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Sir Ugo Carnifex

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Sir Ugo Carnifex

Sir Ugo Carnifex is the main villain of the James Bond novel Blood Fever, written by Charlie Higson. He is the head of a secret criminal organization called the Millenaria, which styles itself after the Roman Empire. He considers himself a modern-day Caesar who steals artwork and money to support his lavish lifestyle and sinister plots.


Past Life

Ugo Carnifex was born in the Barbagia Mountains in Sardinia, the son of poor bandits. When World War I broke out, he joined a brigade and fought against Austro-Hungary alongside his brother, Guido. One time, they got trapped behind enemy lines and hid in an abandoned mansion. They were forced to hide in a septic tank for days; this event traumatized Ugo and remained with him for the rest of his life.

The brothers were eventually rescued and spared by Zoltan, a Hungarian soldier. Zoltan told them that there was a stockpile of gold under the mansion. Guido, a religious man, told his brother not to take it, but Ugo threw a knife into his back so he could have it all. After this, Zoltan and Ugo formed an alliance of crime afterwards. Zoltan would go on to piracy and smuggling for Ugo, while Ugo himself became the egotistical leader of the Millenaria.

Meeting Bond

Ugo first meets James Bond when he and his sister Jana visit the house Bond is staying at with his relative Victor. Victor informs Bond that Ugo and Jana are wealthy, respected members of society. Bond is annoyed by Ugo's tendency to talk about the Roman Empire and himself. After Ugo invites them to a carnival at his mountainside plaza, Victor tells Bond that he feels Ugo is a crook.


Ugo Carnifex sees himself as a modern Caesar

Bond attends the carnival anyways. He gets caught up in a gladiator-style fight hosted by Ugo and wins, much to Ugo's dismay. Later on, Bond enters Ugo's palace to visit a servant boy he has become friends with. Ugo freaks when Bond spits on the floor after the servant boy is verbally abused. Bond then realizes that many of the paintings in the palace were stolen from around the world, including Eton College and Victor's plaza.

New Plans

Bond sneaks out at night to infiltrate Ugo's base. He finds a meeting of Millenaria leaders from all over Europe gathering in a temple building. Zoltan, who is also there, is becoming fed up with Ugo's selfishness and obsession with ancient Rome (ex. speaking Latin). He leads them in a toast with bull's blood, which is a symbolic ritual of the Millenaria. Ugo rants about how stealing artwork is a necessary part of being a conqueror; he hopes to take advantage of Europe's unstable politics to become the greatest criminal on the continent.

Bond evades Ugo's guards but is later caught by a Millenaria mole planted in his tour group. After revealing his plans to Bond, he has the spy brought out into the Sardinian swamps and tied onto a stone platform. He says that the mosquitos will give him a most unpleasant death. Bond escapes, however, when a Sardinian bandit kills the guard holding Bond and leads him to an anti-Ugo bandit tribe.

Ugo's forces attack the bandits, but with Bond's help, they fend off the soldiers. In the battle, Ugo's henchman Smiler is killed with a harpoon.


The bandits prepare an attack on Ugo's palace as revenge for him making them slave laborers. Zoltan, meanwhile, sneaks out to see Bond and tells him that he wants to take out Ugo. Zoltan claims he is only in it for the money, not for a new Roman Empire.

Bond sneaks into Ugo's plaza and frees a girl previously captured by Zoltan. Zoltan appears and forces the two to the top of the mountain, which is held up by a dam Ugo built. He reveals his plan to burst the dam and destroy Ugo's base. Bond tells him that he will kill innocents, but his pleas are ignored. Zoltan and his own band of smugglers place explosives and detonate them.

Ugo is standing in the center of his plaza when he sees the dam collapse. He is killed when the massive wave of water slams his sea-plane into him.

Physical Appearance

Ugo Carnifex is in his 60s, and has white hair and a gaunt face. He is exceptionally clean; this stems from a traumatic incident where he had to hide from enemy soldiers in a septic tank. He usually wears a white Roman tunic and pants, further symbolizing his cleanliness.

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