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Nux

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WHAT A LOVELY DAY!!
~ Nux

Nux is a supporting antagonist-turned-tritagonist in the 2015 Warner Bros movie Mad Max: Fury Road.

He was portrayed by Nicholas Hoult, who is known for his portrayal of R in Warm Bodies and the young Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast in both X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

He is a member of Immortan Joe's War Boys, initially helping him in his attempt to recapture the wives, but later allies himself with Max Rockatansky and Imperator Furiosa in helping the wives escape.

Description

As a loyal War Boy, Nux proudly wears the white warpaint of Immortan Joe's cult, giving him a skeletal appearance only exacerbated by his slender build and facial scarring. Other than the uniform pants and boots, the only clothing he wears is a battered leather jacket stolen from Max (which is immediately reclaimed by Max the moment he gets the chance). As a revhead and a fanatical member of the cult of the V8, Nux displays his devotion in the form of an engine block tattoo scarified on his chest; in preparation for the day of his glorious death, he carries a spray can of silver car paint with him, intending to die "shiny and chrome" while high on the paint fumes.

Like all War Boys, Nux suffers from a number of debilitating illnesses contracted over the course of his life in the Wastelands, and has been left with only a "half-life" as a result. However, Nux is worse off than even his fellow War Boys: weak, anemic and frail, prone to night fevers and other ailments, he even sports a pair of cancerous tumours growing on his neck - which he names "Larry and Barry," even giving them drawn-on smiley faces. Close to the end of his half-life, he requires regular blood transfusions from compatible donors merely to stay active, hence why Max is assigned to him as a blood bag. As such, he sees the escape of the wives as the perfect opportunity to prove himself to Immortan Joe and earn his place in Valhalla. Of course, Nux's attempts at doing so easily fall apart due to his insistence on proving his strength - an unlikely proposition considering his illness: even the wives are easily able to overpower him. As such, it's not until Nux finds himself providing support as a mechanic and a driver that he truly shines.

Nux's mentality is that of a child driven by impulse, desperation and absolute religious devotion: having latched onto Immortan Joe as a father figure, he tries desperately to gain his approval by any means available, and even catching Joe's attention for less than a moment is enough to make Nux gibber in religious awe. Upon failing to impress Joe for the last time - and getting one of the wives killed in the process - Nux is left sobbing in the back of the rig, banging his head against the wall in despair. However, this childlike mindset also plays a part in his redemption: having never experienced true kindness from any of his fellows or superiors, Nux demonstrates immediate loyalty to Capable after being consoled by her, prompting him to help her and the other wives escape from the man he once worshiped.

Backstory

According to the prequel comics, Nux was born several years following the collapse of civilization, a product of the unforgiving wasteland that the world had become. His parents were among the many desperate pilgrims who flocked to the Citadel in search of water and refuge; unlike many, they refused to succumb to desperation by selling their son into slavery in return for water. Instead, Nux's father found work at the Citadel to support his wife and child - only to end up dying over the course of his duties; soon after, his mother died of Wasteland illnesses, leaving Nux alone in the world at barely four years of age.

Not knowing what happened to his father and believing that he was still at work in the Citadel, the young Nux was so desperate to find a way into the fortress that he actually went so far as to grab onto the Citadel's loading lift as it was reeled back inside. The guards assigned to the lift would have gladly thrown Nux to his death like all the other freeloaders who'd tried the same trick, but instead decided to see how long the child could cling to the ledge. This "game" eventually got the attention of the War Boys waiting on the ledge: though initially amused at the sight of the little freeloader struggling to hang on, their mockery turned to awe as the game continued, until the crowd actually broke into a chorus of "Witness" - a warcry normally reserved for War Boys dying a glorious death. Eventually, the guards relented and helped him onto the lift, allowing him into the Citadel and into the ranks of the War Pups; his elders called him "a hard nut to crack," hence his name.

Nux never found his father, but as he grew up and the indoctrination of the War Boy cult began, he found a substitute in the form of Immortan Joe: Nux became a devout worshiper of the warlord, devoting himself to impressing Immortan by any means available to him. Driven by this belief, he swiftly graduated to the ranks of the Citadel mechanics, where he showed a great aptitude for engineering and modification; despite the many illnesses he acquired as his life continued, he eventually became a fully-fledged War Boy and one of Immortan Joe's drivers.

Mad Max: Fury Road

At the start of the film, Nux is deathly ill and only sustained by transfusions from the newly-captured Max Rockatansky. When Immortan Joe rallies his army to stop Furiosa, the ailing Nux can only watch helplessly as the War Boys collect their steering wheels - up until he catches Slit, his lancer, trying to steal his steering wheel. Slit insists on "promoting" himself to the role of driver, denying his friend the chance to join the chase on the grounds that "if you can't stand up, you can't do war," and coldly dismissing Nux's desperate attempts to avoid "dying soft." With no time for a full transfusion, Nux convinces Slit and the Organic Mechanic to tie Max to the front of his car so that he can continue "topping up" even while driving; so, with Max an unwilling passenger and Slit once again serving as his lancer, Nux joins Immortan Joe's army. He even manages to earn a glance from Joe himself, a sign (to Nux, at any rate) that he is awaited in Valhalla.

Driving ahead of the convoy, Nux manages to catch up with Furiosa's War Rig; after helping the Rig's crew to fight off Buzzards pursuing them, the pursuit vehicles attempt to disable the Rig and stop Furiosa. In the ensuing chaos, Nux's car suffers a burst tire, forcing Slit to untie Max and move him to the lancer's perch in order to re-balance the car; unfortunately, this also allows Max to break free and dislodge Slit from the perch. Undeterred, Nux follows the War Rig into a colossal sandstorm, only growing more excited as his odds of survival diminish. Drawing alongside the Rig, he gives himself a ceremonial coating of silver spray paint, floods his car with guzzoline and readies a flare, preparing to blow himself up in an attempt to stop the Rig once and for all. However, Max is able to punch through the car's back window and wrestle the flare out of Nux's hands, resulting in a crash that both of them survive.

Once he regains consciousness, Max finds himself unable to break the chain connecting him to Nux, forcing him to carry the War Boy around as he searches for water. This search ultimately brings him into contact with Furiosa and the wives, leading to a vicious melee, during which Nux unexpectedly awakens and - despite being easily outmatched by the wives - manages to help Max win the fight. Too busy thinking about all the rewards he could earn for bringing the wives back, Nux fails to recognize the fact that Max is quite clearly not on his side; as soon as he's finished unchaining Max, he is promptly punched in the stomach and left in the dust. Once Furiosa and Max have agreed to a truce and driven off in the Rig, however, Nux awakens and manages to sneak aboard the Rig via a concealed entrance; once again, however, Nux is undone by his own frailty, and his attempt at ambushing the Rig's cab only results in him being wrested into submission and kicked out.

Humiliated, Nux rejoins the War Boys as they follow the Rig's trail. However, their pursuit is once again disrupted when Furiosa enters a canyon and the Ridge Riders block the entrance with rubble; while the rest of the army works to remove this obstacle, Immortan Joe, Rictus Erectus and a small crew of War Boys continue the chase aboard the Bigfoot, the only vehicle able to traverse the rubble - and to Nux's joy, he is included among the crew. When the Bigfoot finally catches up with the Rig, he informs Joe of the secret entrance to the Rig he discovered, and offers to get aboard and capture Furiosa alive. Instead, Joe gives Nux one of his own revolvers and orders him to kill Furiosa, stop the rig and recapture the wives, promising to personally deliver him to the gates of Valhalla if he succeeds - even anointing the awestruck War Boy with chrome spray paint. Unfortunately, Nux forgets about the chain he's still carrying around: the moment he climbs aboard the Rig, he trips over the chain, lands flat on his face and is left dangling helplessly over the side, losing Joe's precious revolver in the process. Dismissing him as "mediocre," Joe drives on in disgust, leaving Nux shamed and distraught. Worse still, Angharad, Joe's favourite wife is killed in the chase that follows - a death Nux clearly blames himself for.

Some time later, Capable, one of Joe's wives, decides to keep watch on the rear turret - only to find Nux lying there, crying over his failures. Nux laments that he had three opportunities to claim a place in Valhalla, and he failed every single one of them, and now has only a slow death from Larry and Barry to look forward to. However, Capable is able to console him, even suggesting that he was meant for something greater than just another death in battle. Later, when the War Rig ends up getting stuck in a bog, Nux decides to repay Capable's kindness by helping them out; though initially suspicious of him, Max and Furiosa grudgingly accept his help. In the process, Nux even gets to drive the War Rig - just as he always wanted.

After the journey to the Green Place proves futile, Max eventually hits upon a plan to claim the Citadel: with the entire army out looking for the War Rig, the only resistance would be War Pups too young to fight and War Boys too sick to join the convoy, and with Nux leading the group, the defenders would assume that he'd successfully recaptured the War Rig and allow them to enter. However, Joe quickly recognizes the Rig's return trip for what it is and gives chase: in the ensuing fight, Nux is forced to work double-time to boost the Rig's engines, briefly pitted against his old friend Slit in the process; when the engines start breaking down under the strain, he has to clamber into the Rig's chassis and fix them while the Rig is still in motion - though this allows him the opportunity to save Max from being crushed by the oncoming People Eater. Finally, Nux takes the wheel during the last stretch of the chase, first keeping it in motion while Furiosa kills Joe, then allowing the wives to cross from the Rig to the captured Gigahorse; meanwhile, he prepares to jam the rig's throttle, allowing him enough time to escape onto the Gigahorse before the Rig crashes into the canyon.

However, Rictus then makes one last attempt to recapture the wives and kill Furiosa, forcing Nux to hit the breaks and let the Gigahorse drive off without him. As Rictus tears engine parts from the Rig in a fit of rage, Nux says goodbye to Capable, mouthing "Witness me" before swerving hard into the wall of the canon, killing Rictus and collapsing the overpass on the remainder of Joe's army, finally achieving the death he always wanted - but this time, not as just another War Boy sacrificing his life to Immortan Joe, but as a hero.

Vehicle

Nux drives a highly customized 1934 Ford Deuce Coupe, a classic hot rod stripped of all paint, equipped with a turbocharged big block V8 engine. His vehicle also has basic nitrous oxide installation, engaged manually by a crank-valve for additional power boost. The front of the vehicle has been modified with a perch to which Nux's blood-bag, Max, is chained: IV tubing attached to Max's chains allows Nux to continue his transfusion even while driving. The steering wheel is custom-made to resemble Immortan Joe's face and completely removable, as Nux demonstrates by hoisting it triumphantly in the air while driving ahead of Joe's convoy. On the back of the car, there is a small perch for Nux's lancer, Slit. The vehicle is peculiarly capable of driving in reverse at high speeds and also has a system which allows for flooding it with guzzoline. Despite these vast modifications, Nux is not particularly attached to his own vehicle, merely using it as means of stopping Furiosas' War Rig and granting himself a glorious death in the process.

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