A white man stands protectively of a white woman in the forest, both wearing medieval clothing in "The Princess Bride"
(20th Century Studios)

Westley Even Wants You to Wear a Damn Mask

There’s a shortage of perfect movies in this world. It would be a pity to damage this one.

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Like so many of us, I have my own strong, personal attachment to The Princess Bride. The first time I watched it, I was either 13 or 14 (depending when it was in the year) and had eye surgery. My brother couldn’t be there, so he told my mom to put on The Princess Bride for me because it always made him feel better, and to this day, the movie is a source of comfort for me.

It’s probably why I have an unconditional love of Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, and Mandy Patinkin, and now, that love continues to grow because Cary Elwes (who played Westley/The Dread Pirate Roberts) is using his Twitter account to make jokes using references to The Princess Bride to actually get people to take COVID-19 seriously.

Elwes has been very active online in sharing his political views, mostly about how much he disagrees with President Trump and how you can protect others by wearing a mask—you know, something that shouldn’t even be political. Always a hero, that Westley is.

What’s great about the tweet, in particular, is that it is a) not even his line and b) probably the most iconic moment from The Princess Bride outside of “as you wish.” When Inigo Montoya comes face to face with the Six-Fingered Man to deliver the line, he’s built his whole life around getting revenge for his father, but the quote’s ubiquitous nature also makes it so versatile, as Elwes demonstrated. Thanks, Westley!

And then there’s Mandy Patinkin (who played Inigo Montoya), staying at home, taking the pandemic very seriously, just … deleting his wife’s emails.

(His son has been sharing videos of him just learning internet terminology and more. It’s great.)

But this leads to a larger conversation about those still not wearing masks in America. Many of them claim that a mask is infringing on their “freedom” because they’re being forced to wear one. That “freedom” isn’t a problem when they have to wear shirts and shoes in a restaurant. That “freedom” isn’t a problem when they can’t bring their own alcohol into a bar. That “freedom” is only a problem now? They keep using that word … “freedom.”

Inigo Montoya gif

One line that didn’t age as well? Fezzik saying that people in masks cannot be trusted. Do not listen to Fezzik.

André the Giant as Fezzik

But, sadly, 2020 is filled with people living in their own selfish ways. They’d rather go out and risk getting sick and dying—or inflicting that upon others—because they want to pretend like nothing is changing. Their excuse is usually “the economy” or that you have to just go out and live your life no matter what (like they can … fight a virus?) and it’s extremely disappointing seeing how terrible everyone is being.

Can’t they see how much harm is caused by throwing caution to the wind? Can’t they see how selfish they’re all being?

Westley in the Princess Bride

So, thank you, my Westley, for giving me this brief moment of happiness. Listen to the Dread Pirate Roberts. Wear a mask. There’s a shortage of perfect lungs in this world. It would be a pity to damage yours.

(image: 20th Century Fox)

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Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.