Kathryn Merteuil

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Kathryn Merteuil
Cruel Intentions character
First appearance Cruel Intentions
Last appearance Cruel Intentions 2
Created by Character
Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Developed for Film
Roger Kumble
Portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar; Amy Adams
Gender Female
Occupation High school student
(at Manchester Prep; departed)
Family Unnamed father
(father; status unknown)
Tiffany Merteuil
Edward Valmont
Sebastian Valmont
(maternal stepbrother; deceased)
Significant other(s) Sebastian Valmont
(stepbrother / attraction)
Court Reynolds
Relatives Cassidy Merteuil
Residence Upper East Side
Manhattan, New York

Kathryn Merteuil is a fictional character who appears in Cruel Intentions and Cruel Intentions 2, portrayed by actresses Sarah Michelle Gellar and Amy Adams, respectively.[1] Based on the Marquise de Merteuil in Pierre Choderlos de Laclos's Les Liaisons dangereuses, Kathryn serves as the primary antagonist of the series.


Cruel Intentions[edit]

Kathryn is portrayed as a manipulative mastermind, who is also an alcoholic, a cocaine addict, and a sufferer of bulimia nervosa. She prides herself on destroying the lives of others whilst controlling them to suit her own ends. Kathryn is part of the wealthy modern-day society of the Upper East Side of New York. She portrays herself differently while at school and in the public eye: a popular, well-adjusted young woman, a devout Christian, and Student Body President at the exclusive Manchester Prep. She is able to deceive most of those around her with this facade of moral integrity, coming across as a model student. However, Sebastian is the only one who sees past Kathryn's deception and knows she is in fact a cold-hearted, sociopathic troublemaker. Throughout the film, Kathryn is shown to be almost completely narcissistic, and emotionally unstable, with a cocaine vial hidden in her Christian cross. However, at the end of the film, her true colors are exposed to the public with the help of both Cecile and Annette in publishing Sebastian's journal. Kathryn loses her position as a model student when the headmaster at the school discovers the cocaine in her cross and presumably expels her. Occasionally, she shows signs of possessiveness towards Sebastian and the two of them are in love with each other,[2] though they share a complex relationship; as Kathryn puts it that they're "two of a kind".[2] She is hurt and angry when he falls for Annette, and cries when she sees in his journal what he thinks of her: citing every single one of her horrible character defects and yet still claiming she's "My Love".

Cruel Intentions 2[edit]

A prequel to the original film shows a younger Kathryn. She also has a deceptive appearance, and is president of the banned Manchester Tribunal behind closed doors. She once again uses her powers of manipulation to control the situation, and it is revealed it is she who manipulated Sebastian into the cruel incarnation seen in the first film. This film focuses on when Sebastian and Kathryn's characters first meet, and their pleasure from plotting to destroy and seduce each other. She is still as devious, even threatening the vice-principal to do whatever she wants, otherwise she will go to the School Board and tell them he seduced her last summer when actually it is she who seduced him. In this film, Kathryn doesn't appear to have a cocaine addiction.

Cruel Intentions 3[edit]

It is revealed in this film that she forced her cousin, Cassidy Merteuil, to move to California to avoid her reputation, and it is also revealed she is in a methadone clinic. It is later mentioned in the same movie that Cassidy comes from a long line of black widows (a reference to Kathryn and her just as devious mother).