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"Well, I've been a hunter all my life. I love animals. That's why I like to kill 'em. I wouldn't kill an animal I didn't like."
Monty Python's Flying Circus -- Mosquito Hunters

This guy just loves to hunt. He doesn't do it for food, or because his prey is a danger to mankind, not even because It's Personal. He will hunt anything that tickles his fancy and he does it for the thrill and the glory. He is an adventurer and egomaniac.

He doesn't shoot ducks over a pond; his prey has to live far, far away in a most dangerous and uncomfortable location, has to be hard to find, impressive looking, and immensely powerful.

Great cats, large sea creatures, elephants, and crocodiles, as well as birds of prey come to mind. If the author is more fantastically inclined, he can let the Egomaniac Hunter go after dragons, phoenixes, unicorns, you name it. Sometimes, the Egomaniac Hunter even goes after Funny Animals (including the anthropomorphic ones), in a very uncomfortable yet chillingly logical conclusion to What Measure Is a Non-Human?.

This character isn't very likeable in modern renditions. His, and it's almost always a man, usual traits include some of these: selfishness, recklessness, trigger-happyness, racism, bullheadedness, and arrogance. Older works show him in a more favorable light, but often, he's seen as decadent by them, too. Extra points for having a gallery of rare trophies, endangering others in his hunts, gleefully shooting something that everyone knows is the last of its kind just so he can have it mounted and stuffed, or chasing sapient game.

He is usually European or American, but he can have any real or fictional ethnicity.

He provides contrast to reasonable or anviliciously eco-sensitive heroes; he can bring danger on the group, die a funny death, or just be the hero's employer whom he brings along for the ride. This character type also commonly appears in Horror or Adventure films where the antagonist is some kind of huge, dangerous animal or monster.

Because Hunters Are Evil, he will sooner or later break the law to be able to continue with the killing, and become an Evil Poacher, provided of course, he isn't already one.

Subtrope of In Harm's Way.

For the heroic counterpart, see Great White Hunter.

Examples of Egomaniac Hunter include:


Comic Books

  • Kraven the Hunter from Spider-Man.
  • Jaeger from the Robin comic book in The DCU.
  • Swamp Thing - Upperclass Twit and uber-jackass Maximillian Ramhoff from Will Pfeiffer's brief run was one of these; he makes a habit of hunting the rarest creatures possible and making elaborate trophies just because. For instance, he not only kills the last California Condor, he eats it. He also killed the Yeti, has a stuffed thunder lizard, made a coat out of the skunk ape, and sets his sights on Swamp Thing as the plot moves forward.
  • Marvel Comics Cosmic Villain The Obliterator. An Elder of the Universe, he obtained immortality by being monomaniacally obsessed with one thing - in his case, killing. He is the last member of his own species, as he hunted them all down and killed them one by one (by his own admission, twenty billion of them). He has exterminated huge numbers of worlds in the five billion years of his existence - one living creature at a time.
  • Minor Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles antagonist Jack Marlin, from the original Mirage comic books, initially plays the trope completely straight. His animated counterpart, on the other hand, is simultaneously more nutters and more affable than most examples of the trope.
  • The Legion of Super Heroes - Otto Orion, a.k.a. the Hunter, captured The Legion and subjected them to a Hunting the Most Dangerous Game scenario in Adventure Comics #358. His son Adam later adopted his father's alias and M.O. and attempted to avenge his father, eventually becoming a member of The Legion of Supervillains.
  • Green Arrow - Green Arrow's foe Big Game.
  • The Colonel who appears in Lady Mechanika #0.
  • One of a series of comics based off the Disneyland attraction The Haunted Mansion had an adventure named Lord Dunswallop who enjoyed hunting and killing various monster with his bare hands. Along with his biographer, he heads to the eponymous mansion to catch one of the barrel fisted "Gracy Ghasts" for his trophy collection. When asked by the biographer how he intends to strangle ghosts since they are incorporeal, Lord Dunswallop reveals that he has taken some poison and intends to return to his body later. In a And Then John Was a Zombie moment, after leaving his body and entering the grand hall, he is greeted by the ghosts with glee for they now have ghost #992, leaving the biographer unemployed and forced to drag Dunswallop's now dead body with him.


Film

  • Roland Tembo from The Lost World: Jurassic Park combines this trope with Great White Hunter. "Somewhere on this island is the greatest predator this world has ever known. The second greatest must hunt it down.". Once the dinos escaped, his nature becomes an asset: he has the most practical skills and the best plans for surviving.
  • Clayton, the villain from Disney's Tarzan, is one of these. Being played by Brian Blessed helps make this character an excellent example.
  • Gaston from Beauty and the Beast plays the character type totally straight. "I use antlers in all of my decorating..." He's also different from the norm by being a dimwitted narcissist, which is admittedly more characterization than most other examples get.
    • Apparently, one of the deer heads on his wall was meant to be Bambi's Mom.
  • Trigger Happy Van Pelt from Jumanji, who is hunting down Alan, has the obsession and personality of an Egomaniac Hunter.
  • Colonel Brock in the horror film Alligator.
  • The villain from the John Leguizamo film The Pest.
  • The Ghost and the Darkness, subverted. Both Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas play "Great White Hunters" that fit several of the stereotypes listed. Arrogant, glory seeking adventurers that don't hunt for food. One's even world famous for hunting. However, both are very sympathetic characters. Val Kilmer's character is surprisingly personable and warm, a family man who reaches out to all around him, high and low, and Micheal Douglas's character, who is world famous for his exploits, actually doesn't like hunting, but does it as an escape from memories of the family he lost.
  • Charles Muntz from Up has become one, making him a Fallen Hero.
  • The film director played by Clint Eastwood in White Hunter Black Heart, who goes to Afica ostensibly to shoot a movie but is actually monomaniacally obsessed with shooting an elephant.
  • Victor Quatermain from Wallace and Gromit Curse of The Were Rabbit. Of course, the fact that he is single-mindedly obsessed with shooting fluffy bunnies probably doesn't say much about his big game hunting skills.
  • The titular stars of the Predator series are basically an entire culture based around this trope. The movies imply, and the Expanded Universe states, that their whole society revolves around each individual member striving to earn greater status by gathering trophies. It's an entire civilisation built on the prospect of going out into the universe in search of the most impressive and dangerous alien lifeforms that can be found, killing them, and coming back with their skins, bones, horns, tusks, fangs, claws, pelts, and anything else that can make an appropriate trophy, and their (centuries long, it's implied) life is devoted to accumulating ever-greater bragging rights via this method. While they do have something of a code of honor, that code is devoted solely to ensuring that the sport is "fair" -- never kill pregnant quarry (lest there be no new targets to hunt) -- and they are less braggadocious then is usually associated with this trope, they otherwise match it perfectly. They even deliberately spread one of the most dangerous alien lifeforms in their universe, the Xenomorph, to other words, simply because it's one of their favorite hunting trophies.
  • In The Beast Must Die, a rich hunter invites several people to his mansion for a weekend so he can determine which one of them is a werewolf and shoot it.


Literature

  • Suruk The Slayer from Space Captain Smith and it's sequels.
  • Prince Humperdink from The Princess Bride.
  • General Zaroff from the short story (and later movie) The Most Dangerous Game. Interestingly, the hero he tries to kill is a Great White Hunter.
  • Another heroic (albeit mildly buffoonish) example is Ned Land from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He is portrayed as greedy and destructive, though, in contrast to the more scientific-minded Arronax. That might be because he's Canadian, though.
  • Julian from The Chronicles of Amber combines this with being an Evil Prince.
  • Discworld- Mustrum Ridcully is quite heroic, but a fiend for hunting and fishing. According to Lords and Ladies, "Mustrum Ridcully did a lot for rare species. For one thing, he kept them rare."
  • The members of the ironically named "Endangered Dangerous Species Society" in the Doctor Who novel The Doctor Trap (including Lord Percy, a parody of the Great White Hunter). And Sebastiene, who invites them to Planet 1 to hunt the Doctor.
  • Herne the Hunter in The Dark Is Rising is an odd case because he is, arguably, a good guy.
  • Sherlock Holmes - Sebastian Moran, Moriarty's right-hand man, apparently does a lot of this on the side.
  • A very common personality trait among the Draka. A short story set in the Drakaverse by Harry Turtledove has the Domination's army restricted from using nuclear weapons on an American holdout because its leader wants to keep the area as a nature reserve after the war.
  • A Rare Female Example is Hunter from Neverwhere. However, other than her obsession with hunting rare and powerful monsters (and for this reason she betrays the party, in exchange for a spear with which to kill the Beast of London) she's an extremely professional and reticent fighter and bodyguard, and doesn't showcase any of the other personality foibles that tend to go along with this trope.

Live Action TV

  • There is a General Zaroff parody in the Get Smart episode "Island of the Darned".
  • Captain Cook from the Doctor Who serial The Greatest Show in the Galaxy seems to qualify. We never actually see him hunting, but he bores everyone with his 'tales of glory' and had no problem with enslaving a sentient being he captured on one of his expeditions and using her for his own ends.
  • Star Trek: Voyager - The Hirogen are an entire species of Egomaniac Hunters. One of them threatens to remove Seven of Nine's intestines as a trophy, as "Unusual relics are prized. Yours will make me envied by men and pursued by women." Seven, who rivals the Hirogen in the big ego stakes, is unimpressed.
  • The Goodies. "Dodonuts" has Tim and Graeme as leaders of the Endangered Species Club who hunt down endangered species, including a dodo protected by conservationist Bill Oddie. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Hunter in Neverwhere. See Literature above.

Music

  • "Little bunny Foo-Foo, hopping through the forest, scooping up the field mice and bopping 'em on the head..."
  • The Beatles song "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" from the White Album.
  • Parodied by Tom Lehrer with "The Hunting Song," in which all his prizes turn out to be game wardens and hunters (plus a cow).
  • The video for CNR by Weird Al features Charles Nelson Reilley charging head-long at a bull moose and killing it with a roundhouse kick to the face. The next shot is of his trophy room, which features a menagerie of animals he's killed with his bare hands.

Tabletop Games

  • Bwana, a villain from one the Champions supplements.
  • Kosarro Khan, a Space Marine Captain from Warhammer 40000, has this kind of tendency, as well as Hunting the Most Dangerous Game, attributed to him (and his chapter) in the backstory of the newer rulebooks.
  • The Planescape D&D setting had Adamok Ebon, a rare female example (who's also an assassin who works for the thrill instead of money) and a module featuring an arrogant young nobleman with no clue of how smart (and dangerous) Beastlands creatures are.

Video Games

  • Hemet Nesingwary from World of Warcraft fits this trope to a tee. His son took over his original hunt when Hemet moved to Outland for bigger game to hunt, where he and his expedition proceeded to instruct players to slaughter an immense number of creatures in one of Outland's few pastoral wildernesses left. Then he left for Northrend, settled down in a primeval jungle (it makes sense when you get there) and cradle of life,and had the nerve to first demand assistance from a dead rhino spirit, then refuse to leave as it asked, saying "no dead rhino'll stop me from hunting wherever I want!"

    Amusingly, just as players tend to hate Hemet for his ridiculous egomania and his tedious quests (endless slaughter-fests for the most part), an organization of druids, D.E.H.T.A (Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals) has arisen with killing Nesingwary and his increasingly deranged followers as their sole goal. Note that "Hemet Nesingwary" is a Significant Anagram: Ernest Hemingway.
  • Sam and Max Hit The Road - Evil country music star Conroy Bumpus, who is out to capture the same Bigfoot the heroes of the game are trying to aid just so he can add it to his personal menagerie. His obsession is even lampshaded in a song he sings titled "King of the Creatures" which includes the lines "I trapped my first tiger before I could walk, killed me a bear when I was three there ain't nothing in the world that's much better, than exposing beasts to inhumanity!"
  • Rudy "Lynx" Roberts in the Jagged Alliance series. His character bio mentions his favourite hobby is "tracking down endangered species to finish them off".
  • The Force Unleashed - Ozzik Sturn, who appears as the commander of the Imperial forces on Kashyyyk. Sturn will hunt non-sapient game but particularly enjoys hunting intelligent beings. When he first appears, he's wearing a sash made from the fur of Wookie slaves he hunted down and killed as though it were a badge of office. The main character also passes through his trophy room, which is filled with the skulls of various aliens from the Star Wars franchise. When you confront him, he mentions how he's grown tired of hunting Wookies and relishes the opportunity to kill a Jedi.
  • Hircine is an example of a divine being as one of these. He hunts solely for the sport, including having his own pack of hunting dogs (read: werewolves). Partakes in Hunting the Most Dangerous Game every so often.
  • Mordecai from Borderlands is a cross between this trope and Blood Knight; his class is actually called "The Hunter".

Web Comics

  • In this minus comic, what initially appears to be a fairly normal hunter is told that the lion he recently shot "wanted to have a proper go at [him]" and is given a pair of boxing gloves. What does he do? He boxes the lion, of course!

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Clayton in the Disney Animated Canon version of Tarzan.
  • Skulker from Danny Phantom. Skulker can also be vengeful, as seen in his attitude towards Danny after Danny defeats him the first time. Even so, he acted the Egomaniac Hunter role with Danny and Valerie, leading to an Enemy Mine.
  • The Stalker from Batman Beyond, an African hunter who could stalk and kill a cheetah with his bare hands, is basically a huge subversion. He and Batman also get into an Enemy Mine situation at one point.
  • The Batman had a one-shot hunter in Killgore Steed (yet another Punny Name) who specializes in hunting endangered species (and the occasional human) in his killer island death maze. He got his karmic come-uppance when The Joker killed him for a pair of hyenas.
  • One of the "Rabbit Seasons" trilogy had Bugs and Daffy reading out of recipe books to set Elmer on each other. Elmer explains that he's a vegetarian, he just hunts for the sport.
  • Safari Joe from Thundercats, complete with racism. He doesn't even see the Thundercats as sentient, despite them talking to him. He even has his own 'slave' - the robot Mule.
  • The Simpsons
    • Parodied with a hunter character who says "Time for lunch" and fires blindly into the air, killing a condor, then catches it between two slices of bread and eats it. With an intense look on his face.
    • Rainier Wolfcastle is also one. He participated in a charity basketball game to help build a nature preserve where he can hunt "the most dangerous game of all" Man. He then goes off to hunt Lenny.
  • In The Transformers cartoon episode "Prime Target" featured Lord Chumley, who decided his hunting trophy collection would not be complete without the head of Optimus Prime. He is nuts: in the opening of the episode he shoots down and mounts a Soviet fighter jet as if it were a downed game bird. In order to bait Prime, he captures almost a dozen other Autobots. He even captures a couple Decepticons in the process of wearing Prime down, and later sets them free in hopes that they'll help him once things inevitably go south. Not to mention the capture of the Soviet fighter jet was causing political trouble unseen since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Many a fan probably smiles each time he sees the jerk dropped off for the Soviets tied to the nosecone of the same jet he stole.
  • An episode of The Mighty Ducks featured an Egomaniac Hunter who threw the concept of sportsmanship to the wind, by using increasingly powerful robotic weapons in the process of hunting the unarmed avian heroes through a jungle.
  • In an episode of the Dial M for Monkey shorts in Dexters Laboratory, the titular hero Monkey fought an alien hunter named, appropriately enough, Huntor, who targeted the most dangerous game of all: heroes. Monkey defeated the heavily-armed hunter by relying on his jungle instincts rather then his superpowers.
  • Nimrod, a recurring nemesis of the Galaxy Rangers, looks like an extra from Cats and acts like a crazed game show host, but don't underestimate him. In his introductory episode ("The Power Within"), he traps the Rangers in a Hunting the Most Dangerous Game scenario--after removing their badges to prevent them from accessing their Applied Phlebotinum powers. We are also shown that Nimrod has done this several times before with other space travelers.

    Galaxy Rangers fandom has also referred to him as "a Thundercat on drugs." In a later episode, "Murder on the Andorian Express," he actually helps Doc and Niko take down a Crown assassin, explaining that his whole purpose for getting on the luxury liner in the first place was to hunt the assassin.
  • Mitch from the Phineas and Ferb episode "The Chronicles of Meap", who captures the galaxy's rarest creatures for his personal collection.
  • Flintheart Glomgold in DuckTales.
  • Bwana Bob from The Super Globetrotters.
  • The original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe has the episode, "The Huntsman," where Prince Adam and Teela try to convince a famous hunter to leave the unicorn alone. He refuses and the heroes not only have to use force to stop him, but convince the King to ban sport hunting for good measure.
  • In Transformers Prime, Airachnid hunts endangered species. And if they aren't already endangered, she makes them.

Real Life

  • Theodore Roosevelt, the twenty-sixth President of the United States, could be seen as an Egomaniac Hunter. In his home on Long Island, every other piece of furniture is some part of an animal. Every wall has animal heads on it. Hell, he even stepped down from the presidency so he could go on an African safari.
    • Subverted when you think of his status as a conservationist, and then played straight again when you realize that it was probably just so he didn't run out of animals to hunt.
      • Triply subverted when you realize that hunters as a group are probably the biggest supporters of conservation in existence.
  • British writer Lord Dunsany - when some zebras escaped from a zoo, he hunted them in the middle of central London.
  • Ted Nugent. Hunts really large bears in Michigan with a bow and arrow. Donates much of the meat from his hunting to Feed the Homeless.
  • While most hunters at least try not to waste too much and sell any meat/hide that they don't want or can't use, there are some content with killing something, taking its head as a trophy and maybe a few pounds of meat, and leaving the rest of it to rot while they head merrily back home. Most hunters like medium-sized game (especially deer), which average a hundred pounds.
    • Even hunters who take home and eat all of the meat (well, most of it, as only hunter / gatherer cultures tend to use every part of the animal) go hunting because they like it. They enjoy stalking and killing animals. Of course, most of them kill in the most humane way they can and highly dislike any suffering of an animal, but they do like going out, stalking, killing, and, eating the prey.
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (who's assassination triggered WWI), according to The Other Wiki, had a love of trophy hunting far in excess of the norm of his time. His diaries kept track of some 300,000 trophy kills, 5,000 of which were deer.
  • Numerous poachers fall into this trope, particularly those who hunt for fun and simply leave the carcasses of whatever they shoot and the ones who target endangered or protected species like rhinos, elephants, tigers, and other animals to harvest body parts that have high monetary values on the black market.
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