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Villain Overview
One day, that sword will be in my hand, and all will be MINE!
~ Ruber, seeking to steal the Excalibur blade and threatens to take over the kingdom of Camelot.

Sir Ruber (simply known as Ruber), also known as Baron Ruber, is the main antagonist of Warner Brothers' 1998 animated feature film Quest for Camelot. He is a traitorous and evil former knight of the Round Table who sought to gain ultimate power by taking over Camelot (and possibly the world) as well as avenge his previous defeat at the hands of none other than King Arthur himself. He also has his pet griffin and his metal minions for his cause.

He was voiced by the legendary British actor Gary Oldman, who would later go on to portray General GrawlLord Shen, and Dreyfus.

Personality

Ruber is an extremely brutal, nasty, evil, eccentric, manipulative, opprobrious, loathsome, and iniquitous man who has the brink of his insanity, due to his obsession with his idea of becoming the new king of Camelot. He is exceptionally tough, cunning, competent, intelligent, authoritative, diabolical, arrogant, and strong, so he can defeat many knights and kill a dragon with nothing but his bare hands, and the way that he turns around and stops an assault that is coming behind him. But despite his rudeness and arrogance, Ruber was once loyal, allegiant, and trustworthy to Arthur, but suddenly changed, because he is refused both the ways he wants the share of his land, and to become the self-proclaimed new king. Ruber is far different from the other knights, with his deformed look and his own muscular strength that makes him stand out.

Ruber cluching hot coal

Ruber clutching burning coal in his hand, but he enjoys it.

Although he gathered his henchmen and the Griffin, he can also be annoyed, resentful, and argumentative by their nonsensical stupidity and their clumsiness, especially where they are about to take Excalibur from the ogre. Ruber doesn't take this very well if Kayley or Garrett interfere with his plan, foiling them. But little is specifically known about Ruber knowing about Excalibur that after he melded the sword to his arm, and later accidentally gets it trapped in the stone, meaning that he cannot pull himself or the sword out, which causes his unintentional downfall and demise.

History

Ruber ready to attack

Ruber defying Arthur by going into attack.

Ruber was once a trusted and dependable knight of King Arthur and a member of the Knights of the Round Table. However, following the ten-year rule under Arthur's wise hand, Ruber grew obsessive for power and riches, which led the other knights to distrust him. During a meeting in the beginning of the film, Ruber attempts to take advantage of his ranks by desiring riches, to which Arthur refuses to allow. Ruber then suggests that he nominated himself for the throne of Camelot, which one of Arthur's loyal knights, Sir Lionel, berates him by responding, "I will not serve a false king.". This finally drove Ruber into a destructive and murderous rage by bringing out a mace, attempting to kill Arthur. Eventually, Lionel ends up taking a fatal blow before Arthur uses Excalibur to finally beat Ruber down on his knees. Ruber then flees away from Camelot, vowing to get revenge by claiming Excalibur and all of Camelot to himself.

Following his ten years in exile, Ruber gather a swarm of barbaric followers to support him in his cause. As the tenth year passed by, Ruber concocts an evil plan to steal Excalibur and using land wagons to infiltrate into Camelot. As a start he had his pet griffin to steal Excalibur from Arthur's castle, though the theft was bungled and the sword ended up being lost in the Forbidden Forest (due to the intervention of Ayden, the pet silver-winged falcon of Arthur's wizard adviser Merlin).

Ruber and his men then attack the lands of Lionel's wife Lady Juliana to get hold of her wagons, and blackmailed her into following along by threatening to kill her daughter Kayley (the main protagonist of the film). During the destructive ransacking of Lady Juliana's village, Ruber uses a potion (which is labeled to have come from ACME) to transform his followers into strong iron golems (Ruber also transformed a rooster with an axe into Bladebeak as demonstration). However, learning about Excalibur's current location from his griffin and seeing Kayley escape into the Forbidden Forest, Ruber orders Bladebeak and several of his men to chase after her. Upon learning from Bladebeak that Kayley is searching for Excalibur, Ruber plans to chase after her.

Ruber and his minions

Ruber and his monstrous minions

But during much of the film, Ruber and his posse chase Kayley (who is now assisted by Ayden, a blind hermit named Garrett, and a two-headed dragon named Devon and Cornwall), only to fall some trouble with the forest's natural inhabitants, such as the large dragons and a giant ogre (at one time, Ruber was able to punch out and kill a large fire breathing dragon with his bare hands before having it roasted for himself and his men to feed on).

Later on, Kayley finally manages to find Excalibur and prepares to head to Camelot, but unfortunately, Ruber and his men have cleared from the Forbidden Forest and captured her. Finally with the mighty sword in his hands, Ruber uses his magic ACME potion to fuse the sword to his right hand, replacing his whole right arm to that of a mechanical version to hold the sword.

Ruber taking Excalibur

Ruber finally got hold at Excalibur at last

Ruber then continues on with his evil plan, forcing Juliana to drive her wagons (filled with Ruber's men inside) into Camelot. Ruber then leads his attack into the castle while several of his men hold down the fort against Arthur's soldiers. Fortunately, Ayden, Garrett, Devon, and Cornvall arrive to aid the heroes. While Ayden, Devon, and Cornwall manage to deal against the Griffin, Kayley and Garrett infiltrate into the Round Table, where they spot Ruber trying to attack a beaten Arthur (whose arm has been struck thanks to the Griffin's attack during the sword theft).

Upon hearing Ruber's gloating of his murder of Lionel, Kayley (swearing never to serve a false king) spots a wooden beam and slams it towards Ruber, launching themselves out from the castle. Garrett attempt to strike Ruber with his staff, but Ruber anticipates this and cuts the staff before throwing Garrett over to Kayley. However, he is unaware that the two are standing next to the stone where Arthur once wielded Excalibur before he became king.

Ruber trapped in the stone

Ruber left stuck in the stone during his final moment before his death.

As Ruber closes in for the kill, Kayley and Garrett dodge away from the strike, and Ruber ends up stabbing Excalibur back into the stone from which it was pulled. Ruber tries to free Excalibur from the stone, to obviously no avail (as he's not the rightful king). The stone's power then kicks in and starts to expunge the taint of his ACME potion from the sword. As a result, the spell is broken, and all of Ruber's soldiers, as well as Bladebeak return to their normal forms. Around the same time, Ruber is caught in the crossfire between the energies of the stone's power and the ACME potion, and is finally disintegrated to his death, being destroyed by the very same power that he planned to obtain.

Trivia

  • Ruber is loosely based on the Red Knight from the novel that inspired the movie "The King's Damosel" (in turn an adaptation of a character already made the staple antagonist in Arthurian literature). Unlike Ruber, The Red Knight is a less prominent antagonist in the story, though still the instigator of the main plot. He is also nowhere near as affable.
  • Ruber's voice actor, Gary Oldman also did other villains, such as Lord Shen (Kung Fu Panda 2), and the main antagonists in both Lost in Space and in The Fifth Element, all of which Gary Oldman played as authoritative, power-hungry, and would-be dictators.
  • Ruber laughs in agony while being destroyed by the stone.
  • He is similarly designed as Drake from Don Bluth's 1995 animated film The Pebble and the Penguin, in which both have a strong physiques, and both are made for power, and don't consider their adversaries as a major threat, such as Drake considers Hubie as a "Stupid pa pa pa penguin", and Ruber considers Kayley as a "Little Girl", Garrett a "Blind man", and the Falcon a "Pigeon".
  • He is very similar to the following villains:
    • Shan Yu from Disney's Mulan (another animated film that also came out in 1998).
      • Both have the same hairstyle.
      • Both have murderous teams of only men.
      • Both have avian creatures as pets (Hayabusa and the Griffin), who were burned out by comic relief dragons (Mushu, Devon and Cornwall) and are sent to retrieve a sword.
      • Both attempted to kill the heroines (Mulan and Kayley) with swords, but failed.
      • Both tried to overthrow and kill the rulers (The Emperor, and King Arthur) to usurp the throne, but to no avail.
      • They both met their explosive deaths at the end - fireworks for Shan Yu and the stone for Ruber.
      • Both were dubbed by the Italian actor, Massimo Corvo, who also voiced Peg Leg Pete, Jafar, Steele, and others.
      • However, whereas Shan Yu does not hail from China, Ruber was originally a member of the Round Table.
    • Scar from Disney's 1994 animated film The Lion King.
      • Both wanted to rule the kingdoms.
      • Both killed the protagonists' fathers (Mufasa to Scar, Sir Lionel to Ruber).
      • Both sang evil songs by explaining their plans, that is complete with greenish lighting.
      • Both have henchmen (Shenzi, Banzai and Ed to Scar, the Griffin to Ruber).
      • Both revealed that they are the ones who killed the protagonists' fathers a long time ago, which made the protagonists mad and fight them by avenging their fathers' deaths.
      • Both wanted to kill the protagonists who wanted to stop them (Simba to Scar, Kayley to Ruber).
      • Both died at the end.
    • Professor Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective.
      • Both are evil for the sake of being evil.
      • Both had a desire to take over a kingdom (Ruber wanted to rule Camelot, while Ratigan wanted to rule Mousedom).
      • They both force the hero's parent to assist them with their plans (Hiram Flaversham to Ratigan, Lady Juliana to Ruber), threatening their child's life if they refuse (Olivia to Ratigan, Kayley to Ruber).
      • Both were menacing and sometimes comedic.
      • Both were close to killing the hero, but ended up getting killed afterwards.
    • Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars trilogy.
      • Both are insanely evil.
      • Both wanted to take control over what desired them the most (Ruber plans to take control of Camelot, while Palpatine secretly planned to take control of the entire galaxy).
      • Both did terrible things to the protagonists' fathers (Anakin Skywalker was evilly manipulated by Palpatine, Sir Lionel was brutally killed by Ruber), which affected the main protagonists.
      • Both shown to be brutal and menacing.
      • Both tried to kill the main protagonists (Luke Skywalker to Palpatine, Kayley to Ruber), but failed.
      • Both met their explosive demises.