Did Furiosa Really Kill Dementus? What Did Peach Seed Symbolize?


Sometimes, protecting one’s humanity is a much more fierce battle than fighting against a horde of savages. That’s what the story of Furiosa is about: resilience. You may have heard the phrase that we often carry the roots we are born with, and Furiosa is a living example of that gospel. Her birthplace, The Green Earth, a paradise amidst the wasteland, is a beacon of hope in itself. Unfortunately, it was plundered by the invasive snakes of Dementus. Yes, the entire opening scene of the film was nothing short of biblical. But, in a way, it defined Furiosa’s character as well. A weak Furiosa standing tall amid the savages and having a light of her own reflects her internal battle to not end up becoming like Dementus someday.

Spoiler Alert

You know, revenge is a risky business, and most great philosophers have had a say in it. It almost feels Shakespearean every time someone chants the word “an eye for an eye.” But when you are blinded by rage, you don’t pay much heed to these philosophical notions. You are only hell-bent on taking revenge, just like our protagonist, Furiosa, who wanted to avenge the brutal murders of her mother and her lover. However, the revenge arc comes a bit late in George Miller’s 2024 film. Like most of the films in the Mad Max franchise, the Furiosa prequel, too, deals with the conflict of survival of the fittest. Furiosa, kidnapped by Dementus and later sold to Immortan Joe, had only one thing in mind: to survive until she was strong enough to return to her homeland.

It wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that it was Praetorian Jack’s murder that reignited the flames of retribution in Furiosa’s tender heart. Dementus, even though he claimed himself to be her adoptive father, had taken away everything the young girl once cherished. Her mother, her lover, and her arm. The map on her arm was the only way she could find her way home, but Dementus stole it from her too. In short, the evil warlord cut off the last thread that was keeping Furiosa sane. She was on the brink of losing her humanity because that’s what a wasteland does to its dwellers. At this moment, Furiosa, bleeding in the deserted wasteland, had just one thing in mind: if she survived, she was going to kill Dementus in the most brutal way possible. But did she?

Never in a story does a hero want to end up becoming like their worst nemesis. That would be the end of all hope and humanity. It is a very Gandhian philosophy, and all great narratives respect that. So even though Furiosa captured Dementus after his Biker Horde gang was purged during the Forty-Day War, she didn’t kill him. Dementus was defenseless, and Furiosa had all the means to kill him, yet she chose not to. The History Man and many other fable makers believed that Furiosa killed Dementus to take revenge. But Furiosa had reasons to spare her adoptive father’s life. Killing him would have been an insult to her mother and her roots. It would have only turned Furiosa into a monster like her adoptive father.

So, as the third story goes, Furiosa brought Dementus back to Immortan Joe’s citadel. For her bravery, Immortan might have promoted her from the ranks of the Praetorian Guard to an Imperator or a commander (the title that Furiosa used in Mad Max: Fury Road). But, as per the terms of the agreement, Furiosa wanted Dementus and nothing else. She had already mentioned the same to the People Eater before moving out of the citadel to hunt down the warlord. Therefore, after getting her end of the bargain, she planted the peach seed inside Dementus’ old body. It was a symbolic gesture in and of itself. Dementus had literally destroyed all the “greenery” in Furiosa’s life, but she took her revenge by not killing him but by making him the perfect compost, the perfect vase for her little seed, which reminded her of home. For Furiosa, that seed was the only souvenir of the Green Earth–the last remnant of hope. And in a way, she wanted Dementus to see what he had taken from her. 

Similar to the opening scene of the film, Furiosa plucks a peach from the Dementus’ tree. She later offers the same fruit to the Five Wives to make them believe that a paradise exists. In a way, the peach reminds Furiosa and others that humanity can still thrive in the wasteland only if more individuals like Furiosa and Max keep a check on their actions and don’t turn into monsters like Dementus and Immortan Joe.

Additionally, as we know from The Green Earth, it had already turned into a muddy swamp, which means the patch of paradise had already lost its charm. And the peach tree is the only surviving flora of those lands, which often reminds Furiosa of her roots. The party seized Immortan Joe’s Citadel and captured it in the end, and under Furiosa’s rule, the greenery is only going to spread further and further, thereby laying the foundation of a new paradise in the wasteland. So, the story comes full circle. But before concluding it, I just want to say, rot in peach, Dementus.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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