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"Ask yourself, why do you seek the Cup of Christ? Is it for His glory, or for yours?"

Kazim was a descendant of Christian Byzantium royalty. Leader of the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword as of 1938, Kazim and his men swore to keep the Holy Grail safe and hidden. Like many of his secret society, he had a tattoo of the cruciform sword on his chest, and often wore a fez.

In 1938, Kazim and his fellow Brotherhood knights picked up on the trail of a group of Nazi treasure hunters led by Walter Donovan, determined to find and the steal the Grail for Adolf Hitler. This mission to stop the Germans' plot to achieve world domination using the artifact would see the Turk and his Brethren make the ultimate sacrifice in order to ensure the safety of the fabled Cup of Christ.


Kazim, a Turk,[2] was of royal Byzantine descent,[3] his ancestors having been princes of an empire that stretched from Morocco to the Caspian Sea.[4] He was the leader of the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword in 1938. During that same year, the Brotherhood observed an archaeological expedition financed by Walter Donovan searching for clues to the Holy Grail in Venice, Italy.[1]

The project was stalled, however, when its leader Professor Henry Jones, Sr. discovered that his colleague, Dr. Elsa Schneider, was in league with the Nazis. Jones sent his diary, his lifelong research into the Grail legend, out of the country and Kazim, whose Brotherhood was sworn to protect the relic, learned that Jones had been captured by the Third Reich and imprisoned at Castle Brunwald on the Austro-German border.[1]

Work resumed in Venice when Donovan, also a secret Nazi agent, acquired the services of Indiana Jones, Henry Jones' son, to continue his father's efforts with Schneider. Joined by Marcus Brody, the two archaeologists sought out the Tomb of Sir Richard, which held the second marker to the legendary cup: the knight's shield. For this reason, Kazim and his men targeted the group and proceeded to make several attempts on the lives of the members of the expedition, in order to prevent their uncovering of the Grail's whereabouts.[1]


Kazim and the Brotherhood pursue Jones and Schneider.

When Jones found the entrance to the catacombs in the Library of San Barnaba, Kazim used his pistol to knock out Brody, then followed Jones and Schneider into the catacombs. Seeing the oily seep in the water of the tombs, Kazim threw a match into it, igniting the oil in an attempt to stop Jones.[1]

Kazim and his men left the library, only to find Jones and Schneider escaping through a manhole cover. Kazim summoned more of his men to chase the pair via motorboat through the canals and harbor of Venice. During the chase, Kazim was the only of his men to survive, reaching a truce with Indy just prior to the boat being destroyed by a ship's propeller.[1]

Kazim revealed the existence and purpose of the Brotherhood, and when Indy declared that he was not seeking the Grail, but instead looking for his father, Kazim told him where the professor was being held before wishing him luck as he took his leave.[1]



Kazim shortly before his death.

Later, as the Nazis mounted their expedition in Hatay to find the Grail, Kazim spied on their meeting with the Sultan of Hatay. When the Nazi caravan entered the desert, searching for the Canyon of the Crescent Moon, Kazim and the Brotherhood mounted a surprise assault from the hillside, using rifles to mow down the Nazi and Hatayan soldiers. Despite initially having the upper hand, the Brotherhood was eventually overwhelmed and, during the attack, Kazim was mortally wounded by enemy fire. Before expiring, the Turk gave a final warning to Walter Donovan and Schneider, then succumbed to his injuries.[1]

However, the deaths of Kazim and his men weren't in vain, as Indiana Jones went on to find the Temple of the Sun and used the Holy Grail not for his own glory, but to save his father from a certain death at Donovan's hands. As for Donovan and Schneider, just like Kazim had warned them, their greed ended up being their undoing, as Donovan died due to drinking from a fake grail and Schneider fell to her doom trying to take the Cup of Christ for herself.[1]

Personality and traits[]

"My soul is prepared! How is yours?"
―Kazim to Indiana Jones[src]

A Christian,[5] Kazim was devoted to the Brotherhood and its sacred mission. Although he had no qualms over killing to protect the Holy Grail, he was more than willing to help Indiana Jones once he learned that Indy's intentions were pure. Kazim also didn't fear death as he was fully prepared to give his life to his cause.[1] He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if that meant protecting the Grail.[6] When threatened with death, he merely asked Jones if his soul was prepared for judgment, confident that his own was.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Kazim was portrayed by Armenian actor Kevork Malikyan and doubled by Dickey Beer in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.[1] Malikyan later portrayed the Armenian Agent in Masks of Evil (Istanbul, September 1918).[7] Malikyan originally tried to audition for the role of Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but arrived late to his meeting with director Steven Spielberg due to a traffic jam.[8]


Kazim warns Elsa.

During the development of the Last Crusade script, Jeffrey Boam introduced the Kazim character as Kemal, an agent of Hatay seeking the Holy Grail and an ally of the Nazis who ultimately meets what became Walter Donovan's fate in the final film. In a rewrite, he attempts to destroy the Grail Temple, but is ultimately killed by Indy. However, during his revisions, Tom Stoppard changed Kemal's name to Kazim and the character's motivation to that of Grail protector.[9] Kazim and his men are referred to as "Turkish Agents" in the published script.[2]

In the shooting script of Kazim's death scene, which was actually a recreation of Louis Bernard's death from Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 film The Man Who Knew Too Much, Kazim was to collapse into Elsa Schneider's arms and slide down her body before expiring. After grabbing him, Schneider pulls her hands back only to find them covered with the Turk's blood. While the scene was filmed, it didn't achieve the impact which Spielberg wanted for the shot so he dropped it.[10]

Kazim death

Kazim is killed by Walter Donovan with a shot in the back as depicted in the comic.

In the Last Crusade comic book adaptation, Kazim is shot in the back by Donovan himself and later succumbs to his wounds but not before warning Donovan about his sealed fate.[4] In LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, Kazim and other members of the Brotherhood actually survive.[11] In the game's sequel, however, both Kazim and his brethren are absent due the Cruciform Sword subplot being cut along with the Biblioteca di San Barnaba scene.[12]



Notes and references[]