|“||I know not who you are nor I came to find you. But, may I just say...hi. How ya doin'? The name's Flynn Rider. How's your day going, huh?||„|
|~ Flynn introducing himself to Rapunzel|
|“||This is the story of how I died.||„|
|~ Flynn's opening line.|
Eugene Fitzherbert, better known as Flynn Rider, is the deuteragonist of Disney's 50th full-length animated feature film, Tangled.
Before he was the dashing Flynn Rider, the role of Rapunzel's love interest came in the form of Bastian, a large, handsome, and charming blonde man with a physique similar to that of the Stabbington Brothers.
With time, however, the designs were changed and the directors of the film (Nathan Greno and Byron Howard) wanted to design the character as strikingly attractive. To accomplish this, the two organized what would infamously be known as the "Hot Man" meeting, where about 30 female employees were asked to imagine the most attractive male they could think of, with many results coming in the form of such personalities as David Beckham and Clark Gable.
|“||...all the ladies of the studio came into the ‘Hot Man Meeting,’ where we gathered pictures of their favorite handsome men—we collected pictures from the Internet and from books and from women’s wallets. They were very specific about what they liked and what they didn’t like.||„|
The process ultimately led to the final design of Flynn Rider.
At first Flynn comes off as cocky, arrogant and a little bit self-absorbed. He’s overly concerned about money, wealth and the tiara he wishes to regain from Rapunzel. However, when one gets to know him, he is sensitive, laid-back and good-hearted. As an experienced thief, he is skilled in escaping the authorities, hiding out and stealing right from under people's noses. Thus, he is agile, strong and quick-witted. Flynn's talents also include fencing, horseback riding, scaling and maneuvering over high walls and towers and "superhuman good looks", which unfortunately have no effect on Rapunzel.
For the first part of the film, he is solely focused on thieving and increasing his personal bank, aspiring to bask in his wealth one day own his own private island. However, as he begins to fall in love with Rapunzel, he transforms into a more compassionate, chivalrous and trustworthy person, and changes his priorities. He even willingly gives the tiara to the Stabbington Brothers to keep them off their back (although he never quite loses his initial cockiness and tendency to cause mischief). Flynn loses sight of the importance of becoming rich as he fights to be with Rapunzel.
By the end of the film, Flynn's love for her has grown to the point where he is willing to die so that she can be free. In the ending narration, he claims to have given up thieving. He used to have a rivalry with Maximus, the Captain of the Guard's horse. However, as the film progresses, they become loyal and protective towards one another.
Flynn is of average height and build with fair skin, short dark brown hair, a scruffy goatee and light brown eyes. In response to a fan on a Tangled fanblog, Flynn's animators have said that he's 26.
Eugene Fitzherbert seemingly never knew his parents and spent all of his time with his fellow orphans in the orphanage. The orphan children looked up to him greatly and he was something of an older brother to them. Every night, Eugene would read them "The Tales of Flynnigan Rider", stories of a rich and dashing swashbuckler who had an abundance of thrilling adventures wherever he went. The more Eugene read it, the more he dreamed of a more audacious lifestyle and decided to break out of his orphan upbringing. Eugene eventually ventured out on his own and grew up into a dashing swashbuckler and gifted horseman and took the name of his childhood hero, going by the alias Flynn Rider.
Flynn became one of the most infamous thieves in all of Corona despite the fact that the original Flynn Rider was not a thief. Being drawn in more and more by his new ambition and becoming more and more aloof from the people around him, Flynn sought a solitary life of money and freedom, far far away. He eventually became close to having everything he ever wanted, despite being on the run from almost every person in the valley.
Everything he ever wanted, however, quickly lost its appeal in the days he met Rapunzel. When Flynn met the lonesome girl in a remote tower, he was quite irritated to be coerced into taking her to see the Festival of Lights at the kingdom so that he could get back a valuable stolen tiara she had hidden from him. As he spent time with her, he gained a respect for the headstrong young lady that became strong affection and caring. As Flynn cast aside his cares for treasure and solitude he realized his old dream had been replaced by a new one. Flynn fell completely in love with the lost princess and helped her reunite with her parents and reclaim her throne.
Eugene went back to his birth name, stopped thieving, and married Rapunzel a few years later. The two are currently living happily ever after.
Stealing the Crown
|“||Gentlemen, this is a very big day!||„|
|~ Flynn to the Stabbingtons|
Journeying with Rapunzel
|“||I know not, who you are, nor how I've come to find you. But let me just say... Hi.||„|
|~ Flynn's first words to Rapunzel|
Flynn and Rapunzel are able to escape through a tunnel and share a brief conversation in which he refuses to give her any of his "backstory" but asks a little bit about hers. The conversation is cut short when they discover that the guards have pursued them into the passage. The pair flee, but are cornered atop a cliff in a canyon made from a dammed river, hotly pursued by Flynn's two enemies: the guards and the Stabbington brothers. Flynn is able to fight off the guards by using Rapunzel's frying pan, but is bested in a sword duel with Maximus the horse. Rapunzel uses her hair to help him escape the cliff and the horse, but when Maximus damages the dam in order to reach them, the two are trapped in a cave, which begins filling rapidly with water. Panicking, Flynn tries desperately to find an escape under the water, injuring his hand in the process. However, unable to see anything in the darkness, he admits defeat and the two huddle together in the rising water, believing that they are about to die. As Rapunzel weeps, he tries to cheer her a little by revealing his real name, Eugene Fitzherbert. Rapunzel manages to save them both by causing her hair to glow, which lights up the cave, allowing them to see an escape, and Eugene digs their way out.
The Story of Eugene
When the two emerge onto the banks of a river in the forest, Eugene is clearly unsettled and even alarmed by Rapunzel's glowing hair. Later that night, when the two are sitting beside their campfire, Rapunzel uses her hair to heal Eugene's injured hand. Eugene is evidently frightened by the magic, to the point of near-hysteria, but he quickly calms himself down when Rapunzel begs him to not "freak out". He learns Rapunzel's history, and the nature of her magical gift, which is lost if the hair is cut. Eugene begins to understand her feelings, and begins to show more compassion and affection towards her as a result. He at last reveals some of his "backstory" by confessing that he is an orphan, and as a poor child he was inspired by the main character of a book, who was a rich, free-spirited, "swashbuckling rogue" named Flynnigan Rider, which has prompted his life of crime in order to become rich and adventurous too. Slightly embarrassed, he asks Rapunzel not to tell anyone because it could ruin his reputation, and jokes that "a fake reputation is all a man has."
Finding a New Dream
Eugene is nearly captured again by Maximus, but Rapunzel—with the help of Pascal—is able to befriend the horse and makes the two forge a reluctant alliance for the next twenty-four hours, during which Maximus will not get Eugene arrested. Now accompanied by Maximus, the group arrive at the Kingdom for the festival. Eugene accompanies Rapunzel as she delightedly explores the Kingdom, enjoying various activities with her, such as reading at the library, eating, and even dancing (at Maximus's prompting). That night, Eugene takes Rapunzel out on the water in a rowboat to see the lights. While they wait for the lights, Rapunzel expresses her apprehension about finally living her dream, and Eugene reassures her and encourages her to find a new dream afterward. During the lantern festival, Rapunzel returns his satchel, but he pushes it aside, openly revealing that he has found something more important than his old dream, and the couple release their own two lanterns. Eugene and Rapunzel finally realize their love for one another, and nearly kiss.
The Stabbington Brothers
A moment before kissing Rapunzel, Eugene is distracted by the sight of the Stabbington Brothers on the shore, and appears to come to a conclusion about his satchel. He brings the boat to shore, and assures Rapunzel that he will return momentarily. He attempts to make peace with the Stabbington Brothers by giving them the satchel and the crown inside and tries to leave. However, they reveal that they know about Rapunzel and her hair, and express their desire to use her for money. He is knocked unconscious and tied to a boat, which is set to sail toward the Kingdom. When Rapunzel sees his silhouette steering the boat away from her, she is tricked into believing Eugene abandoned her and returns with Mother Gothel to the tower. Later, Eugene's boat crashes into the guard tower near the jail, jolting him back to consciousness, but as he realizes that Rapunzel is in trouble and calls out for her, he is captured by the guards. The next day, as he is taken to be hanged, he notices the Stabbington Brothers in their own cell. Breaking free from the guards momentarily, he confronts them, forcing them to reveal that Mother Gothel has told them about Rapunzel and her hair. The Pub Thugs and Maximus arrive and help Eugene escape prison, and he and Maximus rush off to save Rapunzel.
Flynn to the Rescue/Death
|“||You were my new dream.||„|
|~ Eugene's last words to Rapunzel|
The tear, which is the original drop of sunshine which created the magic flower that healed her mother, shines as it dissolves into the skin and heals Eugene's chest wound, reviving him. He regains consciousness, and jokingly asks Rapunzel, "Did I ever tell you I have a thing for brunettes?" An overjoyed Rapunzel then embraces him jubilantly, and the two share their first kiss at last. Eugene accompanies Rapunzel during her return to the Kingdom, as she has discovered that she has been its lost princess, and witnesses her reunion with her parents. He appears to have been graciously accepted by the King and Queen. During his closing narration, Eugene implies that Rapunzel eventually ruled the Kingdom. As the kingdom celebrates the return of the lost princess, the two are shown together, both wearing nicer clothing and clearly still in love. After explaining that he has readopted his original name and stopped thieving, Eugene then claims that he accepted Rapunzel's proposal of marriage after years and years of asking, only to be corrected by her. He then amends by admitting that he asked her, to which she states in support that the two are living happily ever after, which presumes that they have wed.
Flynn's Tangled Tales
In a collection of animated, stylized shorts, Flynn chronicles his former days as a thief in the kingdom of Corona, revealing some of his adventures and misadventures with the law. In the short, "Crashimus Maximus", Flynn escapes the royal guards, though his real threat proves to be Maximus, revealing a history together even before the crown heist. In "Barrel Blast", Flynn breaks into the castle dungeon as the Stabbington Brothers (who he betrayed yet again) are being sent to their cells, but only for the priceless piece of riches they still had. In the end, though, they escape, and Flynn manipulates them into believing he was still allies with them, rejoining forces with the duo. Other adventures such as "Jewel Heist" would demonstrate examples of Rider's exceptional skills as a thief, despite his failure to avoid trouble at all costs during his thefts.
Tangled Ever After
Eugene, along with Rapunzel, appears in this short sequel to the film, in which the two are preparing themselves for their royal wedding. As the short opens, Flynn starts off the story by joking "This is the story of the day my life ended" as a nod to the original film's opening. Rapunzel corrects him, and he reaffirms that it is the happiest day of both their lives. He agrees with her that everything is perfect except for the fact that his nose is still incorrectly drawn.
Eugene is first shown standing at the altar of the wedding hall, awaiting his bride. He is awestruck at the sight of Rapunzel in her wedding attire as her father, the King, walks her down the center aisle. She joins Eugene at the altar as the bishop begins the ceremony, but Maximus sneezes and accidentally loses their wedding rings. Eugene and Rapunzel appear in a fantasy of Maximus and Pascal where everyone in attendance becomes upset at the loss of the rings. Eugene took notice of the two's distress but they quickly put on a happy face and pretended that nothing was wrong, so he returned his attention to the wedding ceremony.
Eugene and Rapunzel are shown later after Maximus and Pascal manage to get the rings back, but the couple (and everyone else) are shocked at the grotesque-looking Maximus and Pascal, both covered with tar, who offer the rings. Nevertheless, Eugene nervously takes the rings and gives one to his bride. The two then exchange their rings as the bishop pronounces the couple husband and wife. Eugene and Rapunzel kiss, and everyone in attendance rejoice. The short closes with Eugene proclaiming, "So, who wants a piece of cake?" as the cart carrying the wedding cake, accidentally bumped by an exhausted Maximus, rolls out the door.