The main villain is Nimue, a sorceress from Britain who has taken the form of the Celtic goddess Morrigan. Nimue is related to the Arthurian legends and was godmother of Lancelot. She is famous for having trapped Merlin inside of stone or tree after having gained his secrets. She claimed to be in love with him but demanded he tell her his secrets. He knew that he would be trapped for eternity but did it anyway because he could not change the future.
The film adds onto the original legend by having Nimue learn of the Ogdru Jahad and go insane. She is eventually dismembered by an order of British witches, but she comes back in the 20th century as the ancient Celtic goddess. After this, she raises up on army of folkloric creatures to destroy the human races. This calls for Hellboy to come and prevent the carnage. Hellboy also has a strong connection with her.