The Guardians of the Galaxy walk toward the camera. Nebula is carrying Peter in her arms.
(L-R): Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Dave Bautista as Drax, and Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

Let’s Talk About All the Deaths (And Near Misses!) in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’

This article was updated with new information on May 23, 2023.

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There are so many deaths in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3! Just … not the ones we were expecting.

The trailer and promos for the final installment in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy tease a lot of fatalities. Is Peter going to die? Is Rocket going to die? What about those fluffy critters Rocket befriends as a child? Who’s going to make it at the end?

Whether you just saw the movie and want to make sure you got it all, or you’re bracing yourself for the grief of saying goodbye to a favorite character, here are all the characters who die—and survive!—in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Ayesha, Golden High Priestess of the Sovereign

Elizabeth Debicki’s Ayesha returns in GotG 3—and now she’s a mom!

Ayesha has hatched Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock, a superpowered being whom the High Evolutionary sends after Rocket. Ayesha and Adam follow the Guardians to Counter-Earth in the hopes of catching them.

However, when the High Evolutionary decides to destroy Counter-Earth—more on that below—Ayesha is caught in one of the explosions. One moment she’s standing in the doorway of the ship, waiting for Adam, and the next moment, she’s gone.

The High Evolutionary’s crew

After the High Evolutionary’s crew mutinies, sick of his obsession with Rocket, he kills everyone on the bridge. Then, after the final showdown with Rocket and the rest of the Guardians, he himself is unmasked and mortally wounded.

Rocket can’t bring himself to kill the High Evolutionary, but that’s okay—the entire ship explodes, making the High Evolutionary’s survival very unlikely.

EXCEPT! In a recent Twitter post, James Gunn confirmed that Drax carries the High Evolutionary out of the ship before it explodes. That means he’s still out there, somewhere!

Floor, Teefs, and Lylla

Oh, god, this one hurt. I could tell from the promo that something bad was going to happen to Rocket’s childhood friends Lylla, Teefs, and Floor, and the only silver lining is that their deaths are relatively quick and painless. Rocket escapes from his cage, and then lets Lylla out. The High Evolutionary’s guards shoot them. Rocket kills the guards, but then he sees that Lylla, Floor, and Teefs have all been shot dead.

I’ll never forget the image of young Rocket, standing amidst the bodies of his friends, wailing in grief. What gets me is that his cries are so childlike. He isn’t an adult who’s capable of processing all the overwhelming emotions that come up when someone you love dies. He’s just a kid, witnessing something unspeakable.

All of Counter-Earth

So, yeah, the High Evolutionary straight up commits genocide? He kills an entire planet?? Shouldn’t this be bigger news in the galaxy???

The High Evolutionary decides to give up on the Counter-Earth experiment and just … blows the whole thing up. He can’t bring himself to let them live if he’s not there to control them. That’s how horrible this villain is.

I mean, god, that poor bat family. They just wanted to drink their blue soda and drive their boxy sedan, and now they’re dead, along with everyone else on their planet.

Who doesn’t die in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

The Guardians of the Galaxy, that’s who.

Not that there aren’t plenty of fake-outs. Rocket seems to die twice, complete with a friend screaming over his body, but then he’s revived. Drax and Nebula both get seriously injured, but then they’re fine. It looks for all the world like Peter dies in the vacuum of space, but then Adam rescues him.

So if you’re worried that your favorite Guardian isn’t going to make it? Worry no longer—they’re all fine at the end. Turns out you don’t have to kill off a beloved character in order to have an emotionally satisfying ending.

But the Teefs/Floor/Lylla scene? That’s going to mess you up.

(featured image: Marvel)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href=""></a>