|“||Last night she took a draft of Trional. My word of honor.||„|
|~ Count Andrenyi providing his wife's alibi (in the 2010 film)|
Count Rudolph Andrenyi is one of the major protagonists of Agatha Christie's 1934 Hercule Poirot novel, Murder on the Orient Express, and its adaptations. He is the husband of Countess Andrenyi and an Hungarian diplomat, both of the couple been related to the Armstrong Family.
Like twelve other passengers, Count Andrenyi participated the relatives' plans to seek revenge and righteous justice for Lanfranco Cassetti's victims through murdering him, but one notable part is that he never allowed his wife to participate in order to keep her innocent of murder.
Count Andrenyi has been played on screen by various actors, including Michael York in 1974, Kai Wiesinger in 2001, Stanley Weber in 2010, and Sergei Polunin in 2017.
Count Andrenyi is a Hungarian nobleman and diplomat. Some time before the events on board the Orient Express, he had served in the Hungarian in Washington, D.C. for a year. Later, about one year before the events on the train, he married Helena Goldenberg. Poirot would later surmise that the Count had met and married Helena Goldman (aka Countess Andrenyi) while serving in Washington but this was never confirmed.
After the kidnap and murder of Daisy Armstrong, the lead culprit Lanfranco Cassetti was arrested and put on trial for the crime, but he got off on a technicality because of his wealth and influence. In a fit of anger and grief, Linda Arden, Helena's mother and Daisy's grandmother, gathered a group of interested parties for the purpose of avenging the crime and bringing the criminal to justice. Countess Andrenyi joined the group with her husband's knowledge.
After the group found Cassetti's whereabouts and his travel through the Orient Express, they planned to board the same train and execute justice on him enroute. Accordingly, Countess Andrenyi boarded the Orient Express together with the other members of the group, but Count Andrenyi insisted on coming along with his wife. During the trip, the Count was in first class Compartment 13, while his wife was in Compartment 12.
Due to the Countess' frailing condition, Count Andrenyi represented his wife at the murder of Ratchett, proving that the Countess was at that time asleep after having taken some trional which. Andrenyi later also took pains to absolve his wife by insisting to Poirot that she had never left her compartment.
When he learnt that Poirot had found a handkerchief with the initial "H" on it, the Count wanted to avoid suspicion being cast on his wife. He was also concerned that her link to the Armstrong family should remain undiscovered. Since his wife was travelling on his passport, the Count thus obscured the first letter in her name with a spot of grease, thus creating the impression that her first name was "Elena".
After having their links to both the Armstrong Family and the murder discovered by Poirot, Count and Countess Andrenyi were both spared, alongside their friends and relatives, once Poirot decided to give another fabricated theory to the police, since they had killed a criminal for the sake of justice.
- In all of the adaptations, the Count put his wife into sleep so that he could stab Cassetti in her stead and spare her from tainting blood on her hand. This was merely implied in the novel and was never fully explored.
- Amongst the twelve culprits, he is the only one of the two who shows aggressiveness to Poirot and his investigation, alongside Colonel John Arbuthnot.
- In the 2017 film adaptation, Count Andrenyi is shown to be even more aggresive than any other versions, like beating up the reporters who took photographs of him. He even lashed out at Poirot and kicked him out of his compartment when Poirot started to question the Countess' hankerchef. Whilst in the novel, the Count only firmly insisted to Poirot that his wife never got involved since his code of honor would never allow her to do so.