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Drop... Your... Sword.
~ Westley to Humperdinck.
As you wish.
~ Westley's catchphrase to Buttercup.

Westley is the main protagonist of The Princess Bride. He is a farm boy who falls in love with Buttercup, and embarks on a quest to win her back from the evil Prince Humperdinck. He was portrayed by Cary Elwes who had played Garrett in Quest for Camelot, and Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

One True Love

Westley was a man from the country of Florin. He lived on a farm, as a helping hand for the family that owned the land. A beautiful girl named Buttercup, the owners' daughter, loved nothing more then tormenting the boy by ordering him around, calling him "farm boy". He replied with nothing but "as you wish", and complied with the request.

One day, after coming back from a ride with her horse, she told Westley to shine her horse's saddle, and to later fill some buckets with water. He once again replied with "as you wish", but Buttercup, this time, felt a strange feeling surge through her.

The next day, while she was in her house, Westley was bringing in firewood. Before he could to head out the door to continue chopping wood, Buttercup called to him, again requesting something. "As you wish" he said, as they drew closer together, and lovingly embraced, as Buttercup realized her love for him.

Westley, being poor, set out on a journey to seek wealth for marriage.

Just a few weeks after his departure, Buttercup learned that Westley's ship had been boarded by the nefarious Dread Pirate Roberts and his crew, who were infamous for never leaving captives alive.

Buttercup went into solitude for the next several years, feeling that she would never love another man again.

Dread Pirate Roberts

While it was thought that Westley had been killed, his life had been spared by the pirate after pleading that he keep him alive. Roberts asked why, after which Westley explained his deep love and affection for Buttercup.

This intrigued Roberts, so he proposed a deal. Westley became his valet, since that was something Roberts had never had but wanted, and, in exchange, Roberts kept him alive, saying every night, "Goodnight, Westley. Good work, sleep well, I'll most likely kill you in the morning."

Westley learnt to "fence, fight, anything" anyone on board would teach him, and eventually, he and Roberts became friends.

Three years after Westley's capture, Roberts had grown so rich that he wanted to retire. Knowing that he could trust Westley, he brought him to his cabin. He told him his wishes and then revealed a secret: "I am not Dread Pirate Roberts. My real name is Ryan, and I inherited this ship from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts, who was not Roberts either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Roberts had been retired for over 15 years, and living like a king in Patagonia."

Ryan then explained that the name Dread Pirate Roberts was the important thing for inspiring the necessary fear, because no one would surrender to "the Dread Pirate Westley."

So, they sailed ashore, assigned an entirely new crew, and Ryan took up the position of first mate, all the time calling Westley "Roberts." Once the crew believed, he left the ship, and Westley had been the Dread Pirate Roberts ever since.

Reunion with Buttercup

Westley, as the Dread Pirate Roberts, trailed through eel-infested waters, chasing the ship that had taken Buttercup captive. Both ships docked at the Cliffs of Insanity. Fezzik—with Vizzini, Inigo Montoya, and Buttercup lashed onto him with a harness—climbed up the cliffs with a rope that had been placed at the top as a way to scale the cliff side. Westley followed at a pace that alarmed Vizzini, and gained on the foursome seemingly without difficulty, while Fezzik struggled with the load of his passengers.

Vizzini cut the rope once he reached the top, hoping that their pursuer would plummet to his death. Westley quickly grabbed at some rocks that were jutting out from the cliff side, preventing his fall. Amazed, Vizzini orders Inigo to kill him while he and Fezzik flee with Buttercup. Wesley defeats Inigo in a swordfight, bests Fezzik in a wrestling match, and outsmarts Vizzini in a "battle of wits", all so he can reclaim Buttercup. She believes to be the Dread Pirate Roberts who killed Wesley, however, and pushes him down a hill; as he tumbles to the ground, he calls out "As you wish", and she realizes who h really is and comes tumbling after him. Happily reunited, they venture through the Fire Swamp, where Wesley saves Buttercup after she falls in quicksand, and fights and kills an R.O.U.S. (Rodent of Unusual Size).

Rescuing Buttercup

However, he is taken prisoner by Humperdinck and his henchman Count Rugen, who imprisons and tortures him with a machine that literally sucks his life away. He is rescued by Inigo and Fezzik, and revived by Miracle Max, the King's former Miracle Man.

Wesley is too weak to fight, however, so Inigo and Fezzik sneak him into the castle and leave him laying on Humperdinck's bed. Buttercup comes in and puts a dagger to her heart, intent on killing herself because she believes Wesley is dead. He makes his presence known , and they embrace. Humperdinck charges in and challenges Wesley to a duel to the death; Wesley replies that he will duel him "to the pain", meaning he will mutilate Humperdinck and leave him "wallowing in freakish misery forever". Wesley then stands up and says, "Drop... Your... Sword." Frightened, Humperdinck does so, and Wesley and Buttercup leave him tied to a chair. They then escape, along with Inigo and Fezzik, on a brace of ponies, and Wesley and Buttercup share the greatest, most romantic kiss of all time.

Trivia

  • In the original novel, Wesley relapses into "mostly death" as they ride away with Humperdinck's men on their trail, leaving Wesley's fate unknown.

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