In Kill Bill Vol 2, We get to see more of Budd and his story. But it's not the story of a world class assassin, but one of a broken, submissive man who looks like he has nothing to live for.

We see proof of this in the place he lives. A run down trailer home in the middle of the desert. He works at a strip club where his boss treats him like crap. He calls Elle to sell the Hanzo sword.

What happened to Budd that caused him go from a world class assassin with a good lifestyle to what was depicted in his chapter? All the other assassins in the Deadly Viper Assassin Squad were doing fine (until they get killed of course).

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    reddit.com/r/FanTheories/comments/30p40m/… I am willing to accept this as canon for Budd and Bill's falling out.
    – user28891
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 7:34
  • The El Paso reference I never picked up on but I'd believe that answers my question 100% Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 17:51

2 Answers 2


Well, first of all the following is entirely speculation by me, since we don't get too much insight into his backstory in the movie. It might only be a first start, as I might have to rewatch it to further substantiate any of this with some specific dialogue or other hints.

That being said, it seems to me as if Budd pretty much wanted to distance himself from Bill's whole business and that previous life as a world class assassin (if he ever was one). He seems a bit disillusioned to me. For example when he says to Elle something like (forgive me for not recounting it word-accurate):

This woman deserves her revenge and we deserve to die for what we did to her.

In the same way, if I remember correctly, he said something like that he sold his Hanzo sword, an item of absolutely unestimable value to any of the others in Bill's crew. So he obviously wasn't engaged in the matter with his heart and soul anymore (if he ever was).

It is unclear, though, if it actually was their assassination of The Bride that caused this change of mind in Budd or if he never really was so much of a real member of the gang. To me it rather seemed that he never was so much devoted to the whole business let alone such an established member as the others, but was primarily part of the gang because he is Bill's brother (neither is he a woman nor a Kung Fu magician either, if I remember correctly).

  • Some good points. Budd probably was the black sheep of the group considering Elle's treatment of him and yeah, he wasn't a master swordsman or skilled at kung-fu (at least we never saw him doing any of that). But even still, moving on from the gang doesn't mean he had to succumb to self-pitty and let himself be treated like crap by others. Then again, maybe that was his character the whole time, we just didn't see it as such. Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 18:57
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    Thing is he had a Hanzo sword (which implies he was a world class swordsman since Hanzo didn't just make them to be souvenirs) and he didn't sell it (though he said he did.) Maybe he got disillusioned but these things don't support the idea that he was never core the gang or not a master assassin.
    – matt_black
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 22:36
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    @matt_black I'm not sure the sword implies him being able to wield it like a master. Sure, Hanzo didn't make them for every passing tourist, but for such a man as Bill to give it to his brother, maybe. I didn't remember that the movie clarified that he did not sell it, but I might as well have forgotten that. But he nevertheless said he'd sold it at least. I agree that the answer isn't too substantial, though.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 23:15
  • Probably a metaphor of Madsen's involvement in Tarantino's films: they're good buddies so he comes over, sticks around. Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 16:17

First of all, Budd's Hattori Hanzo sword was from Bill, so there's no indication it came from Hanzo himself.

Second, we never learn why he & Bill are estranged.

This is pure speculation, but I think Budd had a gambling problem, so when the group disbanded (which I think happened after they killed the bride & co because it sent Bill into a depression), without a leader they all kind of went their own way, with Bill as sporadic leader/snake charmer/wrangler on assassin jobs... Budd seems like much more of a fuck-up than Bill, so without Bill's leadership, he probably spiraled himself, but with gambling, drugs, women & booze... With no money, and unwilling to sell his Hanzo sword (the gift from Bill, not black mamba's sword), probably for sentimental reasons.

Tarantino is great at character development, so I bet he has answers for all this stuff. I wish he'd make a Kill Bill version of Animatrix or Clone Wars (animated or live action), to fill in some of the questions.

Side-note: the reason I think he kept his sentimental sword: because most drunks/gamblers are emotionally stunted & sensitive.

  • If my links are wrong, feel free to fix them.
    – Catija
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 7:33

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