Secondary Character Saturday: Inigo Montoya

"Hello..." Mandy Patinkin brilliantly plays Inigo Montoya in the 1987 film version of The Princess Bride

“Hello…” Mandy Patinkin brilliantly plays Inigo Montoya in the 1987 film version of The Princess Bride [Image courtesy: 20th Century Fox]

WHO: Inigo Montoya (The Spaniard)

FROM: The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride (Photo credit: Rev Dan Catt)

BY: William Goldman (Movie directed by: Rob Reiner)

WRITTEN: 1973 (Movie produced: 1987)

PROS: Inigo is mysterious, dedicated to his friends, has a high sense of honor, is an excellent — ambidextrous — swordsman, and (despite two disfiguring scars on his cheeks) is handsome as all get out.

He has a nice sense of ironic humor — as evidenced in this passage from the book as Inigo, Fezzik, Vizzini and Buttercup are escaping from Florin to Guilder.

“No one could be following us yet?” the Spaniard asked.

“No one,” the Sicilian assured him. “It would be inconceivable.”

“Absolutely inconceivable?”

“Absolutely, totally, and in all other ways, inconceivable,” the Sicilian reassured him. “Why do you ask?”

“No reason,” the Spaniard replied. “It’s only that I just happened to look back and something’s there.”

They all whirled.

Something was indeed there. Less than a mile behind them across the moonlight was another sailing boat, small, painted what looked like black, with a giant sail that billowed black i the night, and a sing man at the tiller. A man in black.

The Spaniard looked at the Sicilian. “It must just be some local fisherman out for a pleasure cruise alone at night through shark infested waters.”

[in the movie Vizzini gets the punch line, but this is the way Goldman wrote it.]

Map of Florin and Guilder.

Map of Florin and Guilder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CONS: His single-minded need for revenge against the six-fingered man (the man who killed his father) has consumed his life. Clearly Inigo is man of great passion and talent, if that passion and talent had been used for something other than revenge just think how much he would have been able to accomplish in life. He’s headstrong and doesn’t think things through.

Inigo awaits the Man in Black at the top of the Cliff

Inigo awaits the Man in Black at the top of the Cliff [Image courtesy: 20th Century Fox]

MOST SHINING MOMENT: It’s hard not to pick the scene where Inigo gets his revenge on the six-fingered man, but I’m going to go with something that happens earlier in the book.

As INCONCEIVABLE as it seems the Man in Black (Wesley) has almost caught up with the Inigo and rest in his boat. Buttercup, Inigo and Vizzini have hitched a ride on the giant, Fizzik, as he climbs a rope up the Cliffs of Insanity, and Wesley follows them up the rope. Once the group of outlaws gets to the top Vizzini orders the rope cut. But Wesley manages to grab onto the cliff before he falls. While Vizzini and Fizzik take Buttercup inland Inigo is left to deal with the Man in Black. He waits (somewhat impatiently) for Wesley to finish the climb and even throws down some rope to assist him. When, at last, Wesley has gained the top of the cliff Inigo could have easily slain the exhausted rescuer. Instead the Spaniard waits for him to recover… before engaging in the MOST AWESOME SWORD FIGHT EVER FILMED.


WHY I CHOSE INIGO: I love that Inigo is flawed but determined. With out his (and Fizzik’s) comic relief the book would have sappy.  His history gives the novel some tender depth. And he is brilliantly played by Mandy Patinkin in the 1987 movie.

 "I see you have studied your Agrippa."

“I see you have studied your Agrippa.” [Image courtesy: 20th Century Fox]

If you’ve never read the Princess Bride I strongly suggest you add it to your “must read” pile. It is just too fun not to read, and like most books, it gives you more for your buck than does the movie. That says a lot considering the movie is fabulous. Click here to get to the Amazon Princess Bride page. (Try and get the book in hard copy it is something you’ll want to have around for your children and grandchildren.)


About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

2 responses to “Secondary Character Saturday: Inigo Montoya

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