Wait a moment. Groot doesn’t like hats, right? But what does a tiny tree-child consider a hat?
I mean, he thought Yondu’s badge was supposed to be a hat, or that Rocket needed a toe or a desk instead of a fin. Groot doesn’t really seem to have a concept for things and their correct names, most likely because he’s still a little child in this form.
So it would be very likely that when Kraglin got the fin implanted, Groot just noted “It’s on his head” and thought it’s a hat.
And Groot doesn’t really like hats. But Kraglin and Peter seem to like the new “hat”.
Cue in here Kraglin, still a bit insecure about his new look (and damn, that’s one hell of a weird feeling, having a steel attachment on your head, not to mention the headache), gets confronted by a very serious Groot, who tugs at him to get his attention. Once the former Ravager looks down, Groot declares, “I am Groot!”
“Um,” Kraglin flails, still not knowing how that is supposed to be a language the little tree is using there, never mind how to understand it. “Rocket?”
“What?” Rocket looks up from his newest invention, frowning when Groot whips around to him, repeating his words. “Oh. He says he noticed your new hat.”
“I am Groot.”
“…I think he means the fin.”
“Oh,” Kraglin ponders that for a moment, before, “But that’s not a hat, Groot.”
“I am Groot”
“He doesn’t get it,” Rocket explains, huffing, “Because it’s on your head and only hats go onto your head.”
“’kay, I guess ye could see it as a hat, but why’s that important?”
“I am Groot.”
“He wants you to know that he doesn’t like hats.”
“I am Groot.”
“Because they make heads look weird – I already told you, that’s bullshit, Groot.”
“I am Groot!”
Kraglin rolls his eyes, sighing. “Guys, seriously – not important.”
Groot seems to think so, too, because he tugs at whatever bit of Kraglin’s jacket that he can reach again. “I am Groot.”
Rocket falls eerily silent, not further translating, and the stony look on his face makes Kraglin worry. “What? What ‘e say?”
“He said he will overlook the hat and the weird headform, though, because you’re happy about it.” Rocket seems hesitant to translate the rest, but both Groot and Kraglin stare at him expectantly, and he grumbles. “And he wants all of his family to be happy.”
Now it’s Kraglin who falls silent, speechless by the declaration. Not sure if he should acknowledge the lump in his throat and the burning in his eyes.
But Groot looks up at him with big eyes, waiting for something, and Kraglin manages a weak smile, carefully patting the woody head with one fingertip. “Uh, thanks, lil’ twig.”
“I am Groot!” Groot happily hugs Kraglin as well as he can, standing on his knees, before he hops down and scampers off again, declaring very loudly, “I am Groot!”
Rocket’s chortle seems very close to a rasp, more so than a real laugh, but his teeth glint in a smirk. “He just hopes that no one else will get a hat now.”
Kraglin huffs a laugh and shakes his head at that, secretly rubbing his eyes. “Don’t think so.”