Alex Rider (character)
||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (December 2008)|
|Alex Rider character|
|Last appearance||Russian Roulette|
|Created by||Anthony Horowitz|
|Portrayed by||Alex Pettyfer|
|Aliases||Felix Lester, Kevin Blake, Alex Friend, Alex Gardiner, Federico Casali, Abdul Hassan, Alex Brenner, Alex Tanner|
Spy for MI6 Operations
|Family||John Rider (father, deceased),
Helen Beckett (mother, deceased)
Alex Rider is a title character and the protagonist of the popular Alex Rider novel series by British author Anthony Horowitz. He has also been featured in three short stories written by Horowitz based in the same canon as the series; Secret Weapon, Christmas at Gunpoint and Alex Rider: Incident in Nice.
Alex is a young agent for MI6, the British international intelligence service. At no more than fourteen years of age, Alex was forced into this occupation after MI6 noticed Alex's many talents. He has not only worked for MI6 but also the CIA, Scorpia, in Snakehead, Ark Angel the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.
About the character
Before Alex became involved with MI6, he wanted to be a professional football player, but now is unsure of what he wants to do when he finishes school. Alex once joked that he wanted to be a train driver. He has stated many times that he is not interested in becoming a full-time MI6 agent.
Alex's athletic talents greatly assist him during his missions many times: for example, in Stormbreaker, he rides a four-wheeler to elude guards; in Point Blanc he snowboards down a mountain on an ironing board to escape Point Blanc Academy, in Skeleton Key he scuba dives into Skeleton Key, in Scorpia he BASE jumps into a factory, in Ark Angel he walks between two apartment buildings on a tightrope and in Snakehead, he kayaks down a river on a makeshift kayak.
As the series progresses, Alex becomes more skilled at spying. He later pursues Damian Cray alone after MI6 refuse to investigate him, and is recruited by the CIA in the United States, and later by the ASIS in Australia although in each case only for specific missions.
Alex Rider is described as a strikingly attractive 14-year-old boy, with fair hair, and a handsome, slender face that "would attract plenty of girls". He has serious dark-brown eyes and a slightly hard, narrow mouth. Alex is well-built and slim, and has a tan. He is also mentioned to have a birthmark on his left shoulder. He is very fit, being described as having "the body of an athlete." Alex is 5' 7" tall and weighs 140 lbs although this conflicts with the data presented in the film. He sometimes wears casual clothing (such as jeans, T-shirts), but mostly wears sportier clothing such as tracksuits. Alex is occasionally described as wearing a wooden bead necklace.
In the later novels, even though Alex stays fourteen (until the end of Crocodile Tears) he is described as looking older - due to the emotional and physical stress he endures because of his missions. Also, his injuries gradually accumulate. After the novel Scorpia, he has a bullet wound, as well as several scars and bruises from previous assignments. In the last book, Alex is described with longer hair, being 5'10", with broader shoulders and that, through the years, he had lost his "little-boy looks that had been so useful to Alan Blunt and Mrs. Jones".
One of Alex's closest friends is Jack Starbright. With his uncle having been away on missions for MI6 much of the time, Alex has spent a lot of time with Jack. Alex met Jack when she came from America to study law in London, and being employed by his uncle as a housekeeper and babysitter for Alex, who was seven years old at the time. She has known Alex for seven years. After Ian died, Jack became Alex's guardian. Even though it was originally her job to care for Alex, they have grown attached and their relationship has become very personal. However, as Alex's MI6 life starts to take a toll on him, it also places somewhat of a strain on their relationship - Jack is always very worried and upset that Alex's life is constantly being put in danger. In the final novel, Scorpia Rising, Jack learns that her father is sick and needs someone to look after him. Jack decides that she needs to tell Alex that she must leave in order to care for her father, but she first decides to accompany Alex to Egypt for his mission. After the two are captured by Razim's men, Jack comes to experience, for the first time, what it has been like for Alex on a mission. She attempts to escape, and nearly succeeds, but Razim is merely using her for his "measurement of pain" experiment, and has Julius Grief detonate a bomb on the Land Rover she is driving, killing her instantly. Alex's grief is enough to cause him to black out, and Razim "may even have to create a second scale of measurement" for the amount of emotional pain Alex felt.
Sabina serves as Alex's principal love interest throughout the series. The two first met while working as volunteers at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and they quickly became good friends. Sabina soon became suspicious when Alex had to leave the Championships early, and more so when Sabina saved Alex's life, and Alex then disappears on a mission for several weeks. Alex's constant disappearances place a real difficulty on their relationship, and when Sabina finally finds out the truth about Alex, things turn out differently for them. Alex's relationship with Sabina becomes a romance during their first holiday in Cornwall, when the two share a kiss one night. The next day they went out for a surfing trip, when Alex is knocked out by a massive wave and Sabina gives him CPR. Sabina soon leaves Britain to live in America. Although Alex suspects he will never see her again, she later sends him a card when Alex is in the hospital after being shot by a sniper. She shows up at the end of Snakehead to have dinner with him. She then invites him to celebrate New Year with her family in Scotland, where the plot of Crocodile Tears begins and also shares another kiss with him, hinting that her feelings for him may still exist. In Scorpia Rising, Alex and Sabina are revealed to be in a relationship, and struggling with the long distance between them. At the end of the book, after the death of Jack while on a mission in Egypt, Sabina's family become his new legal guardians.
An assistant to Alan Blunt, Alex first met Mrs. Jones when she briefed him for his first mission. Mrs. Jones is very sympathetic to Alex, and offers reassurance when Alex is uneasy about what is required to do for his missions. Mrs. Jones shows great concern for Alex's situation - often protesting that he is not be used again, but all the while admitting that he is useful to MI6. She shows signs of great attachment to Alex, of an almost motherly kind. Mrs. Jones also has hinted that she has had children (at least two) and that they were taken from her, which could contribute to why she has so much sympathy for Alex. In Scorpia, Alex breaks into her apartment with the intent of assassinating her, after Scorpia manipulate him into believing that she ordered the assassination of his father, but changes his mind at the last moment even without learning that she actually helped his father fake his death.
Alex first met the Russian contract killer who killed his uncle on Herod Sayle's ground during his mission in Stormbreaker. At the time, Alex originally vows to kill him. Later, during the events of Eagle Strike, it is revealed that Gregorovich worked with Alex's father John 15 years prior. When Gregorovich's friend captures Alex, Gregorovich is able to arrange for Alex to do bullfighting instead of being shot directly, leading to Alex being able to escape. At the end of the novel, when Damian Cray (the man who hired Gregorovich) orders him to kill Alex, he refuses and is shot and killed. Before dying, Gregorovich tells Alex that he worked with his father and to go to Venice and find Scorpia to find his destiny.
- Stormbreaker (September 4, 2000)
- Point Blanc (September 3, 2001) (Point Blank in the United States)
- Skeleton Key (July 8, 2002)
- Eagle Strike (April 7, 2003)
- Scorpia (April 1, 2004)
- Ark Angel (April 1, 2005)
- Snakehead (October 31, 2007)
- Crocodile Tears (November 12, 2009)
- Scorpia Rising (April 5, 2011)
- Russian Roulette (October 1, 2013)
- Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel (July, 2006 - UK) (October, 2006 - USA)
- Point Blanc: The Graphic Novel (September 2007 - UK) (December, 2007 - USA)
- Skeleton Key: The Graphic Novel (September 2009 - UK) Was released in USA
- Eagle Strike: The Graphic Novel (2011- UK) Was released in USA
- Alex Rider: The Gadgets (October 17, 2005) (mentioned only)
- Alex Rider: Secret Weapon (February 9, 2003)
- Alex Rider: Christmas at Gunpoint (January 1, 2007)
- Alex Rider: Incident in Nice (November 9, 2009)
- Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (September 25, 2006)
Anthony Horowitz, who was the screenwriter for the film as well as the author of the novels, recommended Pettyfer to play Alex Rider after seeing him in Tom Brown's Schooldays. Horowitz gave Pettyfer intense guidance on becoming the character of Alex Rider, expressing him and bringing his athletic talents, intellect and charm to the screen.
The role of Alex Rider was said to be the most physically demanding ever taken by a child actor. Pettyfer undertook martial arts training with Hong Kong martial arts choreographer Donnie Yen, as well as horseback riding. Pettyfer did most of his own stunts in the film, and underwent major physical preparation for the role.
Pettyfer was fifteen years old at the time of the film's shooting, a year older than his character. He is not expected to reprise his role in any future Alex Rider films, because he is now too old.
- Scorpia Rising (The Final Mission) chapter 7
- Hudson, Fiona (September 24, 2006). "Young star cruising". The Sunday Mail (Qld).
- Horowitz, Anthony (2000). Stormbreaker. p. 240.
- Horowitz, Anthony (2002). Point Blanc. p. 274.
- Horowitz, Anthony (2002). Skeleton Key. p. 288.
- Horowitz, Anthony (2003). Alex Rider: Secret Weapon.
- Horowitz, Anthony (2003). Eagle Strike. p. 240.
- Horowitz, Anthony (2005). Scorpia. p. 312.
- Horowitz, Anthony (2006). Ark Angel. p. 326.
- Horowitz, Anthony (2007). Snakehead. p. 398.
- Horowitz, Anthony (2009). Crocodile Tears. p. 407.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Alex Rider (character)|
- Information on Alex Rider on the official website of the novels
- The Stormbreaker film's official website
- Alex Rider at KidsReads
- Evaluation of Alex Rider character
- Interview with Alex Pettyfer about his character
- Alex Pettyfer Interview about Alex Rider
- Detailed Q&A about Alex's character
- Anthony Horowitz/Alex Pettyfer interview
- "Riders On The Storm" - Alex Rider at Findarticles
- Alex Pettyfer on Becoming Alex Rider
- Article on Anthony Horowitz's views on Alex in an interview with Times Online