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Connor MacLeod / Russell Nash
Played by: Christopher Lambert (1986-2000)
"Hey, it's a kind of magic."
- Badass Longcoat: Wears one to conceal his sword.
- Death by Adaptation: In Highlander: The Animated Series the Big Bad Lord Kortan kills him about 700 years before the show takes place.
- Death Glare: He's got an impressive one when he's pissed.
- I Am X, Son of Y: "I am Connor Macleod of the clan Macleod."
- Katanas Are Just Better: His primary weapon is a nifty katana.
- Real Men Love Jesus: Astoundingly still a devout Catholic in spite of the xenophobia of his Catholic breathren causing him to be exiled.
- Trophy Room: Connor has one in his apartment. Given his nature, no surprise it's also a Wall of Weapons.
- Warrior Poet: He does not waste his immortality, but rather enrichens his soul by becoming a patron of fine arts, poetry and music.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Christopher Lambert went to a lot of trouble to develop a mixed non-specific accent appropriate for an immortal who'd lived everywhere over the course of his centuries-long life. Many people just assumed he was trying to do a specific accent and failing badly, even though the intention is underlined by an early dialogue exchange between MacLeod (operating under the alias Russell Nash) and a suspicious cop:"You talk funny, Nash. Where you from?""Lots of different places."
Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez
Played by: Sean Connery (1986-1991)
"We must fight until only one remains. You are safe only on Holy Ground. None of us will violate that rule. It's tradition."
- Badass Grandpa: Clearly became an immortal when he was quite old, moreso than Connor or the Kurgan at least.
- Cool Old Guy: Certainly quite the ladies man.
- Dashing Hispanic: "I'm not Spanish, I'm Egyptian!"
- Katanas Are Just Better: His is a genuine Masamune piece, custom made by the master himself after he married the smith's daughter. Its superior quality is handwaved away by stating that his genius allowed him to conceive of forging techniques centuries ahead of his time.
- The Mentor: Wise old mentor who trains The Hero in the use of his powers.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Poor Ramirez.
- Nice Hat: it has a nice feather too.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: To be entirely fair to him, he'd lived for donkey's years. In-universe, he'd probably just lost it.
- Overly Long Name: Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez
- Pimped-Out Cape: It even has peacock feathers.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Is a major character in The Animated Series.
The Kurgan / Victor Krueger
Played by: Clancy Brown (1986)
"I have something to say: it's better to burn out than to fade away!"
- All There in the Manual: Kurgan's background is fleshed out in the novelization, including the fact that his first death occurred when his drunken father crushed his skull with a log.
- Arch-Enemy: To MacLeod, of course.
- Ax-Crazy: The Kurgan loves to inflict violence on a whim, and does so with gleeful abandon.
- Badass: There's a reason he's so feared. He's a nigh-unstoppable warrior who's only become more skilled as the centuries have passed. Ramirez flat-out calls him "a perfect warrior."
- Badass Boast: He's very sure of himself, and with good reason."Tonight you sleep in hell.""You cannot win, Ramirez! I am the strongest!"
- Bald of Evil: While he's, "in disguissssssse".
- Big Bad: Of the original Highlander.
- Black Knight: When he first appears, he's dressed clad in dark, bone-like armour. His appearance from then on echoes this original impression.
- Blood Knight: The Kurgan relishes combat and is usually wearing a massive grin when slaughtering people.
- Catchphrase: He has two."Hello, pretty...""Another time, MacLeod!"
- Drives Like Crazy: When he kidnaps Brenda, he drives across New York with all the skill and restraint of an ape on heroin. Of course, he can't exactly die without the head coming off, so he's unconcerned with the path of carnage he leaves behind.
- Even Evil Has Standards: As brutal and remorseless and unfettered as the Kurgan is, he still obeys the law against fighting on Holy Ground without question. He even has the audacity to admonish Connor for nearly breaking it."Holy GROUND, Highlander! Remember what Ramirez taught you!"
- Evil Laugh: The undisputed master of this trope.
- Evil Sounds Deep: It was pretty deep to begin with, but after Ramirez wounds his throat it goes to Tom Waits levels of roughness.
- For the Evulz: And the Prize, but the Kurgan doesn't seem to be in much of a rush. He's having way too much fun.
- Go Out with a Smile: Moments before his head falls off, the Kurgan gives Connor one last big grin.
- IKEA Weaponry: The sword used by the Kurgan in modern times.
- Husky Russkie: Well sort of, as he's a huge guy whose native tribe existed in what would come to be known as Russia, but wasn't Russia yet.
- Large Ham: A huge ham. He's an entire roast pig. The Kurgan shouts every other word, laughs and yells during combat and basically makes a massive show of himself at every opportunity.
- Laughably Evil: The Kurgan is extremely entertaining, having lots of fun (especially when committing evil acts).
- The Nameless: The Kurgan has no name, and after slaughtering the rest of the Kurgan tribe (of which he was a member), he became simply the Kurgan. He uses the alias of 'Victor Krueger' in modern times.
- Pelts of the Barbarian: When we first see him he's wearing an outfit of black animal furs and animal skulls.
- Post-Rape Taunt: Centuries after he rapes her, he taunts MacLeod that this is the reason his wife never told him about it.
- Pragmatic Villainy: By his appearance, it would be easy to dismiss the Kurgan as a mindless brute who kills indiscriminately, but this is not the case. He kills other immortals as soon as possible to claim the prize, but mortal humans are never really targets for execution by him. The prostitute Candy goes away saying he was merely "kinky", and the Kurgan may have raped Heather but he still left her alive. He doesn't even care to finish off the crazy survivalist who shoots him. It's likely that mortal humans mean so little to him that killing them is functionally no different from letting them live out their lives and die of old age.
- Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": As he tears people apart, the Kurgan cannot stop grinning and laughing like it's the funniest thing in the world.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: His general modus operandi.
- Scary Impractical Armor: During the bad ol' days of 1536. Although it's not like he needs practical armour, seeing as he can shrug off any non-decapitating blows.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Subverted. He is consistently called "The Kurgan", but neither "Kurgan" nor "The Kurgan" is his name. Rather, it is the name of his (now extinct) tribe.
- The Unfettered: The Kurgan cares about one thing only: claiming the prize. He attacks any immortal anytime, and very nearly anywhere. The law of not fighting on holy ground is the only one he respects.
- Villain Song: While he doesn't sing it, they use the Queen song "Gimme The Prize (The Kurgan's Theme)" in the film. Despite being pretty badass, the band themselves didn't like it.
Played By: Roxanne Hart
Played By: Beatie Edney
Played By: Sheila Gish
Played By: Hugh Quarshie
- Cool Sword: A Manchu broadsword.
- Nice Guy: Drinking and reminiscing with MacLeod, he seems like a pretty cool dude.
- Quick Nip: Shares one with Conner. This seems to be a thing they do from time to time.
- Sacrificial Lamb: While obviously overmatched, he goes down swinging. His death means that Conner MacLeod and The Kurgan are the only two Immortals that remain.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He has two brief scenes.
Played By: Peter Diamond
- Badass Longcoat: He conceals his sword in what looks to be an overcoat. We never see him wear it; he throws it at MacLeod as a distraction at the beginning of their duel.
- Cool Sword: A Toledo Salamanca broadsword, worth about a million bucks.
- Face Death with Dignity: He very obviously doesn't want to, but once MacLeod disarms him, he doesn't beg or try to run.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He wears a pair of mirrored sunglasses for most of the fight.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Particularly compared to the scruffy Conner; Fasil appears wearing a three piece suit, tie, and gloves.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He's only onscreen for a few minutes, but his death cuts the number of Immortals from four to three and brings Conner to the attention of the police, which leads to him and Brenda meeting.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His first name is alternately spelled Iman or Aman.
- Sword Sparks: Via the parked cars and MacLeod's katana.
- The Voiceless: Says one word his entire time on screen.
Highlander II: The Quickening
Played by: Michael Ironside (1991)
- Big Bad: Of The Quickening.
- Chaotic Stupid: For no reason, the first thing that Katana does when he gets to Earth is to enter a New York subway train to go over 400 mph which ends with him plowing the train through a wall onto the street. It serves purely as a homage to the Kurgan's Drives Like Crazy scenes in the original film.
- Evil Overlord: Of Planet Zeist / the past.
- Faux Affably Evil: Amusing, funny, and still completely rotten to the core.
- It Amused Me: Why he crashed a train full of people on his first scene on Earth? Because.
- Large Ham: The most enjoyable thing about Highlander II is the obvious, unmitigated glee Michael Ironside takes in his role.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His name combines both K and weapon name.
- Nonindicative Name: At no point does he use a Katana.
- Stupid Evil: He had absolutely no reason to go to Earth or send his goons there to kill MacLeod, who, in turn, had seemingly no intentions of returning to Zeist (and even if he did, Katana had already beaten him there once with ease).
Highlander III: The Sorcerer
Played by: Mario Van Peebles (1994)
- Cool Shades: The round specs he steals from a street hustler.
- Expy: Of the Kurgan, as he shares many elements with him (being a former warlord, killing the hero's mentor, terrorizing the hero's loved one in a wild car ride, etc.).
- Fingerless Gloves: Part of his modern outfit.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: He takes a liking to cigars.
Played by: Bruce Payne (2000)
- Iconic Item: Kell is always shown wearing a type of footwear with crucifixes on them (sandals in the 16th century, black shoes in the present).
- Kick the Dog: Murders Rachel in his first scene, purely to hurt Connor. It is strongly implied he has been doing similar stuff throughout Connor's life for the same reason.
- Politically Incorrect Villain:A woman is a temple built on a sewer.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Completely ignores the rules of The Game by gathering a bunch of followers who help him slay immortals in unfair fights, and murders others on Holy Ground. He suffers no consequences for this other than becoming one of the strongest immortals ever.
- You Killed My Father: His main motivation for going after Connor.
Highlander: The Source
Played by: Christian Solimeno (2007)
- Big Bad: Of Highlander: The Source.
- Incoming Ham: "THIS IS THE END OF TIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!!!"
- Odd Name Out: Currently the only live-action film Big Bad who doesn't have a name starting with K.
- Super Speed: His closeness to the Source has given him an ability to move super fast, making other immortals unable to keep up (until Duncan manages to develop similar skills for the climax).