Highlander Wiki
Richie Ryan
Appeared in Highlander: The Series
(List of appearances)
Name Richard H. Ryan
Aliases Richard Redstone, Jordan Richards, Bill Powell
Born September 20, 1974
First Death October 23, 1993 in a street mugging (along with Tessa Noël)
Teachers Duncan MacLeod
Origin American
Watchers Mike Barrett
Status Deceased, head taken by Duncan MacLeod May 19, 1997.
Occupation Burglar, antique store clerk, used car salesman, motorcycle racer, hotelier,fireman
Portrayed by  Stan Kirsch

A young man befriended by Duncan MacLeod, Richie Ryan would evolve from a hard-nosed street kid into a loyal, strong, and true friend.


Early Life[]

A foster child, Richie grew up with no knowledge of his parents. He was raised by his foster mother, Emily Ryan, until the age of four. Richie was effectively orphaned when on an outing to Richie's favorite candy store, Emily suddenly began complaining of dizzy spells and collapsed on the floor dying before the boy's eyes.[1]

Richie spent his fifth year in an orphanage, and would spend the rest of his childhood in foster care.[1] He quickly came to despise authority and soon found himself on the wrong side of the law; becoming a thief and burglar.[2] He joined a close-knit circle of friends including Angie Burke and Gary Correll and dated several young ladies including Nikki and Donna.

Encounter with MacLeod[]

It was on a routine break in that Richie would meet the man who would turn his life around. Richie had marked a local antique shop and broke in one night. As Richie was stashing a classic blade, he suddenly found himself facing three men with drawn swords. He had unwittingly stumbled into a challenge between Duncan MacLeod, Connor MacLeod, and Slan Quince.[2]

Alerted by an alarm, police soon arrived on the scene and arrested Richie for burglary. The next day at the station, however, Duncan came to Richie and offered a deal: he would press no charges so long as Richie kept quiet about what he had seen. Richie was quick to agree, and the two parted company.[2]

Richie as a mortal

A young Richie Ryan

Richie's curiosity eventually got the better of him, though, and he soon began following Duncan and Connor, eventually discovering their practice sessions in an abandoned factory. When Slan Quince returned and challenged Duncan, Richie followed the MacLeods to the meeting on a bridge. He watched, awestruck, as first Connor, then Duncan dueled Quince, and Duncan killed the evil Immortal and took his Quickening. Noticed by Duncan and anxious to get away from what he had seen, Richie promised to keep quiet as before. Duncan made a counter-proposal with a side benefit: he offered Richie a job at the store as his assistant.  Connor mysteriously suggested the boy needed watching.[2]

Work at the Antique Shop[]

Richie's work with Duncan was never dull. An exacting taskmaster, Duncan would have Richie filing invoices one day and running errands with him the next. Duncan filled Richie in on the details of Immortality: the Game, the Gathering,and the Rules. Duncan would occasionally utilize Richie's shadier skills, but it seemed a small price for helping to turn Richie's life around.

Richie could still get into trouble, however, and he often did. In one case, he worked his way into the orphanage where he had spent time as a young child and stole his personal file in an attempt to track down his family. When Richie was caught, Duncan bailed him out yet again, and helped him conduct his search in a more legitimate and productive fashion. Richie's search proved to be fruitless - Joe Scanlon, the man Richie thought was his father was exposed as a con artist, and Emily Ryan was proven to have been Richie's foster mother. Even so, Richie walked away at peace with himself.

Pain would soon return to Richie's life when he received word of the death of his friend Gary Correll. When Duncan told Richie of his suspicion of Correll's involvement with the immortal alchemist Kiem Sun, Richie became determined to root out the proof. He began scouring the city for information on Gary's activities and who was behind them. Once again, Richie's methods proved too crude and amateur for his goal, but he wound up rekindling his relationship with his friend Angie Burke along the way.

When Duncan's friend Lucas Desiree lost his head to Sheriff Howard Crowley, MacLeod cashed in a favor with Richie: accompany him to the town of Steveston and help Duncan talk to the man accused of Desiree's murder, Leo Atkins. Duncan's plan was simple, if a little bit hard on his young friend: Richie was to deliberately get himself arrested, giving Duncan a valid excuse to gain access to the prison cells. While not thrilled by the idea, Richie was sold when Duncan offered him the chance to drive the Thunderbird to the site. Richie also helped save Leo from an impromptu lynching with the assistance of reporter Randi McFarland.

Richie was again entangled in the Game when the immortal Felicia Martins marked him as a pawn in her plan to challenge Duncan. Posing as a new Immortal, Martins easily seduced Richie, despite warnings from Tessa, who saw through the act. Richie began to turn against Duncan and Tessa spurred on by Felicia's manipulations. When Felicia finally showed her true colors and attacked Duncan, Richie was stunned, but prompted his friend to show her mercy. With Felicia's life spared Richie left with Duncan, humbled.

Richie would bounce back quickly, standing with his friends through various situations such as Bryan Slade's courthouse takeover, the abduction of Tessa by the Immortal Caleb Cole, and Duncan's capture and testing by deranged E.R. physician Dr. Paul Wilder. When his former girlfriend Nikki Simmons turned up again, now wanted by Immortal Alexei Voshin and his gang for theft, Richie intervened with Duncan's help, hiding Nikki and her daughter Melinda while MacLeod dealt with Voshin and his thugs.

Career Changes[]

Eager to explore his options, Richie began to branch out taking a job at a used car lot owned by Harry Dawes. He proved less than successful, selling only one vehicle - a cranky old Volkswagen which promptly broke down - to his friend Angie. He still helped Duncan and Tessa in various orders of business, most notably in protecting Tessa from Immortal Andrew Ballin and helping to catch the Marcus Korolus copycat murderer, Michael Tanovsky.

When Duncan received a message from his old friend Darius, and Tessa received a job offer from the French Bureau of Arts and Monuments, Richie had the opportunity of his life: he was invited to accompany them to Paris. Quick to seize the chance, Richie departed with Tessa while Duncan remained behind to deal with Darius' renegade protege, Grayson.

Life In Paris[]

Upon arriving in the city, Richie suffered a classic case of culture shock as he tried to settle in. He bought a bust of Napoleon for Duncan and Tessa as a "barge-warming" present, to Tessa's great amusement. At a local cafe, he ordered what he thought was a "fruit salad" and wound up with an entree of shellfish. Romantically, Richie proved to be almost as much of an amateur, falling for Tessa's married friend, Renee de Tassingy. He soon began to develop better instincts, however, and he began dating Jenny Harris, a backup singer performing at the Paris Opera.


Ryan meets the legendary Darius

He attempted to flirt with Amanda upon first meeting her, but a wiser Duncan intervened. Another flirtation, this one with the model Maya, led to a disastrous confrontation between Richie, Duncan, and Immortal Gabriel Piton. Despite these varied faux pas, Richie managed to help out in several situations, including Duncan's protection of Grace Chandel, the vindication of the immortal Ursa, and Colonel Everett Bellian's personal siege upon the Rothwood estate.

The good times would not last, however. Returning from yet another successful outing, Richie was stunned to hear that Darius had been beheaded in his own chapel. As Duncan and Hugh Fitzcairn hunted for the killers, Richie stood guard with Tessa, managing to keep an eye on MacLeod in the process. When Duncan discovered James Horton and the Hunters, Richie was quick to help Duncan track down his prey and rescue Fitzcairn. Later that night, he stood with his friends as they cast Darius' ashes into the Seine.

Return to America[]

After the trauma of Darius' death in Paris, Duncan, Tessa, and Richie returned to the U.S., where Duncan uncovered Joe Dawson and the  Watchers. Once again, Richie put his street smarts to good use when Hunters arrived at the antique store, getting himself and Tessa to safety. Afterwards, the three settled back into their antique dealer lifestyle. Later, at Duncan's insistence, he and MacLeod signed up at DeSalvo's Martial Arts, ostensibly to broaden Richie's understanding of skill and discipline.

Richie had no idea of the true tragedy awaiting him, however, until Tessa was kidnapped by renegade Watcher Pallin Wolf. Quickly jumping to the challenge, Richie helped his friend track down and rescue Tessa, while Duncan put paid to Wolf and his crimes. As Richie escorted Tessa back to Duncan's car, a junkie, Mark Roszca, stepped out from the shadows and pulled a gun. Desperate for cash, he demanded their money, and despite pleas from both Richie and Tessa, he shot them both when they said they had nothing.

Richie's Immortality[]

There are subtle indications throughout the series indicating that Duncan is aware of Richie's potential immortality, during their first encounter, Duncan interacted with him like with unknown immortals, before feeling another immortal intruder. This may be part of what spurs him to take the young Richie under his wing in addition to Connor's instruction to, 'watch the boy'. Several times Richie playfully attempts to sneak up on MacLeod only to fail miserably and during Richie's search for his family MacLeod is adamant that the younger man will not find one. The final indication - mitigated by his crippling grief over Tessa - is MacLeod's remarkably calm reaction to Richie's revival from death.

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Additionally, later in the series it is revealed that MacLeod provided for the training and schooling of another young person with the potential to become immortal, Claudia Jardine. During that same episode another immortal engineers Claudia's violent death intending to trigger her immortality to enable her to hone her musical skills through a long life, implying that all, or at least many, immortals are able to sense the potential for immortality. This is finally confirmed when it is revealed the first pre-immortal Duncan encountered was Devon Marek: Duncan reveals he had been told by Connor that he would recognise someone who was to become one of them, but didn't identify the variation of the Buzz he got from Marek until he saw him revive from his first death.


Following Tessa's death, and on Duncan's instructions, Richie sold the antique store. Duncan, meanwhile, had buried Tessa in France, and bought DeSalvo's Martial Arts, intending to make a fresh start. Concerned for his friend and new teacher, Richie offered to take Duncan out for lunch, hoping to raise his spirits. Instead, the two ran afoul of Irish immortal Annie Devlin and her band of terrorists. As Devlin and her gang opened fire on a British ambassador.

Mac trains Richie

Duncan trains Richie

Richie, hyped up by his new found immortality, sprang to the rescue. In the ensuing fight, he ended up killing Annie's husband. She swore revenge.

Duncan was angry at Richie for his impetuousness. He knew Annie well, and knew Richie would need to be ready to defend himself. Duncan drove Richie faster and harder than ever before, instructing him specifically in Annie's favorite move, and the counter to it. Despite Duncan's attempts to talk Annie out of her desire for vengeance, she would not be swayed. When Duncan advised Richie to go into hiding briefly, Richie realized he would have to settle the matter himself. Borrowing a katana from the dojo wall, he tracked Annie down to her lighthouse hideout, and challenged her. Though timid at first, he managed to hold his own against his older, experienced opponent, and when Annie used her signature move, Richie easily unleashed the counterattack he'd been drilled in, disarming Annie. Yet in the end, he could not kill her. Later that day in Duncan's loft, Duncan presented Richie with his first sword, a Toledo Rapier.

With Annie Devlin pacified, Richie's training progressed much more smoothly. Duncan expanded his teachings to include fencing, aikido, and other martial-arts styles. Richie would also drill with Charlie DeSalvo.


Richie after receiving Mako's quickening

Richie's peace would not last, of course. When he encountered the Immortal Mako hot on the heels of Laura Daniels, Richie sprang to the rescue once more, and took her back to Duncan for protection. Duncan and Richie then discovered she was wanted for murder and Mako was a bounty hunter. She claimed she killed her husband in self-defense, but the local law was corrupt and would not provide a fair trial. Despite this, Duncan refused to challenge Mako, as the latter had not violated MacLeod's ethics. When Mako arrived at the dojo to collect his quarry, Richie and Laura made a run for it. In the process, they fell for each other. Before Richie could get Laura out of Seacouver, Mako ran her down with his pickup truck. Seeing red, Richie flew at the other Immortal, slamming him back into an abandoned storefront. Duncan arrived on the scene and tried to defuse the situation, but Richie had had enough. Drawing his sword, he issued his challenge and attacked. Mako easily countered, but by a chance misstep, the older Immortal put his foot through a loose board, becoming trapped. Seizing the opportunity, Richie struck, taking Mako's head and experiencing his first Quickening.

When he returned to Duncan's loft, Richie was prepared to put the matter behind him. Duncan had a different idea. He pronounced Richie's training complete, and told Richie it was time to go and on his own path. Subdued, and pained by the end of an era, Richie departed.

On the Road[]

For the next two months, Richie traveled from state to state, exploring and broadening his horizons. He met several new people, including a young lady from New Orleans with whom he celebrated the Carnival in Rio. Deciding to expand further, Richie departed for Europe, where he met a pair of biker friends.

When Richie and his new friends arrived in Madrid, Spain, however, disaster struck. Waking up to a Buzz in the middle of the night, Richie discovered both his friends murdered, along with the hotel clerk. In a panic, Richie hit the road, not stopping until he reached Marseilles, checking into the first hotel he could find. To his horror, Richie woke up to find the hotel clerk murdered, just like the others. With the knowledge that an Immortal was stalking him for an unknown reason, Richie realized he had one option remaining - to find and enlist the help of Duncan MacLeod.

Striking out for Paris and MacLeod's barge, Richie drove for hours, stopping only once for coffee and gas. Suddenly feeling the Buzz once more, Richie stormed out to find the gas station attendant dead. Without warning, the clerk's wife appeared, and jumped to the wrong conclusion. His worst fears realized, Richie doubled his pace for Paris, hoping MacLeod would be there to help.


His gamble paid off. Duncan was indeed in Paris, and after hearing Richie's story, he was able to identify the Immortal stalking Richie: Martin Hyde, a professional head hunter who stalked his Immortal prey by harassing their students. When the younger Immortal panicked, they would run straight to their teacher - just as Richie had. Realizing too late that he had been set up by Hyde, Richie tried to leave before Hyde arrived, but it was too late - Hyde had not only located the barge, but had tipped off the French police to Richie's location. Before Richie could even lie down for a quick rest, officers swarmed over the barge, quickly overpowering and arresting the young Immortal.

Facing charges of first-degree murder, Richie resigned himself to doom: if Duncan defeated Hyde, Richie's only alibi would be dead, and Hyde was fully content to let Richie rot in prison should MacLeod fall. It was to Richie's immense relief, therefore, when Duncan managed to entrap Hyde and expose him as the true killer. Although eager for revenge, Richie knew Duncan had the larger score to settle with Hyde, and graciously set his grudge aside. After MacLeod took Hyde's head, he and Richie renewed their friendship over a bottle of Pierre Segur's cognac.


Richie and MacLeod

Shortly after his reconciliation with Duncan, however, Richie would find himself at odds with his friend yet again. When Pete Wilder helped Richie escape from a surprise Hunter attack, MacLeod was oddly suspicious of Pete. Despite Richie's defense of Pete as a normal guy, Duncan uncovered Wilder's criminal records, poked holes in his "rescue" of Richie, and all but accused Pete of helping to stage the entire incident. When Duncan slipped Wilder false information, believing him to be a Hunter spy, Richie was outraged. Yet at Duncan's insistence, he sat stakeout with him, waiting for Pete to show up with an ambush. When the attack happened, however, Pete was coldly gunned down in the street. Disgusted, Richie walked away, leaving a shocked Duncan behind.

When Richie returned to the barge, several days later, he found Duncan courting Lisa Halle, a dead-ringer for Duncan's lost love Tessa. Realizing there was more to this meeting than met the eye, Richie sought out Joe Dawson to get his opinion. Despite having only the barest of acquaintances with Richie, the Watcher showed up instantly, hearing Richie out objectively. A surprise attack by Horton interrupted the meeting, but helped cement a new bond between Joe and Richie when Richie took a bullet meant for Joe. With Duncan, they finally put the pieces together: Horton had used Wilder and Halle as psychological weapons, driving a wedge between Duncan and Richie. With this knowledge, Duncan confronted Lisa, flushing out the truth: her original identity as a killer, and Horton's involvement. With Lisa's help, Duncan flushed Horton out of hiding, while Richie and Joe covered the exits. In the end, Horton fell to MacLeod's blade, but not before killing Lisa. Sobered, Richie watched as his friend and teacher sold his beloved barge, then departed with him, their friendship restored.

Back in America[]

Returning to the States with Duncan, Richie settled down and finally rented his own apartment, and began building his own life. When his old girlfriend Donna Ondrejka returned, bringing with her Richie's alleged son, Jeremy. Richie was delighted. He saw in Donna a chance to build a normal life. Duncan, however, was quick to bring Richie back to reality. He reminded Richie that Immortals were sterile and of what Donna and Jeremy would face, if they became involved in an Immortal's life. When the Immortal Kern came after Richie in search of MacLeod, Richie realized Duncan was right. He confronted Donna with the truth and told her he couldn't be with them.

Following his loss, Richie kept a low profile. He would still practice at the dojo, but beyond that, kept to himself. When Charlie DeSalvo left with his new found friend Mara Leonin, Richie gladly took up management duties at the dojo. A run-in with Immortal, Brian Cullen, almost put Richie at odds with Duncan once more, but the two had been through worse hardship, and Richie found himself in the unique position of advising his former mentor for once. He got his first chance to help train an Immortal when he and Duncan encountered Kenneth, who seemingly came to them for help and protection. When Joe Dawson bought himself a blues bar, Richie attempted to sponsor a friend, and get himself into the agent business. Richie's friend succeeded, but Richie himself was not so successful.

Change eventually came to Richie's life once again, when his friend Duncan found himself facing the Immortal Kalas. Accepting an offer from a friend to race with a team in Miami, Richie departed for several days. When he returned with the first place trophy, ready to celebrate, he found a different scene: Duncan's new love, Anne Lindsey, had been framed in a malpractice suit, and Joe Dawson had been similarly framed for drug dealing. Duncan had traced both incidents to his old enemy and had gone headhunting. When Richie discovered a fax to Anne in Duncan's handwriting, inviting her to Vanderbilt Hall, Richie recognized another trap, but was too late to prevent Anne from walking in on MacLeod and Kalas's fight. Before Anne's horrified eyes, Kalas forced Duncan to fall to his "death," trapping MacLeod in his own rules. Unable to confide his nature to Anne the way he had to Tessa, Duncan left for Paris, passing ownership of the dojo to Richie.

Team Saracen[]

As a motorcyclist, Richie was getting better, and after placing third in a Long Beach amateurs' motorcycle race, he decided to put his skills to the test. Arriving in France not long after Duncan, Richie began scouting teams in the French motorcycle circuit, looking for an opening. When he stopped to observe the time trials of team Saracen, he was just in time to witness a dispute between owner Marc Saracen and his top rider, Philippe. Sensing an opportunity, Richie hopped on a bike, and before anyone could stop him, he completed a quick lap in record time. Mr. Saracen, though displeased, was impressed enough to admit Richie to the team


Richie on Team Saracen

Richie quickly made the rounds, and became acquainted with the other racers, including Basil Dornin. His welcoming party was marred with a bad omen, however - his predecessor, Philippe, crashed and died when he attempted to beat Richie's new record. Though bothered by the older man's death, Richie tried to put it out of his mind and focused on his racing. All too quickly he discovered Basil's reputation as a dirty racer; Basil forced Richie into a bad turn in one heat, then caused him to spill his bike in the next. Refusing to back off, Richie chose to press harder.

Within a week, he was widely recognized as Team Saracen's best racer, a fact which served to irritate his chief rival, Basil. In race after race, the two wound up trying to bully each other off the track. In one race, Richie, pressing hard to gain the lead on Basil, finally pushed too far. Basil attempted to drive Richie off the track; Richie stood his ground, and the bikes collided. Richie was pronounced dead at the scene, Basil died on the way to the hospital. When Richie sneaked back into Duncan's barge (Duncan deliberately left Richie at the morgue as punishment for his rash actions that had lead to his public death and Basil's permanent death), MacLeod delivered the bad news: having "died" in front of thousands of people and a television audience, Richie would have to leave Europe and lay low for at least a generation.

In Hiding[]

Reluctantly accepting Duncan's advice, Richie prepared to return to the dojo. Disaster struck, however, when on his way back, he stopped at a cafe - and came face to face with two of his former track mates. In the ensuing scene that followed, Richie wound up running. Forced to return to hiding at the barge, he found Duncan entertaining Anne Lindsey, with whom he had finally confided in and rekindled his relationship. MacLeod crafted Richie a new identity and passport, advising him to get out of the country as fast as possible. However, at the airport, he was ambushed and captured by former Cossack immortal Ivan Kristov, now the resident Russian mafia boss. Kristov's intent was to trade Richie's life for that of one of his smugglers - his mortal girlfriend Tasha. Duncan quickly turned the tables on the deal, arrived to save Richie and started knocking off Kristov's men. However, Richie untied himself while Kristov wasn't watching and challenged him. Duncan witnessed the lightning of the Quickening and raised his sword, but to his relief, Richie emerged victorious. Accompanied by his friends, Richie departed for America, filled with a new self-confidence and sense of purpose.

New Direction[]

Back at Seacouver, Richie decided to go back to cruising across states on his motorcycle. On one such ride, he encountered Mikey Bellows, a mentally challenged Immortal on the streets after running away from losing his friend Alan Wells. Richie took Mikey to Duncan's loft and the two debated what to do with the unusual Immortal. Deciding to place Mikey in a shelter on holy ground, Richie and Duncan ran into Tyler King, the Immortal who had taken Wells' head and now wanted Mikey. While Duncan faced King, Richie discovered a new problem: police officers showed up to arrest Mikey for what happened at Greenville, and when they tried to cuff him, Mikey panicked and killed one of them. Realizing there would be no place for Mikey as an immortal, Richie took responsibility for his new friend. However, Mikey, sensing Richie's distress, took his own head by lying on a railroad track with a train oncoming, leaving Richie to accept his Quickening.

After Mikey's suicide, Richie returned to the dojo to assist Duncan in its management. Once again, his easygoing lifestyle was shattered when, while buying a hot dog on the street, he noticed a familiar young man walk by; the punk who killed Tessa. Seized with a murderous anger, Richie stormed after the man, Mark Roszca, and cornered him in his own apartment ready to kill him in front of his pregnant girlfriend. Police quickly arrived and took both men into custody. Roscza denied shooting Tessa, and Richie had no proof. What was more, Duncan was not prepared to kill Roscza, having put his desire for revenge behind him. On his own, Richie tracked Roscza down, eventually dangling him from a fire escape and forcing a confession from him - Roszca had been so frequently high that he wasn't entirely sure if he had killed Tessa but finally admitted he had when Richie confronted him about a distinctive coat Roszca had worn at the time. Ready to throw his enemy to his death, Richie found that he couldn't do it. Killing Roscza would only create another widow and orphan. Returning to Duncan's loft, Richie discussed the matter with his friend and teacher long into the night.


Richie Meets 'Adam Pierson' in MacLeod's dojo

A few weeks later, he accompanied his foster sister, Maria, to a modelling agency, Richie met Kristin Gilles, the beautiful agency owner, and an immortal. Ignoring warnings from both Duncan and Adam Pierson that Kristen was bad news, Richie became completely infatuated, only for the jealous Kristen try to kill both him and Maria. As both Duncan and Richie harbored feelings for her, neither could manage to kill her, although she was hardly their equal as a swords woman, relying mostly on seduction and ambush. In the end it was Methos, the pragmatist, who challenged Gilles and beheaded her.

Broken Faith[]

At the beginning of the new year, Richie accepted an invitation from Duncan to meet the Immortal Jim Coltec, a shaman and healer.

Richie in 1996

Richie in 1996

When the two arrived at the meeting point, however, the holy man, had been corrupted by a Dark Quickening, he drew his sword and attacked. Duncan was able to fight Coltec off, and the former shaman escaped by diving into a river. At Joe's, Duncan and Richie talked with Joe Dawson, determining the fate of Coltec and where he might be. Duncan departed, seeking his old friend while strictly admonishing Richie to stay put at the dojo.

Worried for his friend, Richie did as instructed, performing his management duties. When MacLeod showed up, Richie, in the middle of his workout, was relieved, but his relief instantly changed to dismay when the Highlander drew his katana and lunged. Duncan MacLeod, newest victim of the Dark Quickening, had come for Richie's head. In a sadistic mockery of the training he had given Richie, MacLeod toyed with the young Immortal, casually slicing on Richie's arms, legs and torso, until Richie collapsed, overcome with pain and fear. Only the quick intervention [and a well-placed bullet] by Joe Dawson stopped MacLeod from his killing his own protege. Richie fled, with all his faith broken after his own teacher and best friend tried to kill him.

Player in the Game[]

Haunted by nightmares of Duncan's attack, Richie tried to make sense of the incident with Joe Dawson.


When Joe advised him to spend some time on holy ground to sort things out, Richie announced he had had a revelation: there was no reason necessary for Duncan's betrayal, because betrayal was part of the Game. Departing on his motorcycle, Richie traveled across the country sustaining himself through racing and wagering. But he also began a new hobby: automatically challenging any Immortal who dared to cross his path. Over the next several months, Richie took several heads, hunting Immortals whenever he encountered them. Among his victims was Immortal Alec Hill, who died because both he and Richie were in foul moods. Richie never even asked Alec his name.

Richie returned to Seacouver the following autumn, still picking fights with any immortal who crossed his path. Dawson came to warn MacLeod to watch over Richie, who was "walking the edge", provoking and challenging everyone. When Duncan arrived at Richie's place to mend the fence, Richie spat on the offer, stating that Duncan had betrayed his trust and the only thing he had taught Richie was that "there can be only one." In disgust, Richie walked away from his former friend and mentor.


Richie vs. Carter

When Richie killed the 900-year-old Carter Wellan with relative ease for no more reason than the Game and a barroom insult, Haresh Clay, Wellan's friend and teacher, swore revenge. Tracking Richie back to his boarding house room, Clay battered his way straight through the door, and flew at Richie. With the first blow, Clay snapped Richie's prized Spanish Rapier in half. Now weaponless, Richie did the only thing he could: he ran for his life. Richie went to Joe for help in obtaining a new weapon, but the Watcher was rebuilding his reputation after facing charges of interference by the Watcher Tribunal, and refused to lend him money for a new sword. Forced to try for a weapon by breaking into a museum, Richie found Clay waiting for him. In desperation, Richie smashed an exhibit box, setting off an alarm and bringing the police.

Duncan paid his bail and got him out of jail, offering to rebuild their shattered friendship. He gave Richie a new sword, a medieval broadsword that had belonged to Duncan's teacher, Graham Ashe. Richie and Duncan rebuilt their relationship, this time as equals, and set out to settle matters with Clay. Initially eager to take the head of his nemesis, Richie received a sobering view of his friend when he revealed that Clay was the Immortal who killed Ashe, then shamed Duncan's honor by taunting him when he took refuge on holy ground. Richie reluctantly stepped aside so that Duncan could settle his old score with Clay.

Several weeks later, Jennifer Hill came to Seacouver, looking for Duncan to avenge her husband, Alec. Duncan went to San Francisco to honour his vow to Alec and take the head of the immortal Gerard Kragen, whom he thought was responsible. Richie looked after the grieving Jennifer. They felt a mutual attraction - much to Joe Dawson's horror. When Richie commented, Joe gave Richie the full details: Alec's name, his duel with Richie. Despite this stunning revelation, when Jennifer came to Richie's apartment and tried to seduce him, Richie was unable to say no. He said later he felt like something was just pushing him to be with her. It was theorized by Joe that this might be the effect of Alec's memories within Richie. However, the moral complications plagued Richie's conscience, and he felt the need to confess: first to Duncan, who reluctantly forgave him, then to Jennifer, who predictably enough did not. She felt used, and went to Duncan, demanding that he kill Richie. When the Highlander refused to kill his friend, she went back and shot Richie, and was about to kill him with his own sword. Duncan got there in time to talk her out of it. With the agreement of Alec's memory, Jennifer let go her vendetta.

When a new Immortal came to Seacouver who carried no sword and had with a message of peace, Richie was ready and eager to hear it, fed up with own killing. When Richie interrupted a fight between MacLeod and William Culbraith, Duncan began to doubt his worth as a teacher, but when Richie told him that he had learned his new nonviolent philosophy preached by a man calling himself "Methos", Duncan was shocked.

Coincidentally, the real Methos had just turned up at MacLeod's loft and was amused to find that the mysterious immortal known only as "the other Methos" was in town. The mysterious immortal and his gospel of peace had cost numerous converts their heads and Duncan didn't want Richie at risk.


Richie is told who Adam Pierson really is

He coerced Methos in to reveal his identity to Richie in order to prove that the other man was a fake. Richie had already decided he the message was worth believing in, it did not matter if it were "this Methos, that Methos" delivering it.

Methos found his impersonator and confronted him in order to make a judgement. He found him to be either delusional or a fraud.

Culbraith had no compunction and, after taking the impostor's head, tried for Richie's. Richie, having given up his sword, was vulnerable. But Duncan arrived in the nick of time, staying out of the fight but returning Richie's blade, Richie accepted his reality once more and took Culbraith's head without further question.

Fall of a Friend[]

Richie left Seacouver and made his way back to Europe, using the name of Richard Redstone. After a decidedly unusual courtship with Marina Lemartin, who kidnapped Richie and tied him to her bed, it seemed he was about to settle down.

But a night out with Duncan was a prelude to disaster. Returning from a show, MacLeod swore he saw James Horton on the quay by the barge that night. At first reluctant to believe, Richie found himself defending Duncan to a skeptical Joe and Methos, but then he saw Horton holding a gun to Joe’s head. After telling MacLeod where they were, he went in to try and rescue Joe, unaware that what he had seen was an illusion.


Unexpected end

The demon Ahriman was setting a trap for Richie - the one person who believed MacLeod.

He came upon Duncan fighting invisible enemies. From Duncan's point of view he was fighting multiple incarnation of the demon, which had taken the form of his great enemies; Horton and Kronos, and that of his student, Richie. Before Duncan could separate illusion from reality, he struck. With the stroke of a sword, Richie's life came to a close - ironically, as he once had feared, at the hands of his trusted friend and teacher, Duncan MacLeod. Ahriman's gambit succeeded as a deluded Duncan killed his best ally against the demon.


Richie Ryan Grave

After Duncan fled the country in shock and despair, Joe Dawson saw Richie laid to rest. He buried the young Immortal in Paris, laying his sword at his side. Joe would visit Richie's grave often, and wrote and published a blues lament in memory of his young friend. When Duncan returned to find Joe, they met at Richie's grave, simply marked:


Alternate History[]

In the series finale, an alternate timeline was presented where Richie never met MacLeod, but lived as a petty thief until he was killed and made immortal by a homeowner with a shotgun.


The Horsemen's apprentice

He lived for months not knowing what he was, confused by the fact that people he'd never met were trying to kill him. He lived a terrified existence until he was taken as Methos' student, an apprentice to the Horseman after the deaths of Silas and Caspian at the hands of Hunters. He served Kronos and Methos in that capacity and was taught the ways of their criminal empire, but when given his final test - the assassination of Joe Dawson - he was unable to kill the man.  As a result of his failure, he was beheaded.


From a nonchalant, tricky, and irresponsible character, Richie matured through the series. Starting from petty thieving, and an irresponsible attitude, he developed into an individual with a a better grasp of right and wrong. His 'ask for help reflex' was underdeveloped at the start, but his instinct to offer help was always part of him. He was particularly vulnerable to damsels in distress, but was always ready to play the hero.


Richie has used three types of swords. His starting sword was a katana loaned to him that he used in his first battle with Annie Devlin. Later, Duncan gave him a Spanish military shell-guard sword rapier which he used as his primary weapon of choice for nearly four years until it was destroyed by Haresh Clay. Duncan then presented him with a Gothic hand-and–half broadsword that had belonged to MacLeod's old teacher and friend, Graham Ashe.

Richie in the Game[]

Richie's fighting style was marked by his thieving skills, with "dirty" tricks like kicks into the groins, jerky shifting and deceptive moves.

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Richie Ryan

As Ryan was taught by Duncan MacLeod, who is one of the finest immortal swordsmen, his skills were considerably increased. Combined this with hard training in the dojo, despite his youth, he was a strong adversaries. For his few years, he had killed some highly experienced swordsmen, including many very old immortals, for example Mako (700 years), Ivan Kristov (400 years) and Carter Wellan (900 years).

Richie's known Quickenings, as seen on the series. As he spent some time on the road, challenging and fighting everyone on his way, his number of Quickenings is probably higher.

1 - Mako, 1993 (Under Color of Authority)

2 - Ivan Kristov, 1995 (Testimony)

3 - Mikey Bellow (beheaded by a train), 1995 (The Innocent)

4.-Grant Makim, 1996 (Watcher Chronicles)

5- Alec Hill, 1996 (Haunted)

6 - Carter Wellan, 1996 (The End of Innocence)

7 - William Culbraith, 1996 (The Messenger)

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Adrian Holmes and Martin Cummings were considered for the role of Richie.
  • Richie was intended to become Immortal from the pilot episode.
  • Initially the character of Richie was named Sammy, when Stan Kirsch auditioned, he stated he was reading for the role of Sammy.
  • Richie started the series as a regular character, but transitioned to a recurring character as the series progressed. Several things contributed to the decision to kill Richie; According to David Abromowitz, one of the issues that contributed to the decision was the need to cut expenses, and the production team preferred Methos to Richie as a recurring character. Stan Kirsch discussed the idea of killing Richie, saying he might as well go out with a bang since season 6 wasn't assured at the time, and the arc could have been the series finale. Additionally some people attached to the show said they felt Richie's story had gone as far as it could given the series' focus on Duncan, and finally, Stan was the youngest cast member and unlike his character continued to age, approaching 30 while playing a character made immortal at 19.

List of Appearances[]

Highlander: The Series
Season one

Season two

Season three

Season four

Season five

Season six