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    William Wallace 

William Wallace

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/307772_1_0.jpg
"Alba gu bràth!"

"Every man dies; no man ever really lives."

Portrayed by: Mel Gibson

The film’s protagonist, Wallace is the leader of the Scottish uprising against the English. Initially reluctant to fight, he starts a rebellion at Lanark after the murder of his wife, which spreads throughout Scotland. He wins a battle at Stirling, and later sacks York. However, he is defeated at Falkirk and goes on the run for the next few years, before he is eventually captured and sentenced to death at the end of the film, rendering him a martyr.

  • The Ace: Is a skilled warrior, a great strategist, an omniglot, and a charismatic leader.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The real William Wallace was a bit of a Drill Sergeant Nasty, but in the film, Wallace is depicted as somewhat laidback as a leader with a casual atmosphere among his military encampment. Furthermore, after Stirling, the real-life Wallace flayed the English commander’s corpse and made a Baldrick out of his skin (though it was in retaliation for his flaying of Scotsmen). Outside of a decapitation, this is never shown, nor mentioned. Finally, Wallace did employ a Rape, Pillage, and Burn-style campaign against the English, which is not shown in the film, but is threatened (and may have occurred off-screen with the sacking of York). Nevertheless, Wallace is still portrayed as violent and merciless to his enemies.
  • An Arm and a Leg: His limbs are sent to the four corners of Britain as a warning.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Is made the leader of the Scottish rebellion after taking out the English garrison at Lanark, and is then made a Guardian of Scotland after winning at Stirling.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Just check out the image.
  • Battlecry: Yells “Alba gu bràth!”note  before the Battle of Stirling.
  • BFS: He wields a claymore in battle.
  • Byronic Hero: Downplayed. While he is a good-natured person who is only fighting against those who wish to do his people harm, he does demonstrates a disturbing capacity for violence. He admits that he is a savage.
  • Call to Agriculture: After returning home from the crusades, he tries to settle down as a simple farmer and hopes to avoid conflict. This doesn’t last long.
  • Composite Character: Seems to have also been combined with Andrew Moray, another early leader during the Wars of Independence who started his own separate uprising in the Highlands, before fighting with Wallace at the Battle of Stirling. He is never shown or mentioned in the film, and Wallace seems to be leading the only revolt in Scotland with highlanders and lowlanders alike.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Is executed by being hanged, drawn, and quartered.
  • Crusading Widower: Murron’s death is what kicks off his rebellion.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His father and brother were both killed in battle when he was a child.
  • Death Glare: Gives a very chilling one to Mornay before he murders him.
  • Decapitation Presentation: His head is displayed on London Bridge as a warning.
  • Defiant to the End: He refuses to beg for mercy even as he is being eviscerated, and instead shouts out “FREEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOOM.”
  • Escape Artist: Escapes a garrison of soldiers at Lanark after assaulting their men, and also escapes Mornay’s guards after murdering him.
  • Experienced Protagonist: He became a highly skilled warrior between the prologue and his return to Scotland not long after.
  • Fake Scot: Mel Gibson was born in the U.S. and raised in Australia.
  • Famous Last Words: Or rather, a famous last word, and a very long one too.
  • Folk Hero: Is shown to have become one in Scotland near the end of his career, with a montage of men telling various stories and legends of his exploits.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Despite the film’s inaccuracies, it does follow through in portraying Wallace failing to overthrow Longshanks or English rule himself and his execution at their hands.
  • Genius Bruiser: Is a combination of Barbarian Hero and Cultured Badass.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Upon his death, he has a vision of Murron, prompting a peaceful smile.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Wallace continues to dream of Murron during the war, and late in the film, long after her execution, Hamish implies to Wallace that he is still fighting because of her death.
  • The Hero Dies: Is executed by Longshanks at the end of the film.
  • Heroic BSoD: After he discovers Robert’s betrayal, he can do nothing but lie down in despair.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: While undoubtedly famous and a hero in Scotland, Wallace is portrayed as more influential in the First War of Scottish Independence than he really was at the expense of others. The rebellion didn’t start with him at Lanark, but instead had already begun a year earlier with then-King John Balliol (though it was briefly put down). Robert the Bruce plays a secondary role to Wallace, despite being more instrumental to the rebellion and having led a more successful campaign (not to mention becoming King of Scotland). He also looks up to him as a mentor of sorts, even though there is no record that the two even met. Andrew Moray is also completely adapted out, despite having also started his own uprising in the Highlands and sharing command with Wallace at the Battle of Stirling. Wallace was an important figure in the war, but not to the degree the film paints him as.
  • I Die Free: His freedom quote highlights this.
  • Innocence Lost: Witnesses the bodies of several hanged men as a boy, including that of another child. Soon after, his father and brother are both killed in battle.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Appears to to be turning himself in to the magistrate, but then suddenly attacks his men.
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe: It’s apparently believed among the Scottish that he is a One-Man Army capable of consuming the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.
  • Noble Savage: A commoner from Scotland who fights for his homeland against the King of England.
  • Off with His Head!: Kills Cheltham this way. He is then executed by beheading.
  • Omniglot: He speaks English (Scots), Scottish Gaelic, Latin, and French.
  • Posthumous Narration: At the very end of the film, Wallace is heard describing how the Scots fought like warrior poets at Bannockburn, and won their freedom.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to a roomful of Scottish nobles who continue squabbling despite their victory at Stirling.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Early on, he hoped to avoid war and live as a simple farmer, but circumstances changed this. Near the end of the film, he admits that he just wants to have a home and children and to live in peace, and the only reason why he continues to fight is to gain freedom for his people.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His actions at Lanark are this.
  • Rousing Speech: Gives a very iconic Dare to Be Badass speech before the Battle of Stirling to convince his retreating army to fight the English. It works.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!!: Refuses Longshanks’ bribe.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Owing to a combination of his down-to-earth personality and his education.
  • Sword Plant: He caps off his triumphant cheering after the Battle of Stirling with this.
  • The Strategist: How he beats the English at Stirling despite fewer numbers.
  • Together in Death: Has a vision of Murron just before getting beheaded.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: He takes out a soldier at Lanark with this method.
  • Tranquil Fury: Stoically slits the sheriff’s throat. He is also expressionless when he caves Moray’s face in.
  • Unstoppable Rage: After Murron is executed, he swiftly cuts through the English garrison at Lanark. Later, after being betrayed by two nobles at Falkirk, he quickly and brutally executes them.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His best friend is Hamish, who he decks him on three separate occasions (though, only the last one was done out of anger), while Wallace knocks him down with a stone throw to the head.
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    Robert the Bruce 

Robert the Bruce

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/angus_macfayden_robert_the_bruce_braveheart_screenshot_600x298.png
"You bled with Wallace! Now, bleed with me!"

"I want to believe as he does."

Portrayed by: Angus MacFayden

A Scottish noble who is a contender for the vacant throne of Scotland. He admires Wallace but is unable to take a side due to the jeopardy it would place him in politically. He ultimately stands up for himself as a leader and leads the Scottish to victory at Bannockburn after Wallace’s death.

  • Adaptational Wimp: He is very unsure of his allegiance during the war, preferring to let his own father dictate his political positions. In any case, his arc in the film is about learning what it takes and means to be a leader, and it’s shown that, by the end of the film, he has become the king he was meant to be.
  • Artistic License – History: Lampshades this in his opening narration, pointing out that English historians will accuse him, the narrator, of being a liar. He then invokes Written by the Winners in response.note 
  • The Atoner: Both after siding with the English at Falkirk, and after unwittingly leading Wallace into a trap.
  • Big "NO!": Upon realizing he has walked Wallace into a trap, which doubles as an Oh, Crap! moment.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Violently confronts his father over his betrayal and disowns him.
  • Death Glare: Gives one to Craig while theorizing how Wallace will seek revenge on both of them. Also gives one to his father after leaving him.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: He repeatedly switches allegiance between the Scottish and the English throughout the film. His last scene is him about to submit to the English, before changing his mind and leading the Scots into battle.
  • Hero of Another Story: The film’s end acknowledges his eventual kingship of Scotland and for leading the Scots to freedom.
  • Historical Downgrade: Played with. His role in the film is largely overshadowed by Wallace’s, despite being arguably the more famous future king of Scotland. However, his importance is emphasized by the end of the film where he leads the Scots to freedom.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Downplayed. Many of his more underhanded and self-serving actions are never shown in the film, particularly his ruthless murder of his chief rival Comyn in a church. He also waged a civil war against supporters of the late Comyn while fighting the English, finally defeating them through Rape, Pillage, and Burn of their lands and subjects, all Scotsmen in fact.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: On the other hand, he is shown doing a few things the real Bruce never did. He never once betrayed Wallace or the Scottish during the war, let alone fighting for Longshanks at Falkirk.
  • Laughing Mad: Owing to his brief sanity slippage, he laughs rather creepily to Craig while theorizes out loud that Wallace may try to kill him.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Leads the charge at Bannockburn.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He is haunted by his betrayal of Wallace, and suffers a Thousand-Yard Stare after observing the carnage at Falkirk. He vows to never betray the Scottish again.
  • Narrator: Fills this role for the prologue and the epilogue.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Leads the Scots into battle at Bannockburn.
  • Sanity Slippage: Briefly undergoes one due to his guilt for betraying Wallace, though it doesn’t seem to last.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: His last words to his father are, “My hate… will die… with you.”
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: “I DON’T WANT TO LOSE HEART!”
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Being used to capture Wallace is the final straw for Robert and his relationship with his father, who becomes dead to him after this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After constantly wavering in allegiance and avoiding battle with the Scots, he stands up to his father, becoming his own man and firmly allying himself with Scotland, before later becoming King of the Scots and leading them to victory at the Battle of Bannockburn.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Was able to retrieve Murron’s wedding cloth that Wallace had once kept in memory of her following his execution.
  • Tranquil Fury: His Shut Up Hannibal to his father is this.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Accidentally leads Wallace to a trap, orchestrated by his own father.
  • Young Future Famous People: Is portrayed as still a young Scottish noble, albeit a contender for the throne. He becomes king by the end of the film though.
  • You're Not My Father: Says this to the elder Bruce after discovering his treachery.

    Murron MacClannough 

Murron MacClannough

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a7b50fd7b43992c5a9057018373c96a1_6.jpg

"I’m dreaming."
"Yes, you are. And you must wake."
Wallace and Murron’s spirit

Portrayed by: Catherine McCormack

A childhood friend of Wallace who later becomes his wife. Her execution by the English is what provokes Wallace’s rebellion.


  • Attempted Rape: Smythe tries to rape her, before Wallace steps in.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted and then played straight. She’s badly bleeding from the mouth after her attempted rape and subsequent capture by the English, but her execution is shot so that nothing of her throat-slit is shown, not even a little blood.
  • Defiant to the End: Refused to reveal where Wallace escaped to before she is executed. She also refused to beg or plead for her life, despite clearly being afraid for her life.
  • Disposable Woman: Averted: While her execution serves the purpose of motivating Wallace to rebel against the English, her death is treated with appropriate tragedy by the rest of the townspeople, and continues to appear later in the film as The Lost Lenore.
  • Elopement: Marries Wallace in secret, against her father’s wishes and to avoid suffering from Prima Nocta.
  • Establishing Character Moment: After departing the funeral of Wallace’s father and brother with her parents, she notices Wallace standing alone and still grieving by their graves. She then breaks from her parents, grabs a thistle, and hands him the flower to comfort him before she departs. This would have a profound effect on him later in the story.
  • Fake Scot: Catherine McCormack is English, despite the last name.
  • Held Gaze: When Wallace returns home after 17 years, she stares at him from a distance, until he matches her gaze and stares back. Later, after her death, her spirit repeats this with Wallace in both a dream and right before his death.
  • Hope Spot: Wallace confirms to himself that she has safely ridden away. When he’s not looking though, she is knocked off her horse with a staff to the chest.
  • The Lost Lenore: Despite dying early, she reappears throughout the remainder of the film in dreams or visions had by Wallace.
  • Meaningful Funeral: A scene is dedicated to her receiving this.
  • One Mario Limit: Wallace’s wife in The Wallace, which the film is based on, was named Marion Braidfute. Her name was changed to Murron MacClannough to avoid confusion with Maid Marian of Robin Hood fame.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Her father refuses to allow Wallace to marry her, prompting them to elope.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: She kisses Wallace right after he proposes to her. He asks if that's a yes, which she confirms.
  • Slashed Throat: Her manner of death.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Murron is regarded by many to be a very beautiful woman. However, combined with her innocent nature, this also attracts the unwanted attention of Smythe and two of his soldiers who attempt to rape her.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: Her death is used to trigger Wallace’s uprising.
  • Together in Death: Appears before Wallace just before his death, smiling.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: She is shown to be the warmest and most empathetic character in the film, and she is executed for fighting off her attempted rapist.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Her wedding cloth becomes this for Wallace.
  • The Tragic Rose: Or thistle, to be exact. She gives this to Wallace during the funeral for his father and brother, which he keeps long afterwards.

    Hamish Campbell 

Hamish Campbell

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5de921bd084503357bb1688951924b0d_7.jpg

"I could crush you, like a worm."

Portrayed by: Brendan Gleeson

William Wallace’s best friend and one of the Scottish revolutionaries. He honors Wallace at Bannockburn by tossing Wallace’s sword and starting a chant in his name, before charging into battle.


  • An Axe to Grind: Used a hatchet at Lanark, before upgrading to a large battle axe for the rest of the film.
  • Battle Chant: He leads the chant for Wallace at Bannockburn.
  • The Big Guy: Is more physically imposing than Wallace himself, and uses his strength to great effect in battle.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: He throws Wallace’s sword at Bannockburn in defiance against the English and out of respect for Wallace's memory, and it lands on the ground upright. This doubles as an elaborate Sword Plant.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Has had a tendency to start fights since he was a boy.
  • Captain Obvious: Points out to Stephen that he is a madman.
  • Deadpan Snarker: “Well, we didn’t get dressed up for nothing.”
  • Death Glare: Gives one to Wallace when the latter implies that he can’t throw a rock when it counts.
  • Emotional Bruiser: Becomes this after the death of his father.
  • Fake Scot: Brendan Gleeson was born and raised in Dublin.
  • The Lancer: To Wallace.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Kicks off the charge at Bannockburn with a sword throw.
  • Manchild: A very subtle example that doubles as "Well Done, Son!" Guy. The moment Wallace returns to Lanark, Hamish, despite having grown up, demonstrates a need to prove his manhood by challenging Wallace to one. It seems to be particularly out of a desire to impress his father, who continues to call him "boy." Him also thinking that it's a good idea to pull an arrow right out of his father's chest is another example, which the Elder Campbell Lampshades. He eventually matures over the course of the rebellion and his experience in battle, which his father acknowledges before dying by proclaiming how proud he is of the man he has become.
  • Manly Tears: Cries upon the death of his father.
  • Talk to the Fist: Ends to arguments with Wallace with this method.
  • Those Two Guys: Becomes something like this with Stephen.
  • Tragic Keepsake: He kept Wallace’s sword after his execution.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: As demonstrated, he is stronger than Wallace, heaving a rock farther than he can. However, he is not as effective with his aim.
  • Use Your Head: Stuns an English soldier with this move before throwing him into a spike.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He is Wallace’s best friend, and he decks him on three separate occasions (though, only the last one was done out of anger), while Wallace knocks him down with a stone throw to the head.

    Campbell the Elder 

Campbell the Elder

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/download_303.jpg

"I’ve lived long enough to live free, proud, to see you become the man you are. I’m a happy man."

Portrayed by: James Cosmo

Hamish’s father and one of the revolutionaries in Wallace’s army. He was also a good friend to Malcolm Wallace.


  • Action Dad: Plays this role relative to Hamish.
  • Annoying Arrows: Subverted. He is briefly stopped by one at Lanark, but continues fighting after splitting it in half.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Punches the man who cauterizes his arrow wound.
  • Crowd Chant: After Wallace executes the Sheriff of Lanark, he leads the chant for “MacAulish” and “Wallace.”note 
  • Death Glare: Gives one to the man who cauterized his wound before punching him.
  • The Dreaded: Anyone who knows better knows it’s not in their best interests to take a hot iron to his wounds.
  • Epic Flail: Wields one at Falkirk.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Dies with content for his life and pride for his son.
  • I Die Free: Before dying, he states he is content with dying for having lived his life as a free man.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Is a large, boisterous, and intimidating man, just like Hamish.
  • Made of Iron: Gets shot at Lanark with an arrow, has his hand chopped off at Stirling, and is struck in the gut with an axe at Falkirk. The last one is what finally kills him.
  • Old Soldier: An old man who is one of Wallace’s most effective soldiers, and despite the fact that age has slowed him down somewhat, he is still able to take several hits.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Along with Morrison, MacGregor, and Stewart, he is among the only named members of Wallace’s army to die at Falkirk. This is meant to underscore their losses.
  • So Proud of You: His last words to Hamish are how proud he is of him for the man he has become.
  • Unstoppable Rage: [1]: When Hamish is asked to cauterize Campbell’s arrow wound, he passes it to Morrison, who then passes it to another man. They hold Campbell down, but after he is cauterized and shouts in pain, they let him go as he lunges at the man who healed him, decking him. He then almost instantly calms down.

    Robert the Elder 

Robert the Elder

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1911.png
"All men betray... All men lose heart."

"You’ve finally learned to hate! At last, you’re ready to become king."

Portrayed by: Ian Bannen

The Lord of Annandale and Robert the Bruce’s father. He is suffering from leprosy and has no chance of becoming King of Scotland, but hopes to ensure his son’s claim by officially supporting the English.


  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He at first comes across as Robert’s enfeebled yet ambitious father, who officially sides with the English only so he can ensure his son’s claim to the throne. Later, he betrays Wallace to the English, which infuriates his own son.
  • Composite Character: His role in capturing William Wallace is based on John de Menteith, who is absent from the film.
  • Don't Look at Me!: Inverted. He demands his son to look at him, despite his disease, so as to make a point.
  • Evil Chancellor: He has shades of this, especially after his treachery is revealed.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Downplayed. The real Robert de Bruce had no part in Wallace’s capture. However, he did officially side with the English like the film, but the film version is doing so because he hopes it will ensure his son’s claim, while the historical Robert de Bruce did so just because he didn’t want to lose his own titles, and was even willing to disown the younger Robert if he sided with the English. In any case, while he opposed the Scots, he had little impact himself.
  • Karma Houdini: He never receives retribution for betraying Wallace, though he will die alone of leprosy.
  • One Steve Limit: Zig-Zagged. His historical counterpart was named Robert de Brus, and while the film confirms that he shares his son’s name, he is never once referred to by it. Even the credits simply refer to him as “The Leper.”
  • The Power of Hate: Invokes this trope when he claims that his son is now ready to become king.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Is revealed to have sold Wallace out behind his son’s back.
  • Vicariously Ambitious: All of his actions and scheming are to ensure his son’s ascension to the Scottish throne.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: He suffers from leprosy.
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    Craig 

Craig

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/braveheart_the_oath_of_a_liar.png

"We cannot defeat this army!"

Portrayed by: John Kavanagh

A Scottish noble and an ally of Robert the Bruce who betrays Wallace to the English.


  • Big Bad Friend: He appears to be Bruce’s friend, but is secretly in league with the English.
  • Corrupt Politician: Despite being Scottish, he, Mornay, and Lochlan prove to be as big an obstacle for Wallace as the English.
  • Decomposite Character: Both he and Robert the Elder are based on John de Monteith, a Scottish noble who was responsible for Wallace’s capture and never faced retribution afterwards.
  • Dirty Coward: He avoids battle as much as possible, and this may be his motivation for helping the English.
  • Fake Scot: John Kavanagh is Irish.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite his role in Wallace’s capture, he still remains Bruce’s second-in-command by the end of the film.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Lochlan’s body falls onto the table right in front of him.
  • Pet the Dog: When Bruce tries to stop the English soldiers arresting Wallace and they turn on him, Craig charges into the fray and pulls Bruce to safety.
  • The Quisling: He eventually betrays Wallace to the English, and he is eager to submit to England.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: At Bannockburn, he eagerly leads Bruce to submit to the English. However, when Bruce orders him to stop, he realizes with a groan that Bruce instead wishes to fight.
  • Traitor Shot: He makes an aside glance to men in hiding at Wallace’s meeting, which alerts Bruce to the betrayal.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Despite Bruce’s wishes, Craig does everything he can to sabotage the rebellion to avoid conflict with the English, including turning Wallace over to the English.

    Mornay 

Mornay

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mornay_betrayal.jpg

"This time, our only option is to negotiate."

Portrayed by: Alun Armstrong

A Scottish noble who initially assists Wallace in the rebellion, before betraying him at Falkirk.


  • The Cavalry: He ensures Scottish victory at Stirling by leading the cavalry in. Inverted at Falkirk where his refusal to deploy his cavalry ensures English victory.
  • Corrupt Politician: Despite being Scottish, he, Craig, and Lochlan prove to be as big an obstacle for Wallace as the English.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Taking a large iron ball to the face is a nasty way to go.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gets a good one after Wallace insults the English commander at Stirling, ensuring a battle will ensue.
    Mornay: I'd say that was rather less cordial than he's used to.
  • Fake Scot: Alun Armstrong is English.
  • Greed: Longshanks revealed that he bought Mornay’s loyalty through offers of land and titles.
  • Karmic Death: Wallace smashes his face in for his betrayal.
  • Oh, Crap!: He is absolutely horrified when Wallace bursts through his door.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: He has a nightmare of Wallace riding in the night with the intent to kill him. After he wakes up and calms down, guess who barges through the door?
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Wallace personally executes him.
  • The Quisling: He eventually submits to the English.
  • Traitor Shot: His treachery is indicated when he makes a shady aside glance to Lochlan before leading his cavalry away.

    Lochlan 

Lochlan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1914.png

"This is our army. To join it, you give homage!"

Portrayed by: John Murtagh

A Scottish noble who initially assists Wallace in the rebellion, before betraying him at Falkirk.


  • Corrupt Politician: Despite being Scottish, he, Craig, and Mornay prove to be as big an obstacle for Wallace as the English.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: He chastises Wallace for not saluting him and the other nobles at Stirling.
  • *Drool* Hello: While the nobles eat, blood suddenly drips down on Craig’s meal. When he looks up, Lochlan’s corpse drops from the rafters.
  • Karmic Death: Wallace hunts him down and kills him for his betrayal.
  • Pride: Unlike Mornay, he didn’t require much bribing from Longshanks to betray Wallace. Judging by his dialogue, he seemed to be more motivated by Wallace’s continued disrespect of him and the other nobles.
  • Slashed Throat: How Wallace dispatches him.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Wallace personally executes him.
  • The Quisling: He eventually submits to the English.
  • Traitor Shot: His treachery is indicated when he makes a shady aside glance to Mornay before leading his cavalry away.

    Morrison 

Morrison

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/morrison_6.jpg

"Well I'm here to claim the right of a husband!"

Portrayed by: Tommy Flanagan

One of Wallace's soldiers who took part in his uprising at Lanark. He has a personal vendetta against the English due to his wife becoming the victim of prima noctae.


  • And I Must Scream: He can do nothing but watch as Lord Bottoms rides away with his wife.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. Three arrows to the torso kill him.
  • Best Served Cold: His wife stops him from fighting off Bottoms's guards as she is taken away, knowing that he was outnumbered. Later, after taking his base of operations, Morrison is free to exact his revenge on Lord Bottoms.
  • Do with Him as You Will: After capturing Bottoms's outpost, Wallace grants Morrison the honor of killing him.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Dispatches of Bottoms with an Epic Flail.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: He dies at Falkirk so as to drive home the losses the Scottish suffered.
  • Wedding Day: Wallace returns to Lanark on Morrison's wedding day and, due to its festive nature, allows him to re-ingratiate himself with his hometown. Unfortunately, not long after their marriage, Lord Bottoms shows up to invoke his right to prima noctae—i.e., to take away Morrison's bride to sleep with her that night.

    MacClannough 

MacClannough

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sean_mcginley_braveheart_1995.jpg

"One day, Wallace, you will have to fight."

Portrayed by: Seán McGinley

Murron's father, who disapproves of her marrying Wallace.


  • Adult Fear: The murder of his daughter. He is so stunned that he can't even weep at her funeral.
  • Back for the Finale: He seems to disappear from the movie after Murron's death and doesn't take part in Wallace's rebellion. However, at the end of the film, eagle-eyed viewers will see him among the Scottish ranks at Bannockburn and taking part in their charge.
  • The Drag-Along: In the prologue, Malcolm Wallace urges the other villagers to fight the English. MacClannough is openly skeptical, but agrees to take part with a resigned "Alright, alright!" Their rebellion ultimately fails, and MacClannough remains skeptical of rebellion later in the film, until the very end, that is.
  • Fake Scot: Seán McGinley is Irish.
  • Forgiveness: At Murron's funeral, Wallace bows his head to MacClannough, ashamed at his own failure to save her. In response, MacClannough gently rests his hand on Wallace's head: a wordless sign of forgiveness.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: He refuses to give Wallace his blessing to marry Murron. This isn't due to any personal dislike of Wallace however, but is instead because he fears her being subjected to prima noctae. He also (correctly) predicts that Wallace will eventually be forced to fight, and that would put her in more danger. Ironically, this is what causes Wallace to eventually accept the call.

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The English

    King Edward the Longshanks 

King Edward the Longshanks of England

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"Bring me Wallace. Alive if possible; dead… just as good."

Portrayed by: Patrick McGoohan

The film’s antagonist; he is King of England and seeks to rule over Scotland. In the meantime, he is concerned with an apparent succession-crisis regarding his son, and is also busy forming an alliance with his chief rival, France. He takes the Scottish rebellion more seriously after Stirling and York, and seeks to capture and execute Wallace.


  • Abusive Parents: Murders his son’s lover, and then beats him afterwards.
  • And I Must Scream: Isabella tells him on his deathbed that she is carrying Wallace’s child, meaning that his line will effectively end with his son, and he can do nothing other than stare in horror.
  • Bad Boss: Throws Phillip out of the window for giving him unsolicited advice. Later orders a barrage of arrows on his own men to take out the Scottish.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted: He captures and kills Wallace, and remains in control of Scotland by the time he dies. He does learn though that his line will end with Edward II and be replaced with Wallace’s descendents. Later, after his death, the Scottish finally regain their independence.
  • The Chessmaster: Ultimately puts down the rebellion (that is, until he dies) mainly through political schemes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: “Who is this person who speaks to me as though I needed his advice?”
  • Death Glare: A master of these.
  • Destination Defenestration: Kills Phillip this way.
  • Dies Wide Open: He’s suffers a fatal heart attack when Wallace yells “Freedom!”
  • Dirty Old Man: It’s implied that he is considering impregnating his daughter-in-law to solve the succession crisis, though he never acts on it.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's old and... pretty evil.
  • Eye Take: The camera focuses on his gaze as he hears of Isabella's deception from her, mainly because he can only express himself with his eyes at this point.
  • Fake Brit: Patrick McGoohan is Irish-American, though he did spend the latter portion of his childhood in Sheffield, England.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Throws his son’s lover out the window for giving unsolicited advice (though, his homosexuality may have had something to do with it).
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Played with: While a very controversial king, many of his nefarious actions in the film are either exaggerated or entirely fictional. He never mandated Primae Noctis, for one, never murdered his son’s lover, would likely have never killed his own troops for victory, and never murdered his own subjects. His scoffing at charity is also unlikely, since he was very generous in real life, though this was mandated by the church. He was also a loving husband and family man, despite his attitude towards women and his treatment of his son. Nevertheless, the real Longshanks was a crooked schemer who sought to take over Scotland, and he was an active anti-Semite to boot.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: His murdering Phillip personally makes sense from the point of view that he is a potential usurper and liability. At the very least he's clearly never fought a battle in his entire life, and isn't qualified to be advising a prince or a king on matters of state. If he is influencing his son, then the guy has got to go.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He politely allows Isabella to attend his court despite having sent for Prince Edward instead, under the pretense of teaching her how to rule. He then proceeds to outline his plan to reinstate Prima Nocta in Scotland, all the while staring at her intently, as though he knows it would make her uncomfortable.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted: He dies in his sleep without ever relinquishing control over Scotland or having received any retribution for his apparent tyranny, while also succeeding in executing Wallace. However, just before he dies, he learns that Isabella is carrying Wallace’s child and will wipe out his line with Prince Edward, and there is nothing he can do about it.
  • Kick the Dog: He reveals his plan for Prima Nocta in front of Isabella, implicitly because he knows it would make her uncomfortable as a woman. Murders his son’s gay lover (ostensibly for giving unsolicited advice, which isn’t any better than homophobia), then literally kicks his son for retaliating.
  • Lack of Empathy: This shows when he suddenly kills his son’s lover right in front of him, and then proceeds to beat him (granted, in self-defense), before sitting down to plot while his son lies crying on the floor.
  • Large and in Charge: Both McGoohan and the real Longshanks were 6’2.
  • Light Is Not Good: He has snow-white hair and is regularly adorned in scarlet-gold robes.
  • Misogyny: Implied by his attitude towards Isabella and his reinstatement of Prima Nocta. However, Pragmatic Villainy forces him to avoid acting on this with Isabella.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Isabella tells him the truth of her pregnancy, his eyes go wide and he breathes heavily. It’s all he can do since his disease has rendered him mute and unable to move.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Despite having sent for his son, he allows Isabella to attend his court since it appears that Prince Edward has no interest in learning how to rule, meaning she would have to learn how to in his stead. He also defeats Wallace on the battlefield by simply buying off the other Scottish nobles.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: “Then tell me… what advice would you offer on the present situation?” *He then proceeds to throw Phillip out of the window.*
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He may be a bastard, but he did lead the English at Falkirk (even if it was at the sidelines).
  • Sadist: Seems to take great delight in making Isabella uncomfortable as he explains how Prima Nocta works in detail.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Throws a man out a window to his death, the guards ignore it when they see the guy who did it is the king.
  • Villain Decay: Gradually becomes older and sicker of the years before being completely bed-ridden.
  • Villainous BSoD: The truth of Isabella’s pregnancy prompts a very subtle version of this.
  • We Have Reserves: Trope-Namer: He orders one of his Lords to loose arrows on the Scottish. When said Lord points out that they will hit their own men, he stares at him and responds, “Yes… but we’ll hit theirs as well. We have reserves.”
  • Would Hurt a Child: Among the nobles he tricked and hanged during the prologue is a boy no older than William Wallace at the time, who may have been a noble's son or squire attending the meeting.

    Prince Edward 

Prince Edward of England

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"I will stand up to him, and more."

Portrayed by: Peter Hanley

The Prince of England and Longshanks’ incompetent and ineffectual son. He has no interest in his wife Isabella, posing something of a succession crisis for the monarchy.


  • Adaptational Wimp: Edward II was as weak a leader as the film portrays him as, but he was not a feeble coward himself. He was noted for being tall and muscular, and, aside from the fact that the real Edward II actually attended Bannockburn while the film version doesn’t, Edward II had to be dragged away from the battlefield by his own commanders when they realized it was lost, as he wanted to stay and fight.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Aside from a frustrated insult from his cousin, it’s never outright stated, but it’s strongly implied.
  • Archer Archetype: He is shown enjoying himself while he practices archery.
  • Camp Gay: Speaks with a slight lilt, is very sensitive, and is constantly admiring himself in mirrors.
  • Effeminate Misogynistic Guy: Outside of being neglectful to Isabella, he crosses into this territory nearly every time he talks with her, barely hiding his scorn.
  • Eye Take: His reaction to Phillip’s death.
  • Fake Brit: Peter Hanley is Irish.
  • Flat Character: Edward gets little characterization outside of being Longshanks’ incompetent and weak son, with only his homosexuality giving him some depth. His role is mostly meant to drive aspects of the narrative: his neglect of Isabella is partly why she goes to Wallace, and his homosexuality leads to a succession crisis that culminates in Isabella getting the last laugh on Longshanks. Furthermore, he serves as a contrast to both Wallace and, more ironically, his own father, where his weaknesses serve to highlight their own strengths as the protagonist and antagonist.
  • Foil: To both Wallace and Longshanks.
  • Het Is Ew: He grudgingly kisses Isabella at their wedding, and avoids interacting with her for the remainder of the film.
  • Jerkass Woobie: He is a closeted homosexual forced into a loveless marriage with a woman. However, that doesn’t change the fact that he is very condescending to his wife. His abuse from his father also doesn’t change the fact that he willingly extended the war against the Scots after he became king.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: He is nominally a villain due to opposing Wallace in his father’s absence and prolonging his rule over Scotland after Longshanks’ death, but it’s no coincidence that the English only started winning after Longshanks came back from France, and that England lost the war after Longshanks died. It’s also hard to not feel sorry for him though, given the extreme abuse he receives from his father and the natural hardships that being gay in Medieval Europe would bring.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Longshanks is the cold, domineering, and ruthless king of England who trounces the Scots on the battlefield. Prince Edward is… not.
  • Non-Action Guy: He tries attacking his father with a knife following Phillip's murder, but he is easily beaten, despite Longshanks' advanced age.
  • One Steve Limit: Zig-Zagged. Both are credited and confirmed in-film as Edward, but the elder Edward is consistently referred to by “Longshanks,” probably to avoid confusion.
  • Pretty Boy: Young, lithe, rosy-cheeked, pale, and beardless, which is all a stark contrast to his father.
  • Sissy Villain: He’s weak, effeminate, and an incompetent war-time commander with no business being in combat.
  • Smug Snake: Scoffs at Isabella after she begs for Wallace’s life. Little does he know that she is pregnant with Wallace’s child, and intends to eventually depose of Edward, wiping out his line.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: He’s gay and in an arranged marriage, so it’s not hard to understand why he spends more time with Phillip than Isabella.

    The Magistrate 

The Magistrate

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"An assault on the King’s soldiers is the same as an assault on the king himself."

Portrayed by: Malcolm Tierney

The Magistrate at Lanark, who executes Murron in an attempt to draw Wallace out. His actions instead result in his death and rebellion against England.


  • All Crimes Are Equal: He invokes this by comparing Murron and Wallace’s assault on the King’s soldiers to assaulting the King himself.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: By the citizens of Lanark.
  • Bring It: “Now, let this scrapper come to me.”
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He is only credited as “Magistrate.”
  • No Name Given: His historical counterpart was known, however, as William Heselrig, who was the Sheriff of Lanark that was killed by William Wallace at the start of his uprising.
  • Karmic Death: Wallace kills him in the exact same manner as he executed Murron.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Wallace suddenly attacks his men.
  • One Steve Limit: As mentioned, he is based on William Heselrig, and sharing the same first name with the protagonist is probably why he went unnamed.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He considers himself this, treating his execution of Murron as a justified break from his apparent "leniency" to set an example.
  • Slashed Throat: Wallace kills him this way.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He murders the love interest of the protagonist, which in turn provokes Wallace’s entire rebellion.
  • Smug Snake: Is fully confident in his garrison’s ability to take Wallace. They are all annihilated, and he gets executed.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He nonchalantly cuts Murron’s throat.

    Phillip 

Phillip

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"I am skilled in the arts of war and military tactics, sire."

Portrayed by: Stephen Billington

Prince Edward’s High Counselor, and possibly his lover.


  • Ambiguously Gay: It’s never outright stated, but it’s strongly implied.
  • Bury Your Gays: He is suddenly killed by Longshanks midway through the film.
  • Destination Defenestration: His manner of death.
  • Famous Last Words: His character quote.
  • Held Gaze: He and Edward stare at one another during Edward’s wedding, which indicates their apparent relationship.
  • Manly Gay: Relative to Edward, he is more confident, outspoken, and assertive than him, though it gets him killed.
  • Nepotism: Despite no apparent qualifications, Edward makes him his High Counselor.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He is based on Piers Gaveston, a noble who was rumored to be Edward II’s lover. He was not killed by Longshanks but instead outlived him, ultimately making enemies in court due to being Edward II’s favorite, which led to his exile and eventual execution in 1312.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He gives Longshanks unsolicited advice and continues to assert himself despite Longshanks’ obvious annoyance, before finally allowing Longshanks to lead him to a window.

    Cheltham 

Cheltham

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"You are outmatched. Hah, you have no heavy cavalry. In two centuries, no army has won without it."

Portrayed by:' Gerard Mcsorley

The English second-in command and field commander at Stirling. He is based on Sir Hugh de Cressingham, the English treasurer who had the same military role at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.


  • Actually Pretty Funny: Normally collected, he can't help but cackle at Wallace's bravado. He should have taken it more seriously.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Hugh de Cressingham was the one who suggested the disastrous full-scale attack against the Scots at Stirling, not John de Warrene, his superior, whom Lord Talmadge was based on. In the film, Cheltham advises against such an action.
  • Buy Them Off: He tries to convince the Scottish nobles at Stirling to stand down, promising them lucrative lands in England. It might have worked on them, but Wallace can't be bought off.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He's not the overall commander of the army sent to put down Wallace but he's the one directing the troops.
  • Fake Brit: Gerald Mcsorley is Irish.
  • Frontline General: After his cavalry are annihilated, he personally leads the English infantry into battle at Stirling.
  • Historical Villain Downgrade: His historical analogue, Hugh de Cressingham, was notoriously ruthless in his methods to subjugate Scotland for Longshanks, and was known to have flayed prisoners. This is not demonstrated or referenced in the film.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: He's more cautious and realistic than the main commander, Lord Talmadge, who proved to be fairly rash in his battle tactics.
  • Mouth of Sauron: He serves as one to Longshanks.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: His decision to send English heavy cavalry at the Scots results in his army's best troops being annihilated and the Scots emboldened to take the fight to the English infantry on equal terms.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He's based on Hugh de Cressingham, an extremely unpopular English lord hated by the Scottish who advocated attacking the Scots at Stirling, a decision that, like his cinematic counterpart, cost Hugh his life (though in the film, he escapes the fate of his historical counterpart, who was flayed by Wallace for a sword belt).
  • Off with His Head!: Wallace cuts his head off in the heat of battle.
  • Oh, Crap!: After his horse is killed, he has time for this after getting back to his feet only to find Wallace looming over him with a sword in hand.
  • Smug Snake: Very much overconfident in his ability to win.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He completely dismisses the Scots' ability to defeat the English. It ends with his army annihilated and him slain.

    Smythe 

Smythe

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/smythe.jpg

"Oh, you remind me of my daughter back home."

Portrayed by: Michael Byrne

An old English soldier who lusts after Murron.


Others

    Stephen the Irishman 

Stephen the Irishman

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"You sure the Almighty didn't send me to protect you?"

"In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God."

Portrayed by: David O’Hara

A devoutly religious Irishman who joins Wallace’s army. He claims to talk to God and that Ireland is his island.


  • Blood Knight: Looks like a kid at Christmas when Wallace promises that he will get to kill the English if he joins the rebellion.
  • Cassandra Truth: The fact that the Irish defect to the Scottish at Falkirk lends some credence to his claim that Ireland belongs to him.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Claims to speak with God, among other things.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Campbell calls him insane. Stephen responds by revealing a knife he had snuck past the Scottish guards. Later on, it’s also revealed he wasn’t necessarily lying when he said Ireland was his island, after somehow convincing Longshank’s Irish mercenaries to fight for the Scottish.
  • Deadpan Snarker: “The Almighty says, ‘don’t change the subject, just answer the fucking question!’”
  • Eye Scream: Stabs an English soldier through the eye at Stirling.
  • Fake Irish: David O’Hara is a Scot playing the only Irishman in the film, interestingly enough (considering the amount of Irish actors playing Scotsmen and Englishmen in the film).
  • Fighting Irish: The only Irishman in Wallace’s army, and one his more proficient killers.
  • Funny Foreigner: Is this to the Scottish.
  • Groin Attack: Stabs an Englishman through the taint at Stirling.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After killing Faudron, he turns to Wallace and says, “I never liked him; he wasn’t right in the head.”
  • Insistent Terminology: Remember, Ireland is his island.
  • Laughing Mad: At Stirling, he tells Wallace that the Lord thinks he’s fucked, before suddenly bursting into laughter.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Charges with the other Scots at Bannockburn.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Seems to join the revolution just because he wants to kill Englishmen. However, by the end of the film, it’s apparent that he genuinely believes in the Scottish cause.
  • Precision F-Strike: Is responsible for the film’s sole two occasions, both of which, he claims, are direct quotes from God.
  • Religious Bruiser: He regularly invokes God, and even claims to speak with him. Also doubles as Token Religious Teammate, as he is more openly devout than the Scots.
  • Those Two Guys: Becomes something like this with Hamish.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Dispatches Faudron this way.
  • Traitor Shot: Subverted. After endearing himself to the Scots, he initially appears to be stalking Wallace with Faudron, and then charges at him with a sword. However, he instead throws it at Faudron, revealing that he was only stalking Faudron to protect Wallace. He is loyal for the remainder of the film.

    Isabella of France 

Isabella of France

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/braveheart_isabella_1.jpg

"You see? Death comes to us all. But before it comes to you, know this: your blood dies with you. A child who is not of your line grows in my belly. Your son will not sit long on the throne. I swear it."

Portrayed by: Sophie Marceau

The wife of Prince Edward. She is sympathetic to Wallace, and later aids him in secret, ultimately mothering a child from him, with whom she intends to replace Longshanks’ line.


  • Age Lift: A very glaring example. The real Isabella was much younger than the film example, being two years old at the start of the rebellion in real life while her film counterpart is an adult at this time and has just married to Edward. Given that she was about ten years old by the time of his execution, and still unwed, it’s very unlikely that she ever met Wallace, let alone slept with him.
  • Alone-with-Prisoner Ploy: She demands time with Wallace in his cell so that she can give him a sedative.
  • The Beard: To Prince Edward.
  • Eye Take: Her reaction to Longshanks’ description of Prima Nocta, which doubles as a Death Glare.
  • Foil: To Murron. Both are strong, romantic interests to Wallace. However, Murron is a common Scotswoman while Isabella is a royal married into the English monarchy. Furthermore, Wallace outlives Murron while Isabella outlives Wallace.
  • Ice Queen: The ending hints that she’s on the path to this, much like her historical counterpart.
  • Iron Lady: Between her and Edward, there’s little doubt as to who will be in charge after Longshanks death.
  • Rebellious Princess: She literally sleeps with the enemy.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Impregnated by Wallace before his capture and death.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Prince Edward has no interest in her, so she can’t be blamed for sleeping with Wallace.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: Despite being married to the English Prince, she is sympathetic to Wallace’s cause.
  • Tranquil Fury: She can’t do anything as Longshanks reveals his decree of Prima Noctae to her, but this clearly infuriates her. Later on, she is perfectly calm as she outlines her revenge to Longshanks.
  • Unwanted Spouse: Is this to Prince Edward.
  • Wham Line: See character quote.
  • You Remind Me of X: Wallace claims to see Murron’s strength in her. This is what convinces him to agree to sleep with her.

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