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Beware of unmarked spoilers. You Have Been Warned.
The leader of the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, an ancient organization that protects the secrets of the Holy Grail.
- Ancient Order of Protectors: He is part of The Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, a group dedicated to protecting the grail.Kazim: The secret of the Grail has been safe for a thousand years. And in all that time, the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword has been prepared to do anything to keep it safe.
- Bullying a Dragon: He leads a Brotherhood ambush on Vogel's heavily armed convoy, which includes numerous Nazi troops armed with submachine guns, grenades, and a tank. Naturally, they get cut down with ease while inflicting few to no casualties in return.
- Character Death: He is mortally wounded by the Nazis during the battle in the desert. Before he dies, he offers a warning to Elsa and Donovan about the dangers of the Grail.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He tries to kill Indy in Venice, but they part on relatively good terms. During the battle in the desert, he brings The Cavalry.
- Defeat Means Friendship: After his initial encounter with Indy and the latter clarifies his reason for following the Grail, Kazim drops all hostilities with him, even giving him the location of his father.
- Face Death with Dignity: Kazim isn't intimidated by Indy threatening to have him chopped up by a boat propeller, especially as Indy would die as well."My soul is prepared, Dr. Jones! How's yours?"
- Honor Before Reason: Kazim and the rest of the Brotherhood are fully willing to die in order to protect the Grail. Even if it means going up against tanks and Wehrmacht soldiers armed with MP40s and Stielhandgranates with only bolt-action rifles to counter them.
- It's The Only Way To Be Sure: He and the Brotherhood will do anything to safeguard the Grail's location, including setting fire to and completely destroying the knight's tomb.
- Pet the Dog: After Indy tells him his only interest is his father, not the Holy Grail, Kazim wishes Indy good luck and gives him the location where Henry is being held captive: right on the Austrian border with the feared Third Reich.
The Grail Knight
A medieval knight who participated in the First Crusade, he ended up becoming the immortal guardian of the Holy Grail.
- Ancient Keeper: He has been the guardian of the grail for centuries.
- Age Without Youth: The Grail grants Life, it does not grant Youth. As a result, its last guardian is ancient and spent, albeit in fairly good shape for someone almost 1000 years old.
- Although the novelization implies that occasionally the knight's "Spirit would waver" and he aged because of this, suggesting that in his weariness of his duty occasionally throughout the centuries he would stop drinking from the Grail and plan to finally die of old age as a result until he changed his mind and drank again but it wouldn't restore the lost years. Suggesting that the grail could grant youth but only if you drink constantly.
- Ancient Order of Protectors: He and the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword.
- Deadpan Snarker: Extremely deadpan, especially with a man dying horribly right in front of him.
- Death Seeker: He seems happy that someone has come along to free him of his burden of guarding the grail.
- Detect Evil: It's implied that he can sense Donovan's evil, just as he can tell Indy's goodness, even if he has no way of knowing who either man is, nor the context of their quest.
- Dissonant Serenity: He's just way too damn calm while watching a man disintegrate in front of him, in contrast to Elsa's shrieking and Indy's horrified expression.
- Elderly Immortal: He is clearly into old age and admits to being past his prime, but drinking from it has kept him alive for centuries.
- Face Death with Dignity: He's completely unafraid when he believes that Indy has come to kill him and when he knows his immortality will leave him.
- Face Framed in Shadow: When Indy first enters the chamber, he's shown kneeling in front of his Bible, but his face is framed by shadows, not revealing how aged he actually is until he grabs his sword and tries to defend himself, revealing that he's actually an old man.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: He assumes that Indy is a knight, albeit one that is strangely dressed, implying that he doesn't know how the world has changed in the centuries that have passed.
- Go Out with a Smile: He smiles and waves goodbye to Indy as the Temple is collapsing around him, knowing that he is free from his curse and the Grail is safe.
- Last of His Kind: He's the last of three brothers who set out on a quest for the Grail. In a larger sense, he is also the last of the Crusaders.
- No Name Given: His true name has been lost to history, and while he presumably remembers it himself, he doesn't introduce himself - he is the guardian of the Holy Grail, and that is the only title that matters now.
- Really 700 Years Old: About how long he's been in the grail chamber."A long time to wait."
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: After spending centuries alone guarding a magic cup inside a dusty old temple, it's hard not to see why he doesn't care much for being immortal.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: A milder version of the Trope. The Grail Knight assumed Indiana was there to take his place after "vanquishing" him in combat. Mildly tear jerking in that the poor Knight was exhausted and ready to die for some well-earned peace of mind. Though considering that the grail ended up in the middle of a chasm, the knight won't be able to drink out of it anymore. Note that he seems to be fine with this judging by the smile he gives Indy before being sealed in.
- Zero-Effort Boss: He challenges Indy to single combat as part of his duty to guard the grail. Unfortunately, even with the Grail keeping him alive, he's still a very old man whose fighting days are long behind him, and is toppled by the weight of his own weapon after just one swing.
Garth (AKA Fedora)
A thieving treasure hunter whom a teenage Indy encountered while living in Utah in 1912. Hired by a man known as "Panama Hat" to find the Cross of Coronado, he chases down Indy when the boy tries to take the artifact himself.
- Affably Evil: He's a fairly charming guy who helps pull young Indy to safety after the latter falls into a lion's train carriage during their chase, and the boy's escape impresses him so much that, upon tracking him down, he awards him with his fedora.
- Bait-and-Switch: On first seeing him, his back is facing the camera, making it look like he's Indy. It's only once his face is seen that it's made clear he's not.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He doesn't want to hurt the young Indy and instead tries to convince him to surrender, even rescuing him from a lion in the process.
- Foil: To Satipo from the first film. Satipo is seemingly on Indy's side, but proves to be a two-faced traitor that leaves Indy for dead after getting the Macguffin, which he then loses upon getting killed. Garth is antagonistic, but a decent chap that never tries to hurt Indy, instead tries to reason with him and even rescues him at one point. While he fails to get the Macguffin by conventional means, he ultimately succeeds by getting the sheriff on his side and makes Indy hand over the cross. In the end, he survives.
- Friendly Enemy: After he and his cronies successfully recapture the Cross of Coronado, Garth offers his hat to young Indy as a show of appreciation towards him.
- Pet the Dog: He rescues Indy from death during their chase and seems very impressed by his bravery, even giving him his hat as a sign of respect.
- Worthy Opponent: Sees one in Indy, smiling as the young Indy makes his escape. At the very end, when the Sheriff makes Indy hand over the cross back to Panama Hat, Fedora graduates to Stealth Mentor.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Unlike some of his lackeys, he never gets violent with Indy, preferring instead to convince him to surrender.
A criminal who hired Garth to find the Cross of Coronado for him in 1912, which led to a chase with a younger Indy. 26 years later, Panama Hat and Indy later meet and fight each other again over the same Cross in 1938.
- Arch-Enemy: He recognizes Indiana as an adult, implying they've butted heads a few more times while he was growing up.
- Arms Dealer: It's implied that he's smuggling weapons for the Spanish Civil War.
- Dead Hat Shot: Panama Hat is implied to have died on his exploding freighter off the coast of Portugal when his hat is seen floating in the water near a swimming Indy.
- Evil Counterpart: Panama Hat and his minions are graverobbers, which is what Indy has been accused of being. This difference is that Panama Hat regards what he's stealing as his own property while Indy doesn't.
- Evil Cripple: Walks with a limp by 1938.
- Evil Old Folks: He's in his later years when he and Indy meet and as evil as ever.
- No Name Given: In the film he is only credited as "Panama Hat".
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: When Indy liberated the Cross of Coronado (although not in the most legal way), but is told by the sheriff to hand it back to Panama Hat.
An American businessman who is secretly working alongside the Nazis in an expedition to find the Holy Grail.
- All for Nothing: Even if he hadn't been tricked by Elsa into drinking from the wrong Grail, and somehow succeeded in his plot, he still wouldn't have gotten what he wanted. Or rather, he would have gotten the immortality he sought... trapped forever inside the temple as the new guardian of the Grail, as the Grail cannot be brought past the great seal. As such, he'd have been left with three choices; remain in the temple, immortal and alone, leave it behind and begin aging normally again, or die trying to take the Grail with him.
- Big Bad: Of the third film, since he's heading the expedition and his quest for the Grail kicks off the plot.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Elsa. She technically answers to him, but she wants the grail for herself and even double-crosses him in the end by making him pick the wrong grail, arguably making this a Big Bad Ensemble.
- Body Horror: His death is a horrific sight to behold. At first, he just appears several years older. But then, his hair suddenly grows out gray, and his flesh rots away in a matter of seconds. He's screaming the whole time, so one presumes he was still conscious during all of this.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He is a wealthy industrialist who wants to selfishly take the Grail for himself because he believes Living Forever Is Awesome.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Goes through an agonizing form of Rapid Aging with him still conscious as his flesh starts to decay.
- Death by Irony: Desires immortality via the Grail. Ages to a corpse within seconds. Nothing a little Botox can't fix, right Donovan?
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Thanks to his lack of knowledge and his selfish nature, Donovan doesn't understand that the Holy Grail isn't a golden, jewel-encrusted treasure; it's the simple drinking cup of a humble carpenter, and holding it isn't a victory, it's a sacrifice. The Life granted by drinking from the Grail is a reward for assuming a heavy and difficult responsibility, not the kind of Living Forever Is Awesome existance Donovan wants.
- Fatal Flaw:
- Ignorance. Donovan sought the power of the Grail for his own selfishness, but he didn't possess enough knowledge surrounding it. All he knew was that the Holy Grail was a sacred artifact and that it would give eternal life to anyone who drinks from it. This would ultimately come back to bite him at the end of the film when he finally manages to locate the Grail room, where the Grail Knight warns him that the true grail will bring him life while a false one will kill him. Due to his lack of knowledge of Grail lore, Elsa was able to trick Donovan into drinking from the wrong cup, making him age rapidly until he dies.
- His materialistic values. As a connoisseur, Donovan often judged items by how beautiful and glittery they looked. As such, he expected the Holy Grail to appear as something like a golden treasure (not knowing that Jesus couldn't have made it out of gold nor would he). Seeing the Grail for its materialistic value rather than its spiritual meaning would be a factor in his death.
- Faux Affably Evil: Makes a good show of being pleasant and affable even after he's revealed as the main villain, but he is freely collaborating with the Nazis and when push comes to shove he proves willing to shoot Indy's father in the gut to force Indy to retrieve the Holy Grail for him.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His word of advice to Indy: "Be careful. Don't trust anyone." He's killed at the end precisely because he trusted his associate Elsa Schneider to pick out the true Grail rather than one of the traps.
- Immortality Immorality: He goes to some extreme ends to find the Grail, even shaking hands with Nazis, reasoning that "Hitler can have the world, but he can't take it with him."
- It's All About Me: Donovan doesn't give a damn about ideology, whom he has to work with or whom he has to hurt as long as it gets him what he wants.
- Karmic Death: He's completely obsessed with finding the Grail and living forever. Unfortunately, his lack of knowledge surrounding the Grail other than giving eternal life allows Elsa to trick him into drinking from the wrong grail. He proceeds to die by Rapid Aging.
- Kick the Dog: Shooting Henry to force Indy into clearing the path to the Grail of its traps counts as this. There was really no reason to do that except to be a dick.
- Lack of Empathy: He's completely unconcerned with who he has to hurt or what the Nazis will do with the Grail. Just so long as he can use it to gain immortality. He betrays the Jones family at least once, and he's said that Hitler and the Nazis can rot for all he cares, as long as he gets what he wants.
- Laser-Guided Karma: See Karmic Death.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: He is a wealthy socialite played by Julian Glover, after all. This, unfortunately for him, led to his death; as a connoisseur and not a historian, he's convinced the glittery gem-encrusted golden chalice chosen by Elsa, is the true Cup of Christ. As the Knight so eloquently puts it, "he chose poorly".
- Manipulative Bastard: The way he kicks the dog definitely qualifies him: he doesn't shoot Indy, but rather shoots Indy's father, making finding the grail Indy's only option to save his father's life.
- The Mole: In a sense. He turns out to be working for the Nazis.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Despite playing an American character and accompanying accent, there are several instances where Julian Glover's British accent slips through into Donovan's dialogue.
- Piggybacking on Hitler: Selling out America, and his wife, family, and friends no less, to the Nazis for a grab at immortality. Too bad that, in the end, it was All for Nothing once the USA joined the Allies and made the Reich run up the white flag once the Soviets took Berlin and the Reichstag.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Indy says to Donovan that shooting him in the Grail's temple will only make it harder for Donovan to get the Grail. Donovan concedes Indy's point, and doesn't shoot him. He shoots Indy's father instead, forcing him to get the Grail lest his father die of a gunshot wound.
- Rapid Aging: His punishment for choosing the wrong grail is to age into an old man, then into a rotting corpse, all in a matter of seconds. Indy shoves him off of Elsa, causing Donovan to crumble into dust.
- Smug Snake: Never seems to realize just how hopelessly out of his depth he is until the end. He's so confident in his quest for the grail succeeding that he's already counting it as a win the moment he gets his hands on it. Too bad it's the wrong one.
- The Sociopath: Initially appearing a somewhat normal person, Donovan reveals that he has no qualms in hurting innocents or allying with anyone if it gets him what he wants.
- The Starscream: Eventually to the Nazis, as well. All Donovan wants, at the end of the day, is the Holy Grail and immortality. So he backstabs Indiana Jones for the sake of getting it. And from the way Donovan talks, he's all too willing to throw the Nazis under the bus for the same reason.
- Taking You with Me: The last thing Donovan tries to do (while in the throes of Rapid Aging) is to choke Elsa to death with his bare hands.
- Treacherous Advisor: To Indy, sending him on an expedition and then turning out to be working for the Nazis.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He's known as a wealthy and respected socialite who has made many generous contributions to museums.
Dr. Elsa Schneider
An Austrian archaeologist who joins Indy on the quest for the Holy Grail, but she is secretly working for the Nazis.
- Alas, Poor Villain: She may have been The Mole and on the side of the Nazis, but she is shown to have some redeeming qualities that keep her sympathetic, including betraying Donovan by deliberately handing him a false grail. Indy tries desperately to save Elsa when she falls into the chasm, and he's genuinely distraught when she falls to her death.
- Ambition Is Evil: Her efforts to find the Grail ends in her falling to her doom.
- Anti-Villain: Subverted. Elsa might be a duplicitous Femme Fatale, but she's not without her sympathetic moments - even betraying Donovan to help Indy - and looks like she's about to start crying while watching the Nazis burn a pile of priceless ancient literature. Indy, however, quite accurately points out that this makes her worse than the men she's allied with - the Nazis, as murderously psychopathic as they are, are under the twisted illusion that they're the good guys, while Elsa knows perfectly well that the Nazis are pure evil, but chooses to work with them anyway.Indy: You stood up to be counted with the enemy of everything the Grail stands for! Who gives a DAMN what you think?!
Elsa: YOU do!
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Donovan. She technically answers to him but she's in it for her own reasons and wants the grail for herself, even double crossing him in the end and choosing the wrong grail.
- Damsel in Distress: At least when she was "captured" in Brunwald and finally when she's reaching for the grail.
- Dark Chick: To Donovan and the Nazis.
- Death by Materialism: Falls into a chasm while trying to reach the Grail.
- Determinator: She's certainly determined to get the Grail, going to extreme lengths for it.
- Disney Villain Death: Falls to her death while reaching for the Grail, though she wasn't quite a villain at that point, as she had killed Donovan earlier by giving him the wrong grail on purpose.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Donovan might provide the money and Vogel the muscle, but it becomes clear towards the end of the movie that Elsa is the real brains behind the Nazis' operation, as seen when she intentionally gives Donovan the wrong cup. Ultimately, the bad guys would never have caught Henry and Indy without her "assistance", and it's her actions that destroy the temple and nearly get all the surviving heroes killed at the end. Notably, when she hands Donovan the wrong grail, Indy, as much as he hates Donovan, isn't thrilled about what's going to happen next, while Elsa is barely repressing a gleeful smile.
- Even Evil Has Standards: She may be working for the Nazis, but at the rally, she's clearly disgusted and horrified by the book-burning and general anti-intellectualism of the Third Reich.Elsa: I believe in the Grail, not the swastika!
- She also reacts in horror when Donovan shoots Jones. Sr., which seems to be the straw that breaks the camel's back, as minutes later, she deliberately gives him the wrong grail.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Her Fatal Flaw. Throughout the movie, she can't understand that Indy doesn't want to find the grail for the same reasons as her. She insists that she "believes in the grail, not the Swastika", but Indy retorts that she "stood up to be counted with the enemy of everything the Grail stands for." In the end, she refuses to believe that the grail isn't meant to be kept. As she heads for the exit, she crosses the Great Seal and triggers the temple's collapse. She almost falls into a chasm but Indy catches her. Instead of letting him save her, she pulls a hand free to reach the grail that she dropped. She comes within touching distance, but her glove slips off the hand Indiana was holding and she loses her life. Henry Sr. later comments that Elsa thought the grail was "a prize" and she didn't understand the spiritual meaning behind it.
- Evil Costume Switch: By the end of the movie, she's wearing a Nazi-inspired riding outfit. Her hair goes up after she's revealed as a worker with the Nazis.
- Fatal Flaw: Her obsession with the Grail. Elsa was determined to do whatever it takes to get the Holy Grail, even if it meant allying herself with Walter Donovan and the other Nazis. Even though she claims to Indy that she doesn't believe in the Nazis' agenda, he points out that she still aligned herself with the 'enemy of everything that the Grail stands for'. Her obsessive desire to take the Grail led to her disregarding the Knight's warning not to take it beyond the Great Seal and leads to her death. As Henry Sr. pointed out, Elsa didn't see the spiritual importance behind the Grail and thought of it only as a prize for the taking.
- Femme Fatale: Most definitely. She manipulates both Jones men just to achieve her goals.
- Friend or Idol Decision: Inverted, as she is the one in danger here, but the end of the film requires her to choose between accepting Indy's help and letting the Grail go or reaching out for the Grail first. She chooses the latter, which gets her killed.
- HeelFace Turn: After Donovan shoots Henry Sr., that proves to be the straw that broke the camel's back, and when the crucial moment comes for her to choose the correct Grail for him, she uses his lack of knowledge on what it looks like to give him the wrong one, killing him. However, her Fatal Flaw still leads to her demise.
- Honey Trap: Slept with both Jones to gain their trust and collect intel.
- Hot Librarian: Has a good knowledge of libraries, and is pretty attractive.
- In Love with the Mark: Despite her betrayal, she did seem to have genuine feelings for Indy.
- Love Father, Love Son: After Indy sleeps with her, he learns that she also slept with his father.Jones Sr.: I'm as human as the next man!
Indy: I was the next man!
- Love-Interest Traitor: She genuinely loved Indy (and... uh... Indy's dad too, apparently), but she's single-mindedly obsessed with getting her hands on the Holy Grail to the point of working with Nazis. It ultimately costs Elsa her life.
- The Mole: She's working for Donovan and the Nazis.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Hinted at a few times, yet ultimately subverted; Elsa detests the Nazis for destroying pieces of history and art, but her greed trumps any righteous indignation.
- Self-Disposing Villain: Her Fatal Flaw does her in.
- Take My Hand!: Elsa refuses this request by Indiana and pays with her life.
- "Take That!" Kiss: "This is how we say goodbye in Austria."
- Talking in Your Sleep: Played for Laughs; this is how Jones Sr found out she's working with the Nazis.
- Tempting Fate: She was warned about taking the Grail past the temple's seal. Guess the very next thing she does.
- Too Dumb to Live: In the end, she ignores the knight's warning about taking the Holy Grail beyond the crossed seal; when Indiana demands her not to move across seal, she doesn't listen and triggers the collapse of the whole temple. Finally, when she is hanging over the fissure created, she tries to grab the grail, ignores Indiana's pleas to give him her other hand and winds up falling to her death for her greed.
- Tragic Villain: Due to her Fatal Flaw. She doesn't want to be greedy, evil, or selfish... but the allure of the Grail is just too strong for her.
- Vague Age: Elsa's age isn't given, but presumably she is at least thirty while Alison Doody was only twenty-two when she was cast.
Standartenführer Ernst Vogel
A German SS officer who is in charge of the Nazi expedition for the Holy Grail.
- All There in the Manual: His first name is given in the Marvel Comics adaptation.
- Bad Boss: During the tank chase, one of the Kübelwagens gets stuck on the tank's turret. Vogel subsequently orders the tank driver to shoot the Kübelwagen off the tank and run it over.
- Colonel Badass: Vogel does actually give Indy a good fight.
- Colonel Kilgore: He is a SS Standartenführer and a total Jerkass.
- Should be noted, that judging by his uniform, Vogel was a member of Allgemeine SS - uniformed and militarized, but the administrative and non-combative branch of the SS. That means, while his Standartenführer rank corresponds to the army colonel, having actual military training and education wasn't part of the calculus.
- Combat Pragmatist: Following on from below, Vogel has no problem using chains and shovels to beat up the good doctor. He also enjoys punching Indy in the face when our hero is strapped into a chair.
- Deadpan Snarker: "This is how we say goodbye... in Germany." *Face punch*
- Death Glare: Gives one to Henry Sr. when he calls him out on the Nazis' book-burning.
- Destination Defenestration: Gets hurled out of a zeppelin window by Indy.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Dies well before getting to the Temple of the Grail, the real villains are Elsa and Donovan.
- Disney Villain Death: Dies when his tank plummets over the side of a cliff. A downplayed example, as unlike most instances of gravity-assisted villain disposal, we see Vogel's body get thrown around like a ragdoll and crushed underneath the tank's carcass, though the impact itself is obviously not shown.
- The Dragon: Donovan may have had the money and knowledge, but it is Vogel who controlled the military might of the Nazi Grail-expedition.
- Jerkass: He's constantly arrogant and hostile. And at one point he steals a flask of water from Brody just as the man was about to take a drink, for no other reason than to re-establish that, yes, he's a total dick.
- Meaningful Name: Vogel is German for bird. Fittingly, he gets thrown out of a zeppelin by Indy, and later goes off a cliff in his tank.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: When English boxer Pat Roach's obligatory Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh... fight scene with Harrison Ford was cut by Executive Meddling, Vogel stepped in to give our hero a vicious, brutal beating with shovels and chains atop a tank careening towards a canyon in The Last Crusade.
- Moments later, Indy gives this to Vogel by slamming his face repeatedly into the tank's roof until he was semi-conscious (Indiana didn't have time to beat him unconscious since he saw that the tank was about to drive off a cliff).
- Oh, Crap!: His reaction when he sees the tank is about to go off a cliff.
- Also his reaction when he turns around and sees the flight attendant harassing him for a ticket is a disguised Indy about to kick the crap out of him.
- Also during the tank battle, he orders the driver to turn the tank around to pursue Indy...and then panics when he sees they're about to crash into another vehicle in the convey.
- Unfortunate Names: The German word Vogel, which means "bird," is often used as "oddball" or "weirdo". Unfortunately for the colonel, the word ernst also means "serious(-ly)". Der Oberst Ernst Vogel ist ernst ein Vogel!
- The Dreaded: He only has one brief scene in Last Crusade, but it is more than enough to convey his menace.
- The Ghost: In Raiders of the Lost Ark where he is mentioned many times, but never appears on screen.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
- Pet the Dog: In spite of being one of the most evil men who ever walked the earth, he still took a moment to sign the book of what he believed to be a loyal German officer.