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Gerard of Ridefort

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God wills it!
~ Gerard's catchphrase

Gerard of Ridefort is the Grand Master of the Knights Templar and an antagonist in the action-drama film Kingdom of Heaven. Though not as prominent as the film's other villains, he is nonetheless just as evil as Raynald of Châtillon. He is portrayed by Ulrich Thomsen.

History

Gerard first appears with Guy of Lusignan and Raynald of Châtillon to assault a Muslim caravan. While Guy and Raynald argue about how to cover up their crimes, Gerard becomes impatient and rallies his men to attack the caravan by shouting "God wills it!" When the sheriff of Jerusalem, the count of Tiberias, brings Gerard and his co-conspirators before King Baldwin IV, Gerard denies his guilt by falsely claiming, along with Guy and Raynald, that the caravan was actually an army sent by Saladin, the Muslim leader, to attack Jerusalem.

After Guy becomes king of Jerusalem, he musters an army of Crusaders and knights to battle Saladin's army, but Balian of Ibelin (the film's protagonist) arrives at the war council and insists that such an attack will lead to disaster and leave the city defenseless. Gerard advocates ignoring this sound advice and insists that they should attack the "enemies of God," and Guy agrees with him. They leave for Saladin's camp at Hattin, but they end up marching through the desert for several days and suffer from lack of water and heat, causing the Crusaders to become exhausted and disorganized. When they finally arrive at Hattin, the Crusaders are massacred.

Whether Gerard survived, died in battle, or was beheaded after the defeat is unknown.

Trivia

  • Gerard's name is never revealed or even implied, but since Gerard of Ridefort was historically the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, it is safe to assume that the character in the film is, in fact, Gerard.
    • If this is true, then he may have survived the battle of Hattin, since the historical Gerard did, but since he is never seen again, it is difficult to determine whether or not he escaped.
  • Gerard's statement, "God wills it", is ironically quoted by one of Saladin's aides before the battle of Hattin.

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