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Headscratchers: V for Vendetta
  • Okay, at the start, V kidnaps Evey. This is revealed at the end to be so she can become his successor as V, when V the Terrorist is no longer needed and the symbol of V instead needs to act as a guide and aid during the reconstruction after the collapse of the government. At the end, Evey kidnaps her own protege... but what will she need him for? Is she grooming him in case things go wrong and they need V the Terrorist again instead of V the Rebuilder? Just so that there will be someone to take up the identity if something happens to her? Something more arcane? Don't really follow that bit.
    • IIRC, somwehere in the comic it said that the progression to true anarchy take 4 steps, V is step 1, Evey represents step 2. So they would end up needing 4 V figures in total. Or, maybe V just wanted an assistant (Doctor Who style). And the kidnapping is a good way to book end the story and symbolize Evey's transition to V (English class answer).
    • I don't really see the problem with keeping a spare in case something goes wrong. Or better yet, if Evey is the rebuilder, then the next V should be the leader after rebuilding, the one who leads in the time of prosperity.
      • But isn't the whole point of anarchy a lack of a need for leaders?
      • V doesn't want a LASTING anarchy, he wants anarchy in order to usher in a new government. His job was to tear down the existing system and he left it to Evey to help build a new one. Presumably somone other than Evey would need to lead it.
      • You're either thinking of the movie or you've missed what V and Anarchy are all about. The entire idea of Anarchy is no leaders and no top-down government of any kind, regardless of whether it's ostensibly democratic or a dictatorship; all of society is to be based on voluntary cooperation and all decisions are made from the bottom up, with the highest focus on individual freedom and the rejection of anyone's right to control and make decisions for anyone else. Or at least that's what V would be all about if he is modeling his philosophy after real world Anarchism; the comic never gets that in-depth into it. Suffice it to say, for V, Anarchy is almost certainly not chaos.
      • For is not to be chaos you'd have to get a lot of people willing to cooperate. I don't see it.
      • Then congratulations, you're not an anarchist. But just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's incorrect; that is the basis, in broad strokes, of anarchist theory. The idea expressed in V is that to reach the point were people will be willing to cooperate at that level, first the old order must be destroyed (by V) and then people will have to learn how to be civil and respectful of others (which is Evey's role).
      • Keep in mind the person Evey kidnaps is Dominic, who's currently the head of the country.
      • I both watched the movie and read the comic. The cooperation you describe is what V visualizes, but it isn't government. It's not government without leaders or without the ability to coerce. Part of V's point is that there can be order born out of voluntary cooperation without the people needing to be forced into it by a government. You are right anarchy is not chaos in his view; hence the scene with all the looting where Evey asks if that is what anarchy is, and he says that it is not anarchy, but chaos. V doesn't want a new government after an era of anarchy; he wants permanent anarchy after the necessary era of chaos. And in an anarchist world, according to V's view, leaders are not necessary.
      • Leadership is not necessarily enforced by government. A figure who leads by voluntarily persuading lots of people to follow his example and teachings is consistent with anarchism. That's the role Evey is apparently stepping into, and she may feel that there will always be a need for someone to fill that role.
      • V's idea of Anarchy is very close to it's orginator's, Mikhail Bakunin. Even to the point of NOT wanting a massive bloody revolution (though some violence is necessitated) like his contemporary Marx insisted on. But to me the V figure (and it's procession of bearers) is necessary less as a leader and more as a guide to prevent some new group of authoritarians from gathering and subjugating the people again. The four steps as I would see them would be 1: Revolution 2: Rebuild 3: Renaissance 4: Revolution. Every so often the new V would have to go about tearing up all the systems again and starting over from scratch. "Whatever the form of government may be/A class restricted society/Will be the end result/No reformation without revolt" Against All Authority, Bakunin
    • V never said that Evey had to be the only one in assisting them in rebuilding society, just that she was a rebuilder whereas he was a destroyer. Nothing preventing Evey from getting a little help - after all, there is a whole new order being brought in...
    • Isn't the point kind of that V is handing over to Evey and, through her guidance, society as a whole, the choice of whether they want government?
    • I just figured that there being a new apprentice was part of the circular nature of the story, and ties in nicely to V being a symbol and an idea. V could have been anyone and he can be everyone, and I think the idea of there always being a successor is that the character lives on, because, y'know, you can't kill an idea.
  • The film version plays fast and loose with the level of surveillance available to the government; understandable because there would otherwise be no plot: If the government has total surveillance as the plot indicates, even a single appearance of V could be traced back to its point of origin through the simple expedient of running the tapes back.
    • He mainly appears on rooftops, where presumably there are no cameras.
    • The government's main form of surveillance is not cameras, but electronically monitoring communications and using mobile listening posts to literally "hear" what people are saying. These methods are intended to spy on the populace to prevent dissent, not to track down fugitives. Plus, seeing as how V always seems to be Crazy-Prepared, he most likely has ways of eluding or countering government surveillance tech.
      • In the comic book, V had hacked their supercomputer Fate. I'm not sure, but I think it's implied he did it in the movie too.
  • How did V not die after he was burned at Larkhill? He obviously couldn't have received any medical attention, and Delia says that as far as she could see, he had no eyes. And as far as the viewer can see, he seemed to have, uh, developed a case of Barbie Doll Anatomy. Okay, so he's pretty tough, but is he really that tough? 'Cos... holy crap. Also, normal people basically cannot survive the sort of burns he seemed to have without medical attention. And how did he die at the end, then, if he's so tough?
    • She's using hyperbole when she says "he had no eyes". She wasn't anywhere near him, and saw him in sillouhette. And the burns might have been entirely superficial, or at least not life threatening. You can be deformed by a lot less than what will actually kill you. As to why he died in the end? He was shot. Like, a lot. He might be stronger than the average man, and can ignore pain to an extent, but he's not bulletproof.
    • As for the anatomy, either his genitals were burned off, or the fan theory is true and V is actually Valerie.
    • He bled to death. Even the strongest muscles need blood flowing to operate. At Lark Hill, he didn't suffer any punctures or cuts that would have caused serious bleeding. In the subway, he suffered four or five said shots.
  • No seriously, who was it that we saw shaving her head? He is mostly certainly not V. If it was just seeing a pair of arms or something it would be fine, but look at the page image for Traumatic Haircut. We see his entire face. V is one i burn scar with no eyes. Who was that?
    • He does have eyes. V isn't blind! He can see. That was just a metaphorical hyperbole to make him seem less human. Delia Surridge just couldn't see his eyes.
    • Well, the page image aside, we don't see that person's face in the actual movie. But I have always wondered, not only about that, but about the other prison personnel (guards, interrogator, etc.). Did V play every role himself, or what?
    • Yeah, the picture is just a production still. The movie does crop it so you don't see his face. And yes, V did play every role (aside from the occasional dummy). He was a one-person organization, after all, so there's nobody else around to play those other roles.
      • If you recall when he was making eggs, his body is one big burn scar. How could he pass himself off without wearing some wacky human costume you'd see in a cartoon?
      • Well do you recall the first time Evey sees his burns on his hands? He's wearing pants, a long sleeved shirt, and his mask/wig. So the only exposed skin is on his hands. Now think about how many government/military type outfits use full sleeves and gloves. And almost all of them (keep in mind that MOST government/military uniforms are for show and decoration) have hats that can be worn with it. So in a very shadowy basement, where Evey is FAR too scared to be really think about getting a good look at her captor's faces (she's under the impression that the government has abducted her, so it's not like she has no idea what's going on, she's just mistaken about who is behind it), all V would have to do is wear a mask. Something he's quite well-acquainted with, I believe?
      • No, I don't mean her seeing his hands. I mean us seeing his hands. They were normal unscarred hands in the camera's view.
      • The actual hands physically cutting Natalie Portman's hair belong to an actual stylist — they had one chance to get the scene right, so they put Natalie's hair in the hands of a professional rather than Hugo Weaving's. I suppose one could say that V put makeup on his hands to prevent Evey from recognizing them, since she took note of his hands in an earlier scene.
      • ^ Really? They couldn't think to just give the stylist a pair of gloves or something so we the viewers wouldn't notice?
      • ^ Um...the stylist IS wearing gloves. Watch it again.
      • ^ Clear plastic gloves, which clearly show normal hands. Admittedly, they could be part of the glove.
  • How could V have ignited his mustard gas and napalm in the first place? There wasn't even a single light bulb in his cell.
    • There are many chemical combinations that cause a rapid exothermic reaction (fire).
      • Basic chemistry win for The Man From Room Five: ANFO (Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil) is an explosive combination of two very basic elements; chemical fertilizer, and diesel fuel. V talked them into giving him fertilizer for his rose garden, and the diesel fuel was probably for a hedge trimmer or something.
  • There is one particular part in the comic that has always puzzled me. At the beginning of part 3, "The Land of Do-As-You-Please", V destroys the BT Tower and Jordan Tower, the seats of government surveillance, and proclaims to the people of Britain that they're now free from being constantly seen and heard by Norsefire. This seems like a very inspirational and touching moment. Later however, it turn out that all the cameras and microphones still work and they are now in fact controlled by V through his own surveillance network, who can watch and hear people while they erroneously think no-one is monitoring them. Now, this seems like it doesn't exactly mesh with V's condemnation of government control and surveillance of its people, as he's willing to do the same for his own ends. I've always interpreted that scene as the comic presenting V as a hypocrite, especially since he's not exactly a saint in the rest of the book. Does anyone else know if this was Moore's intention or is there some other meaning to it?
    • I don't really think that makes him a hypocrite. The cameras were there to control the city. If someone was doing something Norsefire didn't approve of, they'd be sent out to fix the problem. V merely observed them, he didn't influence what they did in the slightest, so he wasn't applying any sort of control. It's not much different from V simply looking out his window at the world and seeing whats going on, just on a far larger scale.
      • Actually, he did use the cameras for his own ends; he spied on Helen Heyer having an affair with Alistair, recorded it and then sent the tape to Conrad Heyer, in order to break up their plans to install a new post-Adam government. Sure, it was for a "good" purpose, and its nowhere near the scale of the things done by Norsefire, but it still shows that he's willing to use surveillance to spy on people and control things from behind the scenes. This even leads to a moment of Fridge Horror: since Evey will inherit the mantle of V, she will presumably have access to the same network, which can be used for espionage in the same manner. After all, why would you set up this huge personal network to watch on people if all you ever wanted to do was watch? It would make more sense to use it to identify potential threats to your anarchist society and "remove" them.
  • Where does V find the resources for his bombings, and how does he manage to plant the explosives all by himself?
    • No answer for the planting of the bombs, or from the book perspective. But in the movie, it's mentioned that his explosives are mixed from common chemicals (no real explosives signature) and that he tends to supply himself by stealing from government convoys (remember the scene where he cooks breakfast for Evey; he mentions that he stole the butter from the High Chancellor's supplies). If he has enough knowledge of chemistry, it wouldn't really be that hard to find, steal, and mix up some kaboom.
      • ANFO accounts for 80% of the explosives used in the US every year, and is stupid easy to make, using chemical fertilizer and diesel fuel, both of which aren't the least bit suspicious by themselves.
    • As for how he plants them, he's clearly got a lot of time on his hands. In the movie, at least, he mentions it took him a damn long time to clear out the tracks under Parliament; presumably, he makes use of other such no-longer-in-use pathways throughout the country.
  • "Africa is gone!"...Um, why did either side find it strategically necessary to fire their nukes at Africa? There are no allies on that continent important enough to barbecue!
    • Like a lot of things this is probably Norsefire propaganda, it's very hard to tell what has and has not actually occured in the world as the only source of information is the propaganda stream.
    • It couldn't be propaganda. This was something Evey's mother repeated from the news, before Norsefire came to power, or apparently even existed.
    • Did they say who took out Africa? Maybe several of the countries in Africa got The Bomb and ended up nuking it out amongst each other.
    • Maybe they just ... left?
    • It's tempting to think of Africa as a poor continent, despite its bountiful supply of 'in demand' raw resources, but if you take a hard look at some of the worst African nations you'll notice that they are awash with military hardware. Given the chaos of a war, it's not hard to believe African nations would source WM Ds of all sorts from fallen ex-super powers.
    • Consider when the original was written. There was a pretty large presence of Soviet troops across central Africa, and back in the day they were part of the targeting grid. With Egypt, Libya, and others in the Soviets' pocket, and the southern part of the country heavily controlled by western Europe, it too would have been a battleground. Diamonds, oil, gold, all kinds of stuff to fight over.
  • The premise: This has always bugged me about V in its entirety.Liked the film and the graphic novel, but it presents anarchy is a most unrealistic light. Government may not be the most fair way for people's interests to be addressed, it's certainly the most efficient and the most practical. It's the logical evolution from agrarian society,which is itself an evolution from hunter-gather groups. By destroying the government, V has effectively destroyed his society and replaced it w/ a form of "leaderless leadership" that the majority have never experienced. The basic considerations of food distribution, clean water supplies,providing shelter and medical care,etc would handled by who now? The more complex considerations like security, trade,etc would be regulated by...? This is why anarchy fails as anything more than a theoretical concept. It's impractical for anything other than small groups and even in those groups, people would eventually create hierarchical structures if for no other reason than to get things accomplished. The finale of this film is basically the beginning of multiple small and large scale conflicts, famine and pestilence. It seems odd that no one in the film's (and the novel's) universe seems to acknowledge that.
    • Yeah, the film was given a happy ending, but part of that ending includes Evey being there to help rebuild. As for the graphic novel, pretty much everything you said is considered, and Moore made the whole thing deliberately ambiguous as to whether or not what V did was a good thing.
    • Did the film even mention anarchy at all? I got the impression that they watered it down into a standard "overthrow an oppressive government" plot rather than an "government itself must be overthrown" one.
    • To the OP: I don't know, maybe you should have a look at the long history of anarchism as a social philosophy and a social movement over the last 170 years (there is a meticulous anarchist FAQ online, for starters) if you sincerely don't know how we would go about answering these "objections". The fact that someone else disagrees with your assertions about what is and isn't "practical" is not Fridge Logic; it's more like YMMV.
    • This. Anarchism isn't just the idea of a revolutionary killing a country's leaders and saying "right, run the place yourselves".
  • In the movie, how in the hell can V find the time, resources, and manpower to manufacture Guy Fawkes masks and matching black cloaks and Elizabethan-style hats for practically every man and woman in London and then send it through the mail and not get busted or at least found out by the big Orwellian government?
    • According to Word of God, he spent many years making those masks, as well as ordering them from factories in other countries.
      • But how in the hell did he manage to pull off mailing them all to all of London with nobody getting suspicious?
      • "At least the trains all run on time, but they don't go anywhere." One of the keys of authoritarianism is that people do not ask questions when given orders. The postal service received a massive order of packages to be shipped, and rather than any one postal worker questioning the bizarre event, each of them assumed it had been checked and verified by their immediate superior, and thus went about their assigned task with nary a trace of incredulity. Due to the bureaucratic nature of the government, by the time any sort of "Hey, this is really weird" report got up to the top of the chain, it was already too late and the packages had been shipped.
      • As anyone who has had the pleasure of working for a large bureaucracy can tell you, the above is actually the exact OPPOSITE of what happens. Supervisors constantly micromanage every aspect of their organization because they know they'll be held responsible for any mistakes or, in this case, sabotage that happens under their watch.
  • Did Gordon REALLY think he was going to get away with humiliating a fascist regime who's known for pretty much purging anyone who looks kind off on national TV? Judging by his reaction "Oh, I'll just apologize and give the Norsefires some money and it'll be fine," he did. But WHY? It's even more stupid considering he had a room full of some of the most illegal stuff in the country. He should have known he'd at least get searched. It would have made more sense if they'd at least written him as being so depressed and tired of living under fascism that he wrote that show as his swan song: He just wanted to humiliate The Party on national TV even though he knew he'd get the firing squad for it.
    • He was one of the most famous and beloved public figures in Britain. He thought that the government couldn't just make him disappear or anything like that because while he might not have had actual power, he was a public face that would definitely be missed. He clearly overestimated the protection that gave him, however.
    • Also, what's to say he isn't extremely depressed and deliberately pulling off a self-destructive stunt? Being forced to repress homosexuality for almost your whole life can indeed do that.
    • He probably could have gotten away with it before V started his subversive activities, but the government had by this time switched into "zero tolerance" mode.
    • If you watch the movie again, you'll notice that the comedy show scene comes immediately after a short bit with Sutler chewing out his inner circle and making it plain that things won't be going well for them if they don't start getting immediate results on something. So yeah, they were feeling a lot more touchy and trigger-happy than normal.
    • It also seemed that Gordon was inspired by V's example of defying the government. He probably would have never considered pulling a stunt like that in normal times.
    • It definitely seemed, at least to me, that it was a product of the sudden seeming-shift resulting from V's broadcast, but that Gordon was perfectly aware it was likely to spell his death. He just didn't care any more, making that whole stunt not Too Dumb to Live but him exercising his clout as a TV producer in one last act, that of open satire and protest on film, before accepting death.
  • In the film version, it seems odd to me that everyone we see is so eager and ready to laugh at Sutler in Gordon's TV stunt. Any totalitarian state like that typically has a huge personality cult around its leader (and we see that this state does, with the flags and the picture of Sutler in the old people's home), and that leader is treated with utmost respect (or at least fearful obedience). The old people I might be able to buy since they presumably remember a time before Sutler's way, but the children? It's the only thing they know. History has shown that totalitarian regimes (such as Mao's China and Hitler's Germany) brainwash people and none are more affected by this than the young.
    • You've definitely hit the nail on the head as to one of the film's dumbest ideas (and the mere idea that Gordon thought for a second he could get away with it seems like terminal stupidity).
    • Sutler hasn't been in power that long — Larkhill was twenty years before the start of the film, and the "terrorist" attacks came after that. He's not even that popular or terrifying — it's Peter Creedy people are afraid of, and even then only those in the know. There's also no evidence that the government is actually brainwashing people aside from withholding certain bits of information and airing Prothero's show, which is obviously not directed at children. Furthermore, the parents of those kids who laughed at Sutler's satirical portrayal are the kids who watched their parents and friends dragged away in black bags two decades earlier, so I doubt they've spent the time since indoctrinating their children. Finally, Dietrich's show was the most watched in the country and presumably the most popular even with kids — anything he makes fun of, they'll laugh at.
      • As history showed us numerous times it takes nothing but few months to become a nation-beloved leader under totalitarian systems. It's as easy as it gets. That was my biggest issue with both comics and film - that Norsfire is running the country for decades, yet people mentality is shown like they took the power yesterday. So if Britain is run like North Korea, why people have a pretty much liberal-democratic approach to life and politics after all those years? It's simply impossible, Milgram experiment and things like that proved long time ago on scientific basis that people can be molded into whatever you want with just giving them orders. Yet most of Westerners are so used to "democracy is natural" that they simply can't comprehend the idea of not rebelling against totalitarian governments. And it shows in V for Vendetta like nowhere else in pop culture.
    • This also comes after all of V's very public attacks against the government, and his nationwide "The Reason You Suck" Speech against both Norsefire and the regular citizens. The police even explicitly state that public opinion of V is skyrocketing while Norsefire is taking a nosedive.

  • So at the end of the movie, V lets the bad guy shoot at him with a lot of bullets, then as they're reloading kills them all and reveals he had on a bullet-proof vest and he soon dies from his many wounds. Why did he stand there and let himself get shot? I mean, what if one of them aimed for his head, boom movie over. He could have attacked while they were shooting and he would have been hit less.
    • He was trying to make a point, and planning on dying anyway. And several bullets do hit his facemask (you can see the marks), but his facemask is apparently also bulletproof.
    • "I'm done, and glad of it". He doesn't wish to live past the confrontation with Sutler and Creedy. What's harder for me to believe is that he chooses to go with his original plan despite having fallen in love with Evey. Someone as resourceful as him would have ways of killing Creedy and his goons without dying himself. Then again, perhaps he considered himself too monstrous to ever have anything with Evey...

  • Is there an explanation as to why V never uses guns but prefer blades?
    • See Rule of Cool
    • He was a fan of The Count of Monte Cristo and could possibly have been trained in fencing (he's seen doing it with a suit of armour) so using blades might have been A) easier for him due to his training and B) something symbolic. Plus bullets in guns run out and if they run out in the middle of a fight, you have to take time to reload them. Knives however can be much more dangerous in hand-to-hand combat. Also if one gets knocked away, you simply draw another one and keep enough on your person so you never run out. You can always pick it up if it gets knocked away as well. Plus V is a bit of a show-off and he wants to be seen. Fighting with blades is a bit more elegant and showy than shooting guns. Also think of it this way, someone threatens you with a gun there's always a possibility it's not loaded. But someone threatens you with two knives and you know they're going to be able to cut you.
    • Symbolism. Guns are weapons, and are used only to kill. Anything V uses against the government, being it knives or explosives, are tools, that can be used to destroy or make things, depending on what you want to do with them.
  • Any reason why, in the comic book, nobody notices what would be a drastic voice change at the end?
    • This is Wild Mass Guessing on my part but at one point, Evey wondered if V wasn't one of the lesbian women from Larkhill. It seems there would be some reason to assume V could've been a man or a woman. Perhaps the mask distorted the voice somehow.
    • The voice is at most masculine and at least androgynous, since Evey believed V was a man (that whole "I am not your father" bit in the comic). She could have also been speaking in a lower register, and there would be further distortion because of the speaker system.
    • It's possible V, who planned for everything, left a recording of his speech.
    • V is an extremely good actor. He could have been deliberately putting on a gender neutral voice just to up the Mind Screw and unnerve people, not to mention it dovetails into his promotion of an idea over being remembered as a person. Chances are Evey can make her voice roughly the same; Crossdressing Voices is a trope for a reason. It's not hard to pull off if you're willing to work at it. Throw in an outfit that disguises body type well and you have a very good example of deliberately invoked gender confusion.
  • As noted on the Mary Suetopia page, the Londoners in the film seem a bit too complacent to rise up against the government at the end like they did in the comic. Whereas the citizens in the comic were mostly poor, frustrated survivors of a post-nuclear hellhole; the ones in the film — those who aren't religious or sexual minorities, at least — live in a thriving, comfortable London, government surveillance notwithstanding. Why did they revolt exactly?
    • Crapsaccharine World. They still lived in fear of Finger Men catching them out on the streets after curfew, things were apparently heavily rationed (Evey says she hadn't had real butter since she was a little girl) and it seemed like the police could shoot you or attack you just if you looked suspicious. The people lived in fear and wanted a change.
      • Bread and Circuses is all you need to remain in power, no matter what is your political option. As long as you provide people a decent standard of living, you can do as you please. Just look around the world. Every single revolution and revolt in recent history was caused by powerty, food shortages and extremely poor living and working conditions. And Norsfire is providing both bread and circuses. There is virtually no reason to rebel outside of "our government is not a democracy". Then why 2/3 of world's population aren't revolting right now?
  • In the graphic novel the Government collapses and Norsefire rises from the getting together of 'Some corporations' and far-right groups. The government bit is Hand Waved away without so much a mention of the Armed Forces and Police. If the government collapses, Quite alot of whose personell are motivated by much more than money. Particularly in the case of the Army. How in the heck do some corporations survive when their existence and loyalty of the workforce is only guaranteed by profit?
  • How old is Evey in the movie? She certainly looks a lot older than 16.
    • Because...she's obviously a lot older than 16? Generally speaking, personal assistants to well-known television personalities aren't 16-year-olds. She's probably in her late 20s or early 30s.
  • The Norsefire bodyguards are way lacking in firepower. You're dealing with British's most dangerous terrorist and all you're wielding are submachine guns? I understand they outnumber him 13 to 1, but if I were one of those Fingermen I'd have asked Creedy for something bigger, something like an assault rifle or even flat-out machine-gun.
    • It's Great Britain, a notoriously gun-free country (this has slipped somewhat, at least in the movie, but the number of guns not in government hands is still low, even for Europe's standards), and V is known to use no guns. They assumed it would be overkill against a single man using knives and martial arts, having absolutely no idea this guy, even with a Bulletproof Vest, would be able to stand after being shot with so much firepower, including Creedy's .357 Magnum revolver. That is why they were so scared when he remained standing.
      • They were in no way lacking in firepower. You know what happens in real life when 13 people empty fully automatic weapons into one person? That one person dies.
    • There are a freakton of soldiers wielding assault rifles around the Parliament. No reason why Norsefire's most elite bodyguards wield anything less.
    • submachine guns are typically used in closer quarters then assault rifles. IMO given the meeting point was in a confined space submachine guns probably are a better tactical choice.

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