Characters: Django Unchained
As a Character Sheet
, spoilers will be below
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"I like the way you die, boy."
A slave previously owned by Old Man Carrucan, he is freed by Dr King Schulz and sets out to find his wife Broomhilda.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Manages to save Broomhilda, avenge Schultz, and destroy Candyland by the end of the film. This after being shot, beaten, nearly castrated, and sold back into slavery.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Gains these over the course of the movie.
- Invincible Anti-Hero: Has become one by the end of the film. He effortlessly outclasses anyone who tries to fight him and never seems in serious danger in combat.
- One-Man Army: Becomes this in the eventual assault on Candyland, although it's subverted: even the best gunman is only dangerous when he has bullets, and Django was eventually overwhelmed and backed into a corner. It's not quite clear who was saved when Stephen used Broomhilda to force him surrender.
- Only One Name: Initially. He later picks up "Freeman" as a surname.
- The Quiet One: He doesn't say much.
- Took a Level in Badass: Schultz trained him in gun fighting and gradually becomes competent as the movie progresses.
- Would Hit a Girl: Kills men and women alike in the eventual assault on Candyland.
Dr. King Schultz
An eccentric German Bounty Hunter
and former dentist who frees Django to aid him in the pursuit of the Brittle Brothers.
- Ambiguously Jewish: A German immigrant in the mid-19th century, when the first Jews came to America from Germany with the stereotypically Jewish profession of dentist. He clearly has a strong German identity due to his fascination with German folklore, but Jews were much more assimilated in Germany than any other European country (prior to Hitler, of course). The surname Schultz is occasionally Jewish.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV, verging on Type III since he seems to make an effort to only go after the really nasty criminals. As he says, "Badder they are, bigger the reward."
- Badass: He's been killing dangerous outlaws for some time.
- Badass Beard: Badass Exceptional Beard.
- Badass Bookworm: He's well read enough to know more about Alexandre Dumas than Candie.
- Badass Grandpa: Older than most characters in the movie.
- Badass Longcoat: Wears one.
- Badass Mustache: Distinct along with his beard.
- Beware the Nice Ones: among the nicest people in the movie. He's still deadly.
- Bounty Hunter: "The badder they are, the bigger the reward."
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A Bunny Ears Bounty Hunter
- Catchphrase: "Now everybody calm down."
- The Charmer: He is exceptionally good at talking his way out of hairy situations.
- Complexity Addiction: According to Tarantino, this is partially what lead to the failure of his plan, and his death.
- Depraved Dentist: Subverted - he's a former dentist who kills people for money... but at the same time he's far and away the kindest and most compassionate person in the film.
- Guile Hero: And he teaches it to Django.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted, as shooting Calvin at the moment he did put Django and his wife in danger, though it opened him up to be killed.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Has these, but not to the same extent as Django.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He might seem callous at times, but he really isn't.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Schultz says disgusting things about his job, but his actions are often driven more by nobility and conscience than profit. He believes his bounties are legitimately bad men, and he is doing justice by killing them. The fact that he is paid for it is a bonus.
- Mutual Kill: Played with; by shooting Calvin, he opens himself to be shot by one of Calvin's henchmen. The henchman then shoots and kills him.
- Nice Hat: Which matches his suit.
- Not So Above It All: Inverted; While King Schultz certainly disagrees with slavery, he doesn't seem particularly bothered by it, treating it as the backward practice of easily dispatched stupid rednecks. But his above-it-all demeanor cracks and eventually dissolves completely after he witnesses some particularly awful brutality on Candie's plantation.
- The Obi-Wan: An older, (sort of) wiser mentor to Django.
- Poor Communication Kills: Foreshadowed from the initial bar scene, and several times on. Schultz rarely shares vital information with Django, whether it be that he had every legal authority to kill the sheriff, the family surrounding a fugitive, or his intentions for Candie. Had he given Django any warning on the last, it's far likelier that he'd have survived.
- Prophetic Name: Yes, we didn't miss that your character is named, "Dr. King", Quentin. Schultz makes the ultimate sacrifice for emancipating Django, just like the great civil rights leader.
- Revenge Before Reason: If Calvin didn't ask for his hand to be shaken by Schultz, both of them would have lived. Alas...
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Generally, if he breaks into a really complicated and articulate speech, the more awesome the scene will be.
- The Spook: His origins are never revealed or fully explained.
- Tragic Hero: According to Tarantino, while Schultz did genuinely despise Candie as a despicable and heartless bastard, his own wounded pride played a great deal in his killing of the man.
Broomhilda von Shaft
"They call me Hildy."
Django's wife, who was sold by the Brittle Brothers, on Old Man Carrucan's instructions, to Calvin J. Candie.
- Neutral Female: She's pretty much useless for the entire movie. Hell, when Django began to shoot his way out of Candyland, not only did she not help him at all, she even managed to get into his line of fire instead of, you know, ducking for cover like any intelligent person would when bullets start flying.
- Prophetic Name: The mythical Brunehilde was a Valkyrie and a warrior, and the first time we see a free Broomhilda, she's got herself a horse and a gun, and seems destined to be Neutral No Longer.
- Sex Slave: The scars on her back and her face branding make her no longer fit to be a house slave, but she's still ok to serve as a "comfort woman."
- Scars Are Forever: She has whip marks on her back and an R branding her as a runaway on her cheek. And Django actually begged them not to give her these since they would reduce her value and make her unable to be a house slave any longer.
Candyland is a slave plantation headed by Calvin J. Candie and his butler, Stephen
. The following characters are affiliated with Candyland and are antagonists of the film unless otherwise noted.
Calvin J. Candie
"Gentleman, you had my curiosity, now you have my attention."
The sadistic and charismatic owner of Candyland.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Or cigarette holder. He likes both.
- Evil Has Standards: As terrible as he is, he has a very small number of scruples: When it is shown that Django and Schultz really do have the money they'd originally mentioned to buy Broomhilda from him, he is perfectly willing to sell her, with a full receipt for purchase. At that point in the movie, he could just as easily have shot them both, and kept all of their money for himself and Broomhilda (And it was clear, after the money for payment was taken out, the pair still had a large amount of money left). However, since he styles himself a gentleman, rather than a common thug or bandit, he abides by the letter of the agreement, even after he feels that he's been made a fool of by the two of them.
- Evil Is Hammy: Rather than just admit he knows Django and Schultz are lying, he gives a lecture on the inferiority of black brains, then brings out the skull of his father's favorite slave and violently saws it in half so that he can disgust Django into giving up his cover. When it doesn't work, he threatens to bash Broomhilda's skull in with a hammer.
- Evil Is Petty: He's already won his confrontation with Schultz, but he just has to rub in his victory with a snide gesture of courtesy; he insists that Schultz is obliged to shake his hand to make the deal official and simultaneously acknowledge Candie as a 'gracious host'. This display of petty arrogance gets both him and Schultz killed when Schultz shoots Candie out of wounded pride.
- Faux Affably Evil: He often acts like a proper gentleman, but when things don't go his way or he gets outsmarted, his demeanor goes very much this way. After Stephen exposes Django and Schultz's scheme, he maintains his demeanor in a rather more sinister tone to put them on edge, before flipping into Chewing the Scenery-level anger and threat-making, and then alternating between the two states to scare everyone, during all of which he is never actually rude, and he never fails to use "mister" or "doctor" when addressing his fellow white men.
- Meaningful Name: His name is Candie, and - as noted below - he's got one gruesome set of teeth. He's also killed by a dentist.
"He gon' stay in the big house!?"
Calvin Candie's old head house slave and close friend, he enjoys the power he has over the other slaves.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Stephen figures out very quickly that Django and Broomhilda know each other.
- Death Glare: Gives a heck of one to Django when he sees him ride in.
- The Dragon: Not really, see the tropes right below.
- Dragon Ascendant: He outlives his master as a threat and takes up nominal reign of Candyland with Lara as the technical owner.
- Dragon-in-Chief: He's smarter than Candie, and he's the one to ruin Schultz and Django's plans.
- Dying Curse: Stephen's life ends with him cursing at Django before he gets blown up.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see him, he's expressing his exasperating at Candie's insistence that Django, a black man, needs a guest room. While Candie reprimands him, it's clear he possesses more privilege then the other slaves. He also methodically forging Candie's signature on various cheques.
- Evil Genius: At least when compared to Candie.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He truly seems to care for Candie, and is brought to tears when Schultz kills him.
- Face Death with Dignity: He definitely tries to invoke it by dramatically dropping his cane and walking defiantly towards Django with open arms, but Django will have none of it and opts to kneecap him instead making it difficult for him to maintain the calm, proud composure he presumably intended to go out with.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Devises one. Instead of just killing Django, he has him sent off to to be a slave in a mining company, effectively negating everything Django's done on his journey.
- Grumpy Old Man: Complains and grumbles extensively about "letting a nigger stay in the big house".
- Happiness in Slavery: He's devoted to serving Candie. But its also a Deconstructed Trope
- Inelegant Blubbering: His immediate reaction to Calvin's death, as well as getting his own kneecaps blown out.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: "DJANGOOOOOO! YOU UPPITY SON OF A".....well, he was going to say "bitch" before the dynamite brought down the house.
- Knight of Cerebus: Once he and Calvin and are presented on screen, the plot of the film focuses much more on the drama than the Black Comedy.
- The Man Behind the Man: Notice how Stephen even writes checks and bills of sale on behalf of Candie? That makes it clear he's the true mastermind of Candyland and the one who is really in charge.
- Manipulative Bastard: And how!
- Meaningful Name: a reference to Stepin Fetchit, the stage name of comedian Lincoln Perry.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: The original script even had Stephen burning off Django's chest nipples
- Obfuscating Disability: Subverted; he can walk without a cane, but this doesn't matter when he is kneecapped and then blown up seconds later after this is revealed. The limp act does, however, serve to reinforce his Obfuscating Stupidity ruse, however.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He acts like an ass-kissing self-deprecating house slave out in public. In truth, he's extremely dangerous, cunning, and the real brains behind Candyland.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Played with in that while he is this to a modern audience, the movie does take place two years before the Civil War and thus, he is not according to the values of his time.
Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly
Played By: Laura Cayouette
The sister of Calvin Candie.
- Blown Across the Room: In the most ridiculous manner seen in a Spaghetti Western, to the point she wasn't even blown at the right angle when shot. And this was done by a revolver, from across the room.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Played with. She's disgusted when her brother proudly shows off Broomhilda's scars in the dinner scene, but it's not clear if the abuse itself offends her or if she thinks such things are not good table manners.
- Incest Subtext: With Calvin.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: She and Stephen came up with the idea of sending a captured Django to a mine, where he'll be worked to death, stripped of his name, possibly have his tongue removed, and never be reunited with Broomhilda. Luckily, Django has other plans.
- Spanner in the Works: Lara Lee is actually the one who first notices Hildy's tension with Django, and it's her lighthearted jest about it that draws Stephen's attention to them enough for him to work out the rest. It's possible that the plan would have gone off without a hitch had she not noticed or not chosen to joke about it.
- Stepford Smiler: Comes with the Southern Belle.
"Oh, I'm gonna go walking in the moonlight with you."
One of Candie's most trusted hands.
Played By: James Remar
Candie's shotgun-toting bodyguard.
- Badass: By implication more than action.
- The Dragon: To Candie, in a more traditional sense than Stephen.
- Irony: Due to Butch Pooch being the one who kills Schultz, and Schultz shooting Ace Speck at the beginning, we have the irony that Christoph Waltz kills James Remar in the beginning of the movie, and then later, James Remar kills him back.
- Nice Hat: He wears it all the time, even indoors, which even the uneducated Django knows is wrong.
Played By: Dennis Christopher
Candie's trusted lawyer.
- Amoral Attorney: He seems nice enough at first, but he has absolutely zero problems with his employer's brutal behaviour.
Played By: Dana Michelle Gourrier
A house slave that serves as Stephen's second.
- Mammy: Physically, though averted in that she's Stephen's lover.
"I know you didn't mean me."
Played By: Nichole Galicia
A house slave that serves as Candie's mistress/companion.
- Category Traitor: She's quite pleased with her lofty position as Candie's mistress.
- Happiness in Slavery: Much like Stephen, she seems happy to have eked out a relatively comfortable life for herself in a country that's harsh on black people.
Played By: Danielle Watts
A slave in the Cleopatra Club.
- French Maid: Her routine, she even greets club goes with bonjour. Her master Calvin Candie is himself a Francophile.
- Meido: Her character is closer to this than the usually sassy French Maid trope.
Played By: Franco Nero
A member of the Cleopatra Club involved in 'mandingo' fights.
Hillbilly dog handlers led by Mr. Stonesipher hired by Candie to track down runaway slaves.
- All There in the Manual: According to leaked script and early casting news, trackers' names are Jake, Lex, Stu, Cheney, Catfish and Peg. Only Jake is named in the movie.
- Beard of Evil: Stonesipher, Jake, Cheney and Catfish sport them.
- The Cameo: Pretty much the entire troupe of actors who play them are Tarantino regulars.
- Death Glare: Trackers give it to Django as he rides by.
- Deep South: The deepest.
- Evil Cripple: Tracker Lex is hunchbacked.
- Gentle Giant: Jake doesn't seem to enjoy watching people being ripped to pieces by dogs and he's building a birdhouse while his friends are playing poker with human ears instead of poker chips.
- Groin Attack: Django shoots Stonesipher's genitals off.
- Perma Stubble: Lex and Stu sport them.
Spencer "Big Daddy" Bennett
"Now unless they start shooting first, nobody shoot 'em. That's way too simple for these jokers."
Played By: Don Johnson
A plantation owner and slaver and the current employer of the Brittle Brothers.
- The Klan: Leads a sort of KKK, though rather incompetently it seems.
- Large Ham: Especially during the scene where he's trying to get the rest of the Klan organized.
John 'Big John' Brittle
"I like the way you beg, boy."
The oldest Brittle brother, and seemingly their leader.
- Didn't See That Coming: When Django kills him, Big John doesn't look scared or in pain. He just looks surprised, as if he can't quite believe that a slave he never gave a second thought to hunted him down and put a bullet in his dark heart.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He has a young slave girl whipped for accidentally breaking eggs.
- Whip It Good: His choice of 'motivational tool' is a whip, which he is very handy with.
Roger 'Lil Raj' Brittle
Played By: Cooper Huckabee
The clumsy middle Brittle brother.
- Karmic Death: Killed by a slave he once abused and tortured.
Played By: Doc Duhame
The youngest Brittle brother.
- Karmic Death: Killed by a slave he once abused and tortured.
Bag Head # 2
U.S. Marshal Gill Tatum
Played By: Tom Wopat
A U.S. Marshal based at the town of Daughtrey.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Both ways. When a stranger shows up in town and guns down a fellow lawman, he takes plenty of time to ensure every escape is covered and takes great care to not underestimate the man and put The Posse at risk. Also, he is still willing to hear the perp out and promise that "no-one cheats the hangman in my town". He also apparently pays out the bounty when Schultz has explained the situation.
- U.S. Marshal: Wears a star and is referred to as "marshal". It's not a huge leap.
Sheriff Bill Sharp
Played By: Don Stroud
The Sheriff of Daughtrey.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: "Now, why y'all wanna come into my town and start trouble? And scare all these nice people? You ain't got nothin' better to do than to come into Bill Sharp's town and show your ass-
- Retired Outlaw: Is in fact the man Schultz is in town to collect the bounty on.
- The Sheriff: He is the man who shows up when Schultz asks for the sheriff, and he wears a badge, so...
"You got sand, Django. Boy's got sand...I got no use for a nigger with sand."
Played By: Bruce Dern
One of Django's former owners, who sold Django and Broomhilda seperately.
- Alliterative Name: His first and last names start with C.
- Bigger Bad: Is the one that starts the backstory of the film, and isn't really hunted down as an afterthought by Django.
- Beard of Evil: A white goatee.
- The Cameo: For the formidable Bruce Dern, growling every word.
- Evil Is Petty: Carrucan sells Django and Broomhilda seperately to split them up, and even has Django sold 'cheap'.
- Evil Old Folks: He's an older fellow, but still evil to the core.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Carrucan wears a pair of nifty shades, perhaps to disguise the evil in his eyes.
- In Universe Nickname: "Old Man Carrucan".
- Kick the Dog: Separating Django and Broomhilda from each other... and ordering the Brittle brothers to sell Django cheap.
- The Unfought: Django never takes revenge against him, even though he's arguably more responsible for his plight than the Brittle brothers.
Ace & Dicky Speck
Played By: James Remar & James Russo
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Dicky desperately pleads with his captives to spare his life and tries to bargain with them. To no avail.
- Punch Clock Villain: Dicky claims to be one, and it's possible that (compared to other slavers,) he's actually right. Not that it does him any good when the slaves are handed freedom on a silver platter and he's the only one standing (or lying, screaming under a horse,) in the way.