|“||So now it ends!||„|
|~ The Kurgan prepares to kill Connor in their final battle.|
|“||I have something to say...it's better to burn out than to fade away!||„|
|~ The Kurgan to the people of the church.|
The Kurgan, also known as Victor Kruger, was the primary antagonist in the 1986 film Highlander. He is Connor Macleod's archenemy and a highly skilled but yet ruthless, psychopathic and manipulative immortal warrior. He was portrayed by Clancy Brown.
The Kurgan was a brutal member of a mysterious race of immortals that had existed alongside humans for centuries. He was a warrior and a member of an ancient tribe of the Russian Steppes known for their exceptional acts of cruelty both on and off the battlefield. One of their activities included kidnapping young children, feeding them to hungry dogs and watching them be devoured just for fun. Some materials indicated that he had dealings with the barbarian Immortals called the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, including their leaders, Methos and Kronos.
The Kurgan made an enemy of fellow immortal Connor McLeod after failing to kill him in battle - swearing to hunt him down in order to behead him and thus gain his "Quickening": during his many battle The Kurgan gained infamy for raping Connor's wife, Heather.
The Kurgan and Connor McLeod would meet again in 1985, in New York City, where the Gathering was to take place. During this time, the Kurgan was using a status as a NYC criminal skinhead gang leader as a disguised background to hide his true self and going by the alias "Victor Kruger." The last six Immortals at this time were he, MacLeod, Sunda Kastagir, Iman Fasil, Osta Vasilek, and Yung Dol Kim. Vasilek was beheaded by the Kurgan in New Jersey before he learnt of Fasil's death in Madison Square Garden at the hands of the Highlander (McLeod).
He then defeated both Kim and Connor's friend Kastagir, leaving just the two of them, McLeod and the Kurgan. In order to throw Connor's concentration off, the Kurgan kidnapped his then-girlfriend, a screaming Brenda Wyatt, and raced all the way to the Silvercup Studios building while driving down the wrong side of the street, playing chicken and running over pedestrians while gleefully singing the theme from "New York, New York."
MacLeod followed them to the site, where he and the Kurgan faced each other in deadly combat, with Brenda's life at stake. Disarming MacLeod, the Kurgan was distracted by Brenda bashing him over the head with a pipe. This distraction gave Connor the time to recover his sword and gather his composure, and the two ancient warriors clashed once more. McLeod's calmness, maturity, and skill all proved to be superior to the Kurgan's, and ended up decapitating his foe, his essence passing to the Highlander, winner of "The Prize."
Likely because of the skill and power of Queen's soundtrack, Kurgan has his own memorable theme, "Gimme The Prize"
Highlander: The Series
While never making an appearance on the TV show, Kurgan was mentioned at least once, by Joe Dawson, saying flatly to Duncan Macleod that Connor had done the world a favor by taking him out. Since Immortals existed past 1986 on the TV series, the final battle between Connor and Kurgan is no longer the last battle leading to the Prize. It is still however, held as an impressive victory that kept a monster from being the last Immortal. Later stories set in this continuity indicated that Connor was forced to struggle with having Kurgan's essence inside him.
The fates of neither the Kurgan nor Connor were ever brought up in a grim alternate universe Duncan visited during the TV series' finale.