Edmund Blackadder, Lord Blackadder
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Edmund, Lord Blackadder|
|Last appearance||Blackadder's Christmas Carol|
|Portrayed by||Rowan Atkinson|
former Lord High Executioner and Minister for Religious Genocide
|Relatives||Richard IV (great-great-grandfather)
E. Blackadder (descendant)
Ebenezer Blackadder (descendant)
Edmund Blackadder (descendant)
Edmund III (descendant)
See here for more
Edmund Blackadder, Lord Blackadder is the main character in the second series of the popular BBC sitcom Blackadder. He is played by Rowan Atkinson. The second series is set in Elizabethan England, and Edmund is a courtier to Queen Elizabeth I. Most of Edmund's adventures revolve around his need to please "Queenie." Should he fail in this task, the consequences often appear dire, usually execution. His main competition in this field is the Queen's toadyish Lord Melchett. The two hate each other bitterly.
In this series, the Blackadder character has been lowered from a Royal Prince and the Duke of Edinburgh to a Nobleman and adviser to a queen who threatens to execute him day after day. Lord Blackadder is in many ways a step up from his forebears, however. While his great-grandfather Prince Edmund was cowardly and slow-witted, Lord Blackadder, while still cowardly, is demonstrably more intelligent, more so in fact than most of the people around him, whom he usually regards with withering disdain.
This Blackadder has a scathing wit, which he uses with greater success than his ancestor.
|“||As we all know, God made man in his own image, and it would be a sad lookout for Christians around the globe if God looked anything like you||”|
As well as inheriting his name, Blackadder also appears to have inherited his ancestor's cohorts. Edmund is accompanied by the increasingly stupid, "bottom-breathed" Baldrick and "bird-brained" Lord Percy, who is as much of a simpleton as his ancestor. Baldrick is Blackadder's bondsman and has been in service since he was two and a half, while Percy is a half-witted friend Blackadder cannot seem to dismiss. Blackadder states that he keeps Percy around because he "likes to start the day with a total dick-head to remind myself I'm best". Apparently, if he tastes just one drop of alcohol he becomes drunker than a Viking hero in Valhalla. According to Queenie, the last time he had a wild party, she found him face-down in a puddle singing a song about goblins. Another time he was drunk was when the King of Austria visited and Blackadder was found wandering naked in the streets of Hampton Court, singing 'Merlin the Happy Pig'.
Blackadder is a courtier and favourite of Queen Elizabeth I (Miranda Richardson), here characterized as childish, spoiled and given to executing people for the slightest offense, or for no reason at all. Blackadder comes close to suffering that fate several times throughout the series, he always pulls through at the last minute, usually through dumb luck. His fellow courtier, Lord Melchett (Stephen Fry), is his personal nemesis, and the two constantly attempt to undermine and humiliate each other, with varying degrees of success.
Though Blackadder claims to have amassed a great fortune, he later reveals that this was little more than "a cunning web of deceit subtly spun about the court", as he claims to be "one of England's finest liars". In fact, his father had blown the family fortune on wine, women and amateur dramatics and by the end of his life he was eking out a living doing humorous impressions of Anne of Cleves.
In the series' first episode, "Bells", Blackadder almost marries his manservant Kate, but the wedding is called off when Kate runs off with the best man, Lord Flashheart. In "Head", he is head executioner for the Queen, a job that almost gets him killed when he executes a man two days early to get half the week off and then finds that the man's family had succeeded in having him pardoned. In "Potato", he goes to sea, pretending to sail to the Cape of Good Hope but in fact planning to go to France; due to the captain's ineptitude, however, he ends up getting stuck in Australia.
In "Money", he is almost killed by the baby-eating bishop of Bath and Wells (Ronald Lacey) when he fails to repay the black monks of St. Herod. In "Beer", he foolishly tries to talk a "whopping great inheritance" out of his fanatical puritan aunt and uncle, Lord and Lady Whiteadder, while at the same time holding a wild drinking party in Baldrick's bedroom. The party almost ends in tragedy when Queenie (who had been locked away when Blackadder mistook her for Percy's girlfriend) threatens to have the whole party executed when Blackadder drunkenly accuses her of being Merlin, the Happy Pig. Fortunately, she gets drunk and forgets.
In the series' final episode, "Chains", Lord Blackadder is kidnapped, along with Melchett, by the nefarious German Prince Ludwig the Indestructible (Hugh Laurie), and is subjected to torture and charades by Ludwig's Spanish interrogator. He escapes, however, and foils Ludwig's plan to gain control of the English throne, much to the pleasure of the Queen. Unfortunately, Ludwig escapes and murders every main character of the series, disguising himself as Queen Elizabeth as seen after the credits. Like his great-grandfather before him, Edmund leaves behind a secret bloodline which leads to the next Blackadder to have his adventures chronicled.