Real Name: Baron Porthos du Valon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: King's Musketeer
Affiliations: Mousqueton (his manservant), Madame Coquenard (his mistress), the Musketeers
Enemies: Lady de Winter, Cardinal Richelieu,Comte de Rochefort
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: France, c. 1610s to 1661
First Appearance: Les Trois Mousquetaires (1844)
Powers/Abilities: Extremely strong (though not superhuman). Highly adept swordfighter.
History: Porthos was a member of the King's Musketeers. Alongside his friends Aramis and Athos, he was one of the most capable and trusted of that august company. Of the three, he was perhaps the most colourful, a loud, brash and self-important hedonist who loved life. He was extremely vain, and enjoyed outfitting himself handsomely; but for all that, he was a valiant fighter and a courageous friend.
(Les Trois Mousquetaires) Porthos and his friends made the acquaintance of D'Artagnan, a youth with the skill and desire to join a Musketeer. Together they worked secretly for the Queen to counter the plots of the ambitious Cardinal Richelieu and his allies, who sought to start a war between England and France by exposing the Queen's indiscretions with an English nobleman. During a voyage to England, he was hurt and forced to stop in Chantilly while he healed and his companions travelled on. He survived well there, thanks to little thefts performed by his valet, Mousqueton, and was reunited with his friends on their return journey.Though he made out that he had many lovers, in truth his mistress was Mme Coquenard, the wife of a wealthy attorney; when she became a widow, he eventually married her in 1629, and he became a wealthy man, as she brought some £800 to the union.
(Vingt ans après [Twenty Years Afterwards]) Now a rich widower, Porthos had added to his name "du Vallon", the name of his lands, Bracieux and Pierrefonds. He found his life boring, and wished to become a baron. With the hope of acquiring this title, he accepted D'Artagnan's proposition for adventure. He accompanied D'Artagnan faithfully in all his missions (persecution of Beaufort, getaway of the Court at Saint-Germain, adventures in England...), where his Herculean strength served them well. By the end of their escapades, D'Artagnan at last succeeded in getting for Porthos the long desired title of baron, and the former Musketeer retired to his lands.
(Vicomte de Bragelonne) Porthos was drawn from his retirement by Aramis into sombre machinations, of which he understood little. He became the pawn of Aramis in the kidnapping of the King, and was forced to seek refuge with his friend at Belle-Île. There, in a cave on the woods, he met a titanic end, crumpled under the wall of the grotto of Locmaria when it crumbles down, after having sustained it for a while to allow his friend to escape. In his testament, this "pure heart", according to D'Artagnan's expression, left all his wealth to Raoul de Bragelonne, the "son in common" of the Musketeers.
Comments: Created by Alexandre Dumas, probably based on real life musketeer Isaac de Portau (1617-1670?), a protestant who served with the Company of the Guards of Msr. Des Essarts in 1640, and joined the Company of the Musketeers of M. de Tréville around 1643.
Porthos has appeared alongside his fellow Musketeers in several movies, notably
Les trois mousquetaires (1921), first movie based on the novel, where he was played by Charles Martinelli
The Three Musketeers (1935), the first American adaptation, played by Moroni Olsen
The Three Musketeers (1973), The Four Musketeers (1974), and The Return of the Musketeers (1989), arguably the most successful and best known adaptions, where he was played by Frank Finlay
The Three Musketeers (1993), which portrayed the Musketeers as much younger, played by Oliver Platt
The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), played by Gérard Depardieu
Thanks to Harry Hayfield for providing the above history.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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