MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy may have ended, but the team will live forever. Some in our hearts, but some a bit more literally – like Groot, the Guardian that seemingly died but then grew back to life and became boulder-big in GotG Vol. 3. So, is Groot actually immortal, or can he die permanently?
In the comics, Groot is immortal, as he can regrow for the tiniest splinter, keeping his memories, skills, and experience intact. In the MCU, however, Groot can regrow as an offspring of the original Groot without the original’s memories, skills, and experience.
There was a ton of debate on the subject among fans online, but the Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn, reiterated numerous times that the new Groot – the one that regrew in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – is not the same Groot we saw and loved in the first film. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about Groot and his ‘sort-of’ immortality.
What species is Groot?
The MCU hasn’t defined the exact name of Groot’s species. We only saw that the planet he came from is known as Planet X. That’s the same as his comic book counterpart, so it’s safe to assume that Groot is the same species in the MCU.
And in the comics, Groot’s species is known as Flora colossus. They first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13, and they are also known as Woodgods. As big as our Groot is, he’s actually small compared to other members of his species.
The Flora colossi was a dominant, genius species that, in most versions, held the Maintenance Mammals (squirrel-like beings), often being mean to them. Groot felt bad and befriended the servants, developing a need to socialize with other species. That’s why he chose to remain smaller than other Flora colossi.
After Groot killed another sapling to defend a Maintenance Mammal, he was exiled from his planet. Years later, Groot met Rocket Raccoon in prison, and the rest is history.
Is Groot immortal in the comics?
Throughout his comic book history, Groot has proven to be immortal. He was seemingly killed on at least three different occasions throughout the character’s history, and each time, he came back. How, you might ask? Well, quite similar to how it happened in the MCU. Not the same, but similar.
Due to his species’ unique powers, Groot can survive almost anything. If even a tiny splinter is left, Groot can regrow from it with all of his memories, experiences, skills, and character that made him who he is.
To add to it, in Avengers #32, we learn that Flora colossus can live for more than 5000 years. When they get older, they can actually set roots and drain nutrients directly from the ground. It’s unknown if they can even die of old age, making the ‘immortal Groot’ theory that much more plausible.
And, while the MCU seemingly followed the same pattern, there’s a significant difference between MCU’s Groot and his comic book counterpart.
Is Groot immortal in the MCU?
At the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, we saw Groot grow a protective cocoon around his friend – or, better said, his family – uttering the words: “WE are Groot.” Then, they crashed, and Groot was shattered into pieces, seemingly dying.
But then, Rocket found a little twig, planted it, and the tiny, adorable Groot sapling was dancing in the pot in no time. If we were to believe the comics, Groot was regrowing into his old self. But, it didn’t take long for the director, James Gunn, to boot that and explain that the original Groot did really die.
The new Groot that was dancing in the pot, became Baby Groot, and now grew from Teenage Groot to, as it appears, a Young Adult Groot (I guess?) – isn’t the original Groot. Rather, the new Groot is actually OG Groot’s offspring – his son, so to speak.
As I’ve mentioned, James Gunn reiterated that multiple times, most recently in November 2022 on his Twitter:
So, while the MCU Groot can regrow from a sapling, the newly-grown Groot isn’t the original Groot anymore. The original Groot dies, and the new sapling is actually his offspring.
That’s why you see Baby and Teenage Groot act differently from the original Groot. They don’t share memories, knowledge, or even character. They are completely separate beings, which is also why Rocket had a brotherly bond with the original Groot but acted more as a father figure to the new little Groot.
There you have it, folks. I hate to break it to you, but Groot is not immortal in the MCU. We witnessed Groot’s death in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, while the newly-grown Groot was born as his son.