We know that Yondu didn't deliver Quill to Ego to spare him the fate of Ego's other children. But this creates a problematic dichotomy.

If Yondu knew that the children he delivered were being killed, then the fact that he kept Quill does not redeem him because of the staggering number of deaths he allowed — enough to fill that cavern of skeletons.

But if Yondu did not know that the children he delivered were being killed, how did he learn that right before picking up Quill, coincidentally the only child with the celestial power? And surely, after the hundreds he had delivered whom he never saw again, he would have caught on.

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    I think there is an assumption being made that is likely untrue. It is never stated that Yondu is the only person delivering kids to Ego. It is possible that Yondu only brought him a few before changing his mind. It seems doubtful to me that he personally brought a cavernful of kids to Ego, just logistically it seems impossible, morality aside. May 31, 2017 at 17:46

6 Answers 6


It looks like it was just coincidence that Peter was the next kid when Yondu changed his mind, could've been anyone. Yondu didn't even know Quill was the choosen one.

In a interview to comicbook.com, Michael Rooker (Yondu) explains a little bit about it:

"It was a gig," Rooker said. "I was to pick up the kid and bring him to Ego, right? And I decided not to because I find out things about him that I don't really agree with and I don't like. Hence, my opinion of him as being a jackass! So, I keep the little guy and I like him. He's got spunk."

And as Yondu said in the movie, he saw an opportunity in Peter. Peter was a skinny kid, could fit anywhere and was good for heists.

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    that last part, I think, was mostly an excuse Yondu told Peter and others to explain why he kept the kid.
    – KutuluMike
    May 31, 2017 at 14:56
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    @KutuluMike I also think it was an excuse, but Yondu actually used Peter for the heists, so I guess it wasn't only an excuse after all. May 31, 2017 at 15:05
  • Peter Quill wasn't chosen. By random chance he was just the only one who had inherited the connection to Ego's light. There was no explicit selection process going on; in priciple -all- of Ego's children could have had a connection to the light.
    – Clearer
    Jun 1, 2017 at 8:37
  • @Clearer: "The chosen one" is something of an idiom, and doesn't necessarily represent a conscious choice. Even if it is, one might poetically deem Peter to have been "chosen by the light". It's a reasonable thing to say. Jun 1, 2017 at 11:00
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    @Clearer Keep in mind that Peter is also the only child to grow up, because of Yondu keeping him. It may be that they all had the connection, but were too early in life to manifest it.
    – Izkata
    Jun 1, 2017 at 19:27

According to Yondu in the movie, he did not know what was happening, not at first. He thought he was bringing these children to their father. He almost certainly knew he was doing something a bit "shady", since he was a criminal being paid a ton of money to transport the kids, but likely assumed their father just wanted to raise them himself.

He tells Peter that he "figured out" what was going on sometime before being asked to pick up Peter, so he stopped doing it and kept Peter for himself.

He never explains how he figured it out, but keep in mind that there were tons of dead bodies in the cave under Ego's surface. Yondu must have delivered at least some fraction of those, and kept being asked to go get another. Assuming he delivered them to Ego directly, he may have become suspicious at the fact that he never saw any previous children again. Or the number of children he was being asked to deliver concerned him. Or maybe he just accidentally saw something he shouldn't have during a drop-off.

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    What was the kerfuffle between Yondu and Rocky about specifically? In general I got that the Reavers thought 'something, something, kids something' was against the Pirate Code, but not if they specifically shunned him because he knew the specifics.
    – Nick T
    May 31, 2017 at 19:14
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    @NickT that could be it's own question
    – DForck42
    May 31, 2017 at 19:31
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    They had a rule that they did not take jobs involving child trafficking, and Yondu was trafficking in children. I don't think they knew what the kids were being used for.
    – KutuluMike
    May 31, 2017 at 19:31

I came to believe that Yondu slowly realized it over time, with each delivery becoming more and more suspicious, especially when he didn't see the previous kids hanging around when he delivered the newest kid. He'd delivered a bunch of kids, they should be out and about somewhere.

Peter ended up being the last straw, I believe, because Yondu felt a bond form with him the second he picked him up from Earth. Seeing Peter made him realize the mistakes he had made, and he decided to try and make up for them in his own weird way, by raising Peter.

  • It would be interesting if Peter's connection to the light somehow helped result in this bond (a little unexpected & untrained telepathy perhaps?) - that would help to resolve the apparently unbelievable coincidence. Jun 1, 2017 at 11:01

Since Yondu is a compelling character, we want to 'excuse' his actions in our minds. But the more likely scenario is that he grew a conscience over time. It is probably true that he figured out something was up at some point - but did he immediately stop transporting kids? I think that is doubtful. Life is cheap in the Marvel universe, and there are examples of him happily slaughtering many of his crew mates in the blink of an eye in the movie (even though they betrayed him).


Yondu knew it!

In this scene Yondu talks to Stakar, the Ravagers' chief:

Stakar "You betrayed the code! Ravagers don't deal in kids!"

Yondu "I told you before, I didn't know what was going on..."

Stakar "You didn't know 'cause you didn't wanna know, 'cause that made you rich."

Other sources: https://marvelcinematicuniverse.fandom.com/wiki/Ravagers


Yondu in the movie speaks to how he didn't know the entire time. It is heavily suggested that he intuited something was wrong about it over time, but more importantly it isn't explicitly said that Yondu was the only one hired to deliver children to Ego, so we can't assume that it took all of those kids for him to figure out what was going on. It can be speculated that with how old Ego is that over a large enough expanse of time (maybe even longer than Yondu was alive for) that he has probably had a variety of for-hire mugs to smuggle his children to him, and it's possible that Yondu is the first one to actually care enough to think about what was happening to the kids and spurn Ego over it.

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