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    Vernon Schillinger
    "Prisoner #92S110. Convicted October 21, 1992 – Aggravated assault in the first degree. Sentence: Eight years, eligible for parole in five."
    Gender: Male
    Type: Psychopathic, Neo-Nazi, Murderous, Scheming, Tormentor, Slavemaster, Rapist
    Age: Unknown (possibly 50s or 60s)
    Species: Human
    Portrayed by: J.K. Simmons
    Status: Deceased
    Media of origin: Oz
    First appearance: The Routine (S1 E1)
    Last appearance: Exeunt Omnes (S6 E8)

    Vernon “Vern” Schillinger is a fictional character in the HBO series Oz created by Tom Fontana and portrayed by J. K. Simmons. The leader of the Aryan Brotherhood in the Oswald State Correctional Facility, and a member of “Emerald City”, he acts as a primary antagonist throughout the series, especially to character Tobias Beecher.


    Vernon Schillinger is a prisoner confined to the Oswald State Correctional Facility, arrested for aggravated assault in the first degree when he beat a Black drug dealer for attempting to sell drugs to his sons, Andrew and Hank. A white supremacist himself, he leads the Aryan Brotherhood within Oz, and is known for his racist epithets as well as his sadistic streak. When Tobias Beecher arrives in Em City, he tricks him into changing bunks from the sadistic Simon Adebisi to his own room, only to then reveal his own true nature to the former, raping and branding a swatstika into the flesh of his buttocks. His abuse and enslavement of Beecher eventually leads to the latter attacking him, sparking a long-standing and brutal feud between the two that lasts the remainder of the series. Due to the power, he holds within the prison, he often uses it to commit murders in and outside of the facility, such as how he murdered Jewish inmate Alexander Vogel, hanging him upside down in the gym, naked, and with “JEW” crudely carved into his flesh. He also tries to unite the white inmates against the African American ones or the Italians among others, though he will also cease hostilities when the situation demands it, such as how he had the Aryans even defend African American inmate Augustus Hill from the wrath of The Homeboys for turning Malcolm Coyle in for the latter’s murder of a family. He is a highly bigoted member of the prison and is also shown to be hypocritical as he kicks out Aryan inmate James Robson for receiving skin grafts on his gums from an African American man, even when the latter attempts to cut them out, leading to Robson betraying them altogether. His greatest enemies include Tobias Beecher, Chris Keller, Kareem Said, Simon Adebisi, and many others.

    Why He Intentionally Sucks

    1. He’s probably the single most evil character in the entire show (or at least he's very close), no one in their right mind likes a nazi, but he often takes it much farther than that.
    2. Right when Beecher comes to Oz, he just immediately makes it his goal to make the latter’s life an absolute hell, not only making him his sex slave and branding a swatstika on him, but then constantly manipulating him and making him an indentured servant, then taking every possible chance to humiliate him. After all that, he constantly puts all his resources into just constantly making it worse, even trying to kill him at multiple points.
      1. Even when he's not trying to kill or rape him, he's extremely petty like giving Beecher an empty envelope that was supposed to be a letter from his mother, saying he had to confiscate it.
    3. Speaking of nobody liking a nazi, a lot of his dialogue consists of racist slurs, N-word this and N-word that to name one, he calls every black inmate that word, even when Said attempts to be his lawyer and even get him out. He draws the race card with just about everything, of course being fully devoted to white supremacy and nothing else, often trying to convince the white inmates that it will prevent riots among other things.
    4. He does countless terrible things throughout the series to many people, often for bigoted reasons, and it’s almost always to people who didn’t deserve it. He’s also almost always directly responsible for how the Brotherhood negatively affects prisoners of different races and even sexual orientations.
      • He has Hank kidnap Beecher’s children and torture his son to death, all because he thought Beecher had an ulterior motive to setting up a meeting between the two, even though he didn’t.
        • In case all that wasn't bad enough, he then has Beecher's father killed just to spite him, and claims to have forced his wife's suicide by proxy (although he might be lying about the second case).
      • He uses Keller to completely manipulate Beecher and then, with his and Metzger’s help, shatters Beecher’s arms and legs.
      • The aforementioned murder of Alexander Vogel, even carving “JEW” onto his stomach (although, Vogel did murder an elderly couple, so maybe he deserved death, just not that way), just for a power play.
      • He and the Nazis rape Cyril O'Reilly, a man who is brain damaged and mentally challenged as a result, making it even more depraved than anyone thought possible, just to torment his brother, Ryan.
      • He tries to have Whittlesee murder Beecher just for the latter annoying him, only for it to be revealed that Beecher planned that in order to increase his sentence.
      • He flat-out kills his own son, Andrew, with a drug overdose just for doing them, and he blames Beecher for it.
      • Metzger, under his orders, forces Richie Hanlon to implicate himself and go to death row for an accidental self-defense kill. This also leads to Richie being killed in the long run.
    5. HYPOCRISY: Not only does he murder his own son in the aforementioned drug overdose, but he also disowns his own sister, Greta, for marrying a jewish man, and disowns Robson just for having grafts for his gums from an African-American man (which they didn’t even know about for a while), leading him to cut them out to try and fit back in with them.
    6. He can often come across as a Karma Houdini, avoiding consequences for a lot of his actions despite it being obvious who really orchestrated them.

    Redeeming Qualities

    1. He’s clearly meant to be a despicable character, and not someone to be an example to follow by any means. If you look at him purely as a villain or deplorable criminal, he's a very compelling character.
    2. J. K. Simmons is perfect in the role and gives a great performance, probably one of the best in the entire series; not to mention he was much nicer in real life than his character was, which isn't really saying much.
    3. He has some redeeming qualities, such as how he protects Augustus (a crippled black inmate) in the interest of avoiding a riot and blames himself and his behavior for how his sons turned out, which is an accurate assumption.
    4. He does punish some people who genuinely deserve it, as he crucifies Robert Sippel, a convicted Child Molester, onto the floor of the gym, even if he does it for the wrong reasons.
    5. He also is humbled a little towards the end of season one and even tries to make amends with Beecher, even if it turns out to be a hollow effort since he then tries to kill him again soon after.
    6. Even if he doesn't get sufficient punishment a lot, he gets his comeuppance on multiple occasions for his actions.
      • In season 1, Beecher, fed up with his abuse and his attempted murder of him, breaks their window, temporarily blinding him in one eye, then goes even further by beating him brutally in front of everyone and then literally taking a dump on his face. Disgusting, maybe, but it is quite satisfying.
      • Keller betrays him in season 3 by revealing the truth about Beecher’s attack (including his own part in it), putting him in the hole. He then goes a step further and stabs Schillinger in revenge for Beecher being stabbed.
      • He loses his chance at parole for conspiring to murder Beecher, getting a much worse sentence as a result.
      • The nazis lose every boxing match against Cyril, with Robson in particular being defeated in disgrace (even if that only happened because Ryan spike their spritzer bottles with Chloral Hydrate).
      • Despite trying to get Hank off scot-free for the murder of Beecher’s son, Beecher conspires with The Italians and successfully has him murdered, leaving Schillinger without any children remaining and no possibility of another generation of Nazis, as his grandson (his only surviving offspring) is sent to live with his sister, who is directly against him.
      • Said stabs him again in a different season for trying to rape Beecher again.
      • In the series finale, Beecher kills him accidentally when a prop knife for the prison’s production of Macbeth is switched for a real one.
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