The Princess Bride

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Name: The Princess Bride
Abbreviation(s): TPB, PB
Creator: Rob Reiner (film)
William Goldman (original)
Date(s): September 25, 1987 (film)
1973 (book)
Medium: film
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Wikipedia page IMDB
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Princess Bride is a 1987 cult classic film directed by Rob Reiner based on the 1973 cult classic novel of the same name by William Goldman. The film stars Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, and Mandy Patinkin.

The film is structured as a frame story featuring Fred Savage playing a sick young boy and Peter Falk as his grandfather who comes to visit and reads him the story The Princess Bride, with occasional comedic interruptions from his grandson.

Main Characters


The Princess Bride is required viewing in North American geek culture[1], though familiarity is much wider than the active fanbase as of 2016. Popular fannish activities for Princess Bride fans include quoting the movie and reblogging picspams/gifs of the various scenes in the film on Tumblr. Some fanfic and fanart have also been created, and many other forms of fanac can be observed IRL and online. Examples of many fanworks and fanac described below.

Popular Quotes

The Princess Bride has been called one of the most quotable films ever and fans are fond of quoting lines back and forth.[2] Some of the most popular lines include:

  • "As you wish!" -- Westley uses this phrase to tell Buttercup "I love you" when he is a farmhand.
  • "Have fun storming the castle!" -- The saying comes from a scene during which three of the main characters are getting ready to attempt a daring rescue of the titular Princess from a well-guarded castle, a seemingly impossible task. Therefore, the expression basically means "I wish you luck, but doubt you will succeed" -- in other words, "Good luck with that," expressed in a cynical tone.
  • "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." -- the phrase Inigo has spent half his life preparing to say when he meets his father's killer.
  • "Inconceivable." -- Vizzini's catchphrase, even if it doesn't really apply to the situation. He says it so much it becomes a trope.
  • "Life isn't fair, it's just fairer than death, that's all." -- a quote from the book, restated in the movie as "Well, who says life is fair? Where is that written? Life isn't always fair."
  • "You seem like a decent fellow, I hate to kill you."/"You seem like a decent fellow, I hate to die." -- a conversation was between Inigo and Westley while duelling.
  • "I just work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There's not a lot of money in revenge". -- Inigo's explanation for his job when he could be focusing on finding his father's killer.
  • "I just want you to feel you’re doing well. I hate for people to die embarrassed." -- Fezzik trying to make Westley feel good about himself while they fight.
  • "There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive."
  • And the particular way the priest in the film pronounces "marriage" as "mawage" [3]



The most popular pairing is the canon pairing Buttercup/Westley. Since Buttercup and Westley are the main characters of this canon’s romance story they are commonly molded, swapped with other characters, and interjected into new stories.

On the AO3, Fezzik/Inigo Montoya comes in second, though it has only 13 works.[4]

Prince Humperdinck and Count Tyrone Rugen are also sometimes paired up.

Going further, crossovers allow for many more pairings by bringing in new characters such as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, and others from series such as Teen Wolf, Game of Thrones, and Doctor Who.

Fanfiction Types and Tropes

Crack Fic

Crack fics give off a sense of humor and creativity due to their outrageous themes of a simple princess and farm boy instead of perhaps an athlete, secret agent, or singing pirate. Because this story is a book being told to a child, the canon already includes elements of adventure and romance that are accentuated, but these crack stories are unlike many others in that they are unrealistically humorous. Inigo Montoya’s famous line, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die” can be found in a few crack fanfics, most likely due to its drama and purpose of the character.


Crossovers seem to be extremely popular in Princess Bride stories. About ⅓ rd of Princess Bride stories on are crossovers. The most reasonable explanation for the amount of crossovers for this particular storyline is the amount of variety the piece as a whole has to offer. Princess Bride falls into multiple genres; comedy, romance, fantasy, and adventure. The story having so many genres and different character types and species it allows readers and viewers to become creative and make connections to other popular fandoms.

A few examples of popular crossovers would be:

Princess Bride and Twilight crossover: It is a common to see these to story combined together because of their similar connection in the romance genre. Different fanfic writers commonly see Buttercup as Bella and Westley as Edward. Example: The Twilight Bride by AQuad.

Princess Bride and Harry Potter: Harry Potter is currently one of the largest online fandoms and it is not surprisingly that most crossovers have Harry Potter on one side of the pairing. Princess Bride writers can easily cross the two canons based on the genre of fantasy. They both create a story realm that uses creatures of wonderment (giants, R.O.U.S., magic, etc.) Crossover fanfics do not have to be based on main characters. Crossovers like The Two Loves of Olympe Maxime by HarryPotter4Ever-celia use the similar giant characters and find ways to connect background stories to make them related and even create a new romance story.

Gentle Giant Trope

Representative Fanworks






As with any fandom, there are places that we as fans are drawn to. The Princess Bride is no different. There are many places pictured throughout the tale that fans can visit.[3]

One place that The Princess Bride fans enjoy visiting are the Cliffs of Insanity.[4] Located in Ireland, the proper name of the cliffs depicted in the film are the Cliffs of Moher. Seeing these cliffs in The Princess Bride makes it seem impossible that that truly exist, but they are. The only difference between the Cliffs of Moher and the Cliffs of Insanity are the fact that the Cliffs of Moher do not contain the broken structure where Inigo and Westley have their sword battle at the top. These cliffs attract hundreds of visitors each year due to their natural beauty and of course due to their meaning in The Princess Bride film.

Another fun place fans of The Princess Bride love to visit is Haddon Hall. Haddon Hall is the shooting location for the scenes which take place in Floring City at Prince Humperdink’s castle.[5] Haddon Hall is located in Bakewell, Derbyshire along the River Wye. Currently, Haddon Hall is owned and occupied by Lord Edward Manners.[6] Haddon Hall has been showcased in many films other than The Princess Bride such as Pride & Prejudice, Elizabeth, and many others. For fans of The Princess Bride, going on a tour through Haddon Hall would mean seeing the exact place where Fezzik, Inigo, and Westley, stormed the castle.

One final place The Princess Bride fans love to visit is Bradley Rocks in Derbyshire, England. Bradley Rocks is the physical home to Buttercup’s farm. While there is no structure there, fans still love to visit the location to take in the intense beauty of the area. This allows fans to stand where Westley and Buttercup first fell in love.


Among the many ways for fans to celebrate The Princess Bride, conventions, also known as cons, stick out as the most well known. These cons are a great way for fans to come together from across the country. Cons for The Princess Bride take place in a variety of locations and have numerous different events.

Many cons include celebrity interactions for fans. Actors from the movie will visit with fans, and discuss any questions fans may have about the film, other new productions, or books the actors is working on. A con in Salt Lake City welcomed some of The Princess Bride cast in March 2017. On a panel sat both Cary Elwes, who played farm boy Westley, and Chris Sarandon, who played Prince Humperdink. The two actors had a fun time at the Salt Lake City Comic Con FanXperince, answering questions and interacting with fans. Cosplaying is another major part of cons. Fans dress and act as a characters from works that they love. At the panel in Salt Lake City, one fan cosplayed as Inigo Montoya and interacted with the panel. These positive experiences with actors and fans are what make cons so popular.[7]

Cons are also a great way for fans to get inside information from actors. At the New York Comic Con in 2014, actor Cary Elwes sat on a panel for fans to interact with him. At this con, fans were also able to grieve for the recently deceased Andre the Giant. Elwes was able to talk about some of his favorite memories with Andre and helped the fans see some of his best.[8] Wallace Shawn, who played Vizzini, also attended the Salt Lake City Con; he just wasn’t able to be on the panel. A question for the panel had to do with famous quotes from the movie that have survived over 30 years. Elwes commented that he’s sure Wallace gets tired of fans yelling “Inconceivable!” when he ‘drops his keys.’ The question of a sequel came up, which Elwes and Sarandon joked that they wanted one, but William Goldman, the original author and screenwriter, had tried and failed to come up with one.[9]

The experiences that fans get from cons will be remembered forever and only enhance their love for The Princess Bride. Cosplaying lets fans live the story. Both cosplaying and cons give fans the chance to show their appreciation of the story.

Archives and Communities

With most fanfiction and fan activities, the internet provides fans from across the world, the opportunity to create, collaborate, and share ideas regarding their favorite works. There are thousands of websites with their own networks for these fans to come together. For fanfiction there are the popular and frequented sites such as and These sites provide hundreds of thousands of fan created fiction related to popular fiction works.

Some people go further than just writing about their favorite works. Some people like to create and participate in activities that relates to their interested work. These activities can include; participating in conventions, discussion boards, writing reviews, debates, newsletters, journals, creating videos, and even cosplay.

The Princess Bride is a source that sparks many people’s interest and has all kinds of fan activities online. [5] is a website dedicated to the source material of The Princess Bride and offers its fans just about everything they could want. <PB>[6] The site is a hub for everything Princess Bride. They have information regarding the movie and the logistics it took to film it, trivia that test fan’s knowledge of the source, quizzes that put the user into the source. The site has an extensive merchandise store where there is something for everyone, links to videos that show fans reenacting scenes and parodies of the film, the site even sends out newsletters to anyone who signs up for their Brute Squad Community. People of this community seem to participate in just about everything included with fan activities. The members write articles about the material and how it affected their lives. The site also helps organize events around North America.

The Princess Bride even has a connection to the widely popular MMORPG World of Warcraft (WoW). Some players of WoW have created an online world of the Princess Bride, where players pretend to be in the setting of the Princess Bride and get to create their own characters or even reinvent the original characters.<Role Playing Servers>[7]

Weddings/Special Occasions

A fairytale such as The Princess Bride (PB) is an unconventional one comparable to the Robinhood parody, Robinhood: Men in Tights. There is no wonder that people would want to make a wedding based on this story of “twoo wuv”. Here are some things that people have done to make their wedding special.

Every wedding starts with the invitations. They are normal for the most part, but you can probably guess that a little foreshadowing will be left inside. Couples often choose from the many appropriate quotes from the book to describe themselves. One couple chose, “That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying ‘As you wish’, what he meant was ‘I love you.’ And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.”[10] Another couple chose, “This is true love. You think this happens every day?”[11] Other options may include, “As you wish”, “Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today.”[12], or “Twu Wuv”.[13]These quotes can also be written on the back of name cards, on banners, and even as confetti in centerpieces or as a replacement for the rice throwing.[14] The centerpieces might have buttercup bouquets or a black mask. One couple created replicas of important scenes/sets.[15] You could also calligraphy signs that read popular words or phrases such as “inconceivable” or they used character names to mark the tables and make a beautiful centerpiece.

The most commonly occurring theme is the attire. Some weddings seem to look more like a Renaissance festival, with all the people, including guests, wearing medieval clothing.[16] A more common approach is to have only the bride and groom in elaborate costumes. The groom at least wears the infamous black mask of “The Dread Pirate Roberts”. Along with this will either be a classic black suit or they go all out with the black boots, black fluff shirt, tight black pants, sword - you get the picture.[17] The bride on the other hand, can do whatever she wants. She is the most beautiful woman in Florin after all.[18] Some brides will copy the design seen in the movie with a highly embroidered and beaded breast, a cape or sleeves made of lace that hang to the floor, and they like to have the dress tightened under the breasts rather than at the waist. A tiara is a must as is a bouquet of buttercups.[19]

The ceremony may also be themed. Couples have had their rings engraved with the saying, “as you wish”.[20] The officiate is the crowd pleaser though. Some couples like to act out the scene where Buttercup and Humperdinck are married, replaced with Westley of course and a happy ending where the bride actually says “yes”. The officiate will quote the priest from the book, “Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove”, and improvise if he so chooses.[21] The main idea is to make the ceremony as annoying as possible so the vows are even better. Again, the groom is a little more on script, “Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches… I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids… I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I… I’ve been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn’t listen. Every time you said, ‘Farm Boy, do this,' you thought I was answering, ‘As you wish,' but that’s only because you were hearing wrong. ‘I love you’ was what it was, but you never heard.”[22]

Now what is more important than the ceremony? That would be the food. One may be presented with peanuts displayed on their assigned table asking them, “Anybody want a peanut? - Fezzik”. You may not know if your wine labeled “The Bottle of Witts” is poisoned or not, but it’s free so you will drink it anyway. The menu may also feature exotic foods from the PB book. The MLT, Screaking Eel Salad, Seared R.O.U.S., and Twoo Wuv Twuffles for dessert. The most important food is the cake. Every PB wedding seems to have the same idea. The wedding cake must have “As you wish” on it. They also have a tend to be mirror nature in some way. They will have flowers, leaves, trees, berries, etc made of fondant.[23] One cake even had a sword going through the top.[24] Whether this was a theme or just a misfortunate cake cutting incident, we may never know.

After the festivities of the day are over the newlywed couple rides off into the sunset on a white horse, doomed.[25] “Doomed to live together until one of us dies.


The Alamo Drafthouse theaters periodically will run an event known as a 'Quote-Along' (Austin, TX event description as an example). The event encourages viewers to quote lines from the movie during the movie - as opposed to the theater's strict 'no talking' policy during typical movie viewings. Some events distribute props to be used during the film, some have a 'feast' with items based on the movie. One event in San Antonio, TX featured pyrotechnics during the Fire Swamp scene. Another featured Mandy Patinkin as a special guest [26].

Numerous LARP games have been based on this source, as well as tabletop RPG sessions etc. Approximately a hundred members of the 1996 Eastercon participated in several sessions of a committee decision-making game run by SF author Jo Walton in which the players were members of the present-day government of Florin, trying to deal with the aftermath of Stalinist rule and coping with massive iocane pollution, plans to use the Fire Swamps as an energy source, ROUS attacks, the Dread Pirate Roberts' hijacking of Russia's Mir space station, and other problems. In 2018 a Kickstarter raised funds for an official printed Princess Bride RPG, and a short version of the rules is already on line[27][28].

In Other Fandoms

In the Once Upon a Time fandom, fans of the pairing Emma Swan/Killian Jones (also known as Captain Swan) often make picspams or gifspams parallelling Emma/Killian with Buttercup/Westley. It has been stated by Colin O'Donoghue, the actor behind Killian Jones, that his version of the character was based on Dread Pirate Roberts.



  1. ^
  2. ^ [1] "Is Princess Bride the Most Quotable Movie Ever?" Seattle Pi online. Posted Aug. 4, 2008. (accessed June 27, 2016)
  3. ^ Princess Bride Wiki: Filming Locations. August 7, 2015. (accessed June 21, 2017).
  4. ^ Film and Travel. Guest Post: Exploring London's Movie Sets. March 16, 2015. (accessed June 22, 2017).
  5. ^ Wikipedia. Haddon Hall. May 20, 2017. (accessed June 22, 2017).
  6. ^ Haddon Hall. Haddon Hall. (accessed June 22, 2017).
  7. ^ Sarkar, Samit. "'The Princess Bride' Story Time with Cary Elwes at New York Comic Con." Polygon. Polygon, 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 June 2017.
  8. ^ Herald, Doug FoxDaily. "'Princess Bride' Panel Delivers 'inconceivable' Insights." Daily Herald. N.p., 19 Mar. 2017. Web. 22 June 2017.
  9. ^ Sarkar, Samit. "'The Princess Bride' Story Time with Cary Elwes at New York Comic Con." Polygon. Polygon, 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 June 2017.
  10. ^ “Literary Themed Vintage Story Book in Black and Gray Wedding Reception Bookmark Escort or Place Card Library Wedding.” Etsy, SunshineandRavioli,
  11. ^ “Princess Bride Quote Printable.” Pinterest, Dapperanddollstudio, 17 June 2013,
  12. ^ “Amanda & Mark's Elegant, Nature-Loving, Pagan and Christian Wedding.” Pinterest, The Offbeat Bride, 27 Nov. 2014,
  13. ^ “Burlap Bunting Banner.” Pinterest, CarolinaVintageCo,
  14. ^ “Fantasy Wedding.” Pinterest, Anovelamore, 2 Oct. 2012,
  15. ^ “CANCELLED: Maker Wedding: The Princess Bride, 2.0.” Westport Library, The Westport Library, 2 Jan. 2014,
  16. ^ Rosa, Erin La. “10 Reasons Why No One Can Top A ‘Princess Bride’ Wedding.”BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed, 15 Feb. 2013,
  17. ^ Rosa, Erin La. “10 Reasons Why No One Can Top A ‘Princess Bride’ Wedding.”BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed, 15 Feb. 2013,
  18. ^ Rosa, Erin La. “10 Reasons Why No One Can Top A ‘Princess Bride’ Wedding.”BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed, 15 Feb. 2013,
  19. ^ Sum, Suo Ergo. “FILM PETIT: THE PRINCESS BRIDE.” Skirt as Top, WordPress, 27 Jan. 2014,
  20. ^ “As You Wish...Rustic Romantic Vine Ring in Sterling Silver with Rose Cut Pink Amethyst...Wedding Engagement Promise Ring Secret Message.” Etsy, Joannerowan,
  21. ^ “CANCELLED: Maker Wedding: The Princess Bride, 2.0.” Westport Library, The Westport Library, 2 Jan. 2014,
  22. ^ Clark, Catherine. “Need a Romantic Princess Bride Reading? As You Wish...” Offbeat Bride, Offbeat Empire, 3 Nov. 2016,
  23. ^ “The Princess Bride Inspired Wedding.” Green Wedding Shoes, Green Wedding Shoes, 7 May 2012,
  24. ^ “Princess Bride Cake.” Little Cherry Cake Company, Little Cherry Cake Company,
  25. ^ “The Princess Bride Inspired Wedding.” Green Wedding Shoes, Green Wedding Shoes, 7 May 2012,
  26. ^ [2] Mandy Patinkin at Alamo Drafthouse
  27. ^ Princess Bride RPG Quickstarter
  28. ^ Princess Bride RPG quick-start rules and adventure