Freezing cold, bear attack, betrayal, tragedies, and bloodthirsty Indians made the protagonist’s life harder in the movie The Revenant nominated for twelve Oscars. But how much might the screenwriters have changed the true story in order to make it more spectacular?

[Spoiler Alert]

Alejandro González Inárritu’s movie is based on a true story and its protagonist, Hugh Glass was a real man in the mountains who lived at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The Guardian has collected how much the director altered the real story according to the preserved documents.


Hugh Glass really existed and it’s a proven fact that he was hired as an explorer by a trapper group in 1822. The group was led by Captain Andrew Henry impersonated by Domhnall Gleeson, who was also inspired by a real person. Andrew Henry started the trapper business at the beginning of the 1820's, and in 1822 he organized a team of 70 people for a mission by the Missouri River. Glass joined the team that time, and the Arikara Indian attack scene from the beginning of the movie happened in 1823 and it is remembered as the most violent fight of the first half of the nineteenth century between Indians and men in the mountains.


So, according to the preserved documents, a trapper group of seventy men were attacked by an Arikara Indian group of 600 fighters. The Revenant shows the brutal fight in an unimaginably realistic way but works with much less participants. According to some stories, only 18 men died during the fight but in the movie Andrew Henry’s employees were decimated very much.


According to some notes, Hugh Glass was able to write and read as well, he never wrote his stories down. However, there are some memoirs and in 1825 an unknown author wrote the story of Glass in a paper titled The Port Folio. This says that the man was hurt really badly in a fight with a grizzly bear and he crawled through the mountains in a very bad condition in order to get revenge on the team that had left him behind.

But there is no information about the trappers who made the man angry. So the character and actions of Tom Hardy exist only thanks to the screenwriters’ imagination.

In addition, nothing says that Glass had any children, so probably the Indian wife is also fictional, this background story might only be an extra motivation in the story.Glass having to survive in the snow is only the exaggeration of suffering, the atrocity took place in a period lasting from August to October.

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