|“||You've had several opportunities to strike, but you hesitate. It's obvious you lack a true soldier's blood. You simply don't have what it takes. There are natural killers in the worlds, and those who aren't. No shame in being one or the other. Our individual qualities were endowed by whatever surly and intemperate gods exist. Be comforted by the fact that, even if you could bring yourself to skewer me, it would accomplish nothing. As long as my heart is in its remote remove, nothing you do here could harm me anyway. You've made a fair attempt to summon up a killer within you. No one can say you didn't try. Enough, though. It behooves performers to bow and exit when the show is clearly done.||„|
|~ Prince Brandish to Flycatcher|
Prince Brandish, also known as Werian Holt, is a character in the Fables comic series. He is the main antagonist of the Snow White arc and a supporting antagonist for the remainder of the series.
On the outside, Prince Brandish presents himself as a charming noble. In reality, Brandish is a ruthless, selfish and sadistic individual.
Brandish seems to have an obsession with tradition and "purity", extending and enforcing this view onto others. He has very regressive views on women, claiming Snow White as if she was his property after they vowed to marry centuries before. He considered Snow White's relationship with Bigby and their cubs to be impure, vowing to kill all of them right in front of her so that she can be "clean" and so that she can bare him heirs. At a young age, he killed his own mother, claiming that queens should be "chaste" and "pure."
Powers and Abilities
As a fable, Prince Brandish is immortal, staying forever young and can shrug off injuries depending on how famous he is in the mundane world. He is shown to be incredibly skilled in sword-play as well.
Prince Brandish is an immortal even by fables standards, having had a procedure done onto him that magically removed his heart from his body, storing it away in a massive fortress. As long as his heart is safe, he cannot be killed, Brandish being able to regenerate from any wound, fatal or non-fatal.
Born to a noble family, Brandish displayed psychopathic tendencies. One night, he murders his mother after witnessing her having sex with his father (her husband), claiming that a queen must be "chaste" and "pure."
Much like the original fairy tale he originates from, he was transformed into a bear and released of the curse by Snow White and her sister, Rose Red. He then makes a vow with Snow White that the two would get married. However, the prince did not marry Snow White, as his father, the king, refused to let Brandish marry a common peasant girl.
Centuries later, he assumed the name of Werian Holt, and was brought to the mundy world by Mister Dark to serve as a fencing instructor for Mrs. Spratt. After Mister Dark's death, he begins to teach the transformed Mrs. Sprat the art of assassination, and becomes her co-conspirator on an unknown dark plan for Fabletown. When the Fables come to claim Dark's castle as their own, both Spratt and Holt pretend to have been Mister Dark's prisoners.
After turning Grimble (who correctly deducted Brandish was lying about his circumstances) into a bluebird, Brandish revealed himself to Snow, much to Sprat's surprise and disdain (as she knew nothing of his past and was still very bitter to Snow). He forcefully tries to take claim on Snow as his legal wife, because they promised to marry each other back in the Homelands. Snow tries pushing away his advances, but he's very determined to have her and plans to kill Bigby and all of the children she had with him. And plans to make her replace the children with their human children. While Bigby is away, Brandish takes Snow captive and locks her up in one of the towers in Mr. Dark's castle. He bewitches himself so that any injury inflicted on him will also hurt Snow, making any attempt at rescue complicated. When Snow attacks him in an attempt to free herself, he breaks her arm to teach her a lesson and make her more docile. Snow vows to kill him herself. Bigby eventually arrives to free his wife, but Brandish transforms him into a statue made of glass. Snow eventually manages to escape, while Mrs. Green manages to break the spell that Brandish put on himself. Snow utilizes the fencing lessons once given to her by her ex-husband, Prince and engages Brandish in a sword duel. Even with a broken arm, and much to Brandish's surprise, Snow manages to gain the upper hand, an kills him by stabbing him through the heart - but not before Brandish shatters the statue of Bigby.
However, as Doctor Swineheart performs an autopsy on the fallen prince, Brandish awakens just as Swineheart discovers a cavity where the prince's heart should be, with rune-etched brass fittings capping off the various branches of the circulatory system that would normally connect to a human heart. He had his heart magically removed from his body to make him harder to kill. Despite this, Rose Red manages to capture him and gives him and ultimatum: either spend the rest of his immortal life buried in concrete, or serve her new Round Table. Brandish accepts the latter, causing a rift between the two sisters.
Trial and Death
After several weeks of enduring hard labor under the watch of Weyland Smith, Brandish breaks the terms of his agreement with Rose Red by killing Weyland in cold blood. When citizens of Haven find his body days later, Brandish admits he killed him and demands trial by combat, in which his opponent is Lancelot du Loc. Three days are spent of Lancelot decapitating Brandish with his sword, only for Brandish to put himself back together. After the three days, Brandish finally runs Lancelot through with his sword, killing him and being declared not guilty. However, Flycatcher takes up a sword of his own, charging Brandish with the murder of Bigby Wolf and attempted rape of Snow White. Brandish claims to be at a disadvantage since he is exhausted after three days of fighting, but Flycatcher refutes by saying he himself is a crummy swordsman, and the two engage in a duel. Brandish overpowers Flycatcher, lecturing him on those who are born with or without the basic nature to kill. However, Grimble (who had been traveling between worlds for some time) found his way to the stronghold where Brandish kept his heart. Grimble pecks at it and peels it apart until Brandish dies.
- Prince Brandish is overtly based on the Prince-turned-bear from the Grimm fairy tale "Snow White and Rose Red."
- Because of his abuse towards Snow and his plans to kill her cubs and replace them with his own, Prince Brandish is regarded as one of the most detestable characters in the series, excluding Geppetto himself.