|Simon Peter Gruber|
Makarov PM pistol
East German Volksfrie Movement
|Behind the scenes|
Die Hard with a Vengeance
Killed in a helicopter explosion caused by John McClane
- "Birds of a feather, flock together, so do pigs and swine. Rats and mice all have their chance, as will I have mine."
- ―Simon Gruber [src]
Simon Peter Gruber was a former East German Special Forces Colonel turned terrorist mastermind and the older brother of Hans Gruber. He is the primary antagonist in Die Hard with a Vengeance, where he pretended to be seeking revenge against John McClane through a series of elaborate riddles and tasks, when this was really a distraction from a robbery of billions in gold bullion from the New York Federal Reserve Bank. In East Germany, Simon was in charge of an infiltration unit where he trained German soldiers to speak English and mimic American accents. His work with the East German army likely caused the bitter sibling rivalry between the two brothers, as Hans was from West Germany, perhaps separated from Simon by differing political beliefs or the construction of the Berlin Wall, which separated the two countries, possibly splitting the siblings up.
- "I would not give up McClane, for all the gold in your Fort Knox."
- ―Simon playing up the revenge part of his plan [src]
The Federal Reserve PlanEdit
- "I should have seen it coming a mile away. This was never about revenge, it was about a goddamn heist! "
- ―McClane when discovering Simon's true motives [src]
When the gold is stolen, and deposited in dump trucks, Simon's henchmen flee to Canada, while Simon remains behind with his personal guard. Simon informs the police that the gold is on a ship off Long Island, which he intends to blow up, thus distributing the gold across the seabed. However, the ship contains only scrap metal, while the gold is in the dump trucks heading to Canada. When McClane and Carver make an attack on the boat, they are captured and handcuffed to a pole, with the bomb intended to blow the ship sitting directly next to them. Simon reveals that whilst he disliked his brother, he will kill McClane anyway for repeatedly meddling with his plans and he had already intended to avenge the death of Hans ("There's a difference, you know, between not liking one's brother and not caring when some dumb Irish flatfoot drops him out of a window"). He then leaves for Canada with the rest of his henchmen, leaving McClane and Carver to die on the boat.
Simon is portrayed as highly intelligent, manipulative and calculating. Of all the villains in the series, Simon is the one who got the closest to achieving his goal. Like his brother, he is very sophisticated and savvy which makes it easy for him to preserve people. In the end, Simon's one downfall is his sadistic pleasure in toying with McClane. This eventually lead to his defeat and becomes the one problem in his near-perfect plan. While part of Simon's plan was to exact revenge upon McClane for killing his brother, it's shown later on that he wasn't very fond of Hans anyway. When McClane is captured aboard the ship, Simon agrees and laughs alongside McClane when he calls his brother an 'asshole'. He later explains that: "There's a difference between not liking ones brother, and not caring when some dumb Irish flatfoot drops him out of a window.", indicating that avenging his brother's death was bonus to him.
Simon is a military man and has little concern with killing to achieve his goals. Unlike the other villains in the series, however, Simon doesn't bother with killing if he can find any way around it. He has his men use tranquilizers to knock out everyone guarding the Federal Reserve bank and when McClane discovers that he never placed a bomb in a school, Simon explains: "I'm a soldier, not a monster", suggesting that even he couldn't let himself go so far as to potentially kill (or even put them in iminent danger) a building full of children to achieve his goals.
However, while he never directly kills any one over the course of the film, if McClane hadn't tried to get rid of the bomb on the subway train, the bomb would likely have gone off and killed all of the train's passengers, maybe even everyone at the station. It's likely that Simon had planned for McClane to dispose of the bomb, however, as traffic would be impossible to beat in order to be there in time, and also, if he hadn't detonated the subway bomb, Simon and his team wouldn't have been able to reach the money they were after.
Like Hans, Simon has a very casual reaction to death as seen when Katya kills one of the security guards, and later Targo. Simon is still a very socially pleasant man considering his role as an antagonist and he often laughs and jokes around with McClane, even giving him some aspirin to help with his headache, which eventually contributes to his defeat.
- Said simple Simon to the pieman going to the fair, give me your pies... or I'll cave your head in.
- Simon says, McClane and the Samaritan will go to the subway station at 72nd and Broadway. I will call you in 15 minutes on the payphone outside the station. No Police. Failure to answer will constitute noncompliance. Do you understand me, John?
- Life has its little bonuses
|Die Hard Characters|
|John McClane - Holly Gennero - Lucy McClane - John McClane, Jr. - Al Powell - Richard Thornburg|
|Die Hard||Hans Gruber - Karl - Theo|
|Die Hard 2||Colonel Stuart - Leslie Barnes - General Ramon Esperanza - Carmine Lorenzo|
|Die Hard with a Vengeance||Simon Gruber - Zeus Carver - Katya|
|Live Free or Die Hard||Thomas Gabriel - Matt Farrell - Mai Linh - Warlock|
|A Good Day to Die Hard||Yuri Komarov - Irina Komarov - Viktor Chagarin - Alik - Mike Collins|