In the movie The Revenant, using Henry's corpse as decoy, Glass ambushes Fitzgerald. He chases him into the woods and they engage in a bloody fight beside a river.

Glass is about to kill Fitzgerald, but remembers Hikuc's words and pushes him downstream into the hands of the Arikara. The chief, accompanied by Powaqa, scalps and kills Fitzgerald, but spares Glass. After completing his revenge, Glass retreats into the forest and experiences another flashback of his deceased wife after the death of Fitzgerald by the Arikara.

In the entire movie Glass is hunted by the Arikara but why do they spare Glass at the end?

  • "Glass is hunted by the Arikara" Is he? Arikana was hunting for someone who kidnapped his daughter. Mar 22, 2018 at 15:02

3 Answers 3


They spare Glass because he remembered the quote from Hikuc, a Pawnee (a tribe Glass is friendly with) that he encountered on his journey:

"revenge is in the creator's hands"

The Arikara were right across the creek watching Fitzgerald and Glass fight, and as Glass gained the upper hand and had the chance to kill Fitzgerald, he noticed the Arikara and instead pushed Fitzgerald down the creek towards the Arikara, so they could have the opportunity to kill Fitzgerald, who had killed many of their tribesmen.

Glass, fueled by revenge the whole movie, believed that no matter how he was wronged, revenge belonged to the creator, so he passed on his chance.

In doing so, the Arikara gave him a "one time pass" due to him letting them have the pleasure of killing Fitzgerald, despite the fact they had been trying to kill Glass the whole movie. It also factors in that Glass saved Powaqa, the Arikara chief's daughter from the French traders whose leader tried to rape her.

  • "despite the fact they had been trying to kill Glass the whole movie" how do you know they were trying to kill him? Mar 22, 2018 at 17:21
  • 1
    @MarianPaździoch it's been a while since I've seen the movie, but IIRC, they attacked the camp at the beginning, and chase Glass off a cliff at one point. They were known as a hostile tribe and if you read through historical documents about Glass, he had several run-ins with Arikara over time, and they actually killed him later on in life.
    – Dom Vito
    Mar 23, 2018 at 18:03

It's strongly implied by the way the chief and Powaqa look down upon Glass as they continue past him, that they spare him because Powaqa recognizes him as the man who freed her from her previous captors.

It is also possible that they see Glass as on the verge of death anyway, so that may factor into their decision as well. However, I perceived her recognition as the primary motivation for the interaction.

  • 1
    I think the fact he left Fitzgerald to them factors in as well, since after he rescued Powaqa, he was still chased off the cliff by Arikara.
    – Dom Vito
    Mar 23, 2016 at 17:48
  • 1
    I'm not so certain about that. It's possible of course, but when he was chased off the cliff, I don't think there was any way for the Arikara to differentiate Glass from any other European guy (which they hunted indiscriminately). It was only when Powaqa was around to actually identify Glass that he was left alone. While the offering of Fitzgerald could play into their 'mercy', it didn't feel like the primary motivation for the Arikara chief. I saw that as more of an absolution for Glass' own sake, rather than an offering explicitly made to the Arikawa. I think there's room for interpretation. Mar 23, 2016 at 18:38
  • 1
    I think the fact he recalls the quote right before he lets Fitzgerald go factors in. Why does Glass think of the revenge quote if he could have killed Fitzgerald and been spared by the Arikara? Rather, why have the quote/Hikuc in the movie at all? Regardless, certainly room for interpretation.
    – Dom Vito
    Mar 23, 2016 at 19:57
  • 2
    There was no mercy going around at the end, neither to Glass nor to Fitzgerald. Agreed, Powaqa returned the favor. Unlike the horse-off-cliff affair, there was time to recognize him. But the last thing Fitzgerald said was a taunt about Glass's son "You came all this way for your revenge. But it's not going to bring your boy back." At that point I imagined Glass's rage boiled over into something so extreme as to be paradoxically pacific. Simple killing was too good for Fitzgerald. Rather let him slip passively into the Arikara's hands, where they could finish the scalping begun so long ago.
    – Bob Stein
    Aug 16, 2016 at 2:17

The Arikara didn't kill Glass because he had saved the life of the Native American woman being raped. She is later seen riding on a horse with the group as they cross the river.

It's the story of the Samaritan from the Bible. He was greatly helped by the Native American man who gave home some food and in turn helped others and through his choices he was was himself saved.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .