In this question, the question of whether Masamune c. 593 B.C. was the same person as the famous real-life swordsmith (c. 14th century A.D.) came up. It was determined this was not likely because the former had a daughter, and immortals cannot have children.

What I have found online about whether pre-Immortals can have children generally very specifically claims that female pre-Immortals cannot have children (though I would be interested to see authoritative sources for this claim too), which seems to imply that it's either unclear or that male pre-Immortals definitely can. If this is the case, Masamune could have been a pre-Immortal at that time (the later Masamune does not appear to have been recorded by history as having any children).

Is there any authoritative information on whether pre-Immortals (of either sex) can have children?

  • They absolutely could in the original script, then they changed it so that immortals couldn't.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 19:36
  • scifiscripts.com/scripts/Highlander_early.txt
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 19:47
  • 2
    "I was born Conor MacLeod in the village of Ardvrek on the High- land plain of Strathnaver in the clan of MacLeod under the King of Scotland. On the eleventh of December, 1408. I have served in the armies of twelve nations, married nine women, fathered thirty-eight children and buried them all."
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 19:47
  • That must be a retcon, according to wiki they were sterile highlander.wikia.com/wiki/Immortal_physiology
    – Yasskier
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 21:55
  • I remember an episode of the tv series where a woman claims Richie is the father of her child, but Duncan says he's never heard of an immortal having children, even before the first death. Then in Endgame, Duncan's ex wife blames him for making her lose the ability to have children, so it's inconclusive.
    – George T
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 8:33

2 Answers 2


From the Highlander wiki:

Sterility is one of the main characteristics of Immortals. When female Immortals are pre-Immortal, they menstruate just like other women. After they become Immortal, however, they don't. This is because of the spontaneous healing qualities of the Quickening. The blood and tissue lining of the womb is unable to form, because the tiny blood vessels that supply it are unable to rise to the surface and open up. Also, ovulation is impossible, because the ovaries are also affected by the Quickening. A pre-Immortal woman can't have children because the Quickening is so strong and concentrated, even before the onset of pure Immortality, the ovaries are unable to release the ova.

Information about male sterility is bit more ambiguous:

Male Immortals are sterile because the concentration of the Quickening interferes with the mitochondria in the sperm cells. The mitochondria are the things that give the sperm energy. The Quickening increases their energy to such a degree that it destroys the enzyme on the head of the sperm, making them unable to penetrate an egg cell to fertilize it.

Which (as the OP pointed) doesn't say directly about fertility of pre-immortals.

It seems that in the original script immortals in general were supposed to be able to have children (quote thanks to @Richard)

I have served in the armies of twelve nations, married nine women, fathered thirty-eight children and buried them all.

but it was removed from the movie and has been replaced with sterility.

Now regarding the Masamune question: if indeed pre-immortal males can have children then he could father a daughter, die violently, became immortal, spent 2000 years hiding in a cave (or simply not make a single sword) and resurface again in 14th century just to became famous, but I still find it highly unlikely since it takes too many assumptions.

  • You should add a link to the original script in your answer. Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 23:13
  • that might be difficult - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/47274/…
    – Yasskier
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 23:18
  • 1
    Also, kin bonds are a whole subsection of anthropological study, many cultures (including Scottish, depending on time period) have the tradition that children fostered or raised by a non biological parent become their actual parent in the eyes of society. So even without the infertility, depending on context "fathered" may not mean produced biological offspring. Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 0:36
  • Err... didn't Richard link to a script where you pulled the quote from? Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 3:34
  • yes he did, thats why I said "Quote thanks to @Richard"
    – Yasskier
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 3:44

Based on the original movies I remember it being as Richard said above, I dont think you need more proof than that quote, but in the series I remember it being as pre-immortals can have children because the change is only triggered if they are killed, and if they are not and they die of natural causes they stay dead just like a normal person. So it realy depends on which adaptation you are thinking of.

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