The Blackadder Wiki
Episode 6
Written by Ben Elton & Richard Curtis
Directed by Mandie Fletcher
Guest stars Hugh Laurie, Mark Arden, Lee Cornes, Max Harvey
Original airdate 20 February 1986
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"Chains" is the final episode of the BBC sitcom Blackadder II, the second series of Blackadder, which was set in Elizabethan England from 1558 to 1603. Power-mad and self-professed "master of disguise", Prince Ludwig the Indestructible kidnaps Lord Edmund Blackadder and Lord Melchett. They escape his clutches but Prince Ludwig infiltrates the palace during a fancy dress ball.


As Blackadder explains an incident to Queenie, Melchett arrives in, telling them that the son of his former tutor has been kidnapped and begs for her to pay the hefty ransom that's been issued. On Lord Blackadder's recommendation which is to tell Melchett's tutor's son to get stuffed, declaring only an idiot would be foolish enough to get kidnapped but seconds after leaving Queenie's chambers, in an ironic turn of events, Blackadder himself is knocked unconscious and kidnapped with Melchett also suffering the same fate after Queenie's changed her mind and agreed to pay the ransom.

Sometime later, Blackadder awakens in a damp prison cell where a torturer who speaks Spanish is waiting for him. As a result of language difficulties between the two, both men have to engage in a game of charades to get their respective points across, the torturer calling Blackadder a "bastard son of a bitch" and Blackadder unable to explain the meaning of ""fornicating baboon" as he's been locked up in a box that's completely covered in spikes.

Just when the torturer is about to begin, proceedings are interrupted by the arrival of Prince Ludwig the Indestructible, a German pretender to the throne who mispronounces English words, who tells Blackadder to forgive him and to accept his apple-ogies, Blackadder responding that he expects nothing from a man who imprisons his guests in a commode. Rounding on the torturer who cries out in fear, Ludwig continues on, stating he trusts the scum (the torturer) has not inconweenienced him. After exchanging insults and growing impatient, Blackadder demands to know who Ludwig is.

Ludwig explains that Blackadder who once spent time at The Old Pizzle in Dover had an affair with the waitress, Big Sally who in fact was a disguised Ludwig which has Blackadder stunned and it's even revealed that the two slept together, Ludwig noting that for his country he's willing to make any sacrifice while Blackadder notes he isn't and that he must have been paralytic, causing Ludwig to state, "Indeed you were, Mr. Floppy", angering Blackadder with Ludwig even adding in a falsetto would Edmund like another piece of pie?

When Ludwig reveals that he's given the Queen a week to respond to his demands and that unless she does so, Edmund will die "horriwbly". Blackadder's confident that she will and believes Ludwig will die horribwly, horribwly. Despite this, Ludwig remains firm before ordering the two guards to fetch his friend and on his command, the two guards bring in Lord Melchett who's screaming. Melchett does not recognise Ludwig, until Ludwig tells him that he once impersonated Flossie, a sheep at a monastery in Cornwall. Melchett is aghast: "But didn't we...?" with Ludwig adding in "Baah!", leaving Melchett stunned at the fact he unknowingly had an encounter with Ludwig. With Blackadder and Melchett in attendance, Ludwig reveals he's given the Queen a week to pay their ransoms but Queenie replies that she has decided to spend the requested ransom money on "a big party", the news leaving Blackadder stunned, causing him to say "What?!" and Ludwig very unhappy.

Ludwig agrees to imprison them for life instead of killing them in exchange for information on how to get into the palace during the costume party. When he leaves, Blackadder and Melchett escape by knocking the guards unconscious and make their way back to England, arriving just in time for the party. Queenie is dressed as Henry VIII, while Baldrick is a pencil case. Edmund promptly stabs "Nursie", who is revealed to be Prince Ludwig masquerading as Nursie dressed as a cow, Ludwig however is still alive and leaves, swearing revenge. Blackadder throws a dagger at him stating "you will die and be buried". Everyone asks how Blackadder knew the cow was Ludwig. Blackadder explains that Ludwig was a master of disguise while Nursie is a "sad, insane old woman with an udder fixation". Everyone then asks if Blackadder missed them. He tells Percy he wished it was him who was being tortured instead. To Baldrick he says he was not missed at all, and as for the Queen, he states that life without her is like "a broken pencil"; she asks him to explain, and he replies "pointless".

After the credits, as a bell rings in the background, it's shown that things have taken a darker turn as the entire group is shown on the floor dead, Blackadder and Percy lying up against one another, their eyes open and staring at nothing as a trail of blood stems from Percy's mouth, the real Queenie and Nursie are on the floor, also dead, blood on Queenie's lips and neck with blood visible on Nursie's neck while underneath Queenie's left arm is Baldrick whose own eyes are closed and underneath Baldrick is Melchett who has a small trail of blood on his nose and whose eyes are open, his features displaying shock or surprise.

A few metres away, Ludwig who stands over the corpses, disguised as Queenie, holding a blood-soaked dagger with Blackadder's head at a slightly awkward angle, implying Ludwig might have broken his neck.

He looks at the camera and states that impersonating Queenie is a role he will enjoy...if he can "just get the voice right".


  • In reality, the Spanish Inquisition never came to Great Britain.


  • This is the second and final episode of Blackadder II to have Hugh Laurie credited as a recurring guest star. He later joined Blackadder the Third as a member of the main cast and would go on to appear in all the Blackadder shows with the exception of The Cavalier Years which he was absent from.
  • In a commentary for the episode, Stephen Fry noted that actor Robbie Coltrane (Dr. Samuel Johnson in Blackadder the Third) was present at the recording of the episode for the studio audience and can even be identified on the laugh-track. He also revealed that liquid collodion was used to create the scars that Hugh Laurie wore while playing Prince Ludwig.
  • The scene where Melchett tells Blackadder they should sing a song to keep their spirits up is a reference to the fact that Stephen Fry who plays Melchett is tone deaf and so self-conscious that he had to be hypnotised into doing a musical number with Hugh Laurie during Saturday Live, a comedy program that aired in the UK from 1985 to 2022.
  • The audio release of this episode doesn't contain the post-credits scene, resulting in a happier ending.