Where Is Watchmen’s Ozymandias Now?

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Where Is Watchmen’s Ozymandias Now?

Of all the main players from the original Watchmen comics, you should probably brush up on Ozymandias (non-superhero name: Adrian Veidt) before heading into the upcoming HBO show. Aside from the fact that he sent a giant telepathic squid hurdling into Madison Square Garden—we’ll get to that shortly—Ozymandias is one of the heroes confirmed to be returning, played by Jeremy Irons as an older version of himself.

Here’s what you need to know about Ozzie heading into Watchmen’s Sunday night premiere.

Who is Ozymandias?

In short: The smart one. Adrian Veidt is the son of mega-rich German immigrant parents, so when they died, he inherited their estate at age 17. He gave it all to charity, and did what every young-in did nearing the 1960s: Took a bunch of drugs and found himself. Veidt traveled the world and throughout the Mediterranean, ending up in Babylon at the site of Alexander the Great’s death. That’s where, eventually, he took said drugs and decided to become a superhero—calling himself Ozymandias.

When he returned to America, Ozymandias began busting up organized crime (side note: he’s not superpowered or anything, but it’s understood that he’s just as skilled physically as he is mentally, you know, if a Crossfit bro could catch a bullet), which brought him in the same circles as the main Watchmen crew, like the Comedian and Dr. Manhattan.

In the mid-1960s, a superhero named Captain Metropolis invited Ozymandias to become a member of a new superteam called the Crimebusters. When they tried to meet, the Comedian —who Veidt doesn’t have the best relationship with—kind of shat all over the idea of superheroes in general (i.e. how could a few people stand up against the threat of nuclear war?), so the group never came together. That’s when Veidt retired from superhero-ing, and started work on a much bigger mission.


What was his mark on Watchmen?

This is when things get weird. Veidt is taking in all the terrible stuff happening in the world (on a giant, Best Buy-esque multi-TV setup, no less), and starts thinking that he can bring about world peace all by himself. The plan: Create a ginormous squid creature in his laboratory, teleport it to the middle of New York City so that it kills a bunch of people on impact, and convince world leaders that Earth is under threat of alien invasion, so that they unite against a common threat. Boom: World peace.

Over the course of Watchmen, Ozymandias does everything he can to fulfill his agenda—and stop anyone who might get in his way. We find out that the Comedian, who dies early in Watchmen, figured out the plan, so Veidt kills him. There’s also a controversy that runs throughout Watchmen, where people think Dr. Manhattan was causing terminal cancer via radiation poisoning in his associates—turns out Ozymandias framed him in an attempt to get the blue guy to flee earth. He also frames Rorschach—who’s on his tail the entire series, investigating the Comedian’s death—for murder.

In the final act of Watchmen, Veidt completes the plan—killing three million people and successfully convincing the public that the squid was an extraterrestrial being. The only hope for justice? Before his death, Rorschach sends his findings about Veidt’s crimes to the New Frontiersman.

Where did he end up after the events of Watchmen?

We’re not totally sure. Near the end of Watchmen, Ozymandias has one final conversation with Dr. Manhattan. Right before Dr. Manhattan leaves Earth for the last time, Ozymandias asks him, suddenly, “Jon, wait, before you leave… I did the right thing, didn’t I? It all worked out in the end?” Dr. Manhattan asks, “In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.” As Ozymandias starts to ask, “Jon? Wait! What do you mean by…” And Dr. Manhattan vanishes. The last panel we see of Adrian Veidt is him, alone, looking backward, stern-faced.

Of course, it’s still unclear whether or not Rorschach’s account of Veidt’s wrongdoing was published in the New Frontiersman—but it’s obvious that when Watchmen ends, he’s unsure whether or not he made the right decision.

We’ll see if Ozymandias is still feeling any guilt after all these years when Watchmen premieres on HBO October 20.

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