Marquis Vincent De Gramont In ‘John Wick 4,’ Explained: What Did Marquis Want?

In the world of “John Wick,” where characters and their motivations range from different shades of gray all the way to pitch black, there’s no option to look for binaries. While the ‘dignified’ criminals continue to live under the false pretense that their theatricality and rules make them better than animals, the existence of any distinguishing features among varying degrees of evil gets blurred as the predators eat each other up in the urban jungle. Still, there are those who, strengthened by their power and wealth, think themselves to be untouchable and dare to mess with the Baba Yaga, only to end up six feet under.

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The first three movies in the “John Wick” saga didn’t stress the necessity of a singular character as the antagonist, and except for some bits of Michael Nyqvist’s performance as Viggo Tarasov, the franchise lacked strong antagonistic performances. In the fourth chapter of the franchise, we are introducing to a new player, Marquis Vincent de Gramon, played by marvelous Bill Skarsgard. Proving himself to be John’s worst enemy yet, the Marquis hunts John using every possible method and turns out to be the last hunt of the Baba Yaga.

Spoilers Ahead

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Who Is Marquis Vincent De Gramont, And What Is His Motive?

The events of the previous movie set John into enacting his revenge against the High Table. As John goes to Morocco and draws first blood by taking down the chief leader of the organization, the High Table rushes to find an immediate substitute. In their hurry, they end up giving absolute power and authority to the representative of the French elite, already a high-ranking member of the High Table, and the Gramont family’s acting head, Marquis Vincent de Gramont. In a real-life scenario also, the De Gramont family was historically associated with French high society, political intrigues, and military affairs—needless to say, their position is of significant importance as the movie takes inspiration from them. In the movie, the Marquis gets permission to use the power at his disposal for one singular goal, i.e., to slay John Wick. However, as we come to know, he sees his responsibility in more symbolic terms and feels the need for the extermination of the very idea of John Wick, which conveys nipping any future possibility of transgression in the bud and, if necessary, demonstrating it through overwhelming action.


An Incapable Leader

The Marquis starts off as a sadistic, calculative individual who can play his cards at the right moment to reel his prey in. In the very beginning, as we are introduced to him through his interaction with the New York Continental management, he establishes himself strongly by exacting retribution for Winston’s betrayal by destroying the Continental and shooting his loyal concierge Charon to death. Making sure the message of how the new management deals with treachery gets conveyed to the rest of the flock, Marquis asserts his dominance from the get-go. The nobleman with a sweet tooth is ironically lacking a sweet disposition; he is a vicious and sadistic individual who gains pleasure from seeing others suffer.

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However, gradually it becomes clear that in their rush, the High Table had overestimated their option, as they had chosen someone who doesn’t really know how to wield the immense power at his disposal, and the Marquis’ penchant for gaudy attire becomes a symbol of his vulgar display and abuse of power, as in both cases he is unfamiliar with the tactful use of the resources provided. The Marquis’ order allows the raiding of another division of the Continental in search of John Wick, to no avail, and as the High Table official the Harbinger, asks the Marquis to justify the reason for such unnecessary bloodshed, the latter replies that the bloodshed was the point of the whole thing. His whimsical attitude concerns the Harbinger, who provides timely advice about the potential for vaulting ambition to be the cause of one’s downfall—exactly what happens with the Marquis.

Behind his fake politeness and brutal disposition, the Marquis is afraid of not fitting in and getting exposed for his ineptitude. In fact, throughout the movies, he didn’t have to handle anything on his own; he had his enforcers and people like Caine who were doomed to abide by the orders of the High Table. When Winston brings the news of John’s challenge in the Old Ways to the Marquis, he seems visibly shaken and in disbelief to some extent. This is furthered by his acknowledgment of his incompetence, as after the single combat challenge by John was officially sanctioned, he selected Caine as the combatant in his stead. To his credit, this trump he finally dealt was reasonable, as when his bodyguard Chidi asks why he entrusted his life with someone who was visually impaired, Marquis rightly remarks that Caine’s motivation to survive gives him an edge over John. This is once again marred by his insecurity as he tries to end the duel even before it starts by increasing John’s bounty and unleashing hordes of assassins on him, which once again fails.

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The Marquis’ overconfidence ultimately spells doom for him, a trait that goes hand in hand with his vaulting ambition. During the duel, as Caine injures John three times, an ecstatic, cowardly Marquis takes it upon himself to deliver the final shot, totally oblivious to the fact that John had withheld his last shot, which makes his turn valid according to the rules. As the realization startles the Marquis, John wastes no time in putting a bullet right between his eyes. In the Marquis, shades of two previous characters can be seen: the arrogant, lacking in self-awareness, entitled, and unscrupulous demeanor of Iosef Tarasov and Santino D’Antonio. Ultimately, the Marquis was, as Winston told John, an easily replaceable tool for the High Table to utilize.


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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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