|“Now when the hour is darkest, I will fight, with the bravest, the fairest, of them all.”|
|— Eric in narration regarding Snow White.|
Eric the Huntsman is the deuteragonist of Snow White and the Huntsman and the main protagonist of The Huntsman: Winter's War. He is a former Huntsman in Queen Freya's army and the love interest and husband of Sara, as well as an ally to Princess Snow White. He is portrayed by Chris Hemsworth.
Early Life Edit
While Freya the Ice Queen was murdering anyone who opposes her Eric is captured by her soldiers. She was amassing an army of children and training them so their hearts will be forever hardened. As they train and learn to be Huntsman, Eric and Sara become the two of her most exceptional warriors. After many years of training, they eventually fall in love and plan to elope. Sara marries him in the hot spring, where they made love, only to learn that Freya was aware of their secret. Freya confronts them in the morning after they made love and creates a massive ice wall to separate them. Freya forces Eric to watch as Sara is killed by her fellow huntsmen.
Ever since his wife's death, Eric's life tragically fell apart. He eventually came near to the town near Tabor, where he fell into drinking. He is also said to be one of the very few who is brave enough to venture into and withstand the horrors lurking within the Dark Forest.
Snow White and the Huntsman EditEric is brought to Queen Ravenna by two of her Guards. She informs him that Tabor's princess, Snow White, has escaped from her own prison that Ravenna confined her to and has fled into the Dark Forest. Eric immediately believes that Snow White is dead, but the Queen nonetheless orders him to track down and kill the young princess.
When Eric asks why she is of such value, Ravenna says that it is none of his concern and if he shall refuse, he will most likely be killed.Eric, Finn and the soldiers travel to the Dark Forest where Eric searches its dark depths for the fleeing Snow White. He eventually finds her, but she manages to take one of his daggers and holds him at knifepoint. When Eric asks her identity and the Queen's reason for wanting her dead, Snow White simply says that he should already know the answer to that question as he is the one that is hunting her. When Finn and the soldiers arrive, Snow White tries to flee but is stopped by Eric. When Finn demand him to hand over Snow White, Eric is reluctant. He asks Finn what they intend to do with her, but he does not give him an answer and simply say that he should keep to his word. In this twist of the fairytale, however, he instead becomes her protector and defends her against Finn, the soldiers and later a troll as well.
Some time before the troll, he cuts Snow White's dress to make it short. He also becomes her ally and her mentor, training her in the art of war so that she can become strong enough to face Ravenna and overthrow the Evil Queen. After being discovered by Finn's men, he struggles with Finn and impales him on a tree stump. Finn asks for his sister to save him, but she can't because of her limited power and lets him die. Eric helps Snow White reach Duke Hammond's castle, and awakes her from death with a kiss, after Ravenna poisons her with an apple. Later, along with Snow White, Eric leads a full-scale assault against the Evil Queen in the hopes of restoring Tabor to its former glory. The battle ends with Ravenna's death and Snow White and Eric's victory.
The Huntsman: Winter's War EditSome time after Ravenna's death, King William of Tabor comes across Eric and informs him that the Magic Mirror was taken while en route to a place known as "Sanctuary". Eric reluctantly sets off with Snow White's dwarf ally Nion and his half-brother Gryff to find the Magic Mirror, unaware that Freya has been secretly observing their conversation through a mask that projects her consciousness in the form of a Snowy owl.
While en route, the trio are attacked by a legion of Freya's huntsmen, but are rescued by Sara who is revealed to have been alive the entire time. Sara believes she saw "Eric" run away from the palace and feels betrayed by him. Eric concludes her death was a vision conjured by Freya in order to trick him. He reveals that he never stopped loving Sara and they agree to work together. Sometime later, the quartet is ensnared in a trap laid out by female dwarves Bromwyn and Doreena, but convince them to help find the Mirror.
The group reaches the Sanctuary and they defeat the goblins who possess the Magic Mirror only to be ambushed by Freya, who reveals Sara was using them the entire time. In the chaos that follows, Nion and Doreena are turned into ice statues and Sara reluctantly fires an arrow into Eric's chest. However, Sara intentionally shot the arrow at a medallion she gave Eric long before, and Eric was still alive.
After Freya left, Eric infiltrated the icy kingdom with help of Gryff and Bromwyn, and he attempts to murder Freya, but is stopped by Ravenna, who was resurrected. Freya realizes that Sara hadn't actually killed Eric and sentences both of them to death. However, Eric is able to convince a few huntsmen to fight against Ravenna and Freya, claiming the love of brethren. After this, Ravenna kills many huntsmen, and Freya forms an ice wall between the huntsmen and the sisters. As the remaining huntsmen climb over the wall, Freya discovers that Ravenna cursed Andrew into murdering her child rather than risk someone being more beautiful than her. Freya is filled with anger at this and turns against her sister, joining forces with Eric and Sara. Freya is fatally wounded, but not before she freezes the magic mirror, as Eric throws his axe, breaking the mirror and destroying Ravenna's spirit. As she dies, Freya witnesses Eric and Sara together and states they were "lucky" before succumbing to her wounds. Eric and Sara kiss as the kingdom's inhabitants and huntsmen celebrate their victory.
Eric is, at heart, a good man, who desires to protect others and fight evil even at the risk of his own life. However, past traumas have caused Eric to become rather hard and cynical over the years, to the point where he can appear uncaring and bitter. It's implied that Eric may have been suffering depression and had a death wish after losing his wife Sara, the only person he had left to love. He was also raised to be cold and ruthless under his Huntsmen training, though he ultimately rejects this. Eric becomes more positive and hopeful again largely due to the influence of Snow White, who inspires Eric not to give up on life. Eric can be rebellious and defiant of authority figures - he broke Freya's law against falling in love and was also defiant of Ravenna. Eric is also very brave, rarely fearing for his own life, though he did express extreme reluctance at returning to the Dark Forest. In addition, compared to Snow White's idealism, Eric tends to be more pragmatic and cautious.
Eric seems to believe it is his duty to defend those he cares about - he is always very protective of his loved ones and feels guilty if any harm comes to them. He also has a short temper and is often grouchy and bad-tempered (though he becomes more positive due to Snow White's influence). If he is truly enraged - usually due to those close to him being harmed - he can become very aggressive and even violent. However, this is mostly due to the terrible losses and hardships Eric has faced over the years and, despite his flaws, he is a brave and moral man, loyal to his friends and a defender of the weak. Eric also possesses quite a good sense of humour, often leaning towards sarcasm, which he retains even when faced with danger.
Eric and Sara first met as children when they were being trained to be Huntsmen. They bonded and developed a close friendship, which blossomed into love when they reached adulthood. Eric loved Sara so deeply, he was willing to defy Freya's law forbidding love to be with Sara, 'marrying' her in a private ceremony.
After their relationship was discovered, Eric was tricked into believing Sara was dead. Eric was so devastated by his loss of Sara, he became emotionally withdrawn and cynical (and perhaps even depressed), drowning his sorrows with alcohol and caring little for his personal safety. He actually claimed that Ravenna would be "doing him a favour" when she threatened to execute him, indicating he no longer saw a reason to live now that Sara was gone. He also wore a pendant Sara gave to him for years to remind himself of her and appeared to blame himself for her 'death', believing he should've tried harder to keep her safe.
When Ravenna suggested she could use her magic to bring Sara back to life, Eric quickly jumped on this and made a bargain to retrieve Snow White in exchange for Sara's resurrection, such was his desperation to see his beloved wife again. However, Eric appears conflicted when Snow White pleads with him, claiming the queen will kill her and, upon, learning that Ravenna lied, he is enraged and turns against her. Eric is motivated to help Snow White due to the fact she reminds him of Sara, which he later admits whilst grieving for her after her supposed death. Eric is nearly defeated by Finn in battle, until Finn taunts him about Sara, prompting him to fight back and ultimately kill Finn in a rage. Eric is shocked, but overjoyed when he learns much later that Sara actually survived and the pair quickly rekindle their relationship, once Eric convinces her he never abandoned her as she had been lead to believe, using the pendant she gave him as proof. He appears hurt when Sara betrays him, but bears no ill feeling towards her because of it. Eric seems to feel that Sara brings out the best in him and and seems happiest when they are together again.
Snow White EditEric is neutral towards Snow White at first, not knowing her true identity and only viewing her as a bargaining tool to getting his wife back. However, after turning on Ravenna, Eric develops a protective attitude towards Snow White, guiding her through the Dark Forest, offering her advice and survival tips and risking his life to protect her from a Troll. He appears to be frustrated at first by Snow White's obvious naivety and lack of experience of the outside world, but he comes to admire her courage and inner strength, partly because she reminds him of Sara, the wife he believes to be dead. Eric is surprised when he learns Snow White is the princess of the land and appears hurt when she confesses the reason she didn't tell him was because she didn't trust him.
The pair eventually become close friends, possibly even developing romantic feelings for each other. Eric remains at Snow White's side, escorting to Duke Hammond's castle and serving as her protector. When Snow White is fatally poisoned by Ravenna, Eric is distraught, pleading with the dwarves to help her. He later comes to the chapel where her body is laid out and mourns her privately, confessing that she reminds him of Sara and that, like Sara, she brought out the best in him and gave him purpose again. He clearly blames himself for her death, stating he failed to protect her and apologising. Eric kisses Snow White and its implied his kiss awakens her from death. Eric loyally fights alongside Snow White at the assault on Ravenna's castle. After Ravenna's defeat, Eric attends Snow White's coronation, though he keeps his distance somewhat. However, when he sees the new queen looking for him, he smiles at her. Despite the implication that Eric had romantic feelings for Snow White, their relationship ultimately remained platonic. Eric remained loyal to her, however, later agreeing to escort the Magic Mirror to the Sanctuary at her request and battling against Freya and Ravenna to prevent them from invading her kingdom, which also shows that Snow White inspired Eric to break out of his depression and find new purpose in his life.
Eric appeared to respect Freya and was initially loyal to her, telling a young girl that although she could be "grumpy" she was a fair ruler. However, Eric was not so loyal to Freya as to completely obey her commands, shown when he broke her cardinal rule and fell in love with Sara. Eric had also intended to leave Freya's service. After Sara's supposed death, Eric seemed cold and antagonistic towards Freya, no doubt due to the fact he believed her to be responsible for his wife's death. He had no qualms about trying to kill his former queen, though this was also out of practicality, as Freya was intending to lead an army to invade Snow White's kingdom. He also resented her for forcibly separating him from Sara and tricking him into believing she was dead and attempted to kill her for freezing Nion and Doreena. However, when Freya switched sides and helped Eric defeat Ravenna, at the cost of her own life, Eric's respect for Freya seemed to return and he appeared grateful to her for her change of heart.
Eric was unaware, at least initially, that Ravenna was the sister of his former queen, Freya. Eric had apparently never met Ravenna personally until Snow White's escape, but like many in Tabor, he seemed to despise her for her cruelty and tyranny. Eric did not trust or respect Ravenna as queen and had a low opinion of her, acting rudely in her presence and refusing to assist her. Unlike most other people, Eric didn't seem to be afraid of Ravenna, even when she threatened to have him executed, merely laughing in her face and saying she'd be "doing him a favour", though this could be chalked up to Eric feeling depressed over Sara's death and being drunk when he was brought before her.
Eric agreed to help Ravenna recapture her escaped prisoner, though not out of any loyalty to the sorceress - he merely wanted to get Sara back. After discovering she'd deceived him, Eric openly turned against Ravenna, helping her prisoner, whom he came to learn was her stepdaughter and the rightful heir to the throne, to escape her. Eric fought and injured Ravenna's brother Finn, later killing him in battle and intensifying Ravenna's hatred of him. Eric held the view that Ravenna was an evil tyrant who had to be stopped at all costs, fighting to defeat her. Upon discovering she'd been resurrected, Eric seemed shocked. Again, though, he showed little fear of her, giving his all to bring her down.
- "Why is she of such value?" - Eric to Ravenna.
- "And if I refuse?" - Eric to Ravenna.
- "Who are you? Why does the Queen want you dead?" - Eric to Snow White.
- "What do you intend to do with her?" - Eric to Finn and the Ravenna's men.
- "Her courage inspired us." - Eric in narration regarding Snow White.
- "Now when the hour is darkest, I will fight, with the bravest, the fairest, of them all." - Eric in narration regarding Snow White.
- "Troll!" -Eric to Snow White upon seeing a troll.