War Boys are the paramilitary arm of The Citadel and serve as servants and soldiers.
War Boys' life
War Boys are hand picked at a young age by the guardians of the elevator platform of The Citadel and are indoctrinated as zealots in the cult of V8 with Immortan Joe as their immortal leader. They are completely loyal, blindly following their leader, never questioning the morality of his actions. They view death in service to Immortan Joe as an honor.
Becoming a War Boy is a privilege, unbeknownst, however to the subject. The guardians of the elevator platform select healthy and strong individuals upon their descent into hordes of The Wretched. The Wretched want their children to be taken atop The Citadel seeing it as the only chance for their children to survive. That request is often denied in a rather brutal fashion.
Upon arriving at The Citadel, children are given new names and become War Pups. They are taught to believe in the cult of V8 and worship all things mechanical. They become mechanics, "rev-heads", or "black thumbs", crafting all kinds of mechanical devices, usually involving vehicles and combat, however are not allowed to go into battle yet.
If War Pups survive long enough they become War Boys. Most of them are plagued by cancer, the most common one being lymphoma, others resulting in partial or complete blindness. They require blood transfusions to prolong their lives and it's one of the reasons they hunt for unsuspecting wanderers of the wasteland.
“These War Boys have no choice. They're culturally impoverished: There's no books, there's no internet, there's no theaters, no radios, no music. All they have are the detritus of the past and they refashion it so a steering wheel becomes a religious artifact; they do the sign of the V8; the engine they scarified on their bodies, because an engine is much more permanent than the human body; they chrome their teeth, because chrome is such a rare thing. So like all cults this is another cult invented by the Immortan Joe in order to get people to die on his behalf.”"
For the most part, War Boys learn about and cherish mechanics. Their life is filled with boredom except for an occasional raid or a supply run.
All Warboys have their torsos, arms, and heads completely covered in a white powder. It is both a tribute to their revered leader Immortan Joe who uses white powder as medication but the white powder is also meant to give War Boys a skeletal appearance as they are 'half lives' - essentially on their deathbed. They also use grey clay pigment around their eyes, mouths, or foreheads to give themselves more of a skeletal look. They are distinct from Joe's imperators who are in fact 'full lives' and not covered in white powder, though as Imperators their rank is signified by black grease on their heads. During their downtime, War Boys - wary of their short lifespan - carve, or brand mechanical autoparts onto themselves such as engines, pistons, etc...
“The War Boys, that was all they knew—their cars and the mechanics of cars. They knew how to make them work but, you know, they didn’t know how to make their ailing bodies work. So, they scarred themselves up like car pieces and car parts because they knew how to mend those.” "They cover themselves in white dust to mirror the preferred stylings of their leader"
There are two ranks of War Boys. Lower rank War Boys do not have any markings on their heads. Higher rank War Boys such as Slit and Ace have grey pigment on their heads. Above them are Imperators that have black mechanical grease on their heads, i.e. Furiosa and Immortan's other Imperators.
"By my deeds I honor him. V8" - Slit
War Boys are indoctrinated into believing that Immortan Joe is their absolute benefactor and savior, and that the car, and the V8 engine is the source of their strength and power. They are brought up thinking Immortan Joe is actually immortal and by loyally serving him, will be granted entrance through the gates of Valhalla in the afterlife, rendering them immortal as well. They believe in a completely developed cult which translates onto their speech and actions:
"He is the one who grabbed the sun!"
Fully aware of their short lifespans dubbed "half-lives" they only care for serving the Immortan Joe to live again in the afterlife. They are utterly willing to die for their cause, and will call upon their fellow warboys to "witness" their deaths in combat. They despise the idea of "dying soft", and prefer to go out chrome on the fury road to Valhalla.
The steering wheel has become a powerful religious symbol for the cult.
Brought up as mechanics, they are worthy of fixing vehicles until they reach a certain age that allows them to drive and customize their own vehicles. They seem to have a somewhat personal attachment to those vehicles however, symbolized in their custom steering wheels and cars. The cars serve them as chariots capable of reaching Valhalla, despite being regarded as "shiny and chrome".
Their history is unknown, where or what era they were founded in as well as how long they have stayed in power. They control scarce resources such as water, food, ammunition and crops that they acquired by unknown means and use these resources to stay in power.They are allied with Gas Town and the Bullet Farm, extorting resources like "guzzolene" and ammunition. They rarely engage in battle amongst their own, as they are dependent on each other in order to survive.