Study Guide

The Princess Bride Family

By William Goldman


"Helen, the boy is overweight. All I suggested was he might leave a few potatoes for the rest of the world and stuff on this lovely prime pot roast your treasure has whipped up for my triumphant return." (I.248)

William Goldman is a pretty sarcastic dude, especially when it comes to his son's weight. The sad truth is that Goldman is ashamed by how fat his son is, and he's not afraid to show it, which we imagine can't be very good for little Jason's self-esteem.

The Duchess took her mixture faithfully, watching through the years as her husband and her mother blew kisses at each other behind her back. (1.4)

Family love can be a good thing, but not when your husband is flirting with your mother. And this is exactly what happens to the poor Duchess, a woman who was once considered the most beautiful in the world.

"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya; you killed my father; prepare to die." (8.107)

Ah yes, where would this book be without the sweet revenge fantasies of Inigo Montoya? It's pretty straightforward, as you can tell from what he says here. A man has killed Inigo's father; now that man has to die. 1 + 1 = 2, yo.


There is nothing that will ever stand in the way of Inigo's revenge because nothing can ever bring back his father. That's too bad for Count Rugen, because this dude definitely has all kinds of riches and power he could offer Inigo. Oh well, time to die then.

"Two hundred fifty maybe. All for my Jason to have the Morgenstern." (I.206)

William Goldman is willing to spend any amount of money to make sure that his son Jason gets a copy of The Princess Bride for his tenth birthday. Goldman is so obsessed that he even pays his lawyer a ridiculous hourly wage just to get him to go to a bookstore and pick up a copy while he (Goldman) is across the country for a meeting.

"Do I have to love it too?" He was his mother's son all right. (I.221)

William Goldman can see a lot of similarities between his son and his wife. The funny thing is that neither of these people are actually real. In real life, Goldman had two daughters and no son, plus he never married a psychiatrist named Helen.

"Jason is ten, darling, and not interested, at this stage, in girls." (I.251)

Goldman is worried about where Jason's weight is going to get him when he starts wanting to date girls. Apart from the fact that this is blatantly superficial, Helen tells him that Jason isn't yet old enough to care about dating. She is confident that Jason knows how to live his own life to its fullest.

But my father only read me the action stuff, the good parts. He never bothered with the serious side at all. (I.287)

It's only when he's an adult that Goldman realizes his father was skipping through The Princess Bride when he used to read the book to him. This is because Goldman's father wanted to keep the story interesting, which is exactly why Goldman sets out to create a new "good parts" version of the story for kids to enjoy into the future.

And my father read it to me. And now I give it to you. What you do with it will be of more than passing interest to us all. (I.312)

Here, Goldman reminds us that his connection to The Princess Bride stems from a deep sense of love and connection to his father. And that's probably his proudest reason for presenting the book to us in its new "good parts" version.

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