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The man who controls this, controls the world.
~ Valentine's most famous line.
Sorry you had to hear that.
~ Valentine kicking Tom down the garbage hole.

Thaddeus Valentine is the main antagonist in the 2001 novel Mortal Engines and its 2018 film adaption of the same name. He is the Head of the Guild of Historians, Katherine Valentine, Tom Natsworthy's former mentor and father like figure and Hester Shaw's arch-nemesis. An obsessed leader and attempting to rule everything all over, Thaddeus attempts to find a very important book so he can rule London and all of the world but not before trying to kill Hester who takes it upon herself to kill Valentine.

He was portrayed by Hugo Weaving, who also played Agent Smith in The Matrix, Noah in Happy Feet, Megatron in the Transformers series, Red Skull in The Avengers series and Bill Smoke and Old Georgie in Cloud Atlas.

Biography

In the past, Thaddeus is a lover of an archaeologist who loves to travel across the world, Pandora, and is also the father of the main protagonist of the film known as Hester Shaw. Initially portrayed as a caring family man, he reveals his true nature once Pandora found an ancient technology that was found in a Dead Continent of America which resulted in him murdering her, and when Hester saw Thaddeus's atrocities, he ended up scarring her face which resulted in Hester quickly escaping from harm's way, and brought a necklace her mother gave her.

In the first parts of the film, he was introduced at first observing the mobile city of London devouring a small mining town known as Salzhaken. Once said city is devoured, Thaddeus seemingly welcoming the citizens of Salzhaken and promises that they will be given a good hospitality. Not only that, he also seemingly has a cordial relationship with the apprentice of Guild of Historians, Tom Nasworthy, and his daughter, Katherine Valentine.

However, one of the Salzhaken citizens, the aforementioned Hester Shaw, has the intent to murder Thaddeus, but once she tries stabbing him in the chest (which injures him, but he survives), Tom catches her, and she runs away from the scene and escaped using the chute. Before she escapes, she told Tom that Valentine murdered her mother and scarred her face. Confused, Tom gives the information to Valentine, and while initially Valentine accepts the information, he proceeds to push Tom down the chute.

Later, in the final battle, Thaddeus Valentine destroyed the ATL airfleet. He was then challenged by Anna Fang. They fought fiercely in one-on-one combat. When the M.E.D.U.S.A. Machine was shut down, he was shocked. Then, Thaddeus Valentine killed Anna Fang with his knife, thus throwing her dead.

Back in London, Thaddeus Valentine was finally confronted by Hester Shaw, who was now prepared to avenge her mother's death in the final battle. He and Hester Shaw then engage in combat, and he is ultimately defeated by her. His flying ship was then shot down by Tom after rescuing her, which is ultimately crushed by London's slowing tracks when it crashes in front of it. After his death, Thaddeus Valentine's reign of terror comes to an end.

Personality

Initially, Thaddeus is portrayed as a charismatic, polite and jovial man in the first part of the film to the point that he promises the citizens from the small town that got devoured by London itself a good live in London. He also seemingly has a good relationship with other people such as his daughter, Katherine, and the apprentice of the Guild of Historians, Tom. He also claims that what he did in the movie was for the sake of London's benefit. However, this was all just a ruse.

In reality, Thaddeus is a man who has a huge obsession with the power that he was given, and anyone who defies him will be either left behind or Thaddeus just simply got rid of them by his hands. One example is Tom, who he had no hesitation pushing him down the chute once Tom tells him the information about Hester's dead mother, despite supposedly having a cordial relationship with him in the first part of the movie. Another examples is Katherine, as he shows no hesitation in abandoning her as he rams London through the Shield Wall once he got called out by his daughter despite their seemingly developed relationship.

Thaddeus is also a type of person who tries his best to get whatever he wants by using dirty tactics to do so such as murder and destroying anything in his path. One example of his unfettered nature is that when his wife, Pandora Shaw, got one of the piece of an old technology, he callously murders her and when Pandora's child, Hester, saw the atrocities that his father committed, he scars her face which resulted in her becoming an assassin that tries to seek vengeance. Another example of his unfettered nature is his willingness to ram London into the "Shield Wall", which would cause more innocent deaths once his plans to fire MEDUSA failed miserably thanks to Hester's quick thinking, and more importantly, directly contradicted his claims that what he was doing was for London's survival.

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