Connor MacLeod, the Highlander
Real Name: Connor MacLeod
Identity/Class: Immortal human
Occupation: Antiques dealer
Affiliations: Ramirez; Duncan MacLeod; Sunda Kastagir; Nakano; Rachel Ellenstein
Enemies: Kurgan; Slan Quince; Aman Fasil; Kane; Jacob Kell; Nerissa; Khordas; Khabul Kahn; Senghi Khan; (possibly) Katana
Known Relatives: Heather MacDonald (first wife, deceased); Brenda Wyatt (second wife, deceased); Dugal MacLeod, Angus MacLeod (cousins); Kate MacLeod (clanswoman); Duncan MacLeod ("same clan, different vintage"); John (adopted son of Connor and Brenda); Caiolin (mother)
Aliases: The Highlander, Russell Nash, Adrian Montague, Jacques Lefeburt, Alfred Nicholson, Capt. David Carruthers, Rupert Wellingford
Base of Operations: various over the years, but most frequently 1182 Hudson Street, New York
First Appearance: Highlander (1986)
Powers/Abilities: Connor is an immortal, capable of healing virtually any wound (except those to the throat) in minutes. Even if a wound is instantly fatal, he will come back to life a short while later. The only way to permanently end his life is to decapitate him. This leads to Immortals having massive sword (and axe) fights with one another. Certain rules have evolved over the millennia: the fights must only be between two Immortals - third parties cannot interfere once battle is joined; and no Immortal can fight on Holy Ground. Like other Immortals, he doesn't age.
Connor can also sense the presence of other immortals, although he only gets a vague sense of their proximity, not where or who they are. When he kills other immortals through decapitation, he receives their life essence in the form of a "Quickening", a sort of electrical light show. Centuries of practice have made him an incredibly adept swordsman.
History: (bts) Connor MacLeod was born into the clan MacLeod in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel in the year 1518. It is possible that like many other immortals he was a foundling.
(Highlander, [fb] c.1536) Connor MacLeod rides into combat with his clan against the Frasers. On the battlefield he finds that no one seems willing to fight him, until a large man on horseback (the Kurgan) rides up and runs him through, delivering a fatal wound. The Kurgan attempts to finish him off by decapitating him, only to be driven off by some of Connor's kinsmen.
Connor is returned home among the wounded at the end of the fight, but passes away in the night... only to come back to life shortly thereafter. He is driven from his home by his clan, who fear he is a demon, only escaping being burned at the stake because of the intervention of his friend Angus.
(Highlander, [bts], c.1536) Connor meets and eventually marries Heather MacDonald, the daughter of a blacksmith.
(Highlander, [fb], c.1541) Connor encounters the Immortal Ramirez, who becomes his mentor, teaching him about what it means to be part of the Game, where the Immortals will battle through the ages until the Gathering, a time when the remaining handful will be drawn together to fight for the Prize - because "There can be only One".
(Highlander, [fb], c.1542) While Connor is away on business, the Kurgan returns. He kills Ramirez and rapes Heather, although she never tells Connor of this last.
(Highlander IV: Endgame, [fb], c.1555) Connor hears that his mother is in danger, and returns home to rescue her. He is captured, and the local priest, Father Rainey demands that Caiolin either denies Connor as her flesh and blood, or she will be executed. She refuses, and is burned on a pyre. Connor breaks out of his prison and kills Father Rainey. Jacob Kell, who is the adopted son of Father Rainey, becomes enraged and attacks Connor. Connor kills him and the whole village of Glenfinnan burns.
(Highlander, [fb], c.1590) Heather dies of old age, and Connor buries her before leaving the Highlands.
(Highlander III, [fb], 1590s) Connor remembers his old friend Ramirez's mention of another Immortal who can teach him, and travels to Japan to find the sorcerer Nakano. Finding him, he trains with the wise man for some time, until the marauding Kane and his two Immortal companions arrive. They kill Nakano, but are imprisoned beneath tons of rock when the sorcerer's mountain home collapses under an earthquake. Connor narrowly escapes the same fate.
(Highlander: The Element of Fire, 1611) Connor is rescued from the sea off Cape Horn by the Jugleor, captained by Farrell. Travelling with them, he befriends the first mate Carmichael and learns much of seamanship.
(Highlander IV: Endgame, [fb] 1625) Back in his homeland, Connor senses another Immortal. Coming across a battlefield strewn with corpses, he finds Duncan coming back to life. Duncan is also a MacLeod - "same clan, different vintage". Connor becomes his teacher.
(Highlander: The Element of Fire, 1626) In Aberdeen on business, Connor and Duncan encounter Nerissa, another Immortal. The next day the two highlanders spend the day carousing with Connor's old friend Carmichael, now Captain of his own vessel. But when they see Carmichael off the day after, they witness helplessly as his ship is destroyed by fire, a blaze started by Nerissa and her insane Immortal husband Khordas (who believes himself to be a god). Nerissa shoots Connor in the chest, ensuring the two villains' escape.
(Highlander the Series: The Prodigy, [fb] 1630) While Connor is in Aberdeen on business, Duncan finds himself pursued by Martin Hyde, an Immortal who terrorises and tracks young Immortals back to their teachers. Failing to locate his true prey, Hyde leaves Duncan alive and sets off to find a new target.
(Highlander IV: Endgame, [fb] 1631) Connor takes Duncan on a trip to Ravonna, Italy, to train at the world famous fencing academy.
(Highlander: The Element of Fire, 1632) Back in Scotland, Connor and Duncan hear of a village that has been attacked by Khordas. They travel their and begin tracking him, their pursuit lasting a couple of months, before they finally catch up with both Khordas and Nerissa on Rannoch Moor. Duncan takes Nerissa' head, but Khordas manages to escape.
(bts, c.1634) Connor decides he can teach Duncan no more, and the two part company.
(Highlander IV: Endgame, [fb] 1712) Having briefly reunited, Connor and Duncan encounter bandits preying on travellers in Ireland. Making short work of the criminals, Duncan falls in love with Catherine, a woman they have rescued from the bandits. Against Connor's advice, Duncan eventually marries her.
(Highlander, [fb] 1783) Connor insults a woman while drunk at a party held by his friend and fellow Immortal Sunda Kastagir, and ends up in a duel with her husband, Bassett, on Boston Common.
(Highlander III, [fb] 1789) Connor returns to Europe, and while in France, falls in love with Sarah Barrington. However he receives a call for help from fellow Immortal Pierre Bouchet, who wishes Connor's assistance with the beginnings of the French Revolution. Connor travels to Paris, where he is caught and sentenced to be guillotined. Bouchet, tired of immortal life, knocks him unconscious and takes his place. Sarah believes Connor to be dead.
(Highlander, [bts] 1796) Connor, using the alias Adrian Montague, buys a plot of land in New York, which will become his on and off home for the next several centuries.
(Highlander III, [fb] 1800) Judging enough time to have past, Connor returns to France to see Sarah, only to discover that she is married and has children. He leaves without telling her of his survival.
(Highlander the Series "The Gathering", [bts] 1835) Connor and Duncan are together in London, and an incident occurs involving a red-head.
(Highlander: The Element of Fire, December 1853) Connor, currently captaining the HMS Rosemarie, agrees to give passage to America to Duncan and his newest student, a young woman named Amber Lynn.
(Highlander: The Element of Fire, March 1854) Having picked up a shipment of guns and explosives in China, the Rosemarie is attacked by Khordas and his new Immortal partner Lauren. Khordas takes Amber Lynn's head, and then destroys the Rosemarie. Only Duncan and Connor survive from the ship's company.
(Highlander III, 1861-65) Connor fights in the American Civil War.
(Highlander the Series "The Gathering", 1872) Connor is working as a trapper and runs into Duncan living among the peaceful Lakota tribe. While they are elsewhere the tribe, including Duncan's lover and their adopted child, is murdered by the cavalry, led by the Immortal Kern. Connor helps Duncan see to the disposal of the dead, then the impetuous younger Immortal sets off in pursuit of revenge. Some months later Connor catches up with his protege, who has finally given up the chase, and retreated to Holy Ground to grieve. Understanding his need to be alone, Connor makes his farewells.
(Highlander novelisation, [fb] 1879) Serving in the British Army during the Zulu wars, Connor becomes the only survivor of his unit and is captured. With the help of his old friend Kastagir, who is with the Zulu forces, he escapes with his head.
(Highlander: The Element of Fire, 1897) Connor is again a seaman, this time the gunrunning David Carruthers, captain of the Dido. When Khordas and Lauren reappear in Duncan's life in his new Nantucket home, he calls on Connor and the two finally end their long running feud with Khordas, taking his head (but Lauren escapes)
(Highlander, [fb] 1943) In occupied Holland, Connor is pursued by Nazi soldiers. He comes across Rachel Ellenstein, a young girl whose family has been killed, and saves her from death at the hands of the German occupiers. Smuggling her out of the occupied countries, he adopts her.
(Highlander, 1985) Connor is living in New York as Russell Nash, an antiques dealer based on Hudson Street. While attending a wrestling match at Madison Square Garden, he senses the presence of a fellow Immortal, and sneaks down to the car park, where he meets and kills Iman Fasil. He is caught by the police fleeing the scene, but lacking sufficient evidence, the cops have to release him following questioning. He returns to the Gardens to retrieve his sword from it's hiding place, narrowly avoiding police forensic scientist Brenda Wyatt, who is there looking for evidence. Intrigued, he follows her to a bar, where he briefly talks to her. Her interest piqued in turn, she shadows him when he leaves, and thus becomes witness to a battle between Connor and the Kurgan, who has finally caught up with the Highlander. A police helicopter ends the fight before it can reach a conclusion.
Discovering the next day that the man from the bar is the police's man suspect, she goes to his home, passing herself off as merely a metallurgist with an interest in antique weapons; he deflects her questions, but arranges a dinner date. At the date he plays along for a little while, before revealing to her that he knows who and what she is by presenting her with a copy of her own book, whose dust cover mentions her police affiliation.
While the Kurgan continues to take heads, Connor meets with Kastagir, who has come to New York believing the Gathering has started. They spend the night drinking together in a bar, even going so far as to share a few rounds with the police officer who is clumsily attempting surveillance on MacLeod.
A witness to the Kurgan's next fight (against Kastagir) clears "Russell Nash", but Brenda has meanwhile investigated the house on Hudson Street, and discovered that it has been owned by one person for the last 200 hundred years, using a string of identities taken from children who died in infancy. Meanwhile the Kurgan and Connor have a confrontation in a church, where Connor finally finds out about the rape of his first wife Heather.
Brenda confronts Connor with her findings, and he admits to her the truth of his condition. The two make love, but later during a visit to the zoo Connor tells her that he cannot become involved again. He fails to sense the presence of the Kurgan until too late, and realising Connor's vulnerability in this area, the evil Immortal tracks Brenda back to her apartment and kidnaps her, using her as bait to lure Connor into a trap. They have a final battle, which Connor manages to win in spite of his concern for Brenda.
After the fight Connor gives in to his feelings for Brenda. He takes her to Scotland, and they marry.
(Highlander III, [bts] 1985) They set up an antiques store, and adopt a son, John.
(Highlander III, [bts] 1986) Connor and Brenda attend the annual meeting of Clan MacLeod at Dunvegen Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland
(Highlander III, [bts] 1987) Brenda is killed in a hit and run accident, from which Connor walks away unharmed. Police blame it on tourists driving on the wrong side of the road, but (as is revealed in Highlander IV: Endgame) it is actually the work of Jacob Kell.
(Highlander the Series "The Gathering", 1992) Connor pursues the evil Immortal Slan Quince to Seacouver, where he catches up with his prey in the antiques store run by his old friend Duncan MacLeod, Slan's latest target. Together the two old allies end Slan's life.
(Highlander III, 1994) Excavations in Japan release Kane and his two henchmen from their centuries long imprisonment beneath Nakano's mountain. Kane sends one, Khabul Kahn, to confront Connor, then takes the head of the other, Senghi Khan, having not had a good Quickening in far too long. Connor, currently living in Marrakech with his son John, senses their return, and leaving John with a friend, returns to New York to prepare for a confrontation. He is shot by gang members, and ends up in hospital, where, because he struggles with the doctor's trying to take him to surgery, he ends up locked up in the psycho ward. He breaks out, only to be confronted by Khabul Kahn in the basement of the building, but even without a weapon, he manages to disarm the other Immortal and take his head.
When the police investigate the headless corpse, one of them remembers the case from a decade earlier and confronts "Nash". Meanwhile archaeologist Alexandra Johnson, who had been in charge of the Japan dig which freed the villains, hears of the case too, and linking it with the man found beheaded on her site, travels to New York to investigate herself. Connor has likewise become aware of Alexandra, having seen her on television discussing her discovery, and is shocked by her startling resemblance to Sarah Barrington, the woman he lost during the French Revolution.
Alex links Connor to her site through a piece of tartan discovered in the cave and his visit to the MacLeod reunion back in 1986. Going to his house, she sees him leaving, and follows him to the Japanese Spiritual Center in Queens, where she confronts him. Unfortunately Kane also catches up with Connor there, and they battle until Connor's sword shatters. Unable to finish the fight because they are on Holy Ground, Kane flees, but Alex has seen Connor take what should be a fatal wound. With the police arriving, Connor flees before she can get an explanation out of him, but the next day she visits him, and while in his apartment finally starts to piece the clues together from some of his momentos.
Connor returns to Scotland where he attempts to forge a new blade, but it is only when Alex follows him there and presents him with the right metal, taken from the Nakano site, that he manages to make the weapon he needs for the battle ahead. Meanwhile in New York Kane has discovered about Connor's adopted son, and sets about luring the child to the city, where he can be used as bait against his father. Alerted to this Connor races back to the States, just in time to witness his son's kidnapping. Kane and Connor meet at a time and place of Kane's choosing, but even this isn't sufficient to allow Kane to win the fight. Marrying Alex, Connor returns to family life with his new wife and his son.
(Highlander IV: Endgame, 1994) Connor and Duncan meet up in New York, where Connor becomes witness to the death of his old companion Rachel when a bomb blows up his New York home. Connor senses the presence of another Immortal at the scene of the crime.
(Highlander IV: Endgame, [bts]) The Immortal is Jacob Kell, continuing his centuries long vendetta against Connor. Subsequent to the bomb attack, he finds and kills both Alex and John, leaving Connor in a state of profound shock. Unable to cope with his grief, Connor allows himself to be locked away in Sanctuary, a secret site on Holy Ground maintained by mortal Watchers who do not want any one Immortal to win the Prize. To this end they hide a small number of Immortals drugged into a state of catatonia, so that there will never be only one left alive.
(Highlander IV: Endgame, 2002) Kell locates the Sanctuary, and along with a group of fellow Immortals loyal to him, he breaks in and kills all the Immortals sleeping there, except for Connor, whom he wishes to suffer a little longer. Connor and Duncan reunite, and deciding that he doesn't want to live any longer if he has to keep seeing everyone he cares for die, Connor forces Duncan into a fight, leaving his protege with no other choice than to take his head.
Comments: Thanks to Josh Geren for additional information regarding Connor's relatives. Thanks to Kelvin Green for the clarifier about Black Axe - as he notes, Black Axe "even rescues a little girl during WWII, just like Connor, and ends up having a very similar relationship with her as Connor does with Rachel Ellenstein. How Marvel avoided a lawsuit, I don't know."
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Highlander, the second such Immortal, Duncan MacLeod
Highlander, the third such Immortal, Quentin MacLeod
The Immortal, Raphael Cain, another ageless man who also runs around killing people with a sword
Black Axe, Marvel UK's 1993 blade-swinging immortal who travels the world looking for worthy opponents to battle in single combat.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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