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Rasputin (1869-1916) was a Russian mystic and preacher. Born of illiterate peasant parents, he arrived in Saint Petersburg in the early 20th century, where he had some success in treating Tsarevich Alexei, who suffered from haemophilia. He managed to turn this, and the fascination in upper-class Russian circles with religious mysticism, healing, and sex, into becoming a close associate of the Tsar family and an important figure in pre-revolution Russia.
Due to his many affairs and drunkenness (his personal faith required sin, in his case alcohol and sex, followed by repentance), he became a target of anti-Romanov and anti-Tsarist groups in Russia. He was murdered in 1916, ostensibly by Prince Felix Yusupov and a band of his cronies. Yusupov's story (as embroidered and added to through the years) was that Rasputin was lured to a meeting with Yusupov where he was fed cakes and wine laced with cyanide; when that failed to kill him, he was beaten, shot, stabbed, and thrown into the Neva River, where he died of hypothermia after trying to claw through the ice. In reality, he was shot in the head with a .455 Webley which killed him instantly. No cakes and wine (he had a bad stomach and wouldn't have eaten them even if the cyanide could have survived the baking process), no beating, no freezing.
Trope Namer for Rasputinian Death. The frequent myths and interesting history around him has made him a frequent target for a Historical Villain Upgrade or Beethoven Was an Alien Spy, as well as a figure in a Conspiracy Theory.
Anime and Manga
- Like the equally evil Jack the Ripper, Mad Monk Rasputin has a bit role in the anime Soul Eater. In a dream sequence, no less!
- He is an antagonist (in service of an Eldritch Abomination) in Hellboy.
- He is an ancestor of Colossus in X-Men. An ancestor that is very eager to be reincarnated in one of his blood.
- When Karl Kesel homaged elements of Kamandi in Superboy he introduced a Ratsputin as the Evil Chancellor of Great Caesar.
Film - Animated
- In the Don Bluth film Anastasia, Rasputin was an undead sorcerer who made a Deal with the Devil. Nevermind the other historical inaccuracies.
Film - Live Action
- He is an antagonist (in service of an Eldritch Abomination) in Hellboy.
- Hammer did a movie about him called Rasputin the Mad Monk, with Christopher Lee in the title role.
- Tom Baker played a darkly charismatic Rasputin in the historical biopic Nicholas and Alexandra.
- Alan Rickman did a sympathetic portrayal of the man in the HBO original movie Rasputin. His portrayal argued Rasputin may actually have been a saint with legitimate supernatural powers derived from God and at the very least didn't deserve the crap piled on his memory.
- Father Pujardov in Horror Express is a No Celebrities Were Harmed Expy of Rasputin, being an insane monk who advises Nobility. He has a Face-Heel Turn and becomes The Renfield to the Alien antagonist of the film
- The Doctor Who Past Doctor Adventures novel Wages of Sin is set in pre-Revolution Russia and has Rasputin as a character. It's a historically-straight portrayal mostly, although his famous hard-to-kill-ness does turn out to be due to a time traveller trying to keep him alive.
- He gets far more hilarious in Faction Paradox. To start with, the Faction recruited him a few days before his death, took him to the Eleven-Day Empire, and replaced him with an exact duplicate. Then the Celestis came along, didn't realise the Faction had made the switch, and offered him their standard deal that includes resurrection. The duplicate had been briefed not to argue with any War-era powers it met, and so accepted the deal. By the time of the assassination attempt, the Great Houses noticed something was going on, assumed the Faction would try to take him to the Empire at the point of death, and so implanted a device that would replace the Faction duplicate with a Great House duplicate. House constructs are by default immune to poisoning. As such, when the poison failed, he was shot. Then the Celesti protocols resurrected him, producing a creature whose mind was struggling between Great Houses, Celesti, and Faction protocols which had to be shot repeatedly and beaten to death simply to get it to lie down long enough to be thrown ino the river, where it finally froze to death. As a result, none of the three powers involved like to talk about it and everyone in the War agreed to leave celebrities well alone. The real Rasputin, meanwhile, persuaded Anastasia (who was also a Faction recruit) to set up a rival state, then went mad and died under mysterious circumstances. Anastasia's Thirteen-Day Republic was shortly afterwards annihilated.
- A Cahill from the Tomas branch in The 39 Clues.
- A Night in the Lonesome October has Rastov the Mad Monk.
- He was the subject of an episode of the TV version of The Crow.
- Leonard Nimoy played a Rasputin-like character in "The Choice", an episode of Mission Impossible, indestructibility and all.
- When the topic of Rasputin's death was brought up on QI, Bill Bailey, inspired by the Boney M song's line about Rasputin's glowing eyes, put forth the theory that Rasputin was, in fact, a Terminator. Complete with him dragging himself along the panel like the end of the first film.
- Rasputin shows up among the army of wax droids in an episode of Red Dwarf, serving mainly as Emperor Caligula's lackey.
- Forever Knight. Rasputin is a vampire who gets executed on the orders of LaCroix the vampire so as to spark off the chaos of revolution.
- In the Angel episode "Why We Fight", after Angel tells the vampire Nostroyev he's never heard of him, Nostroyev lists various atrocities he's responsible for, closing with "I was Rasputin's lover!"
- "Rasputin" by Boney M, which refers to him as "Russia's greatest love machine." It's been covered by a number of bands.
- One Dilbert comic had the Pointy-Haired Boss hiring Rasputin, saying he had "charisma". He then proceeded to suffocate Asok with a Death Glare. After that, he tried to do the same to Wally, but Wally's powerful anti-charisma caused him to choke instead.
- Appeared in about a dozen books in the Old World of Darkness... and each of them told a different story with him as another type of supernatural. They are all true -- Rasputin became a Wraith after death and possessed all the supernaturals he was featured as.
- A Team Fortress 2 achievement for the Heavy references Rasputin. The Heavy needs to suffer several types of damage in a single life.
- Showed up as a Big Bad (though not THE Big Bad, since he basically shows up in the middle of the game) in Shadow Hearts 2: Covenant. Turns out, he's secretly a demon. Fortunately, you've got the help of a camera-wielding Princess Anastasia, and her magical, flying Farberge Egg!
- He shows up as a Camp Gay fighter in the World Heroes series.
- He gets a mention in Assassin's Creed II, as an agent of the Templars who stole the Staff of Eden from Czar Nicholas and thus precipitated the revolution that would follow. The Assassin order were the ones who killed him, though naturally, it took a while.
- A robot from the future made in the image of Rasputin shows up as an antagonistic Devil Summoner in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army (set years after his supposed death and in Japan no less).
- Razputin is the psychic prodigy star of Psychonauts, with no other real connection to his namesake. The name is probably a reference to Rasputin's supposed drowning given Raz's curse-induced Super Drowning Skills.
- Wizardry has Rattkin NPC named Ratsputin. Though he's a ninja, not monk -- name is due to mice- and rat- related puns Theme Naming.
- Rasputin is the final boss of Lime Iro Senkitan. He's presented as a monk, at least. He's also presented as a villain mastermind with his own henchmen and an intent to take over Russia (and then, presumably, the world).
- Rasputin (in one of his coolest appearances) is the main villain of the Dungeons and Dragons game the main characters of The Word Weary play.
- In an Animaniacs short, Rasputin has the ability to hypnotize others instantly into doing his will...until he meets the Warners.