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If you're hiding her, you will lose your heads.
~ The Knave of Hearts threatening the Mad Hatter and his friends on the whereabouts of Alice Kingsleigh.

The Knave of Hearts (real name: Ilosovic Stayne) is the secondary antagonist of Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland. Although he feigns loyalty to the Red Queen, he is actually even more antagonistic than the mad tyrant and plays upon her insecurities in order to skillfully manipulate her into doing what he wants. He is taken from the traditional English nursery rhyme, The Queen of Hearts, and is based on the Jack of Hearts playing card as well as the late Niccolò Machiavelli.

However, at the end of the film, upon being sentenced to being banished for eternity with the Red Queen the Knave of Hearts attempts to kill her, which shocks the Red Queen at first (as she was genuinely in love with him) but quickly infuriated her as the two were dragged off to the wastelands called the Outlands.

In Alice Through the Looking Glass, his skeleton is shown chained to a throne with a blade embedded in his chest, indicating that the Red Queen stabbed him as revenge for trying to kill her upon return to her castle. His head later falls off at one point.

He was portrayed by Crispin Glover, who also played Grendel in the 2007 film Beowulf.

Description

The Knave of Hearts is mentioned first in Chapter Eight, and Chapters Eleven and Twelve deal with his trial for a tart robbery in which the King of Hearts presides as judge. Alice eventually defends the Knave after the evidence becomes increasingly absurd and she is called as a witness.

The White Rabbit announces the charges as:

"The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All on a summer day: The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts, And took them quite away!"

The Knave is fairly indifferent throughout the trial, and besides Alice, the Mad Hatter is called to give evidence, but spends his entire time being nervous in front of the King and Queen of Hearts, and the Duchess's cook is summoned to tell the court what tarts are made of. Neither are convincing witnesses, and the Knave does not offer a very good defense. He refuses to give evidence and then denies he wrote a letter that mysteriously appears in the court, but that he already knows is not signed.

Fortunately for him, Alice diverts the attention of the court by growing ever and ever larger and arguing more and more, lastly with the Queen over the concept of "sentence first—verdict afterwards". Before a verdict can be reached for the Knave's innocence or guilt, Alice reaches full size and force, and then calls them "nothing but a pack of cards". They attack her, ending the trial.

In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, he was a personal assassin of the Red Queen, who was extremely infatuated with him. He seemed fairly content with the Red Queen's affections until Alice, now 10 feet tall and masquerading as Um, came around and became the Red Queen's new favorite in her court. He then attempted to corner Alice and tell her of his affections, but she escapes his advances. In the end of the film, he is sentenced to exile while chained to the Red Queen. He then attempts to kill her, but is thwarted by the Mad Hatter.

In the Tim Burton adaptation, one of the Frog-Footmen is accused of stealing the queen's tarts rather than the Knave, but ends up on trial anyway for seducing Alice under the guise of Um. After many pleas, he was able to convince the queen that it was Um's (Alice) doing, declaring that she is to loose her head for "unlawful seduction".

The Knave's skeleton appears in the sequel Alice through the Looking Glass, Time was sitting on a chair next to him and saw his skeleton and wondered and tell him what happened to him, either the Queen killed him for trying to kill her, or she hired one of her men to kill him for the very same reason.

Other Appearances

When the Knave of Hearts appeared Alice in Wonderland movie, his full name is Ilosovic Stayne, and he is portrayed by Crispin Glover.

  • In the TV miniseries Alice, he appears as a protagonistic character named Jack Chase (real name: Jack Frederick Heart), who after he got captured in Wonderland, found out that he is the son of the King and Queen of Hearts. He is also engaged to the Duchess.
  • In the novel series "The Looking Glass Wars", he is re-imagined as the Jack of Diamonds, one of Alyss's friends who is a coward and intends to become her fiance. She works for both the Alyssians and Queen Redd, but when Dodge finds out of his actions, he is sent to prison.
  • In the otome game Heart no Kuni no Alice, he appears as Ace, also known as the knight of hearts who usually gets lost and one of the characters who fall in love with Alice.
  • Knave of Hearts

    The Knave of Hearts in Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

    In Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland, the Knave of Hearts makes a cameo.

In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland game for Wii and PC, he is the second boss of the game. He uses a red sword to attack. The player must distract him from capturing Alice and traps him on a cage. As he tries to escape, he tripped, and his sword fell. In this chance, the player must make the sword invisible with Cheshire Cat. He will rage and draw up his twin sword. In this time the player can damage him. The player must repeat the same thing, on the second time the player must use The March Hare's Telekinesis to throw a rock at him as he escapes. On the third time, he rages and break the cage with spinning attack. The player must attract him to a pole near the Bandersnatch's cage. As he strikes, his sword will strike on the pole. The player must use The March Hare again to throw a javelin at the ferocious Bandersnatch. As the Bandersnatch rage, it will kick him, throwing his sword away. The player must make the sword invisible immediately and attack him.

In the anime and manga series Pandora Hearts he is re-imagined as Jack Vessalius, the instigator of the tragedy of Siberia all for in his love for Lacie.

In the Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland game for Nintendo DS, he is the boss of Chapters II and III. Using any of the characters, the player must roll behind Stayne and hit him in the back to slowly deplete his health. In Chapter II he attacks the player near the Mad Hatter's tea party. His most powerful move is where he spins around like a tornado - the player can dodge this continuously using the roll until he falls dizzy and can be hit a large number of times. After his defeat, Stayne flees.

When he reappears in Chapter III at the Red Queen's castle bridge, Stayne must be defeated using a similar pattern except he now has more health. He also now has another move where he pulls out a spiky sphere and rolls it towards the player. As the ball rolls, Stayne will quickly regenerate health, and if it hits the player it will almost entirely deplete his/her health. However, the player can use the White Rabbit to reverse time over the sphere and send it back towards Stayne; this will cause him to run but fall and lose a fairly large amount of health. After his second defeat, Stayne falls unconscious and drops a piece of Underland which allows the player to venture deeper into the castle.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Despite being the secondary antagonist and serving the Red Queen faithfully, he turned out to be more dangerous than her.

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