The cause of Meruem’s death was poisoning, after the Miniature Rose bomb explosion which was part of Netero’s plan. Meruem died shortly after that in the arms of Komugi, a female character and the only human he developed strong feelings for.
Who was Meruem?
Meruem was a half-ant and half-human character in the manga series Hunter X Hunter, born by the Ant Queen as a biological weapon. His mother belonged to the Chimera Ants, a species of giant ants who fed on humans and animals.
So, the Ant Queen wanted to give birth to an ant with human-like characteristics in order to grow stronger, but little did she know that Meruem’s strength will kill her shortly after it. Meruem is soon declared the King, his name meaning ‘the light that illuminates all’.
How Old was Meruem When he died?
Surprisingly, despite his strength and remarkable activity during the events in the series, he did not live as long as we expected. In ants’ time frame, he was only 40 days old at the moment of his death.
What was Meruem’s Appearance like?
Meruem had a remarkable human appearance of a muscular and toned body shape, but relatively a smaller size than his ant servants on Royal Guard.
His head is always covered by a helmet in the form of a shell, which acts as an armor. Always barefoot, he has dark pigmented areas around his legs, arms and chest.
On the other hand, he also inherited the ant features from his mother, as he possesses two long antennae on his ears. What is remarkable and strange is that he has only four fingers at both his hands and feet, and has a powerful long tail with a stinger at the top.
What is Meruem’s Personality like?
Meruem is initially perceived as a cruel and violent leader. And of course he is, due to his family killing nature and background in the series.
He was somehow raised to act superior towards the other species, whether they are humans or animals, and he was taught that killing others or fed on them would only make him stronger.
Thus, he is very intelligent, exhibits a strong confidence and takes high pride in his skills and abilities, showing no sign of empathy towards the rest (not even his own mother).
What were Meruem’s abilities and skills?
The combination of humans and ants really offered Meruem extraordinary and unrealistic powers: he is faster, stronger and tougher than any human or ant.
He is a great fighter and he cannot be defeated: he can kill anyone with a single strike of his tail or he can knock down people by taping their shoulders. He has also learnt how to master strong strategies and tactics in defeating his enemies.
Was Meruem capable of emotions?
Not at first, but as soon as he gets to know Komugi (a human female character) and spends more time with her, he starts questioning his own identity and gets to learn a lot about human emotions.
Feelings are definitely something new to him and he soon manages to surprise himself by his behavior. Not only does he decide to save Komugi in a battle instead of killing her, but he suddenly manifests a desire of protecting her.
Soon after that, his attitude towards his servant changes as well. He becomes more empathetic, understanding and start to show respect towards others.
How does humanity bring him to his end?
We might not see Komugi as a meaningful character, but still, she is the one who offers Meruem a bright new perspective of his personality and approach to humanity.
Soon after experiencing mysterious human emotions, he begins to understand that strength may come in other forms too. He develops new thoughts and perspectives and decides to use his strength in order to recreate a perfect world where some special humans are ‘worth saving’.
Worrying that his humanity diminished his tough leader skills and ant instincts, Netero (one of the Royal Guard) decides to kill him by using a poisoned bomb detonation. Even if Meruem manages to feed on some of his servants’ flash, becoming stronger, he loses his memory due to the explosion.
Shortly after that, he finds out that the poison still affects him on the inside and he was still going to die. Accepting his human nature and mortality despite of his strength and skills, he decides to spend the last moments of his life with Komugi, dying in her arms.