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Speak Softly: 12 Best Speechless Sidekicks

From howling wookiees to Hodor, here are a dozen best friends of few (very few) words

12 Best Speechless Sidekicks

Lucasfilms; Weinstein Company

This summer biggest hit, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy revived many things: Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling"; the sex appeal of green skin; and how much fun it can be when a sidekick doesn't say much. Of course, not all nonverbal sidekicks are intelligent trees with dialogue limited to "I am Groot." Some are completely silent, some speak infrequently, and some just have an exceptionally limited vocabulary, but in all cases, they're not holding up their end of the conversation. Here are 12 sidekicks who prefer to remain men of few (sometimes very few) words.

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One of the greatest straight men of our time is, in fact, a stop-motion cartoon dog: Gromit, who lives with the overambitious inventor Wallace, regularly saving his bacon and commenting on his follies with a perfectly cocked eyebrow. Gromit's performance was the spiritual antecedent of John Krasinski's reaction shots in The Office.

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Harpo Marx

There's different stories on how Harpo became the mute member of the Marx Brothers. While some blamed his tendency on the vaudeville stage to hold forth like a college professor, he said it was because of his high-pitched voice. But silence liberated him: Groucho took care of the snappy patter, while Harpo stole the silverware and did whatever led to the greatest anarchy.

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He got cheated out of a medal after he helped blow up the Death Star, but Chewbacca remained the most imposing member of the Rebellion and a kickass copilot of the Millennium Falcon, despite his speech being limited to grunts and howls. Star Wars actually has two iconic nonverbal sidekicks — R2-D2 being the other one — but as always, we're going to let the Wookiee win.

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