Count Tyrone Rugen
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Biography for
Count Tyrone Rugen (Character)
from The Princess Bride (1987)

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A well-groomed appearance and calm, soft-spoken manner are a perfect camouflage for the truly sadistic nature of Count Tyrone Rugen. He was the right-hand man to the evil Prince Humperdinck of Florin. Rugen was also the object of a remarkable 20 year quest for revenge. He had six fingers on his right hand and was a capable sword fighter.

Rugen's hobby was studying pain in others. To this end, he spent half of his life building a special machine that painfully sucked years of life out of its unlucky victims. Rugen encouraged victims of this machine to be honest with him about how the machine made them feel. He used the results of these sessions as part of a book he was writing on pain. Rugen's machine was hidden in the secret "Pit of Despair." A hulking albino assisted him with his work.

In addition to being a torturer, the count was also a cold-blooded murderer. He hired a great sword-maker named Domingo Montoya to make him a special sword. A year later, Rugen tried to get the sword for about a tenth of what he'd originally promised as payment. When Montoya refused to hand it over, Rugen killed him in front of his 11-year-old son. Furious, the boy made a brave but futile attempt to fight and punish his father's killer. Rugen spared the boy.....but slashed both his cheeks as a lesson.

About 20 years later, Rugen assisted Humperdinck in his hunt for his kidnapped bride, Buttercup. The prince had arranged the kidnapping to spark a war between his country and the nation of Guilder. He'd planned to find her killed, but she was saved by her true love, a man named Wesley. Humperdinck rode off with Buttercup, while Rugen secretly took Wesley to the Pit of Despair for torture.

Rugen experimented on Wesley, until the day of the wedding. On that day, the prince ran into the pit and, in a fit of rage, put the machine on it's highest setting. Rugen was shocked and tried to protest, but it was too late. He seemed to prefer using the machine on much lower settings. Wesley screamed as he was subjected to pain beyond even Rugen's imagination.

Believing Wesley to be dead, Humperdinck and Rugen returned to the castle for the prince's wedding to Buttercup. A disturbance was heard at the front gate during the ceremony. Humperdinck dispatched Rugen and four guards to check it out. In a hallway, they came face to face with a giant, a sword-wielding Spaniard and...Wesley, who'd been brought back to life. Rugen ordered his men to kill the Spaniard and the giant, but to spare Wesley for questions (Rugen probably wanted to find out how he'd survived). The guards went forth...only to be killed in seconds by the swordsman. For Rugen, this was when the nightmare truly began.

The swordsman faced the count and said: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." Yes, this incredibly skilled swordsman facing Rugen was the same boy whose father he'd murdered and whose face and soul he'd scarred. Rugen ran away.

When it became clear that running would not save him, the evil count took a dagger and waited in a banquet hall. When Inigo followed him in, Rugen threw it. The dagger caught Inigo in the stomach. He collapsed against the wall and fell. Rugen was deeply amused by the fact that this man spent his entire life trying to find him and avenge his father....only to fail.

But Inigo was not done yet. He got back up. Rugen drew his sword (the same one he'd killed Domingo for) and tried to finish him off. But Inigo deflected his blows into his arms. The count tried again and again, but, much to his frustration, he could not kill the determined Spanish swordsman. Inigo just kept on fighting, while repeating "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." Inigo wounded Rugen twice and backed him against a table. He then slashed the count's cheeks and told him to offer him money and power. Seeing a way to save himself, Rugen agreed....and then tried one last time to kill Inigo.

Inigo blocked his strike, looked him in the eye and said: "I want my father back, you son of a bitch." The Spaniard stabbed the count for the last time and killed him.

For Rugen, his final experience with his favorite subject was the pain of his own richly-deserved death.

Page last updated by moviewatcher417, 6 years ago
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