I know about the code against fighting on holy ground and multiple immortals ganging up on one- are there other unspoken laws immortals follow?

  • 3
    Don't ruin a great movie with crap sci fi
    – Peter
    May 19, 2016 at 18:33
  • 1
    "Never wear white after Labor Day."
    – Molag Bal
    May 19, 2016 at 18:35
  • 2
    "You do not talk about about beheading club."
    – Valorum
    May 19, 2016 at 18:44
  • 1
    Rule #1 is always "Read the effin' manual"
    – Valorum
    May 19, 2016 at 18:49
  • 1
    Rule #1 is, obey all rules. Rule #2 is, "do not write on the walls."
    – Molag Bal
    May 19, 2016 at 19:30

2 Answers 2


Per the wiki, there seems to be a number of "rules" that immortals are supposed to follow. That being said, over the course of the three two cinematic films, five made-for-TV films and TV series they break pretty much all of these rules, usually with only minimal consequences. I think it's best to say that these are more worldbuilding guidelines or general policies than hard and fast rules by which they live and die:

  • There Can Be Only One
  • You have to play The Game (e.g. you have to locate and fight with other immortals)
  • You will feel the call of the Gathering and go to that location.
  • No fighting on holy ground
  • Duels should be one-on-one, as should quickenings
  • Minimise contact with outsiders (don't go public)
  • "Dead" immortals (those seen to be killed) should break ties with their former communities
  • Most wounds will heal post-immortality, some will not.
  • New immortals are afforded a grace period in which to learn how to fight and to be trained in the rules above.
  • 1
    Isn't that penultimate one not a rule? It looks like a prediction, unless I'm missing something. (And yes, I like the word "penultimate".)
    – Molag Bal
    May 19, 2016 at 19:43
  • @anaranjada - Possibly. I was thinking about the fact that Connor stabs himself a whole bunch of times with no ill effect, but the Kurgan suffers a neck wound (courtesy of Ramirez) that never heals.
    – Valorum
    May 19, 2016 at 19:44
  • 2
    I assume one of the rules is to believe the third movie never existed?
    – gowenfawr
    May 19, 2016 at 20:58
  • 2
    @gowenfawr - There was no third movie. There were only two movies. Highlander and Highlander III: The Sorcerer. It's a mystery why they skipped number two, probably something to do with licensing.
    – Valorum
    May 19, 2016 at 20:59
  • 6
    My rule about the movies is: There Can Only Be One.
    – Molag Bal
    May 19, 2016 at 21:38

The following is an excerpt from The Watchers Guidebook (pages 22-23) which states the watcher's understanding of 'The Rules'.

What the Watchers know about Immortality and The Game is based upon thousands of years of observation and Chronicling While we may never know all the Rules of the Game, here is what we know or can conjecture.

Where do Immortals come from?
We do not know where Immortals come from or what determines who is Immortal
What we do know is:

* Immortals carry the seed of their Immortalitv within them through their mortal life.
* Immortals don't discover their Immortality or manifest any symptoms of it, like their rapid healing ability, until after their First Death.
* There is nothing one Immortal can do to confer Immortality to a mortal, no matter how badly they want to.
* We have no recorded evidence of any Immortal having natural parents. Therefore, we conjecture that they are all foundlings.
* At the time of their First Death, Immortals cease aging If an immortal is 35 at the time of his First Death, he will appear to be 35 forever. Likewise, if an Immortal is 10 or 70 at the time of First Death, he will appear 10 or 70 forever.
* It appears that, under certain circumstances, it is possible for an Immortal to recognize a latent Immortal who has not yet experienced their First Death.

What are Immortals like?
Like mortals, Immortals come in all shapes and sizes, good and evil. But they do have a number of traits in common
* Immortals can only be killed by beheading.
* Immortals are not superhuman They do not possess super strength, hearing, vision, or similar superhero abilities.
* They get hungry, thirsty', and tired just like mortals. They need sleep and they feel pain.
* They can catch colds - they just can't die from them.
* They appear to die, at least temporarily, from any injury that would kill a human.
* They do, however, have remarkable healing ability.
* Immortals can sense one another's presence. However, apparently they can't differentiate one Immortal from another this way.
* Immortals are apparently sterile. There is no record of an Immortal male or female conceiving a child, either before their First Death or after
* Seasoned Immortals often become mentors to new Immortals Through this mentoring relationship, new Immortals usually learn how to fight and the Rules of The Game

What are the Rules of Immortal Combat?
Immortal combat is governed by seemingly unbreakable rules
* There is no fighting on Holy Ground This rule seems to be immutable It also appears to apply to harming mortals. Although we don't know the exact definition of Holy Ground, it seems to include religious structures like churches or temples as well as sacred places like Indian burial grounds. The only fight engaged on Holy Ground reported in the Chronicles took place in Pompeii in 79AD, and it is possible this flagrant disregard for the Holy Ground rule may have been punished by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which destroyed the city.
* No two on one. Even the vilest Immortals who've been instructed in The Game will not engage battle in a team. NOTE: There have been a few rare instances of untrained Immortals attacking in numbers, so this rule seems more a rule of honor than an immutable law of nature.
* No interference once battle is joined. While Immortals have been known to interfere or even take over a challenge before combat is engaged or after combat has ended, no Immortal can directly interfere in a combat already in progress. See NOTE, above.

What is the Quickening?
Here's all we know about Quickenings:
* The victor of an Immortal battle receives their opponent's power through a mystical process known as The Quickening.
* It is unclear to the Watchers what exactly transfers during a Quickening. Some conjecture it is strength or knowledge or life experience, but quite frankly, we just don't know
* Witnessing a Quickening is similar to watching a major electrical storrn - windows explode, lights short circuit. It is almost as if the victorious Immortal is in the center of a lightning storm For your safety, the Watchers recommend witnessing a Quickening from no closer than 50 yards.
* It is not possible for a mortal Watcher to become Immortal by witnessing a Quickening. There is also no danger to unborn children should the mother witness a Quickening.
* If a mortal beheads an Immortal with no other Immortal present, the Immortal will die but there is no observable Quickening AS far the Watchers know, that Immortal's power is lost forever. It is presumed that if an Immortal is beheaded by a mortal and another Immortal is present, then a Quickening will occur arid go to the nearest Immortal The Watchers do not know if there are range limitations to this effect.
* When Immortals are beheaded by inanimate objects - guillotines, boat propellers, locomotives, or in some type of accident -the Quickening appears to go to the nearest Immortal. The Watchers do not know if there are range limitations to this effect if there is no Immortal present during such an event, then the Quickening is lost.
* An Immortal cannot refuse a Quickening, even if that Immortal doesn't wish to receive it for any reason

  • 3
    @PM2Ring - I've OCRd it. I'm still struggling to find a link to "The Watchers Guidebook". I can't find a book with that name.
    – Valorum
    Apr 19, 2020 at 9:21
  • I can't either. Can Nicholas add an ISBN or author name?
    – Quentin
    Apr 19, 2020 at 10:30
  • It's from the 'new watchers chronicles' CD-Rom. I don't think there's an actual book but I'll check if there's more info about it on the CD-ROM. Apr 19, 2020 at 12:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.