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Grigori Rasputin (The King's Man).png

One of the two King's Man proposals let's go.

What's the Work?

The King's Man is a historical action/spy film and a prequel to the previous two entries in the series Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. It's about the formation of the Kingsman agency during the Great War.

Who is He?/What has he Done?

Grigori Rasputin otherwise known as The Tortoise is one of the film's two secondary antagonists. I'm sure you all know of the historical figure as the mystic Russian monk who was a very close advisor and friend to the Romanov family, in this movie well he's kind of that...

Essentially he's living the Romanovs under the false pretence of a holy man with powers from God that allow him to perform miracles, allowing him to have the family in his pocket due to their absolute faith in him. He joins Captain Morton's flock and is granted the codename of Tortoise which he at first is irritated by. He helps Morton in his plans to orchestrate the Great War by manipulating Tsar Nicholas II's judgement for where he should be involved, ultimately taking measures to poison his son and make it appear as though it's a dark omen for them still being part of the war effort. He declares that they have to leave the war for him to live and when the Tsar agrees Rasputin "heals" him before having the Tsar and Alexandra Feodorovna's systems laced with opium so to keep them in his control.

Rasputin later attends a Christmas party hosted by Prince Yusupov, the cousin of Conrad Oxford who the former had warned about Rasputin after spying on him for some time and invited both Conrad and his father Orlando to the party, with all parties being members of the infantile form of the Kingsman agency. Joining Orlando and Conrad are their butler and Orlando's most trusted friend Shola and their nanny Polly. At the party Rasputin meets with them and although at first interested in Conrad instead talks to Orlando and when asked about his abilities offers to demonstrate his healing by fixing Orlando's leg in his private quarters.

The two men make their way to the quarters and Rasputin before performing the miracle devours the cake left on the table which is completely laced with cyanide. Bizarrely enough however he remains unaffected by it save for violently vomiting on the floor. He performs the miracle and when it's done asks Orlando to walk over to him and use the cold water outside to ensure that the healing works before abruptly trying to drown him, demanding to know who he is and revealing that he eats cyanide with his breakfast every morning to develop an immunity.

Before he can kill Orlando Conrad and Shola enter the room and a difficult fight ensues with Shola ultimately being subdued by an extremely high dose of opium, leaving Conrad and a still shocked Orlando to try to finish him alone while he seemingly remains impervious to everything, surviving being stabbed and taking multiple blows, eventually the two seemingly finish him off by drowning him but he STILL comes back until finally being killed by Polly shooting him in the skull.

Heinous Standards

I'll admit at first I didn't think much of Rasputin counting but the more I thought about I think he just barely scrapes by. Considering a few factors like with Morton I'm not going to be comparing him much to the previous movie's minion characters like Gazelle or Charlie Hesketh as it's actually a pretty unfair comparison.

1. Resources- In terms of resources Rasputin is pretty much the same as the other members of The Flock save for Morton obviously with him maybe having a slight edge due to his strength and agility and this is why I think it's not ideal to compare him to villains from the previous two movies much as the time period is so wildly different with the fancy tech and gadgetry being much less advanced in this film given that it takes place 100 years prior to The Secret Service, for this reason I hope you can understand why I don't think it's fair to compare him to an assassin with knives for legs or a cyborg. The one major player from the previous two movies I could probably compare him to is Dean Baker since he's basically just an average guy with no special training or anything so actually has LESS resources than Rasputin yet still manages to stand out as an abusive douchebag and hate sink who treats his wife and stepson like total dirt, however I do think Rasputin does have him beat.

2. Overall Heinousness- Rasputin is one of the more prominent Flock members like Erik van Hanussen, all of whom are partially responsible for the many deaths and atrocities committed during the War with their particular areas of focus (in Rasputin's case this is of course Russia) however he manages to stand out from the other members as being particularly nasty as the rest are either non-action like Hanussen or only have one individual major offence under their belt like Princip. First of all unlike how he was historically he didn't actually like the Romanovs, he controlled them via intoxication through opium and false miracles and prophecies that sometimes even involved nearly killing their children as seen in the movie when he uses their son nearly dying from a poisoned sweet Rasputin left out so that Tsar Nicholas would pull out of the war by claiming that his condition was the fault of Russia's involvement and that God wanted him out of the war, not bothering to cure the boy until the terrified and upset Tsar agreed at which point he faked another miracle for him, showing us that he was cruelly manipulative to the family and essentially had them in his pocket. Following this we get his encounter with The Kingsman themselves who he puts up a very strong and brutal fight against, nearly managing to kill Orlando (in a particularly horrible way as well via drowning in a freezing cold river), Conrad and Shola before finally being stopped through multiple ineffective means such as drowning, stabbing, poisoning, hitting his head (he is Rasputin after all) ending with Polly shooting him in the skull.

Mitigating Factors

Since unlike his real life counterpart his affection and care for the Romanovs was superficial that doesn't really need to be brought up, same goes for his two escorts to the Christmas party, the movie mentions Rasputin's high sex drive which would suggest as with his real life self he liked to sleep around quite a lot. He also doesn't actually care much for Morton's cause and is only submissive through intimidation therefore meaning he's lacking in qualities such as loyalty which other members such as Hanussen displayed.

The only real major thing I can think of here is him fixing Orlando's leg injury, this wasn't exactly something he needed to do to help advance in his or Morton's goals although it's mainly to prove to Orlando that his miracles are real when the latter asked, honestly considering that the movie presented him as faking the miracles up until that point I was surprised that it actually worked, regardless he also did try to kill Orlando in the very same scene since he tasted the cyanide in the cake just prior to healing his leg in the first place.

Rasputin is also a funny character however it's not to the detriment of his actions, they are still played very seriously and he is treated as such in universe.

Verdict

Honestly a weak yes in my opinion. This will probably be a more divisive proposal than with Morton but I think he just barely counts for managing to stick out of a group filled with already heinous individuals due to him using everything he had to his advanteg as well as his involvement just being that extra bit worse than almost everyone else's save for his master.

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