William is the love interest (and later the husband) of Snow White and the son of Duke Hammond. Upon marrying Snow White, he becomes King of Tabor. He is a supporting protagonist in Snow White and the Huntsman and briefly appears in The Huntsman: Winter's War. William is portrayed by Sam Claflin, with Xavier Atkins portraying him as a child.
Snow White and the Huntsman Edit
Childhood with Snow White. When William was a child, he became great friends with Snow White. But after Snow White's mother's death, King Magnus married a new queen, Ravenna. During Ravenna's new-found reign over the castle, William fled with his father the escape route to the outlying lands populated by trolls, fairy folk and dwarfs to escape back to Tabor. They have spent years amassing an army to take back Tabor from the evil woman who has upset the natural order of the world.
Reunion with Snow White Edit
When William learns that his childhood love and friend is still alive, the expert marksman vows to find Snow White and to never make the mistake of leaving her again. He joins Finn's group as a bowman to find her, and protects Snow White from them when finding her. Ravenna briefly impersonates him, and attempts to kill Snow White. (And briefly, succeeds). He helps her and Eric to get to his father's castle. After Snow White's resurrection, William leads an army with Eric the Huntsman and fights with them in the battle against Ravenna, which is victorious, although William is wounded and most (if not all of the soldiers are killed).
The Huntsman: Winter's War Edit
After the battle, he marries Snow White and is crowned King of Tabor. Some time after Ravenna's death, he comes across Eric and informs him that the Magic Mirror was taken while en route to a place known as "Sanctuary". Eric reluctantly sets off with Snow White's dwarf ally Nion and his half-brother Gryff to find the Magic Mirror, unaware that Freya has been secretly observing their conversation through a mask that projects her consciousness in the form of a snowy owl. William presumably returns home to Tabor to be with Snow White.
William is fearless and loyal, with a kind and noble heart. As a child, he had a mischievous streak, playing tricks on his best friend Snow White. He seems to retain this playful attitude in small amounts as a young adult, but comes across as much more serious and subdued, probably due to the loss of his best friend and witnessing his homeland fall into tyranny and poverty. William is often at odds with his father over their approach to Ravenna, with William preferring to make a stand and fight back, seeming to view running and hiding from Ravenna as cowardice. He can be seen as rash and rebellious because of this, often defying his father's orders to remain in the castle and leading raids on Ravenna's supply wagons. William hates watching his countrymen suffer, yearning to topple Ravenna and restore Tabor to its former glory. He seems to have a guilt complex, especially in regards to Snow White, believing he abandoned her and for years blaming himself for her presumed death, even though he was only a child when King Magnus was killed. Upon learning she is alive, William dedicates himself to finding her and keeping her safe at all costs, demonstrating a fierce loyalty to her, not just as the heir to the throne, but as his dear friend. William is more than willing to risk his own life to defend Snow White and his comrades against Ravenna and her allies, believing that it is a sacrifice worth making to ensure Tabor's freedom. William's devotion to his country and courage in protecting its people likely make him an effective and competent king, alongside his queen, Snow White.
Snow White Edit
William has been best friends with Snow White since they were children. He admired her bravery and kindness and may have had a mutual crush on her, though as he was only a child, it was probably not serious (at least initially). William was devastated when he was forced to flee the castle during Ravenna's take-over, leaving Snow White behind after she was captured. William felt extremely guilty over this, blaming himself for years for "abandoning" his friend, though Snow White never believed what happened to be his fault. William feared Snow White had been killed and was relieved to hear she was still alive and managed to escape from Ravenna's castle. In spite of the risks, William immediately set out to find Snow White and bring her to safety, telling his father he wouldn't "abandon her a second time." William risked his life by disguising himself as a ranger to accompany Finn's troops to find Snow White and put himself in danger again to fight them off to protect his friend. He was happy to be properly reunited with Snow White again and, despite the decade they have spent apart, William clearly still cares deeply for her. William is heartbroken when she is poisoned by Ravenna, crying and holding her as she dies. He kisses her, confirming his romantic feelings for her. After Snow White's supposed death, William is more determined than ever to lead his father's army against Ravenna. He is stunned when Snow White is restored to life. When she approaches him, they hold hands and share a brief moment. William fights alongside Snow White in the assault on the castle and attends her coronation after Ravenna is defeated, where they exchange smiles. It is revealed in the second film that William married Snow White. At her request, he seeks out Eric the Huntsman to bring the Mirror to the Sanctuary, concerned over the negative influence the Mirror's dark power is having on his wife and the rest of her people.
- In the original fairytale, Snow White is revived by her true love, a prince. In some versions, the prince asks the dwarves to be allowed to take Snow White's body - which they have guarding - for burial, but accidentally drops the coffin, causing the poisoned piece of apple to become dislodged and awakening her. Later versions, which are far more popular, have the prince kiss Snow White, which breaks the curse. In this version, William does kiss Snow White after she's poisoned, but it is apparently the Huntsman who resurrects her (though she ends up with William anyway). William is also not a prince, though still noble-born, and becomes a king after marrying Snow White.
- In the fairytales, the Evil Queen takes the form of an old woman to trick Snow White into eating the poisoned apple; the scene in which she shapeshifts into William to accomplish this is a nod to the original tale.
- William's name is of German origins, meaning "protection". This is rather fitting, given William's attempts to protect Snow White. William has been the name of many kings and princes throughout history. The original story of Snow White is also German in origin.