Tons of characters died in Avengers: Infinity War, enough that it’s hard to keep track of everyone’s last words. But more than a week after Infinity War’s initial release, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn revealed what Groot said during that traumatic finale.
Further spoilers follow for Avengers: Infinity War.
On Sunday night, Gunn responded to a fan’s question about Groot’s last line of Infinity War. Like many of the film’s other heroes, Groot was in the patch of forest in Wakanda trying to fend off Thanos and the Mad Titan’s minions. After the snap that killed half the universe, the sentient tree looked at Rocket and let out one final “I am Groot” before turning to ash just like Bucky, Sam, T’Challa, and so many others. Gunn confirmed that the last thing Groot said was simple and straightforward but also totally heartbreaking: “Dad.”
Gunn previously teased that each of the Guardians is essentially a “bad parent” to young Groot, but despite Teen Groot’s bad attitude, this sort of confirms he probably loved Rocket like a father. At the very least, Rocket was always his closest companion.
Back in 2016, Gunn revealed that Vin Diesel, who voices Groot, gets an alternate script for the Guardians of the Galaxy movies that has Groot’s lines written in English. Infinity War, apparently, was no different. So while Peter Parker was sputtering to Tony Stark about “not wanting to go” and Bucky whispered the name of his BFF, Groot also had specific dialogue in mind.
Teen Groot spent most of Avengers: Infinity War sporting a bad attitude and tuning everything out while he played Arcade Defender. He had a noble moment when he sacrificed a piece of his arm to [help fashion] Thor’s new weapon Stormbreaker, and again later when he fought in the final battle in Wakanda, but most of the time, he was kind of a jerk. Though, there’s something about a moody teenager using his dying breath to gasp for his surrogate father that really just makes that Infinity War ending so much more devastating.
Gunn has a long history of answering canon-obsessed fan questions over Twitter, like in February when he confirmed that the younger Groot is, in fact, the original Groot’s son, meaning that the bigger tree from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 is totally dead. Or last October, when he clarified that none of the Guardians speak English in their movies. This latest revelation, however, is probably the most heartbreaking of all.
When the untitled Avengers 4 movie comes out on May 3, 2019, we might see Groot and the many other fallen heroes brought back in some fashion, but the MCU as we know it has seemingly changed forever. And there’s one less beloved tree around to make us laugh.