|“||Same cocky little sh-t. So fearless; I wonder what you're really afraid of… not bullets, or blood, or broken bones. No, you get off on all this, don't you? Cheating death - or not. Mr. Sullivan, I won't harm your precious boy. I merely want what's mine.||„|
|~ Katherine Marlowe meeting Drake again.|
|“||Nathan! Drake. Are you worthy of the name? Earn this - as Francis earned it from Elizabeth. Prove your greatness.||„|
|~ Marlowe to Drake, moments before her death.|
Katherine Marlowe is the main antagonist of the 2011 video game Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. She is the sinister, manipulative and coldly calculating leader of a secret Hermetic order formed 400 years ago by Queen Elizabeth with the mission to find the lost city of Iram in order to harness the power of the Djinn against their enemies.
She was portrayed by Rosalind Ayres.
Not much is known about Marlowe's past, but she became a member of the Hermetic Order, a secret society established by Queen Elizabeth I to control Britain's enemies through deception and fear. She learned of Iram of Pillars, where King Solomon used the Djinn against his enemies, but learned that the water was contaminated and gave people hallucinations. Marlowe later became the leader of the order, and followed the trails of Sir Francis Drake and T.E. Lawrence. Before the events in Cartegnea, she became associated with Victor Sullivan, and it's subtly implied that the two were in a relationship.
In Cartegena, Marlowe commissioned Sully to steal Sir Francis Drake's ring, along with the cipher disk at a museum. However, a young Nathan Drake steals Sully's newly-made key and steals the ring and the cipher. Realizing this, Marlowe, Sully and her agents go to Nate at the museum to confront him. When he denies having the ring, Marlowe slaps him, and states that a street beggar has no right to touch valuable objects. Nate decides to escape, and manages to do so by the help of Sully, who decided to leave Marlowe to protect him.
During the twenty years before the events of Drake's Deception, she presumably recruited Talbot into the order, and the two had a close partnership. It's possible that Marlowe's is Talbot's mentor, in a similar dynamic of Sully and Drake's due to his loyalty towards her. Marlowe was also set back on losing Sir Francis Drake's ring, but had the cipher disk, leaving both sides in a stalemate.
Marlowe first appears after Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan defeat her men in a bar room brawl in London, but are cornered outside. After ugly banter between the three, she forcibly takes what she thinks is Sir Francis Drake's ring, though it turns out later to be a fake. As she goes to leave, Drake and Sully try to follow, but are shot and seemingly killed by Charlie Cutter, who is left behind as punishment.
Back in the present, Drake, Sully, Chloe Frazer, and Cutter, who is actually an old friend of Sully's, and acting as a double agent, follow Marlowe's trail to her underground lair, where they retrieve the cipher disk, learn that she's looking for Iram of the Pillars (also known as Ubar), a quest previously undertaken by Sir Francis and T.E. Lawrence, and use the disk to search for clues to its location.
They find two separate locations: a chateau in France and a citadel in Syria. Nate and Sully investigate the chateau before joining Chloe and Cutter in Syria, where they learn of Marlowe's background. Marlowe's men ambush them inside the citadel, with Marlowe condemning Cutter for betraying her (although he doubts she ever trusted him to begin with). She tries to burn him alive, but he escapes at the cost of breaking his leg. Chloe stays behind to take care of him, leaving Nate and Sully to continue on to their next destination, Yemen.
In Yemen, Nate and Sully, reunited with Nate's estranged wife, Elena Fisher, discover more clues to the location of Ubar. However, Nate is shot with a hallucinogenic dart by Talbot and then taken to Marlowe. Marlowe threatens Nate as to Ubar's whereabouts, but Nate escapes and chases Talbot as he gets word of Sully's location. Rameses, another one of Marlowe's associates, and his gang of pirates capture Nate, and while Nate escapes from them, Marlowe and her men capture Sully and force him to lead them to Ubar.
With Elena's help, Nate follows them by stowing away on a cargo plane, but is discovered by Marlowe's men and the resulting shootout leads to the plane crashing. Stranded in the middle of the Rub 'al Khali desert, Nate spends several days wandering around hopelessly, taunted at one point by Marlowe's voice. A group of Arab nomads eventually rescues Nate, who learns from the leader, Salim, that Ubar was doomed millennia ago when King Solomon cast a brass vessel containing evil Djinn spirits into the depths of the city. Nate and the Arabs ambush Marlowe's convoy the next morning and rescue Sully. Despite this, Marlowe and her remaining men (including Talbot) reach Ubar before Nate and Sully do.
Ubar and Death
In Ubar, Nate, after drinking from a fountain, hallucinates a vision of Talbot killing Sully and him massacring Marlowe's men, who seem to be possessed by the Djinn, in retaliation. Upon regaining his senses, Nate learns that the waters in Ubar are tainted with a powerful hallucinogenic agent, the result of King Solomon's disposal of the brass vessel and the Djinn. Nate and Sully recall Cutter saying that Marlowe's order seeks to gain power by exploiting their enemies through fear, and Nate realizes she can do this with the evil spirits imprisoned in the vessel.
Now more determined than ever to stop Marlowe, Nate and Sully venture further into the city and find her overseeing the retrieval of the vessel from the waters via winch. When they are caught by Talbot, who knocks out Sully, Nate dives into the water and destroys the winch with a flare gun; with two more shots, he also accidentally blows up the central cistern of Ubar, causing the city to start collapsing into a giant sinkhole. Marlowe and Talbot cross paths with Nate and Sully as both sides race to escape the crumbling city, but before anything else can happen, the floor gives way, dropping Nate, Marlowe, and Talbot into a quicksand pit in the room below. While Nate and Talbot are able to reach stable ground, Marlowe, who landed in the middle of the pit, is trapped and sinking fast.
Marlowe calls out to Nate, holds out Sir Francis' ring, urging him to help her and earn the ring as his ancestor did and "prove his greatness"; Nate replies that he has nothing to prove. Despite this, he throws her his belt and tries to pull her to safety, but Marlowe is unable to hold on. Realizing she is doomed, Marlowe resigns herself to her fate as she sinks out of sight, never to be seen again. Talbot, devastated, tries to kill Nate and Sully afterward, only to join his mistress in death. Salim then rescues Nate and Sully as the Ubar is finally engulfed by the desert sands.
- She is the only main antagonist in the franchise who is both female and physically fought the protagonist.
- In early versions of the game, Marlowe was significantly older looking.
- Many have noticed that she bears some resemblance to famous actress Helen Mirren.
- She is possibly named after the 16th century poet Christopher Marlowe, who was allegedly Queen Elizabeth's spy.
- Drake jokes that Marlowe may melt in the rain without her umbrella like a witch, and her death by sinking in quicksand is somewhat reminiscent of a person melting.