Grand Guignol (French Grand-Guignol: "Great Puppet") was an expression used by The Unspoken in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. It relates to the real life Théâtre du Grand-Guignol, a Parisian theater which specialized in horror.
- "Indeed. Such narrow vision. Don't you see? My silencing of Ariel, and its calculated repercussions, is but the first act in my theatre of Grand Guignol. Of which, you are the tragic "hero."
Play on, little vampire, play on..."
- ―The Unspoken[src]
The Unspoken taunted Kain for unwittingly serving his plan to destroy the Circle of Nine and the Pillars of Nosgoth, sarcastically comparing him to an actor in a play. He referred to the murder of Ariel as "but the first act in [his] theatre of Grand Guignol," and described Kain as its "tragic hero." Encouraging Kain to "play on," he enraged the vampire and propelled both into battle.[Blood Omen/11]
Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol (French: "The Theater of the Great Puppet") was a Parisian theater active from 1897 to 1962 which specialized in naturalistic horror shows. Its eponym, Guignol himself, was a traditional Lyonnaise puppet character. Owing to the theater's popularity, the Grand Guignol name entered use as a general term, commonly applied to grotesque and gory forms of entertainment (such as the Grande Dame Guignol).
- The Unspoken's mention of Grand Guignol represents one of the most direct metareferences within the Legacy of Kain series – the term is a real world proper noun with no apparent foundation within the fiction of the games.
- Although Grand Guignol is the only expression borrowed from French in Blood Omen, the language was later revisited in Blood Omen 2. Examples of its usage include the town of Provance, and posters in Meridian reading "BIERRE DE LUXE" and "FAUX DE AVON".[Blood Omen 2/1][Blood Omen 2]
- Grand Guignol at Wikipedia.