Every Christmas after the release of Mass Effect 2, I have asked for a Grunt plushie. Why? Because he is my absolute favorite character in the entire trilogy. His little evil cackle brings me joy, and his pure krogan-ness is delightful. One of my favorite interactions between him and Shep is after the Rite of Passage: Shep is disappointed that Grunt still exudes aggression as he exuberantly exclaims that he hates turians, and he’s like, “WHAT I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE HAPPY THAT I HAVE GOALS NOW.” It’s just … I’ll say it again – delightful.
What endears me so much to Grunt is that he really is Shep’s kid. She mentors him, scolds him, fights beside him, and listens to him (sometimes against her will) – she raises his wayward teenage ass. He comes into his own, obviously, by the third game, and despite being the leader of an elite krogan commando squad, she will always be his mom. As you might imagine, I was a wee bit upset that Grunt didn’t become a regular squad member in ME3, but in a similar fashion to Wrex, it just wouldn’t have made sense to have him suddenly rejoined the Normandy crew. But if you are able to save the whole of Arlakh Company during the rachni rumor investigation, he sends this email that is simply the best:
THas a goood fight ShUpurd. You cant hear em but I;ve goht ARLlakh co,rnpany chantin SHEPAR SHEPAR your name you know. as we down some ryNCOL to heal my woundS^&!!< ryCNol! Whear are yOu?
SHEPERD S HEPAURD SHEPARUD!!!
See??? THE BEST.
Anyway, one of the best parts of the Citadel DLC was the entire cut scene where Shep gets to spend some quality time with Grunt.
That is, quite frankly, the most true-to-character scene in the entire series. Of any character. There is an innocence to his personality that belies his truly brutal nature, something that is noted about the krogan species in general. He’s very up front about his affinity for violence; when you complete his loyalty mission in ME2, Shepard expresses concern that Grunt might “go rogue” and he responds with a happy, “I’d never stab you in the back, Shepard! Warriors like you and me? Straight to the face.” You can’t get more honestly blunt than that, and I like blunt. Which rhymes with Grunt. Coincidence??
He’s a very effective squad member, too – probably one of the strongest. I can only think of maybe one time that he wasn’t included in my final battle team, and I remember it being a much more difficult fight without him. I liked pairing him with Miranda or Thane because of their warp abilities, but really, any other team member would do. He’s that awesome. And his battlefield quotes are, not going to lie, a part of my every day conversation:
- I AM KROGAN!
- Right on your ass!
- Little pieces of crap!
- On the ground, NOW!
He is just that quotable! (I also like Jack’s “Hello, dead people!” and Tali’s “Go for the optics!”)
Since I started playing the series with ME2, I had never gotten to meet Wrex (and thus he was dead at the beginning of the game because Bioware is mean and assumes my Shep killed him), so Grunt was my first introduction to the krogan species, but when I finally went back and played the first game, I appreciated him a little bit more. While Wrex was my favorite character out of the first game, he couldn’t compare with my little Grunty-poo. In comparison to Wrex’s mature (for a krogan) outlook, Grunt’s youth and inexperience was a huge part of what made him so likable: he was a good introduction into his culture, one that even the first game didn’t delve into that much. There’s a lot of exposition (done well!!!) in his scenes down on Tuchanka, and we were learning about them as much as Grunt was, even with his imprints from Okeer. He was learning about himself, something that every teenager has to go through before he can blossom into an unstoppable warrior.
Anyway, I’m about to go into complete Proud Mom Mode, so I’m just going to stop and leave you with Grunt at Shepard’s party in the Citadel DLC. “Salarians have wiggly arms.”
Also, I am still waiting for my plushie.