Do we know what Plane Garruk was born on?

Lore forum

Posted on June 17, 2022, 9:28 p.m. by TypicalTimmy

I've heard strong evidence for Zendikar, but honestly he strikes me far more as Kaldheim. Here's why:

  • It is often depicted as Nordic men being absolute behemoths in size and stature. In reality, according to Google, skeletal remains place their average height at 5'7" with an average Northern European male height at 5'8". This means that in reality, Nordic men were actually average, or even slightly less average, in height than the typical man of their era. Regardless of this, in all depictions, they are regarded as towering brutes. And Garruk, true to this fantasy stereotype, stands at 8'2".
  • In Western fantasy depictions of Nordic culture, the "viking helmet" often bore horns. We know this today to be false. However, taking inspiration from this, Garruk's helm having tusks is a nice homage - even if it became more of a happy coincidence many years after his inception.
  • The paint and / or tattoos he covers his body, armor and axe in are very strongly reminiscent of Norse artwork and styles of painting, with bold, hard lines crossing over one-another, especially in their Runes.
  • In Kaldheim, Bretagard was the realm of Man and is associated with magic and mana. Garruk is mono-green, excluding the he gained from his curse. As this curse was not natural and not part of his birth / ignition, I think it is safe and fair to exclude it for the analysis. Yes, he continued to show black mana in the use of his card Garruk, Cursed Huntsman. However, Throne of Eldraine released in 2019. Since then we have had three new Garruks; Garruk, Savage Herald, Garruk, Unleashed and Garruk, Wrath of the Wilds - all of whom now lack mana.
  • Again, while it may be somewhat stereotypical in nature, it is also not without precedent that Nordic men carried and used axes. Axes were seen with far more utility, although there is a strong difference between a woodcutting axe, a hatchet and a battleaxe. Regardless, axes were a keen and strong point of their culture. And, just so happens to be what weapon Garruk carries. Honestly, what he carries is more akin to a Bardiche, which did not see development until centuries after the Nordic empires fell. However, it has strong ties and developments from the Danish Halberd and similar polearms of that era. Now that is not to say that the weapon vanished for centuries and suddenly reappeared after some historian rediscovered it - That isn't how the evolution of weapons and armor works. What actually happens is someone develops a piece of armor that better thwarts modern technology. Someone reciprocates with developing a weapon that makes that armor inferior. And so the armor is updated to ward against that new weapon, and a dance ensues as armor and weapons evolve to out-pace one another. Regardless, what Garruk carries and wields serves not only as a cultural reminder, but an actual weapon of fact.
  • Garruk is seen wearing the furs of animals he likely has slain. It is known that Berserkers of the Norse era wore pelts as well, such as wolves, foxes and yes even bears.
  • And lastly, Garruk's father's name is Raklan, who was a Taskmage who lived on a farm. That spelling is actually very similar to the real-world male name Raakel, which meant "Sheep's Friend", as well as Rakim and a few more that aren't really worth listing. You can check out names of that era with this website

Honestly there is really only three main points that "tie" Garruk to Zendikar:

  • His ability to control their beasts (Which doesn't count, as he can do this on all Planes as that is part of his magic)
  • His abnormal size (Which means nothing; Zendikar is known for titanic forces, but so is Tarkir, Ikoria, Ixalan, etc. Just because someone is "big" does not mean they came from Zendikar)

Segue: Often speculated, people mention Garruk's "growth magic" and how powerful it is on Zendikar. But this does not mean he is a native to that world. Liliana's powers are strongest on Innistrad, despite her being native to Dominaria. Different Planes have different types of mana, and it is inevitable a Planeswalker would find a world where their mana is strongest. For example, Ashiok's magic was the most powerful on Theros, due to that world's working of "Devotion". By tapping into the innate fears everyone had, he could make them believe his terrors were far more real than they were. Because of how Theros works, belief gives power, and so their fears manifest in far more dramatic forms - meaning Ashiok's powers are far stronger on Theros than nearly anywhere else. Despite him, in my opinion, being likely from Tarkir under the rule of Silumgar as a Priest. But that's for another thread.

  • His right-arm gauntlet resembling the armor and weapons of the Guul Draz Assassin, which only proves he has been to Zendikar and likely took one of these from a fallen enemy; Not that he was physically born there. Perhaps best seen on Garruk Relentless  Flip

I honestly feel like Garruk is far more aligned with being a native to Bretagard than Zendikar.

I do not believe it was announced where Garruk was actually from, as of yet, but if I had to pick between a pre-existing world or creating an entirely new one - as seems to be the going trend, I'd say Bretagard from Kaldheim is where he's from.


Artwork by Brad Rigney. Please support their work.

shadow63 says... #2

He could be from the temur frontier on tarkir

June 17, 2022 9:49 p.m.

I've never really given planeswalker origins much thought, but I think you've outlined a solid argument for Kaldheim. If I were to have a guess, I'd think Dominaria, specifcally the Mwonvuli Jungle on Jamuraa. I only have two reasons to support this theory:

  1. To me, it's one of the wildest and most lands in Magic, and Garruk is the wildest and most of planeswalkers.
  2. I'm old and don't really know the new planes much beyond (some of) their names :)
June 18, 2022 12:06 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #4

Hahaha fair enough

June 18, 2022 12:21 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #5

I suspect the reason such a majority of Planeswalkers have no mention of a home world is because there had only been a dozen or so Planes. It would not make sense, from a world building perspective, to have so many Planeswalkers from so few of worlds. So you casually shrug with a smirk and say you don't know where they came from, and fill in the blanks later.

Unfortunately, with 3 and 2 block sets, later was years and years down the road. With trying to keep the game "relevant", returning to worlds that worked such as Ravnica, Zendikar and Innistrad made the most sense. Which, inevitably, meant those walkers without world's still had no world's.

Now, one of the benefits (used very loosely) of having 1-block sets is you can explore numerous Planes within a single year - giving rise to rehoming all of these little rascals. We have gotten the names of Elspeth's world (Ehh, sort of?), Vivian's, The Royal Scions, Kaya's, and I think a few others. I don't believe we have Kasmina's yet but she's on Strixhaven. If I had to guess, she's also from Dominaria. I'd suspect post-Mending although I'd love to see her pre-Mending.

And as I stated, I personally suspect Ashiok is from Tarkir, based on how he dresses, speaks, acts and how his powers align. But again, that's a discussion for another thread.

So moving forward I believe we will tie up more and more loose ends. But for now, my guess is that Garruk is from Bretagard on Kaldheim.

June 18, 2022 1:14 a.m. Edited.

legendofa says... #6

I'm in the "unknown plane" camp. A lot of this comes down to whether or not Garruk is naturally over 8' tall, or if that happened through some external circumstance.

I suppose he could be part Giant if he's from Kaldheim, and simply doesn't reflect their -ness in his philosophy. But going off the real world, there have been fewer than 40 people reliably confirmed at 8' or taller, and only eight of them have reached 40 years old. Also, people of this height are virtually always very thin and lanky, not musclebound behemoths. Someone his size should realistically have a lot of trouble even breathing.

So basically, if he's naturally big, he's either from a plane where the rules of biology are a bit different and big people are more common, or he's not entirely human. If he's unnaturally big, he could be from pretty much anywhere.

It's always a risk applying real-world rules to fantasy, I admit. If he were realistically sized, he wouldn't be nearly as awesome.

June 18, 2022 2:01 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #7

I think I remember reading somewhere that his size is attributed to his growth magic. That he essentially has giantism - the real world disorder where you never stop growing. Add on Supermale syndrome and you'd have Garruk irl

June 18, 2022 3:01 a.m. Edited.

TypicalTimmy says... #8

Now I'm not a biologist, but my understanding is that people who suffer with Giantism essentially have a problem with their brain where Human Growth Hormone production never slows down. As a result, you end up with people like Robert Wadlow, who grew to 8'11". Yes, physically 9" taller than Garruk. Most people with Giantism die because their heart can not handle the stress of moving that volume of blood. Their bones continue to grow, but their internal organs do not. So as the net larger, by comparison, their heart and kidneys and liver and lungs and everything gets smaller and smaller. One "treatment" is amputation of the legs, so the heart "loses" half of the circulation required. But, now you are confined for life, and will still be growing your arms, torso and skull.

Supermale Syndrome is when men are born with a third chromosome, so rather than being XY, they are XYY. What this third chromosome does is essentially allows their body to grow nearly unlimited muscle mass. Under typical application, your muscles will only grow to a certain size and be unable to develop further, without the aid of chemicals. What Supermale Syndrome does is that inhibitor is bypassed or prevented, allowing new muscle tissue to grow unlimited. This is what Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (The Mountain from Game of Thrones) has and is why he is so ungodly massive, powerful and literally the world's strongest man alive.

So, you combine Giantism with Supermale Syndrome and you'd get Garruk, IRL.

June 18, 2022 3:13 a.m. Edited.

legendofa says... #9

Looking up XYY syndrome, since I'm not a physician,

"Affected children can have delayed development of motor skills (such as sitting and walking) or weak muscle tone (hypotonia)."


"For some males with this syndrome, signs and symptoms are barely noticeable. For others, signs and symptoms may include learning disabilities, speech delay, low muscle tone (hypotonia),..."


"Besides the potential for increased height, most affected individuals typically have a normal physical appearance (phenotype)."


I didn't see anything that suggests Hafthor Bjornsson, Tom Stoltman, Lasha Talakhadze, or any other professional weightlifters or strongmen have XYY syndrome. Could you please let me know of a source for that?

Other common physical signs and symptoms of XYY syndrome include a little finger that curves inward, poor night vision, and a somewhat proportionally large head, which Garruk also doesn't seem to present. Everything also says that there's a lot of individual deviation and variation, but I'm not really sold on the XYY syndrome.

The gigantism is possible, but again tends to correlate with a long, thin physique. I'm ruling out late-onset acromegaly, because he doesn't have the prominent forehead and jaw, wide-set eyes, and small-looking teeth of Andre the Giant, Tom Cassidy, Richard Kiel, or The Great Khali, for some famous people, and even somewhat visible on Robert Wadlow. If it was very early onset, Garruk would develop reasonably proportionately, but would still likely have significant respiratory and circulatory problems at his size.

June 18, 2022 4:38 a.m.

legendofa says... #10

The inhibition of muscle development is caused by myostatin, so people with a myostatin irregularity (reduced production or reception) do develop enhanced muscle structure. So there's something. It appears to give the overdeveloped bodybuilder look, which Garruk kind of has, depending on who's doing the art. He's king of halfway between overdeveloped bodybuilder and stout strongman.

I can't find any reliable studies or trials on the long-term effects of myostatin inhibition in humans (besides lots of muscles, of course), so I'm going to put this one under "possible."

June 18, 2022 5:12 a.m.

Garruk was from Nakta ("Amonkhet") from before Bolas ("Amun") took it over . See also: Aaru , Aiur .

June 18, 2022 9:44 a.m.

NinjaBunny01 says... #12

Look up the Herculean gene info. Eddie Hall, 2017's world strongest man has it. It allows for increased muscle growth.

June 18, 2022 5:47 p.m.

I thought he was from Minnesota, USA where he insisted on working exclusively with one specific giant blue beast in the timber industry. Note to WotC: please don’t do this as a secret lair, I’m only trying to make a joke.

June 18, 2022 8:37 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #14

The joke






























- Our heads

(Paul Bunyan)

June 18, 2022 9:12 p.m.

She holds her hand flat against her head to sheild her eyes from the sun , staring up at the joke and seeing giant blue peen sailing across the sky .

June 19, 2022 12:13 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #16

legendofa, just saw your comment.

That information I posted was taken from a video I was watching, but I can't find it at the moment. The video used him as the example for what they called "Supermale Syndrome".

It was a video on the most incredible people in the world.

June 19, 2022 9 p.m.

y·all know that the five characters depicted in New Capenna·s "Rogue·s Gallery" are the younger five members of the Ennead , right? Ka . and that Garruk is Osiris , and that WotC has a decades-long history of taking real-life mythological figures and appropriating them with perceived impunity? Ka .

June 20, 2022 2:36 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #18

None of that made sense.

Rogues' Gallery? Are you saying that's what Garruk would look like, in terms of physical size compared to normal-sized people? If anything I'd think he'd be a bit larger.

Ennead and Osiris? You do realize we have an Egyptian themed set, Amonkhet, right? That New Capenna is NOT Amonkhet?

And "appropriating them with perceived impunity"?

Literally WHAT?

June 20, 2022 3:02 a.m.

legendofa says... #19

TypicalTimmy If you can find that video again, I'd appreciate it. Don't worry too much about it, but if you wander across it again, I'd like to check it out. The closest equivalent I've found is NinjaBunny01's Eddie Hall Hercules gene, which goes into the myostatin deal, not XYY, and I'd like to get the video's take on it.

KasminaCompleted Could you please explain the connection between Garruk and Osiris? What sort of punitive effects would you expect from use of mythological figures? Could you please provide an example of this appropriation?

June 20, 2022 4:37 a.m.

Whew , okay , so . Bear in mind we·re unpacking , like , 20 Years of myth here , so try to keep your dicks in your pants , okay?

Let·s see . A lot of these events are actually people disguised as other people , so there·s a few layers of onion to peel .

The 5+3 Gods of Amonkhet were the Ogdoad disguised as the Younger Ennead . That·s why there were 5 living gods and 3 dead ones , and also why they don·t line up 1:1 . Hazoret was HcoHet , that one·s for sure . Kefnet was Heka/Thoth , Oketra was supposed to be Isis and Bontu was supposed to be Nephthys . The idea being that Amon , i.e. Amun , i.e. Nicol Bolas (see also the Starcraft character) was the ringleader who poisoned the world , killed the adults , and locked the fledglings into a Crop Farm , hence the people being referred to as Ahn-Crop or This-Crop or That-Crop .

Still with me? Ka . Because it goes a lot deeper .

There·s a reason why Wizards prints entire sets with names like "Conspiracy" ,

and here·s an example of another Very Difficult Embedding Puzzle they did for RTR back in 2013 ,

Okay , so .

Garruk is Osiris . Jace is Horus . Freyalise is Freya who is Nephthys . Bolas is Sutekh-Ra-Amon . and Isis waaas ... Ah . Jeska .

(In Egyptian myth , every year Sirius(Isis , who follows Osiris/Orion across the sky) dips below the horizon as the constellations rotate . For some 72 days a year or something , Sirius would "go into the underworld" and then emerge again months later , creating a Dying-and-Rising Cult . Osiris was also a Dying-and-Rising god , with Horus replacing him every cycle .)

Hanging in so far? Ka . Because we·ve got 20 years of religious appropriation to unpack here . (For instance the Buffy and Angel cards that came out way back in Odyssey:

Basically , even if you don·t believe that the Gods are real , for sure their Cults still exist . People to this day really do do things like sacrifice goats on pentagrams of blood , that·s not an urban myth .

So , when you·ve got something like Magic: the Gathering , which has been the Multiverse World News for a couple decades now , there·s actually A LOT of stuff in MtG that maps to real-world events .

Ok . I·m not done , but i·m gonna take a break here for a second , so people can ask questions and make sure we·re all on the same page here .

June 20, 2022 5:41 a.m.

legendofa says... #21

It sounds like you're saying that M:tG either is influenced by or influences real-world events, and I want to make sure I'm not misinterpreting anything.

I'm with you through the Amonkhet section, but I'm not sure it's a secret which Egyptian gods inspired which Amonkhet gods. The same pattern shows up in Theros and Kaldheim. The designers picked the most recognizable names, themes, and motifs, mixed, matched, and messed around to create something they could claim as their own property. The story summary I'm also on board with. I'm just not seeing yet how it goes any deeper.

The Return to Ravnica hidden messages were created as a minigame to keep people's attention, and doesn't hold relevance beyond the possible fate of a fictional world. Unless you're suggesting that this is simply a clue to look deeper?

I get lost at the planeswalkers. I don't even completely see how they're corresponding archetypes.I'm completely missing the pattern of how you assigned a god to a planeswalker. I'm not sure what a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference has to do with anything. And I'm missing the connection between M:tG and sacrificing goats on pentagrams.

Essentially, I don't see why any of this is connected.

June 20, 2022 2:25 p.m.

Somehow , i keep hearing that line over and over again , as if Izzet Team really did have a brain in a jar that was blinding people and agonizing them where they couldn·t see it in order to fuzz out recognizance .

Even in instances , like Biker Mice From Mars·s villain The Executioner being ripped 1:1 to the box art for Neon Genesis Kamigawa , the shapes of the buildings in Kamigawa being a 1:1 rip of the album art for The Outside Agency - Pacifism , the Streets of New Capenna symbol being a 1:1 rip of Throttle·s tattoo from the same show .

we keep hearing the exact same line over and over from person after person , as if the entire human species has been scrapped and appropriated for Autodog-Catco·s voxes .

June 21, 2022 12:58 a.m.

KasminaCompleted what's with the weird use of punctuation?

June 26, 2022 5:45 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #24

420MensRightsActivist, that has been discussed here, in their very own thread.

Figured there's no reason to have two threads speaking about the same thing.

June 26, 2022 6:23 p.m.

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