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Manners maketh man...
~ Morton prior to fighting Orlando, giving birth to the most famous quote from the entire series.
F**k this gentlemen shite!
~ Morton lobbing a grenade at Orlando.

Captain Maximilian Morton, better known as The Shepherd, is the overarching antagonist of the Kingsman film series, serving as the main antagonist of the 2021 historical action/spy film The King's Man.

He is the leader of the evil secret society The Flock who plots to orchestrate The Great War in order to eradicate England from the map. Initially disguised as a hapless English military captain, he is later revealed to be a vengeful Scotsman wishing for retribution against England for their crimes against his country.

He was portrayed by Matthew Goode, who also played Ozymandias in the film adaptation of Watchmen, Charlie Stoker in Stoker and Dr. Francis Jensen in Self/less.

Biography

Early Life

Morton grew up in Scotland and began developing an extreme hatred for the English when a group of nobleman came to his hometown and closed down his family's mill thus putting them out of business. Allowing this hatred to burn in him for years he eventually joined the military and disguised himself as an Englishman, eventually gaining the trust of senior officer Herbert Kitchener and the rank of captain. All the while he hatched a plan to orchestrate a war across Europe and to do so began recruiting members for his evil secret society known as The Flock, of which he would act as the Shepherd and leader.

In 1902 he encountered the Oxford family as part of their duties to the British Red Cross Society visited a concentration camp during the Boer War ran by Kitchener in which Morton was stationed where he narrowly escaped death along with the others at the camp when the Boers attacked. Unfortunately however in the chaos that unfolded Emily Oxford was killed while her husband Orlando was injured in his leg, as a promise to his wife Orlando ensured he would protect Conrad from all harm and ever since was adamant that his son live a sheltered life and steer far away from the military.

The King's Man

In 1914 the finalized version of the Flock is complete and Morton gifts all of his associates rings depicting an animal he chose for them in aid of their cause that also contains a secret compartment housing a cyanide pill should they fail him in their tasks. His first order of business is to have Gavrilo Princip assassinate the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, something he manages to eventually succeed in despite the interference of Orlando and Conrad. This event leads Orlando to introduce Conrad to the most infantile form of The Kingsman, a secret intelligence service led by Orlando and two of his employees: his trusted assistant and comrade Shola and his nanny Polly, a codebreaker and expert marksman.

With the Archduke's death the events leading to the Great War's beginning are now put into motion. Grigori Rasputin is ordered to manipulate Tsar Nicholas of Russia into not coming to Britain's defence using false miracles and opium, whilst Erik Jan Hanussen works as adviser to Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II and plays on his dislike of his cousins to make sure he stays in the war. Hanussen also convinces Wilhelm to sent the Zimmerman Telegram asking Mexico to ally with Germany and invade the USA in order to keep them out of the war. The telegram is intercepted, but President Woodrow Wilson refuses to act as he does not believe the telegram is real. When Kitchener attempts to travel to Russia and stop Rasputin, Morton commandeers a German submarine and kills him by torpedoing his ship, faking his own death in the process.

Rasputin ultimately is killed after being shot in the head by Polly following a lengthy and brutal fight against Orlando, Conrad and Shola which had him poisoned, hit on the head repeatedly, stabbed and drowned before finally being killed. The news infuriates Morton, who in his rage slices off his most prized goat's horn and beats it. When he finally calms down he sends out Vladimir Lenin in his place to succeed where Rasputin failed. Ultimately Lenin succeeds in overthrowing the Romanovs before having them executed.

Following this, Conrad, impersonating Lance Corporal Archie Reid of the Black Watch, retrieves a copy of the Zimmerman Telegram from No Man's Land before being killed by friendly fire, proving it really exists. Morton, angry at this news, kills the man he was fencing with before telling Hanussen and Mata Hari to move onto the next phase of their plan, which involves having Mata Hari blackmail President Wilson by seducing him on film then threatening to distribute it should he join the war. This information is discovered by Orlando, Shola and Polly when they visit the US Ambassador and Orlando defeats Hari. As such the team make plans to destroy the evidence by tracking down the source from Hari's cashmere scarf and her ring (items also held by Princip and Rasputin) to the Shepherd's mountain which they plan to storm.

The group arrive and after some difficulty Orlando manages to make his way in while Polly makes work of the guards blocking the elevator entrance, thus allowing Shola to assist Orlando in his mission. When the two enter the base they are fired upon by The Shepherd and a gunfight ensues until both parties are out of bullets, at which point the Shepherd reveals his true identity and begins engaging Orlando in a swordfight before trying to shoot him with a concealed bullet. Shola takes the bullet and is incapacitated for the time being while the other two continue their battle, with Morton growing more and more frustrated by the ridiculous lengths that he has to go to kill Orlando, especially after throwing a grenade at him.

At this stage in the fight both men are heavily injured but Morton still has the upper hand. He leads Orlando by the throat to the edge of the mountain and begins taunting him before the goat he abused earlier returns and stabs him in the thigh, causing him to jolt back in pain and allowing Orlando to shove him over the edge. Held by his scarf over the edge of the mountain, Morton remains unfazed, taunting Orlando over how killing him would go against everything he stands for. In response Orlando actually agrees with him but adds that in killing him and ending the war he would become the man his son was set to grow up into. He then slashes through Morton's scarf with his Victoria Cross, dropping him to his death. The film showing Wilson's seduction is recovered and destroyed, allowing America to enter the war and crush Germany.

In spite of Morton's death however his legacy lives on as Hanunssen becomes the new leader of The Flock and with help from Vladimir Lenin begins building up its membership once more, starting with him recruiting a young man named Adolf Hitler to aid them in next stage of the group's plan.

Personality

Morton was a short fused, cruel, ruthless, and sadistic individual who held a fierce hatred for the English and was willing to whatever he deemed necessary to wipe them out. He was dedicated and passionate to his cause and demanded extreme loyalty from his flock and would regularly berate and snap at them for failing tasks although chose them all out of their ability to carry out the duties necessary to have his plan succeed.

Morton appeared to enjoy keeping goats as company and flat out says to his team that he prefers animals to humans as they always listen to him hence why he even choice the flock theme to begin with, in spite of this however he greatly mistreats his animals often abusing and killing them as a means of taking his anger out, something which ultimately cause his downfall.

Morton was also highly intelligent and devious to the point of managing to trick the entire military into believing he was on their side and successfully disguised himself as a rather sheepish and neurotic Englishman with relative ease, being able to slip back into his true personality at the drop of a hat.

Appearance

At first Morton appears as a tall, slender, fair skinned man with a full head of black curly hair neatly parted to one side and a matching moustache who is seen wearing his different military uniforms depending on the situation. Later however it's revealed that this side of Morton is simply a disguise with his hair actually being a wig to conceal a shaved head and his main clothing of choice consisting of a white shirt with a dark vest & tie as well as the red cashmere scarf standard for The Flock as well as his ring depicting his status as The Shepherd. He also wears green & blue tartan trousers, black boots and brown leather fencing gloves as his true self.

Trivia

  • The Shepherd's identity was hidden for most of the movie by having his face obscured to the audience in various ways until the climax, mostly consisting of him simply facing away from the camera and only the back of his head being seen, thus disguising the fact that he was indeed Captain Morton.
  • When disguised as the captain Morton, his left hand is always obscured or off camera so to hide the Flock ring on his finger.
  • Morton's first name is only given in promotional materials and is never said in the film.

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See Also
24 Villains | Alien vs Predator Villains | Alvin and the Chipmunks Villains | Amblin Entertainment Villains | American Dad! Villains | American Horror Story Villains | Archer Villains | Blue Sky Villains | Buena Vista International Villains | Buffyverse Vilains | Casper the Friendly Ghost Villains | Daredevil Villains | Deadpool Villains | Die Hard Villains | Disney Villains | DreamWorks Villains | Dr. Seuss Villains | Elektra Villains | Family Guy Villains | Fantastic Four Villains | Futurama Villains | Garfield Villains | Home Alone Villains | Ice Age Villains | Jack London Villains | Kingsman Villains | Lucasfilm Villains | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Villains | Narnia Villains | New Mutants Villains | Night at the Museum Villains | Planet of the Apes Villains | Rick Riordan Villains | Rio Villains | Searchlight Pictures Villains | Silver Surfer Villains | Star Wars Villains | Syfy Villains | Taken Villains | Terminator Villains | The Cleveland Show Villains | The Simpsons Villains | Tim Burton Villains | Wolverine Villains | X-Files Villains | X-Men Movie Villains | X-Men Villains

            KingsmanTitle.png Villains

Valentine Corporation
Richmond Valentine | Gazelle | Charlie Hesketh | Chester King | Morten Lindström

South Glade Mission Church
Church Leader

Golden Circle
Poppy Adams | Charlie Hesketh | Bennie and Jet | Beauty-Bot | Clara Von Gluckfberg | Angel | Charles

The Flock
Captain Morton | Grigori Rasputin | Erik Jan Hanussen | Mata Hari | Gavrilo Princip | Vladimir Lenin | Adolf Hitler | Alfred Dupont

Others
James Arnold | Gazelle | Dean Baker | Rottweiler | Poodle | United States President | Agent Whiskey | Redneck Bar Patrons | Kaiser Wilhelm II

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