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Remember, remember the Fifth of November.
~ V's most famous line

V is the main protagonist from V for Vendetta and the deuteragonist of the movie of the same name. He is a terrorist and freedom fighter from a dystopian future battling against a corrupt fascist regime in England known as the Norsefire party. It was intended by the author of the story Alan Moore that V be sufficiently morally gray so as to be seen as both a hero and a villain. While V in the comics is well-meaning and battling against unambiguously evil individuals, he himself is also depicted as a completely ruthless and callous figure who is willing to kill anyone who gets in his way. Conversely, the movie version of the character, though still occasionally indulging in ethically sketchy and ruthless behavior, is still ultimately more heroic. In the movie he is shown to be disfigured (a result of burns) instead of being described as being ugly. His abilities are a result of biological weapons experiments instead of hormonal experiments, as they were in the comics. He claims to have lost all memory of his past, completing his transformation into the "every man" he claims to be in the comic. At the end of the film, he says that he has fallen in love with Evey.

There are several other plot deviations between the book and the movie. In the film, he only bombs the Old Bailey and Houses of Parliament buildings and not the Jordan Tower, Post Office and 10 Downing St buildings. It is Peter Creedy who confronts V at the end of the film, instead of Eric Finch. Creedy shoots and kills Norsefire leader Adam Sutler (Adam Susan in the graphic novel), but V refuses to uphold his end of the bargain he made to Creedy, who is just as evil as Sutler. Creedy and his men then shoot V, but V wore a breastplate to keep the barrage of bullets from killing him.

Though still mortally wounded he manages to kill Creedy and his men. He then goes to Evey and dies in her arms. Evey then gives him a Viking funeral, as she did in the graphic novel. Finch then confronts Evey, but puts down his weapon after giving in to his hatred of the corruption of the Norsefire regime and joining Evey as they watch V's bomb destroy the Houses of Parliament.

Graphic Novel

Very little is known about V, with one of the exceptions being he has a background in the military. Early in his life, V was captured and put in Larkhill retirement camp in room V (probably how he got his name) where he is experimented on and tortured. While there, the woman held captive in the cell next to his,  Valerie Page, had written her life story on toilet paper about how  how she was captured and tortured for being a lesbian, and passes the message through the wall connecting theirs. She was executed later. This broke V, and he burnt down the camp and escaped, but not before getting badly burnt himself in the process. It's implied that the experiments also had an effect on his mind.

At the beginning of the graphic novel, V comes to save Evey Hammond after she is nearly beaten and raped by three of Norsefire's "fingermen". Taking her into his care in The Shadow Gallery, V then goes after and captures Lewis Prothero, the former commandant of the camp and the voice for Norsefire's computer FATE, and drives him insane. He later seeks out the sadistic pedophile Bishop Anthony Lilliman and, with Evey's help, entraps him and forces him to consume a cyanide-laced communion wafer. Finally, he seeks out Delia Surridge and, because she was remorseful for her actions, gives her a peaceful death via lethal injection.

It is shown that he has been systematically killing all those involved at Larkhill with the exception of Prothero who remains incurably insane. He also broadcasts a message over the nation's communications with the declaration that every citizen is at fault for permitting the Norsefire government to step in.

Over time, he begins to groom Evey into becoming a successor after initially throwing her out for questioning him if he could be her father or not. However, his method of doing so entails kidnapping her while disguised as Norsefire agents and torturing her for information on the threat of death. When Evey chooses to die over revealing anything or pledging loyalty to Norsefire, V reveals himself and declares her to now be closer to understanding true freedom. Despite her initial hesitation, Evey ultimately dons a Guy Fawkes mask and cloak as his ally.

In the underground tunnel, V prepares a subway train full of explosives to crash upon his future command. This train is discovered by Detective Eric Finch, who manages to shoot and fatally wound V. In his final words, V requests that Evey continue on and that she give him a "Viking funeral". Understanding, Evey places V's still masked and cloaked body in a glass coffin aboard the train and sends it forth, crashing and exploding at its designated point. As the new V, Evey then takes in a young Norsefire agent with the intent of training him.

V is also shown singing a song called "This Vicious Cabaret" which details his intents as the story develops. This fits rather well with his theatrical nature.

Live Action Film

V is portrayed far more as an anti-hero within the film adaptation with many of the same events occurring and a greater emphasis on the villainous nature of Norsefire (such as turning the leader Adam Susan into more a Hitler analogue with the surname Adam Sutler). Nevertheless, he still commits rather questionable and suspicious acts like the torture of Evey although he does show remorse for these actions. In the film, he is mortally wounded while fighting Sutler's right-hand man Peter Creedy - whom he kills by snapping his neck - and dies in Evey's arms. Evey then loads his body into a subway train filled with explosives, which she sends off to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

Personality

V is an enigmatic figure who speaks eloquently. He is impeccably sophisticated, obsequious, and talkative, with an exceptionally wide vocabulary, and particularly showing a fondness for quoting Shakespeare, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of old English literature. Also, V loves to act with a flair of theatrics. For example, as he abducts Prothero, he ushers the man through a stage-like setup of Larkhill while dressed in a clownish Vaudeville attire. In another particularly poignant scene, he stands before the statue of Lady Justice and enacts a pseudo-rendezvous between ex-lovers, declaring that he has found a new mistress in Anarchy after she "whored herself" to Norsefire and leaving Lady Justice a "farewell present" of an explosive. In the film, V demonstrates an intense capacity for hatred underneath his serene exterior: while in captivity, V described hate as the only thing he seemed capable of - it fed him for years until he finally lost all capacity for fear. He is completely unfazed by physical threats from others, from being held at gunpoint by several armed men, to having explosives strapped to him.

He is completely calm, reserved, and unexcitable in nature, and never loses his temper once throughout his appearance, and even when in intense pain he speaks softly and calmly. V was also pathologically obsessive and psychopathic, and his one and true goal throughout the story is to avenge himself upon key members of Norsefire. However, he has an incredible ability for justifying his actions. He is capable of love, despite his ruthless and almost emotionless character, and though he cannot remember anything that happened to him before his captivity he describes Evey as his one true love.

His favorite film is the Count of Monte Cristo.

Quotes

Voila! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition! The only verdict is vengance, a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and voracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. (Chuckles) Verily this vicious swage of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.
~ V introduces himself with a V-word filled speech
Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comfort of everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, whereupon important events of the past, usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well, certainly, there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. They were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night, I sought to end that silence. Last night, I destroyed the Old Bailey to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago, a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest that you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me, one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.
~ V's speech to England.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
~ V
Our story begins, as these stories often do, with a young, up-and-coming politician. He's a deeply religious man and a member of the Conservative party. He's completely single-minded and has no regard for the political process. The more power he attains, the more obvious his zealotry and the more aggressive his supporters become. Eventually, his party launches a special project in the name of "national security". At first, it's believed to be a search for biological weapons and is pursued without regard to its cost. However, the true goal of this project is power. Complete and total hegemonic domination. The project, however, ends violently, but the efforts of those involved are not in vain, for a new ability to wage war is born from the blood of one of the victims. Imagine a virus, the most terrifying virus you can, and then imagine that you and you alone have the cure, but if your ultimate goal is power, how best to use such a weapon? It's at this point in our story that along comes a spider. He's a man seemingly without a conscience, for whom the ends always justify the means, and it is he who suggests that their target should not be an enemy of the country but rather the country itself. Three targets are chosen to maximize the effect of the attack: a school, a tube station and a water treatment plant. Several hundred die within the first few weeks. Fueled by the media, fear and panic spread quickly, fracturing and dividing the country until, at last, the true goal comes into view. Before the St Mary's crisis, no-one would have predicted the results of the election that year, no-one. And then, not long after the election, lo and behold a miracle. Some believe it was the work of God himself, but it was a pharmaceutical company controlled by certain party members that made them all obscenely rich. A year later, several extremists are tried, found guilty and executed while a memorial is built to canonize their victims. But the end result, the true genius of the plan was the fear. Fear became the ultimate tool of this government, and through it, our politician was ultimately appointed to the newly created position of High Chancellor. The rest, as they say, is history.
~ V's story to Inspector Finch, disguised as William Rookwood.
At last, we finally meet. I have something for you, Chancellor. A farewell gift. For all the things you've done, for the things you might have done, and for the only thing you have left. Goodbye, Chancellor. Mr Creedy?
~ V bids farewell to Chancellor Sutler.
No, what you have are bullets and the hope that when your guns are empty, I'm no longer standing, because if I am, you'll all be dead before you've reloaded.
~ V to Creedy and his Fingermen right before they shoot at him.
My turn
~ V right before he slaughters Creedy's men
Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy. And ideas are bulletproof!'
~ V right before snapping Creedy's neck.
Remember, remember, the fifth of November. The gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.
The building is a symbol. As is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone a symbol is meaningless. But with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.

Powers and Abilities

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr Creedy. And ideas are bulletproof.
~ V, showing his impressive willpower.
Enhanced Physiology: In the film, he is physically superhuman due to experiments at Larkhill increasing his strength, speed agility, endurance, reflexes, and kinesthesia.

Enhanced Strength: He possesses enhanced strength, allowing him to easily overpower people or send them flying through the air with his attacks.

Enhanced Speed: His speed is enhanced, allowing him to kill multiple men effortlessly even while mortally wounded.

Enhanced Agility: Since his time in Larkhill, V has developed an incredible athleticism. Allowing him to scale rooftops with ease.

Enhanced Durability:  He is highly resilient, he was barely slowed down by being shot multiple times, allowing him to kill multiple men before succumbing to his wounds minutes later.

Genius Intellect: V himself demonstrates intelligence in varied subjects. with knowledge and written materials banned by the Norsefire government. In his time as The Man in Room V, he was able to escape by combining common garden chemicals to explode his cell.

Master Combatant: He is incredibly skilled in close-quarters combat. He is able to take on multiple Finger Men with ease.

Knife Mastery: He is skilled with weapons ranging from knives to swords, as well as blade throwing.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In popular culture, V has become the unofficial mascot of Chan culture as well as the wider "Anonymous" movement, which in itself is seen as a controversy.
  • His favorite film is the Count of Monte Cristo.

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