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The Dungeons & Dragons Character That Pays Tribute To Sean Connery

The role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (also known as DnD) has been tied to television and movies for some time. There was the Dungeons & Dragons film featuring Marlon Wayans in 2000, an animated series back in the '80s, and a new Dungeons & Dragons TV show on the horizon, and of course, the smash hit Stranger Things. Not to mention the slew of references in TV and movies since the game first came out in 1974, usually used to help define a character as "nerdy." You might not know it, but DnD has returned to favor and referenced television shows and movies within the pages of its lore as well. In one of its more recent adventure models, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, the franchise pays tribute to the recently deceased superstar Sean Connery.

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist was released in 2018 and tipped its hat to Sean Connery's 1974 cult classic Zardoz. Yes, Connery was elderly at the time the model was released, but Wizards of the Coast, DnD's publisher, certainly didn't have a crystal ball that could have predicted the actor's death on October 31, 2020. No, the writers probably just added the reference because of how much they and their fans enjoyed the film. And they weren't exactly subtle when they added the Zardoz reference to the Dungeons & Dragon universe.

Um ... is that Zed?

In Zardoz, it's 2293 and the world has fallen into a primitive dystopia ruled by The Eternals, an immortal race of humans who make up one of two factions within the Zardoz universe. These rulers have created a god known as Zardoz in order to convince the other factions, the Brutals, that killing is their natural mode of existence. This leads a special group of Brutals to hunt down other Brutals who reproduce as a form of population control. The main character and scantily clad Brutal Zed, played by Sean Connery, discovers that this whole god thing is a sham. There are tons of sci-fi elements, like all of them, and we could write a book to tell you about them, but ... you'll have to watch the film like everyone else.

When readers first cracked open Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, they met a character whose likeness to Zed is uncanny. That character's name, you ask? Zardoz Zord. The description of the character within the book, according to ComicBook.com, is "a well-built, scantily clad man, his scarlet apparel designed to accentuate his trim figure and bountiful chest hair. A flashy rapier hangs from his stylish belt." The look described for Zardoz Zord sounds a lot like the "red diaper with shoulder straps"-looking thing that Zed wears in the film, but instead of a rapier, Zed carried a revolver.

The Zardoz reference gets deeper

The reference became even more obvious when Wizard's of the Coast writer Christopher Perkins shared an unreleased photo collection of Waterdeep characters to his Twitter account. In one of the photos, we see Zord is wearing the exact costume Zed wears in the movie. Not just a similar costume, but an exact copy. Zord has long hair, albeit loose instead of a braid, and a mustache like the hero of Zardoz.

As an added nod to Connery, there's a submarine in Waterdeep named Scarlett Marpenoth, and as one Reddit user points out, "Marpenoth" is the tenth month on one of the DnD calenders. Okay, so Scarlett is red and Marpenoth is the tenth month. The Scarlett Marpenoth disappears under the water's surface and is only visible to aquatic characters in the depths, according to the King's Way Role Playing Group Fandom. Basically, it's a pain in the butt to find. The submarine, in it's own cryptic way, is likely a reference to Sean Connery's film The Hunt for Red October. Apparently, the DnD writers really liked the guy.