This movie is recently released and I'm sure some movie fanatics have seen it here.

Warning: this question has spoilers.

Fury is a 2014 American war film set during World War II written and directed by David Ayer. The film stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Michael Peña, Jason Isaacs, and Scott Eastwood

It is set during the last month of the European Theater of war during World War II in April 1945. A battle-hardened U.S. Army fight against Nazi Germany.

In the end of the movie, the tank "Fury", having Brad Pitt and his men (soldiers), hit a landmine in the middle of nowhere on Nazi territory (and got stuck); shortly afterwards, a German column of 300 German Waffen-SS infantry approaches.

Instead of escaping, Brad Pitt and his men, stay hidden in the Tank and plan an ambush on the Nazis. Outnumbered and outgunned, Brad Pitt and his men nevertheless inflict extremely heavy losses on the Germans using the tank's weapons. They almost kill them all using only the tank "Fury".

But eventually, one German sniper kills Brad Pitt and his men except one: Norman.

Norman escaped through the bottom hatch of the tank and he hid under it.

In the end, surprisingly, a young German Waffen-SS trooper finds Norman, smiles a bit, but does not turn him in, leaving him safe beneath the destroyed tank as the surviving German soldiers move on.

Why did he do that? What were the implications from this and is there any explanation for this behavior, because it doesn't make a lot of sense.

  • It's likely that some portion of those final scenes are a tribute to an earlier film, that Ayer (or other principal) admired. Deer Hunter? Apocalypse Now? Or some other war movie.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 23:35
  • 2
    Interesting question. The most likely answer is that he was supposed to represent someone similar to Norman, a young guy that war hadn't yet turned into a monster as all the others. But I agree that at this point it was really quite out of place and didn't fit to all the earlier depictions and motifs of the movie. And the smiling also doesn't fit to that interpretation, I think.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 11:42
  • 3
    I thought it was odd as he was an SS soldier and had spent the entire night trying to kill whoever was in the tank, and then just lets the final survivor go. The body count for the Germans after that fight was pretty high and that German soldier must have been literally tripping over his dead friends but still let Norman go. It was very weird...
    – Daft
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 11:49
  • 2
    I second @Daft, I personally thought that this part could have been left out. The crew in the tank just got finished obliterating an entire brigade of SS soldiers and you're telling me that that Nazi wouldn't have dragged Norman out of there and killed him? Not that the ending was entirely believable in and of itself, but by adding this at the end they made it even more far fetched.
    – pt18cher
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 19:12

6 Answers 6


Director David Ayer explained the ending in an interview:

Interviewer: One thing I know has been an early kind of discussion point is at the very end of the movie in the moment, of course, when Logan is under the tank and there is this soldier from the other side. Some people have kind of criticized that. To me, I kind of read it as what we were seeing in that moment was almost all the stuff we had learned with his character up until there. This was like the mirror of that on the other side and they kind of have that moment. That kid is like him and he kind of moves on. Is that right?

David: That’s exactly it. It’s not Logan’s war. The thing is over in four weeks. This kid should have been going to college, but by that time they stopped the deferments because they were running out of bodies to send in and fight. And the same with the Germans. They were grabbing kids out of classrooms But the idea is, it’s not their war. They shouldn’t have been there. And somebody has to rebuild when it’s over. There’s people on both sides of it. In four weeks they are not the enemy anymore. There’s just something interesting about that.


My interpretation of the ending was a little different. I saw this as karma. Earlier in the movie, Norman refused to shoot a Nazi soldier who was begging for his life to be spared. Norman chose to die over shooting this man. I think in the end, Norman looked at the soldier with pleading eyes and the Nazi soldier let him go because he, like Norman, knew there was no point in shooting the other man.


This mirrors a real life event. While there is nothing saying they intentionally wanted to imply this, this is well known. American Bomber Pilot Charlie Brown, already flying a shot-up plane with injured crew, after a successful bombing run, was trying to return to Allied Territory. German Fighter Pilot Franz Stigler, instead of shooting them down, escorted them back to British skies.

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And this happens all through history. In every war, there are people that for multiple reasons, don't kill an enemy soldier. Most of it is hearsay and second or third hand recollections, but there are a couple of documented cases.

Its also very common in media. Twilight Zone, "Two" and "A Quality of Mercy" come to mind.

  • One of the advantages of these acts of chivalry, is that they write metals songs about you decades later -> youtube.com/watch?v=efxs-Hp0QEw
    – Erik
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 8:49

The reason the young German Waffen-SS Trooper did not turn him in is because like you said, he was young. He was basically in the same situation as Norman.

  • Except Norman came around towards the end after his girlfriend got killed.
    – pt18cher
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 19:16

Here's My take: The whole movie is showing you how war turns people into something nonhuman: people who act like animals, that closing shot the tank from the top down like it's a steel coffin being lowered into the ground, the kid getting nicknamed "Machine" and such.

The German who saw him was just like he was- Human. He hadn't been turned into a "Machine" yet- he hadn't been fighting long enough to be turned.

I also think the tank being named "Fury" is a statement on how people become machines to fight in a war for war's sake: "Fury" or "Aggression" or "Hate" is like a drug that will get you hooked and consume you. I think there is plenty of evidence for that in the movie- like how "Machine" was reluctant to use the gun until he got pissed at the Germans ambushing them, and made a point to say afterwards that "he kinda liked it."

...and it gives the red-scale film snippets during the credits of Nazis laughing with small children doing the Hitler salute, flashing to people dancing, flashing to snippets of violence a whole new, incredibly haunting meaning.


There are a million reasons why this would have never happened:

  1. The most obvious, this guys unit had been fighting them all night and had been completely decimated. The thirst for revenge and just pure anger from getting ambushed would overwhelm him.

  2. This wasn't the ordinary army (heer) this was an SS battalion. The SS were some of the most ruthless, well trained fighters and you couldn't make it into the unit unless you were a cold blooded killing machine. They would rather kill themselves before they let an enemy go.

  3. They're not leaving a final inspection of the tank to some junior grunt.

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