For the TV series, see here.
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Connor MacLeod / Russell Nash
Played by: Christopher Lambert (1986-2000)
"Hey, it's a kind of magic."
- Badass Longcoat: Wears one to conceal his sword.
- Been There, Shaped History: Connor has played pivotal roles in the Revolutionary War, the Napeolonic War, and World War 2.
- Brave Scot: As the titular Highlander. Eager to go into battle with his Clan in the first flashback, and not shying away from duels with other Immortals after being trained by Ramirez.
- Deadpan Snarker: Connor has one hell of a dry wit. In a deleted scene when a Nazi says Connor will have to shoot him? "Whatever you say, Jack. You're the master race!"
- Death by Adaptation: In Highlander: The Animated Series the Big Bad Lord Kortan kills him about 700 years before the show takes place.
- Death Glare: He's got an impressive one when he's pissed.
- Defrosting Ice King: Connor is, umm...bitter at the start of the film. He's cold, isolated and has seen so many people die that he refuses to form attachments. He rarely smiles or even emotes much. As the film goes on, he develops a new attachment to humanity, falls in love with Brenda and takes his stand against Kurgan to save the world itself.
- Determinator: He's one of the last four immortals at the start of the film, having a four hundred and fifty year winning streak.
- Mr. Fanservice: Dresses sharply as an antiques dealer.
- Happily Married: To Heather, who stayed with him until her death of old age.
- The Hero: Connor is the hero of the story, and a truly noble man whose ultimate goal is to stop the Kurgan from winning the Prize.
- I Am X, Son of Y: "I am Connor MacLeod of the clan MacLeod."
- It's Personal:Oh god, is it ever with Kurgan. The two have been arch-enemies for centuries, and Kurgan killed his mentor Ramirez...and then Kurgan lets slip that he raped Connor's wife (thinking she was Ramirez's girlfriend) and it gets even more personal than ever.
- Katanas Are Just Better: His primary weapon in modern day is a nifty katana.
- Master Swordsman: Connor is one of the last final immortals left in the entire world when the Gathering starts and defeats Iman Fasil in the film's opening. Ultimately, his skill proves even too much for the Kurgan himself, showing Connor has surpassed all others.
- The Mourning After: Heather died of old age many years afte their marriage. Connor treasures her memory, loves her and honors his vow to light a candle on her birthday every single year for centuries.
- Parental Substitute: He adopted Rachel after World War 2 and loves her dearly.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: A career at this tragically cut short by The Kurgan killing him (and almost killing him), causing him to be exiled from his Clan. Still, he carries the attitude when a fight is upon him.
- Real Men Love Jesus: Astoundingly still a devout Catholic in spite of the xenophobia of his Catholic brethren causing him to be exiled.
- Trophy Room: Connor has one in his apartment. Given his nature, no surprise it's also a Wall of Weapons.
- Warrior Poet: He does not waste his immortality, but rather enrichens his soul by becoming a patron of fine arts, poetry and music.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Christopher Lambert went to a lot of trouble to develop a mixed non-specific accent appropriate for an immortal who'd lived everywhere over the course of his centuries-long life. Many people just assumed he was trying to do a specific accent and failing badly, even though the intention is underlined by an early dialogue exchange between MacLeod (operating under the alias Russell Nash) and a suspicious cop:Garfield: "You talk funny, Nash. Where you from?"MacLeod: "Lots of different places."
- Younger Than They Look: Connor is only 18 when he becomes immortal. To say he doesn't look it is...an understatement. (Lambert was 31 at the time of filming).
Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez
Played by: Sean Connery (1986-1991)
"We must fight until only one remains. You are safe only on Holy Ground. None of us will violate that rule. It's tradition."
- All There in the Manual: The novelization reveals his original name in Ancient Egypt was Tak Ne.
- Back from the Dead: Is brought back to life via....rather uncertain means in Highlander 2.
- Badass Mustache: He's a dashing, noble, badass warrior with a handsome little mustache.
- Badass Teacher: He's the mentor of the hero, and one of the most powerful and skilled immortals in history. He gives the Kurgan a fiercer fight than anyone else save for Connor in their final battle.
- Big Brother Mentor: He becomes like Connor's big brother in the time they train together.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Ramirez is one hell of a ladies man. Nevertheless, he's honorable, charming and does all he can to protect Heather from the Kurgan, even at point of death. He's also clearly revolted when the Kurgan makes his rapist intentions toward Heather clear.
- Cool Old Guy: Certainly quite the ladies man.
- Dashing Hispanic: "I'm not Spanish, I'm Egyptian!"
- Defiant to the End: He gives the Kurgan no fear whatsoever when he knows he's about to die, spitting in the evil bastard's face when the Kurgan makes his intentions clear towards poor Heather.
- Dirty Old Man: Downplayed, but Ramirez is a bit of a dashing ladies man with an eye for female company and attention.
- Expansion Pack Past: In the novels and comics, it's revealed that he was a member of the Spartan warrior class.
- Face Death with Dignity: How does he meet his end when Kurgan forces him to the knees and prepares the deathblow? He closes his eyes and calmly prays, knowing he has prepared Connor to face Kurgan himself one day.
- Hero of Another Story: Ramirez has a legacy of great stories and heroism behind him, but his role in this one is to mentor Connor.
- Katanas Are Just Better: His is a genuine Masamune piece, custom made by the master himself after he married the smith's daughter. Its superior quality is handwaved away by stating that his genius allowed him to conceive of forging techniques centuries ahead of his time.
- The Mentor: Wise old mentor who trains The Hero in the use of his powers.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Ramirez is found by Kurgan when Connor is away. Rather than betray his student, he chooses to face the Kurgan himself, knowing he's at a disadvantage. Like so many mentors, it's obvious how this ends.
- The Mourning After: Ramirez went through this after losing his third wifenote He encourages Connor to avoid romantic attachments in the first place, hoping to spare him this pain.
- Nice Hat: it has a nice feather too.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: To be entirely fair to him, he'd lived for donkey's years. In-universe, he'd probably just lost it.
- Old Master: Clearly became an immortal when he was quite old, moreso than Connor or the Kurgan at least.
- Overly Long Name: Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez
- Pimped-Out Cape: It even has peacock feathers.
- Sacrificial Lion: Ramirez is an incredible swordsman and his end serves to establish the Kurgan's reputation as The Dreaded is not mere hype. Though Ramirez comes closest to besting the Kurgan than anyone before or until Connor himself, the Kurgan's overwhelming power proves too much for him.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Possibly one of the most literal examples:Ramirez: You have no knowledge whatsover of your true potential. Now get out!(Ramirez pushes Connor off their boat, then starts to casually row away)Connor: Help me, I'm drowning!Ramirez: You can't drown, you fool, you're immortal!
- Spared by the Adaptation: Is a major character in The Animated Series.
The Kurgan / Victor Krueger
Played by: Clancy Brown (1986)
"I have something to say: it's better to burn out than to fade away!"
- All There in the Manual: Kurgan's background is fleshed out in the novelization, including the fact that his first death occurred when his drunken father crushed his skull with a log.
- Arch-Enemy: To MacLeod, of course.
- Ax-Crazy: The Kurgan loves to inflict violence on a whim, and does so with gleeful abandon.
- Badass Boast: He's very sure of himself, and with good reason."Tonight you sleep in hell.""You cannot win, Ramirez! I am the strongest!"
- Bald of Evil: While he's, "in disguissssssse".
- Barbarian Longhair: Was an actual barbarian when he first grew it out. In The '80s it's enabled him to pass as a Metalhead. It's not until he needs to alter his appearance that he shaves it off.
- Big Bad: Of the original Highlander.
- Black Knight: When he first appears, he's dressed clad in dark, bone-like armour. His appearance from then on echoes this original impression.
- Blasphemous Boast: In church when he wonders if god truly cares about 'pathetic mortals,' the priest tells him that god died for their sins. Kurgan's response? Chuckle wickedly and add "that shall be his undoing."
- Blood Knight: The Kurgan relishes combat and is usually wearing a massive grin when slaughtering people.
- Catchphrase: He has three."Another time, MacLeod!""There Can Be Only ONE!"
- The Dreaded: Was one of the most feared Immortals by far, a reputation that lasts long after Connor kills him. The Watchers were terrified of the thought that he might be the one to claim The Prize.
- Drives Like Crazy: When he kidnaps Brenda, he drives across New York with all the skill and restraint of an ape on heroin. Of course, he can't exactly die without the head coming off, so he's unconcerned with the path of carnage he leaves behind.
- Evil Laugh: The undisputed master of this trope.
- Evil Sounds Deep: It was pretty deep to begin with, but after Ramirez wounds his throat it goes to Tom Waits levels of roughness.
- Foil: To MacLeod. While MacLeod is capable of love, friendship, and honor, the Kurgan is incapable of any of those things. MacLeod has loved ones and friends such as Heather, Brenda, Ramirez, and Sunda Kastagir, but the Kurgan has only victims. MacLeod uses his many years of immortality to learn about the world and grow as a person, but the Kurgan remains unchanged over the centuries. Conversely, while MacLeod is somewhat depressed and tortured over his immortal existence, the Kurgan is a gleeful hedonist who seems to relish every second of his life.
- For the Evulz: And the Prize, but the Kurgan doesn't seem to be in much of a rush. He's having way too much fun.
- Go Out with a Smile: Moments before his head falls off, the Kurgan gives Connor one last big grin.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: In the flashbacks he wears leather armor. In the modern era he looks like he just stepped out of a Judas Priest video.
- Husky Russkie: Well sort of, as he's a huge guy whose native tribe existed in what would come to be known as Russia, but wasn't Russia yet.
- IKEA Weaponry: The sword used by the Kurgan in modern times.
- Immortal Immaturity: In the present, Kurgan is little more than a wild hooligan despite being the oldest of all the remaining immortals.
- Jerkass: Even beyond the violent sadism, The Kurgan is an asshole to his core. He's loud, crude, and frequently acts in ways to rile up other people.
- Large Ham: A huge ham. He's an entire roast pig. The Kurgan shouts every other word, laughs and yells during combat and basically makes a massive show of himself at every opportunity.
- Laughably Evil: The Kurgan is extremely entertaining, having lots of fun (especially when committing evil acts).
- Leitmotif: Queen's Gimme The Prize. "I am the one, the only one/I am the god of kingdom come/gimme the Prize!"
- Never Given a Name: The Kurgan has no name, and after slaughtering the rest of the Kurgan tribe (of which he was a member), he became simply the Kurgan. He uses the alias of 'Victor Krueger' in modern times.
- Pelts of the Barbarian: When we first see him he's wearing an outfit of black animal furs and animal skulls.
- Post-Rape Taunt: Centuries after he rapes her, he taunts MacLeod that this is the reason his wife never told him about it.
- Pragmatic Villainy:
- By his appearance, it would be easy to dismiss the Kurgan as a mindless brute who kills indiscriminately, but this is not the case. He kills other immortals as soon as possible to claim the prize, but mortal humans are never really targets for execution by him. The prostitute Candy goes away saying he was merely "kinky", and the Kurgan may have raped Heather but he still left her alive. He doesn't even care to finish off the crazy survivalist who shoots him. It's likely that mortal humans mean so little to him that killing them is functionally no different from letting them live out their lives and die of old age (and avoiding having to deal with mortal authorities is an incentive as well).
- Then there's his belief in the importance of Holy Ground. He freely disrespects the church he visits, causes a commotion, and mocks the clergy for their faith all the while indulging in the protection that the church gives him. He understands that the same protection extends to other Immortals and does not attempt to kill Connor when he sees him.
- Psychopathic Manchild: For an experienced immortal, The Kurgan always acts like a silly teenager, even if he's in the middle of a battle.
- Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": As he tears people apart, the Kurgan cannot stop grinning and laughing like it's the funniest thing in the world.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: His general modus operandi.
- Scary Impractical Armor: During the bad ol' days of 1536. Although it's not like he needs practical armour, seeing as he can shrug off any non-decapitating blows.
- Self-Made Orphan: According to the novelization, he murdered his abusive father.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Subverted. He is consistently called "The Kurgan", but neither "Kurgan" nor "The Kurgan" is his name. Rather, it is the name of his (now extinct) tribe.
- The Unfettered: The Kurgan cares about one thing only: claiming the prize. He attacks any immortal anytime, and very nearly anywhere. The law of not fighting on holy ground is the only one he respects.
- Villain Song: While he doesn't sing it, they use the Queen song "Gimme The Prize (The Kurgan's Theme)" in the film. Despite being pretty badass, the band themselves didn't like it.
Played By: Roxanne Hart
Played By: Beatie Edney
- Distracted from Death: Zigzagged. While Heather actually asks Connor to leave before she breathes her last breath, he politely refuses, opting instead to tell her a comforting story to keep her happy. She dies before he finishes it.
- Due to the Dead: Connor honors his promise to light a candle on her birthday.
- Fond Memories That Could Have Been: Though the two spend a blissfull life together, Heather's one regret is that she cannot bear Connor children due to the sterility all immortals have.
- The Lost Lenore: To Connor, for 450 years. After Connor finally dies, Duncan buries him next to to Heather.
- MayflyDecember Romance: She was the Mayfly. As she and Connor were married for 53 years (1537-1590), she lived about twice as long as the time period's average life expectancynote , but this is still only a small fraction of Connor's lifetime.
- Secret Keeper: Makes no mention to Connor about Kurgan raping her, as she just saw the latter kill Ramirez, and did not want Connor going after him and suffering the same fate.
- We Are as Mayflies: Knows full well that Connor will outlive her, but the two remain together until she dies of old age. Connor never really moves on from her.
Played By: Sheila Gish
- Ambiguously Jewish: Downplayed, but has a relatively common Jewish surname, and Connor rescued her from the Nazis.
- Girl Friday: Helps Connor maintain his Russel Nash identity. May have helped him create it.
- Happily Adopted: Conner is her father for all intents and purposes, having adopted her in World War 2. She is incredibly happy with him as her family.
- Parental Substitute: Connor adopted her as a child after her biological parents were killed by the Nazis in World War II. Though by 1985, they look more like mother and son.
- Secret Keeper: Was there for at least one of Connor's identity changes.
- A Wizard Did It: When she asks how Connor can still be alive after being shot point blank with an MP-40, Connor tells her "It's a kind of magic."
Played By: Hugh Quarshie
- Cool Sword: A Manchu broadsword.
- Nice Guy: Drinking and reminiscing with MacLeod, he seems like a pretty cool dude.
- Quick Nip: Shares one with Connor. This seems to be a thing they do from time to time.
- Sacrificial Lamb: While obviously overmatched, he goes down swinging. His death means that Connor MacLeod and The Kurgan are the only two Immortals that remain.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He has two brief scenes.
Played By: Peter Diamond
- Badass Longcoat: He conceals his sword in what looks to be an overcoat. We never see him wear it; he throws it at MacLeod as a distraction at the beginning of their duel.
- Cool Sword: A Toledo Salamanca broadsword, worth about a million bucks.
- Face Death with Dignity: He very obviously doesn't want to, but once MacLeod disarms him, he doesn't beg or try to run.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He wears a pair of mirrored sunglasses for most of the fight.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Particularly compared to the scruffy Connor; Fasil appears wearing a three piece suit, tie, and gloves.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He's only onscreen for a few minutes, but his death cuts the number of Immortals from four to three and brings Connor to the attention of the police, which leads to him and Brenda meeting.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His first name is alternately spelled Iman or Aman.
- Sword Sparks: Via the parked cars and MacLeod's katana.
- The Voiceless: Says one word his entire time on screen.
Highlander II: The Quickening
Played by: Michael Ironside (1991)
- Big Bad: Of The Quickening.
- Chaotic Stupid: For no reason, the first thing that Katana does when he gets to Earth is to enter a New York subway train to go over 400 mph which ends with him plowing the train through a wall onto the street. It serves purely as a homage to the Kurgan's Drives Like Crazy scenes in the original film.
- Chewing the Scenery: Michael Ironside deserves an Oscar for making Highlander II enjoyable by devouring the whole thing and going back for seconds.
- Evil Overlord: Of Planet Zeist / the past.
- Faux Affably Evil: Amusing, funny, and still completely rotten to the core.
- It Amused Me: Why he crashed a train full of people on his first scene on Earth? Because.
- Large Ham: The most enjoyable thing about Highlander II is the obvious, unmitigated glee Michael Ironside takes in his role.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His name combines both K and weapon name.
- Nonindicative Name: At no point does he use a Katana.
- Stupid Evil: He had absolutely no reason to go to Earth or send his goons there to kill MacLeod, who, in turn, had seemingly no intentions of returning to Zeist (and even if he did, Katana had already beaten him there once with ease).
Highlander III: The Sorcerer
Played by: Mario Van Peebles (1994)
- Cool Shades: The round specs he steals from a street hustler.
- Drives Like Crazy: One-ups Kurgan in this department with Connor's adopted son as a captive passenger, thanks to his illusion powers.
- Expy: Of the Kurgan, as he shares many elements with him (being a former warlord, killing the hero's mentor, terrorizing the hero's loved one in a wild car ride, etc.).
- Fingerless Gloves: Part of his modern outfit.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: He takes a liking to cigars.
- Guttural Growler: Emulates the kind of deep, gravely voice of The Kurgan, without the excuse of a neck wound.
- In the Hood: When walking the streets of New York.
- Master of Illusion: Using illusions, he can shapeshift into different characters, and even pretend to have been cut in half.
- Name of Cain: His name is Kane.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: In reverse order in the film: burns a village, pillages Nakano's illusion powers, and rapes a prostitute. Though it's implied he's been doing these, in any order he damn well pleases, for all his life.
Played by: Bruce Payne
- Big Bad: Of Endgame.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Uses a retractable dagger in his sleeve to block an "unbeatable" move Connor showed to Duncan.
- Iconic Item: Kell is always shown wearing a type of footwear with crucifixes on them (sandals in the 16th century, black shoes in the present).
- Kick the Dog: Murders Rachel in his first scene, purely to hurt Connor. It is strongly implied he has been doing similar stuff throughout Connor's life for the same reason.
- Politically Incorrect Villain:A woman is a temple built on a sewer.
- Remember the New Guy?: Introduced in this film as Connor's childhood friend who later betrayed him, despite having never been seen or mentioned in previous installments.
- You Killed My Father: His main motivation for going after Connor.
Played by: Lisa Barbuscia
- The Dragon: To Kell in Highlander: Endgame.
- Remember the New Guy?: Introduced in the film as Duncan's Psycho Ex who now works with Kell, despite the fact that she'd never been seen or mentioned in the series proper. Particularly egregious given that the series itself had previously established in no uncertain terms that Duncan was never married and never would marry.
- Villain Has a Point: Kate/Faith has every right to be mad at Duncan for activating her immortality against her wishes.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Duncan discovers that she's a latent immortal, he activates Kate's immortality. She's understandably pissed and chews Duncan out over it. And yet somehow, they reconcile in the extended edition.
Highlander: The Source
Played by: Christian Solimeno (2007)
- Big Bad: Of Highlander: The Source.
- Incoming Ham: "THIS IS THE END OF TIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!!!"
- Odd Name Out: Currently the only live-action film Big Bad who doesn't have a name starting with K.
- Super Speed: His closeness to the Source has given him an ability to move super fast, making other immortals unable to keep up (until Duncan manages to develop similar skills for the climax).