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GOTG: James Gunn Confirms Peter & Mantis' Relationship Existed Since Vol. 2

Found families aren't anything new in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but it's always interesting when blood relations pop up. "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," which debuted on Disney+ in late 2022, dropped a major bombshell for Marvel stans, confirming that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) are siblings. Set after the events of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" and "Avengers: Endgame," the "Holiday Special" succeeds at digging deep into Peter's psyche and insecurities, peeling back the layers of his relationship with Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Ego (Kurt Russell).

In the Disney+ special, Mantis anxiously tells her brother that they share the same father (Ego), fearing that he'll reject her. Peter, being the good lad that he is, embraces his sister, leading to one of the most emotional and joyful moments in the entire MCU. While the decision may appear as a convenient way for "GOTG" steward James Gunn to sprinkle in some emotion, Peter and Mantis being related has been the plan since "Vol. 2."

While speaking with Rotten Tomatoes about "GOTG Vol. 3," Gunn revealed that he envisioned the duo as siblings during the production of "Vol. 2." "We shot a scene between Drax and Mantis at the end of Vol. 2' where Mantis says to Drax, 'You know he's my brother basically,'" Gunn confirmed. "And he's like 'Why don't you tell him,' and she's like 'Because it's like he's ashamed of Ego and he won't love me.'"

The deleted scene from "Vol. 2" is set on the Milano and is available to watch on Disney's "Marvel Studios LEGENDS," S1 Episode 25, which centers on Mantis.

The reveal makes The Holiday Special all the more... special

Why did James Gunn not reveal Mantis and Peter Quill's relationship in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"? That's anyone's guess but in a chat with TVLine, Pom Klementieff said, "Gunn decided to hold onto it, and reveal it later." Seeing as it's such a pivotal bombshell that adds layers to Peter's character, it makes sense why Gunn thought it was best to wait for the reveal to have its own moment. Dropping the news in "GOTG Vol. 2" would have left it as a major cliffhanger for nearly five years.

Beyond that, audiences would have likely expressed their frustration for years, as the Guardians had small appearances in "Infinity War," "Endgame, and "Thor: Love and Thunder" following the release of "Vol. 2." With the "Holiday Special," Peter and Mantis' relationship was given the perfect time to shine, which makes it all the more special. Besides, Mantis' character in the special spends most of the time fearing Peter's response — a character choice that likely wouldn't have paid off in any other Guardians appearance. Continuing her chat with TVLine, Klementieff expressed how she's pleased fans know the truth because "it creates more layers and a special and beautiful, bond between the two characters."

James Gunn says Vol. 2 features an easter egg that confirms Mantis' relationship with Peter

Eagle-eyed "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" viewers, however, have known about Peter and Mantis' relationship since the film debuted. In his conversation with Rotten Tomatoes, James Gunn pointed out an easter egg that many might have missed. "You can see it in 'Vol. 2' because you look at the statues of all the different women that Ego has been with and there's a little Mantis woman in the back that he's been with," Gunn confirmed. "And so we see where [Mantis] comes from..."

While that nugget of information is still intact in the final film, Gunn did scrap another nod at the duo's relationship from "Vol. 2." Actor Jennifer Sharp revealed that she was brought on to play Mantis' mother in a flashback alongside Ego actor Kurt Rusell. While it's unclear what this scene would have entailed, it probably would have explicitly revealed that Peter and Mantis are siblings.

Now that the "Guardians" franchise seems to have wrapped up with "Vol. 3," it's great that Peter and Mantis know just how integral and important they are to one another.