Stephen (1783 - May 7, 1859) was Calvin Candie's starkly loyal house slave and close friend. He is the secondary antagonist, later true main antagonist of Django Unchained. Being a senior house slave more respected than the rest, Stephen personally views himself second only to the white man with all his fellow black people beneath him.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Calvin Candie returns to Candyland along with his men, Schultz and Django. Stephen greets Candie quite familiarly, having been raised in Candie's household and practically raising Calvin from youth. From his first look at Django on his horse, he develops a deep hatred for the emancipated slave. When Candie requests that the German-speaking slave Broomhilda (referred to as "Hildy") be prepared for King Schulz's company, Stephen informs his master that Broomhilda has attempted to escape and has been locked in the "hot box". Despite Stephen's protests, Candie commands him to release her and clean her up to spend the evening with Schultz before dinner. During the meal, Stephen's dislike towards Django grows increasingly apparent due to the fact that he is a free man and is free to ride a horse alongside white men. As the senior house slave, he has the luxury of being the authority over the other slaves, but his intellect, like that of all slaves, is grossly underestimated by his owner. This is a kind of freedom of itself, because it affords Stephen the opportunity to watch and see what is really going on at the dinner table. Noticing how Django and Broomhilda look at each other during dinner, he becomes suspicious. In the kitchen, he taunts Broomhilda about whether or not she knows Django. Later, he informs Candie that Django and Schultz are more interested in Broomhilda than purchasing the male slaves they had told him they wanted.
Enraged at being tricked, Candie threatens to kill Broomhilda unless King can afford her for $12,000. King agrees, but he soon kills Candie with a gunshot wound into the chest, which leads to a brutal gunfight, during which Stephen is seen mourning over Candie's body. At the end, as Django runs out of ammo, Stephen gives him two options: surrender or see Broomhilda be killed. Django surrenders and is subdued. The original orders from Candie's sister Lara Lee were to castrate him, but Stephen talks her out of it and sends Django to the coal mines to be worked to death. Django escapes by convincing the slave drivers that he is a bounty hunter and after Candie's funeral, slaughters the remaining men and Candie's sister. Django lets the last slaves leave but orders Stephen to remain. Stephen drops his cane and straightens himself as he walks towards Django, showing that the appearance of a hobbling older house slave was nothing more than a ruse to appear non-threatening. Stephen challenges Django that he is out of ammo, however, Django produces a second gun. After some dialogue, Django shoots Stephen in his kneecaps and leaves him to die as the dynamite he sets off destroys the main house and burns Candyland to the ground.