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Quentin Tarantino Finally Answers Your Burning Question About Pulp Fiction’s Biggest Mystery: What’s the Gimp’s Deal?

Pulp Fiction / Screenshot

Quentin Tarantino went all J.K. Rowling in a recent interview. No, I don’t mean he got super transphobic in a way that gave him plausible deniability, I mean he decided to dish some after-the-fact backstory that no one really asked for and that adds nothing to the story.

In this case, Empire asked QT what was up with the Gimp from Pulp Fiction. Because, you know, that’s the thing about that film everyone has endlessly speculated about for 25 years.

Okay, so Tarantino is never going to say what’s in the briefcase beyond “a lightbulb” or “a MacGuffin” and it’s because he doesn’t know because it was not at all important to the plot of the film in any way.

So the Gimp. If you were up nights wondering what was up with him, Tarantino is here to give you some insight into his writing process.

It doesn’t quite play this way in the movie, but in my mind when I wrote it, the Gimp’s dead. Butch knocked him out and then when he passed out he hung himself. In terms of backstory, he was like a hitchhiker or somebody that they picked up seven years ago, and they trained him so he’s the perfect victim.

Just some drifter. The Gimp wasn’t even a MacGuffin like the briefcase, he was more of a visual gag that illustrates how depraved Maynard and Zed are. As if the impending rape of Marcellus Wallace didn’t get that point across.

Tarantino gets something that J.K. Rowling doesn’t, and you can see it come across in his somewhat thoughtless answer (which he pads out with a story of John Lovitz seeing the film) is that if a piece of backstory was important to the story, it would be in the story and if it is it important it’s not worth wasting time thinking about.

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