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|“||No one said the job's supposed to be easy.||„|
|~ Ruth's response to people asking why he brings his bounties in alive.|
John Ruth, also known as The Hangman, is one of the main protagonists of the 2015 thriller film The Hateful Eight. He is a ruthless bounty hunter who has a strict code of bringing his victims in alive so that they may hang.
John Ruth made his name as a bounty hunter, bringing in criminals from all around for money. However, he was notorious for his preference to bring them back alive, preferring to watch them hang. When people question him as to why he does not just shoot his victims dead, he always claims that it is because the job is not supposed to be easy, and that he wants the hangman to make a living as well. This reputation earned him the nickname "The Hangman".
Before the events of the film, Ruth captured Daisy Domergue, a known gang member wanted for murder, and rented a carriage to take him to Red Rock, Wyoming so that she would hang. Along the way, he also killed three other people and took them to claim their bounties as well.
While traveling through Wyoming, Ruth's carriage was flagged down by Major Marquis Warren, asking for a ride. Ruth held him at gunpoint, fearing foul play, until he recognized him and allowed him onto the carriage. When Domergue mocked him and Warren, Ruth retaliated by elbowing her in the nose.
On the way to Red Rock, Ruth asked to see a letter Warren had allegedly received from President Abraham Lincoln, and was warmed at the writing. When Domergue spat on the letter, Warren punched her so hard that she (still handcuffed to Ruth), fell out of the carriage. As the group get their affairs in order, they are flagged down by Chris Mannix. Suspicious of there being two people flagging down his carriage, Ruth requests that Warren put on handcuffs until he can sort things out, to which Warren reluctantly agrees.
After learning of who Mannix is and that he is on his way to be promoted to the sheriff of Red Rock, Ruth lets Warren take off his handcuffs. He lets Mannix join them, but only if he wears the cuffs, to which Mannix agrees.
During the trip, Mannix brings up Warren's history, informing Ruth of Warren's escape from Wellenbeck and how he murdered his allies because they were white. Still suspicious of Mannix, Ruth makes a deal with Warren to form an alliance and keep their bounties safe.
The group seeks refuge from a blizzard at Minnie's Haberdashery, a stagecoach lodge. Ruth interrogates the other visitors, Oswaldo Mobray, Joe Gage, and Sanford Smithers. He makes fresh coffee, but as his suspicions start to rise, he decides to announce that he is claiming Domergue's bounty, and requests the guns from everyone, even forcing Gage to hand his over. He then forces his carriage driver, O.B., to endure the bitter cold and dump the guns down the outhouse.
Later, as the group eats dinner, Mannix deduces that Warren's letter is a forgery to earn him leeway with white people, and Warren admits it, making Ruth angry at him. Warren then confronts Smithers about how he killed black people during the war, and mocks him. He then presents Smithers with a gun, and provokes him by graphically detailing how he tortured, raped, and murdered his son. Enraged, Smithers goes for the gun, and Warren shoots him dead. However, when everyone's attention was on Warren's wicked story, someone poisoned the coffee, with only Domergue seeing who did it.
Ruth and O.B. drink the coffee, and begin to vomit blood. As O.B. dies, Ruth desperately starts beating Domergue until she manages to steal one of his guns and shoot him dead.
Later, when Daisy tries to escape, she is forced to hack Ruth's arm off to free herself. It turned out that the members of her gang, the Domergue Gang, planned to free her and kill Ruth, but Warren and Mannix's arrival complicated things. In the end, Warren and Mannix kill the gang members before dying themselves.