1017 is the only survivor of the Burden after they are all killed. He then runs to The Land, and is named The Return. He urges the Sky to kill all humans, and lets his need for revenge control him. But The Sky does not feel the same way as him and refuses to do this as instead, he intends on making peace as this is what he thinks is best for The Land. The Sky then leads him to Ben and The Return learns that he is not able to kill.
When he becomes the new Sky, he almost wages war on all settlers, but stops short because he realises he is not doing what is right for the Land. With the knowledge that only peace can bring calamity, he lets the humans go.
At the end of Monsters of Men, he shoots Todd with acid, though he knew he wasn’t sure if it was Todd or the Mayor in front of him. He offers to be killed by Viola as punishment, because he suffers knowing he killed another person, but Viola refuses to kill him as well as denying him forgiveness, so he will regret his action for the rest of his life. Ben helps Viola's decision, proving that although his son is dead, he can still think logically.
He shelters Todd and offers Viola medicine, in a gesture of peace.