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Prey ending explained: who lives, is there a post-credit scene?

Amber Midthunder in Prey
Amber Midthunder in Prey (Image credit: David Bukach)

The Predator franchise found new blood with Prey. A hit with critics and fans alike (a "Certified Fresh" 93% from critics and 82% approval from fans on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab)), Prey is proving to be a fun watch. However, if you’re left with any lingering questions about the Prey ending, we’re here to help. From who lives to whether or not there is a post-credits scene, let’s break down the Prey ending (SPOILERS AHEAD).

Prey is the fifth standalone movie in the Predator franchise (we don’t speak of Alien vs Predator) but the first prequel. Set in the early 1700s, Prey follows a young female Comanche warrior, Naru (Amber Midthunder), who wants to prove herself to her tribe. She gets that opportunity when a Predator arrives, the alien creature’s supposed first visit to earth, and begins his own hunt.

If you haven’t yet seen the movie, here’s how you can watch Prey right now. But if you’re still with us, here’s our explanation of the important details of the Prey ending.

Who lives in Prey?

The Predator in Prey takes no prisoners. Though his technology is not as advanced as what Arnold Schwarzenegger and company would go up against in the original Predator movie, the alien hunter is still lightyears ahead of the earthlings he finds in this movie at the beginning of the 18th century. That doesn’t mean they aren’t able to put up a fight, but the body count is unsurprisingly high.

All of the hunting party from Naru’s tribe is killed by the Predator when they first encounter him, save for Naru and her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers). It’s similar with the group of French fur trappers who then capture Naru and Taabe to use them for bait; the Predator goes through them with relative ease, with only one (Mike Paterson’s Big Beard) surviving the initial onslaught.

Naru and Taabe manage to get themselves free and gather some weapons and supplies, but the Predator finds them. They give him a good fight, wounding the alien multiple times, but ultimately Taabe sacrifices himself to let his sister escape and regroup to kill the Predator.

In a bit of role reversal, Naru uses Big Beard for bait this time (the Predator made the kill, but we’ll give this one to Naru since it was an act of revenge against the fur trapper). That leaves just a showdown between Naru and the Predator.

To combat the alien, Naru realizes the orange flower her mother uses in medicine lowers her body temperature to a level where the Predator can’t see her (a la Schwarzenegger and the mud). With this advantage, she sets up a number of ingenious traps to weaken the Predator. But the final blow comes when she uses the Predator’s own helmet (which she stole earlier) against him, putting it in a place where it lined him up and he is shot with his own arrow, killing him. Naru returns to her tribe with the Predator head.

What does the Prey ending mean?

From the very start of Prey, the most important thing for Naru is to prove to everyone in her tribe that she is a skilled hunter and warrior. She first tries to do this by joining her brother and a hunting party to go after a mountain lion. Naru ends up fighting the mountain lion, but falls and hits her head on a rock and passes out. She wakes up back with her tribe and then sees her brother arrive with the dead mountain lion and subsequently be adorned by the tribe.

Naru now decides she needs to track down the odd creature she’s been seeing signs of the past few days — the Predator. She learns about him through her tracking, which helps her and Taabe survive as long as they do. 

Before Taabe is killed, he reveals to Naru that she actually severely wounded the mountain lion. He gives her confidence that she is a good hunter and puts it on her to kill the Predator, which she ultimately does.

When she returns to her tribe with the Predator head, she is greeted as a hero and given the same honor that her brother was as a hunter and all the respect that goes with it. She proves that she is every bit as capable (if not more so) as the other hunters in their tribe.

Amber Midthunder in Prey

Amber Midthunder in Prey (Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

What does the pistol say in Prey?

While the fur trappers were mostly another antagonist in Prey for Naru, there was one who gave her a bit of an assist. One fur trapper speaks Comanche and, after the failed attempt to kill the Predator, returns to the camp wounded and finds Naru. He asks for her help, but in exchange, she wants his pistol; he agrees. This comes in handy later as Naru uses the pistol to wound the Predator in their fight.

However, the most interesting thing about the pistol is what it says. It’s only shown for a moment, but there’s a plaque on the pistol that reads, "Raphael Adolini 1715." This is a major easter egg for Predator fans that calls back (or forward?) to Predator 2.

In the 1990 sequel, Danny Glover’s Mike Harrigan defeats the Predator and chases him back onto his own ship where he encounters a group of other Predators. Instead of killing him, the aliens honor Harrigan for defeating one of their kind, presenting him with a pistol that features writing on it: "Raphael Adolini 1715."

What does this mean? While it likely indicates the Predators aren’t done with Naru and a future fight might not work out as well for her, it also seems to show the respect the Predators have for Naru. If the Predators end up killing Naru, they appear to take her pistol as a prized possession. Presenting Glover’s Harrigan with the pistol after defeating a Predator shows the pistol is a gift to honor a fellow warrior, one worthy of Naru’s weapon.

Is there a Prey post-credit scene?

You don't want to stop watching Prey once the credits start rolling as there is a massive reveal, though it does not come like we’ve become accustomed to from Marvel post-credit scenes.

There is no new scene played in either the mid-credits or after all of them scroll by. Instead, the main credits themselves are the extra content you need to pay attention to. The credits are displayed along with drawings that tell the story of Prey. At the very end, there is a tease for a potential sequel. We see the drawing of Naru standing on one side as what looks to be three Predator ships appear in the sky.

This would seem to show that should there be a sequel (nothing has been confirmed as of publication), the Predators are coming back to earth to try and even the score (and then some) with Naru.

You can stream Prey right now on Hulu (US viewers) and Disney Plus (UK and international viewers).

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.