List of Alex Rider characters

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This is a list of protagonists and antagonists from British author Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series. This includes characters from the novels, the film, the graphic novels, and the short stories.

Main antagonists[edit]


Anthony Sean Howell, more commonly referred to as Ash (his initials), is a major character in Snakehead.

Ash was born in England and worked for MI6 with his best friend John Rider. When John went undercover within Scorpia, Ash was assigned to monitor his progress from a distance in case his friend got into difficulty. Ash was chosen to lead the mission to "capture" John, when he and Yassen Gregorovich were sent to kill a target in Malta. However, the mission was a near total disaster; due to confusion with two clocks that were out of sync, John and Yassen's arrival took Ash by surprise. When Yassen shot Ash, his body armour meant that he was back on his feet in seconds, but this prompted Yassen to fatally shoot four other agents under Ash's command. Ash furiously pursued Yassen, but was left for dead when he was stabbed by the Russian. Ash only survived this injury when John Rider risked his life to provide emergency first aid. Ash was left with half his stomach gone, and was demoted for his failure. He eventually quit his job because he thought his demotion was unfair and was not satisfied with desk duty. He then went to work for ASIS in Australia.

Alex Rider first meets him in Snakehead when he wanders into a minefield. Ash tells him not to move and leaves, claiming he will get help. This was later found to be a test, to see how Alex would react. Alex discovers that Ash is his godfather after meeting with Ethan Brooke, head of Covert Action for ASIS. The prospect of learning more about his past lures Alex into working for ASIS, alongside Ash, investigating the ruthless Snakehead. They are sent on a mission together to infiltrate the Snakehead by posing as Afghan refugees trying to gain the Snakehead's help in illegally immigrating to Australia. However Major Yu is on to them from the start, so both are captured in Darwin. Alex is sent to a surgery where his organs will be illegally harvested, whilst Ash vanishes along with the Major.

At the end of Snakehead, when Major Yu's oil rig is attacked by a joint British/Australian taskforce, Ash is shot by Ben Daniels, and is then revealed to have been working for Scorpia since Malta, and had blown Alex's cover before their mission had even started. Alex deduces that Ash was responsible for the death of his parents. Ash confesses to having planted a bomb on their plane, on which they were going to France to start a new life; Alex remained behind due to an ear infection. Ash expresses some regret of doing this before his dying from his injuries. Scorpia had already been betrayed once by John Rider and so they put his loyalty to the test by commanding him to place the bomb in position. It is also revealed that Ash had a minor crush on Alex's mother, a charming and beautiful nurse.

Ash is described as having "black curly hair and the beginnings of a rough beard" and has a slight Australian accent. He also has a large scar along his stomach, the result of his encounter with Yassen Gregorovich, a Russian assassin. He had a brief relationship with Jack Starbright, Alex's housekeeper and legal guardian. He is seen smoking at several points in the book, his name possibly being a reference to this. Alex also notes that it is surprising that Ash smokes, considering the fact that he chooses to look after himself in so many other ways.

His role in the series has been compared to that of Alec Trevelyan (aka Agent 006/ Janus) from the James Bond movie GoldenEye. He can also be seen as an inverted version of Sirius Black from the Harry Potter franchise, as the 'public' godfather who killed the protagonists' parents and was never suspected of it where Sirius was the secret godfather who was framed for the deaths of the protagonists' parents.

Damian Cray [edit]

Damian Cray is the main antagonist of Eagle Strike.

Cray was born in North London on 5 October 1950, and baptised as Harold Eric Lunt. Although he desired to be a pop or rock star, his parents sent him to the Royal Academy of Music in London. He sang there with a young Elton John. When he was thirteen, his parents died in a bizarre accident, obviously Cray's doing, which involved a car falling on them. Although he welcomed their deaths, he pretended to be distraught and left the Royal Academy to travel the world. He changed his name and became Buddhist and vegetarian.

He returned to England in the 1970s and enjoyed a hugely successful music career, starting a band called “Slam!” (a parody of Wham!). This shot him to fame at once. At the end of the 1970s, the band split up and he started a solo career. His first solo album, "Firelight", went platinum and he won several awards and released the single "Something for the Children" at Christmas time in 1986, with all funds given to charity. Cray campaigned for several issues, including saving the rainforests, ending world debt and banning animal testing. His tireless work for charity earned him a knighthood in 1990. The rich superstar then branched into hotels, television, and even started developing "Gameslayer", the most advanced and realistic games console of its time.

However, despite his charitable work and beliefs, Cray had a darker and more sinister side to him; to fulfill some of his charitable notions, such as his campaign against animal testing, he ordered the assassinations of many people responsible for the practises he was campaigning against. This went unnoticed until he called for a hit on Edward Pleasure - father of Sabina Pleasure - a journalist who was threatening to expose Cray's plan. He also orchestrates the killing of a journalist who puts him on the spot by asking him awkward questions regarding video game violence in "Gameslayer".

Cray was planning a nuclear attack to annihilate major drug-producing parts of the world, killing millions in the process. Under the cover of "Gameslayer" he devised a way of hijacking Air Force One using a flash drive and launching the USA's supply of nuclear missiles. However, Alex has trouble convincing Alan Blunt that Damian Cray is planning to destroy half of the world due to the fact that Cray is considered charitable by MI6, forcing Alex to investigate the situation himself.

After Alex discovers how to sneak into Cray's Gameslayer development centre in Amsterdam, he overhears a conversation between Cray and Charlie Roper, an American NSA agent. It eventually transpires that Roper made a flash drive capable of hacking into any computer in the world. After taking the flash drive, Cray kills Roper by locking him in a glass case and showering two million dollars worth of nickels onto him in lieu of payment. Cray captures Alex with the help of Yassen Gregorovich, although he later escapes and returns to England, only to find that Sabina has been taken hostage.

Cray takes the two teenagers with him when his men seize Air Force One, and shoots Gregorovich when the Russian refuses to kill the children. He then fires at Alex, seemingly killing him, and gets into a fight with Sabina. This is interrupted when Alex recovers (having worn a bulletproof vest), and with Sabina, shoves Cray out of the plane and into one of the turbines, vaporising him instantly and forcing the pilot (Henryk) to make a crash landing.

Cray is described as very short, with dyed jet-black hair. He has a round face, green eyes, with a small nose positioned "almost unnaturally in the centre of his face". It is mentioned that Cray has probably had plastic surgery in an attempt to look young.

His character and manner of death is very similar to that of Gustav Graves from the James Bond movie Die Another Day.

Nikolei Vladimir Drevin [edit]

Nikolei Drevin is the main antagonist of Ark Angel. Drevin is a famed Russian oligarch, owning many hotels, businesses, and even a football (Soccer) team called Stratford East. While generally viewed as a philanthropist, his wealth was actually attained through deals with several criminal organisations. He is the mastermind behind the "Ark Angel" space hotel project.

Born in Russia during the rule of the Soviet Union, Drevin apparently served in the KGB. When Communism collapsed during 1989–91, Drevin used his former contacts in the Russian Mafia, the Japanese Yakuza and the Chinese Triads to seize Russia's oil supplies for himself at a quarter of their usual prices, conning the Russian government out of its natural assets. He soon became, thanks to his criminal activities and his ownership of Russian oil, one of the richest men in the world.

The CIA is building up a case against Drevin, storing all of their evidence in The Pentagon in Washington. Meanwhile, Drevin's Ark Angel project becomes over-budget, making it harder for him to support it. It is revealed that he plans to solve both these problems by blowing Ark Angel out of orbit with a bomb as it passes above Washington. The falling space station, guided towards Washington, would serve two purposes: destroy the Pentagon, with all its evidence against Drevin, and devastate Washington; while simultaneously allowing him to collect on the insurance.

Drevin becomes acquainted with Alex Rider when he saves his son, Paul Drevin, from "Force Three", an organisation of eco-terrorists (Drevin had actually created Force Three as a convenient scapegoat to blame Ark Angel's destruction on; the 'attack' on Paul was intended to draw attention away from any possible connection between him and Force Three). He then invites Alex to "two weeks of the most luxury you have ever had". Alex is informed by the CIA of Drevin's criminal activities and is sent in to spy on him. Drevin discovers Alex's assignments with MI6 and orders his head of security, Magnus Payne, to kill him.

Later, Drevin, while trying to shoot Alex, accidentally wounds his own son, Paul. Infuriated, he clambers aboard his seaplane to try to escape. Unbeknown to him, however, Alex had tied two canoes to the plane's floats. The canoes become tangled in the trees, causing Drevin to crash, killing him. As for his plan, Alex is able to move the bomb to the centre of Ark Angel, so that it simply blows the structure apart.

Yassen Gregorovich [edit]

Yassen Gregorovich is a recurring villain in the series, appearing in Stormbreaker, Eagle Strike, and Russian Roulette. He is also mentioned in Scorpia and Snakehead. In the end of Stormbreaker he saves the life of Alex Rider by shooting Herod Sayle on a helicopter pad. He was a Russian-born contract killer, trained by, and apparently working for, the clandestine terrorist organisation Scorpia. A superb assassin, Yassen was considered one of the world's best.

Born in Russia, Yassen's father was killed by an accident of a biochemical warfare project that was hushed up by the Russian Government. His mother died when the Russian government bombed the village and set it on fire. After his parents' deaths, Yassen (who was at the time 14) made his way to Moscow in search of a family friend, Misha Dementyev. While in Moscow, Yassen ran errands for a group of thieves, the leader a boy of 17 named Dimitry who originally stole the bulk of Yasha's money when he arrived. In a desperate heist, Yassen breaks into someone's apartment, but is caught by the owner, Vladimir Sharkovsky. Later, Sharkovsky interviews Yassen, whose Christian name was "Yasha". But Yasha is hurt in the mouth, and pronounces his name "Yassen". After four long years of being forced to work for Sharkovsky, an assassin breaks in and shoots Sharkovsky, apparently killing him. Yassen holds the assassin at gunpoint and forces him to take him (Yassen) away from Vladimir's mansion in which he worked. The assassin worked for Scorpia and Yassen joins up. In the very end, Yassen goes back to Sharkovsky's mansion. He then loads 5 chambers of Sharkovsky's revolver and places it to his head and shoots; he decides beforehand if he survives he will kill Sharkovsky. He survives so he proceeds to shoot Sharkovsky and his son.

For all his skills, Yassen is obviously best known for his assassinations; throughout the series, his reputation seems to be one of a man who makes no mistakes, and he is considered an active threat by MI6. He has been employed by Iraq, Serbia, Libya, and China. It is suggested that his training included, as is demonstrated on a single occasion when he convinces Alex not to shoot him by describing what will happen when he pulls the trigger, basic psychological warfare. He was also an expert with conventional weaponry and terrorist techniques, though both are demonstrated only once throughout the series before his death. Yassen made another appearance (in a scene set in the past) in the seventh book of the series, Snakehead. He was fluent in nine languages and was learning Japanese at the time of his death, while working with Damian Cray.

Yassen was at least partially instructed by Alex Rider's late father, Ian's brother, John Rider, an MI6 agent under deep cover working as an unspecified instructor for Scorpia on the Italian island of Malagosto. Yassen is in debt to John Rider; during a joint assignment in the Amazon, Rider, under the alias of Hunter, saved his student's life by shooting a black widow spider that had crawled onto Yassen's throat, killing their intended target with the same bullet. Although it left a notable scar on Yassen's neck, it was something which Yassen never forgot. Though Alex does not initially realise the reason, Yassen exhibits some care for the boy, on more than one occasion sparing his life when he could have easily killed him. Before his "death", Yassen actually tells Alex he respected John Rider and is glad that his son (Alex) could be with him in the "last moments" of his life.

He was shot and killed by his then-employer Damian Cray after he refused to kill Alex and Sabina, claiming that he didn't kill children (though evidence in the last book would suggest it had more to do with his reluctance to kill Alex). However he lived long enough to tell Alex to find Scorpia in Venice.

Yassen Gregorovich is described as attractive, having blond hair (though in the Stormbreaker film he has red hair), pale blue eyes, pale skin, distinctly chiselled lips, and "almost feminine eyelashes". He also has a long, distinctive scar along his neck (a result of the aforementioned incident with the black widow). Yassen's relaxed and graceful poise is often compared to that of a dancer.

He is portrayed by Damian Lewis in the film.

Dr. Hugo Grief [edit]

Dr. Hugo Grief is the main antagonist of Point Blanc. He was born in South Africa, where he was head of biology department at the University of Johannesburg. He went on to become South Africa's minister for science while still in his twenties.[1] In this position, he discovered how to clone humans, perfecting the process by experimenting on political prisoners. Grief was also racist, disgusted by how black people and Nelson Mandela became the leaders of South Africa, feeling they would run his country into the ground. He thought that South Africa was excellent when controlled by the white men and thus decided to try to rule the world, and reinstate apartheid globally. Grief believed that he could rule the earth if he could control the main industries, such as technology and food.

To achieve this, Grief devised "The Gemini Project". Using money stolen from the South African government in 1981, he bought a castle in the French Alps and, along with assistant Eva Stellenbosch, turned the castle into an underground laboratory where they cloned him sixteen times. Grief then turned the castle into a school, Point Blanc, for the rebellious sons of rich families. He intended to use plastic surgery on his clones to make them resemble the real boys who were sent to him by their parents. Grief would then send the clones back to the parents - assuming that any minor 'differences' between his clones and the originals would be taken as nothing more than the natural changes the boys would have gone through during their time away-, and when the parents died the clones inherit their businesses. However, when two men became suspicious about their sons' (the clones) changed personalities, and contacted Grief, who had them killed by The Gentleman. The possible link between the two deaths, coupled with messages that Alan Blunt had exchanged with one of the fathers - the two men having become friends at university - lead to MI6 sending Alex Rider to Point Blanc to investigate under the name of Alex Friend, resulting in Alex discovering the truth.

After discovering Grief's plan, Alex escapes Point Blanc by faking his death. Within 24 hours he contacts his MI6 handlers and returns to the academy with an SAS attack force. Grief attempts to escape by helicopter, but Alex climbs onto a snowmobile and speeds up a ramp. When he is about to reach the edge, he leaps off, sending the empty snowmobile flying into Grief's helicopter and causing a fatal, explosive crash. After his death, the clone meant to replace Alex attacks the real Alex at his school, but Alex fends off the attack, resulting in a fire starting and the clone (Julius Grief) presumed dead. In Scorpia Rising it is revealed that Julius had survived, albeit with burn injuries. It is also mentioned that the other fifteen clones have been sent to various facilities around the world to give them psychiatric treatment, reasoning that they were made into their current state rather than choosing to be monsters, but at the time of the novel two of the clones are dead and the others show little sign of responding to therapy.

When Alex encountered him, Grief was almost sixty years old. He is described as having "white paper skin" and wears red-tinted spectacles. It is quite likely that he is an albino, to emphasise his white superiority ideas, and the red-tinted spectacles could be a reference to albinistic eyes. His appearance is often compared to that of a skeleton. He moves as if "every bone in his body had been broken and then put back together again". Despite this, he has "beautifully manicured fingernails".[1] Grief was also portrayed as insane by deciding to kill Alex by using him as a live human dissection in a biology class for the clones. Grief was also an admirer of Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Joseph Stalin.

Julius Grief[edit]

Julius Grief is first seen in Point Blanc, where he is an antagonist, and alsoin Scorpia Rising as the clone of Dr. Hugo Grief. He was given plastic surgery to resemble Alex – while posing as Alex Friend, son of billionaire supermarket owner David Friend – in Point Blanc. He is named after Julius Caesar. After Dr. Grief's "Gemini Project" fails and he is killed, Julius evades capture and turns up at Alex's school. His attempt to kill Alex starts a fire in a classroom, and he is believed to have been killed, but he actually survived and was sent to a top-secret prison in Gibraltar. In Scorpia Rising, Scorpia are able to arrange for Julius to escape the prison, faking his death in the process, as part of a plan to frame Alex for an assassination and blackmail MI6 with the resulting information.

Psychiatric tests noted that Julius, although raised as a skilled fighter, was also insanely obsessed with revenge against Alex, made even worse by the fact that he saw his enemy's face in the mirror. Julius joins Razim's pain projects and captures Alex for Razim, expressing an interest in joining Scorpia (although Razim actually plans to kill Julius once his current role is over). Alex is tied up for one of Razim's experiments, and Julius tortures him by killing Jack Starbright, by detonating the bomb in the car she steals while escaping from Razim's fortress. After the attempt to kill the US Secretary of State fails when Alex distracts him at a crucial moment, Julius flees with Alex not far behind him. A taxi hits Julius and he is injured, and although Alex gives him a chance to live, Julius's final attempt to kill Alex forces Alex to shoot him in self-defence, marking the second time Alex ever deliberately killed someone, the first time being Reverend Desmond McCain in Crocodile Tears. Julius's deep hatred for Alex has often hinted that he was intended to be Alex's archenemy.


Razim, whose name used to be Abdul-Aziz Al-Rahim, is the main antagonist in Scorpia Rising. He is a former member of Saddam Hussein's secret police, the Mukharabat and an ex al-Qaeda terrorist who joined the organisation shortly after abandoning Iraq right before its invasion. He then left al-Qaeda after killing his superior when it was suggested that he become a suicide bomber, as he had no interest in dying for a cause he never believed in, and only joined the group because he enjoyed planning acts of terrorism. He is a new member of Scorpia and a complete sociopath. This is shown when he strangles his own pet dog just to see how he feels and when he turned his entire family in for execution to Saddam Hussein's secret police. He wants to create a measurement of pain with a unit called the "Razim". Razim was chosen by Zeljan Kurst to run operation "Horseman", to deliver the Elgin marbles to Greece. His plan was to plant a trail that would lead MI6 to a school in Cairo, have Alex sent to spy there, and then kill him after Alex's 'clone' Julius Grief – in fact a clone of Doctor Hugo Grief who was given plastic surgery to resemble Alex – had assassinated the anti-British American Secretary of State during a visit to Cairo. Afterward, he intended to blackmail London with evidence of them recruiting Alex - he arranged the assassination because otherwise MI6 might have been willing to go public as all of Alex's past assignments involved him saving thousands of innocent people and were hence essentially commendable - thus forcing them to return the Elgin Marbles. Razim is eventually killed in a fight with Alex by falling into a large pile of salt, which drags him in like quicksand. As he dies, he suddenly feels all the emotions he never felt before: grief, despair, hopelessness.

His lack of emotion is very similar to Viktor Zokas/ Renard from the James Bond movie The World is Not Enough.

Zeljan Kurst[edit]

Zeljan Kurst is a Yugoslavian businessman, the chairman of the terrorist organisation SCORPIA and one of the series' main antagonists. Kurst was the head of the police force in Yugoslavia during the early 1980s, and had been famous for his love of classical music (particularly Mozart) and extreme violence. It is said that he would interrogate prisoners with an opera or a symphony playing in the background and any prisoners who survived his brutal questioning would not be able to listen to whatever piece he had played ever again. Seeing the break-up of his country on the horizon, he fled before the arrival of democracy so he wouldn't be tried for crimes against humanity. Lacking any family, friends, or anywhere he could call home, he rambled around Eastern Europe for years, participating in small-time criminal ventures. During these years, he met Max Grendel, Julia Rothman and Winston Yu - all criminals in similar situations to his - and together they formed SCORPIA, a worldwide criminal syndicate, with Grendel as their first leader. Following Grendel's death at the beginning of the novel Scorpia, Kurst becomes the organization's leader and, though he does not physically appear in the novel, he assigns Rothman to oversee Operation Invisible Sword.

In his first physical appearance, during the novel Snakehead, Kurst devises an operation dubbed Reef Encounter to destroy a small Australian island in which an anti-poverty conference is being held, by planting a powerful non-nuclear, British-made bomb called Royal Blue along a tectonic fault line to create a tsunami that will obilterate the island, as well as a considerable part of the west coast of northern Australia. After Kurst has his agents acquire Royal Blue, he puts the operation under the control of Winston Yu, who will have his snakehead, the most powerful criminal organisation in South East Asia, smuggle the bomb to the fault line. Kurst supervises Yu's progress throughout the novel, and when Alex Rider is found to be investigating Yu's snakehead, he advises the Major not to repeat Julia Rothman's mistake of underestimating Rider's abilities, referencing the boy's success in thwarting operation Invisible Sword during the novel Scorpia.

Kurst meets Yu publicly on at least one occasion in the novel, so Yu can brief him on the progress of the operation. Kurst owns and operates a funeral parlor business which has a secret room that serves as a conference room for Scorpia in London. Unlike most members of Scorpia, Kurst treats Rider with caution, despite his age, knowing that he was responsible for many of Scorpia's failures.

In Scorpia Rising, Kurst masterminds a new plot after a Greek millionaire asks him to return the Elgin Marbles to him. Kurst plans to use Alex Rider and MI6's use of him to obtain that objective. The plan is to use Julius Grief (the clone made of Alex during Point Blanc, who wants revenge against Alex) to assassinate the American Secretary of State in Egypt and frame Alex for it, killing him along the way, and then blackmail the British government with the knowledge of MI6's use of a teenage boy unless they turn over the Elgin Marbles. He assigned a new member of the Scorpia board, Abdul-Aziz Al-Razim, to carry it out. Board member Levi Kroll expresses opposition to the plan in the meeting and, pointing a gun at Kurst, threatens to leave. Kurst orders his assassination through the use of a sniper before using his body to attract MI6's attention on a school in Cairo where they will inevitably send Alex.

Unlike with operations Invisible Sword and Reef Encounter, Kurst decides to follow this operation more closely to prevent mistakes; it is this closer link with the plot that eventually proves his undoing. The plan fails and ends in the deaths of Razim, Julius Grief and Erik Gunter. While he tries to flee to his safe house in Siberia, Kurst is arrested by the Interpol and put on trial for several criminal charges. After Kurst's arrest, Scorpia is officially disbanded.

Kurst and Yassen Gregorovich are the only two major antagonists who are not introduced and killed in the same book. He is also the only main antagonist who is not killed at all and the only main antagonist that Alex never even comes in contact with. Furthermore, his role of being a criminal mastermind is similar to Ernst Stavo Blofeld's, the latter being the head of the James Bond organisation SPECTRE.

Desmond McCain[edit]

Desmond McCain is the main antagonist in Crocodile Tears. He is black skinned, bald, and his eyes are grey. He wears an ear stud shaped like a silver crucifix.

McCain was an orphan, found abandoned in a bag of McCain's Oven Chips (where he got his name from) in Hackney, London. He was then adopted and grew up to become a boxer. He won many major boxing titles and was in line for stardom, until his boxing career came to an abrupt end when he was defeated by a boxer called Buddy Sangster in Las Vegas. During the bout, his jaw was smashed up badly and suffered a botched plastic surgery operation when attempting to get it fixed. McCain later hired an international assassin called The Gentleman to kill both the surgeon and Buddy Sangster.

McCain then went into property development. He built a lot of skyscrapers in London and made a fortune, later becoming involved in politics. He joined the British Conservative Party and was elected as Minister of Sports. Problems piled up and cost him money, so he set fire to one of his properties and claimed the insurance money. McCain was exposed, however, by a homeless man who had seen it happen and sent to prison for nine years.

While McCain was in jail, he pretended to convert to Christianity for a good image. Because of this, McCain had the ability to insert biblical verses into his sentences at the most convenient of moments. He was released early and set up a charity, First Aid. He created disasters and then collected money for them, keeping half of it. He then made plans to create the ultimate disaster in Kenya. McCain joined a partnership with GM scientist Leonard Straik and created a poisonous gene to be pumped into crop fields in Kenya which would spread a horrible disease that could wipe out half of Africa. When the many millions of pounds flooded in, McCain planned to steal it and hide out in Switzerland with his future wife, Myra Beckett.

He tries to kill Alex Rider by leaving him to hang over a crocodile infested river, but Alex escapes with the help of Rahim and foils McCain's plans, blowing up a dam that floods the poisoned crops. McCain follows Alex to an airport in a Kenyan village. He kills Rahim, who was piloting the plane, and Alex jumps out near some oil drums, breaking his ankle. Alex rolls one of the barrels towards McCain. McCain stops it with his foot and just smiles. He is about to shoot Alex, but Alex has attached an exploding pen gadget to the bottom of the oil drum. It sets the drum on fire, engulfing McCain in flames. This makes McCain the first villain that Alex kills deliberately—in the case of all of Alex's other foes either someone else killed them or Alex just took action to remove an immediate threat to his life that happened to result in their deaths.

In the novel, McCain is portrayed as a vicious cynic (which contrasts heavily with the man of faith appearance he dons). He believes that the only way to earn people's respect is through wealth, disregarding the idea that respect may come from kindness or talent. The lack of respect he received as a child due to being a black orphan left him obsessed as an adult with obtaining people's respect through any means possible. He also frequently states that most people who are supposedly "kind" by helping others frequently when they are in trouble are some of the worst people alive, since they need people to be miserable so they can help them and thus feel good about themselves (he uses charitable foundations as an absolute example for this).

His manner of death is very similar to Franz Sanchez from the James Bond movie License to Kill.

Julia Rothman [edit]

Julia Charlotte Glenys Rothman is the main antagonist in the novel Scorpia. She is a board member of the criminal organisation Scorpia, and the head of Operation Invisible Sword. Rothman was born in Wales to Welsh nationalist parents, who would set fire to holiday homes owned by English families. One of the targeted homes was still inhabited, and Rothman's parents were jailed. Rothman was only six years old at the time, and grew up in institutions, marking the start of her criminal lifestyle. At one time, she was married to an elderly multimillionaire property developer, but he died two days after their wedding when he fell from a seventeenth story building - though it is later mentioned in the Paperback edition of Snakehead that Julia pushed him to his death so she would inherit his fortune.[2]

When John Rider, Alex's father, came to work for Scorpia, Julia fell in love with him. When she discovered he was married she was disappointed, she came to hate him, and eventually Alex when she meets him, even though she pretends to like him.

She was in charge of Operation Invisible Sword. This came from a request from a Middle Eastern billionaire to destroy Anglo-American relations, who would pay Scorpia one hundred million pounds to do so. Her plan was to insert microscopic capsules containing poison into the children's bloodstreams via immunisation injections, which they would receive at school. Scorpia would then make demands of America which they would never accept, such as complete nuclear disarmament, threatening to kill thousands of British children if refused. After America refuses, a satellite will destroy the capsules, releasing the poison and killing the children. She would then make the same threats in New York, but with more reasonable demands, which they will agree to, thus destroying the alliance between Britain and America.

When Rothman meets Alex, she appears delighted to accept him into Scorpia, having him trained as an assassin by Scorpia. Because of his father's betrayal, however, she secretly plans to kill him as revenge. She arranges for the poisonous capsules used in Invisible Sword to be injected into Alex's bloodstream, without his knowledge, during a medical check-up.

During Operation Invisible Sword, the satellite, which would give out terahertz beams (destroying the capsules and killing the children) takes to the skies in a hot-air balloon. Alex climbs onto the balloon and burns the ropes holding the basket to the balloon. The flat metal board falls on Rothman, crushing her, destroying the satellite and ending Invisible Sword at the same time.

At the time she met Alex, Rothman was in her forties or fifties. She is described by Alex and Max Grendel as being beautiful with an upturned nose, long black hair in waves down to her shoulders, dark eyes, "blood-red lips," and "perfect teeth".[2]


Nile is a contract killer for the crime organisation Scorpia and one of the main antagonists in the novel Scorpia. He acts as Rothman's henchman, bodyguard, representative and assassin. He is a black man who suffers from vitiligo. Nile was the second best in his class of assassination. According to Julia Rothman, he could have been the first if it was not for his "rather annoying weakness" (later revealed to be his fear of heights).

Nile first encounters Alex in the Widow's Palace. After capturing Alex for trespassing, he locks Alex in a flooding room to kill him. After Alex joins Scorpia, Nile becomes his friend. He accompanies Alex to Scorpia's island, Malagosto, for training, and later helps Alex in his mission to kill Mrs. Jones. When Alex climbs onto the hot-air balloon to stop Invisible Sword from activating, Nile is sent after him, where Alex learns about Nile's fear of heights. Using this to taunt and distract his foe, Alex then slices open the hot air balloon's gas container, causing an explosion, and knocking off the balloon's basket. The explosion not only destroys the basket (Alex survives by holding onto the balloon's ropes), but also knocks Nile's body (which was set aflame) off the balloon, sending him falling to his death.

General Alexei Sarov[edit]

Alexei Sarov is the main antagonist of Skeleton Key. He is a former Russian General who still lives in the old days of communist Russia.

Sarov was born in 1940. He served as a commander in the Russian army, while it was still part of the Soviet Union. Sarov married when he was 31, and was made a general when he was 38. For ten years he fought in Afghanistan, and rose to become second-in-command of the Red Army.[3]

Sarov wanted his son Vladimir to join the Russian army, but his wife disagreed, which led to their divorce. Eventually, Vladimir who was a talented athlete, did join the army in 1988 when he was sixteen.[3] He became a powerful and skilled soldier, but was shot and killed by a sniper in Afghanistan. When Sarov meets Alex, he sees a lot of his son in him and makes plans to adopt him.

Sarov's residence is on the island of Cayo Esqueleto ("Skeleton Key") in Cuba. There are two entrances to his home, one of them being a booby trapped underwater cave called "The Devil's Chimney". The cave has a security device in which anything that enters the cave is impaled by mechanical stalagmites and stalactites, which are responsible for the deaths of CIA agents Tom Turner (Glen Carver) and Belinda Troy.

Sarov plans to restore communism in Russia by detonating a nuclear bomb in Murmansk, where abandoned nuclear submarines are kept. The nuclear explosion would kill millions. Russia will be blamed and will turn to their president. Sarov will then release edited footage exposing Kriyenko( the president) as a lazy drunk idiot who says he can't deal with the issue. Russia will go back to communism, and Sarov will be taking over.

Sarov invites the Russian president, Boris Kiriyenko, to his home on the island of Skeleton Key. Sarov edits several tapes humiliating Kiriyenko, which he will release after he has executed his plan, turning the country against Kiriyenko and allowing Sarov to seize power. During a banquet he puts a drug in the president's vodka. Sarov then steals the president's plane, which will not be searched when they stop to refuel, and thus the bomb will not be discovered. When they land to refuel in Edinburgh, Sarov doesn't permit Alex to leave the plane. Naturally, Alex refuses and attempts to escape from the Russian. He finds a telephone in a security section of Edinburgh Airport but a self-confident security guard, John Prescott, notices Alex and won't allow him to warn MI6. Sarov then finds Alex, leads him back to the plane, and leaves his personal assassin, Conrad, to shoot the annoying John Prescott. Sarov and Conrad handcuff Alex to his seat and fly over to Murmansk in the far east of Russia to start Sarov's plan of world domination.

At Murmansk, Sarov leaves Alex to die, as Alex had refused to be adopted by him. Alex, however, is able to remove the detonation card from the nuclear bomb. Sarov then arrives and calmly tells Alex to put it back. Alex refuses and states he would rather die than have a father like Sarov. A devastated Sarov pulls out a pistol and shoots himself right in front of Alex, unable to live with himself any more.

When he met Alex, Sarov was sixty-two years old, but looked "twenty years younger". Sarov is described as not being particularly tall, but he "radiates power and control". He also has short grey hair, pale blue eyes, and an emotionless face. He normally dresses in either suits or his old Red Army uniform.[3]

Several parallels can be drawn between General Sarov and General Zaroff from The Most Dangerous Game, a short story by Richard Conell. Besides the name of the characters, their backgrounds are also very similar. Both are Russian, and while General Sarov is considered a hero in his country, General Zaroff was a Cossack aristocrat and much admired. Both miss a previous Russian era (Zaroff the pre-revolution Russia, while Sarov misses communist Russia). Moreover, both are formal and polite men, usually without any emotion on their face, and yet are both capable of incredible cruelty, violence, and possible madness. Also, their main servers (Conrad in Sarov's case and Ivan in Zaroff's case) are ugly, violent beings that their masters don't really care for.

Herod Sayle[edit]

Herod Sayle (named Darrius Sayle in the film adaption of Stormbreaker) is the main antagonist in Stormbreaker. In the original UK edition, Sayle was born in the gutters of Beirut, Lebanon; the US edition changed his nationality to Egyptian. He was one of 13 children (nine boys and four girls). His father was a failed hairdresser (oral hygienist in the US version) and his mother took in washing. At age seven, he saved two wealthy American tourists from being crushed by a falling piano, who rewarded him by sending him to school in Britain. He was at first delighted at this prospect, but he was severely bullied there, the worst bully, he claimed, being the future Prime Minister. Although he did very well in school, achieving nine 'O' levels, he came to hate British school children.[4]

After his schooling, he went to Cambridge University where he received a first in economics, and built up a large and successful business empire, becoming a multi-millionaire. He owned a computer company and a string of unsuccessful racehorses.[4] Sayle also invented a technique that allows computer components to be developed in a non-sterile environment, greatly reducing the price of production. Using this technique, he developed a computer called "Stormbreaker" and planned to donate a Stormbreaker to each school in Britain, in exchange for a British citizenship. However, he plans to fill each Stormbreaker with a lethal smallpox virus (it is later revealed, in the novel Snakehead, that he purchased the smallpox from Scorpia), which will be released into the schools, killing virtually every child (and probably the teachers too) in Britain. MI6 is suspicious about his intentions, and send out agent Ian Rider to investigate. Rider sends out an urgent message to MI6, but is assassinated by Yassen Gregorovich.

MI6 blackmails Ian Rider's nephew, Alex Rider, into investigating Sayle. Alex Rider investigates the plant and its operations and soon discovers Sayle's plan. Alex later reaches the Stormbreaker opening ceremony, and stops the Prime Minister from activating the Stormbreakers, at the same time injuring Sayle in the left arm and shoulder; however, Sayle escapes.

At the end of the book, after debriefing with Mrs. Jones and Alan Blunt, Alex takes a taxi home, only to discover that the driver is Sayle. Sayle takes Alex at gunpoint to the top of a building. He is about to shoot Alex but Yassen Gregorovich climbs out of a helicopter and shoots Sayle, killing him. Surprisingly, Gregorovich lets Alex live (he claims there were no instructions for him in regard to Alex) and flies the helicopter away.

Sayle's dislike of the UK, and especially the British schoolchildren and Prime Minister, is a strong contrast to Winston Yu, the antagonist of Snakehead, who is obsessed with Britain and liked being brought up in a British public school (Harrow). He was only ever bullied on one occasion (the bully was then assassinated by his mother).

In the film adaptation of Stormbreaker, Herod Sayle was portrayed by Mickey Rourke. Herod's nationality was changed to American, and his name changed to Darrius. Also in the movie Darrius became rich and went to Cambridge because his mother won the lottery.

In a First News interview, Anthony Horowitz revealed that Sayle's name is derived from the Christmas Harrods sale.

His objective of killing all the British school kids with a virus is very similar to Rothman's.


SCORPIA (acronym for Sabotage, Corruption, Intelligence and Assassination) is a criminal organisation, and the series' main antagonist. Despite not appearing until the fifth novel Scorpia, their influence was felt in the very first novel, as it was revealed when they appeared in Snakehead that they were responsible for supplying the virus Sayle uses, and Yassen Gregorovich's employer. Scorpia has had a great deal of influence on the Alex Rider series, and are mentioned at least three times. They were formed in Paris in the early 1980s by spies and assassins from several governments who, fearing they would lose their jobs when the Cold War ended, decided to go into business for themselves. They split profits equally and are assigned tasks alphabetically, with chairmen chosen as new projects arise. After many years of work, they are now responsible for a tenth of the world's terrorism. Scorpia caused the assassinations of Alex's mother, father, and uncle. In addition, they attempted to kill Alex by using a sniper, however the sniper missed his heart by an inch (Alex lived because his artery shut itself down after he was shot).

Known board members include the acting chairman Zeljan Kurst, Major Winston Yu (deceased), Julia Rothman (killed), Max Grendel (murdered), Levi Kroll (deceased), Razim (deceased) a Frenchman called Jean Picoq, a Chineseman called Dr. Three who is the world's foremost expert on pain and torture, a Japanese man named Hideo Mikato(it is said in Snakehead that he has a diamond set in his teeth and possible yakuza tattoos all over his body), and at least one Australian man named Brendan Chase, who abandoned his job as paymaster of the ASIS when he stole four hundred thousand dollars from them. Three other board members were mentioned to have died before the novel Scorpia. Two of them were murdered and the third died of cancer. Two board members were killed over the course of the fifth novel. Max Grendel, a former German spy and the oldest member at the time, decides to have no part in the operation Invisible Sword and attempts to retire, but is immediately killed by a suitcase of scorpions given to him by Julia Rothman. Rothman is then killed when Invisible Sword is foiled by Alex Rider. Major Winston Yu dies in the book Snakehead, having made the same mistake as Rothman by underestimating Rider, thus leaving the current roster at exactly half of what it was at its inception.

In Scorpia Rising, six new members are taken on to bring the roster back up to 12. They include a man calling himself Seamus from the IRA, twins Giovanni and Eduardo Grimaldi from the Italian Mafia and Razim. A veteran board member, former Israeli agent Levi Kroll, is killed as part of Razim's plan to bring Alex Rider to Cairo. Kroll was known for his lack of subtlety, the loss of one eye following an accident with a pistol he had kept under his pillow for many years, and his rebellious streak - after Max Grendel's murder, Kroll was passed over for control of the next project on two occasions, and was subsequently furious when Razim was assigned for what would be Scorpia's final project. When Kroll resolved to abandon Scorpia when Razim suggested taking on Alex Rider for a third time, Kurst, who had been considering killing Kroll for some time, had him shot with a sniper, and then planted several objects on his body that would lead MI6 to suspect danger at the Cairo International College of Arts and Education. At the end Scorpia Rising it is revealed that Scorpia has disbanded following Razim's failure and death: after failing to defeat a teenager three times, they became a laughing stock. Several executive board members, Kurst included, were arrested, and Scorpia was no more.

SCORPIA is sometimes compared to the James Bond organisation SPECTRE and the Sith from Star Wars.

Executive Board

  • Zeljan Kurst (chairman; incarcerated)
  • Major Winston Yu (deceased)
  • Julia Rothman (deceased)
  • Max Grendel (murdered by Julia Rothman)
  • Levi Kroll (murdered on the orders of Zeljan Kurst)
  • Dr. Three
  • Brendan Chase
  • Mikato
  • Jean Picoq

In Scorpia Rising, many new members were added to the Scorpia board, including:

  • Seamus (incarcerated)
  • Monsieur Duval (incarcerated)
  • Razim (Abdul-Aziz Al-Rahim) (deceased)
  • The Grimaldi brothers Eduardo and Giovanni (both deceased as of Never Say Die)

Major Winston Yu [edit]

Major Winston Yu is one of the members of the executive board of Scorpia, and the main antagonist of the novel Snakehead. He was asked by Zeljan Kurst, another board member of Scorpia, to command operation "Reef Encounter". This involved generating an artificial tsunami to destroy Reef Island and the west coast of Australia by detonating a stolen bomb named "Royal Blue" between two underwater tectonic plates when they are most vulnerable. He was the superior of Anan Sukit, but apparently inherits control of the Bangkok Snakehead when Ben "Fox" Daniels kills Sukit.

Yu suffers from brittle bone disease, which makes his skeleton highly unstable. It was this disease that forced him to leave the army after four successful tours of duty in Northern Ireland, and into organised crime. Yu is obsessed with the British and has British boats, paintings, and statues. His obsession with the British began when his mother had an affair with a British business man who told her beautiful things about England. When Yu was born, his mother named him after Winston Churchill. He treats every one of his underlings with merciless behaviour, but treats Alex gently because he is British.

After his men steal Royal Blue, his plans start going wrong when MI6 tells Alex about Yu and his plot. Yu and Alex escape from the boat The Liberian Star and Yu has Alex kidnapped. Then he is brought to his mansion so Yu could explain himself, and then sends Alex to have his organs surgically removed and used for illegal organ transplanting.

However, Alex escapes his captors and leads Yu to believe he is dead. Alex and a group of ASIS soldiers-including Alex's old ally Ben "Fox" Daniels-subsequently raid Yu's center of operations, an oil drilling platform named Dragon Nine and Alex and Fox eventually encounter Yu and Ash. Fox shoots and kills Ash but Yu shoots Fox, although he is not killed. Alex and Yu have a final confrontation and when Yu is about to kill Alex, a crane collapses inside the control room and the impact breaks Yu's arm, forcing him to flee. In the process he breaks both his ankles as he falls into his yacht, which he then attempts to escape in. While trying to escape, Yu is killed when Alex detonates Royal Blue before due time, sending a huge shock wave which hits Yu and his yacht. Yu's weak bone structure cannot stand up to the force of the explosion and is killed when all of his bones break at the same time.

Yu is portrayed as being a ruthless and merciless killer, a characteristic he inherited from his mother who, when Yu and her were poor in Hong Kong, worked as a paid assassin for the Hong Kong Snakehead. Several of Yu's employees prefer to commit suicide rather than face Yu's punishments, such as Bill Tanner, although Captain De Wynter was killed by him. He is described as being a Chinese man of average weight and height, but with thick white hair. He usually wears expensive suits, always in white.

Secondary antagonists[edit]

This is a list of the series' secondary antagonists, in alphabetical order.

Harry Bulman[edit]

Harold "Harry" Bulman is a minor character in Crocodile Tears.

A freelance journalist who served in the SAS before being dishonorably discharged for cowardice under fire, Bulman spent most of his time writing stories focusing on the secret services, and had discovered information about Alex's actions during his missions against Herod Sayle, Damian Cray and Winston Yu (It is not specified whether he was unaware of Alex's other assignments or simply chose to focus on those when addressing Alex). Confronting Alex about the truth, he offers to share the profits in a book he was planning to publish about Alex's missions, claiming to be impressed with Alex's heroics but disgusted at how MI6 had used him. In reality, however, Bulman was largely self-centered and cared only about the money he would make from such an article, even contemplating cutting Alex completely out of the contract. Not wanting his life to be exposed in such a manner, Alex contacted MI6, who (amongst other things) erased all of Bulman's financial and personal records, then made new records to appear as though he was an escaped Broadmoor inmate named Jeremy Harwood who had killed Bulman. In exchange for having his identity returned to him, Bulman promises never to speak to Alex Rider again.

Subsequently, unable to make money from his article, Bulman instead sells his information about Alex to Desmond McCain. When he attempts to negotiate a higher price for his information, McCain kills Bulman with three bullets to the head, throat, and chest, not solely because of his greed, but also because of his fear that Bulman would expose his plans. McCain then disposes of Bulman's remains by burying them with a digger, commenting that Bulman got the one thing journalists want most: "A scoop."

It is revealed in Scorpia Rising that new Scorpia member Abdul-Aziz Al-Rahim, known as Razim, had acquired a copy of Bulman's files regarding some of Alex's missions conducted on MI6's behalf.

Dr. Myra Beckett[edit]

Dr. Myra Beckett (named Myra Bennett Carver in the US version) is an antagonist in the novel Crocodile Tears. She first appears as the supervisor at Greenfields. She is portrayed as a scientist with very little emotion. She does not care about her appearance, as evidenced by her cheap spectacles and her lack of makeup. She is the fiancée of Desmond McCain, although she never displays any particular emotion in her dealings with him beyond her usual relatively blank appearance. She is very sadistic, as she takes photos of Alex while he is being tortured. She is killed when she is stabbed from behind by Rahim and falls into a crocodile-infested river, where she is eaten alive, after which her only remains is an ankle in a shoe.

It is said that she had taught herself how to fly, understanding only the laws of physics and she has a cruel knack for inflicting pain and suffering on others and knowing that they brought it down on themselves. This shows when she makes Alex pull a lever while she is flying, spraying a deadly virus on the wheat fields in Kenya. She is also a deadly sniper; she attempts to kill Alex Rider as well as Edward Pleasure and his daughter Sabrina by shooting out their car's tyre.

Ravi Chandra[edit]

Ravindra Manpreet "Ravi" Chandra is a minor character in Crocodile Tears.

Chandra works at the Jowada nuclear power station near Chennai, India. He has a wife and two boys, aged four and six, whom he wishes to provide for. Desmond McCain offers him a handsome sum of money to infiltrate Jowada's security, plant a bomb, and let loose a radioactive cloud on the city of Chennai. McCain betrays Chandra, however, by lying and telling him that there was a 10-minute delay on the bomb's timer. As there was, in reality, no delay, Chandra is vaporised instantly, and McCain's charity (later to be found out as fake) raises thousands of pounds for the victims affected by the disaster. However, Chandra's link with McCain is identified by RAW, the Indian foreign intelligence agency, who dispatch an agent, Rahim, to investigate and eliminate him.


Conrad is General Alexei Sarov's personal assistant and thus one of the main antagonists of the novel Skeleton Key. He is a Turk that was born in Istanbul, and was a terrorist-for-hire with nine different security services after him. He is held responsible for terrorist actions in London, Boston, Madrid, and Athens. He is described as a short man with several scars all around his body. Half of his head is bald, one of his legs is longer than the other, and one of his eyes is permanently bloodshot. The reason for his appearance is that in the winter of 1998 a bomb that he was carrying to a military base had exploded, and to save his life, a group of Albanian scientists from Elbasan had given him metal pins and prosthetics to hold his body together.

He first appears in the novel after placing a bomb in The Salesman's ship, where he is seen by Alex Rider, although Alex doesn't know who he is at the time. Later, after Tom Turner (named Glen Carver in the US version of Skeleton Key) and Belinda Troy are killed in an underwater cave, Conrad kidnaps Alex and puts him in a crusher, only for Alex to be saved by General Sarov, who plans on adopting Alex.

After Alex is saved by Sarov and kept in his home, Conrad expresses tremendous hostility towards him, wishing to shoot him. Throughout Alex's stay, Conrad often says to him that when Sarov disposes of him, he will shoot him or make his death very painful.

Conrad is killed when a magnetic crane, which he used to position Sarov's nuclear bomb, magnetises all the metal pins and prosthetics in his body and attaches him to the magnet, breaking his back and killing him. Alex then drops his body in the ocean (commenting, "What an attractive man.") and he is never seen again.

Force Three [edit]

Force Three are a small eco-terrorist organisation created by Nikolei Drevin to act as a scapegoat for his plan to destroy Washington D.C. (see Nikolei Drevin). Their name refers to Earth being the third planet from the sun. Their members consist of the leader, Kaspar, and four other men, who, as their real names are never used, Alex names "Steel Watch", "Combat Jacket", "Spectacles" and "Silver Tooth" after their distinguishing features.

They are first encountered by Alex when they attempt to kidnap Nikolei Drevin's son Paul from hospital, to convince the world of the danger of Force Three. Alex incapacitates four using medical equipment. However Kaspar, acting as driver, knocks Alex out and kidnaps him, believing Alex to be Paul. Alex manages to convince the group that he is not Paul, but they decide to abandon him in a property development owned by Drevin. They intend to allow Alex to escape, but "Combat Jacket" disobeys his orders and attempts to kill Alex in revenge for his humiliation at the hospital, although Alex cheats death again. They group then appear at Stamford Bridge, where they kill Adam Wright, the star player of Drevin's football team, at the end of a match. Force Three resurface on Drevin's island when Alex is interviewed by Drevin about his role as a spy, and "Combat Jacket" denies trying to kill Alex at the property development. Drevin promptly has the four men shot by his security. Only Kaspar survives is left alive, as he still has a role to play in Drevin's plan.

The Gentleman[edit]

The Gentleman is an unnamed assassin featured briefly in Point Blanc. He obtained the name 'Gentleman' because he always sends flowers to the families of his victims (as mentioned, he sends black tulips in Point Blanc). He is an assassin for hire in his early thirties, but other than this no backstory or facts about him are provided.[5] He is hired by Dr Hugo Grief to assassinate Michael Roscoe in New York when he becomes suspicious of his son Paul's unusual behaviour (Paul had, in fact, been replaced by a surgically altered teenage clone of Grief).

The Gentleman is also mentioned in Crocodile Tears, as Desmond McCain explains that he hired the Gentleman to murder a plastic surgeon who did a botched job on McCain's jaw after his boxing accident. He also killed the boxer who ruined McCain's boxing career, Buddy Sangster, by pushing him under a train in New York.

The Gentleman is one of the two antagonists that have not heard of or met Alex Rider, the other being Ravi Chandra of Crocodile Tears

It is possible that The Gentleman has either heard of or used to be 'The Priest', a contract killer MI6 has encountered in the past.

In Scorpia Rising, there is an unnamed assassin in the prison that also contained Alex's clone. This is rumoured to be the Gentleman.

Mr. Grin [edit]

Mr. Grin (real name Sean Green) is a secondary antagonist in both the novel and film adaption of Stormbreaker. He is Herod Sayle's right-hand man and butler. Grin was formerly a circus performer, throwing knives into the air and catching them in his mouth. However, when Grin's mother came to see his act one day, he was distracted by her and his knives cut off most of his tongue, and left him with a Glasgow Smile. It was after this accident he changed his name to Grin.

When it is discovered that Alex Rider is a spy, he is almost tortured by Grin. However, Alex confesses before he is able to. Later, when Sayle goes to London to execute his plan, Grin takes a jet, presumably to help Sayle escape. Alex hijacks the jet, holding Grin at gunpoint, telling him to fly to London.

As they arrive, Alex parachutes out of the jet. Grin attempts to ram Alex with the jet, but he crashes after Alex triggers a smoke-bomb he left in the jet.


Njenga is a minor villain in Crocodile Tears, a Nigerian guard who acts as Desmond McCain's chief enforcer. He is described as being a skilled tracker whose thrill for the hunt borders on sadism.

In Kenya when Alex escapes McCain sends Njenga after Alex. Njenga chases Alex until the dam. Alex makes the dam explode and Njenga is washed away.

Erik Gunter[edit]

Erik Gunter is a former Scottish war hero who turned to Scorpia for money. In Scorpia Rising, he is hired to manipulate and eventually tried to kill Alex. He is the head of security at the school Alex is attending. He lures Alex into a trap and was going to kill Alex after Julius was supposed to assassinate the US Secretary of State. Alex asks him to give him a cigarette and when Gunter tries to get a cigarette, a scorpion, which was in the box, stings him. Alex then breaks his nose as he seizes Gunter's gun, sending the security head smashing into the door of the van, with the impact killing him.

Magnus Payne [edit]

Magnus "Kaspar" Payne is one of the secondary antagonists in the novel Ark Angel. As Kaspar, he is the leader of Force Three, an eco-terrorist organisation created by Nikolei Drevin to act as a scapegoat for his plan to destroy the Pentagon (see Ark Angel). Kaspar is described as having his head and face completely tattooed to resemble the planet Earth. As Magnus Payne, chief of security on Drevin's island, Flamingo Bay, he wears a latex mask. Payne, as Kaspar, was sent up to the Ark Angel station to arm the bomb planted there. When Alex arrives on the station to remove the bomb threat, Kaspar attacks him with a knife. In the fight that follows, Alex disarms Kaspar and blinds him by exposing him to the light of the Sun. He then kicks Kaspar away, into the path of the knife, which kills Kaspar when it slices open a major artery.

Kaspar is the second major antagonist to still be alive after the main antagonist of the story (Nikolei Drevin) is killed. The first was Yassen Gregorovitch, who died in Eagle Strike shortly after the main antagonist, Damian Cray, was killed.

The Salesman[edit]

The Salesman is a short-term antagonist in Skeleton Key. He is a Mexican from Mexico City. The Salesman's main line of work, as his name suggests, is selling illegal products, such as weapons and drugs. He was the one who sold the nuclear bomb to Sarov. CIA agent Tom Turner was placed undercover as a weapons purchaser to engage a friendship between him and The Salesman on his boat, The Mayfair Lady.

Eventually, The Salesman discovers Turner's real identity and attempts to kill him. However, Alex sneaks onto the boat and sets it on fire. This causes a distraction, allowing Alex to save Turner. After Alex and Turner jump overboard, the Salesman tries to ram them with his boat, but Sarov's assistant, Conrad, had set a bomb on the boat, which is detonated, killing the Salesman and his crew.


Skoda is an antagonist who has a minor role in Point Blanc, and is the main antagonist in the short story Alex Rider: Secret Weapon. His name comes from the manufacturer of his car, as nobody knows his real name, although it is rumoured to be Jake. He is a drug dealer who hooked many of the pupils at Alex's school on drugs.

Skoda first appears in Point Blanc. Alex follows him from his school to his boat on the Thames, where he manufactures his drugs, intending revenge for hooking his friend Colin on drugs. Alex follows Skoda to his drug-manufacture lab, which is on a boat. He then picks up the boat with a crane, severely injuring Skoda and one of his associates, and drops it on a police conference center, which is destroyed.

He appears again in the short story Alex Rider: Secret Weapon, this time as the main antagonist. He encounters Alex in a weapons museum where he tries to stab him with one of the museum's swords. However, Miss Treat, an MI6 agent undercover as one of Alex's teachers, arrives and shoots Skoda with a tranquilliser gun.

He is described as "in his twenties, bald, and had two broken stumps where his teeth should have been and five metal studs in his ear". When he returns in Alex Rider: Secret Weapon, his face has been damaged by the incident in Point Blanc, and appears almost deformed.[5]

Eva Stellenbosch[edit]

Eva Stellenbosch is a secondary antagonist in the novel Point Blanc. She is co-director of Point Blanc Academy for young men, along with Dr. Hugo Grief. She was formerly an interrogator for the South African Secret Police, and was Miss South Africa in weightlifting for five years in a row. She had known Dr. Grief for twenty-six years. She is described as having huge muscles, and a facial structure that "wasn't quite human". She also has wisps of bright ginger hair and a high domed forehead.

Along with Dr. Grief, she organises the Gemini Project (see Dr. Hugo Grief), having raised Hugo's clones for the first fourteen years of their lives. She is killed by Wolf when the SAS raid Point Blanc Academy. Wolf shoots her in the leg, causing her to stumble backwards and trip into a third-story window, shattering it and falling to her death. However, she shoots Wolf three times.

Eva Stellenbosch is also portrayed as a smoker. At various points in the book, she is pictured smoking cigars.

Leonard Straik[edit]

Leonard "Leo" Straik is a secondary antagonist in the novel Crocodile Tears. He runs the company Greenfields that Alex takes a school trip to. He is also a close friend of Desmond McCain, the chief antagonist of the novel, and is known to be the inventor of the gene gun that is demonstrated at Greenfields.

Straik supplies various countries in Africa, including Kenya and Uganda, with his own genetically engineered seeds that will, when activated by a strange "mushroom soup" substance, make the crops poisonous. Alex is sent to Greenfields by MI6 under the guise of a school trip to obtain data on Straik's computer. It is in the act of stealing this information that he discovers Straik's association with McCain. Alex considers Straik to be something of a sadist, especially after seeing the greenhouse marked Poison Dome, which is filled with the most dangerous creatures, plants, and natural chemicals on the planet. It also acts as his method of killing people who may inform the authorities of his work, such as the whistle-blower Philip Masters.

McCain mentions later on in the novel that he had killed Straik by shoving a poisonous Cone Snail from the Poison Dome down his throat.

Anan Sukit[edit]

Anan Sukit is a minor antagonist in the novel Snakehead. He is the head of the Bangkok Snakehead, owned by Major Winston Yu.

Sukit first meets Alex while he and Ash are undercover as Afghan refugees, trying to obtain Snakehead's help in illegally immigrating to Australia. Sukit, however, is aware that Alex is undercover, having been warned by Major Yu. Sukit orders that Alex was to retrieve the fake passports they needed from the Snakehead.

When Alex goes to collect the papers, he is kidnapped by Sukit's men and taken to fight in an arena. Alex, cheating, defeats his opponent, a man named Sunthorn, in the fight. The gamblers, who had all bet on Sunthorn, are enraged, leading Sukit to attack Alex. However, Ben Daniels shorts out the lights, giving Alex a chance to flee the arena.

Later, when Alex attempts to escape from the arena in a swamp boat, Sukit approaches him with a gun. Just before he shoots Alex, Daniels shoots Sukit in the back three times, killing him.

Sukit is described as a short Asian man who wears a strange mixture between a suit and combat clothes. He has no ears, as they were cut off during a deal which was ambushed by a rival Bangkok gang.

Bill Tanner[edit]

Dr. Bill Tanner is a minor antagonist in Snakehead. He is an Australian doctor who works in an illegal organ harvesting clinic, owned by Major Yu, where Alex was sent to be killed after he was captured. He was in charge of removing Alex's organs for transplants, having been sacked from his previous job for telling a patient they could receive an instant transplant if they paid him. He tells Alex of all the security systems in the hospital, which helps Alex to escape. After Alex escapes and sets fire to the hospital, Tanner survives the attack and sends a Huey helicopter after Alex. It is later revealed that Tanner commits suicide, rather than face Major Yu's horrible punishment.

Nadia Vole[edit]

Nadia Vole (otherwise known as Fräulein Vole) is Herod Sayle's German assistant. She is described as being broad-shouldered and severe, having blonde hair, a moon-shaped face, wearing wire framed spectacles, and also wears a smear of yellow lipstick. She has a thick German accent and is described to walk like a soldier. She is killed when the tank containing Sayle's Portuguese Man o' War is destroyed by Alex. She is stung by the jellyfish when it lands directly on top of her.

She is portrayed by Missi Pyle in the film Stormbreaker.

Max Grendel[edit]

Max Grendel is a minor antagonist in the novel SCORPIA. He has an eye problem which causes his eyes to be permanently teary. He also has two grandchildren named Hans and Rudi who were about the age of Alex Rider, and in his old age, it is said that he has grown sentimental. Not desiring that SCORPIA kill his grandchildren, he quits the organisation and Julia Rothman presents him with an executive briefcase as a retirement gift. However, once Grendel opens it, dozens of sand coloured scorpions (Parabetheus spieces) are released. His heart gave up before the neurotoxins killed him.


The following is a list of the protagonists recurring, appearing in, or referred to in the Alex Rider series, listed alphabetically.

Alan Blunt[edit]

Alan Blunt is the head of MI6 Special Operations. He is an aloof, impassive, and ruthless man. Throughout the series he is known for wearing a grey suit and grey glasses and being driven around in a Rolls-Royce. From the book Point Blanc, it is said that he had graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in mathematics from Cambridge University. Blunt is dedicated to his job and has a very analytical mind. Like many spy-masters in popular culture, Blunt is portrayed as being emotionally unattached to anything he does and whatever means he uses.

After Blunt dismissed Alex Rider's suspicions of Damian Cray and his attempt to destroy half the world, he was severely humiliated and was only narrowly able to keep his position. He insists on continuing to use Alex despite of his youthfulness, the death of his uncle whilst on an intelligence case, and the fact that he has encountered near death more times than most intelligence agents would be expected to in their careers; after Alex is almost assassinated in Scorpia, however, he agrees with Mrs. Jones not to use him again, however, the CIA continue to use him, in addition to ASIS who start to use Alex in their operations as well. During the events of Crocodile Tears, when Alex goes to MI6 to ask them for help with a journalist who has learned the truth about him, although Blunt continues to treat Alex the same way he always does when meeting Alex in person, he demonstrates a surprising level of concern for Alex when talking to the Prime Minister, expressing pride in Alex's accomplishments and showing disdain at the Prime Minister's decision to bomb a location due to the risk to Alex.

In Scorpia Rising, it is revealed that Blunt is being forced into retirement by his superiors and has recommended Mrs Jones to take his place. He is planning to take a six-week tour of Europe with his wife. He has also been asked to join the board of directors on the BBC. When the body of Levi Kroll, a member of the original board of Scorpia, is washed up on the shores of the Thames with an iPhone that references a school in Cairo. Blunt wants to send Alex to investigate the school but Mrs Jones disagrees. However, after a sniper tries to kill Alex, the young man is offered a deal: to take the mission and therefore get out of England to be safe. It is later revealed that it was all part of Scorpia's plot to frame Alex for the death of the American Secretary of State while killing him along the way before blackmailing the British government out of the Elgin Marbles with the knowledge that MI5 had used a teenage boy as a spy. The mission ended in success: the executors of the plot; Abdul-Aziz Al-Razim, Julius Grief and Erik Gunter; were killed by Alex, the Secretary of State was saved, Scorpia was disbanded and its leader, Zeljan Kurst, was arrested and put on trial by Interpol. However, Jack Starbright was killed in the operation by Razim, but was later (after Blunt's tenure had ended) found to be alive.

After he resigns, Mrs Jones confronts him about the fact that it was Blunt and not Scorpia who hired the sniper so that Alex would be forced to take the job. Blunt doesn't deny it and says that as the new head of MI5, Mrs Jones will need to make just as difficult decisions and choices. He quotes the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that "he who fights monsters must take care not to become one himself," warning Mrs Jones of the dangers of the job. He sums up that no matter what Alex went through Scorpia have disbanded and the American Secretary of State survived so the ends justified the means. In the end, he was mentioned to receive a knighthood.

His name may be a reference to Anthony Blunt, one of the members of the Cambridge Five.

In the film Stormbreaker, Blunt was portrayed by Bill Nighy.

Joe Byrne[edit]

Joe Byrne is the head of the CIA, who has worked with Alex on three separate occasions. Unlike the more cold and manipulative Blunt, who was not above blackmailing Alex to accept missions for him, Byrne generally appeared more willing to simply ask Alex for help rather than forcing him to do something he didn't want to do, and displayed a strong respect for Alex when they worked together.

Byrne was introduced in Skeleton Key, when Alex was 'loaned' to the CIA to help them investigate General Alexi Sarov, the CIA reasoning that sending a man, woman and child 'team' to the island near Sarov's base would attract less attention than a man or woman alone or together.

Byrne contacted Alex again while he was staying with billionaire Nikolei Drevin during Ark Angel, his agents taking advantage of a temporary stop-off during a flight to Drevin's island to claim that there was a problem with Alex's passport so that Byrne could brief Alex on their investigation into Drevin's activities and ask for his help in taking a look at Drevin's household from an insider perspective.

Byrne returned to Alex's life again in Scorpia Rising, when Scorpia attempted to frame Alex- and hence MI6- for an assassination attempt on an anti-British America Secretary of State. Although some agents were willing to torture Alex to make him 'confess' what he was doing visiting a boat that had just been destroyed after a notorious weapons designer had been killed, Byrne- who was part of the team investigating the weapons designer's presence in Egypt- quickly recognised Alex and ordered the agents to stop, helping Alex understand what he had just witnessed. His past association with Alex also meant that Alex was able to reveal the truth about the attempted assassination to him and know that it would be believed, despite the real story involving a boy who was essentially Alex's clone.

John Crawley[edit]

John Crawley has been described as an "office manager" for MI6, and often acts as a messenger between Alex Rider and Special Operations, such as delivering him to MI6 in Stormbreaker and Point Blanc, informing him of his mission in Skeleton Key, visiting him in hospital in Ark Angel and, most recently, leading the "Invisible Man" operation against Harold Bulman in Crocodile Tears. He is known to have worked with John Rider, Alex's father, on a number of occasions and is described as having "the kind of face you forget while you're still looking at it".

It is hinted in Ark Angel that he was injured by Scorpia on one mission. He is involved in the Wimbledon committee, and gets Alex a job as a ball boy to investigate a match fixing attempt by the Triads after an unusual raid on the court in Skeleton Key as an independent, non-MI6-related assignment. He is also known to have a dalmatian named Barker. In "Crocodile Tears", it suggests that he is trained in martial arts, knowing 37 ways to kill a person

In the film adaption of Stormbreaker, he was portrayed by Jimmy Carr, with the character's name changed to "John Crawford".

Ben Daniels[edit]

Ben Daniels is a minor protagonist who has appeared in Stormbreaker, Snakehead and Never Say Die. He first meets Alex at an SAS training camp in the Brecon Beacons, where Alex was sent by MI6 for training. In Snakehead, Ben secretly kills Anan Sukit, who was attempting to shoot Alex after he had beaten Sukit's fighter "Sunthorn" in an arena fight. Alex later meets Ben again, where he takes him to an MI6 outpost in Bangkok. It is revealed here that his real name is Ben Daniels and he was seconded to MI6 from the SAS. After Alex escapes from Bill Tanner's hospital in the Australian jungle, Ben arrives in a helicopter and rescues him. He leads the joint MI6/ASIS raid on Major Yu's oil rig, Dragon 9, where he shoots Alex's godfather Ash, who is then revealed to be working for Scorpia. Ben is then shot by Major Yu, but survives.

He is described as having dark eyes, short black hair, and a Liverpudlian accent. Depending on the edition of the novels, his SAS codename is either "Fox" (in pre-2010 editions) or "Wolf" (in successive editions).

Paul Drevin[edit]

Paul Drevin is the son of Russian multibillionaire Nikolei Drevin, the main antagonist of Ark Angel. Alex and Paul first meet in hospital, where Alex is recovering from a bullet wound, and Paul is recovering from appendicitis. When Force Three attempts to kidnap Paul, Alex is kidnapped instead after he pretends he is Paul. When Alex escapes from Force Three, Nikolei invites Alex to stay with them for a few days and view the launch of Ark Angel.

During Paul's first encounter with Alex, when Alex asks: "'Where is home?", Paul replies: "'I'm not sure.'" He then continues to explain that he lives in London a lot, but is accustomed to moving frequently, mentioning places such as Moscow, New York, and the south of France. Paul doesn't go to school; instead, his father employs tutors. Therefore, Paul misses out on meeting children his own age. Paul was once educated at an ordinary school but had to be removed as there were too many "security problems."

Paul's parents divorced when he was six years old and his mother lives in America. Paul sees her no more than a few times a year.

When on his own territory, Paul is more confident than anywhere else. Paul understands that others may see him as a "spoiled brat." Growing up with such wealth has led Paul to comprehend the fact that friendship can't be bought, no matter how rich he is. Paul often protested against some of the things that came with his billionaire lifestyle.

Nikolei and Paul do not appear to be close. Nikolei had been "too busy" to visit Paul after his operation and during his stay in the hospital. It is evident by the language spoken and the actions when in each other's presence that neither is particularly close to the other. During a talk with Alex, Paul reveals that he wishes he had a brother as he always feels alone, despite the company of his father. However, Nikolei insisted that Paul stay with him and not his mother. Paul also confides in Alex that "Dad's not too bad", but he does wish that he had a life of his own. Paul may also fear his father, offering a serious warning to Alex not to make him his enemy. He understands how ruthless and dangerous his father can be.

Near the end of Ark Angel, Nikolei Drevin accidentally shoots Paul, when intended target, Alex, jumps out of the way. Believing his son to be dead, and after screaming out in grief, he flees when he hears the CIA approaching, although he is killed when his seaplane crashes (due to Alex tying a boat to it). It is later stated in Snakehead that Paul recovers from his wound.

Paul, like Alex, is 14 years old. Paul has short blonde hair, light blue eyes and a noticeable Russian accent. At his first appearance his face is described as being "thin" and his skin as "pale", although his recent operation to have his appendix removed may account for some of this. Paul suffers from asthma but says that it isn't that bad. He is an excellent tennis player; however due to his asthma, he cannot manage any more than two sets. This also prevented him from joining Alex in wreck diving.

Tom Harris[edit]

Tom Harris is Alex's best friend at Brookland High School. He first appeared in the novel Scorpia, and has since appeared in Crocodile Tears and Scorpia Rising.

Tom is described as being at the bottom of his class, though he makes up for this on the sports field. He is Alex's main rival in many sports, and is captain of the school's football team.[6] In Crocodile Tears, he says that if he had it his way, he would drop out of high school-having concluded that education doesn't matter after seeing the mess his parents have made of their lives despite their own education-and prefers to listen to his iPod rather than sitting through an assembly.

Tom is first introduced in Scorpia, where he and Alex are holidaying in Venice. Tom's parents were going through an unpleasant divorce, and Tom was weary of their squabbling. He was invited to a holiday in Naples by his brother Jerry, and gladly accepted, bringing Alex along. In Venice he witnesses Alex stop a burglary, and creates a diversion which allows Alex to enter Ca'Vedova. Tom then becomes Alex's closest ally and confidant, learning about his friend's secret work for MI6 and aiding him further.

Tom has a minor role in Crocodile Tears. His class, Alex included, tours a genetic sciences plant, a location MI6 needs to infiltrate. Tom helps Alex escape from Leonard Straik's guards, and covers for his friend during a roll call and his subsequent return to the group. In Scorpia Rising, he is shot in the arm by a MI6 sniper and has to go to the hospital.

He is described as short, with spiky black hair and bright blue eyes.

Mrs. Jones[edit]

Tulip Jones is second-in-command at MI6 and is Alan Blunt's closest associate. Blunt insists their personal and professional lives remain separate; consequently, Mrs. Jones has never even been inside of his house, despite knowing him better than anyone else in Special Operations. Mrs. Jones has two children, both of whom have been taken by someone at a young age, although the specifics of this are unknown. Mrs. Jones also has a cat named Q, presumably referring to the gadget expert from the James Bond series. She is sympathetic towards Alex and is often concerned about how his assignments have affected him, even after he tries to kill her in Scorpia after being presented with evidence that she had arranged his father's death. She often objects to Alan Blunt's use of him, eventually convincing him to stop after Alex is nearly assassinated by a sniper, although Alex is used again by the CIA and ASIS. In Scorpia, Mrs. Jones' first name is revealed to be Tulip because her parents were avid gardeners. After Blunt is forced into retirement in Scorpia Rising, she is made Head of MI6 Special Operations, and she vows never to use Alex again. As a parting gift, she arranges Alex a permanent visa in the United States and has Sabina Pleasure's parents made into his legal guardians after Jack is killed in Egypt.

In the Stormbreaker film, she is played by Sophie Okonedo.

Tamara Knight[edit]

Tamara Knight is introduced in the novel Ark Angel as Nikolei Drevin's personal assistant. At first, she is cold towards Alex and she doesn't seem to like him at all. However, it was later revealed that she was working for the CIA when she saved Alex's life from drowning when he went scuba diving. Tamara softened towards him and they joined forces to stop Drevin's plans to destroy his Ark Angel space hotel. They were captured by Magnus Payne and the Force Three "freedom fighters", truly mercenaries working for Drevin. Tamara was injured and was imprisoned. She was later rescued by Ed Shulsky and a CIA task force. She one of those who convinced Alex to go into space and stop Payne from setting off the bomb that would destroy Ark Angel.

Also, after saving Alex's life, many clues led to suggest that Alex and Tamara were romantically interested in each other. The most notable clue was when Tamara held his hand as she and Ed tried to get him to go into space. It was later implied in Snakehead when the ASIS file on Alex marked her as one of his two love interests, the other being Sabina Pleasure.

She is described being aged 25, but looking much younger, slightly taller than Alex, brown hair, and attractive blue eyes. Her name is a play on the phrase "tomorrow night," and, like Sabina Pleasure, may be a parody of the double-entendres commonly used in the names of female characters in James Bond.[citation needed]

Sabina Pleasure[edit]

Sabina Pleasure is a major protagonist who made her first appearance in the novel Skeleton Key and has gone on to appear in Eagle Strike, Snakehead, Crocodile Tears and Scorpia Rising.

She first meets Alex at Wimbledon, where Alex is working as ball boy and Sabina is working as a ball girl. Like her mother, Sabina enjoys rude jokes. She befriends Alex at this time and Sabina offers to take him on holiday to Cornwall with her parents. It is one night during this holiday that they share their first kiss. From this moment on, she serves as Alex's primary love interest. At the end of the Skeleton Key, she invites him on a holiday to the South of France, setting up the plot of the next novel.

In Eagle Strike, Sabina's father is nearly killed by a bomb, as he was writing an article about Damian Cray, the main antagonist of this novel. When Alex tries to tell her he is a spy, and attempts to show her MI6's headquarters- which have been set up to appear as a genuine bank- she doesn't believe him. Later, she is kidnapped by Damian Cray, who wants to use her as a ransom for the flash drive Alex has stolen from him. When he next sees her hands are tied and she is gagged with tape, Alex intends to destroy the flash drive with super glue, but Cray threatens to cut Sabina's fingers off with scissors, forcing Alex to give him the flash drive. When Cray hijacks Air Force One, Sabina helps Alex to kill him, and also deactivates the nuclear missiles. Sabina then reveals to Alex her parents want to move to San Francisco, as her father has been offered a job there.

She appears at the end of Snakehead for a "surprise" Christmas visit, and the book ends with them entering Alex's house together.

In the book Crocodile Tears, Alex and Sabina are on holiday together once more, but in Scotland. Sabina's father, Edward Pleasure, is invited by the main antagonist of the book, Desmond McCain who Edward was writing a report on, to a party on 31 December to celebrate the New Year. All the profits of the party would go to McCain's charity First Aid. They were all set to leave when Sabina's mother announced she wasn't feeling well and could not come. The party bored both Alex and Sabina and they left early, but as they were driving down the hill away from the castle where the party was set, their car's tire was shot out and they were sent plummeting into the loch below. Alex manages to save her and her father's lives once more. They decide to leave for America early, although they invite Alex over for spring. Before leaving, Sabina gives Alex another kiss, suggesting that she still has feelings for him.

In the book Scorpia Rising, Alex remembers his past visit with Sabina, wherein it is made explicitly clear that they are in a relationship, although Alex is unsure how long they will be able to maintain it. After Jack, best friend and legal guardian, is killed in Egypt, Mrs. Jones manages to get Sabina's parents to become Alex's new legal guardians.

She is described as having dark hair, bright blue eyes and freckles. Her name is a play on the phrase "It's been a pleasure"

In the books, graphic novels and the Stormbreaker film, she appears as a school friend of Alex, instead of meeting him at Wimbledon, to provide a love interest element to the film. By the end of the film she knows (and believes) Alex's secret, instead of learning of it in Eagle Strike.

In the film Stormbreaker, she was portrayed by Sarah Bolger.

Alex Rider[edit]

Alex Rider is the main character of the series. Alex's parents were killed when their private plane crashed – later revealed to have been caused by a bomb planted by Ash – and he was subsequently raised by his uncle Ian Rider, until Ian himself was killed when Alex was fourteen years old. After his uncle's death, MI6 allows Alex's best friend and housekeeper, Jack Starbright, to become his legal guardian and after that he worked for MI6.

His father and uncle were secretly spies for MI6, and Ian Rider had been training Alex his whole life for a career with MI6 without actually informing him of this purpose, teaching him several languages and enrolling him in karate classes. After his uncle is killed, MI6 send Alex on his first mission. He is trained with the SAS and codenamed "Cub". Alex is repeatedly used by MI6 on assignments, and has also been used by the CIA (of USA) and ASIS (of Australia). He is very reluctant to take on these assignments (although capable of completing them), and usually has to be blackmailed into them (with the exception of the CIA where Joe Byrne actually manages to convince him).

"Most schoolboys dream of being spies, with Alex, we have a spy that dreams of being a schoolboy," said MI6 chief Alan Blunt. Through his adventures, Alex discovers new things about his uncle, his parents, and his godfather, Ash, who were all involved in secret services, with the exception of his mother, who was a nurse.

The brutality of his assignments often have an adverse psychological affect on him, his eyes often being described as "having seen too much", and he has few friends left at his school, his classmates viewing him as strange because of his long absences from school.

Alex speaks English, German, French, and Spanish (as well as Japanese in the film adaption) and also has a limited grasp of Italian. He is a black-belt in karate, an accomplished diver, and has experience in several extreme sports. He is described as having "fair hair, cut short except for two thick strands hanging over his forehead", "the body of an athlete" and having "a face that would attract plenty of girls" as well as "thin lips", and a "slightly chiselled nose and chin". After the novel Scorpia, he has a bullet wound, as well as several scars and bruises from previous assignments. Alex is fourteen years old in the first eight novels, and turns fifteen after the end of Crocodile Tears.

He is portrayed by Alex Pettyfer in the film Stormbreaker.

Helen Rider[edit]

Helen Rider (née Beckett) was Alex Rider's mother. She was killed, along with her husband, John Rider, when their best friend Ash, who was working for Scorpia, set a bomb on their private aeroplane. This happened while Alex was still an infant (he had a minor ear infection, so stayed behind), and his uncle, Ian Rider, became his legal guardian.

Before her death, Helen was a nurse. She met John Rider at Oxford, while studying medicine, then later helped him recover from injuries sustained during a mission. In the novel Snakehead, Ash speaks about how he actually asked her out, but she "turned me [Ash] down very sweetly". John and Helen later married at a registry office in London, with only half a dozen people in attendance. In the novel Scorpia, Alex sees a vision of his mother, smiling at him, after he is shot.

Ian Rider[edit]

Ian Rider is Alex's uncle and became his guardian after his parents died. He worked for MI6, undercover of being a banker. Ian and Alex had a very good relationship. They were very close, and when Ian was home they did practically everything together. Ian often took Alex around the world to educate him about other cultures. He never let Alex call him 'uncle'. Ian also taught him a lot of things that prepared him for being a spy, such as scuba diving, climbing, and driving. He is killed at the beginning of Stormbreaker by Yassen Gregorovich. His death led Alex into working for MI6. He had completed missions in Iran, Havana, Hong Kong, Cairo and Washington, but his luck ran out in Cornwall, while investigating Herod Sayle and the Stormbreaker project.

It is later revealed that Yassen worked for Herod Sayle and that he or Scorpia ordered the assassination.

Ian Rider is played by Ewan McGregor in the film adaptation of Stormbreaker.

John Rider[edit]

John Rider was Alex Rider's father and an agent of MI6.

At Oxford University, Rider studied politics and economics, and was an excellent tennis player. He later joined the Parachute Regiment at Aldershot and served for three years, seeing action in both Northern Ireland and Gambia. John was awarded the Military Cross from the queen, as well as being promoted to the rank of Captain for carrying a wounded soldier to safety under fire during the attack on Goose Green, in the Falklands War.

He later worked for MI6 and became one of the best agents in the service. He was placed undercover in the organisation Scorpia, where he used the alias "Hunter". He gained Scorpia's trust this by pretending to murder a taxi driver, which landed him in prison, aside from being discharged from the Army. During his time at Scorpia, he was a mentor to a young Yassen Gregorovich. It was mentioned that he saved Yassen's life while on an assignment with him in the Amazon, shooting a black widow spider off of Yassen's neck and assassinating the target with the same bullet. While working with Scorpia he was involved in at least five assassinations (the sixth being an escape plan by MI6 ), but only three of these were genuine; in the other two cases, MI6 were able to fake the deaths of his targets to maintain his cover while protecting the genuinely innocent people.

After these assignments, MI6 decided it was time to extract John, partly because they had learnt much of the information they needed, but also because his wife Helen had just given birth to his son Alex. John was also in more danger than ever; Julia Rothman, a senior executive of Scorpia, had fallen in love with John, and it was only a matter of time before his cover was blown. On his sixth assignment, where he was partnered with Yassen Gregorovich, John was "captured" by MI6 in Malta, although the operation was a near total disaster. Yassen shot the leader, John's best friend Ash in the chest, but Ash's body armour meant he was back on his feet in seconds. This prompted Yassen to shoot four other agents in the head, and leave Ash for dead after stabbing him. Ash only survived when John risked his life to provide emergency first aid for his friend. Afterwards, John faked his death to leave Scorpia during a prisoner exchange, in which he was believed to have been betrayed and killed by MI6 while really giving the other prisoner information about how to escape the upcoming shooting.

After his assignment, he was granted leave. However, Scorpia took revenge on him using Ash, who had secretly defected after being humiliated and demoted for his involvement in John's rescue. Following orders from Julia Rothman, he planted a bomb on John's plane, killing both him and Helen. Alex, who was still an infant at that time, had stayed behind due to a minor ear infection, and survived. In the end of Scorpia Alex's parents come to him in a vision after Alex had been brutally hurt by a Scorpia assassin.

Derek Smithers [edit]

'Gadgets...' — Alex Rider
'Absolutely. It wouldn't be any fun without gadgets, would it?' — Derek Smithers

— Ark Angel

Derek Smithers is a protagonist who has appeared in all of the novels, as well as in the film adaption. He creates the various gadgets for MI6 agents, a role similar to that of Q's in the James Bond films. It is often implied that Smithers is Alex's only genuine friend at MI6; in Eagle Strike, when Alex attempted to convince MI6 to investigate Damian Cray, he was ignored by Blunt and Mrs. Jones, but Smithers nevertheless supplied him with a high-tech bicycle that played a crucial role in Alex's investigations, and in Ark Angel Smithers took time out from his holiday to provide Alex with new gadgets when the CIA requested Alex's assistance in investigating the father of a new friend. In Scorpia Rising, Smithers reveals that in reality, he was always privately opposed to involving Alex in MI6 in the first place; he believes that the world of spying is dangerous and dirty, and people like Ian Rider, who saw it as one big adventure, could easily get themselves killed

He has often stated that he enjoys having Alex around because he finds it a greater challenge to come up with gadgets for teenagers, as well as the final results inevitably being more "fun" than his products for MI6's adult agents, such as a CD that doubles up as a buzz-saw, mosquito repellent that actually attracts mosquitoes, or a near-invisible set of braces that send a signal when Alex taps a certain part of the inner lining with his tongue. He often tries to give Alex some sort of weapon; although MI6 will not allow an actual gun, he has secretly provided Alex with little extras such as an exploding earstud, explosive gelignite ink pens, and a mobile phone with a knock-out dart in it.

Smithers is described as balding, morbidly obese, and very jovial. He often expresses dislike for other intelligence agencies, such as the CIA, ASIS, and even MI5.

In the film Stormbreaker, Smithers was portrayed by Stephen Fry. In contrast to the books he is not particularly overweight and has a somewhat stern, almost gruff, personality as opposed to his joviality in the novels. Fry, when interviewed for the special features of the Stormbreaker DVD release, says that he portrays the character as annoyed that he has to make gadgets for a fourteen-year-old, believing that Smithers would feel that his self-esteem was at risk.

Revealed in Scorpia Rising, Smithers is actually an athletic Irishman, who wears a fat suit, which he claims he started wearing as a field outfit- thus providing him with an easy way to escape if cornered as everyone would be looking for a distinctive fat man rather than a thinner one- that became a more work-based costume. He removed the costume to escape an attempt on his life by Scorpia in Cairo. This is the "dark, dark, secret" described about him by Anthony Horowitz.

James Sprintz[edit]

James Sprintz is a minor character in Point Blanc. When Alex arrives at Point Blanc Academy, James is the only boy who had not yet been imprisoned and replaced by a Dr. Grief clone. He becomes Alex's only friend at the academy. He often comments on the other boys' strange behaviour (who are, in reality, clones of Dr. Grief), and the day before he was captured and replaced, he had planned to escape Point Blanc. He is eventually freed by Alex and the SAS, along with the other real boys, when the school is raided.

According to Alex's notes, James is fourteen years old, German, and formerly lived in Düsseldorf. His father is Dieter Sprintz, a well-known financier and banker. His mother lives in England. He was expelled from his previous school for wounding a teacher with an air-pistol, and is described by Alex as being pale, with dark blue eyes and brown hair.

Jack Starbright[edit]

Jack Starbright is Alex Rider's closest and best friend, a 28-year-old American woman, originally Ian Rider's housekeeper and after his death Alex's legal guardian. She has appeared in every novel so far, with her most prominent roles being in Eagle Strike and Scorpia Rising. She is described as slim, with tangled red hair, and a boyish, round face that "is always cheerful, even when in a bad mood". She has a crooked smile, and is described to look more like a big sister than a housekeeper.

She came to London from Washington D.C. when she was twenty-one to study law, but never left, and has known Alex since he was seven years old. After the death of Ian Rider, Jack became Alex's legal guardian, and continued to live with him in Chelsea. She is very protective of Alex, having looked after him for several years, and as a result has developed a strong relationship with him.

In most of the novels, Jack appears at the beginning and the end of the story, but does not have a part in the major plot. However, in Eagle Strike, she helps investigate Damian Cray's organisation by travelling with him through Europe, and assists in pickpocketing a V.I.P.'s ticket to get into the premiere of Damian Cray's new video-game console, the Gameslayer.

In the original version of Scorpia, Jack hires a tutor to help Alex catch up with the schoolwork he missed because of his various missions, having become concerned about the way Alex's assignments have affected him.

In Snakehead, it is revealed that Jack had met Alex's godfather and John Rider's best man, Ash. She had a brief relationship with him – it is implied that the relationship was of a romantic nature.

She strongly disapproves of MI6's demands of Alex, but Alex and Jack have a somewhat "unspoken agreement" not to discuss his MI6 life. In Stormbreaker, her visa was close to expiring, and Blunt used this to blackmail Alex into working for MI6. Jack speaks fluent French, and although being a good cook refuses to make anything that takes longer than ten minutes. Jack's name may be short for Jackie or Jacqueline – in Stormbreaker, it is mentioned that Alex once asked, but she never revealed what it was.

In Scorpia Rising, Jack is planning to return to America, after her father has a stroke, and she feels that Alex no longer needs her. However, after an incident with a sniper (arranged by Blunt), she travels with Alex to Cairo to spy on former war hero Erik Gunter. After being captured by Razim in the act of doing so, Jack manages to break out of her cell, knock out a guard and steal a Land Rover. However, Razim has been allowing her to do so, and, with Alex watching on television (and as part of his measurement of pain experiment), has Julius Grief detonate a bomb placed underneath Jack's Land Rover, and the car explodes, killing Jack instantly.

In Never Say Die, Alex receives an email from Jack. He then travels to Razim's fort and into Jack's cell, where he finds "Grimaldi" scrapped into the wall. Alex pursues the Grimaldi brothers - two former Mafiosi and Scorpia members who managed to remain active after the group collapsed - until he finds Jack alive. As Jack explains, the video footage of her death was actually faked- which Alex realizes when rewatching the footage and noting that a bird that was flying in the corner of the screen as Jack drove away had vanished too abruptly when the car exploded- and the Grimaldis kept her alive to act as a caretaker for a group of children that they planned to abduct for their next scheme of taking mass hostages. Once Alex rescues her and the children, their parents offer a five million pound reward, which MI6 arrange to be paid to Jack as Alex cannot accept it due to his unofficial role in MI6, allowing her and Alex to return to their old lives.

In the Stormbreaker film adaptation, Jack is played by Alicia Silverstone. Jack also appears in the graphic novel adaptations of both Stormbreaker and Point Blanc.

American Secretary of State[edit]

The American Secretary of State is an unnamed minor character in the final novel, Scorpia Rising. She is described by Joe Byrne as a "hardliner," and is central to Scorpia agent Abdul Aziz al-Razim's plan to have the Elgin Marbles returned to Greece. A potential rival to the US President, the Secretary of State is in Egypt to make a speech denouncing Britain as a world power – a speech guaranteed to give her international attention. Razim plans on having her assassinated in the middle of her speech by Julius Grief, a look-alike to Alex Rider, who is known to the CIA as a British spy, and then let the real Alex's body be discovered, before threatening to expose MI6's use of a teenage spy unless the Elgin Marbles are returned to Athens. However, the plan fails when Alex manages to reach Julius and distract him, causing him to fire a shot, alerting her bodyguards to the presence of an assassin, and allowing them to hurry her to safety.

Belinda Troy[edit]

Belinda Troy is a minor protagonist in Skeleton Key. She was a CIA agent partnered with Tom Turner (Glen Carver in the US version) and Alex Rider on a mission to Cuba to investigate General Alexei Sarov. She and Turner do not take to Alex, because he is a minor, and believe he is unnecessary and could put their mission in danger. When Turner is kidnapped on the Salesman's boat, it is hinted that she has feelings for him. She is killed in the same manner as Turner while attempting to infiltrate Sarov's headquarters. She is described as being "a couple of years older than he is (Turner), slim, with brown frizzy hair tumbling down to her shoulders".

Tom Turner[edit]

Tom Turner (named Glen Carver in the US version of Skeleton Key) is a minor protagonist in Skeleton Key. Like Belinda Troy, he is a CIA agent, sent to Cuba with Troy and Alex, to investigate General Alexei Sarov. Turner and Troy object to Alex being sent with them. They often ignore his opinions and treat him as a hindrance, even after Alex saves Turner from The Salesman. He reveals nothing about his personal life, other than he is a former marine, and dreams of dying for his country. He and Troy are killed when trying to infiltrate Sarov's headquarters through the "Devil's Chimney", a hidden underwater tunnel. They are killed by the traps which are disguised as stalactites. Turner is described as "about forty, a handsome man, with fair, close-cropped hair, blue eyes and a face that managed to be both tough and boyish".


Wolf is a minor character who appears as being initially hostile towards Alex in the novel Stormbreaker, but returns in a more protagonistic role for the novel Point Blanc. He also appears in the film adaption of Stormbreaker. He is first encountered by Alex while training with the SAS. He is part of "K Unit" along with Alex (Cub), and three other men, codenamed, Fox, Eagle, and Snake/Bear (Snake in the novel, Bear in the film). Unlike Tom Turner in Skeleton Key - most likely because Alex had already proven himself in other missions before he worked with Turner - Wolf resents Alex because he is a minor. During a training exercise, Wolf pushes Alex into a tripwire, causing the whole unit to fail the exercise and blame Alex. Near the end of Alex's training, the unit are to parachute out of a plane. Wolf, however, freezes and cannot make the jump. Alex then kicks him out of the door, saving his career and reputation.

Wolf returns again in Point Blanc, with a team of SAS, to raid Point Blanc Academy. His attitude towards Alex has changed considerably by this time. There, he kills Mrs. Stellenbosch, but is shot in the process. He is later found to have survived.

While Alex is recovering in hospital after being shot at the end of Scorpia, he receives a postcard from Wolf. The postcard had been sent from Iraq (specifically Baghdad in the US version), showing Wolf's latest deployment.

He is described as a well-built Black British man with close-cropped black hair, square shoulders and a dark, watchful face. He is in his late twenties. In the film Stormbreaker, he is portrayed by Ashley Walters.

In post-2010 editions of the novels, Wolf is retconned to be the same character as Ben Daniels, who in earlier editions is the identity of "Fox".


Rahim is a minor character who appears in the novel Crocodile Tears. Rahim is an Indian RAW agent who had been sent to kill Desmond McCain both at his Scottish castle and in Africa to avenge the destruction of the Jowada Power Station. Rahim finds Alex, Sabina and her father when their SUV falls into Loch Arkaig and drives them to the hospital, saving them from hypothermia. Alex later meets the agent again when Rahim kills Myra Beckett and saves Alex from falling into the pack of crocodiles. He had injured his leg when he parachuted into a thornbush, and cannot help Alex destroy the dam that will flood the crops and stop McCain's virus. Alex takes Rahim's plastic explosive that was given to the agent to destroy McCain's aeroplane. Rahim returns to save Alex a third time in McCain's crop duster, after Alex is caught in the raging waters of the destroyed dam. As Rahim and Alex land at a nearby airport, he is shot and killed by McCain.

He is described as extremely fit, with dark skin and close cropped hair. He was in his early twenties, with only about ten years between him and Alex.


  1. ^ a b "Dr Hugo Grief – Main Criminals – Criminals". Alex Rider. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Julia Rothman – Main Criminals – Criminals". Alex Rider. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  3. ^ a b c "General Alexei Sarov – Main Criminals – Criminals". Alex Rider. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  4. ^ a b "Herod Sayle – Main Criminals – Criminals". Alex Rider. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  5. ^ a b "Point Blanc – Other enemies – Criminals". Alex Rider. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  6. ^ "Tom Harris – Friends – Characters". Alex Rider. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-06.