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Elder Gutknecht is one of the residents of the Land of the Dead.


He is a hunched-over skeleton with no teeth, frail bones, a cracked open skull a wispy fragment of beard, and spectacles.


Initially presented as a frightening figure, Elder Gutknecht proves to be rather kind and grandfatherly. He is also very wise as well, as he often hands advice to the dead. He deeply understands the natural balance between life and death and as such he follows its rules, which was first shown when he felt uneasy about sending Emily and Victor back to the land of the Living simply because it wasn’t natural. This was later shown when he stopped the dead from dealing with Barkis because they were among the living, and therefore they were to abide by the livings’ rules, although he didn’t like letting Barkis get away anymore than the dead did. However, he finally let the dead interfere when Barkis accidentally kills himself with the wine of ages.


He lives at the top of an old, crumbling tower, in a room filled with books and ravens. He is the one who sends Victor Van Dort and Emily Upstairs to meet Victor's parents, although he voices concern over disrupting the balance between the dead and the living, and appears to be the only other person besides Victor who is unsure of his and Emily's union. After Emily returns and argues with Victor for tricking her, Elder Gutknecht agrees with Emily’s point that she and Victor were married. Some time later, he informs Emily of her marriage to Victor being invalid, as the vows were that until death do they part, they would be married. However, Emily’s death has already parted them. He then tells her that the only way for her and Victor to be properly married was if Victor joined Emily in death.

Elder Gutknecht later presides over what would have been Victor and Emily's proper wedding, only to be interrupted by Victoria Everglot's appearance and Barkis' duel with Victor. He stopped the dead from interfering with Lord Barkis Bittern, as the dead were among the living and therefore they were to abide by their rules. However, Elder Gutknecht agreed with Maggot to let the dead handle Barkis after he accidentally kills himself with the Wine of Ages, thus making him susceptible to the dead's matters.

Powers and Abilities

He is implied to be gifted magically, as he could use an Ukranian Haunting Spell to send Emily and Victor to the Land of Living. Like most zombies, he can talk to animals.

He appears to very wise and knowledgeable, as he often gives advises to others and has shown considerable knowledge related to the Land of the Dead.



Victor Van Dort



  • "Now, why go up there when people are dying to get down here?" - To Emily and Victor Van Dort about going to the Land of Living.
  • "Where did I put that book? I left it here somewhere. There's the one. I have it. A Ukranian haunting spell. Just the thing for these quick trips... Now, then... Where were we?" - To Victor and Emily about the Ukranian spell while preparing his wine.
  • "Just remember, when you want to come back, say "Hopscotch." - To Emily to come back.
  • "The death has already separated you two" - To Emily about her "marriage" with Victor.
  • "Dearly beloved... and departed..." - Officiating over the wedding ceremony of Victor and Emily.
  • "Wait! We must abide by their rules! We are amongst the living." - Holding a vengeful crowd back from Lord Barkis Bittern.
  • "Yep. You're right. He's all yours. - After Lord Barkis' death, letting the rest of the dead torture him.


Main article: Elder Gutknecht/Gallery


  • Gutknecht is a German surname meaning "good servant".
  • It is unknown how Elder Gutknecht died or how he gained his apparent magical powers.
  • He seems to be a bit of a counterpart to Pastor Gallswells, as they are both knowledageble officiators/authority figures who retain knowledge on the balance between the dead and the living, although Elder Gutknecht is much kinder than Pastor Gallswells and actually helped Victor in his adventure.