It’s week four of my Class Showcase series, where I take a class from D&D and give three examples from popular culture. This week: Druids.
For those people who have read the book, as opposed to watching the Peter Jackson movies, the character of Beorn provides the heroes with much needed help and shelter during their perilous journey to the Lonely Mountain. He is described by Tolkien as a shape-shifter and is descended from a race of men who all had the ability. He also raises animals at his homestead but it is specifically written that they are not for the purposes of food. Within the book itself, his encounter with the heroes of the story convince him that he must shake off his hermit lifestyle and join the fight against the growing evil.
#2 E.T. (E.T. The Extra Terrestrial)
I realize that some of you might be saying, “E.T. can’t be a Druid!”, well hear me out. According to extra material written for the movie and the “E.T. Adventure” ride, Stephen Spielberg describes E.T. and his fellow aliens as botanists from a distant solar system looking for help in healing their planet from a deadly disease. During the course of their experiments on earth, E.T. gets accidentally left behind and is eventually taken in by a young boy named Elliott. While he makes attempts to contact his race and be rescued, we discover that he has access to several abilities including: empathic-link, levitation, plant regeneration, and animal regeneration. He even displays the ability to create deep connections with animals, which unfortunately from his perspective would be with us humans. All of that sounds a lot like a Druid to me.
#1 Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 Film)
I know, I know, two aliens in the same week. But maybe pop culture is trying to tell us earthlings that we need to smarten up where caring for nature and the environment is concerned because it obviously means something to the other more “mature” races of the galaxy. Anyhow, Groot himself exhibits more Druid-like powers than any other film character I have ever witnessed. He has the ability to shape-shift, he can regenerate, he can create “magical” effects (such as the light spores), and he is also quite adept at befriending animals (sorry if that insults you Rocket). In fact, it wouldn't be all that difficult to recreate Groot as a D&D character as long as your DM would be willing to allow Trents as a playable race.