Groo the Wanderer

The Religious Affiliation of
Groo the Wanderer

Religion: Gypsy/Roma (raised) CBR Scale: I

Name: Groo the Wanderer

Other Names: Groo; Prince of Chichester; Groo the Barbarian

Classification: hero hero  

Publisher(s): Dark Horse Eclipse Epic Image Marvel Pacific

First Appearance: Destroyer Duck #1 (May 1982): "Groo the Wanderer"

Creators: Sergio Aragones

Number of Appearances: 165

Occupation: barbarian, swordsman, wanderer, warrior

Gender: male

Groo is a parody of Robert E. Howard's classic character Conan the Barbarian. Conan is an adherent of Cimmerian paganism who most frequently invokes the Cimmerian god Crom. Like Conan, Groo is probably best characterized as not particularly reverent or devout. But Groo is not known to invoke Crom, nor is he described as a Cimmerian, so there clearly are limits in the parallels between the two characters with regards to their religiosity.

Like most wandering swordsmen, Groo does not regularly attend worship services in a specific congregation or temple. But he has been known to participate in religious rituals local to places his journeys take him.

Groo's grandmother, Granny Groo, is a Gypsy (i.e., one of the Roma people). It was Granny Groo who singlehandedly raised Groo throughout part of his childhood and the entirety of his adolescence. The extent to which Groo himself should be regarded as a Gypsy or whether or not he considers himself a Gypsy is not clear. Groo's grandmother seems to have been too busy concocting criminal schemes to have spent much time teaching Groo many traditional Gypsy religious beliefs and rituals.

The Gypsy influence in the Groo stories, particularly embodied in Granny Groo, is not derived from Robert Howard's Conan stories. Part of the inspiration for this material may have been Groo creator Sergio Aragones' own experiences with Gypsy religion and culture in his native Spain. The approximately 1.7% of Spain's population who are Gypsy/Roma constitute a highly distinctive and visible part of the country Aragones was born in. But Aragones' family moved permanently to Mexico when he was a young child, so he did not actually grow up in a Spain. Mexico has some Gypsy communities, but not as many as Spain. Possibly Aragones' exposure to Gypsies is simply pop culture. Granny Groo embodies typical negative stereotypes held by Europeans about Gypsies.

Groo's own spiritual advisor is known as The Sage. According to, the Sage is "a wise old man who is usually never far from Groo. The Sage often attempts to give Groo sound advice, but Groo's stupidity often means that the advice is misinterpreted and only makes situations worse... The Sage has known Groo since childhood..."

This character is in the following 4 stories which have been indexed by this website:
The 3-Minute Sketchbook #1 (Oct. 2007)
Destroyer Duck #1 (May 1982): "Groo the Wanderer" (lead character)
normalman - Megaton Man #1 (Aug. 1994): "Lest No Bridge Be Unburned" (cameo)
Ultraforce / Avengers #1 (Fall 1995): "Becoming More Like God" (cameo)

Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: