In The Hateful Eight, we learn around the middle of the film that

Abraham Lincoln's letter to Marquis Warren, as well as the claim that they used to write letters to each other, is a lie.

Could it be possible that Marquis Warren also lied to General Sandy Smithers

when he tells his story of the rape and killing of his son Chester Charles Smithers, aimed at angering him and pushing him to try to kill him?

I saw the film in English with no subtitles, and they all had heavy accents and old-time language, so pardon me if it's explained at some point.

  • There is a scene chapter five where Jody is talking to his gang members and says "It doesn't matter if we have four or forty John Ruth still has a gun to my sisters belly" which leads me to believe they actually have a total of Forty gang members total. Apr 8, 2019 at 22:42

2 Answers 2


It's entirely possible. We have no idea, as the film doesn't explore the point any further. However, I think it's highly unlikely that the story is entirely false.

Note that the Major is not in the room when Smithers explains the loss of his son to Mannix - he's still out in the stable, helping Bob with the horses. Note also that Smithers reaction to Warren being the "N* with a price on his head" is immediate and striking; he's well aware of who Marquis Warren is, most likely because his son went off to find him, "seeking his fortune."

But as Warren notes, many southerners sought him or, hoping to find him and fortune. They didn't find fortune. That said, we have no way of knowing whether the Majors... Evocative... Descriptions of torture are accurate. But it seems fairly clear that, at the least, he did kill the General's son.

Whether it's true that he tortured him or not though, the purpose of the speech is to goad the General, and at that, it succeeds.


It's never explicitly stated as far as I can recall, but Quentin Tarantino has always been very deliberate in his character development. Very often when a character does or says something, it is subtly explained in another scene. Along that trope, these two occurrences are definitely the "key" to understanding each happening.

The story about killing the general's son started off subtle and tame and then escalated each time the general didn't react, making the story seem intentionally taunting.

Almost directly after that scene, it is revealed that Warren's Lincoln letter is fake, revealing that Warren is willing to lie and deceive both to make friends and to make enemies.

We know this character is a survivalist. He'll make up stories to get in the favor of whoever he can, whether it be to get into a carriage and out of the cold, or to become allies in unfavorable circumstances. He'll also make up stories to goad his enemies in to drawing weapons with him.

There was another moment where I sensed Warren was being somewhat dishonest to his advantage. When the prisoner was propositioning Sheriff Mannix, and threatening him with "15 killers", Mannix openly announced that he didn't believe there were 15 more gang members waiting for him. At this time, Warren laughed manically, which kind of makes me think (being a bounty hunter) he knew that there were in fact 15 more gang members, but allowed Mannix to think it was a lie so that he would retain him as an ally.

  • 6
    I don't really agree with the last paragraph, he probably simply laughed in joy and spite because Mannix didn't buy Daisy's story. The rest of the answer is pretty good, though.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 5, 2016 at 10:04

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