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The Black Adder

Prince Edmund "The Black Adder" Plantagenet, Duke Of Edinburgh (Rowan Atkinson)

File:PrinceEdmund 7858.jpg


 "If we lose, I'll be chopped to pieces. My arms will end up at Essex, my torso in Norfolk, and my private parts stuck up a tree somewhere in Rutland."

  • Anti-Hero: Type V
  • Anti-Villain: Sure, he's a slimy, contemptible, amoral schemer... but given that his father alternately despises him and forgets he exists, his peers treat him with pity at best and disgust at worst, and his only friends are sycophantic Yes Men... it's not hard to see why.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Cain: To Harry's Abel.
  • Cool Horse: "He rides a pitch-black steed..."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Occasionaly shows signs of this.
  • Dirty Coward
  • The Evil Prince: A pathetically spineless version.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: Before Baldrick suggested "the Black Adder", Edmund's first choice for his new sobriquet was "the Black... Vegetable."
  • Heroic Bastard /BastardBastard: Tried to uncover a love letter between the queen and McAngus written around Harry's birth to dethrone him. However, it turned out that the letter was written after Harry's birth.

 Blackadder: As you can see, these letters are dated --

Harry: Nine months after I was born!

McAngus: Or nine months before you were born, Edmund.

Blackadder: You... bastard!

Harry: No, I think you'll find that you're the bastard, Edmund.

Baldrick, Son Of Robin The Dung-Gatherer (Tony Robinson)

File:TheBaldrick 2746.png


 "I have a cunning plan that cannot fail..."

Lord Percy Percy, Duke Of Northumberland (Tim McInnerny)

 "But if you kill him in front of everybody, won't they suspect something?"

King Richard IV (Brian Blessed)

File:Brianblessed 1811.jpg


 "As the Good Lord said, love thy neighbour as thyself! Unless he's Turkish, in which case, KILL THE BASTARD!!!"

Harry, Prince Of Wales (Robert East)

 "The verdict of this court is that the accused are found guilty of witchcraft. The maximum penalty that the law allows is that you be burned to death. However, in view of your previous good background, I am disposed to be lenient. Therefore, I sentence you to be burned alive."

Queen Gertrude of Flanders (Elspet Gray)

 "Now, would I, Edmund... Do I tell people that your brother Harry is scared of spoons? Or that your father has very small private parts?"

Princess Leia of Hungary (Natasha King)

  "Hello Edmund. You look funny."

  • Fridge Horror: She probably died along with the rest of the court at the end.
    • On the other hand, the later Blackadders are supposed to be this one's descendents, so ... Come to think of it, I'm not sure that's any better.
    • In fairness, not only is it likely that at her age she wouldn't be drinking wine, the illegitimate sons of Princes and Kings tended to be made lords, hence his nearest descendant being a lord.
  • May-December Romance: Only about 11 when hastily married to Edmund.
  • Morality Pet: Edmund is noticably nicer towards her than he is towards anyone else.

The Black Seal [1]

  Guy de Glastonbury: "Good evening... and surrender. Your money or your life. Damn!! I'm always doing this. Did I say "Your money or your life? Sorry, slip of the tongue, your money and your life. Sorry."

Phillip "The Hawk" of Burgundy (Patrick Allen)

 "I return at last after fifteen years. Waiting, plotting, nurturing my hatred and planning my revenge. Yes, fifteen years of living in France teaches a man to hate. Fifteen years of wearing perfume, fifteen years of eating frogs, fifteen years of saying 'Par-don' and all because of you."

Blackadder II

Edmund Blackadder, The Lord Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson)

File:BA2adder 1445.jpg


 "Well, it is said, Percy, that civilised man seeks out good and intelligent company, so that through learned discourse he may rise above the savage and closer to God... Personally, however, I like to start the day with a total dickhead to remind me I'm best."

Bondsman Baldrick (Tony Robinson)

File:TheBaldrickII 5032.png


  "Not to worry my lord, the arrow didn't in fact enter my body... But by a thousand to one chance my willy got in the way.

 Baldrick: I've been in your service since I was two and a half, my lord.

Blackadder: Well, that must be why I'm so utterly sick of the sight of you.

Lord Percy Percy (Tim McInnerny)

File:1731410964514936109 jpeg 1 500 1 500 cb94de6a 5409.png

 "Oh, Edmund, could it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a lump of purest green?"'

Queen Elizabeth "Queenie" I (Miranda Richardson)

File:200px-Blackadder queenie 7483.jpg

 Sometimes I think about having you executed, just to see the expression on your face."

Nursie/Bernard (Patsy Byrne)

File:Blackadder s2 nursie 8753.jpg

  "Out you popped, out of your Mummy's tummy and everybody shouting : "It's a boy, it's a boy!". And somebody said "But it hasn't got a winkle!". And then I said "A boy without a winkle? God be praised, it is a miracle. A boy without a winkle!" And then Sir Thomas More pointed out that a boy without a winkle is a girl. And everyone was really disappointed."

Lord Melchett (Stephen Fry)

File:250px-Blackadder 2 melchett 1356.jpg

 "As private parts to the gods are we! They play with us for their sport!"

Lord Flashheart (Rik Mayall)

  I've got a plan! And it's as HOT as my PANTS!

File:Mayalllordflashheartblackadder1986160 4492.jpg

 "Lord Flashheart, Lord Flashheart

I wish you were the star

Lord Flashheart, Lord Flashheart,

You're sexier by far."

 Bob/Kate(Gabrielle Glaister)

File:301110 bob 6615.gif

  "Father, I must speak. I can be silent no longer. All day long you muttered to yourself, gibber, dribble, moan and bat your head against the wall, yelling "I want to die". Now you may say I'm leaping to conclusions but you're not completely happy, are you?"

  • Paper-Thin Disguise:  Bob, despite his flat chest, introduces himself as his birth name, "Kate," before being offered the job. Edmund was convinced that Bob was a cisman.    
  • Shout-Out: To Shakespeare's frequent use of biological females going out as transmen/crossdressing women/ as well as is frequent use of Kate as a name for feisty young women/biologically female persons.
  •  Transgender/Sweet Polly Oliver

The Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells (Ronald Lacey)

  "I will have my money or....YOUR BOTTOM WILL WISH IT HAD NEVER BEEN BORN!"

  "You see, I am a colossal pervert. No form of sexual depravity is too low for me. Animal, vegetable or mineral, I'll do anything to anything."

 Bishop: "You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church?"

Edmund: "No, I could never get used to the underwear."

  • Dirty Old Monk
  • Eats Babies: After drowning them during christenings.
  • Everyone Calls Him Bishop
  • Fat Bastard: But don't call him "Fatso" if you know what's good for you.
  • Loan Shark: Assistant manager of the Bank of the Black Monks of St. Herod ("Banking with a smile and a stab"). Their motto: "Repayment or revenge." He admits to Blackadder that he hates it when people pay up, as he rather enjoys what he gets to do to those who don't.
  • Sinister Minister
  • Villain with Good Publicity: In spite of the aforementioned baby-eating, he's apparently of good standing with the Queen and his parishioners. "As far as my flock is concerned, my one vice is a tipple before evensong." Blackadder gets the upper hand by endangering his reputation.

Prince Ludwig the Indestructible (Hugh Laurie)

  "We have met many times, although you knew me by another name. Do you recall a mysterious black marketeer and smuggler called Otto with whom you used to dine and plot and play the biscuit game at the Old Pizzle in Dover? Yes! I was the waitress."

Blackadder The Third

Mr. Edmund Blackadder, Esq. (Rowan Atkinson)

File:Blackadder the Third 8621.jpg


 "A man may fight for many things: his country, his principles, his friends, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a stack of French porn."

Underscrogsman-Lord "Sod-off" Baldrick (Tony Robinson)

 "I am as stupid as I look, sir, but if I can help, I will."

File:TheBaldrickIII 2223.png


George Augustus Frederick, The Prince Regent (Hugh Laurie)

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 "Only the other day, Prime Minister Pitt called me an "idle scrounger," and it wasn't until ages later that I thought how clever it would've been to have said, "Oh, bugger off, you old fart!" I need to improve my mind, Blackadder. I want people to say, "That George, why, he's as clever as a stick in a bucket of pig swill.""

Mrs. Miggins (Helen Atkinson-Wood)

  • Abhorrent Admirer: From Blackadder's point of view.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After striking out with Edmund, she gets hitched with his identical cousin MacAdder. It's implied however that she'll die in seconds while later fighting MacAdder's wife but she get further than most Blackadder characters.

The Duke of Wellington (Stephen Fry)

  • Bad Boss:
  • Badass: Not only does he duel with cannons instead of swords, it would take a homicidal maniac in a claymore and a kilt to get the better of him.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't make fun of his name.
    • Don't have unmarried sex with his nieces. Even if you're the Prince of Wales, he'll come for you.
  • General Failure: Stationed Nelson in Alaska on the off-chance Napoleon should sneak up on the British via the North Pole. Blackadder suggests that perhaps Nelson should be stationed in Trafalgar.
  • Everyone Has Standards: As long as honor is restored and satisfied, then he doesn't think "George" has to die.
  • General Ripper: Quite fond of taking the bones of Frenchman and using them for decorative purposes.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Any moments of calm are short-lived.
  • Large Ham: Believes shouting is the only way to win a military campaign.
  • Papa Wolf: Do not have take sexual advantage of his relations if you value living. To be fair, unmarried sex was a much bigger deal back then than it is now.

Blackadder Goes Forth

Captain Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson)

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 "For us, the Great War is finito, a war which would be a damn sight simpler if we just stayed in England and shot fifty thousand of our men a week."

  • A Father to His Men: Well, A Cruel Abusive Stepfather To His Men maybe...
  • Anti-Hero: Type IV or V. While he's as selfish and self-serving as his ancestors, his motivations are much more sympathetic and he has seemingly no interest in building up any personal power.
  • Byronic Hero
  • Cultured Warrior: His snarky remarks often border on poetic. His lines in the last episode in particular:

 Blackadder: The guns have stopped because we're about to attack. Not even our generals are mad enough to shoot our own men. They think it's far more sporting to let the Germans do it.

  • Deadpan Snarker
  • The Captain
  • Face Death with Dignity: Once it's clear there's no way out of the trenches, he wishes everyone good luck and bravely joins the Big Push.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: To quote the man himself on his service in Africa (which made his reputation as a competent soldier), "The prerequisite for any battle was that the enemy should under no circumstances carry guns". He became known as the 'Hero of Mboto Gorge' in 1892, where he had faced "ten thousand Watutsi warriors armed to the teeth with kiwi fruit and dry guava halves". Needless to say, none of this prepared him at all for fighting in the trenches.
  • Identical Grandson: Shouldn't even have to say it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: To a very slight extent. He's still not remotely a nice person, but he can bring himself to feel sympathy for Darling and wish the others good luck in the final episode, and he does at one point compliment George's paintings. Also, despite being a soldier, he is the only Blackadder in the four seasons not to commit murder - unless you count Speckled Jim.
  • Lovable Coward: For a certain value of 'lovable'. If not for the entire backdrop, would probably be a Dirty Coward.
    • Though oddly he arguably isn't actually cowardly at all; he very definitely doesn't want to die but when unavoidably placed in genuinely very dangerous situations (crawling across a minefield, captured by Germans, facing a court martial, going over the top) he keeps his cool.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • The Neidermeyer: A relatively mild example. He regards the men under his command as incompetent fools... which in his defense, they mostly are. They seem to admire him, however.
  • Only Sane Man
  • Pet the Dog: In the final episode Blackadder treats Darling very gently after Melchett sends him to the Front, respectfully addressing him as 'Captain Darling' when he shows up at the trench (somewhat reminiscent of King Richard and Edmund in the finale of the original series), and a few moments later asking him how he felt about going over the top. Pretty moving stuff considering they have spent the last five episodes hating each other.
    • It is possible that Blackadder's main reason for hating Darling was that Darling had succeeded in what Blackadder had been trying to do for the entire war; get the hell out of the trenches. When it became clear that both he and Darling were not getting out of it, he didn't have any reason to hate Darling any more (although there's not much chance of Blackadder liking him any more because of it.
  • Reluctant Warrior: He does everything in his power to avoid going into battle. A closer look at the series shows that he rarely carries his sidearm unless he has to (such as when visiting HQ) and even then, doesn't appear to keep it loaded (we see him loading it before going over the top in the finale).
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist

Private S. Baldrick (Tony Robinson)

File:TheBaldrickIIII 8750.png


 "Why can't we just stop, sir? Why couldn't we just say "No more killing, let's all go 'ome?" Why would it be stupid just to pack it in, sir? Why?!"

  • Anti-Hero: Type I
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Despite his unprecedented idiocy, Baldrick also points out the utter insanity of World War One: at any point, the general soldiery on all sides could have simply banded together and refused to fight any more, and had shown such potential earlier in the war. He doesn't know why they don't do it, and nobody can tell him why, either.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: The stupidest and foulest Baldrick of all, which is no small feat.
  • Cunning Plan
  • Deadpan Snarker: Only when he's hungover.
  • The Ditz
  • Identical Grandson
  • Lethal Chef: "How did you manage to extract so much 'custard' from such a small cat?"
  • Man Child
  • Sole Survivor: All of the Turnip Street Workhouse Pals Batallion are dead, save for him.
  • Team Chef

Lieutenant George C. St Barleigh (Hugh Laurie)

  "Permission for lip to wobble, sir?"

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Although Blackadder doesn't admit it aloud.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Memorably snarks with Blackadder in the finale when he notes you need a stick when facing a machine gun.
  • Hidden Depths: He's not as much of a Patriotic Fervor filled twit as he initially seems- he's a gifted artist and ultimately admits to fear of dying in battle.
  • Identical Grandson: Well probably given how this series lives on this trope.
  • Sole Survivor: In the last episode, he mentions that he joined the Army with along with his friends from Cambridge, the "Trinity Tiddlers", and by then, he's the only one left alive of the group.
    • Which was Truth in Television. The pals battalions were a real thing, and the Great War was the last time friends joining en masse was allowed, as it led to whole villages, towns and communities being decimated.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Is offered a way out of the trenches, hours before the Big Push, but remains behind.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Blackadder to the point of risking a court-martial by going on an unsanctioned rescue mission.
    • To the point that George refers to his captain as, and I quote, a 'bally hero'.
  • Upperclass Twit: Not as upper-class as the Prince, but has the personality down, pat.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Seems blissfully unaware of Captain Blackadder's contempt for him.
  • Wham! Line: In perhaps a first in television history, it actually occurs mid-line when George's bravado gives way to near panic. Any laughs from the audience for the remainder of the episode are nervous ones at best.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist

General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (Stephen Fry)

 "You know, over these last few years, I've come to think of you as a sort of son. Not a favourite son of course, Lord no, more a sort of illegitimate back-stair sort of sprog, y'know, the sort of spotty squid that nobody really likes."

  • Bad Boss: When Darling said that he needed a convincing injury so that he could spy on a field hospital, Melchett shot his foot on spot. This is easily the least of his crimes.
  • Bait the Dog: As noted, he initially seems a lot more amusing and likable than he actually is.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "BAAAH!"
    • "Make a note, Darling!"
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Melchett's played as though he's having the time of his life, and thinks everyone else is, too, with Darling and Blackadder as straight men to his antics. Brutally subverted in the final episode when he sends Darling to his death with barely a thought.
  • General Failure: A parody of WW 1 Generals, meaning that his particular brand of strategic incompetence wasn't very removed from real life...
  • Hot-Blooded: A far cry from his soft-spoken ancestor.
  • Identical Grandson: Obviously of the Melchett of the second season, but also an Expy of the Duke of Wellington in the third season, who was also played by Stephen Fry. Wellington was likewise presented as a Hot-Blooded and crazy military man, but he was actually competent.
  • Jerkass: Melchett isn't just incompetent, he's totally insensitive to the well-being of others and might even be a sociopath.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite senselessly, obliviously ordering countless men to their deaths on the Western Front, including his own very-much-reluctant right hand man, Melchett is the only major character to survive the entire fourth series.
  • Large Ham: BAAAAAH!!
  • The Neidermeyer: He is distraught by the death of his pigeon "Speckled Jim", yet blissfully uncaring about the fifty thousand men a week dying in the trenches. His bizarre tactics that help expedite the latter include "doing precisely what we've done eighteen times before" and "climbing out of [the] trenches and walking very slowly towards the enemy". Sadly, both are to some extent Truth in Television.
  • Pet the Dog: His love for his pet pigeon. However, any sympathy he'd get for that is subverted by his callousness toward running over George's rabbit when George was a child, and of course his apathy toward his troops' lives.
  • Stupid Boss
  • Token Evil Teammate
  • Too Dumb to Live: And yet he is the only one who does!
  • Verbal Tic: His "baahing", often interpreted as a call-back to his ancestor's "affection for sheep", but according to Stephen Fry who played him, he had in mind that Melchett had hemorrhoids.

Captain Kevin Darling (Tim McInnerny)

  "Just doing my job, Blackadder. Obeying orders...and, of course, having enormous *fun* into the bargain."

 "What is the matter with you today, Darling?!"

"Darling you're hysterical."

Squadron Commander the Lord Flashheart (Rik Mayall)

  "Cancel the state funeral, tell the King to stop blubbing, Flash is NOT DEAD! I simply ran out of JUICE - and before all the girls start going "Oh, what's the point of living anymore?" I'm talkin' about PETROL! WOOF WOOF!"

Bob/Kate (Gabrielle Glaister)

 "Permission to slip into something more uncomfortable, sir."

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (Adrian Edmonson)

  "How lucky you English are to find the toilet so amusing. For us, it is a mundane and functional item. For you, the basis of an entire culture.

Other Blackadders

All played by Rowan Atkinson of course.

Sir Blackadder

  • Crazy Prepared: He looks like a roundhead underneath all his elaborate getups, just in case he had to defect.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Set up in order to be subverted. He starts out loyal to King Charles but soon realizes the wealth that comes from turning against the monarchy and is ultimately the one to execute the king.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The only civil war in the history in England and he's on the wrong side, being hunted for his loyalty to the crown.

MacAdder

  • Badass: Possibly the only man alive that could have taken on the Duke of Wellington and won.
  • Fiery Redhead: Gender Inverted but a downplayed.
  • Honor Before Reason: Though offered a sum of money large enough to buy a good chunk of Scotland if he follows Blackadder's simple instructions, he ultimately decides to leave and go back to being a kipper salesman.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: That huge vast army of MacAdders. It's just his two kids.

Ebenezer Blackadder

  • Being Good Sucks: Everyone takes advantage of his generosity leaving him utterly broke every Christmas. It's then shown that if this continues, his descendants will wind up being a servant class which will result in humanity being beaten up by every alien species out there.
  • Evil Is Cool: Not only did he see his ancestors get all the gold through their schemes, his being evil ensures that humanity will one day rule the universe.
  • Identical Grandson
  • Odd Name Out: Named Ebenezer instead of Edmund.
  • Oh Crap: On the very day he decided to become a typical Blackadder, his new attitude cost him a fortune from Queen Victoria for being the nicest man in the world.

Lord Edmund Blackadder

  • The Bad Guy Wins: At the end of the millennium, he succeeds in the goal the first Blackadder set out with at the start of it. Becoming King of England.
  • Beard of Evil
  • Expy: Word of God is that he's the second Blackadder just in the 20th century.
  • Identical Grandson
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He could live with no one remembering Robin Hood or Shakespeare but England ruled by the French? Oh hell no.
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: Originally he just wanted 30,000 pounds. Then it turned out the time machine was real and he screwed up all of British history. Once putting it right he realized that the time machine would let him have it all.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: It's mentioned that once he became king, he abolished parliament.

Notes

  1. Sir Wilfred Death (John Hallam), Three-Fingered Pete (Roger Sloman), Guy de Glastonbury (Patrick Malahide), Sean the Irish Bastard (Ron Cook), Friar Bellows (Paul Brooke), Jack Large (Mick Walter).
  2. who internal evidence shows was actually in her mid-thirties, but is generally depicted as a dotty old woman
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