As if the syrupy conclusion of Avengers: Infinity War wasn’t enough to entirely leave you in tatters, James Gunn, writer and director of both Guardians of the Galaxy films, recently clarified the meaning behind Groot’s final utterance. In case you missed his rendering, you might want to secure a tissue box before proceeding any further.
In the final moments of Infinity War, Thanos (Josh Brolin), having secured all six Infinity Stones, snapped his fingers and extinguished half of the universe, thereby eliminating a multitude of beloved MCU superheroes. Among them was the Vin Diesel-voiced Flora Colossus from Planet X, Groot.
If you recall, prior to passing on, the fan favorite character verbalizes his trademark phrase, “I am Groot,” one final time, as his best friend, Rocket, walks towards him. Unfortunately, the Bradley Cooper-voiced raccoon didn’t translate the meaning behind his buddy’s last expression, as he usually does.
So, in what seemed like a good idea at the time, a fan straight-up asked Gunn, point-blank, what “I am Groot” stood for in this instance. Well, the filmmaker answered and all I can say is, be careful what you wish for.
According to Gunn’s tweet, “I am Groot” stood for “Dad,” and the moniker was directed at Rocket Racoon. Obviously, this response left the fandom collectively weeping. So much so, in fact, that the filmmaker was left with no choice but to post an apology on the social media platform where it all started.
“I knew my answer to the spoiler question last night was touching and sad, but I really did not expect to wake up to so many tweets of people telling me they’re crying. Sorry for that if you’re at work or whatever. But it means a lot to me you love the characters as much as I do.”
Thankfully, there is a silver lining to Gunn’s disheartening vivification here. Often depicted as partners in the MCU, the revelation that Groot views Rocket as a father figure adds an entirely new dynamic to their relationship. But I guess knowing that won’t do a lot of good now, seeing as Groot’s dead. Although, it is generally believed that Avengers 4 will reverse at least some of Infinity War’s deaths, so there’s still hope that we’ll see him again, right?