Grigoriy Yefimovich Rasputin (1869-1916) was a Russian mystic and preacher. Born of peasant parentsnote his father was a former postman fired for alcoholism, he arrived in Saint Petersburg in the early 20th century, where he had some success in treating Tsarevich Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia. He managed to turn this, and the fascination in upper-class Russian circles with religious mysticism, healing, and sex, into becoming a close associate of the Tsar family and an important figure in pre-revolution Russia. Rasputin also never was an ordained cleric or monk in the Orthodox Church (and had quite a lot of enemies among those), his official status in Orthodox Christianity was that of a lay preacher. However, authors tend to forget that and call him a "mad monk", which was the source of this page's name.
Due to his many affairs and drunkenness (his personal faith required sin, in his case alcohol and sex, followed by repentance), he became a target of anti-Romanov and anti-Tsarist groups in Russia. He was murdered in 1916, ostensibly by Prince Felix Yusupov and a band of his cronies. Yusupov's story (as embroidered and added to through the years) was that Rasputin was lured to a meeting with Yusupov where he was fed cakes and wine laced with cyanide; when that failed to kill him, he was beaten, shot, stabbed, and thrown into the Neva River, where he died of hypothermia after trying to claw through the ice. In reality, he was shot in the head with a .455 Webley which killed him instantly. No cakes (he had a bad stomach and wouldn't have eaten them even if the cyanide could have survived the baking process), sipped a very small amount of wine, the first shots fired by Yusupov's trembling hand either missed or did not hit vital organs, no beating, no freezing. Possibly came back to life as Alan Moore.
Trope Namer for Rasputinian Death. The frequent myths and interesting history around him has made him a frequent target for a Historical Villain Upgrade or Beethoven Was an Alien Spy, as well as a figure in a Conspiracy Theory.
No relation to the current Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Putin's grandfather changed his name from Rasputin to Putin to avoid attention. All descendants of Grigoriy Rasputin have different surnames, thus he is unrelated to any other Rasputin or Putin.
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Anime and Manga
Like the equally evil Jack the Ripper, Mad Monk Rasputin has a bit role in the anime Soul Eater. In a dream sequence, no less!
Dance in the Vampire Bund makes him into an alias of a power hungry Vampire Lord who's willing to lie, kill and steal. He's killed some 90 years after the Russian Revolution with the help of Anastasia, who he turned and made his play thing until she escaped him.
He is an antagonist (in service of an Eldritch Abomination) in Hellboy. He also used to work for the Nazis in order to bring Hellboy into the world and bring about its destruction (unfortunately for them, Hellboy materialized in the US, and received a very different education than what the Beast of the Apocalypse might be expected to have).
He is an ancestor of Colossus in X-Men. An ancestor that is very eager to be reincarnated in one of his blood.
A sometimes-ally sometimes-rival of Corto Maltese is known as Rasputin (and looks a lot like the other one) -though he tends to feel insulted if you "mistake" him for the "other" one (it's not quite clear, but since he's active for quite some time after the historical one's death, they're probably two different people).
Lee's own favourite screen Rasputin was Conrad Veidt, who played Rasputin in a 1932 German film. Veidt's performance was noted for being considerably understated in contrast to some others, and the film itself reads more like a documentary than a drama—Rasputin isn't portrayed as particularily demonic but as a sympathetic, if lumbering peasant.
Tom Baker played a darkly charismatic Rasputin in the historical biopic Nicholas and Alexandra.
Alan Rickman did a sympathetic portrayal of the man in the HBO original movie Rasputin. His portrayal argued Rasputin may actually have been a saint with legitimate supernatural powers derived from God and at the very least didn't deserve the crap piled on his memory.
Gert Frobe played Rasputin in I Killed Rasputin, a 1967 French movie.
The Doctor WhoPast Doctor Adventures novel Wages of Sin is set in pre-Revolution Russia and has Rasputin as a character. It's a historically-straight portrayal mostly, although his famous hard-to-kill-ness does turn out to be due to a time traveller trying to keep him alive.
He gets far more hilarious in Faction Paradox. To start with, the Faction recruited him a few days before his death, took him to the Eleven-Day Empire, and replaced him with an exact duplicate. Then the Celestis came along, didn't realise the Faction had made the switch, and offered him their standard deal that includes resurrection. The duplicate had been briefed not to argue with any War-era powers it met, and so accepted the deal. By the time of the assassination attempt, the Great Houses noticed something was going on, assumed the Faction would try to take him to the Empire at the point of death, and so implanted a device that would replace the Faction duplicate with a Great House duplicate. House constructs are by default immune to poisoning. As such, when the poison failed, he was shot. Then the Celesti protocols resurrected him, producing a creature whose mind was struggling between Great Houses, Celesti, and Faction protocols which had to be shot repeatedly and beaten to death simply to get it to lie down long enough to be thrown ino the river, where it finally froze to death. As a result, none of the three powers involved like to talk about it and everyone in the War agreed to leave celebrities well alone. The real Rasputin, meanwhile, persuaded Anastasia (who was also a Faction recruit) to set up a rival state, then went mad and died under mysterious circumstances. Anastasia's Thirteen-Day Republic was shortly afterwards annihilated.
When the topic of Rasputin's death was brought up on QI, Bill Bailey, inspired by the Boney M song's line about Rasputin's glowing eyes, put forth the theory that Rasputin was, in fact, a Terminator. Complete with him dragging himself along the panel like the end of the first film.
One Dilbert comic had the Pointy-Haired Boss hiring Rasputin, saying he had "charisma". He then proceeded to suffocate Asok with a Death Glare. After that, he tried to do the same to Wally, but Wally's powerful anti-charisma caused him to choke instead.
Appeared in about a dozen books in the Old World of Darkness... and each of them told a different story with him as another type of supernatural. They are all true — Rasputin became a Wraith after death and possessed all the supernaturals he was featured as.
Announced as the Big Bad of part 5 of Pathfinder'sReign of Winter adventure path. Apparently in the Pathfinder mythos, he is Baba Yaga's estranged son. This is the Earth version, not a Galoran equivalent.
While the man himself doesn't appear in Warhammer 40,000 (that we know of—there are several immortal humans still running around), the Dark Angels had to put down a rebellion called the Rasputin Uprisings.
A Team Fortress 2 achievement for the Heavy references Rasputin. The Heavy needs to suffer several types of damage in a single life.
Showed up as a Big Bad (though not THE Big Bad, since he basically shows up in the middle of the game) in Shadow Hearts 2: Covenant. Turns out, he's secretly a demon. Fortunately, you've got the help of a camera-wielding Princess Anastasia, and her magical, flying Fabergé Egg!
He gets a mention in Assassin's Creed II, as an agent of the Templars who stole the Staff of Eden from Czar Nicholas and thus precipitated the revolution that would follow. The Assassin order were the ones who killed him, though naturally, it took a while.
A robot from the future made in the image of Rasputin shows up as an antagonistic Devil Summoner in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army (set years after his supposed death and in Japan no less).
A Rasputin shows up in the Muffinwindmod for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. His theme music is Boney M's Rasputin, and at one point he slips up and refers to himself as Russia's greatest love machine (he tries to backtrack and claim that he meant Stros M'Kai when your character asks where in Oblivion this Russia he speaks of is), so it seems he is in fact this Rasputin. Yes, Muffinwind is not a very serious mod.
Rasputin is the final boss of Lime-iro Senkitan. He's presented as a monk, at least. He's also presented as a villain mastermind with his own henchmen and an intent to take over Russia (and then, presumably, the world).