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Headscratchers: Black Adder
  • So, at the end of Blackadder II, how did Prince Ludwig survive? I mean, he was fatally stabbed twice.
    • That's what he wanted you to think.
    • On a related note, how the hell did he get back into the castle and murder everyone?
    • He got better.
    • Or, if you want to go a different route, it was his Dying Dream.
    • He refers to himself as "Ludwig the Indestructible". The final gag is partly to show us that it wasn't just a boast.
    • He's a master of disguise as he says and how it is shown. I think it reasonable that he was able to disguise himself as a corpse so elegantly and take action when everyone's guards were down.
  • How come Ebeneezer Blackadder be such an arsehole to Baldrick? I can understand him doing that to other people, since they always took advantages of his kindness. But Baldrick is the only one who truly cares about him, his only fault is being stupid.
    • Because he's decided to embrace his Blackadder-ness to the fullest. That mean he'll be an asshole to anybody, even for something small like being an idiot. Plus, after seeing that dismal vision of the future, he may have been also felt like putting Baldrick in his place.
    • As a rule, the Blackadders are not the types to suffer fools gladly. Baldrick is the fool to end all fools and the Blackadders throughout history cannot help pointing it out at every opportunity.
    • Also, lets remember that Ebenezer is getting back at everyone who ever got on his nerves. Baldrick gets on his nerves regularly, even though he's not doing it out of malice.
  • Why did Edmund try to escape Dr. Johnson's wrath when all was lost? The supposed destruction of the dictionary was not exactly his fault to begin with, but we understand he tried to make things smooth anyway for the hope that Dr. Johnson will help publish his novel. And then when Monday came he tried to escape; why? Why not just point the blame to Baldrick, say?
    • I always thought he was worried that everyone would assume he'd done it because he'd been criticising the dictionary so much, making himself the most likely suspect.
    • It's an issue of responsibility. Baldrick is only Blackadder's dogsbody, remember, so Blackadder is going to take the blame for anything he does wrong. Dr Johnson had left the dictionary at the Prince Regent's palace and Blackadder, as the head butler, was responsible for what happened to it.
    • Didn't Dr. Johnson and his friends threaten Edmund's life at some point?
    • They did indeed tell Edmund of what they would do to whomever had burnt Dr Johnson's life's work. Coupled with the abovementioned Baldrick being Edmund's only dogsbody and its no wonder.
  • In the very first episode, Edmund proclaims himself "the Black Adder", implying that he's first in the dynasty. If that's the case, why is Robin Hood (who was around long before the Wars of the Roses) familiar with a Lord Blackadder in Blackadder Goes Forth?
    • There's also the Roman Blackaddicus. Let's say Edmund was naming himself, most likely unawares, after his slimy predecessors.
    • I think it's Blackadder: Back & Forth instead, which has a lot of plotholes anyway. It's an unplanned plothole, plain and simple. Perhaps they retconned it. If we want to do Wild Mass Guessing, perhaps the the original Baldrick knew of his master's Blackadder roots and leaped to the chance when the latter christened himself a Black Vegetable.
    • Prince Edmund could've just been really bad at history.
    • Don't know whether it's canon, but the script book Blackadder: The Whole Damn Dynasty traces the family from the prehistoric era to World War I, which would imply that Prince Edmund is far from the first.
    • There is a fan theory suggesting that Dougal Mac Angus' father is descended from the Mac Adder clan, linking Prince Edmund to the Blackadder line via his illegitimate parentage. Maybe Edmund's true parentage was more widely known than he thought, leading to Baldrick's suggestion?
  • Why did George suddenly change his early attitude and declared his love for Amy Hardwood near the end of "Amy and Amiability"?
    • Because Prince George is a) shallow and b) an idiot.
    • Just watched the show again, he said "yuck" to her mannerisms, but was instantly pretty impressed once he saw her.
  • Jons of The Seventh Seal looks an awful lot like the original Baldrick. Makes me giggle in the film in parts where I probably shouldn't.
  • Why does nobody but me seem to actually think the first season was better, or even as good as the others?
    • Because it was a flop in the eyes of the BBC: It was rather expensive. The latter ones were done in a studio, whereas the others were shot in castles, featured horseriding, large amounts of extras with plentiful design...
    • And the first series Edmund and Baldrick were almost completely swapped around if you view the first series after the others. Edmund's a cowardly, slimy schmuck whilst Baldrick, whilst still filthy, is a damn sight smarter.
    • Conventional wisdom has it that the addition of Ben Elton to the scriptwriting team improved the series immensely. I'd disagree with it, after all some of the lines in the first series are as good as anything as anything in the later series. ('So what you're telling me is that something you have never seen is slightly less blue than something else you have never seen', 'Curses are pretty much the same really. I brought this one for half an egg 'Dear Enemy, I cures you and hope that something quite unpleasant happens to you, like an onion falling on your head'"). But the big change is that Rowan Atkinson horribly overracts and gurns in the first series...and turning him into a Dead Pan Snarker improves him immensely.
    • It's quite different in feel, approach and tone in many ways than the three seasons that followed it, when a successful formula was hit on and worked with; it's probably just an example of the age-old phenomenon of something not really finding it's feet for most people until it's worked out the initial errors.
    • The first series is basically Mr. Bean without the things that make people like Mr. Bean. Basically, it does a bunch of things decently, but it doesn't do anything well. The physical comedy is good, but not as good as almost anything else contemporary to it. The writing is good, but not as good as almost anything else contemporary to it (the few good lines are direct references to other works), and the biggest failing is that it has no idea what it wants to be. Some of the actors clearly think this is a physical comedy, some think it satirical, some think it is a genuine drama, and some think it will get canceled so they might as well not bother trying.
  • In "Ink and Incapability": Edmund: "No copy? [...] But what if the book got lost!?" That... applies to him too. It just bugs me.
    • First, the hypocrisy might well be part of the point. Secondly, it wasn't the only copy of the book, it was the only copy with the signature that could prove his authorship. Big difference.
      • Where does it say that? And besides, if he had another copy couldn't he have tried to prove the handwriting in the manuscript was the same as his?
      • None of those in either the actual show or the scripts available. Also, he did say it's seven years of work up in smoke. It's not that hard to prove his authorship anyway. It's called Edmund: A Butler's Tale.
    • He might simply be hoping that Dr. Johnson, a well-respected and notable professional man of words with a ton of publications under his belt even before his magnum opus, might be a wee bit more careful and might have more time to devote to making copies of his work than a butler who's writing on the side of a very busy and chaotic day-job.
  • Why did the Infanta ask the Queen on "how is Edmund in bed?" What was she expecting? That she knew?
    • She possibly meant if he had a reputation for it.
    • I thought the Infanta was just so sex obsessed that she didn't care who she asked about it.
  • How does the Blackadder line continue, since Edmund dies at the end of three out of four series without (apparently) having children? The only time he DOES survive, he's masquerading as Prince George, so any children wouldn't be Blackadders anyway, and in the other finales he ends up dead!
    • The only likely answer to the first three is probably illegitimate children who became aware of their father's name and adopted it. This is far from made clear, however and a big problem is that Prince Edmund is described in "The Queen of Spain's Beard" as being a virgin, which Edmund doesn't quibble with. You'd think if he wasn't a virgin, he would have objected. Leia, his child bride, was - according to Wikipedia - fourteen when he died, which would technically be old enough to have a child, but this is certainly unclear at best, and unlikely considering that even the final episode of The Black Adder he had no acknowledged heirs, even in utero, and the show ends with his entire dynasty supposedly dying. Lord Blackadder almost certainly fathered some illegitimate children, and there is every possibility that Mr. Blackadder (of the Third) already had at least one before switching identities with the prince. Captain Blackadder could have either got someone pregnant before going to war, or survived the end of the series (since they were never actually shown dying) and had children after. However, in none of these cases is it even hinted that he had any heirs at all.
      • Nieces and nephews? He could easily have brothers in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th series.
      • Nieces would not have explained the descendants looking just like Edmund instead of, say, Harry.
    • Perhaps he slept with Leia prior to being stripped of his titles and was unaware that he'd impregnated her. Given that he was trapped for a year in the dungeon with only Mad Gerald for company, the child could have been sent away during that time with him unaware.
  • What the hell happens in the first series with the Witchsmeller Pursuivant? For a start, there's that black, hooded, cloaked thing which no one seems to see. Secondly, as I recall, Blackadder, Percy, and Baldrick all crouch down, leap up, and then are on another floor of the castle. That's how they escape. WTF??
  • Who the hell reproduced with the various Baldricks?
    • A woman equally as pathetic and repulsive? My mind rebels at the attempt to contemplate the possibility that there are two people alive at the same time as pathetic and repulsive as Baldrick.
      • Alcohol and pity?
    • Since he's getting uglier, filthier and more stupider in every century, maybe something he mated with somebody else who shouldn't contribute to the gene pool. Then again, Captain Blackadder did mention that Bladrick was the only "human child" of a resident of London Zoo...
      • So the Baldrick line has intermarried with...uhm...uh...oh geez. Talk about Squick!
    • Molly in the second series seemed to think he was alright. And let's be honest, there's no shortage of disgusting and stupid people in the Blackadder 'verse.
    • The above point hits the nail on the head, Baldrick is pretty pathetic and repulsive but only because he's seen against the background of high status characters. The servant to either a prince or a close confidant of princes and Queens would be enough to make him the most desirable dungball in the village.
  • In the second series' episode "Head", they believe that they executed a man named Farrow, but accidentally executed another man named Ponsonby. Once they recover the head, Percy recognizes him and notices the error. But...wasn't Percy at the execution and so should have noticed then? Blackadder is excused since he wasn't there and apparently doesn't know what either man looks like. Also, Percy also says that "Farrow's" last words were "my wife might have bloody well turned up!" in his deep booming voice, but Ponsonby is stated to have a horrible speech impediment. So, who said that quote?
    • Yeah...they didn't really think that joke through.
      • Ponsonby's wife may not have shown up and he might have had a soar throat.
    • Percy's an idiot
      • Given the executioner was Baldrick, the gaoler was Ploppy, and overseen by Percy, it could have been anyone. I doubt they've got the identity of anyone they've executed even approximately right. It probably wasn't Ponsonby at all.
  • So how did the Blackadder line survive Henry VII's purges? Given that he went to the extremes of writing out an entire monarch, he seems a bit shoddy to allow his descendants to openly announce themeslves.
    • Despite Edmund's general ineptitude with women, it's quite possible he fathered at least one illegitimate child, and that child (or their descendants) later rediscovered their heritage and retook the Blackadder name.
  • In The Black Adder, Prince Edmund is the Duke of Edinburgh, implying that King Richard IV is the King of Scotland. Wasn't Scotland an entirely separate Kingdom from England at that time?
    • That's what Henry VII wants you to think.
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