Every year on November 5th many recognize Guy Fawkes Day. There’s no better time than any to freshen up on this modern legacy — and its connection to Alan Moore’s graphic novel and 2005 movie, V for Vendetta.
So why do we celebrate Guy Fawkes Day? Here’s how the famous story of V for Vendetta and Guy Fawkes Night (often also called Bonfire Night or Plot Night) goes: On November 5, 1609 a plan plan to blow up the House of Lords (later dubbed the “Gunpowder Plot”) failed, and the most famous member of the plot was a man named Guy Fawkes, who wore a mask with a wry smile to disguise his identity.
The mask has since become an iconic symbol of this anarchist anti-authoritarian ideology.
Both the movie and the graphic novel are modern classics, and worthy of a re-watch/re-read if it’s been a while.
Here’s a list of the top V for Vendetta quotes for Guy Fawkes Day:
1. V: “Remember, remember the fifth of November of gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gun powder treason should ever be forgot.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
2. Evey: “My father was a writer. You would’ve liked him. He used to say that artists use lies to tell the truth, while politicians use them to cover the truth up.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
3. Valerie: “It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years I had roses and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
4. Valerie: “But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
5. V: “Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
6. Valerie: “Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An Inch, it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
7. V: “Voila! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified!!!! and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition! The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
8. V: “Beneath this mask there is more than flesh, Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
9. Valerie: “Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch, we are free.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
10. V: “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
11. V: “Happiness is the most insidious prison of all, Evey.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
12. V: “A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
13. Deitrich: “You wear a mask for so long you forget who you were beneath it.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
14. Valerie: “I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
15. Finch: “The problem is, he knows us better than we know ourselves.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
16. V: “The past can’t hurt you anymore, unless you let it.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
17. Evey: “No one will ever forget that night and what it meant for this country. But I will never forget the man and what he meant to me.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
18. V: “It is to Madame Justice that I dedicate this concerto, in honor of the holiday that she seems to have taken from these parts, and in recognition of the impostor that stands in her stead.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
19. V: “A building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
20. V: “Your powers of observation continue to serve you well.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
21. Evey: “Are you, like, a crazy person?” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
22. V: “I am quite sure they will say so.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
23. V: “I told you, only truth. For 20 years, I sought only this day. Nothing else existed… until I saw you. Then everything changed. I fell in love with you Evey. And to think I no longer believed I could.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
24. V: “The only thing that you and I have in common, Mr. Creedy, is we’re both about to die.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
25. V: “Who? Who is but the form following the function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
26. V: “Of course you can. I’m not questioning your powers of observation, I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
27. V: “There are no coincidences, Delia… only the illusion of coincidence.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
28. Valerie: “I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like “collateral” and “rendition” became frightening, while things like Norsefire and the Articles of Allegiance became powerful. I remember how “different” became dangerous. I still don’t understand it, why they hate us so much.” — Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
Dan O’Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.