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The Collector And The Grandmaster Connection That Only Hardcore MCU Fans Know

Space is full of eccentric antagonists, or so the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taught us. The ragtag group of jerks also known as the Guardians of the Galaxy meets one such man on the planet Knowhere: Taneleer Tivan, the Collector, played by Benicio del Toro. Meanwhile, somewhere across the universe a few years later, the Grandmaster, En Dwi Gast, played by Jeff Goldblum, holds both Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) captive. The pair of them have never had a scene together, but these two characters are actually uniquely linked — past their similar lip markings.

The Collector spends his time, you guessed it, collecting things. He hires Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to acquire the Power Stone in an effort to collect all of the Infinity Stones, though it turns futile once Thanos (Josh Brolin) gets in the game. The Grandmaster, however, presides over the planet Sakaar, spending his time forcing people to fight each other in his Contest of Champions.

The pair of them mostly spend their time following their own self-interests, but they are both members of the highly exclusive group called the Elders of the Universe.

They are both the last of their kind

The Elders of the Universe have yet to be mentioned by name in the MCU, but they're a funky bunch in the Marvel comics: They are the oldest living beings in the universe. Each one is the last surviving member of their species, which came into being shortly after the Big Bang when the previous universe died (via YouTube). They are each interested in vastly different things but are tied together by the nature of their longevity, which is sustained by their continued pursuit of one particular goal or interest — hence their titles.

There are several more Elders aside from the Collector and the Grandmaster, including the Gardener, the Contemplator, and Ego the Living Planet — Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) godlike dad in the movies. Interestingly, the Elders of the Universe are frequently in contact with the Infinity Stones in the comics. Together, in "Silver Surfer Vol 3 #17," they attempt to use the Stones to kill Galactus in a power grab but are soon found out by Thanos, who takes the stones for himself. It's possible the Collector in the MCU was collecting the Stones not just for his own amusement but for the Grandmaster's grand plan.

The Collector and Grandmaster aren't blood brothers but they may as well be

The Elders call themselves brothers, which is referenced in "Avengers: Infinity War" when Thanos confronts the Collector to acquire the Reality Stone, saying, "Everyone in the galaxy knows you'd sell your own brother if you thought it would add even the slightest trinket to your pathetic collection."

That brother he's referring to is most likely the Grandmaster, as the pair have a long history together. In the comics, they go back and forth between being friendly and antagonistic: In "Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions Vol 1 #1," the Grandmaster risks his own life in a game with Death to bring the Collector back to life, but later they fight over a powerful artifact called the ISO-Sphere in "Contest of Champions Vol 1 #6." It's not unlike a brotherly relationship — sometimes on the same side and sometimes bitterly fighting each other. (Thor and Loki, anyone?)

So will we ever see them together on screen? Well, it's unclear if the Collector survived his encounter with Thanos, but the Grandmaster may show his face in the upcoming "Thor: Love and Thunder."