Sweet Tooth: Is Munaq, The Caribou Man Dead? Character, Explained


At the beginning of Sweet Tooth season 3, we saw that Birdie got to know that Gus was alive. It was a huge relief for her, but at some point, she also started to feel restless as she didn’t know in what condition her child would be. Also, Birdie’s research had come to a point where she had run out of ideas. She didn’t know if her quest would lead her anywhere or if she would ever find a cure for the Sick. She started questioning her own decision to come to Alaska and leave her family behind. At that juncture, she thought that maybe she would have been more happy if she had stayed back with Gus. All these thoughts clouded her mind, and that’s when she made the decision that she was going back to be with Gus. She knew that in the kind of world they lived in, there was no guarantee that they would live to see another day or not. But before she left Alaska, she was attacked by a hired gun, and was later saved by the mythical Caribou Man in the snow.

Spoiler Alert

Nuka, Siana’s daughter with whom Birdie had spent most of her time in Alaska, had heard stories about the Master of Caribou, who was also referred to as Tekkeitsertok by the Inuit people. It was said in the legend that the creature understood the fabric of existence and how everything in nature was interdependent on each other. That’s why it was believed that the Master of Caribou had a huge amount of reverence for nature. Nobody knew that the majestic creature actually existed in reality until Birdie’s life was saved by him. Birdie was on her way to finding Gus when things didn’t go as she planned, and she fell unconscious on the harsh Alaskan terrain. Birdie would have definitely died had Munaqsiri, aka Munaq, hadn’t shown up in time and taken her to the Church (which Birdie had been looking for all this time).

Who Was Munaqsriri, The Caribou Man?

Munaq was the son of Ikiaq, an Inuit tribal, and Nathaniel Burke, who came to the Arctic with scientist James Thacker. It could be possible that Captain Burke fell in love with an Inuit woman when Thacker exposed them to the virus and that’s how Ikiaq gave birth to a hybrid. The world believed that Gus was the first hybrid to ever be born, but it was not so. In Sweet Tooth Season 3, we got to know that Munaq was the first hybrid to ever walk on the face of the Earth. The man was more than 100 years old, and for an entire century, he had concealed his identity. He walked in the shadows and kept to himself, and he never let any human know about his existence. Munaq knew how to survive in the harsh terrain, and he followed the Inuit way of life. In his early years, Munaq was seen as an abomination, and had it not been for his mother, he would have never survived in the first place. A young Munaq could never understand what he had done to deserve such a fate. His hatred for human beings stemmed from his childhood, where he was probably abused and discriminated against by them. The humans even took Munaq’s antlers, probably in an effort to make him look more like them. I believe Munaq would have killed Birdie had he not seen Gus’ picture on her. He didn’t want a child to feel what he did after his mother passed away. 

Munaq knew what James Thacker wanted to do, and he believed that nobody should interfere with the natural forces. Manuq, because of his past experiences, never saw the infection referred to as Sick as the problem; for him, the real disease was humans themselves. He believed that the virus was a way that nature had found to wipe out the worst species from the face of the Earth. All his life, he saw how the greed of human beings spoiled ecosystems and destroyed the natural habitat of innocent animals. He saw how selfish human beings were and how flawed their ideologies were. He despised them, and we realized to what extent he hated humans when he didn’t even let Birdie help when he was injured. 

How Did Munaq Die?

Rosie’s boys, the wolf hybrids, were chasing Gus when Munaq came and fought against them. Munaq got gravely injured in the battle, and he realized that his end was near. He took Gus with him to his cabin, and that’s how the little boy met his mother after a long, long time. Munaq told Gus not to go to the cave. He told him not to come in the way of nature, and that’s when Gus tried to tell him that there were good humans, too, whose lives were worth saving. But Munaq’s past trauma didn’t let him entertain that possibility. 

Munaq was the protector of creatures, and he made sure that the delicate ecosystem of the area was not disturbed by anyone. The man remembered all the good times he had spent with his mother, reminisced about how lovely and caring she was, and then took his last breath in front of Birdie and Gus. Munaq’s words had a deep impact on Birdie, and she started to wonder if what he said actually made sense. Birdie knew the kind of chaos humans could bring to the world, and somewhere, she aligned with Munaq’s ideology that humans were the disease and “The Sick was The Cure.”

Munaq didn’t have a very happy life, and as long as he was alive, he was soaked in hatred, and he could never forgive what the humans did to him and his family. Gus wished that he could have shown the man how good and beautiful a relationship with humans could be. But life didn’t give him that opportunity, and Munaq fulfilled his destiny, saved Gus’ and Birdie’s lives, and then left the mortal world. And even though Munaq didn’t reveal the location of the cave until his last breath, Gus somehow managed to crack the code. Gus found a hidden map in the tusk left by Munaq and used it to find the location of the mysterious cave so that he could end The Sick for good.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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