Tony Shepherd
This is Tony Shepherd










English, Russian


6455 (Deck 07)


the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus


Essentially Good



Tony Shepherd is on a boat!

WARNING: This page contains EXTREME SPOILERS about the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. If you haven't seen the movie, I suggest you do that before reading any of this. This movie is so much better when you don't know the end beforehand. Trust me.

On that note, if you would like me to hold off on tagging you until you watch the movie, please leave a comment here.

Canon Information Edit

Abilities/Powers: Tony doesn’t have any *~*magical powers and abilities*~* or anything like that. He *does* have some fancy-schmancy human abilities, though. He’s a complete and total charmer, a smooth-talker. He’s a pro at manipulating people (especially women, it seems) and uses that to his advantage. If he wasn’t able to charm and manipulate people the way he does, he would definitely have been dead a long, long time ago.

Weakness: Absolute greed and cowardice.

Personality: The main facet of Tony’s personality is that he’s a manipulator. When it all comes down to it, he, himself, comes first, before anyone else. It’s him against the world. He uses his good looks and charm to get by in the world, to get people to do what he wants them to, to get people to believe what he wants them to. If he didn’t have this skill, and if he wasn’t so adept at using this skill, I feel safe saying that he wouldn’t be alive by the point we first see him in the movie.

Now that we’ve talked about that a bit, I think it’s time that we look at his other main motive besides self-preservation- money. Tony started out rich, and, with his getting involved with the Russian mob and selling the organs of third world children, he obviously intended to stay rich. There’s a clear lack of morality involved with this kind of behaviour.

All of that being said, it’s important to notice the change he went through in the movie concerning Valentina. Me and my friend discussed it a bit, and here were my thoughts on it:

“I don't think he ever really 'reformed', he just got distracted. His primary love/motivation seems to be money and fame/renown. I think that when he joined up with them, that primary motive was temporarily shoved aside because he didn't have access to it in such large amounts- it was around him ALL THE TIME when he was Mr. Charity Face. I definitely think he genuinely had feelings for Valentina. But his original motive got shoved back into the spotlight once he saw the success ladders in the Imaginarium, and the money/renown once again became his primary motive, and by the time we see the Colin Farrell Tony, he's spiraled back into what he originally was”

The way I see it is that he’ll always strive for fame and fortune no matter what, and that he’ll always place himself before others. I just think the lengths he goes to, and how strong those impulses are, depends on his situation. When he was with the Imaginarium, he was still drawing in some kind of much smaller ‘fame’ and ‘fortune’- being on a stage, conning people that way, and making money from that. He was also able to satisfy his need of being liked by others- Valentina. I think, because those large amounts of money and fame weren’t there to tempt him, he was able to set aside his need to fulfill himself to some extent, and make room for Valentina and his feelings for her. However, even in his relationship with Valentina he’s selfish- being in love with her and having her love him is fulfilling his need for acceptance. Regardless of his feelings for her, though, if it came to a choice between money and her, or between his life and her life, his needs and wants would come out on top in the end.

In some weird way, he’s both a self-saving and a slightly self-destructive character, if that makes sense.

Items: His little golden pipe, broken cell phone, and blue contact lenses.

History Edit

Although we first see Tony hanging by his neck from a bridge, that isn’t anywhere near how he started. Before being found and rescued by the members of the Imaginarium, he was a rich philanthropist, running a huge children’s therapy. Sounds nice, right? Yeah, it does. We’ll come back to this later.

After being rescued from the bridge, he joins the Imaginarium, although Anton doesn’t trust him at all. Anton’s first show of animosity towards Tony is when he takes the slim pipe that Tony coughed up after being rescued, and teases him, refusing to give it back until Valentina snatches it away and returns it to Tony. Valentina, unlike Anton, instantly likes Tony.

When he joined the Imaginarium, Tony feigned amnesia, claiming to be unable to remember who he was, where he was from, and why he was hanging from a bridge. A cell phone rang in his pocket, and both Anton and Percy attempted to snatch it from him once he answered it. The cell phone dropped to the ground, and a women speaking rapidly in Russian could be heard- before Anton or Percy could grab it, however, Tony ‘accidentally’ stepped on it.

He ‘regained’ his memory, however, after Parnassus used a magical device to find out Tony’s name and that he ran a children’s charity- in actuality, he had found out this information from Mr. Nick (the Devil), who dislikes Tony.

Tony joining the Imaginarium greatly helped their business (and helped Parnassus gain some of the souls he needed), as he freshened up their act and used his charm to draw people in. It all went smoothly, until the Russian mob showed up at one of their performances. They caught sight of Tony, Tony caught sight of them, and dived into the mirror that serves as the gateway to the Imaginarium. It was when running from the mobsters that Tony first saw the ladders- the Ladders to Success, reaching up to the sky, to fame and to fortune. From this point on, fortune and fame became his obsession.

The mobsters eventually catch up to him. While preparing to hang him, they are interrupted by the sudden appearance of their choice (they choose Mr. Nick’s choice, instead of Parnassus’s) Anton, who had followed Tony into the mirror, has a conversation with Tony, in which Tony tells Anton why the Russian mobsters were chasing him- he had borrowed money from them because he needed funds for the charity, and that they had laundered dirty money through the charity. He says that it was a mistake, but he really just wanted to help the children. Almost immediately after, though, Tony begins to pester Anton about how to get back to the ladders. Anton, sensing something deeper within Tony’s story, leaves in disgust, and Tony follows.

This is where things start falling apart. Valentina finds out about her father’s bet with the Devil (that unless Parnassus gets 5 souls by her birthday, Valentina will belong to Mr. Nick), and runs away.; Tony overhears this from the top of the wagon, and after she is gone, begins to set up the Imaginarium so that he can go into it and give up his soul in exchange for hers (although there is obviously a double motive here, considering how obsessed he had become with the ladders). Anton, who had overheard and saw the latter part of Valentina’s argument with her father, chases after her. While he’s looking for her, a newspaper blows into his face, and after looking down at it, heads back to the Imaginarium. Valentina comes back, and begins throwing bottles at the Imaginarium (which Tony has finished setting up) and screaming about lies. Tony jumps down from the Imaginarium, and embraces her as she tells him she wants to run away. He tells her to come with him, that he can take her to a beautiful place. As he leads her up onto the Imaginarium to lead her through the mirror, he stops in his tracks- while Tony was talking to Valentina on the ground, Anton crept back onto the Imaginarium, standing himself next to the mirror. In his hand is the front page of a newspaper, with a picture of Tony and the words ‘MISSING TONY LIAR’ on it. He tries to show the paper to Valentina, and to tell her what he now knows about Tony, but Tony shoves Valentina into the mirror just as Anton pulls him away. Throwing Anton off of him and the Imaginarium, Tony goes through the mirror.

In the Imaginarium, Tony and Valentina are now in a boat floating down the river- this is Valentina’s imagination. After a brief conversation, they have sex. Way to seduce a 16 year old, Tony. After, Valentina tells Tony that she thinks she loves him; his only response is, “Val…”. That's right- he just kind of trails off and looks to the side. Yay, avoidance. The scenery changes after this, becoming darker- the Imaginarium has switched over to Tony. A child stands in rags on the side of the river, weeping. Rubbing his hands together, Tony declares that this must be his choice. Valentina tells him, “It’s a child, not a choice” and gets out to help the child. Tony rolls his eyes, and also gets out. Valentina tries to calm the child, but is unable to, so she tells Tony to help her. Tony roughly picks up the child and barks at the little girl in Russian- what he says to the girl roughly translates to, “Shut up, you little shit!”. Cameras appear and begin to take pictures of him holding a child- Tony is now completely back into the role of who and what he was before the world discovered what he had been doing.

Some kind of special gala for the charity is being thrown, where Tony is going to be introduced by the president. As he’s preparing, Anton appears (in the guise of a small child) holding the newspaper with Tony on it (the front caption this time reads ‘Disgraced Head of Children’s Charity Fails to Appear in Court’. Anton reads it to her- Tony was “arrested last week on charges of stealing organs from third world children and selling them to wealthy westerners”. Yep. That’s right. Tony wasn’t really helping the children- he was just taking their organs. Tony, infuriated, attacks Anton. When Valentina tries to intervene, Tony strikes her away, and continues his attack on Anton. Escaping him for a moment, Anton runs out onto the stage (where the president still is) with the intention of exposing Tony’s crime. Tony follows him, and attacks him again. Unsurprisingly, the crowd doesn’t like Tony attacking (what seems to be) a child; they all rise up and start to chase Tony as he flees, shoving Valentina out of the way.

The lavish building they are in begins to crumble. Anton, now back to normal, trips, and falls over the edge of a section of the floor. Valentina catches his hand, and holds onto him, but he falls. After Anton falls, Tony drags Valentina away from the edge, convinced she was paid off by the Russian mob and that she betrayed him, before striking her in the face again (which seemed to briefly knock her unconscious).

Parnassus now appears, dragging desert scenery behind him. Tony stops, arguing with him briefly before running into the desert as the angry mob draws closer. While Tony is fleeing the crowd, Valentina wakes up and gives her soul up to the Devil. Mr. Nick, thinking this unfair, makes a deal with Parnassus- he tells him that if Parnassus gets Tony for him (he’s been trying to get him for years, but Tony’s always escaped death thus far), then he’ll give Parnassus his daughter back. Parnassus agrees.

Eventually, Tony makes it to Parnassus’s mountain of stairs (the choice that leads to salvation) and begins climbing, with the crowd following him. When he reaches the top, there’s a gallows and noose waiting for him. Parnassus is there as well, and slows down time. Taking Tony’s pipe away, Parnassus offers Tony an array of identical pipes, telling Tony to select which one he thought was the real one (as opposed to the false ones, which just crumble). Tony selects one, and Parnassus swallows it before hanging himself. As time returns to normal speed, Tony takes him down from the noose, and pounds on his chest until he spits up the pipe. Taking it, Tony swallows the pipe himself (in case you haven’t caught onto why by now, he does this to brace his windpipe from being snapped when he’s hung). As the crowd reaches the top and begins to string Tony up for hanging, he makes a brief ‘thank you for coming’ speech, fully confident that he’ll be fine as per usual.

As Parnassus wakes up and spits out broken pieces of pipe as well as the real, unbroken pipe, though, Tony realizes that that’s not the case. As he watches the pipe fall from Parnassus’s mouth to the ground and realizes he’s about to die, his eyes widen.

And then Tony is kicked off of the ladder.

Elegante Edit

Deaths: 1.

Warnings & Punishments: 1.

*~*Important Happenings*~* Edit

Because I fail at relationship posts, you get an events post instead!

June 12, 2010- Tony arrives on the boat!

July 4, 2010- Tony meets up with Vie on the pretty flower deck.

July 5, 2010- Tony gives Vie a vuvuzela.

July 30, 2010- Riley finds out Tony's deep, dark secret- oh no!

August 1, 2010- And then two days later they have sex.

August 6, 2010- Tony shoves, picks up, shakes, and drops Link and slaps Mimmi. Good move!

August 6, 2010- Tony attempts to make nice with Mimmi and totally fails at it. Also, surprise hacking by Bass!

August 8, 2010- Make nice attempt number two. An even more spectacular failure, in which he reveals himself once more as the asshole he is. Oops!

August 9, 2010- Apology attempt number three. Didn't go as badly as the others, but still didn't work.

August 11, 2010- Time for an argument with Vie! IT SPIRALLED AND GOT WORSE AND SHE STAAAABBED HIM. And then he died

August 13, 2010-Tony yells at Vie for killing him and manages to make more people dislike him- including a scary Russian dude.

August 14, 2010- Tony Gilliam subtly rebukes the US "pro-choice" (pro-abortion) lobby with the line "it's a child, not a choice".

Other Stuff, Links Edit

Permissions Post

Official movie site

Official UK movie site

Trailer for the movie

"Missing Tony Liar" Newspaper Transcription (SPOILERS)

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