- Foe Yay: Ivan and Vladimir Staritsky, particularly in the second movie.
- Ho Yay: Ivan and Fedor Basmanov the Cross-Dressing Oprichnik. Truth in Television, as rumours of a "sodomic liaison" between the two were spread by the tsar's enemies and sorta confirmed by Ivan himself.
- Author Appeal: Eisenstein himself was gay and working out a lot of his feelings through the film.
- The Renfield: Malyuta Skuratov. YMMV Malyuta is Ivan's Red Head Side Kick = Ron Weasley. Malyuta helps Ivan kill traitors and aristocrats. Whether Ivan's plan to kill traitors was sane or insane belongs on the YMMV page.
- Movie!Ivan wanted to kill traitor boyars. Movie!Malyuta was a Peasant who wanted to kill ALL boyars. As the story grew it turned out Boyars are Always Chaotic Evil, Malyuta was right all along. Malyuta is a sane Side Kick. He is the Polar opposite of Renfield the Insane Side Kick.
- Likewise, Renfield worshipped Dracula PERSONALLY, Malyuta worshipped Ivan's MESSAGE of executing aristos.
- History!Malyuta was a low-rank aristo, so he did hate high-rank aristos but he hated them in a different way than Peasant!Malyuta in the movie hated them. Adaptation Distillation.