The success of the Guardians of the Galaxy films mean everyone around the world knows Groot, and his iconic catchphrase: “I am Groot.” While the MCU has explained his limited dialogue by revealing what Groot is really saying, the actual origin and meaning of the line in Marvel Comics canon is even harder to believe. In short, it was a complete and total mistranslation.

Thie truth was revealed in the 2015 Secret Wars tie-in The Infinity Gauntlet, by Dustin Weaver and Gerry Duggan. Taking place in an alternate timeline (where the earlier Annihilation event played out differently), the story followed Thanos in a new pursuit of the famous Infinity Stones, attempting to assemble the cosmic gems from entirely new protectors and wielders. It is this new version of events that brings the sapient tree ‘Groot’ into the Marvel universe once again, revealing his fiamous words were not only his first spoken, but all an accident misinterpreted by his would-be Guardian teammates.

‘I Am Groot’ Has No Meaning, He Was Just Repeating

On the amalgamated planet Battleworld of the miniseries, a group made up of Star-Lord, Gamora, and a family of Nova Corp members led by a girl named Anwen try to find the stones before the Mad Titan is able to achieve his plan. Their search brings them to a forest in which they believe one of the Infinity Stones is concealed.But their assumption that the stone is hidden inside of a tree is blown away when the tree speaks. And grows eyes, and reveals itself to be a living alien person. inside.

In this story, the Guardians hadn’t been assembled yet, so this was the first time they were all brought together in once place. Gamora’ is shocked when the tree reveals its eyes. While contemplating the stone’s location, Anwen utters, “Hmmm.” Her brother offers an explanation by suggesting the tree grew over the stone, meaning their trinket would be most likely located beneath the tree’s roots. Putting all these various words together, the alien tree merely repeats them in one phrase: “eye hmmm grew root.” Anwen assumes he was saying “I am Groot,” and a catchphrase was born.

Groot’s Secret Meanings Aren’t Limited By Speaking English

Groot Speaks English In Marvel Comics

In the mainstream Marvel universe, Groot is part of the species dubbed ‘Flora colossus,’ with repetitive speech due to a stiff larynx that causes the tree-like beings to repeat the same phrases over and over. However, his character is shown to have grown completely fluent in speech over time (when specific stories allow for it). Either way, Groot’s meaning, and the words he uses to convey it, have always demonstrated his intellect. Telepaths are actually able to read his thoughts, having revealed that Groot has a full-fledged internal monologue, with his speech only ever a physical limitation, not a mental one.

Though his fondness for the phrase “I am Groot” becomes obvious by the end of The Infinity Gauntlet. He might not have started out by saying it, but by the end of the story, Groot adopts it completely as he uses it as a battle cry during the series’ climactic fight.

Next: Infinity War: Thor Made Groot’s Language A Plot Hole

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