How Does Lean On Pete Die In The Movie?

A complete and spoiler-filled explanation of how Lean On Pete dies in the movie, along with some thoughts on the film’s larger themes.

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This article will spoil the ending of the movie Lean on Pete.

In the movie, Lean on Pete dies from injuries he sustained while being run hard in a race.

What is Lean on Pete about?

The movie Lean on Pete is about a teenager named Charley who tries to find a home for a racehorse named Lean on Pete. However, things take a turn for the worse when he discovers that the horse is going to be euthanized. In order to save him, Charley sets out on a journey across the country with Lean on Pete to find his owner. Along the way, they form a special bond that changes both of their lives forever.

The character of Lean on Pete

In the film, Lean on Pete, the title character is a young boy who befriends an aging racehorse. The horse is injured and retired from racing, and Pete makes the decision to steal him from the slaughterhouse and take him on a journey across the country, in search of his only remaining family member. Along the way, they meet a series of colorful characters, including a kindly strangers and a runaway girl.
Pete’s ultimate goal is to find his Auntaroo, but Lean on Pete dies before they reach her. In a heartbreaking scene, Pete digs a grave for his friend and lays him to rest.

How does Lean on Pete die in the movie?

Some viewers were surprised by the film’s ending, in which Charley finds Lean on Pete with his throat slit and his body hanging from a tree. However, it’s plausible that this is how the character actually died.

In the novel by Willy Vlautin on which the film is based, Lean on Pete dies in a similar fashion. Vlautin has said that he based the character’s death on that of a real-life racehorse named Festus, who was found hanged in his stall in 2009.

While it’s not clear why Lean on Pete would have killed himself, it’s possible that he was simply too traumatized by all he had been through. Charley finds him after he has been taken away from his home and forced to race against his will, and then he is abandoned by Charley when things get too tough. He may have felt that there was no point in living any longer.

The meaning of Lean on Pete’s death

There are a few potential interpretations of Lean on Pete’s death in the movie.

One interpretation is that Lean on Pete dies because he is no longer needed. Throughout the movie, it is clear that Lean on Pete is not a particularly successful racehorse. He consistently loses races, and his only win is due to another horse being injured. It could be argued that when Charley decides to leave with Lean on Pete and go find his father, Lean on Pete’s usefulness has come to an end. He is no longer needed as a racehorse, and so he dies.

Another interpretation is that Lean on Pete dies because he has been through too much. Throughout the course of the movie, Lean on Pete goes through a lot of hardship. He’s sold by his original owner to a cruel trainer, he’s forced to race even when he’s injured, and he witnesses the death of many other horses. It could be argued that all of this takes its toll on him, and he dies as a result.

A third interpretation is that Lean on Pete dies because he wants to be with Charley. Charley is the only person who has ever shown him kindness, and so when Charley leaves him behind, Lean on Pete wants to be with him. This interpretation is supported by the fact that shortly before he died, Lean on Pete made his way back to where Charley was living.

Ultimately, the interpretation of Lean on Pete’s death is up to the viewer.

The reaction to Lean on Pete’s death

The reaction to Lean on Pete’s death was mixed. Some viewers were shocked and saddened by the sudden death of a beloved character, while others felt that it was a fitting end to a difficult and harrowing journey.

The impact of Lean on Pete’s death

Many people were impacted by Lean on Pete’s death. Some were saddened by his death, while others found it hard to believe.

What could have been done to prevent Lean on Pete’s death?

It is difficult to say what, if anything, could have been done to prevent Lean on Pete’s death. He was a sick horse, and his death was likely inevitable. However, there are a few things that could have been done to make his life more comfortable and prolong his life:

– provide him with better quality food and hay
– ensure he had access to clean water at all times
– give him regular check-ups by a veterinarian
– give him regular exercise
– provide him with a comfortable stall or paddock

What can we learn from Lean on Pete’s death?

In the movie Lean on Pete, the title character dies at the end. Some viewers may find this upsetting, but Pete’s death can teach us a lot about life and how to live it.

Pete was a horse who was used for racing. He was not treated well by his owners and trainers, and he was often mistreated by the other horses. However, Pete never gave up. He kept running, even when he was injured and sick.

Pete’s death can teach us about the importance of never giving up, even when things are tough. We can also learn about the importance of compassion, as Pete was always kind to those around him, even when they weren’t kind to him.


From the clues we’ve gathered, it seems that Lean on Pete dies of a broken heart. While this is never explicitly stated in the film, it is implied through various scenes and dialogue. For example, when Charlie asks Delmont what happened to Lean on Pete, Delmont says that he “just up and died one day.” This could be interpreted to mean that Pete simply stopped living because he was so sad. Additionally, the fact that Charlie finds Pete’s body next to his favorite tree supports the idea that he died of a broken heart.

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