|“||There's nothing wrong with your eyes. Sometimes what you think you saw is exactly what you saw.||”|
— Ruby Knowby to Amanda Fisher.
"Ruby Knowby" is one of The Dark Ones, specifically the one who wrote the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis during their rule over the Earth. While hunting Ash Williams, she claimed to be the daughter of Henrietta and Raymond Knowby and sister of Annie Knowby. She used the deaths of the Knowby family to recruit Amanda in her search for Ash Williams, telling her that he was responsible for the Deadite plague, and blaming him for the death of her "entire family".
Not much is known about Ruby's past, except that long ago she created the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, and had a romantic affair with the demon known as Baal (before turning on him and the others, with the help of a mortal human sorceress, Kaya (formally of the Knights of Sumeria), though, when asked by Kelly why she'd ever been in a relationship with Baal in the first place, Ruby's commented that she hadn't been given a choice by Baal, that he'd used his powers to put her under a thrall in order to make her spawn with him; that while she'd been his choice for the mother of his offspring, he had not been her choice for the father (which is likely, at least in part, why she turned on him and the other Dark Ones).
Over the millennias, Ruby has been known by a number of aliases, including "Mulier Daemonia Igni" (lit. "Demon Woman of Fire") back in Ancient Rome, "άγρια μητέρα από την κόλαση" ("ágrios mḗtēr apó tḗn kólasis", lit. "Fierce Mother from Hell") in Ancient Greece", and her known current-day ones including "Ruby Knowby" (posing as a fictitious-surviving relation of the Knowby family from the films) and "Ms. Previt" (Brandy Barr's new high school guidance councillor, using the surname of an deceased 'old friend'/old squeeze of Brock Williams' as an allias (and her old house as a base of operations in season 3)). In season 2, episode 1, Home, while escaping with the book from her demon spawn after they turned on her (siding with their father, Baal), Ruby mentions having also having crossed paths with the likes of Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun ("I fought with Attila the Hun, and Ghengis Khan, and now this little dipshit is my only hope; fuck what a mess").
The Hunt For Ash Williams Begins
Sometime after Ash Williams had returned to the 20th century from 1300 AD, Ruby began her hunt to find and kill the mysterious "Chosen One" that had appeared in her book in a prophecy, seeing him as major threat since he was the only one to stop evil from completely taking over the world.
At some point in time, Ruby learned about the events at the Knowby Cabin, and decided to take on the alias of Ruby Knowby, creating a backstory that she was the daughter of Raymond and Henrietta and the sister of Annie Knowby seeking revenge on Ash for killing her family. Ruby also somehow acquired Ash's evil right hand, presumably from journeying to the cabin itself.
After watching her partner, Carson, turn into a Deadite before she was forced to kill him, Officer Amanda Fisher was sitting in a restaurant with a cup of coffee to try and clear her head. Ruby then turned around and looked at the confused Amanda and asked her if she's alright. Amanda informed her that she believes she saw something (a child who she thought was a Deadite, but turned out to be perfectly fine) and tells Ruby that she cannot trust her eyes these days. Ruby, in turn, told her that there's nothing wrong with her sight and mentions that sometimes the things one see are actually real, and then leaves the young woman to her own thoughts while leaving the cafe. Ruby later claimed that she apparently wanted to tell Fisher more about the situation at the restaurant, but felt she wasn't ready to hear the whole truth yet.
Teaming-Up With Amanda Fisher
A short time later, Ruby ran into Amanda Fisher at the occult bookstore Books From Beyond. She rescued Fisher from the Deadite Lionel Hawkins. Fisher then agreed to team-up with Ruby to help her bring Ash to justice for killing her partner and Ruby's family. The two managed to track Ash back to the Brujo's farm, just missing him by a few minutes. As Ruby explored the Brujo's property, she was attacked by a Deadite comprised of the remains of the Brujo himself, and was dragged into a large fire pit, seemingly killing her. Amanda Fisher decided that she was going to pick up where Ruby left off and bring Ash in herself, taking Ruby's sportscar and tracking Ash to a diner.
Confronting Ash Williams
Several hours later, Ruby emerged from the fire pit, and managed to find Pablo Simon Bolivar and Kelly Maxwell in the woods surrounding the Knowby Cabin. Bolivar and Maxwell led Ruby to the cabin, where she finally came face-to-face with Ash Williams. She claimed that if Ash gave her the Necronomicon, she could put an end to the evil forces once and for all. Ash agreed and gave Ruby the book, but instead of stopping the forces of evil like she promised, she revealed herself to be the author of the Ex-Mortis and took Pablo into the cabin's fruit cellar to be the gateway for her Demon Spawn to enter the world of the living.
When Ash began his descent into the cabin's cellar, Ruby appeared to Ash in a vision, giving him the choice to let her unleash some of the evil contained within the book and act as the "Godfather" to them, leaving Ash to live peacefully in Jacksonville, or she'll kill Ash's friends. Ash chose the option to kill her instead, and was taken out of the vision. When Ash confronted the real Ruby, she once again gave him the option of Jacksonville. Ash agreed to the new conditions of the deal (Pablo would be released from the Necronomicon's power over him) and left Ruby with the book.
Six months after Ash, Pablo, and Kelly had gone to Florida, Ruby's spawn had turned against her, and sought the Necronomicon to unleash Baal, an upper level Demon and their "father". To prevent this, Ruby used Deadites to summon Ash for help and hid the book in a corpse in Elk Grove hospital. While waiting for Ash to return to his hometown, Ruby hid in a crematorium where she encountered Ash and aids him in killing one of her spawn. After agreeing to team up, Ruby then followed Ash to his childhood house where she is called "bigfoot" by Brock Williams, she then tasks Ash with finding the book. In Ash's absence, Ruby is attacked by a Deadite which she manages to kill just as Ash returns. Ruby asks for the book but Ash tells her its safe in the Delta before it was immediately stolen.
Ash, Ruby, Pablo and Kelly are at a bar where Ash introduces them to Chet Kaminski, an old friend of his who co-invented a dangerous drink called "pink fuck", which has ketamine as an ingredient. Kelly deduces that Ash's plan is to attract the young thieves by throwing a large party, which Ruby grudgingly admits to not being a bad plan. Ruby later finds Kelly sitting alone on the streets and convinces her to join her in killing her spawn, which they succeed in doing so but they fail to stop the rise of Baal as Pablo was tricked into releasing him.
After Ash is arrested, Ruby, Kelly and Pablo arrive to free him but end up trapped in the police station as Baal infiltrates them, having disguised himself as one of the deputies. After an argument with Thomas Emery, the sheriff of the station, she shoots him in the leg before going off to find Ash's equipment. She then encounters one of deputies before who is acting scared, Polly then later starts to seduce Ruby, who responds before it is revealed that the deputy is Baal in disguise. After exchanging words, such as revealing he knows that Ruby is now human, he disappears and manipulates the sheriff into becoming irrational while one of his skinned victims comes back and attacks the station, killing a prostitute.
Ruby tells Ash that Pablo is becoming one with the Necronomicon and is the only hope in banishing Baal, she tells Ash that she needs to do a spell to spread the process up until they the passage needed to send Baal back to hell, which she eventually succeeds in doing so.
Ruby from the 2016 timeline was later killed by Ruby from the 1982 timeline due to the former not being immortal anymore.
The Ruby from the 1982 timeline returned, still evil because she never allied with Ash. With the power of the Necronomicon and a stolen human identity, she attempted to turn Brandy against Ash while racing against the banished Dark Ones to find a rift between the physical world and the underworld. She got help from her former best friend Kaya, a Knight of Sumeria who betrayed the order centuries ago and whose soul was sealed in the book. After failing to prevent the Dark Ones' return, they sentenced her to death for sealing them away, draining her soul and leaving only an empty husk.
Powers, Characteristics, & Weapons
Since Ruby is one of The Dark Ones, she seems to have immortality, having been alive for centuries. However, after she released her Demon Spawn in the 21st Century, she claimed that her children stole her immortality and her ability to quickly heal from wounds. Ruby is shown to have enhanced strength, easily tearing off a car door, and shattering a person's skull. She also demonstrated telekinetic abilities when she summoned the necronomicon and kandarian dagger to her hands. As well as when she seemingly shut/locked the doors of Elk Grove High preventing students from escaping.
Weapons of Choice
Ruby seems to be adept at using various types of firearms, from handguns to assault rifles. She also appears to skilled in using smaller weapons, like the Kandarian Dagger, and adapt at hand-to-hand combat.
Since Ruby is the author of the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, she is quite knowledgeable on the spells contained in the book, giving her an advantage over someone like Raymond Knowby or Ash Williams.
Ruby is a dark one, therefore being half human, half demon and because of this, she has some humanity in her personality traits. Though Ruby can be cold hearted and rather impatient, she does seem to have a disdain for violence. Even when Ash was her enemy she told him she would rather form a peaceful truce than fight one another. She is capable of caring for her comrades as she gets close to Amanda and eventually even Ash, Pablo and Kelly. It seems Baal corrupted her personality through his influence as in her younger years she was far more evil and murderous.
- Lucy Lawless appeared in character as Ruby in a Shemp's Beer/Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 Commercial in 2016.
Behind the Scenes
- Ruby is played by Lucy Lawless, whom Bruce Campbell worked with on Xena: Warrior Princess where he played Autolycus.
- In an interview with IGN in 2016, Lucy Lawless and her husband Rob Tapert confirmed that Ruby was never really a member of the Knowby family, simply using the family's name and history for a believable backstory.
- Ruby is the first confirmed LGBT character in the Evil Dead franchise. She is bisexual, having been married to the male Baal but has shown a romantic interest in Amanda Fisher and even kissed who she thought was a woman named Polly (who was really Baal in disguise.)