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"Ramirez was an effete snob! He died on his knees. I took his head and raped his woman before his blood was even cold... Ah, I see. Ramirez lied. She was not his woman. She was your woman. And she never told you. I wonder why. Perhaps I gave her something you never could, and secretly she yearned for my return."
The Kurgan to Connor MacLeod, the original film

The Highlander franchise had quite a few supremely nasty villains. These were typically bloodthirsty warriors with massive bodycounts who stand in marked contrast to their much nobler fellow Immortals.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

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  • First film: The Kurgan, born Vitor, was haunted by visions of his eventual destroyer. Hunting a young Highlander named Connor MacLeod, the Kurgan engages his tribe in combat and later kills Connor's mentor before raping Connor's beloved wife Heather to sadistically bask in his victorious kill. Over the centuries, the Kurgan continues murdering and heads to New York City to battle the remaining Immortals, killing Connor's friend and wounding a bystander as he does so. Meeting Connor once again in a church, the Kurgan takes advantage of the Immortals' inability to harm one another on holy ground to mock Connor for the rape of his wife and death of his mentor while loudly blaspheming in the chapel. Kidnapping Connor's current lover Brenda, the Kurgan gleefully runs down pedestrians with his car and forces Connor to engage him in one final battle, promising to torture her if Connor does not come. A psychopathically childish warrior, the Kurgan would set the standard for future Highlander villains to come.
  • The Quickening: On an Earth gone to seed, these miscreants who eventually ally are two of the worst villains in this branch of the canon:
    • General Katana is a ruthless tyrant who ordered the banishing of those who rebelled against him to become Immortals destined to fight each other to the last. Enraged by Connor MacLeod winning the Prize and a life of peace, Katana hunts Connor down, pausing to destroy a crowded subway train and brutally kill the countless aboard for amusement. Allying with David Blake, CEO of the Earth-controlling Shield Corporation, Katana uses his cohort to try to stop Connor from releasing Blake's dangerous Shield, all to spite his enemy from centuries past.
    • David Blake is the wheedling, corrupt head of the Shield Corporation who cares only for the profit he may make. Despite knowing of the Shield's danger and the safety of switching it off, Blake keeps it up, knowing countless people will sicken and die as a result so he can continue to enrich himself through his monopoly and price fixing on the one Shield in existence that only he controls. For those who defy his rule, Blake is eager to send them to a horrific prison where they face mistreatment, torture, and painful death, later allying with General Katana before trying to kill the heroes by crushing them with a giant fan.
  • The Sorcerer: Kane was a brutal warlord who scourged Asia to emulate his hero the Kurgan until his death from disease. Awakening as an Immortal, Kane slew his mentor and was later exiled by another for betraying them. Resuming his life as a ravager, Kane joined forces with the Kurgan himself until a battle with Connor MacLeod's mentor caused a mountain to collapse, trapping him and his henchmen after Kane killed the man for his illusion magic. Freed in the present day, Kane swiftly murders one of his men to empower himself with the Immortal's Quickening, then hunts for Connor in New York City after the death of his remaining underling. Raping a prostitute along the way, Kane kidnaps Connor's adoptive son to draw him out, recklessly killing civilians by car before combating his foe and threatening to rape Connor's lover after killing him.

Live-Action TV

The Series

  • Xavier St. Cloud is a particularly nasty Immortal and one of hero Duncan MacLeod's oldest and most reviled enemies. A Moroccan warrior who perished in the First Crusade and awakened to Immortality, Xavier was found and trained by Henri St. Cloud, an Immortal crusader. Xavier would later show his gratitude by taking the name St. Cloud when he murdered Henri for his first Quickening. Xavier would become a vicious headhunter for centuries, and when he took his own student, helped the young man gain revenge on his family for rejecting him by murdering them. Later dedicating himself to hedonism and wealth, Xavier took to gassing soldiers in World War I to rob the corpses, where he would encounter Duncan again and nearly killed him when he was weak. In the modern day, Xavier robs jewelry stores by gassing everyone inside, including his mortal accomplices—whom he told the gas was just sleeping gas, at which point they walked inside and died; he did this just for fun. He would then give a sham confession to Immortal priest Darius simply to mentally torment the kind-hearted priest. After losing a hand to Duncan, Xavier would team up with the Immortal-hating Hunters with a bargain that revealed the depths of his lack of honor: they would gun down Immortals while Xavier took their heads. Arrogant, selfish, cruel, and wicked, Xavier represents the worst excesses of Immortality.
  • Season 3: Antonius Kalas is an ancient Immortal who was previously a monk who helped his teacher run a sanctuary on holy ground for Immortals. Kalas, however, used the sanctuary to murder Immortals by ambushing them as they left. After Duncan MacLeod exposed him and his teacher banished him forever, Kalas vowed revenge. He later attempted to murder a young singer after only suspecting Duncan was involved with her in the 1920s, and when he returned in the 90s, he systematically laid out a web to destroy everyone close to Duncan after murdering his old teacher, Brother Paul. Kalas shows no hesitation in torturing and murdering innocent people, destroying the live of anyone remotely associated with Duncan. At the end, he is willing to reveal the secrets of Immortals at large to world and throw everything into chaos if Duncan doesn't offer his head.
  • "Free Fall": Felicia Martins appears at first to be a Damsel in Distress, a young Immortal on run from the run from the brutal, obsessed Claude Deveraux. It is revealed that Martins is far older than she claims and Deveraux is hunting her because Martins murdered his wife and their adopted baby daughter. This is her MO: she ingratiates herself into the lives of her victims and murders everything they love, making it so they're off their game and she can easily take their heads. She tries to kill Duncan MacLeod's loved ones after she takes Deveraux's head and is last seen vowing to return and murder who Duncan loves after he spares her.
  • "Warmonger": Arthur Drake/Drakov is a particularly sadistic Immortal who loves war, murder, and torture. Going to different countries around the world, Drakov manipulates his way into a position of power, which he uses to create war and chaos on a grand scale. First encountering Duncan MacLeod after becoming an officer in the Soviet Union and arresting the Abernovs, Drakov forces Duncan to make a pact of noninterference before exiling the Abernovs and boasting about how he will plunge the Soviet Union into ruin and misery. Later joining the Romanian Secret Police, Drakov would randomly arrest citizens and have them executed, sending hundreds to their deaths. When a man called Eli refused to give up his brothers, Drakov had Eli's wife and children killed in front of him and then displays their bodies. Becoming the security chief for an unnamed Baltic state currently at war with its neighbor, Drakov has the president assassinated when he attempts to broker peace, before killing the woman who helped him and framing it to look like a murder-suicide. Rubbing Duncan's vow of noninterference in his face, Drakov sends his men to kill Eli when he attempts to stop him and abducts a journalist inquiring about his activities, before ordering the vice president killed as well when he attempts to honor the president's peace treaty.
  • "Line Of Fire": Kern is described by his watcher as an "animal," who rapes, kills and steals as he will. Kern in the past was a scout for American forces who loves killing Native Americans. He earned Duncan MacLeod's enmity when he helped slaughter the Sioux village Duncan was living with and presented Duncan with the scalps he had taken. Kern has no remorse in taking an innocent young woman and baby hostage to gain and advantage and happily describes the crimes he has committed over the centuries when confronted.
  • "Testimony": Ivan Kristov was an Immortal who, back in his heyday in the 1700s, led his band of Cossacks to Rape, Pillage, and Burn their way through peasant villages on a pay-per-slaughter basis. Killed temporarily by Duncan when he refused to participate in one of these massacres, Ivan resurfaced again in the modern day as a heroin trafficker who coldly orders his own lover murdered in the hospital after his attempt to use her as a drug mule nearly kills her.
  • "Mortal Sins": Ernst Daimler is the only Immortal seen who's a former Nazi. A firm believer in fascism, Daimler sought to help "purge" all lower races in World War II and ordered the slaughter of hundreds of innocent people, as well as wounded prisoners, until he was stopped by a young boy who stabbed him In the Back. Thinking he was dead, the boy and his cousin wrapped Daimler in chains and threw him into the Seine where he remained for decades. In the present, Daimler leads a white supremacist movement and finds the little boy who stabbed him, now a kindly old priest. Daimler gleefully guns him down after terrifying him off holy ground, and then attempts to murder a pregnant woman who tried to stop him before Duncan MacLeod intervenes and takes Daimler's head.
  • "Comes A Horseman" & "Revelation 6:8": Kronos, an Immortal whose legacy of death dates to the Bronze Age, was the leader of the Four Horsemen, a band of Immortals who led armies to Rape, Pillage, and Burn across continents. Kronos was the most sadistic of all of them, slaughtering the innocent and raping whom he desired, including a slave girl for no other reason than his sworn brother Methos had taken a liking to her. In the present, Kronos recruits Methos, now The Atoner, back into a scheme to reunite the Horsemen and create a plague to destroy all of humanity, viewing himself as the end of time itself.
  • "Archangel", "Avatar", & "Armageddon": Ahriman is an ancient and powerful Zoroastrian demon that returns to Earth every thousand years to cause Armageddon if not stopped by an Immortal chosen by fate to be humanity's champion. He's implied to have inspired every major religion's concept of a great antagonist and is just as ruthless and evil and that implies. He has no problem with gleefully inflicting psychological torture on the heroes and downright murdering bystanders who get in the way. One of his first acts is manipulating Duncan MacLeod into accidentally killing Richie Ryan, his close friend and protégé.
  • "Indiscretions": Morgan Walker is unique amongst other Highlander villains in that he's been a slaver for centuries. While Walker once dealt in the Atlantic slave trade, in modern times he uses his job as a modeling agent to capture young women for the sex trade. In prior years, Walker had an attachment to a slave named Charlotte, but after he suspected she had an affair, he killed her, throwing her out of a high window and showing no remorse for her death. When hunting Methos, the Immortal she had the affair with, Walker also kidnaps the daughter of Methos's good friend with full intention to kill or sell her should her father not betray Methos.

The Raven

  • "The Manipulator": Vladimir Rankov was an adviser to the king of Savoy in 1565, tasked with brokering peace with the neighboring Bourgogne by beseeching its duke to arrange for his daughter, Christina, to marry the prince of Savoy. Wanting the dowry that he was to deliver to the prince for himself, Rankov murdered his fellow diplomats, intending to blame the deaths on the duke, not caring that this would exacerbate the war. After Christina's friend Amanda foiled his plans, Rankov retaliated by killing Christina on her wedding day, simply to hurt Amanda. Rankov went on to torture-murder one of his Watchers before becoming an adviser to an Eastern Bloc prime minister named Anton Novak. When Novak decides to peacefully put on end to the civil war that has been ravaging his country, Rankov murders him so that he can continue selling weapons and state secrets to the opposition; while having the journalist who he plans on framing for the assassination tortured, Rankov is amused to learn that the man is the dead Watcher's son, mocking him by saying that his father "didn't start begging until the end."
  • "The Ex-Files": Doctor Julian Heller worked as a physician in medieval times, and ensured maximum profits by having his competitors falsely imprisoned and executed, with one of the victims being a midwife friend of Amanda's whom Heller had burned at the stake for witchcraft. In the present, Heller is an esteemed transplant specialist who secretly runs an organization that pays corrupt medical personnel to murder their patients so that their organs can be harvested for sale on the black market. When Nick's ex-wife, Lauren, begins uncovering his crimes, Heller has an assassin murder her informant and assistant, and afterward arranges for the hitman to be killed for failing to kill Lauren, which Heller does himself by poisoning her. During his battle with Nick and Amanda, Heller taunts the former over his ex-wife's death, and describes how he intends to keep the latter's headless body for experimentation.

Comic Books (by publication date)

  • 2006-2007 series (Dynamite Comics):
    • Issues #0-4—"The Coldest War" arc: After the Kurgan's death, Immortal KGB agent Tasya Desny took command of his secret army of Temnotiye, pseudo-Immortal super soldiers that the Kurgan had created in conjunction with the Soviet Union back in the 1960s. Wanting to use the Temnotiye to help her win the Game and conquer Russia, Desny has them cause the Chernobyl meltdown as a show of force, and afterward directs them to steal files pertaining to them from a KGB facility, giving them free reign to butcher anyone who gets in their way. While the stolen documents contain the location of and pass codes for a bunker that contains nuclear weapons and the means of producing more Temnotiye, Desny needs the scientist who oversaw the creation of the Temnotiye to get the bunker up and running. To that end, Desny manipulates the doctor, as well as her old allies Connor MacLeod and Paul Furio, into traveling to Russia under the pretense of helping her eliminate the Temnotiye. To strengthen her charade, Desny kills several of her own Temnotiye minions in false flag attacks, and lets them murder her KGB partner. When the bunker is unearthed, Desny reveals her treachery, decapitates Furio, and mockingly informs Connor that their friendship is a thing of the past and that all she cares about now is power.
    • Issues #10-12—"Armageddon" arc: A self-declared prophet, Watcher archivist Idima Nahru became convinced that it was her destiny to help usher in the apocalypse, which she set out to do by founding a doomsday cult called the Eye. Slaughtering anyone aware of the group's existence, Nahru has its members target Immortals all over the world, drawing them out by attacking and killing their loved ones. While "weak" Immortals are killed on the spot, sufficiently skilled ones are abducted and forced to fight each other to the death in Nahru's compound in Tunisia. After Duncan MacLeod decapitates one of her Immortal acolytes, Nahru reveals that the woman's protective collar contained a Dead Man's Switch for an atomic bomb, which has just annihilated a nearby city. When Duncan peers into Nahru's mind, he discovers that she intends to kickstart the end of the world using a ship full of more warheads, one of which is about to be launched at the coastal city of Bizerte. When Duncan forces his way aboard the ship, the dying Nahru enacts her final gambit, forcing Duncan into a confrontation with one of her Immortal fanatics in the vessel's weapons hold; Duncan will either die from being beheaded, or be doomed to suffer for years from the effects of radiation poisoning after the Quickening caused by him decapitating his opponent sets off all of the nukes prematurely.
  • Origins: The Kurgan, written by Brandon Jerwa: The Kurgan, born Vitor, is a savage Immortal warrior who embraced his bloodlust when he murdered his own teacher for his Quickening and power. Starting a millennia-long legacy of bloodshed, the Kurgan has ridden with countless marauding armies, slaughtering, raping, and burning all in his path. Even after the Kurgan obtained a magnificent sword to last him forever, he repaid the smith by raping and murdering his daughter, killing the smith and then deciding to "take his time" with the man's wife. Throughout the centuries, the Kurgan would continue challenging several immortals, beating them in combat and taking their heads, ready to continue murdering anyone in his path to satiate his insatiable thirst for combat.
  • The American Dream, written by Brian Ruckley: John Hooke first arrived in America on the Mayflower and has been a scourge ever since. First seen as an officer in the Confederacy, Hooke attempts to lure Connor MacLeod off the safety of Holy Ground by massacring an entire village, shooting a man to death as a warning to Connor and beating a second to death with an empty gun. Over the centuries, Hooke is a thief and a Serial Killer, murdering countless innocent people simply for sport and pleasure with a fixation of stealing an eye from each victim he kills. Finally drawing Connor's ire, Hooke attempts to eliminate him and his friend Osta Vazilek by sending the Kurgan himself after them so he may take the other's head unimpeded. While the Kurgan is likened to a wolf, Hooke is seen as a rabid dog and is seen by Connor as one of his most vile enemies in all his centuries of life.

Other Media

  • The Animated Series: Lord Kortan, refusing to take the pledge the other Immortals took After the End, declared himself the de facto winner of the Game, and decreed that he was now entitled to all of the world's knowledge and power. After killing Connor MacLeod—the only Immortal willing to break the oath to challenge him—Kortan conquered and enslaved most of the planet, ruling unopposed for 700 years. When Quentin MacLeod's immortality activated after Kortan's slavers murdered him and his mother, Kortan set out to slay this new Highlander through any means necessary. Kortan's worst acts included firing an atomic bomb at Quentin's homeland; feeding dissidents to mutant ants; lobotomizing people to make disposable "human keys" to his armory; regularly executing his own followers for failure and outliving their usefulness; deploying them as suicide bombers against a city; and inciting hatred of Quentin by founding a cult in his name, one that enslaved kidnapped children after staging their sacrifice. In the final episode, Kortan destroyed whole towns with salvaged missiles, and threatened further bombardments unless Quentin confronted him at midnight. Even though the deadline was met, Kortan ordered that more rockets be launched anyway, laughing, "Why stop at MacLeod when we can crush them all?"
  • Dark Places (Fan Film authorized by Davis-Panzer Productions): Andrus Keradoc, in truth Vlad Tepes Dracula, was a sadistic nobleman who committed countless atrocities, from impaling thousands to burning the homeless and infirm of Wallachia alive. As an immortal, Keradoc leaves a legacy of horror behind him, murdering countless beings as he seeks his true conquests. Beheaded by heroic Willem Caelius, Keradoc's evil soul takes over Caelius to continue his deeds, killing all Caelius's friends and plotting even crueler deeds to carry on his legacy.
  • Kurgan Rising: Architect Augustus Mason, a member of the cult Sons of the Kurgan, used the group's knowledge and resources to construct the Barrow Building, a Parisian skyscraper that was designed to resurrect the Kurgan by ripping his essence out of Duncan MacLeod. Magically luring numerous Immortals into the structure, Mason places them in medically-induced comas, and forces one, a bishop, to consecrate the building's basement before destroying his mind with drugs and torture and using him as bait to lure Duncan into his trap. Mason forces Duncan to decapitate the bishop on the Holy Ground, causing a blasphemous Quickening which the occult-infused architecture of the Barrow Building uses to revive the Kurgan. Along with driving Immortals all over the world violently insane, the aberrant Quickening also causes supernatural disasters that ravage Paris, killing hundreds. After brainwashing the Kurgan with psychotropic drugs and having him butcher dozens of the Immortals that he has captured, Mason reveals that he does not want to serve the Kurgan, he wants to use him as a puppet that will win the Prize for him and allow him to ascend to Godhood.
  • Measure of a Man, by Nancy Holder: Niccolò Machiavelli is a ruthless Immortal who gives himself unique advantages in the Game by killing other pre-immortals to pretend he has given them their newfound lives. Using them as cheap Quickenings or pawns, Machiavelli murders rulers and popes, causes entire wars, and inevitably discards people when he's through with them. Seeking to cause a war between Venice and Turkey, Machiavelli abandons one pawn to be tortured to death; causes the death of Duncan's friend's son; and later returns in the modern day seeking a computer program that will allow him control of the world's computers, with the intent of shutting off even entire cities if it will get him what he want. Machiavelli murders his lover and co-conspirator, orders another pawn tortured before she is to be beheaded, and even tries to put Duncan in the position of needing to behead another young Immortal and causing a plane crash or letting his own head be taken.
  • The Search for Vengeance: The ruthless Roman general Marcus Octavius earns Colin MacLeod's eternal enmity by massacring his people and crucifying Colin's wife Moya to see their home destroyed. With Rome's fall, Marcus vows to recreate it anew in his hunger for a world of order and beauty, working for countless evil forces throughout history including the Nazis themselves. When he takes over a future New York, Marcus unleashes a virus with an 80 percent kill rate to keep the population in line, and when they resist his rule with Colin, opts for some "creative brutality" in sending his forces to decimate the remaining population while planning on unleashing an even deadlier strain of the virus to kill every living thing in New York before he finally takes Colin's head.
  • Unproduced Highlander remake script (link): The Kurgan is a savage barbarian willing to do whatever he can to claim the Prize. Infamous amongst his clan for his acts of murder and rape, the Kurgan was reborn as an Immortal after his execution, whereupon he slaughtered his entire clan, including his parents. Sensing the Immortal Conner MacLeod is near, the Kurgan gets the MacLeod clan's attention by massacring the MacDonald clan, leaving only one survivor amongst the bodies of men, women, and children. In the present, now going under Victor Kruger, the Kurgan slaughters a bank and kills Conner's Immortal friend Skinny on his way to New York. A dishonorable fighter, at the Gathering of Immortals, the Kurgan gets a cardinal to renounce the Trinity Church as holy ground by threatening his family, allowing the Kurgan to sadistically slaughter every single unprepared Immortal there.