The Grandmaster is the ruler of Sakaar who has a fascination with gaming and enjoys manipulating lesser life-forms in the Contest of Champions. When Grandmaster took Thor as his new contenders, he was soon horrified to learn that Thor already knew his current champion, the Hulk. As Grandmaster feared, Thor soon escaped Sakaar with the Hulk, resulting in a new uprising which resulted in him losing his position over the people of Sakaar.
Fascination with Champions
The being who would later be known as the Grandmaster was born shortly after the beginning of the universe alongside his brother, Taneleer Tivan. While his brother became obsessed with collecting objects of all kinds, the Grandmaster became obsessed with manipulating life-forms into fighting each other nearly to death.
Ruling over Sakaar
One day, the Grandmaster became the ruler of planet Sakaar. On the planet, he became a tyrant towards his people, but they loved him only because of the Contest of Champions, a gladiatorial event held in the arena. The Grandmaster took under his wing one of the Valkyries after the massacre of the Valkyries by Hela. Scrapper 142 became not only the servant of Grandmaster but also his bodyguard alongside Topaz.
Amongst those the Grandmaster imprisoned for his Contest of Champions included Beta Ray Bill, Korg, Miek, Biff, Hajo, and Doug. In 2015, Valkyrie successfully captured the Hulk, after the latter arrived to Sakaar right after the Battle of Sokovia, out of hope to find love by people in another world. The Hulk later became the new champion in the contest, and since, he became truly beloved although he became a prisoner.
After encountering Hela in Norway, Loki asks Skurge to transport them back to Asgard. However, Hela kicks Loki and Thor out of the Bifrost Bridge, causing them to crash land on Sakaar. Because time flows differently in Sakaar, Loki arrives two weeks before Thor, even though less than a day has passed for Thor. Loki manages to win the Grandmaster's favor, becoming his new ally. Thor is taken through a tunnel, as it ends, he is jolted into a meeting with himself with an Topaz beside him. Thor demands to be released as he is stated that he is not for sale. However, Grandmaster proceeds to take Thor for 10 million units and introduce him as the new Champion.
The Grandmaster then takes Thor to see his cousin Carlo, who has committed treason and proceeds to let him see his punishment. The Grandmaster teases his cousin who he is strapped to another chair. Momentarily making him think he will set him free, the Grandmaster then gleefully uses his Melt Stick to kill him. The Grandmaster would then throw a party as a DJ, where Thor notices that Loki was there. The Grandmaster asked if Loki knew Thor, which the former denied knowing before Thor added that they were brothers. However, Loki clarified that they were adopted. The Grandmaster informs Thor that should he win against his champion, he would be freed, Thor would then agreed to fight in the arena to which the Grandmaster would take him to the gladiator's room.
Hulk vs. Thor
- "It's main event time. Making his first appearance, though he looks quite promising, got a couple of tricks up his sleeve. I'll say no more, see what you think. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Lord of Thunder. Watch out for his fingers. They make sparks."
Inside the arena, Thor discovers that the Grandmaster's champion is none other than Hulk, whom he hasn't seen since the Battle of Sokovia. Thor attempts to calm him down with Black Widow's lullaby, although he fails. Thor almost defeats Hulk at the end, before the Grandmaster sabotages the fight to ensure Hulk's victory.
After the arena fight, Thor is still held captive by the Grandmaster. Thor attempted to convince Hulk and 142 to help him save Asgard, but neither is willing. He soon manages to escape the palace and find the Quinjet that brought the Hulk to Sakaar. The Hulk follows Thor to the Quinjet, where a recording of Natasha Romanoff makes the Hulk transform back into Bruce Banner for the first time in two years. Soon, they hear an announcement from the Grandmaster that they are hunting Thor, due to believing that he has captured his beloved champion.
The Grandmaster orders 142 and Loki to find Thor and the Hulk, but the pair come to blows and Loki forces her to relive the deaths of her fellow Valkyrie at the hands of Hela; she decides to help Thor, taking Loki captive to prove her goodwill. Unwilling to be left behind, Loki provides the group with the means to steal one of the Grandmaster's ships.
The group then liberated the other gladiators who, led by Korg and Miek, staged a revolt. Loki attempted to betray his brother Thor to gain a reward from the Grandmaster, but Thor anticipates this and leaves him behind.
Revolution in Sakaar
- "I just, I gotta say. I'm proud of you all. This revolution has been a huge success. Yay us! Pat, pat on the back. Pat on the back. Come on. No? Me, too. 'Cause I've been a big part of it. Can't have a revolution without somebody to overthrow! So, ah, you're welcome. And, uh, it's a tie."
- ―Grandmaster to Sakaaran citizens
The Grandmaster announces that the Lord of Thunder is escaping and orders the people and his bodyguards to not let him leave the planet. Thor uses the Commodore to head to the Devil's Anus. Topaz and the Grandmaster's bodyguards chases him, Bruce Banner, and Valkyrie as they manage to avoid the Grandmaster's guards and escape from Sakaar. Loki is soon found by the gladiators.
After the great uprising, the Grandmaster is ultimately defeated by the people, and he confronts his subjects, who are still fighting the revolution started by the gladiators. He claims the revolution a tie, noting that he was an integral part of their uprising since without him, they would have nothing to rebel against.
- "Whoa, I don't like that word."
"No. Why would I not like Mainframe? No. The “S” word."
"Sorry the “prisoners with jobs” have armed themselves."
"Okay, that's better."
- ―Grandmaster and Topaz
The Grandmaster is very eccentric, described as a hedonist, a pleasure-seeker, an enjoyer of life, as seen when Valkyrie tells that one of his ships is a pleasure vehicle for orgies. Additionally, the Grandmaster also enjoys dancing, being a very skilled dancer.
The Grandmaster is also a charming individual, knowing how to act calm and almost laid-back during dangerous and intense situations, such as when he was surrounded by several scavengers without any protection and tried to trick them into standing down by calling their endeavor a "draw". He makes sure to give respect and reward to those who please him and work for him, as seen by the extravagant living quarters given to his champion, the Hulk.
Despite his friendly demeanor, he is also a ruthless tyrant, capturing and usually executing anyone who breaks his rules or tries escaping him, as seen when he executed his cousin, Carlo for committing high treason and attempting to escape. This is somewhat contrasted by his even-temper and sense of rationale, demonstrated when he declared merely interrupting him was not enough reason to justify ordering an execution. He did not like oppressive words, like "slave", as it actually made him feel bad for how he treated his prisoners.
Powers and Abilities
- "Time works real different around these parts. On any other world, I would be millions of years old. But here on Sakaar..."
- Longevity: The Grandmaster has an extraordinary long lifespan, claiming to be around fourteen million years old.
- Telepathy: The Grandmaster has the ability to read minds.
- "This is my Melting Stick. Yeah, if people displease me, I can melt them."
- Melt Stick: The Melt Stick is the Grandmaster's weapon of choice, using it to melt those who displease him like Carlo. Despite taking great pleasure in using the Melt Stick, Grandmaster insisted that it only be used for capital offenses, refusing to execute Loki for merely interrupting him during their exchange despite Topaz offering him the weapon.
- Control Disk: The Grandmaster had used the control disks to force all of his own gladiators to participate during the Contest of Champions, using the Disk to disable Thor to ensure Hulk would be victorious.
- Commodore: Grandmaster mainly used this ship for parties and orgies.
- Statesman: Grandmaster formerly owned the Statesman, a massive spaceship, that was later used by Loki and the Sakaaran Rebellion to escape Sakaar.
- In the comics, the Grandmaster, along with the Collector, is one of the Elders of the Universe. In a competition with the Cosmic Entity Death, he captured various heroes from Earth and forced them to fight against each other. He was also the custodian of the Mind Stone before Thanos took it for the Infinity Gauntlet.
- The Grandmaster's clothing colors are references to how he originally appeared in the comics. He wore gold clothes and had blue skin and red eyes.
- The Grandmaster's role in Thor: Ragnarok is analogue to the Red King, the ruler of the Sakaaran Imperials and master of the Sakaaran arena, in the Planet Hulk storyline.
- While the Grandmaster's real name in the comics and in the animated TV shows he has appeared in is En Dwi Gast, this has not been confirmed to be his name in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Grandmaster's favorite color is blue.
Behind the Scenes
- Jeff Goldblum described the character as "a hedonist, a pleasure-seeker, an enjoyer of life and tastes and smells." He also said that director Taika Waititi encouraged improvisation in order for Goldblum to "make the character his own".
- Goldblum revealed on an interview that the Grandmaster was born shortly after the Big Bang and is 14 million years old; however, the Big Bang occurred 13.7 billion years ago.
- Unlike his appearance in the comics, the Grandmaster does not have blue skin. This is because the filmmakers did not want to detract from Goldblum's personality by concealing his appearance, especially since Goldblum had already played a blue-colored character in Earth Girls Are Easy.
- Goldblum stated that the Grandmaster survived the events of Avengers: Infinity War, saying: "You can't kill me, I'm like a vampire."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Going Green with Jeff Goldblum
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Thor: Ragnarok
- ↑ Kevin Feige Reveals Thor: Ragnarok’s Biggest Easter Egg
- ↑ Thor: Ragnarok Post-credits Scene
- ↑ Team Darryl
- ↑ JEFF GOLDBLUM Describes MARVEL'S GRANDMASTER As 'A Hedonist, A Pleasure-Seeker'
- ↑ Thor 3 Ragnarok - B-Roll, Bloopers and Behind the Scenes (2017)
- ↑ WHY JEFF GOLDBLUM DOESN'T RESEMBLE MARVEL COMICS' GRANDMASTER IN THOR: RAGNAROK
- ↑ Grandmaster is still alive after Avengers: Infinity War according to Jeff Goldblum