Grand Elder

From Dragon Ball Encyclopedia, the ''Dragon Ball'' wiki

"Oh, you mustn't be sad my children. I have lived a full and blessed life. Don't be afraid. Death is simply another stage of our life."
Grand Elder in "Mighty Blast of Rage"

Grand Elder (最長老, Saichōrō; FUNimation "Grand Elder Guru", Viz "Great Elder"; Literally meaning "Most Eldest") is a Namekian.


Grand Elder was the oldest and wisest Namekian] at the time of his appearance and one of only three survivors of a cataclysmic climate shift several hundred years prior to the events in the series. (The other two being one being prior to Kami's separation from his inner evil which resulted in the self-proclaimed Demon King) and Slugg.) Grand Elder was renowned for saving the Namekian race after the climate shift by birthing eggs and continuing his race. As the creator of the Namek Dragon Balls, Grand Elder's death caused them to become inert. This happened once during the Frieza Saga, but he was later resurrected using the Earth Dragon Balls. Soon thereafter, when his death due to old age was imminent, Grand Elder passed on the Namek Dragon Balls and his position to Moori. In his lifetime, he had birthed 109 children including Nail and Dende.

Morbidly obese in his old age, Guru always sat stationary on his throne-like chair. He died before Freeza was defeated from a combination of a broken heart and stress (both brought on from repeatedly sensing his children's deaths at the hands of Freeza's minions), but not before unlocking Krillin, Gohan, and Dende's hidden powers (the latter of whom seemed to gain healing abilities as opposed to increased battle level). He was briefly brought back to life on Planet Namek and brought to Earth for the two minutes of time that was taken from his lifetime by Freeza's actions, but died again of old age before the population could be moved to New Planet Namek. He went with a smile on his face, saying that it was a good day to die.

In the manga, it was revealed that he knew about the Super Saiyan legend, and regarded Kami and Piccolo's original potential to be so great that only a Super Saiyan could have a chance at defeating him (ironically, it was later stated that Kami and Piccolo's potential was even greater than a Super Saiyan by Krillin during the Imperfect Cell Saga).

Also, Guru's chair/throne design actually first appeared several years prior during the King Piccolo Saga, though King Piccolo's was slightly modified with skull detailing and Kami's was nearly identical to Guru's, as was the chair originally within the ship the Nameless Namekian came to Earth in. Nameless Namekian and/or his father, Katas, may have known Guru due to this, athough it is also possible other Namekian leaders used these chairs as well in the time prior to the climate shift on Planet Namek that nearly extinguished their species.

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  • Though many characters in Dragon Ball Z die twice within the course of the storyline (Son Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo Junior, Kuririn, Yamucha, Tenshinhan, Chaozu, Artificial Human No. 17, etc.), Grand Elder is the only character to die twice in the same saga.
  • In the manga, Grand Elder is the only named character to die of natural causes, with the exception of Future Son Goku, and the only named character to die of old age.
  • Grand Elder is the largest non-transformed Namekian. Piccolo Daimao is the second largest, though he eventually increases his size to that of Grand Elder before he attacks Goku with the Explosive Demon Wave.
  • Grand Elder apparently knows of the Super Saiyan legend. He refers to it in the manga and in the anime when he asks Kuririn if the Saiyan who attacked Planet Earth was a "Super Saiyan".
  • Although referred to as Grand Elder Guru in the FUNimation dub of Dragon Ball Z, that name has been dropped in favor of a more literal translation of his name, Grand Elder, for the FUNimation sub of Dragon Ball Z and the FUNimation Kai dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai.