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Knave of Hearts

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The Knave of Hearts
Background information
Feature films
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Short films
Television programs Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Video games
Park attractions
Portrayed by Crispin Glover
Paul McGillon (Once Upon a Time)
Michael Socha (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland)
Portrayed by
Performance model
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names Ilosovic Stayne, The Red Knight.
Personality Crafty, smart, calm, secretive, malign
Appearance tall man with black hair, a heart-shaped eyepatch in the left eye and a scarred face, black armor with black gloves, red cape, boots
Occupation The Red Queen's right hand man.
Alignment The Red Queen's empire
Allies The Red Queen
Minions Armoured Cards, The Jabberwocky
Powers and abilities
Weapons Sword
Fate Nearly manages to kill the Red Queen due to her manners towards him, but is expelled from Underland along with her in 2010 film.
Quote "If you're hiding her, you will lose your head".

The Knave of Hearts is a secondary antagonist in the 2010 film, Alice in Wonderland. He is played by Crispin Glover.


Alice in Wonderland

The Knave of Hearts (called Ilosovic Stayne or The Red Knight) is first seen obtaining the Oraculum and taking it to The Red Queen as he shows her Alice slaying the Jabberwocky. Soon after, Stayne is briefly seen talking Bayard the Bloodhound, getting him to believe that if he found Alice, his wife and pups would go free.

Stayne is next seen talking to The Mad Hatter, The March Hare and the Dormouse, unaware that the Hatter is hiding Alice in a teapot. As the Hatter attempts a random distraction, Stayne threatens that if they were hiding Alice, they'd lose their heads as he chokes the Hatter, who then remarks that they'd 'already lost them'. He releases the Hatter and then leaves as Bayard runs off, pretending to have found Alice's scent.

Later on in the film, Stayne is seen in the hallway of The Red Queen's castle, telling Alice that he likes her, but Alice immediately turns away from him. One of The Red Queen's subjects overhears this and tells the Queen. She gets infuriated with Stayne and, when he convinces her that Alice was the one obsessed with him, she screams 'off with her head'. Stayne is then seen attempting to take the Vorpal Sword away from Alice, but is interrupted by the Bandersnatch (who had become friends with Alice after she returned its missing eye). Further into the film, during the final battle, Stayne duels The Mad Hatter and would've been killed by him if Alice hadn't slayed the Jabberwocky and stopped the battle. After The White Queen declares to banish both Stayne and The Red Queen, Stayne attempts to kill The Red Queen, but fails due to The Mad Hatter's interference.

He is then banished from Underland with The Red Queen, pleading for death at the White Queen's hands rather than a life with the Red Queen. He is denied the mercy of death, for the White Queen owes him no kindness. His ultimate fate is unknown.

Once Upon a Time

This version was portrayed by Paul McGillon. The Knave of Hearts arrests The Evil Queen and Jefferson and has them taken by some royal guards to the Queen of Hearts. Jefferson is taken before the Queen of Hearts by the guards, everyone around him is wearing masquerade masks and the queen herself has her faced covered by a red veil. She talks to the Knave of Hearts through a long pipe that comes from her mouth and into his ear, he listens to her mumblings. "Your majesty says she knows you're responsible for helping steal from her." the knave repeats to Jefferson. "The Queen! She tricked me!" Jefferson protests, the Queen of Hearts stomps her foot, "That woman's name is Regina!" the knave exclaims, "There is only one queen: The Queen of Hearts." he corrects him. Jefferson apologizes and the queen is heard whispering something to the knave through her pipe, "Your majesty wishes to know how you got to this world. How did you come to Wonderland?" the knave asks. "If I tell you, will you let me go home to my daughter?" Jefferson asks, the knave and the queen laugh, the next thing the Queen of Hearts whispers is very audible, "Off with his head." Jefferson becomes very worried, a guard with a very large axe walks over to him, he swings the axe and cuts Jefferson's head off as another soldier grabs his hair, meaning that his head is held up whilst his body drops to the ground. As Jefferson's head is held up, his eyes are still open and his mouth is still moving, he is shocked to be alive. "I'm alive!" he exclaims, staring at his body on the ground. "If you wish your body back, then answer, how did you get here?" the Knave of Hearts asks. Jefferson says he used the hat, the knave, from the queen, asks where the hat is now. "She took it. Regina." Jefferson explains. "If all you require to make it to your homeland is this magic hat, then surely you can make another?" the knave asks. "I can't. A hat without magic is just a hat. It won't work." he says. The knave tells him that that's his task, to make another magic hat.

Later, The Knave presents Captain Hook before the Queen of Hearts. In Wonderland, Captain Hook is being dragged by knights before the Queen of Hearts. A golden and red masquerade mask covers the Queen's face and the Knave of Hearts bows to her before standing at her side, Hook is made to kneel and the Queen of Hearts waves an arm as an order for the Knave to lift her horn, he does so and she whispers through it, into the Knave's ear. The Knave tells Hook that the Queen would like to know why he's come to Wonderland, Hook explains that he's in search of someone. "In a native land, she goes by 'Cora'.", Hook tells her, "In this land she goes by 'Your Majesty'!", exclaims the Queen of Hearts, standing up and removing her mask, revealing herself to be Cora. She orders her royal ensemble to leave her and Hook alone, each and every one of them immediately oblige, scattering from the premises.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Main article: Will Scarlet


  • Contrary to popular opinion, the Knave of Hearts did appear fleetingly in Alice in Wonderland (1951) at the tail end of the March of the Cards preceding the arrival of the Queen of Hearts. He was presented in that film as a living playing card, the Jack of Hearts (indeed his sole line in the film is to announce himself as "Jack!").
  • Although the Knave of Hearts said or did little in the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, he is first presented carrying the crown for the King of Hearts, implying he is a personal flunky to the King and Queen.
  • In an animated Japanese series based on the Alice books, he is depicted as their son; in a PBS television adaptation he was depicted as the Queen's lover (as in the 2010 Disney film), and he also seemed in that version to have an attraction to Alice despite the fact she is supposed to be seven (although she was played by an adult actress, Kate Burton, whose father the late Richard Burton appeared as the White Knight). And in a Hallmark television version, he was depicted as the nephew of the King and Queen, and was called "Sir Jack."
  • In the original illustrations of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Victorian caricaturist Sir John Tenniel, he is drawn after the Knave of Spades rather than the Knave of Hearts in the standard card pack, and he was also drawn with a shaded nose, implying he was a bit of a drunkard, in order to make him look all the more guilty at his trial (for allegedly stealing the Queen's tarts, as stated in the classic nursery rhyme).
  • In the original Alice books, just as the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen were separate characters, the Knave of Hearts and the Red Knight were separate characters as well, the Knave from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the Red Knight from Through the Looking-Glass. And where the Knave was a living playing card, the Red Knight was a living chess piece.
  • The Red Knight only had a brief but dramatic/comic appearance in the original Through the Looking-Glass in which the White Knight rescues him from capturing Alice.


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