BEFORE WE EVEN meet Imperator Furiosa, she’s made a sacrifice. Leaving the Citadel for a supply run, she’s stowed away the Five Wives of tyrant Immortan Joe in her War Rig. As one of the Immortan’s most powerful warriors, she has respect and safety. So when she chooses to save the Five Wives and flee with them to seek the mythic Green Place, she gives up everything for a dream.
Furiosa’s heroism isn’t entirely selfless, at least at first: part of her initial motivation is revenge. She’s driven by anger at being stolen from a utopia and a desire to return home; all of this articulated in the two words she utters to the Immortan just before she kills him: “Remember me?” She’s devastated to find that the Green Place is no more, but she overcomes her grief and despair to find a new way forward. Though she can never return, she can fix what’s broken. Furiosa keeps fighting no matter what, even when she’s anguished, critically wounded, on the verge of death. She’s Joan of Arc, an avatar of feminine anger and righteousness, a post-apocalyptic Odysseus.
Part of her power, and what makes her so unique, is that Furiosa’s courage makes room for those who join her. Having launched a rebellion, her tenacity encourages the heroic acts of others, even those who didn’t know they had it in them. She awakens something in Nux, who was always willing to die for a cause; just not the right one. Through Furiosa, he is inspired to make his own sacrifice to save her and her freedomfighters, the only people who ever showed him compassion in his short, doomed half-life. And she helps a feral Max remember who he is, rediscovering his sense of self and the hero he once was.
But Furiosa has a higher purpose. She earned her status by participating in a cruel system, by serving a tyrant. Her journey is about redemption. And her quest becomes much more than a simple escape — it’s a mission to destroy the status quo and rebuild society. The end of Fury Road sees her ascension — both literally to the top of the Citadel, and figuratively. She oversees the fall of a fascist, and the rise of a more egalitarian, selfless society.
She’s a liberator, a protector, a revolutionary. Max
Rockatansky has always been the guardian of the Wasteland, but
Furiosa is its saviour. PRISCILLA PAGE