The character of Groot might have actually confused those that haven’t read Marvel comics since trying to think that one phrase can be said in enough ways to create so many different meanings is an undertaking that many people might not be able to accomplish. There have been quite a few people that have been taken in by the often peaceful but also complicated character of Groot since as an adult character he was pretty calm and almost childlike at times given that he was pacifistic until it was time to get down to business. Once he became violent in defense of those around him or because he was defending himself it was easy to assume that he could knock around with the best of them in his own way. His death in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 1 was tragic for a lot of people since it was believed that Groot should have been given a much longer arc. Of course, when Rocket managed to retain a piece of the original character’s body to grow another Groot it had to be explained that while this was Groot, it wasn’t really Groot, but a different Groot that was grown from the original Groot. Yes, it gets that existentially confusing since Groot is Groot and even the simple sentence he speaks means a great many things. And with that, we’re moving on.
This video is going around with the “actual” translations of Groot lines from the script (which, yes, I always have). The last one “Dad” is correct (because I’ve shared this before). The others are close, good guesses, but not exact. Still good work! pic.twitter.com/CX532X4vPk
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 22, 2021
It’s not at all surprising that someone would make a video trying to decipher what Groot is saying with each utterance, but while James Gunn did approve of the video he managed to convey the idea that some of the translations were close but not quite there. The one that was spot on was the Infinity War moment when the words “I am Groot” translated to “Dad…” when he spoke to Rocket shortly before turning to ash. This was an emotional scene for many people since the disappearance of so many all at once was horrific and hard to understand for those that knew next to nothing about Thanos and what the Infinity Gauntlet could do. Watching Groot go was even harder for a lot of people since, despite his ferocity on the battlefield, a lot of people couldn’t help but think that he didn’t deserve to be taken out in such a manner, as he was still far more innocent than anyone and couldn’t adequately describe what was going on. But his continued utterance has been something that many people can’t help but think is endearing since there so much to those three words that it becomes easy to think that Groot is much smarter than many people give him credit for, but his method of communication is for one reason or another lacking due to his species or something else.
After learning that Vin Diesel had an actual script at hand to discern what Groot was saying it’s easier to see how he managed to put a different type of attitude into each line since there’s no doubt that Groot is trying to say something different with each utterance, and the fact that those around him understand this is impressive. In fact, there appear to be only a few individuals in the movies that don’t really know what he’s saying, with Yondu being one of them and Captain America being another. It’s interesting to think of how long it might have taken Diesel to come up with an overlying attitude for each line he had to use as the basis for each interaction, but it’s also kind of funny since this sounds challenging for some people and it might be exceedingly simple for others. When one really stops to think about it, there are plenty of people that can have a one-word or one-sentence conversation with people sometimes, with much more meaning being felt in their words than they’ve managed to vocalize. It’s something that can happen between those that know each other well enough that words aren’t always necessary as the meaning taken behind a shortened and even abbreviated conversation can indicate the mood of a person better than an extended conversation ever could. In other words, some people learn how to say more with less.
Groot has been an interesting character since the first GOTG movie and he continues to be since his adolescence was filled with such angst and attitude that it was made clear that he wasn’t bound to be the calm and cheerful individual we met in the first movie. How far he’s going to advance in the next Thor movie and the third volume of GOTG will be interesting to see since it could be that he’s nearly an adult, or has finally reached that state once again, and could be a formidable adversary that will help his allies in a big way. But, always, ‘I am Groot’ will carry a host of meanings.