I guess Fury Road was a story of redemption, not only for Furiosa, but for every other character in search of hope and salvation, including Max himself.

That being said, why did he leave the "green place" at the end of the movie? The others were like family to him. They helped him redeem himself. He was a savage, animalistic man at the beginning of the movie, as he was "reduced to a single instinct: survive" (god I love that line!), and at the end, after all that bonding and trust, he finally becomes more human. He even utters his real name to Furiosa when at the beginning, he simply grunted.

My point is: Max has redeemed at the end of this movie, and he couldn't have done it without the new family he has made. So why on earth did he just ditch them at the very last second?

(Please don't say "for sequel purposes!". Thank you)

  • 4
    It's an obvious sequel hook.
    – cde
    Jul 7, 2017 at 21:15
  • 3
    Cmon, he explicitly said "Please don't say 'for sequel purposes!'"
    – ViggyNash
    Jul 8, 2017 at 5:06
  • 7
    Staying is what you'd expect Max to do in a film series titled "Rational Max" ;-). I thought the idea was that Max was an irredeemably damaged drifter after what happened with his family, and couldn't bare to let himself feel attached again (though I can't think of any specific lines or moments that illustrate that, hence this is just a comment; it's more of a general impression) Jul 8, 2017 at 8:38
  • 2
    @viggy I know, so i specifically didn't say "for sequel purposes".
    – cde
    Jul 8, 2017 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


Why did Max leave the Citadel at the end of Mad Max Fury Road?

In a world full of trouble and strife, he has the opportunity to step into that and fight against them. He can't just stay in one because he’s a reluctant hero, one who doesn’t want to get involved initially, who only wants to look out for number one, but is moved by forces greater than himself to intervene.

From cinemablend

Mad is both on a quest to find himself, his better self, and outrun his past. In 1979’s Mad Max, Max, played by Mel Gibson, loses his wife and infant son to a vicious motorcycle gang headed by Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who also plays the villain Immortan Joe in Fury Road). In a ruined world already tearing itself apart, this was the last thing tethering Max to the remnants of civilization, and severing that final tie set him adrift, which we subsequently saw in The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome.

On one hand, he floats through this desolate existence, just surviving. But on the other, as we see in Fury Road, as well as the earlier films, the flame of who he once was still burns inside of him—he was a cop, a husband, a father, a good man—which is the part of him that won’t let him walk away from trouble.

He wants to get away, to be left alone with his pain and his memories, but at the same time he can’t stand aside and not help when he’s needed. The lasting impression and legacy of his family (though in Fury Road he flashes back to a little girl, not his son, which potentially indicates further loss and trauma, and there are some interesting fan theories floating around about that particular tidbit), his wife’s belief that he is still a good man, is what drives him forward.

He may not go looking to play the hero, or just to help as is the case in Fury Road, but in a world full of trouble and strife, he has the opportunity to step into that role. With Immortan Joe toppled, with a good and just and strong leader like Furiosa installed at the Citadel, and the wives safe, his job, for lack of a better word, is done, and he’s free to ride off... and likely be a reluctant hero once again.

At the end, he just disappears, melting into a crowd, on the road to his next post-apocalyptic adventure, and all we’re left with is a mysterious quote.

The last thing we see before the credits begin is a black screen with a quote that reads:

"Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves?"
    -The First History Man
  • 2
    He's trying to "outrun his past". +1. The OP is incorrect when they say he's redeemed himself; nothing will ever redeem him from failing to protect his family.
    – Mazura
    Sep 21, 2017 at 23:43

I also pondered that. But it was more impossible to imagine Max staying.

I think we need to understand why we ask why. The only reason that our minds even question this very fitting ending is that during the entire movie the characters were trying to find a place that would be more or less inhabitable. They found nothing 160 riding days out and finally decided that the Citadel is the most inhabitable place left, despite all of its drawbacks.... So when Max leaves, - it's natural to think: there is nowhere to go! where is he going? why would he leave? While leaving is so much more in the character of Mad Max, indeed, where is there left to go in a world like that?

The answer is provided by the quote at the end of the movie.

Wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves.

So, I imagine, he just went on a walkabout.

You must log in to answer this question.

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