|“||Do you really want the truth, or do you just want to look like the hero?||”|
— The Crooked Man questioning Sheriff Bigby Wolf on what does he truly believe in.
The Crooked Man is a main character and the main antagonist of The Wolf Among Us. He is the puppeteer responsible for ordering the murders of Faith and Lily. He directly employs the Tweedles and Bloody Mary as his muscle, and has a controlling interest in the Pudding & Pie, since he and his henchmen show up after Georgie is shown to be making a phone call about a "problem" as Snow and Bigby apprehend Crane. He also uses the Jersey Devil as muscle, with his pawn shop The Lucky Pawn being a front for his loansharking activities. He also has a large stake in the Fabletown government, revealed when Crane was embezzling to pay him off. He is directly responsible for the series of events that form the central conflict of the game. He lives and meets with his envoys in the Crooked Lair.
The first mention of the Crooked Man comes if Bigby decides to capture Tweedledee in the Trip Trap. During his interrogation, Dee claims that Beauty took out a loan from The Crooked Man, which is later corroborated when Bigby asks Beauty about the Tweedles when he is investigating the Open Arms Hotel.
|“||Look, it's recently come under our attention that you're, how shall I put this? Attempting to claim what is the personal property of the Crooked Man. He's about yae high, a hundred and twenty-odd pounds, pissed his sheets until he was 14. Sound familiar?||”|
— Bloody Mary reveals who she's working for
During his search for Crane's witch, Bigby learns that the Crane is in debt to the Crooked Man and has been embezzling Fabletown funds to pay him off. This is discovered through finding either a envelope of money in Crane's apartment or a package in the basement of the Tweedles' office. Additionally, if Bigby visits Crane's apartment first during his investigation, he can listen to a message left by one of the Crooked Man's cronies, asking him to pay him back by Friday.
Bigby and Snow later apprehend Crane at the Pudding & Pie for his misappropriation of Fabletown funds. However, as they begin to bring him back to the Woodlands, they a cornered by a fleet of the Crooked Man's cars. The Tweedles and Bloody Mary get out and demand that Bigby hand Crane over. When he refuses, Mary has Dee and Dum empty their shotguns into Bigby, momentarily incapacitating him. However, he soon recovers and transforms into his full werewolf form, swiftly taking out the Tweedles and optionally killing Dum. Mary then shoots him with a silver bullet, immobilizing him. She is about to execute him with the Woodsman's axe when Snow interrupts, offering Crane in exchange for Bigby's life. Mary is unconvinced, but the Crooked Man gives her an okay from his limousine. She breaks Bigby's arm, then marches Crane into the car, which speeds off.
|“||You see? Everyone in Fabletown has a role to fill. You just have to pay attention to what they need to help them find it. Why don't you have a seat, sheriff? We have a great deal to discuss.||”|
— The Crooked Man speaks to Bigby
The Crooked Man is again mentioned throughout the episode. After Bigby is fixed up by Swineheart, Snow explains that she originally thought that The Crooked Man was simply a loan shark, but now realizes that he has a far-reaching presence in Fabletown and ostensibly declared war against the Business Office with his attack.
A short time later, Bigby goes to Beauty and Beast's apartment to question them about the loan they took out from the Crooked Man. They claim that they are used to a lavish lifestyle, and needed the money in order to facilitate that. During the questioning, Jersey calls the apartment demanding that the couple pays the loan back before Crooked Man has to resolve to other methods of payment. Beauty tells Bigby that she got the loan at the Lucky Pawn, where Jersey works. Beast also mentions that he took a job as a courier delivering packages for the Crooked Man out of The Cut Above butcher shop. Bigby then has to decide on which location to investigate first.
At the Lucky Pawn, Bigby eventually finds Jersey and questions him about the Crooked Man. The confrontation quickly escalates, and before long Jersey is bested by Bigby and the Woodsman. He explains that the door to Crooky's lair moves around the city, never staying in one place for too long. Crane had to use the mirror to contact him, and Jersey himself had never actually seen him. As Bigby leaves, Jersey declares that the Crooked Man was far out of his league, and the murder victims were dead because he wanted them dead.
At The Cut Above, Bigby finds an extremely nervous Johann tending the storefront. After asking him about the Crooked Man, the butcher hits a silent alarm and heads back into the freezer, with Bigby following. The sheriff soon discovers a large bay door, and upon opening it sees the spell and glamour-creating operation the Crooked Man has. Johann explains that The Crooked Man's crew threatened to kill him if he didn't let the gang use his building, and that he was kept in the dark as to what exactly they used the space for. Bigby figures out that Crooked Man uses slave labor to create his products for cheaper than the 13th Floor, and also finds a chalk board listing numerous Fables who apparently purchase them. Unless you choose to go there second, if you do that then they have all ready cleared the board of the names.
Bigby also finds Crane's coat at whichever location he visits last, and with it the missing Mirror shard.
Upon returning to the Business Office, Bufkin fixes the Magic Mirror and Snow asks to see Crane. They see Bloody Mary ordering him to Paris until further notice, shortly before using her power to cut off the Mirror's vision. They then ask to see the Crooked Man. The mirror reveals that the magic door is currently residing under the Gothic Bridge in Central Park, and Bigby rushes over to use it before it moves again.
Bigby arrives at the bridge and runs into the portal, which transports him to the Crooked Man's lair where he is greeted by Tiny Tim, who reveals that the sheriff was expected. They walk to his meeting room, where the crime lord is meeting with Dee, Dum (determinant), Georgie Porgie, Vivian and the Jersey Devil. Crooked Man politely thanks Tim for his service (if you chose to walk to the door with him) and gives him permission to leave. He then asks Bigby to take a seat, saying that they have much to discuss. Bigby can now decide to stay silent and smoke, threaten him, or agree to sit down for a talk.
|“||That's enough. I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but in the interest of preserving our alliance; If you have to know, it was Georgie. However, like I said, I'll be handling the matter if you don't mind.||”|
— The Crooked Man revealing that Georgie is the murderer behind Faith and Lily and then telling him to be vengeful.
As the Crooked Man converses with Bigby, Bigby discovers that he speaks in a rather polite tone, and he orders the Jersey Devil (twice in the conversation) to sit down and not execute Bigby. During the conversation, the Crooked Man acknowledges that it was Georgie who killed Faith and Lily. Georgie brags initially, but he begins to throw a fit when the Crooked Man states that he "misinterpreted one of my instructions". The Crooked Man tries to offer Bigby Georgie, but when Bigby outright refuses, threatens either the Crooked Man or Georgie, or demands that they both come with him, the Crooked Man shows frustration at things going out of control, with him berating Bigby of "complicating things" if he threatens him or Georgie. Immediately afterwards, Bloody Mary shows up by teleporting via the room's mirror, things spiral out of control as the Tweedle(s), Jersey and Georgie all try to kill Bigby. As the fight (in which Georgie is fatally stabbed but doesn't die right away) ensues, the Crooked Man flees with Mary.
If you focus on Mary/Crooked Man's car in the chase scene that follows, then Mary will effortlessly run him over, leaving him knocked out.
Georgie and Vivian drive back to the Pudding & Pie, and Bigby follows them. He watches Vivian kill herself and Georgie die, where you have a chance to mercy-kill Georgie or let him suffer. But if you focused on the Crooked Man's car, then Bigby will arrive at the Pudding & Pie only to discover Vivian's decapitated body. He is still given the choice to mercy kill Georgie or leave him to bleed out.
As Georgie (and Vivian if you focused on her car) tries to convince Bigby that the Crooked Man coerced him into killing Faith and Lily and that he didn't kill them on his own accord, he tells you where to locate the Crooked Man, and Bigby faces Bloody Mary, with her turning into a horrifying creature made of glass and marble and Bigby turns into the Big Bad Wolf fully.
After defeating Mary, Bigby finds the Crooked Man who demands that Bigby return him to the Business Office alive for a trial (as Snow White requested Bigby do in the previous episode). Bigby now must decide to either execute the Crooked Man here or to return him to the office.
If you decide to arrest him, Bigby will handcuff him and return him to the Business Office. There he finds Snow White, Grendel, Holly, Johann, Aunty Greenleaf, Beauty, Beast, Bluebeard and Prince Lawrence (determinant) there.
He tries to convince the people that he did nothing wrong because he didn't force anyone to do anything. He then goes on to put the blame on Bigby and Snow for allowing the Fables to have it so bad that they turned to him for help. He also claims that Georgie misinterpreted his orders and didn't want Faith and Lily killed. Soon the Fables start to take his side reluctantly, until he was proven guilty by Nerissa; Nerissa claimed that she heard him tell Georgie to kill Lily and Faith, and can bring at least five more witnesses to prove it.
Now, Fabletown is convinced with the new testimony that he is guilty. As they all disagree on how to punish him, it is decided that Bigby gets to decide his punishment. He has 3 options; to execute him, to toss him down the Witching Well or to imprison him. Before Bigby can announce his decision, the Crooked Man uses his cufflinks to strangle Bigby and tries to throw him down the well. Bigby then counters him, and now can make his decision as the Crooked Man arrogantly taunts the population by saying that they will need him, and that the town will suffer without his guidance.
His punishment can go three ways: You can tear his head off and throw him down the Witching Well, just throw him down the Witching Well, both to Aunty Greenleaf's dismay, or Aunty Greenleaf can turn him into a raven and trap him in a magic cage forever. If you wait too long for the choice, he will force the handcuff chain against your neck and you can choose once more between the same choices. If you wait too long once more, Bigby merely throws the Crooked Man down the Witching Well.
If you decide to kill the Crooked Man at the foundry, Bigby will brutally choke him to death with his bare hands, tearing his throat open in the process. As he is doing so, the Crooked Man taunts Bigby by telling him he "hasn't changed"; just before he takes his final breath, he tries to change Bigby's mind one final time by reminding him of Snow White and what she says about justice, and begging him not to make the reckless decision to kill him, to which Bigby coldly replies by saying "You've said enough".
Bigby then returns to the Business Office (with the same people listed above waiting for him) with the Crooked Man's corpse, and the scene (compared to if you return with him alive) is drastically different; the community is very skeptical about the acceptability of Bigby's actions. As Bigby's hearing progresses, he (alternative to deciding the handcuffed Crooked Man's punishment) will have the choice of either leaving the area or staying for the remainder.
|“||You know what? Fuck this. We've been through Hell trying to keep you all safe, trying to make you all fucking happy! But all you do is complain, so FUCK THIS!||”|
If he leaves, (quoting what is said above as he does), Bigby will declare, "fuck this", and berate and insult the community for criticizing him for the effort he went through to kill the Crooked Man as he throws his corpse down the witching well and walks away. His decision to leave will silence the community, and Snow will attempt, and fail, to call him back. It is unknown how that will affect their government on the long term.
If he stays, Nerissa comes in and explains how she and the other girls were prisoners at Georgie's club, and that it was the Crooked Man who coerced Georgie into ordering their deaths. As their names are cleared in front of the community, Bigby and Snow are accepted as the revolutionized Fabletown government, and the Crooked Man's corpse is thrown down the Witching Well.
Regardless of whether or not he was killed, Nerissa admits the truth regarding the murders to Bigby in the following scene: Nerissa confessed to Georgie that Faith had procured an illicit photograph of Crane with a girl hoping that Georgie could try to smooth things over and be merciful. Georgie initially agreed, but sometime later he returned to the club, presumably having spoken to the Crooked Man, and told Nerissa the girls must be punished for treason. This reveals that back at the Witching Well (unless Bigby killed the CM then walked out) that she told a lie; even though it is highly probable that the Crooked Man did indeed give the orders to kill the prostitutes, it remains unproven and there were no witnesses of that. She acknowledges her lie, and states that she refused to allow a technicality prevent the Crooked Man from being punished.
In the comic Fables: The Wolf Among Us, the Crooked Man's story is almost identical to the game, with a few differences. In the comic, it shows that he recruited Bloody Mary early on to use her baby as a vessel out of a world that they were stuck in. Also, at the end of the story, the Crooked Man is arrested in the Fabletown jail, only to escape and go after Nerissa, holding her at knifepoint. It is unknown what his fate is from there on out.
|“||I'm a businessman, not a killer.||”|
— The Crooked Man discussing his place in Fabletown, while keeping Bigby at gunpoint.
Highly intelligent and dangerously persuasive, the Crooked Man puts on a facade of maturity, affability, and benevolence in the eyes of the Fabletown community; but in reality, the Crooked Man is a shady loanshark; greedy, cruel, callous, influential, deceptive, remorseless, and extremely manipulative. He, without qualm, fully exploited the Fabletown community in its financial instability, corrupted Ichabod Crane, and orchestrated the murders of Faith and Lily (as well as the attempted murder of Bigby Wolf, twice); the former two's deaths were carried out by Georgie, whom the Crooked Man later betrayed to Bigby, without remorse or sympathy. Upon realizing that Georgie is dead, he only paused in thought, but didn't really seem to care at all that he is gone, and later continues to defame him even after learning that Bigby killed him or left him to bleed out.
Despite all this, the Crooked Man is always calm, stoic, and collected, and the only time when his facade breaks is when he attempts to strangle Bigby to death with his handcuffs (if he was spared at the foundry), though even then, he didn't lose his temper outright, and almost immediately returns to his calm personality once again.
Book of Fables Entry
"The Crooked Man has slowly built himself into one of the most powerful figures in Fabletown. His operation started with a crooked sixpence and a crooked house - two things he cared about more than his wife or children, whom he killed rather than let them stand in his way. In his rise, The Crooked Man has ensnared many Fables in his criminal web, providing them with what they need, but always at a high cost. He is cunning, persuasive, and ruthless."
This list shows the victims Crooked Man has killed:
- The first being Lawrence in Faith and the second being Tweedle Dum in A Crooked Mile, the Crooked Man is the last Determinant character in the video game.
- He is also the only character with the most death options in the game, Determinant or otherwise.
- While you are conversing with him in the opening scene of Cry Wolf, he will remark that "Fabletown has been very accomodating of [his] ventures" ever since he came across its shores; this implies, as does his Welsh accent, that he is originally from Europe.
- While you decide how to reply to his demand that you return him to the Business Office alive, he will remark that he is very interested in seeing Snow White again; he remarks that his "previous interactions" with her have gone quite well, implying that even Snow White had been involved in underhand deals with him.
- However, it is far more likely the Crooked Man is referring to the "deal" they made in episode 3 for Bigby's life. Had Snow been involved with the Crooked Man in any other way, it is likely she would have a box in the foundry that wasn't in the "intelligence" section with Bigby.
- When he is pointing a gun (filled with silver bullets that Bigby cannot withstand) at your head, what happens with it changes based on whether or not you agree initially to his demand to be returned alive to the community.
- If you refuse his terms, he will cock the gun back and you will need to disarm it from him otherwise he will shoot you and give you a game over.
- If you agree to his terms, Bigby will demand he drop the gun; he replies that he would rather hold onto it. The on-screen prompt to disarm him exists just as in the above scenario, but you can ignore it in which case he will obediently drop it to the floor. Additionally, if you choose to disarm him here, then he will not fire the gun in shock (as he will if you disarm him after refusing his terms)
- He bares a striking resemblance to Bill the Butcher, the main antagonist of Martin Scorsese's film: Gangs of New York. Bill was portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis.