8

When Chris goes out for a cigarette after arriving at the Armitage's house in Get Out, the groundskeeper Walter intensely sprints toward Chris before darting in another direction and running off into the woods.

Later when Chris introduces himself to Walter, Walter apologises

Sorry if I startled you last night when I was doing my exercise.

As Chris was later hypnotised he doesn't really remember the event and it is somewhat dismissed.

Why was Walter exercising so late at night? Is there anything to infer here about the 'real' Walter wanting to run away from his 'host' (Roman Armitage)?

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As explained in the movie (and quoting here from the "Villains Wikia"):

Roman is the husband of Marianne Armitage, the father of Dean Armitage, the father-in-law of Missy Armitage, and the grandfather of Rose and Jeremy Armitage. According to Dean, Roman participated in the 1936 Olympics, but lost to the famous Jesse Owens.

Unable to take his loss seriously, Roman pathetically developed a hatred towards (and obsession with) black people and founded the Order of the Coagula to perfect a process - kidnapping black people in order to brainwash them and to implant the brains of old relatives and friends into the bodies of the far younger and fitter black people. As Roman and Marianne grew old, Dean (taking over as the new leader of the Order) used the family's groundskeeper Walter and housekeeper Georgina as new vessels for the dying Roman and Marianne. Ever since then, Roman used Walter's body to become more athletic and stronger until the film's events.

  • 6
    I do find it strange that Walter is exercising in his work clothes. – Oliver_C Jan 25 '18 at 15:17
  • Also, doesn't explain why at night. Presumably that's because while Chris is there, Grampa Armitage is trying to play the role of a stereotypical groundskeeper and doesn't want Chris to see his running. – user56reinstatemonica8 Mar 9 at 11:25
  • I don't think it's clear that Roman developed a hatred for black people. Obsession, yes. Belief that black people have better athetic abilities, yes. Having no desire to learn and understand about black culture and the black experience, absolutely. But envy is just as plausible as hatred, and probably more plausible. ... if I hated something, I wouldn't want to have my brain in it for a minute, let alone several decades. – onigame Apr 10 at 20:04
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As mentioned, Roman lost to Jesse Owens on the 1936 Olympics, and founded the Order of the Coagula, he used Walter's body as a vessel because Walter is athletic and he wanted to continue running.

The main reason he was sprinting late at night is that he was trying to beat Jesse Owens' record, as confirmed by Jordan Peele in this interview to Vanity Fair.

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