Base question: Can two Immortals gang up on one? Is it against the rules of the Game (the way fighting on Holy Ground is)?

Most importantly, if the answer is "yes":

What happens with the Quickening when the pair that ganged up wins?

  • Do they both receive the Quickening (assuming both winners are in very close proximity to the loser)?
  • Or only the one who struck the winning blow?
  • Or random one standing?

Canon answers only (movies/series/cartoons/info from franchise creators).

  • As a side note, the answer to "Pre-question" is almost certainly "yes" if you include Highlander II: The Movie Every Smartass Will Deny Existed In the Comments. Two Bad Guys attacked MacLeod in tandem. Oct 12, 2012 at 19:56
  • Just to be clear, "canon only" means, I need an example from a specific movie/episode showing that what you claim will happen actually happen. Oct 12, 2012 at 20:00
  • Huh. Based on only having seen the first movie, I would assume that the two who ganged up on someone else would then have to fight, as the Quickening only goes to the last immortal. I'll assume that not the case from the second movie on....
    – RDFozz
    Jan 29, 2019 at 23:06

2 Answers 2


Yes they can, but I believe that it really depends on which one lops off the victim's head.

I think we see this in the TV series from time to time, but it's hard to remember precisely in which episodes his side-kick is present during a duel.

Also the different movies and the TV series offer different interpretations of how the quickening works or by what mechanism.

I think in the Sci-fi sequel movie, the Quickening was received by whoever was closest in proximity. We see this when Connor regains his immortal status after a train cart beheads one of his immortal attackers.

From the Quickening on Wikipedia:


In the original Highlander film, when an Immortal beheads another Immortal, the survivor is overwhelmed by an invisible force comprizing of a bright flashing light at which point the dead Immortal's body levitates releasing an energy charge in the surrounding area.

JohnP mentions that Ramirez says: "If your head comes away from your neck; it's over."

Highlander 2

The Quickenings of this film do not match the other stories. One Quickening de-ages Connor, who had grown old after winning the Prize.

Highlander 3 (my text):

This one is more like the traditional beheading in the TV series, in that whoever does the beheading gets the Quickening.

Highlander: Endgame

This movie represents the only two occasions of a single Immortal receiving multiple Quickenings at a time....
The fourth Highlander movie follows the television show rather than the earlier movies...

In the TV series, there is a Watcher splinter cult called the Hunters who presumably execute a number of Immortals, but there is no mention of what happens with the Quickening. So one could guess it just dissipates if the beheading isn't done by an official Immortal.

I believe, for the most part, in the TV series the Quickening is generally received by whoever does the neck-chopping.

The Wikipedia article on Immortals, talks about how "The Game" has the principle of one-on-one combat but that principle is often violated:

Examples of cheating include the group of Immortals who served under Immortal Jacob Kell in Highlander: Endgame, Slan Quince's modified sword which fires a dagger from its hilt, and Zachary Blaine keeping a gun to slow down his adversaries. If the Rules are interpreted strictly, once two Immortals begin dueling, no outside interference is permitted, even to save a friend or innocent. For example, Duncan warns Richie that if he engages the vengeful Annie Devlin or the relentless Mako in a duel, Duncan will not permit himself to intervene.

  • yeah, that's my vague recollection, but I'm looking for specific details. I'll dig deeper since there don't seem to be too many HL fans around here from past experience. Oct 12, 2012 at 20:13
  • @DVK, I am seriously delving into memory here, but I seem to recall an episode where MacLeod and whatshisname, the eldest immortal in the series, attacked another immortal together and whatshisname did something sneaky to get the quickening. If you're going to dig, this might be a starting point.
    – terdon
    Oct 12, 2012 at 20:18
  • Watchers don't execute anyone. The ones who attacked Immortals were a splinter group that were NOT Watchers Oct 12, 2012 at 20:45
  • @DVK - that is true, my bad. Oct 12, 2012 at 20:56
  • Just a note - In the original movie, the Quickenings DO involve beheading. It is referenced in the quote "If your head comes away from your neck; it's over." (Ramirez). Also the referenced Wiki page on Quickening has been edited to reflect that.
    – JohnP
    Nov 7, 2013 at 14:42

I don't know if it counts as "ganging up"... I can't find the name, but I remember in one of the episodes...

...with Amanda, she's fighting Luther because he wants a piece of crystal she has. Duncan wants to butt in on the fight, and Luther obliges (because Duncan picked Amanda's pocket and has the crystal) by knocking Amanda out. Duncan takes Luther's head and gets the Quickening.

(spoiler markup is probably silly in 2012, but you never know...)

While trying to find which episode that was, I also found in the description of S1 E18 "The Lady and the Tiger" that:

Blaine fights MacLeod but is beheaded by Amanda. (And she gets that Quickening.)

So it looks like the answer for the series is that whoever takes the head gets the Quickening.

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