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Edmund Blackadder, Lord Blackadder

Edmund Blackadder, Lord Blackadder (1531-1566) was the main character in the second series of the popular BBC sitcom Blackadder. He was played by Rowan Atkinson.

The second series is set in Elizabethan England, and Edmund is a courtier to Queen Elizabeth I. Most of Edmund's adventures revolve around his need to please "Queenie." Should he fail in this task, the consequences often appear dire, usually execution. His main competition in this field is Lord Melchett. The two hate each other bitterly.

Character History

Lord Blackadder is the first of the family to display the characteristics usually associated with the Blackadders. While his great-grandfather Prince Edmund was cowardly, slimy and sniveling, Lord Blackadder, while still cowardly, veils it behind a mask of pretend bravery (e.g., Lord Blackadder claims he will sail around the deadly Cape of Good Hope, to appear brave to the Queen and to show up Sir Walter 'Ooh What A Big Ship I've Got' Raleigh, when in reality he has no intention of sailing around the Cape, but instead plans to sail to France, get a suntan, and return claiming he has been to the Cape). Lord Blackadder is also demonstrably more intelligent - not only more so than his medieval ancestor but more than most of the people around him, whom he usually regards with withering disdain. He is also generally considered more handsome and more charming than Prince Edmund, better able to seduce women and has earned a greater degree of esteem from others. He is hated by his rivals rather than treated with a mixture of pity and contempt, as Prince Edmund was. Overall, this gives Lord Blackadder a greater degree of personal dignity than his predecessor and makes him a strangely likable anti-hero rather than the sniveling, incompetent, sexually repulsive weakling that was his great-grandfather.

This Blackadder also uses verbal insults more frequently, and with greater success than his ancestor.

As we all know, God made man in his own image, and it would be a sad lookout for Christians around the globe if God looked anything like you, Baldrick

Lord Blackadder is apparently the great-grandson of the original 'Black Adder', Prince Edmund. As Prince Edmund's wife, Princess Leia of Hungary, was only 14 when he died, and as a legitimate child would have inherited the throne, it is likely that Edmund had an affair with a woman, telling her he was 'The Black Adder'. This seems particularly likely, as illegitimate children of British royalty were often given lordships and the like. Edmund lives in a reasonably-sized and well-kept house in the Billingsgate area of London.

Though Blackadder claims to have amassed a great fortune, he later reveals that this was little more than a cunning web of deceit subtly spun about the court to improve his standing, as he claims to be 'one of England's finest liars'. In fact, his father had blown the family fortune on wine, women and amateur dramatics and by the end of his life he was eking out a living doing humorous impressions of Anne of Cleves.

As well as inheriting his name, Blackadder also appears to have inherited his ancestor's cohorts. Edmund is accompanied by the increasingly stupid Baldrick and Lord Percy, who is as much of a simpleton as his ancestor.

Baldrick is Blackadder's bondsman and has been in his service since he was two and a half (Blackadder points out that this is probably why he is so sick of the sight of Baldrick). Percy is a halfwit 'friend' of Blackadder who Edmund doesn't seem to be able to shake off. Blackadder hints that he keeps Percy around because he likes "to start the day with a complete dick-head to remind [him he's] best".

Blackadder almost married his 'manservant' Kate, but the wedding was halted when Kate ran off with the best man, Lord Flashheart. He was head executioner for the Queen, a job that almost lost him his life when he executed a man two days early and then found his family had succeeded in having him pardoned. He was almost killed by the baby eating bishop of Bath and Wells when he failed to repay the black monks of St. Herod (banking with a smile and a stab). He foolishly tried to talk a 'whopping great inheritance' out of his fanatical puritan aunt and uncle, Lord and Lady Whiteadder, whilst at the same time, holding a wild drinking party in Baldrick's bedroom. The party almost ended in tragedy when Queenie (who had been locked away when Blackadder mistook her for Percy's girlfriend, Gwendolyn) threatened to have the whole party executed when Blackadder accused her of being Merlin, the Happy Pig. Fortunately, she got drunk and forgot.

Lord Blackadder was kidnapped, along with Melchett, by the German Prince Ludwig the Indestructible, and was subjected to torture and charades by Ludwig's Spanish interrogator. He escaped and foiled Ludwig's plan to gain control of the English throne. After Blackadder had apparently killed the Prince, Ludwig returned (disguised as the Queen) and murdered Blackadder, as well as the rest of the cast. However, it is possible that his time-travelling descendant Edmund III went back in time to fix it so that he actually survived, became Queen Elizabeth's consort and had children by her, founding a Blackadder dynasty that was still reigning in 1999.

Like his great-grandfather before him, Edmund left a secret bloodline which led to the next Blackadder to have his adventures chronicled.

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