Not a Day Over One Million

The enigmatic yet charismatic Grandmaster has lived millions of years by his own reckoning. At some point in his long life he developed a fascination with staging games and entertainment for others to participate in and honed it into what he calls the Contest of Champions. Having chosen the planet Sakaar, a world surrounded by unstable space inhabited by wormholes, to set up his Contest, the Grandmaster became a hedonistic, eccentric tyrant to Sakaar’s people until he was overthrown during a rebellion.

As he himself explained it, the rules of the Contest of Champions were simple and straightforward: whatever contender defeated the current champion earned their freedom. Unfortunately, the Grandmaster’s overwhelming desire to manipulate others drove him to cheat at his own games to ensure an outcome to his liking.


Grandmaster meeting Thor

Beyond the Contest, life on Sakaar under the Grandmaster’s domination also included public executions and humiliation, as well as tolerance toward his opulent, lavish personal lifestyle.

Game Tokens

Day in and day out, the Grandmaster shows more affection to things than people. His palace encompasses wall-to-wall technology to not only impress his “guests,” but himself, too. He favors a Melting Stick, a rod that when pressed against an organic being instantly melts them down to nothing, along with control disks that make his warriors docile through bursts of energy brought on by a remote, and of course, his personal music machine.

Also impressive is the dictator’s fleet of starships, many of which are used for pleasure excursions rather than combat, though he owns quite a few of those, too.

Lady Luck

The Grandmaster views most other lifeforms as mere playthings, but one being in his very small inner circle seems to enjoy a modicum of respect from him: Topaz, his personal bodyguard and head of palace security. Alternately stern and given to strange quirks of enjoyment, the tattooed woman carries out her ruler’s commands, but is also able to express some impatience and even disdain for some of the Grandmaster’s wilder peculiarities, perhaps because of his generally flighty nature.


Beyond Topaz, the Sakaarian tyrant was known to possess some fondness for the Hulk when the green giant held the title of Champion, but the Grandmaster’s own relatives, such as his late cousin Carlo, can seemingly curry no favor with him.

Bad Bets

It could never be said that the Grandmaster doesn't take occasional chances with beings he sees some promise in as Contest contenders, but his actual downfall came when he took one chance too many. The last Contest of Champions led to a full-scale rebellion, led by Thor, the Asgardian god of thunder; Loki, Thor’s mischievous brother; Scrapper 142, one of the fabled Valkyrie; and a whole host of gladiators who’d obviously had enough of his crooked gamesmanship. In the end, the Grandmaster’s friend to enemy ratio is overwhelmingly skewed toward the latter.

The Roll of the Dice

A mercenary called Scrapper 142 brought a hammerless Thor to the Grandmaster after the god of thunder fell from space onto the planet Sakaar. Fitted with a control disk, Thor was introduced to the Contest of Champions by its creator and left with an impression of its importance on his freedom. Sadly, the feeling was fleeting once he found that the Grandmaster would see to it he couldn’t beat the reigning Champion, Thor’s Avengers teammate, the Hulk.

Grandmaster's Stadium Competition

Thor did win the Hulk to his side eventually, prompting a rare fit of pique from the Grandmaster and orders to Scrapper 142 and his guest Loki, Thor’s brother, to bring in the wayward warriors for punishment. Loki’s duplicitous nature gifted Thor with one of the Grandmaster’s swift starships, a means of escaping Sakaar to return the Asgardian to his home. During Thor and Hulk’s breakout, a brewing rebellion among the Contest’s gladiators bubbled up and over the edge, presenting the Sakaarian tyrant with outright war on his hands.

After Thor’s departure with the Hulk and Scrapper 142 -- revealed to be one of the legendary Valkyrie -- the Grandmaster crawled out among his former kingdom of gaming to view the rebels up close and hope they’d listen to his suggestion to declare their conflict as ending in a tie.