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This is the TV show version. For the movie version, please turn to Headless Horseman (Sleepy Hollow 1999).
|“||When I beheaded him, that man didn't die because he was never a man at all. He is Death itself, lieutenant, and somehow...he has returned to Sleepy Hollow to finish what he started.||„|
|~ Ichabod Crane on his headless nemesis|
The Headless Horseman is the most recurring antagonist in the show Sleepy Hollow. Originally appearing a simply Hessian mercenary during the revolutionary war, he is really the embodiment of Death itself, the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, servant of the Demon Moloch.
It is later revealed that the horseman was once Abraham Van Brunt, Ichabod's former best friend and the man who Katrina was originally betrothed to.
Abraham was Ichabod's best friend, he was initially a good, but somewhat arrogant man, who sided with the rebels. He and his family came to America, and it was Abraham's dream to live in a country of democracy and freedom. He befriended Ichabod and fell in love with Katrina van Tassel and was betrothed to her, however Katrina did not love him and broke off the arrangement. Abraham was overwhelm by shock and sorrow, but at the same time he recieved nothing but humiliation and disgrace.
While on a secret mission for the rebels, he could not stop talking about it. Ichabod decided to tell his friend the truth, that Katrina had broken off because she was in love with him. Overcome with fury and anger at what he saw as betrayal, Abraham drew his sword and attacked Ichabod. The two dueled, Abraham manged to overpower Ichabod and held him at sword point, however before the fight could go any further, they were attacked by Hessian's who shot Abraham. Ichabod was forced to run, there mission to important to abandon. The Hessian's took the near dead Abraham to Moloch, with whom he made a deal. In exchange for Katrina, Abraham became the incarnation of Death.
During Paul Revear's ride, to warn the British were coming, he also secretly took a letter from the Freemasons detailing the Horsemen's weaknesses, as such the Horseman emerged and chased them, killing three of Paul's friends, but Paul and the message escaped.
The Horseman somehow met the angel Orion and duelled him. Orion failed and got trapped in Purgatory.
In 1781 during a battle outside Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane, a Englishman who had joined the cause was given orders by General Washington to make certain he killed a specific Hessian mercenary, one with a bow on his hand. Crane met the horseman on the battlefield, wielding a large battle axe. After shooting proved to have no effect, the the Horseman sliced him open, but Crane had to time to decapitate the Horseman with a broadsword he was carrying. However as they both fell there blood linked together linking there fate. As such Ichabod's wife who was a witch placed him in a spell not just to save Ichabod to stop the horseman.
In the modern day he was reawakened and proceeded to murder Sheriff Corbin and steal a horse to become his new stead. He began searching for his head, as without it he couldn't summon the other horsemen and start the apocalypse. However Crane was also awakened as well. The Horseman tracked down the Priest who was in on the ancient conspiracy, using his magic the priest defiantly fought to the end trying to restrain the horseman with chains, but the Horseman managed to overpower him, when the priest refused to talk, he killed him. The Horseman later broke into another house and stole multiple guns, updating himself with modern weaponry.
Meeting up with a Police officer called Andy Brooks, who was also a servant of Moloch, he learned his head was hidden in the cemetery. The Horseman arrived, just after Crane had dug the Head up. The Horseman tried to kill Crane, but was distracted by Abbie Mills (a police officer) firing at him, he later killed two other policemen, but was driven off as the sun came up, the light causing him pain. The horsemen then returned to hibernation, until his master summoned him again.
The Horseman later appeared in a vision created by Katrina as a warning that he was going to rise soon, and Abbie needed to find a sin eater to break of the connection between the two. This was successful but the Horseman still rose. He later broke in and murdered the Freemasons before they could share there information on the Horseman's weaknesses. As a message to Ichabod he hallowed out there skulls and used there heads as lanterns. Showing he wanted his back. He then later tracked down his head to the lab were it was sent, bursting in he killed the scientist working on it, but the Police Captain managed to escape with the head. Ichabod and Abbie tried multiple methods to destroy the horseman's skull, but nothing even damaged it. Andy arrived and warned them that the Horseman couldn't be killed, as he was death, but he could be imprisoned.
Following decoding the Masons letter they formulated a plan to use the Horseman's weakness to sunlight against him. They told Andy to tell the horseman to meet Ichabod in the cemetery. The horseman arrived, Ichabod was there and showed him what he wanted, before riding away holding its head, the horseman gave chase but Ichabod managed to escape into the tunnels, the horseman followed. Using fake skulls to distract it they mislead the horseman, before he chased Abbie with the real one, leading him into a trap, they turned on several high powered UV lights direct straight at him and managed to capture the horseman.
Having him imprisoned, Ichabod and Abbie decided to interrogate the Horseman and find his secrets. Tracking down Andy who was the only one who could communicate with him, they began to seek the Horseman's secrets. Meanwhile the Horseman's horse found the Hessian's, who realized its rider had been imprisoned came up with a plan to free him. Imprisoned the horseman possessed Andy to communicate, Ichabod accidentally discovered the neckless Abraham had given Katrina all those years ago, he demanded to know how he had gotten it. The horseman taunted Ichabod, claiming he had murdered his best friend. After that the Hessian's blew up the power station, causing the UV lights to fail, and letting the Horseman regain his strength.
Although the spell was still stopping evil enter and the Horseman freeing himself. Ichabod confronted the Horseman once more, trying to find more information from him, the Horseman continued to taunt, Ichabod realized the Horseman had only been ordered to kill the masons, he had stuck around to kill him and demanded to know why. But Andy, under Moloch's power secretly broke the spell, letting the dark forces in. At which point the horseman broke free from his chains and walking into another room, grabbed a sword. Taking another one he tossed it to Ichabod, the two dueled, as the horseman got the upperhand, Ichabod recognized the fighting style and realized the truth, the horseman was Abraham.
Continuing the fight, the Horseman revealed the deal and that Moloch would give him what he always wanted, not revenge but Katrina. She was imprisoned to be given to him, once his and Moloch's deal was complete. Overpowering Crane the Horseman tried to kill him, however Andy intervened as Moloch had forbidden it. At that moment Moloch's minions burst in and grabbed the horseman and Andy, causing them vanish into thin air, saving Ichabod.
The Headless Horseman returned in "Bad Blood" where he first stopped Jenny Mills from warning the others about her discovery and apparently killed her by causing her car to tip over. After this he roaded off to meet up with Jeremy Crane, who was really the Second Horseman of the Apocalypse, "War." He gave Jeremy the second seal for him to break, so War could take physical form. Jeremy in return gave him Katrina, who he had imprisoned. The Horseman rode away, finally having gotten Katrina.
The Headless Horseman/Abraham returns as the teritary antagonist of Season 2.
Abraham captured Katrina and took her to his opulent mansion, where he held her prisoner through a powerful hex which greatly suppressed her powers, cast by his fellow Horseman, Jeremy Crane/Henry Parrish. He would talk with Jeremy about the plan to resurrect Moloch, as well as attempt to convince Katrina to forget about Ichabod and begin a new life with him. He told her that she could do it voluntarily or he would perform a binding ritual to make her into a servant of Moloch.
Katrina managed to convince Abraham that she would not endeavor to escape and to allow her feelings for him to develop naturally. In reality, she was manipulating him using his love for her as a tool to keep herself safe. Abraham eventually wisened up to her tactics, but because of his desire for her, he allowed himself to believe her lies.
In "The Weeping Lady", he asked Jeremy Crane/Henry Parrish to strengthen the protective spells over the house where they kept Katrina to ensure that she couldn't get out, but when he discovered that she had been captured by the Weeping Lady (a fact that he may not have known who was responsible for this), he left out to find her, a sign that he views her safety as one of his priorities, even as one of the Four Horsemen. He attempted to kill Ichabod, but soon spared him when Katrina revealed who the culprit was when he found them together. Back in the house, after knowing the Weeping Lady was Mary Wells, the former lover of Ichabod, whom Katrina suspected to be summoned by both Henry and Abraham, Abraham assured Katrina he did not plan for this with Henry, and he revealed that he had true feelings towards Katrina and did not want to see her unhappy. Katrina thanked Abraham, and the latter left the room without saying a word.
In "Deliverance", when Moloch desired to use Katrina as a vessel to come into the mortal realm, Abraham rebelled against the plan and attacked the Hessian soldiers sent to take her. He was stopped by Jeremy, who used the sunlight to weaken him. It was at this point that Abraham's loyalty to Moloch began to waver.
Eventually, Abraham decides to perform the binding ritual on Katrina on the eve of Moloch's rise to take her as his prize, as agreed through his pact with the demon. He is stopped by Ichabod and Abbie, who take him to the underground prison chamber and once again chain him up. Frank Irving threatens to kill him with the Sword of Methuselah and Abraham tells them of Moloch's entrance to the mortal world and how he plans to bring about the Apocalypse.
After Moloch's destruction, Katrina tells Abraham that she wishes to free him from the dark magic the demon placed on him and turn him human again. He agrees to let her attempt a ritual that would accomplish the task but before she can perform it, the angel Orion appears to kill him. Katrina, worried about his safety, frees him from his bonds and he escapes to a woodshed where demons that had escaped from Purgatory wish for him to become their new leader. He reforges his axe and later battles Orion. Ichabod, Abbie and Katrina arrive and Ichabod uses the axe to destroy Orion's weapon, causing him to flee.
Abraham attacks Ichabod but Katrina convinces him to let him go. He tells Katrina that he refuses to be chained up while she looks for a way to return him to normal. He leaves and hasn't been seen since.
In the past (in an altered timeline), Katrina and Abraham arrived at Frederick Manor stop Grace's and Abigail's attempt to reverse her spell. Before that, they succededly killed at least three people, including Benjamin Franklin who was beheaded by the Horseman. However, in the end, Grace and Abbie succeeded and canceled the Traveler's Spell, returning the timeline back to normal.
Nine months after Katrina's death, a mysterious woman named Pandora encounters the Headless Horseman and seals him away in her box, and is granted the power of a demon that causes fear in its victims before killing them in exchange.
In the season finale, however, Ichabod managed to summon the Headless Horseman from his imprisonment. After being released, the Headless Horseman killed Pandora with the help of Ichabod and eventually avenged himself.
Abraham Van Brunt, being a Horseman of the Apocalypse, is a non-social individual, preferring to work alone. He will work with other people, but only for as long as Moloch requires him to. The only possible beings he might be willing to work with on a long-term basis are the other three Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Moloch himself. So far, he has shown utmost loyalty to Moloch and his goal of starting the Apocalypse, as Moloch has promised him Katarina in exchange for his sevices.
As the Horseman of Death, Abraham Van Brunt is to be considered an enemy of all people living and has show incredible sadism and brutality, as well as being happily to slaughter anybody and everybody. He however holds a special resentment towards Ichabod Crane as Crane was responsible for him losing his fiancee, his defeat during the American Revolutionary War, and his subsequent decapitation. It was later revealed in "Necromancer" that he was once Ichabod's friend and Katrina's former fiance until Katrina chose to be with Ichabod instead of him, which led him to assume that Ichabod had stolen Katrina from him.
In his human life, Abraham was a proud man and a clear product of his time and family. He would go to extremes when buying gifts for Katrina while Ichabod was more subtle. While initially a good man, he was devastated and angered by Katrina's decision to leave him upon the discovery that Ichabod had been the true love of her life. Abraham challenged his friend to a duel and when he apparently won, he was mortally shot by a Hessian soldier. Moloch then approached him and offered Katrina to him in exchange for him becoming the Horseman of Death, an offer he accepted without question, as it also gave him what he wanted in the process: Revenge. This process all corrupted him turning him into the monster he is today.
He also has displayed a great amount of animosity towards anyone who he sees as an obstacle in retrieving his skull and completing the Apocalypse such as Sheriff August Corbin (for reasons currently unknown), Captain Frank Irving, Reverend Alfred Knapp (who wouldn't tell him where his head was located), and Abbie Mills. He has displayed the greatest animosity towards Ichabod as he took Katrina and his head from him.
While able to hold grudges and the desire to obtain revenge, Abraham still demonstrates that his desire for Katrina to love him the way that he loves her is still strong, and that he would do nearly anything to see her happy to be at his side.
With the death of Moloch, Abraham's more human traits have begun to slowly resurface; a fact noted by both Katrina and Ichabod. He was willing to consider Katrina's offer to find a spell to separate him from his Horseman aspect but refused to return with the group after the fight with Orion; wishing to live freely.
- Broad Axe - The Horseman's main weapon, a large broad Axe, which he started wielding back in the 18th Century. Upon his return in the 21st Century, although updating himself with more modern weaponary, he keeps the Axe as his main weapon. Using his powers he's able to heat the blade of the Axe up to 500 degree's at will, meaning that it can easily cut through just about everything with ease.
- Throwing Axe - Another weapon of the horseman's, a smaller throwing axe. Like his main Broad Axe, he can also cause this to heat up to 500 degree's on comand.
- Colt M4A1 - Following arriving in the modern day, the horseman quickly updated himself with more modern weapons, as well as his orginal ones. One of the weapons he stole was a Colt M4A1, assult rifle, which he quickly mastered and uses to deverstating effect.
- Mossberg 500 - Another weapon that the Horseman stole when arming himself with modern weaponary is a Mosseberg 500 shotgun, which he also quickly mastered.
Although the Headless Horseman has inability to speak on his own (unless he reveal his head of his human soul which only Katrina and Henry could see), he still speaks via possessing Andy Brooks' body as his host.
- Do not bunden yourself.
- But you have! You have!
- Lies! Draw your sword!
- I was supposed to be the hero of this story! Not the villain!
- Yes, you took my head, but death will not be silenced.
- I am what you made me! I am the one who traveled to the New World to forge a new path. You forced your way onto it. I found a wife. You stole her from me! As if it were your destiny and not something you wrested from a man you dared to call friend!
- Not yet, but you will learn... before you die.
- I have waited for this day. Washinton's prize soldier, every times you were searching me on the battlefield. I, too, was searching for you. You were my mission, then and now. You asked why I remain here - to finish what I started, and as you lay dying, think about all the bloodshed that would follow, knowing that will be on your hand.
- Who's unworthy now?
- Leave, leave... LEAVE ME!!!
- HE (Moloch) HAS GIVEN ME WHAT I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED: REVENGE. BUT MY PRIZE IS NOT JUST REVENGE... IT IS KATRINA.
- I TOOK YOU! I TOOK YOU ON THE BATTLEFIELD! I SLAYED YOUR MASON BRETHREN! I HUNG THEIR HEADS LIKE LANTERNS! I KILLED HER PARTNER! AND I WILL, KILL, YOU!
- Her soul... WILL BE MINE ONCE MORE...
- You watched Abraham died. That was only the beginning. Then he came to me.
- Now, Ichabod, you shall learn.
- He is based of Brom Van Brunt.
- Abraham's Horseman form is portrayed by Richard Cetrone, Jeremy Owens and Craig Branham.
- His human form is portrayed by Neil Jackson, who portrayed Marcus Van Sciver in Blade: The Series.
- In the actual Book of Revelation, Death is the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, who rides a pale horse with Hell right behind him. In the series, Washington's Bible has the Headless Horseman as the First Horseman of the Apocalypse with the description of what in the actual Book of Revelation is Conquest. Though they have changed the description of Death in Washington's Bible with what is accurately stated in the Book of Revelation in newer episodes, his horse is still white and he is still the First Horseman of the Apocalypse.
- Abraham may be in the dark on what is going on between Jeremy Crane and Moloch, as he was confused to why Katrina was ill, not knowing that Moloch was trying to use her to enter the mortal world. This may be brought into question in the future if he were to find out what was to happen from Katrina.
- The Headless Horseman is depicted as wearing the traditional "redcoat" uniform of the British Army. However, the Hessian mercenaries employed by Great Britain wore their own distinct uniforms. The most common were a green coat with red trim, or a blue jacket with gold trim.
- As a result of the Kindred, Death may not be able to reclaim his skull unless the Kindred is decapitated, which could prove difficult.
- It's been implied that Abraham can heat the blades of other weapons other than his broadaxe.
- When facing Ichabod, he happened to throw a hatchet with an intentional heated blade.