We may not know the ultimate fate of several of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s iconic heroes by the time the end credits have rolled on Avengers: Infinity War, but we do know that it’s going to take some nimble writing to find a future for some of them, since the movie does a shockingly effective job at, shall we say, disappearing them.
Spoiler alert: A major event in Avengers: Infinity War is discussed below. If you haven’t yet seen the film and want to go in cold, turn back!
By movie’s end, one of the characters to get the blackout treatment from Josh Brolin’s Thanos is Groot (Vin Diesel), Guardians of the Galaxy’s resident tree-of-few-words.
The meaning behind Groot’s dying murmur at the end of Infinity War had been something of a mystery until Guardians director James Gunn decided recently to clear things up a bit. Answering a fan tweet to settle once and for all what teenage Groot was really trying to say before Thanos activated the Infinity Gauntlet to thin the population herd, Gunn left Twitter fans with a fresh round of bittersweet tears.
According to Gunn, Groot’s final word — confirmed, Gunn says, by the script — is simply “dad.”
Groot shares his final moments with Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) when Thanos hits the fateful death switch, leaving fans to infer that Groot is acknowledging Rocket as his dad… in a way. That fresh context melted Twitter hearts, prompting Gunn to back up his eye-watering revelation by clarifying that the script had it all planned out.
Rocket’s emotional interpretation of Groot’s last visit to “I am Groot” land already cued up the idea that the treed one’s demise had hit Rocket hard. But Gunn’s confirmation that Groot dropped the D-word as his Infinity War sign-off adds a whole new layer of heartbreak.
With Thanos vaporizing some other major (and we mean major) MCU heroes in the first installment, it’s all but certain that Infinity War’s second act will find a way for at least some of them to re-materialize. But for now, at least we know that Thanos isn’t an empty-threat kind of guy — so the stakes will definitely be high.
Here’s hoping Groot gets his body back in Part 2, because it sounds as though he and Rocket have some serious unfinished business. Avengers 4 is scheduled for a May 3, 2019, release.