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Had a go at 'tidying it up' Kevinb 20:09, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Good job! I'd say the cleanup tag isn't needed anymore. --pie4all88 23:40, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

True or false??[edit]

True or false: the gender-neutral equivalent of this masculine term is known by some registered Wikipedian. 20:14, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Mediaeval women did not act as a subordinate official or groom. There would be no politically correct equivalent. Avalon 21:04, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

So long as the logic of the language and grammar is kept consistent, the ahistoricity of actual "henchwomen" seems a non-issue. Just feminize the relevant words acording to the normal rules: unknown sex is presumed male, mixed group is based on male singular, and females are given proper forms (-, -ess; -or, -ix; -man, -woman; etc.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:08, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Added contradict tag[edit]

I added the tag because, as I explain in the edit summary, the relationships numbered 1 and 3 appear to be the same to me, but they cast different people as henchmen. I'm not sure how #1 describes a henchman if this is not what's happening. Is the "senior ally" described in #1 the henchman to someone who is not particularly villainous? If so, I don't think they're really a henchman in that sense. In #3, is Scaramanga really a henchman simply because he is available for hire? I don't know all the answers, but it seems to me that rewrites need to occur. I'm not sure that the tag I chose is the correct one, and the article still clearly needs a decent bit of work, but this section in particular strikes me as confusing and unclear. Croctotheface 08:14, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. The Henchman as supervillains section seems, to me, to be Original Research. It also tells us little about henchman, and seems to confuse henchman with "anyone who works for a villain." The very idea of a henchman as a supervillain contradicts the articles first statement that henchmen are "expendable adherents of the main villain, always ready to do the master's bidding, to kill or be killed, kidnap, or threaten, as needed" I vote the entire "Henchman as Supervillain" section be deleted. Sir Isaac Lime 08:43, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Removed Henchman as Supervillain[edit]

Removed the Henchman as Supervillain portion. It was unsourced, completely original research, added nothing to the overall discussion of what a henchman is, and, as noted above, contradicted itself. If anyone can think of a reason to put some of it back, please do so, and explain. As it is, I just don't think it added anything.

For the record, I removed the following text:

The most common type of henchmen are either as the obedient, loyal-till-death footsoldier of the chief villain (eg. Imperial Stormtroopers) or, alternatively, as a more specialised, flesh-out character with their own abilities (eg. Oddjob, Jaws, and so forth from the James Bond movies) who, despite being on more equal ground with the main characters, usually ends up being killed by the hero (or villain) of the story.

It is possible, however, for a henchman to become a major villain in his own right, and even to be as great - perhaps even greater - a threat as the main villain. Generally, there are three ways in which this happens:

1. The henchman represents a senior ally/ business partner of the story's main villain, and hence is on equal ground with them, or perhaps is even the authority figure. They are still a henchman, but not of the arch-villain. Occasionally, when plans go awry, this type of henchman will eliminate the main villain, to avoid leaving any trails back to their true masters (though the reverse has been known to happen, eg. the Chinese agent Mr Ling from Goldfinger). Examples include Yassen Gregorovich from Stormbreaker,

2. The henchman is presented as a fully fleshed-out, rounded character in his own right with a history and agenda that may be separate from the chief villain, and often has a previous relationship with one or more of the story's hero characters. This usually works best in stories which are epic in nature eg. trilogies, quadrilogies, serials etc., with the henchman being encountered more often than the chief villain, especially the beginning and middle of the story, in order to develop the character further. In such stories the henchman's master is still a considerable threat, and they often fear him, but they nonetheless posess plans and ambitions which other henchmen often do not. Examples include Guy of Gisbourne in many variants of Robin Hood legends, Darth Vader from Star Wars, Randall Flagg from Stephen King's Dark Tower series, and some versions of the Black Dalek and Cyber-leader from the British sci-fi series Doctor Who.

3. The henchman is the chief villain of the story. Although they work for a villain he/she is either too weak, too stupid or perhaps even too moral to properly control their henchman, who is usually smarter, more violent, and more talented than their master, and usually realize this. Often they are hired killers or soldiers who become attracted to the money or power of their new boss, and either work their way up the ladder or simply kill them and take their place. Most importantly, the history with the hero is usually theirs, and in any case they are portrayed as the one who is the most threatening to them. Examples include Scaramanga from The Man with the Golden Gun (who kills his employer Hai-Fat), Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West, or Tim Roth's character in The Musketeer.

Too many "Modern Examples"?[edit]

There are thirty-six entries in this table. That strikes me as vastly too many, and more suitable to a List of henchmen type article if anything. Personally I'd be inclined to remove the table altogether and just write a paragraph giving a couple of the most famous examples (eg Oddjob). As it is, it seems to have become an "insert your favourite henchmen here!!!" section. (talk) 14:41, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Although I found it quite funny, I've removed Michael Costa and Morris Iemma from the list. :) Mr john luke (talk) 01:42, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Six years on, the list of henchmen is now approaching two hundred and it’s beyond ridiculous. This bloated list should be removed and a handful of examples from the list incorporated into the article. Freeman501 (talk) 22:27, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Moff Tarkin[edit]

Moff Tarkin is not Vader's henchman. When Vader is force choking the guy with the lack of faith, Tarkin calls him off and Vader listens. No villain takes orders from his henchman. Then, Moff Tarkin sends Vader to interrogate Leia to find out where the rebel base is, which he fails at so Tarkin himself has to step in. He gets the information and he makes the decision to blow up Alderaan. In the original Star Wars, Vader is the henchman, not the other way around. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:38, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Also, Princess Leia clearly refers to Tarkin as Vadar's master. Leia: "Governor Tarkin, I should have expected to find you holding Vader's leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board." If Tarkin was the henchmen, she would have said it the other way around. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:27, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Vito Corleone[edit]

Vito Corleone is not a villain, he and Michael are the Heroes of The Godfather, therefore if any character should be listed from The Godfather, it should be Sonny. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Sonny is not a henchman. Vito, Sonny, Michael and even Fredo are the core of the mafia family – the royalty, if you like. The principal henchmen are Clemenza and Tessio, the youthful friends of Vito and later his caporegimes. People such as Luca Brasi, Paulie Gatto and Albert Neri can be considered subsidiary henchmen. Freeman501 (talk) 18:57, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

"Evil henchman"[edit]

Shouldn't there be a redirect or something for "Evil henchman"? I suspect that most people are most familiar with henchmen that are evil. "Heros" have "sidekicks" instead, for some reason...I suspect an subconscious anti-aristocracy/wealth-holder message there..."henchmen" used to belong to powerful, wealthy people, and no good hero can come off as an oppressor of the poor. Now that I think of it, why DOESN'T the article address this phenomena? It clearly states that "henchmen" belong to the villain, as opposed to the hero's "sidekick", but there doesn't appear to be anything in the article suggesting how this came to be.

  "The word became obsolete for grooms in English from the middle of the 17th century, but was retained in Scots as "personal attendant of a Highland chief". It was revived in English by way of the novelist Sir Walter Scott, who took the word and its derivation, according to the New English Dictionary, from Edward Burt's Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland, together with its erroneous derivation from haunch. The word is, in this sense, synonymous with gillie, the faithful personal follower of a Highland chieftain, the man who stands at his master's haunch, ready for any emergency.

The modern sense of "obedient or unscrupulous follower" is first recorded 1839, probably based on a misunderstanding of the word as used by Scott, and is often used to describe an out-and-out adherent or partisan, ready to do anything."

It doesn't seem clear to me how Scott equating a henchman with a "gillie" turned it into a negative phrase. Gillies sound like very useful people. It seems to be saying that Scott somehow incorrectly derived the word, and something about the way he used the phrase in one of his works caused other people to misinterpret it as a "person who is ready to do anything"? By those words alone, I don't see why that is inherently negative...isn't a "Sidekick" an "out and out partisan"? "Ready to do anything" isn't always a bad thing either. Anyway, a little more detail would be nice, since it's hard to get more than a very fuzzy idea of how a "henchman" went from being a noble assistant to royalty to being an unscrupulous lackey for evil villians, exclusively. But I digress. Original point is that most people consider ALL "henchmen" to be "bad guys", and "henchman" to basically be an abbreviation of "evil henchmen". But when you search for "evil henchman", all you get is a number of articles that CONTAIN the phrase (although "Henchman" appears down at the very bottom of the page when you search for "evil henchman" instead of "evil henchmen"). Sure, some people might have the wherewithal to consider searching for just "henchman", but should they HAVE to? I think that a redirect would be appropriate. But I have no idea how to create one myself. Just thought I'd put that out there. Wikipedia ought to be accessible for everyone; perhaps people lacking in intellect need its services (such as they may be) MORE than the intelligent person..45Colt 09:04, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

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Missing henchmen in fiction[edit]

This article is very obviously missing something. It doesn't mention anything about companions of villains in fictional universe, such as Bowser's Koopa Kid and Joker's henchmen. Henchman is the villain version of sidekick and there talks about that and has plenty of examples. PlanetStar 06:22, 2 May 2020 (UTC)