The Predators have a fascinating hierarchy that determines their ranks and titles. This system outlines the roles and responsibilities of each Predator based on their age, experience, and accomplishments. Some of these Predator ranks are closely tied with hunting the Xenomorphs (named Hard Meat), but not all Yautja hunt only this species. In the Predator movies, the ranks are sometimes difficult to pinpoint, but determining the exact Yautja titles becomes a fun part of interpreting the lore. In this article, we will explore the ranks of the Yautja, from the lowest to the highest, shedding light on the significance of each level.
When it comes to the Yautja, even their youngest members hold a place within their intricate hierarchy. Predator babies and toddlers, affectionately known as sucklings, spend their formative years alongside their mother and siblings. As they enter their early teens, they take their first step on the path of the Predator rank hierarchy, becoming younglings. Despite their size, they remain close to their families and clans, engaging in training for hunts and combat. These younglings possess keen observation skills and hold great respect for their elders. However, some may display rebellious and aggressive tendencies. Similar to human teenagers, they sport short dreadlocks, possess a smaller stature, and possess lean bodies. At this stage, they are not yet granted any armor and rely on simple Predator weapons for training purposes.
Young Blood Predator
The realm of the young blood Predators introduces us to juvenile Predators who have yet to earn their blooded status. These young bloods have not yet participated in an official hunt that would grant them this esteemed title, often pursuing Xenomorph prey during such ventures. Although lacking experience, the young bloods exhibit proficiency with a diverse range of weapons, though they tend to prioritize their melee skills to ensure a challenging hunt. Sadly, many young blood Predators meet their demise on their initial hunts, as exemplified by the events that unfolded in Antarctica in 2004 during the Alien vs. Predator movie. Of the three young bloods present, Celtic and Chopper fell victim to Xenomorphs, while Scar managed to prolong his survival.
Ascending the ranks, the young blood Predators aspire to achieve the blooded status in the Predator hierarchy, seeking to perform the sacred Yautja blooding ritual. In most Yautja clans, this esteemed rank is earned through hunting and slaying a Xenomorph, marking oneself and the bio-mask with a clan symbol using Alien acid. Outshining his brothers in the first AvP movie, Scar stands as the sole achiever of this rank, having successfully killed a Xenomorph and anointed himself with the finger of the fallen creature. The blooded rank holds considerable significance and is one of the most common titles conferred upon Predators, sometimes even extended to humans.
Within the Yautja hierarchy, the Elite Predators emerge as seasoned hunters who have yet to attain the elder status. These blooded warriors boast an impressive array of trophies, having ventured on numerous hunts across various planets. When the need arises, they are entrusted with special missions, such as mentoring young bloods, eradicating Alien infestations, or safeguarding Predator technology from falling into wrong hands. Notable examples of these elite Predators include Wolf from Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem and Dark from the 2010 video game Aliens vs. Predator.
In the annals of Predator lore, the elder Predators stand as leaders among Yautja tribes or clans. With centuries of existence under their belts, they have weathered countless hunts and accumulated an abundance of trophies. Possessing wisdom beyond their younger counterparts, the elders often choose to observe hunts from the background, evaluating the proceedings. The first elder Predator appeared in the finale of Predator 2 as part of the Lost Tribe, while another made a memorable appearance in Alien vs. Predator. Both elders must bear witness to the demise of a younger Predator and bestow a trophy upon the surviving human.
Bad Blood Predator
Among the ranks of Predators, there exists a group known as the bad bloods. These individuals have been shunned by their clans for transgressions and criminal activities. Frequently plagued by mental instability, bad blood Predators display a propensity for indiscriminate killing, targeting anything or anyone in their sight. Notably, one of these renegades orchestrated the slaughter of clan members, absconded with a spacecraft, and sought refuge on Earth to unleash their hunting prowess in the Pine Barrens. An enforcer Predator was dispatched to track down the rogue, only to meet their demise at the hands of the malevolent bad blood.
Within the realm of the Yautja, a select group known as the ancient Predators takes center stage. These distinguished individuals have accumulated several centuries, and some even span millennia, in age. Having transitioned beyond the roles of clan elders, they lead solitary lives pursuing their own endeavors. Revered by younger hunters for their wisdom and knowledge, ancient Predators leave an indelible mark on Yautja culture. Their presence is witnessed in various mediums, such as the Predator: Homeworld comic, where an ancient Predator eliminates renegade Predators on Earth. In the video game Aliens vs. Predator 2: Primal Hunt, an ancient Yautja emerges, albeit frozen in a stasis field for centuries, attesting to their advanced age.
At the pinnacle of the Yautja hierarchy stands the elusive and enigmatic Predator King. This prestigious and highest Predator rank, rarely encountered in Predator lore, signifies leadership over numerous clans within a designated hunting region of space. While elders serve as the leaders of individual clans, the Predator King assumes the role of overseeing multiple clans engaged in the hunt. Notably, the Rage War trilogy features a version of the Predator King, with Kalakta, a thousand-year-old Predator, commanding the Predator race in a fierce battle against the Rage and their Xenomorph allies. The Predator King has garnered attention and admiration, even inspiring fan art and recently being immortalized as a statue by XM Studios.
In addition a long list of subspecies and variants, the Predators have a ranking system where a Yautja aspire to raise to a higher title by gaining even more honor. This is usually done by going on dangerous hunts and defeating powerful opponents. For this reason, many Predators, especially young ones, die on their hunts. Only the Yautja who follow the Predator Honor Code can advance in rank, otherwise their ranks and titles might be stripped altogether. In the much sought-after higher ranks, the responsibilities often change to teaching and leading others.