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Prince Ludwig the Indestructible
Prince Ludwig the Indestructible
Nationality German
Occupation Prince, con artist, master of disguise, evil genius, barmaid, stable boy, sheep, Queen of England.
First appearance "Chains"
Last appearance "Chains"
Episode count 1 Episode
Played by Hugh Laurie
Miranda Richardson

Prince Ludwig the Indestwuctible (or "Prince Ludwig the Indestructible") is a character played by Hugh Laurie (and Miranda Richardson, when he impersonates Queen Elizabeth I) in the BBC sitcom Blackadder II.

He appears in "Chains", the final episode of Blackadder II, as a German master of disguise and is also the main antagonist of the episode.

Biography[]

Pre-Series[]

Not much was revealed about Prince Ludwig's past except for the fact that he was presumably born in an unknown area in the Holy Roman Empire and that as a child, he had dirty hair and spots with his mother also making him wear shorts up to his final year at school which earned him ridicule from his schoolmates who also bullied him with Ludwig being given the uncreative yet apt nickname of "Shorty Greasy Spot Spot", a nickname Ludwig also came to despise to such an extent that it would send him into a fit of rage if the nickname was ever mentioned in his presence.

Years later, as an adult, Prince Ludwig began serving his country and presumably worked on numerous missions, Ludwig blending in to his surroundings and even changing his voice, gender and physical appearance to gain information from his unsuspecting victims.

At some point, during unknown circumstances, Ludwig received two permanent scars on the right side of his face, the first one going through the end of his right eyebrow, reaching up to the centre of his forehead while the other lay underneath his right eye, going down as far as his jaw.

Some time prior to "Chains", Ludwig, disguised as a stable boy befriended Queen Elizabeth I and even worked at a bar in Devon where under the name, "Big Sally", he met Lord Edmund Blackadder although the two didn't have sex due to Blackadder who had been drunk at the time having passed out.

He later encountered Lord Melchett and the two had sex, Ludwig disguised as a sheep named Flossie.

Presumably on a mission, Ludwig, eager to get Queen Elizabeth's attention dispatched two of his guards to the palace with the objective being to kidnap two of her servants with his two guards succeeding in knocking out and capturing Blackadder and Melchett.

Blackadder II[]

Ludwig appeared in the Blackadder II series finale, "Chains" where he was first seen intervening after one of his men who could only speak Spanish was about to torture Blackadder with Ludwig stopping the incident before it could progress and then introducing himself to Blackadder.

After exchanging insults and revealing he and Blackadder had crossed paths at the pub in Devon much to Blackadder's shock, Ludwig's two guards brought Melchett, Ludwig also informing Melchett the two of them had also met one another and even slept together during the time Ludwig had been disguised as a sheep named Flossy with Ludwig even taunting Melchett by adding in a "Baa!".

Once that had ended, Ludwig revealed that he had plans to send Queen Elizabeth I a ransom demand to determine who should go free: Blackadder or Melchett.

A week later, Queen Elizabeth II sent a message back, stating she had chosen to hold a big party instead much to Blackadder's own shock. Left unhappy with the decision, Ludwig agreed to imprison the two men for the rest of their lives instead of killing them with Blackadder and Melchett even agreeing to play ball and give Ludwig the information he wanted, something that greatly pleased Ludwig.

Ludwig then arrived, bidding farewell to his two prisoners, noting that when his two guards died of old age, their sons would take over the guarding of the cell. Ludwig's temper also emerged when Blackadder hinted he'd been bullied at school with Ludwig shouting that when he'd become King of England, no-one would ever call him by his nickname before he left, causing Blackadder to note he'd struck a nerve.

Prior to the party, Ludwig reached England and the palace, wearing a cow disguise and was seen sitting beside Queenie when Blackadder and Melchett who had escaped arrived in, Blackadder stabbing the cow and revealing it was Ludwig which left everyone stunned.

After revealing he'd met Queenie before, Ludwig then reacted with rage when Queenie mentioned his nickname. He later attempted to flee the palace, racing for the doors while vowing to one day return and wreck his revenge before cackling madly.

Blackadder simply told Ludwig he would die and be buried before throwing a dagger at the Prince, causing Ludwig to cry out in pain, the dagger presumably killing him or wounding him off-screen while everyone cheered. Blackadder then revealed that Ludwig was strange man and a master of disguise and his costume was too good while Nursie herself was a "mad old woman with an udder fixation" so all he'd needed to was to kill the one that "looked" like a cow.

However, after the credits, it was revealed that Ludwig had in fact survived the attack and presumably murdered Queenie, stealing her identity before going on to kill Blackadder, Baldrick, Percy, Melchett and Nursie, using a dagger while he either strangled or suffocated Melchett and broke Blackadder's neck. He also remarked that he'd enjoy the disguise if he could just get the voice right.

With no-one any the wiser, Ludwig/Queen Elizabeth presumably rules for 37 years. Hugh Laurie's later character is also a monarch of German descent, suggestive perhaps of a familial relation between Ludwig and George, the Prince Regent (as is the case for all other characters played by the same actors in Blackadder). However it is highly unlikely because the Prince Regent is the product of the Hanoverian succession.

Physical Appearance[]

Ludwig is a man with short, slacked-back hair and blue eyes.

He has two scars on the right side of his face, one going through his eyebrow while the other is on his cheek with a silver earring in his left ear.

Ludwig also carries a whip in his right hand.

His uniform covers his entire body and also has numerous lines on it as well as a joint color scheme of red and yellow/gold.

Upon returning to the dungeon for the final time to talk to Blackadder and Melchett before departing for England, Ludwig is seen wearing a black hat with pink/red feathers on its side and in the centre of it as well as a long black cloak that covers his right arm, the cloak itself also in red and gold with a gold crest or symbol of some kind on the right side covering his right shoulder.

During his time at the party, Ludwig wore a cow costume and upon being exposed, abandoned his disguise, fleeing while still wearing the lower part of his outfit.

Personality[]

Ludwig is a psychopathic, cunning and manipulative man capable of deceiving his victims via a range of disguises with Ludwig even altering his voice and its pitch as well as his gender to do so, his skills capable of fooling Lord Melchett, Lord Blackadder and Queenie.

On his first appearance in the dungeon, he showed great restrain, appearing to be emotionless and even stopped one of his men from torturing Lord Edmund Blackadder, Ludwig also taking great pleasure in gloating to Blackadder and Melchett that their paths had crossed before, implying a sadistic nature.

However, when Blackadder brought up his childhood and Queenie mentioned his nickname, Ludwig's temper emerged, causing his emotionless façade to slip as he expressed pure rage at his nickname while swearing no-one would ever call him "Shorty Greasy Spot Spot" again before he left.

Ludwig also possessed a strong will as he was miraculously able to survive apparently being killed or severely wounded by a dagger Blackadder had thrown at him and then return, presumably killing Queenie first and stealing her identity before he murdered Blackadder, Baldrick, Percy, Melchett and Nursie.

Trivia[]

  • This is the second and final role Hugh Laurie would play, having been a recurring guest star in Blackadder II. Laurie would eventually join Blackadder the Third, becoming a member of the main cast and appearing in the remaining shows in the series, being absent from The Cavalier Years. It is also the first villainous role in Blackadder that Laurie has played.
  • Prior to appearing in "Chains", Laurie had appeared in the previous episode, Beer as Simon Partridge. It is unknown if Simon Partridge is supposed to have been one of Ludwig's many identities. Laurie is also the first actor in the Blackadder series to have played two different characters in the same show, "Blackadder II" followed by Rowan Atkinson who in Blackadder the Third played butler Edmund Blackadder and his Scottish cousin, MacAdder.
  • Ludwig is regarded as the most serious villain in the Blackadder franchise and also the final villain of the Blackadder II series. He's also presumably the only villain in the series to date who's not only avoided being killed or brought to justice for the crimes he committed but who has also managed to successfully murder the entire main cast.
  • In the final scene of "Chains", Miranda Richardson who played the real Queenie is seen mouthing the words with Hugh Laurie's voice dubbed in as well.
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