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Raynald of Châtillon

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I am what I am. Someone has to be.
~ Raynald of Châtillon

Raynald of Châtillon is one of the main antagonists in the 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven, along with Saladin and Guy of Lusignan.

He is portrayed by Brendan Gleeson.

Biography

Raynald is a powerful French nobleman who is associated with the Knights Templar. He possesses a fanatical hatred for Muslims and will look for any excuse to slaughter them, even if he has to make one up. When he is introduced, Raynald is being charged by the count of Tiberias, the sheriff of Jerusalem, with attacking Saracen caravans, but is ultimately let off as the sole survivor of the raid is considered an unreliable witness. Raynald mocks Tiberias, claiming he is untouchable, and leaves, looking smug.

He later accompanies his partner-in-crime, Guy of Lusignan, on another raid, with the excuse that the caravans were armed (likely due to his earlier predations). They massacre the Saracens, with Raynald smiling psychotically the whole time. Once again, he is arrested and charged by Tiberias and brought before Baldwin, the king of Jerusalem, but again, there is no definite proof of his misdeeds, and he is once again let off.

When the Saracen king, Saladin, musters an army and marches toward Raynald's stronghold at Kerak, Baldwin manages to negotiate a brief ceasefire with him, promising to punish Raynald. He makes good on his promise by forcing Raynald to grovel and kneel before him, kiss his leprosy-covered hand, and then slaps him a few times with a riding crop before ordering Raynald's arrest, planning to have him executed. Unfortunately, Baldwin dies before the execution can be carried out, and Guy—who succeeds Baldwin as king of Jerusalem due to being the husband of Baldwin's sister Sibylla—has him released, telling Raynald to "give [him] a war." Raynald does this by attacking and massacring yet another Saracen caravan, then raping and killing Saladin's sister, who happened to be among the Saracens.

At Raynald's insistence, Guy musters an army of Crusaders to battle the Saracens and leaves the safety of Jerusalem. However, they travel a long distance without any water, and they soon become weakened from thirst and the blistering heat; Raynald himself empties his water canteen by drinking some and then pouring the rest on his head. At the subsequent battle at the Horns of Hattin, the Crusader army is annihilated. Raynald and Guy are captured.

Saladin gives Guy a goblet of iced water to quench his thirst, but Guy gives it to Raynald, who promptly drinks the water and stands arrogantly before Saladin. When Saladin points out that he did not give the cup to Raynald, the latter calmly confirms this, not showing an ounce of humility or remorse for his actions. Saladin takes out a dagger and slits Raynald's throat. As Raynald chokes from the grievous wound, Saladin's guards grab him, drag him out of Saladin's tent, and hold him down. Saladin then draws his sword, approaches a terrified Raynald, and decapitates him.

His severed head is later impaled on a spear and left to rot.

Trivia

  • According to TV Tropes, Raynald's barbarity was toned down in the film.
  • The popular belief that Raynald raped Saladin's sister has never been confirmed as historically accurate.
  • Raynald is arguably the film's true main antagonist, since he provoked the Second Crusade by preying on Saracen caravans and raping and killing Saladin's sister.
  • Out of the film's three main antagonists, Raynald is the only one to die.
  • He is also the only antagonist not to interact with Balian of Ibelin (the protagonist), though they do appear in a couple of scenes together and Raynald does encourage Guy to have Balian assassinated.

Gallery

Punishment200:57

Punishment2

Raynald's death

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