie, Ego claims he loved Meredith too much and wanted to keep himself from staying on Earth forever, which is alarming for multiple reasons. If that’s really the case, then why not take Meredith back with him to his planet, especially if that means he can keep having “battery children” with her?

I also can’t buy the idea that Ego entrusts Yondu with retrieving Peter because he can’t stand going back to Earth. Why then does he send Yondu to the countless other lovers he’s mated with over the centuries? Did he really love all of them, too? Something is clearly missing in Ego’s exposition.

I believe that Ego never really loved Meredith Quill at all, but instead, he was using the “story” of their loving relationship to persuade Peter into trusting him. In other words, Ego is an unreliable narrator. And when Ego slips up and tells Peter he killed Meredith, it’s a tragic flaw of his character to not realize that Peter would find this despicable.

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And the reason for Ego not really loving Meredith, or Peter for that matter, is actually explained underneath the surface of the script. His entire master plan is to turn the entire universe into himself. He has a big enough ego to believe that everything should be like him. He can carelessly kill anyone who isn’t him because they’re not better than him, and he doesn’t even turn on Peter until he decides that his own son isn’t worthy of being like him.

In other words, Ego is incapable of love. He doesn’t understand what it really is, and he slips up with telling Peter he killed Meredith because he doesn’t feel remorse for it, and he fails to consider Peter’s reaction.

So then why didn’t Ego manage to find Peter Quill for so long?

Seems like a big plot hole, considering how easy it was for him to find the Guardians of the Galaxy. Right?

Well, it seems to me that Ego didn’t go looking for Peter until he found out that someone named Star-Lord had managed to hold an Infinity Stone and defeat Ronan. Before that happened, Ego must not have cared all that much about Yondu betraying him, believing Peter to just be another failed experiment. Or he figured Yondu had failed him and hadn’t been able to get Peter in the first place. Either way, he didn’t know that Peter was special until the events of the first movie, which is why he finds Peter so quickly in the sequel, which takes place not very long after the first movie.

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This is also why Ego didn’t care about killing Meredith. At that point, he didn’t realize that she had produced the first viable offspring in his string of deranged experiments. But again, why kill any of his experiments at all? Why be so heartless? I believe Ego killed Meredith and all the rest in order to conceal his identity. After all, he lives in the fringes of space and is also planning to take over the galaxy. Not exactly a public figure, that Ego.

We know from the opening scenes of both Guardians movies that Meredith has an inkling of who Ego really is, and she even knows about Ego’s Dairy Queen death plant. This ties into why Ego sends ravagers to kidnap kids from other planets. It’s to avoid the Nova Corps from finding out that a celestial is trying to make a huge power move.

Ego cuts off all of his loose ends wherever he goes, explaining the pile of bones Gamora discovers in his caves and how it’s implied that he wiped out Mantis’s people as well. We can also surmise that his planet is like a Venus flytrap, ensnaring anyone who stumbles across his planet. And he’s doing all this in order to prevent Nova or similarly powerful forces from discovering his evil plans and trying to undo them.

There are some other threads to this I’m still considering, like why he needs Mantis to help him sleep and how he uses her to control people, for example, and the full extent of his powers as a supposed celestial. Which is why I now turn the theorizing over to you. What do you think I missed in my summation of Ego’s role and motivations in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2?


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19 Replies to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Theory: Why EGO Killed [Spoilers]”

  1. I think Ego needs Mantis to help him sleep because it slows down the process of his body deteriorating. No real evidence to back this up, but I think maybe the only time Ego’s body deteriorates is when it’s in use, similar to how a battery operated device doesn’t lose power when switched off. Ego, being a Celestial and not an organic being, doesn’t know how to make himself sleep, which is why Mantis is needed. No idea whether or not this works, but it’s a fun idea

  2. You guys are worrying about stuff way more than the writers.

    • That’s what theorists do.

    • Do you even know how much Marvel likes to put stuff like this in their movies? I wouldn’t be surprised if this is all true.

  3. Ego is a narcissistic psychopath. That explains nearly everything he does. As to why Ego trusts Yondu to bring Peter Quill to him, Why shouldn’t he trust Yondu to bring him the boy when Yondu had already brought Ego other of Peter’s half-siblings? The real question regarding Peter is why did it take so long for Ego to go looking for him?

    After Yondu forgave Peter for cheating him (something he would have killed any of his other Ravager crew for), and was then tricked out of an infinity stone by Quill, The crew expected Yondu to go off in a rage and punish the arrogant “Star Lord. (Remember that GOTG2 takes place very soon after the events in GOTG.) So, in a snit, some member of Yondu’s crew, must have contacted Stakar and spilled the beans.on Yondu getting paid for kidnapping children and delivering them to Ego. Take note however that this mystery crew-member (probably Taserface,) never bothered to turn Yondu in for breaking the code all those ago, until AFTER Yondu let Peter off the hook. Clearly Yondu was discrete enough that Stakar was completely unaware of what Yondu had done so many times, for so many years before. It is not until GOTG2 that the other Ravagers learn he broke the code.

    Stakar berates Yondu for breaking the code, telling him that, for all the crimes that Ravagers commit, “we don’t deal in kids!” Yondu took Peter, but kept the boy to raise himself. While he made a deal with Ego, he reneged and didn’t deliver the goods. It’s not really clear whether the boy Quill went willingly or not. Yondu did however “Deal with kids” when he stole other children from their mothers (Ego’s conquests), delivered them to Ego, and was subsequently paid for it. IMO it is for dealing in those children that Yondu is disowned from the Ravagers.

    I have no answer as to why Ego needed Mantis to help him sleep. It can’t be because of guilt, because Ego cares nothing about any other creature. I think it may be because Ego has been frustrated for so long about not being able to put his plans into action, and that that he needs periods of sleep to keep himself under control. However I think the main reason he needs sleep, is so that he can keep contact with and maintain the multitude fragments of himself that he has planted throughout the galaxy.

  4. I agree that Ego is a psychopath. He has no idea of how human emotions feel, but he can imitate them to fool the women he impregnated. Personally, I think it’s weird he decided on that form (why human?) and to use the same one with all those women. But, yes, I think he pretended to love her and killing her off would help him remove Peter with less resistance. I have no idea why the hell he would show Meredith the seedling though. Just story exposition. She really came across as a ding dong in the flashback.
    Him not truly understanding emotions are the only reason I can see him admitting to killing Quill’s mother. That was just plain dumb, and there was zero reason to tell him that. Or really to tell him about the other rejected kids. He’s already on your side. Just don’t tell him you are going to kil his friends in a few minutes. You can talk about how you killed his mother after you’ve completed your plan.
    Personally , I would have just made it a fact that sleeping with Ego/being around him for long periods was going to give you radiation poisoning, so it would have been more indirectly killing (but still allowed Peter to get mad).
    I agree with Rick about Mantis. Mantis herself said she put him to sleep because he was worried about his progeny, which was most likely the seeds of himself and not his biological children.

  5. Lol, this article is irrelevant, he didn’t know that Meredith produced anything different than any other woman he impregnated, because he didn’t know peter had the right genes to accept the celestial side of him until he heard starlord held an infinity gem, which was well after Meredith died. Pay attention.

    • The point, though, is that Ego has no idea if Peter’s genes work when he kills Meredith. If he was confident Peter would be a dud, why send Yondu for him at all? Yes, Ego learns that Peter can be a celestial like him after the events with Ronan as I pointed out, but it was still strange to find him so quick to kill off a possible resource in Meredith before he knew that for sure.

      “Pay attention.”

      • I don’t think he was confident Peter would be a dud or anything; I’d say he goes impregnate women all over and gets yondu to pick them all kids up and THEN checks if they have the power.. and kills them when they don’t (buy why keep the bones… ?? gross! oO)
        Quill missing was just one in so many that he didn’t bother go looking for him as he had million other on the line… until he realized he was the one.

        The explanation about killing the mom in order to erase all traces of his existence doesn’t make any sense to me.
        Either you don’t love a woman, in which case you don’t need more than 1hr to get her pregnant and leave her rotten planet for the next one: no trace left.
        Or you do love her (as Ego claims he did) and you spend time, go driving by car, show her your secret flower… all silly and careless things you’d only do if in love.
        Ego claims at some point he didn’t come back to earth for fear of never leaving again. Maybe that’s when he realized this risk that he killed her (which broke his hear he claims), so as not to be tempted to come back.
        Still.. a tumor is far from being the fastest or the more humane way of killing someone…

        As for Ego being worried about his progeny.. I think that if you consider that:
        1) Peter is the ONLY one in a maybe billion of Ego’s kids who happens to have power (since he held the stone of infinity)
        2) that Ego let him slip through his hand by not going after him when Yondu failed to deliver, because he had so many other kids all over the place so one missing…
        3) and that Peter’s job is to risk his life on a daily basis, which would cause Ego’s masterplan to collapse…

        .. if I were in Ego’s shoes I’d want to bite my balls off and wouldn’t be able to sleep either!!!

  6. Mantis made Meredith fall in love with ego, as she did with the other mothers of his children.

    • for Mantis to emotionally connect the mother to Ego, their would be a hand connection and I didn’t see Mantis on earth. so what if the mother just fell in love with the guy who she saw fly by for her to call him spaceman a less she thinks he’s an astronaut..

  7. Like all psychopaths, there can be only one. Psychopaths can like the idea of having offsprings but in reality when they observe that they have their own mind, they can neither respect or put up with the idea of an equal. He wants what he ultimately cannot tolerate. To Ego, subconsciously, there can be only one. This is his dichotomy. This is his undoing.

  8. … and why does he tell his son about his reasons for killing his mother? The same reason all psychopaths tell us their reasoning; they think our minds have the same twisted reasoning as them.

  9. I think Ego cant sleep is the screams he hears in his head from the cries of his children…

  10. Well i agree that ego is a Psychopath but he’s definitely Narcissistic in reality he doesn’t even care for peter. he stabs him with his weird light things to gain his powers. If he really cared for his own offspring then he wouldn’t do that. Reason for killing the mothers might be as someone else said to make taking the children easier, mothers are protective of their children. it could be that certain races can carry the gene and humans may be the only ones compatible with it hence why Egos Human appearance. He didn’t care that one child wasn’t delivered he would just go on to the next child on the next planet.

    Ego realised that humans on Earth were compatible so once hearing that Starlord held the infinity stone he knew that it had to be peter. So after this event its easy to find Peter and the others because heck he’s well known now. Also at the end of the first film Ego and Mantis are seen (as silhouettes) in their ship. he might have been looking for Peter after finding that his other children failed him. and that might have taken some time to impregnate and test each child. easily 34 years could have past by the time all those bones ended up in the planets core.

    Im probably wrong, but i think Yondu didn’t want to kill or hand Peter over because he saw him as his own son and he couldn’t do that.

  11. You’re missing something obvious here. Ego was powerful but not omniscient, he was no more able to find Yondu than Nova Corps could. As for why did Ego kill Meredith, he explains that. Ego could not live long away from his planet, or at least his human form couldn’t. He tells Peter he knew if he returned to Earth he’d never be able to leave, so he killed Meredith to remove any desire to go back to Earth. Why did Ego trust Yondu? Simple, Yondu successfully retrieved many children for him, after so many Ego had no problem trusting Yondu. So, why didn’t Ego have more children with Meredith? Because he didn’t know Peter carried the Celestial genes until Peter survived touching the Infinity Stone with his bare hands. When the rumors of the Guardians of the Galaxy got to Ego, he began an ernest search for Peter, before that he had no reason to believe Peter was celestial.

  12. Because Ego didn’t care about Peter until he held the infinity stone! Then Ego knew he had a celestial gene. It was in the movie.

  13. Yo, why didn’t Ego just use the power stone from the first movie? He said one celestial doesn’t have enough power for universal domination remember, and we saw in the first film that celestials can wield the infinity stones so, like, why not, Ego? I mean the guy is a “god” and can destroy an entire fleet of spaceships so… shouldn’t he be able to break into or, at least, sneak his way into the Nova Corp. vault thing and take it. It seems like a silly oversight tbh!!!

  14. Ego wants to survive, expand, wants everything to become ego. Ego, alone, lacks the capability of transference of emotions. Mantis possesses the ability to transfer emotions, yet seems undeveloped in courage or self esteem, or somehow limited on her own. Consensus of Emotions becomes the ultimate silencer of Ego. Use of the bond toward the greater collective core, the energy of supreme existence in all beings threaded by love is what places Ego into a less powerful place of control.

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