Narrative secrets ahead.
Eugene Fitzherbert, aka Flynn Rider or Horace, is the deuteragonist of Tangled. He is the tenth official Disney Prince.
At first, Flynn comes off as cocky, arrogant and a little bit self-centered. He is overly concerned about money, wealth and the tiara he wishes to regain from Rapunzel. However, when one gets to know him, he is sensitive, laid back and good-hearted. As an experienced thief, he is skilled in escaping the authorities, hiding out and stealing right from under people's noses. Thus, he is agile, strong and quick-witted. Flynn's talents also include fencing, horseback riding, scaling and maneuvering over high walls and towers and "superhuman good looks", which unfortunately have no effect on Rapunzel.
For the first part of the film, he is solely focused on thieving and increasing his personal bank, aspiring to bask in his wealth one day on his own private island. However, as he begins to fall in love with Rapunzel, he transforms into a more compassionate, chivalrous and trustworthy person, and changes his priorities. He even willingly gives the tiara to the Stabbington Brothers to keep them off their back, (although he never quite loses his initial cockiness and tendency to cause mischief.)
Flynn loses sight of the importance of becoming rich as he fights to be with Rapunzel. By the end of the film, Flynn's love for her has grown to the point where he is willing to die so that she can be free. In the ending narration, he claims to have given up thieving.
Eugene Fitzherbert seemingly never knew his parents and spent all of his time with his fellow orphans in the orphanage. The orphan children looked up to him greatly and he was something of an older brother to them. Every night, Eugene would read them "The Tales of Flynnigan Rider", stories of a rich and dashing swashbuckler who had an abundance of thrilling adventures wherever he went. The more Eugene read it, the more he dreamed of a more audacious lifestyle and decided to break out of his orphan upbringing. Eugene eventually ventured out on his own and grew up into a dashing swashbuckler and gifted horseman and took the name of his childhood hero, going by the alias Flynn Rider.
Flynn serves as the opening narrator for the story, where he initially jokes, "This is a story of how I died", before giving a brief recount of the circumstances surrounding Rapunzel's birth to the kingdom's King and Queen, and Rapunzel's subsequent kidnapping by Mother Gothel. Many years later, Flynn is on the run from the law after stealing the crown of the lost princess and deserting his former partners The Stabbington Brothers. Flynn is chased by the Captain of the Guard's horse Maximus whom he has unsuccessfully tried to commandeer. Flynn stumbles upon Rapunzel's tower and climbs it to escape the horse, only to be knocked out by Rapunzel. When Flynn awakens, he finds himself tied to a chair with Rapunzel's hair. He is impressed by her beauty, but when he fails to woo his way out of the predicament, Flynn is eventually forced to agree to consent to Rapunzel's request to take her to see the yearly Festival of Lights in the Kingdom, in exchange for the return of his satchel and the crown inside.
The pair then sets out toward the Kingdom. Flynn tries to take advantage of Rapunzel's obvious ambivalence about leaving the tower by suggesting, with the pretense of good-natured compromise, that they give up on the entire endeavor. When Rapunzel sees through his ploy, he tries another method to dissuade her by taking her to the Snuggly Duckling, where she will be sure to encounter the "ruffians" and "thugs" he hopes she will fear. Flynn's plans are foiled again, however, when he is recognized and the thugs fight over who will receive the reward for his capture. Rapunzel manages to distract the thugs by inspiring the "I've Got a Dream" song, during which Flynn reveals his dream to own an island, where he can relax alone with his money. However, after the Palace guards arrive, they quickly go into hiding.
Flynn and Rapunzel are able to escape through a tunnel and share a brief conversation in which he refuses to give her any of his "backstory" but asks a little bit about hers. The conversation is cut short when they discover that the guards have pursued them into the passage. The pair flee, but are cornered atop a cliff in a canyon made from a dammed river, hotly pursued by Flynn's two enemies: the guards and the Stabbington brothers. Flynn is able to fight off the guards by using Rapunzel's frying pan, but is bested in a sword duel with Maximus the horse. Rapunzel uses her hair to help him escape the cliff and the horse, but when Maximus damages the dam in order to reach them, the two are trapped in a cave, which begins filling rapidly with water. Panicking, Flynn tries desperately to find an escape under the water, injuring his hand in the process. However, unable to see anything in the darkness, he admits defeat and the two huddle together in the rising water, believing that they are about to die. As Rapunzel weeps, he tries to cheer her a little by revealing his real name, Eugene Fitzherbert. Rapunzel manages to save them both by causing her hair to glow, which lights up the cave, allowing them see an escape, and Eugene digs their way out.
When the two emerge onto the banks of a river in the forest, Eugene is clearly unsettled and even alarmed by Rapunzel's glowing hair. Later that night, when the two are sitting beside their campfire, Rapunzel uses her hair to heal Eugene's injured hand. Eugene is evidently frightened by the magic, to the point of near-hysteria, but he quickly calms himself down when Rapunzel begs him to not "freak out." He learns Rapunzel's history, and the nature of her magical gift, which is lost if the hair is cut. Eugene begins to understand her feelings, and begins to show more compassion and affection towards her as a result. He at last reveals some of his "backstory" by confessing that he is an orphan, and as a poor child he was inspired by the main character of a book, who was a rich, free-spirited, "swashbuckling rogue" named Flynnigan Rider, which has prompted his life of crime in order to become rich and adventurous too. Slightly embarrassed, he asks Rapunzel not to tell anyone because it could ruin his reputation, and jokes that "a fake reputation is all a man has."
Eugene is nearly captured again by Maximus, but Rapunzel—with the help of Pascal—is able to befriend the horse and makes the two forge a reluctant alliance for the next twenty-four hours, during which Maximus will not get Eugene arrested. Now accompanied by Maximus, the group arrive at the Kingdom for the festival. Eugene accompanies Rapunzel as she delightedly explores the Kingdom, enjoying various activities with her, such as reading at the library, eating, and even dancing (at Maximus's prompting). That night, Eugene takes Rapunzel out on the water in a rowboat to see the lights. While they wait for the lights, Rapunzel expresses her apprehension about finally living her dream, and Eugene reassures her and encourages her to find a new dream afterward. During the lantern festival, Rapunzel returns his satchel, but he pushes it aside, openly revealing that he has found something more important than his old dream, and the couple release their own two lanterns. Eugene and Rapunzel finally realize their love for one another, and nearly kiss.
A moment before kissing Rapunzel, Eugene is distracted by the sight of the Stabbington Brothers on the shore and appears to come to a conclusion about his satchel. He brings the boat to shore and assures Rapunzel that he will return momentarily. He attempts to make peace with the Stabbington Brothers by giving them the satchel and the crown inside and tries to leave. However, they reveal that they know about Rapunzel and her hair, and express their desire to use her for money. He is knocked unconscious and tied to a boat, which is set to sail toward the Kingdom. When Rapunzel sees his silhouette steering the boat away from her, she is tricked into believing Eugene abandoned her and returns with Mother Gothel to the tower. Later, Eugene's boat crashes into the guard tower near the jail, jolting him back to consciousness, but as he realizes that Rapunzel is in trouble and calls out for her, he is captured by the guards. The next day, as he is taken to be hanged, he notices the Stabbington Brothers in their own cell. Breaking free from the guards momentarily, he confronts them, forcing them to reveal that Mother Gothel has told them about Rapunzel and her hair. The Pub Thugs and Maximus arrive and help Eugene escape prison, and he and Maximus rush off to save Rapunzel.
After arriving at the tower, he becomes worried when Rapunzel does not answer his calls, but her hair soon comes down to let him climb up. However, when he climbs jubilantly through the tower window, he finds Rapunzel gagged and chained to the wall. He pauses for a second, evidently confused and shocked, and is then mortally stabbed by Mother Gothel. Mother Gothel attempts to flee with the captive Rapunzel, leaving him there to die. Rapunzel resists her and refuses to go willingly, but then promises to submit completely to Mother Gothel if she will only let her heal Eugene. Mother Gothel agrees and chains the wounded Eugene instead. Rapunzel rushes to his side, but Eugene pleads with her not go through with it, preferring to die rather than let Rapunzel forever submit to Mother Gothel. When his attempts to dissuade her fail, he uses a shard of a shattered mirror to cut Rapunzel's hair, which causes it to lose its power and turn brown. Mother Gothel rapidly ages and dies without the magic from Rapunzel's hair. Rapunzel tries desperately to save the dying Eugene by singing the healing incantation. Eugene stops her and, with his last breaths, tells Rapunzel that she was his new dream, to which she tells him, in reply, that he had been hers. Eugene smiles and dies, leaving a heartbroken Rapunzel to hopelessly finish the healing incantation. She begins to sob, letting a single tear fall onto his cheek.
The tear, which is the original drop of sunshine which created the Magic Flower that healed her mother, shines as it dissolves into the skin and heals Eugene's chest wound, reviving him. He regains consciousness, and jokingly asks Rapunzel, "Did I ever tell you I have a thing for brunettes?" An overjoyed Rapunzel then embraces him jubilantly, and the two share their first kiss at last. Eugene accompanies Rapunzel during her return to the Kingdom, as she has discovered that she has been its lost princess, and witnesses her reunion with her parents. He appears to have been graciously accepted by the King and Queen. During his closing narration, Eugene implies that Rapunzel eventually ruled the Kingdom. As the kingdom celebrates the return of the lost princess, the two are shown together, both wearing nicer clothing and clearly still in love. After explaining that he has re adopted his original name and stopped thieving, Eugene then claims that he accepted Rapunzel's proposal of marriage after years and years of asking, only to be corrected by her. He then amends by admitting that he asked her, to which she states in support that the two are living happily ever after, which presumes that they have wed.
Eugene, along with Rapunzel, appears in this short sequel to the film, in which the two are preparing themselves for their Royal wedding. As the short opens, Flynn starts off the story by joking "This is the story of the day my life ended" as a nod to the original film's opening. Rapunzel corrects him, and he reaffirms that it is the happiest day of both their lives. He agrees with her that everything is perfect except for the fact that his nose is still incorrectly drawn.
Eugene is first shown standing at the altar of the wedding hall, awaiting his bride. He is awestruck at the sight of Rapunzel in her wedding attire as her father, the King, walks her down the center aisle. She joins Eugene at the altar as the bishop begins the cerimony, but Maximus sneezes and accidentally loses their wedding rings. Eugene and Rapunzel appear in a fantasy of Maximus and Pascal where everyone in attendance becomes upset at the loss of the rings. Eugene took notice of the two's distress but they quickly put on a happy face and pretended that nothing was wrong, so he returned his attention to the wedding ceremony.
Eugene and Rapunzel are shown later after Maximus and Pascal manage to get the rings back, but the couple (and everyone else) are shocked at the grotesque-looking Maximus and Pascal, both covered with tar, who offer the rings. Nevertheless, Eugene nervously takes the rings and gives one to his bride. The two then exchange their rings as the bishop pronounces the couple husband and wife. Eugene and Rapunzel kiss and everyone in attendance rejoices. The short closes with Eugene proclaiming, "So, who wants a piece of cake?" as the cart carrying the wedding cake, accidentally bumped by an exhausted Maximus, rolls out the door.
Once Upon a Time
In Once Upon a Time, Eugene's role as Rapunzel's prince is taken by Prince Charming, who is Snow White's prince, in the 14th episode of Season 3 titled "The Tower".
During a night's sleep in the palace, Prince Charming dreams of being in the old castle he and Snow White lived in. Hearing a baby's cries, he wanders into an undamaged nursery, where everything from the crib to the toys, appear exactly as how it once was prior to the curse. A grown Emma, dressed prettily in a blue gown, persuades him into a dance as practice for her first ball. Prince Charming is ecstatic, as this is the life he wanted for her, but she abruptly remarks that it is a shame it never happened since he failed her as a father. In an instant, the dream becomes a nightmare, with Emma being sucked into the wardrobe, as he is forced to let her go as she warns him not to "fail the next one". After waking up, Prince Charming receives news from Snow White that they are expecting another child, which shocks him, but he hides his true feelings from her. Unable to shake a foreboding fear, he attempts to calm himself by drinking. A sympathetic Robin Hood suggests that he seek out a plant called night root, which grows at the edge of Sherwood Forest, that can help overcome his fear. On arrival to the location, Prince Charming digs up night root, but climbs up a tower when he hears a woman's plea for help. Inside, a princess, Rapunzel, relates how she became trapped after being chased up the tower by a cloaked witch. She, like him, sought out the night root to conquer her fear, but it hasn't worked. He tries to free her, but the cloaked which intervenes and is unmasked as a manifestation of Rapunzel herself due to the princess consuming the night root. As the witch uses the princess's lengthy hair as rope to climb up, Prince Charming encourages Rapunzel to fight back, to which she cuts off the tresses and destroys her false twin. They journey to the palace, where Rapunzel reunites with her parents, and Prince Charming admits his worries to Snow White, who reassures him they will face the unknown together.
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