‘Invincible’: What Is the Great Purge & What Is Thaedus’ Role in It?

Great Purge

One of the things that we know about the Viltrumites in ‘Invincible’ is that these people are bloody and brutal conquerors who seek to place the entire universe under the rule of the Viltrumite Empire. Of course, it goes without saying that the Viltrumites were always genetically stronger than any other race in the universe, but they became stronger due to something called the Great Purge. So, what is the Great Purge in ‘Invincible?’

  • Article Breakdown:
  • The Great Purge was a great civil war that happened on Viltrum a very long time ago.
  • The Viltrumites wanted to make sure that only the strongest of the strong were able to survive.
  • As such, they all had to kill one another to pave the way for the rise of the strongest Viltrumites, as the weaker ones had to be purged.

There was once a Viltrumite civil war

History tells us that people often go to war with one another despite the fact that those who belong to the same group, race, or creed tend to agree on most things. Civil wars often happen whenever certain people of a certain group are divided on certain ideas. Of course, the fictional world of ‘Invincible’ was not spared of a civil war as well. That’s because even the Viltrumites had a civil war in the past.

The Viltrumites are the strongest people in the ‘Invincible’ galaxy as they all have superhuman strength, speed, and durability that far exceed what normal humans are capable of. As a result, the Viltrumites were revered as people who everyone in the universe feared. They were powerful, unstoppable, and downright brutal in every single way possible, and that means that the Viltrumites were always the greatest warriors in the galaxy.


Nevertheless, even the greatest warriors in the galaxy also had to fight one another. Under normal circumstances, Viltrumites do not fight one another outside of sparring or training, as this isn’t in their culture. However, as Thaedus pointed out in episode 3 of season 2, it was surprising to see Viltrumites going against one another because the last time a Viltrumite fought another Viltrumite was during the Great Purge.

The Great Purge is basically the Viltrumite civil war that happened many years ago in the universe of ‘Invincible.’ This means that the Viltrumites fought and killed one another in this great war. Since then, Viltrumites were known to only fight other people in the universe as they refrained from fighting one another.

The Viltrumites wanted only the strongest to survive

Civil wars usually happen due to differences in ideals and beliefs. Some civil wars are fought for freedom, whereas others are fought to advance a certain idea. However, the Viltrumites were different because they had an entirely different reason for fighting each other in a brutal and bloody civil war.


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Known as the greatest warriors in the universe of ‘Invincible,’ no one was stronger than the Viltrumite Empire. However, the Viltrumites wanted to ensure they were the absolute strongest beings in the universe and that no one else could challenge them. That means that they had to purge their ranks of the weakest Viltrumites. After all, an empire is only as strong as its weakest link.

As such, the Viltrumites’ goal was to eliminate all of the weak Viltrumites during the Civil War, often called the Great Purge. Viltrumites fought one another to make sure that only the strongest of them all would get to continue to live and become part of the Viltrumite Empire. As Omni-Man said:

“In order for our people to reach their full potential, we had to remove the weak from our society. It was a long and difficult process. When it was over, our population was cut in half, but what emerged from the ashes was unstoppable.”

Getting rid of the weakest members of the race allowed them to ensure that the Viltrumites would get to go on as a strong race of people with no weak links at all. It also ensured that only the strongest of the strong could procreate in the future. The problem, however, is that the Viltrumite population was reduced to half.

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So, while the strongest of the strong got to continue to live, the Viltrumite Empire was reduced to half of its original population, making it harder for them to conquer entire planets all over the universe. This was one of the reasons why the Viltrumites developed a much more efficient method of conquering planets, as they used an infiltrator like Omni-Man to weaken the planet’s defenses in time for the Viltrumites to conquer.

Thaedus likely survived the Great Purge

As mentioned, the Great Purge was a long and tedious process that allowed only the strongest of the strong to survive the Viltrumite civil war. That means that only those who survived the Great Purge were allowed to live. As such, all of the Viltrumites who are currently alive were survivors of the Great Purge or were offspring of the survivors.


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In the universe of ‘Invincible,’ the two oldest Viltrumites in terms of their physical looks are Conquest and Thaedus. We know that Thaedus defected from the Viltrumite Empire before he formed the Coalition of Planets. As such, it is possible that he once took part in the Great Purge before betraying the Viltrumites by killing the Viltrumite Empire.

Considering that he is quite old even when we use Viltrumite standards, it is likely that Thaedus has been around for thousands of years and was there when the Viltrumites participated in the Great Purge. As such, he may have survived the events of the Civil War and ended up proving himself as a powerful member of the Viltrumite race.

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