Whether you’ve seen the Transformers or not, chances are you’ve at least heard of Optimus Prime and Megatron, the two primary characters from the franchise. Optimus Prime is the franchises main protagonist, the heroic leader of the benevolent Autobots, while Megatron is his nemesis, the ruthless leader of the villainous Decepticons. And while most materials portray them as bitter rivals, they haven’t always been enemies and this article is going to explore the exact relationship between the two.

Optimus Prime and Megatron are not and have never been brothers, regardless of the Generation in question. The two of them have been brothers in arms and close friends, initially, but they weren’t brothers. The signification “brother” is, in their case, exclusively symbolic and has no other meaning.

In case you haven’t heard, Optimus Prime and Megatron are going to be the focus of today’s article. We are going to explore the exact relationship between the two characters, especially before they became rivals. You’re going to find out whether they’re actually related or not and why Optimus Prime calls Megatron “brother”. In the end, you’re going to find out whether Optimus Prime has a brother or not (even if it isn’t Megatron). Enjoy!

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What is the relationship between Optimus Prime and Megatron?

If you want to simplify the relationship between Optimus Prime and Megatron, the easiest way to do it would be to describe them as bitter rivals, and you wouldn’t be wrong, not really. The degree of animosity between them might vary from Generation to Generation, but whichever iteration you consider, they are always going to be rivals.

And while they do share some mutual respect for each other, the degree of which also varies, that isn’t nearly enough to stop them from fight each other, with Megatron always being the one who is willing to take their fight further.

But, this is really just an oversimplified description of their relationship, which is far deeper and more complex than you can even imagine. In order to fully grasp that complexity, we are going to give you a short introduction to the history of Cybertron and how Optimus Prime and Megatron became who they are.

In the early history of the Transformers universe, the planet Cybertron was ruled by the malevolent Quintessons, a superior alien race responsible for the construction of the Autobots and the Decepticons. Their only intention was to sell them throughout the galaxy and to use them as slave labor or for entertainment purposes.

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Namely, Dreamwave Productions launched a retelling of the Generation 1 stories before it went defunct in 2005. In this version of the old stories, Optimus Prime has a brother in Ultra Magnus, a character who had usually been portrayed as Optimus’ closest ally alongside Bumblebee.

This was a longstanding fan theory before Dreamwave actually confirmed it, but this retcon was actually short-lived and it never managed to overshadow the traditional canon.