In the original Highlander, Ramirez barely missed taking the Kurgan's head, delivering a wound that would have been immediately fatal without the quickening to keep the Kurgan from dying. Yet, despite a sword cut through what seemed to be his larynx, he's able to speak almost immediately and Ramirez quips that he's "improved your voice."

Three centuries later, or more, we see the Kurgan again in the church, where he taunts MacLeod -- still showing the scar and with his voice in its altered form. Yet MacLeod has taken "mortal" wounds (like the first one that showed him to be an Immortal) and fully healed them on a number of occasions, with no apparent long term effects.

Why didn't the Kurgan's cut throat and vocal fold heal the same way MacLeod's internal organs (heart, lungs, liver, etc.) did from being stabbed through with a claymore?

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    You can't see MacLeod's internal organs. How do you know they don't have scars on them? :)
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 14:14
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    @DavidW We can't, but they seemingly continue to function -- unlike the Kurgen's vocal fold.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 14:20
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    Just speculation, but it may have been something to do with the depth of the cut, and the difficulty of healing. If he was constantly moving his head, it wouldn't have healed cleanly and there would be a lot of scar tissue and residual damage. Also, in the Highlander series, we see an Immortal who had lost a hand, so there are presumably some limits to their healing abilities. Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 14:24

2 Answers 2


There's a comment in the script that would indicate that for plot reasons, I suspect, that the throat is susceptible to permanent damage where other parts of the body are not.

RAMIREZ: Concentrate! You can survive anything but steel against your throat. If your head leaves your neck, it's over.

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    That sounds like just a colourful way of saying "your head being cut off" to me - steel against your throat would be the last thing you'd feel.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 21:42
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    So they have an "Achilles neck"
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 9:57

Perhaps the wound was so nearly fatal that complete healing was not possible. By fatal, I mean fatal to an immortal. While his head did not leave his neck, it nearly did in that a substantially smaller/shallower cut in the rear would have finished the job. So the Kurgen was able to survive and heal, but the wound was truly significant and had a lasting effect, unlike something trivial such as being run through at the gut.

This is pure conjecture, my only basis being the impressions I get from the movie. The one and only Highlander movie made. No others ever existed. Please respect my delusions, they are all I have to protect me.

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    In future, please try and ensure that any answers you post are grounded in at least some evidence. A degree of conjecture is reasonable, but an answer shouldn't be based solely on conjecture. Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 3:47

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