List of Angels & Demons characters
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Gunther Glick and Chinita Macri
Gunther Glick and Chinita Macri are, respectively, an investigative reporter and camerawoman who in the world of Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, work for the British Broadcasting Corporation and are assigned to cover the papal election presented in the novel.
Glick is described as looking rather odd, with a thin face and slim build. Chinita is of African American descent (implying that she is originally from the United States), slightly overweight, with a jovial manner.
Macri is depicted as more conscious and less of a risk taker than Glick, but also very protective of him. They are considered nuisances by the protagonists for much of the novel because they come along to relate for the television audience the events of the night.
Glick has been hired away from a fictional British gossip magazine to work on "less important" (in Macri's estimation) stories for the BBC. Glick is called by an unknown individual (revealed as The Hassassin) who scoops him on the murder/torture of four members of the College of Cardinals and planned bombing of Vatican City.
After the first murder is revealed, Glick and Macri latch on to the protagonists, Robert Langdon and Vittoria Vetra, in their all night search for the antimatter canister cleverly placed to destroy Rome and the Catholic Church. It is they who reveal the details to other over the air networks (MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN, among others) and continue to provide live updates (including Carlo Ventresca's live speech from inside the conclave) despite threats from the Swiss Guards and Papal Office personnel. Glick also attempts to spice up the coverage with theories of his own, which comes back to haunt him later.
In the last hour of the novel, Glick and Macri capture for the worldwide audience Ventresca's mad dash into St. Peter's Basilica to retrieve the antimatter canister. After the stunning conclusion, a subdued Glick and Macri wrap up with the announcement of the new pope, Cardinal Saverio Mortati, and a brief explanation of why Ventresca could also be considered a pope.
The Hassassin (referring to the Medieval Haschaschin of Hassan Ibn Sabbah; frequently referred to as The Killer) is a secondary antagonist of Angels & Demons. The Hassassin is not part of the ancient Illuminati group. He is co-opted into carrying out evil deeds under the Illuminati name by a character called "Janus", who is later revealed to be the Camerlengo. He is of Arab descent, numerous times referring to the crimes the Crusaders committed against his people.
In the prologue of the book, The Hassassin demanded a password from Leonardo Vetra to gain access into the Vetra's secret underground laboratory which contained a small, but nonetheless destructive, quantity of antimatter. When Leonardo failed to comply and give out the key, the Hassassin cut out one of Leonardo's eyes (which turned out to be the key into Vetra's underground laboratory) and branded the Illuminati logo onto his body. Leonardo's body was severely mutilated and his neck was twisted 180 degrees with one eye missing. The Hassassin stole antimatter (a very reactive and explosive substance when exposed with matter), in order to initiate revenge against the Roman Catholic Church in the Vatican City by the secret society organization The Illuminati.
After killing Leonardo, the Hassassin went to a prostitution house as a reward for himself, and has sex with a prostitute in bondage, whom he then briefly considers to murder for his pleasure. The Hassassin later kidnapped four Cardinals and made contact with Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca, Vittoria Vetra and Robert Langdon were discussing the missing antimatter from CERN. He gave information regarding the missing Cardinals and gave them warning "Every hour from 8pm each Cardinal will be branded with the four elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water in four different churches across Rome". After giving the warning he contacted 2 BBC News correspondents who were in the Vatican covering the papal conclave and gave the same information to them about the four missing Cardinals.
He branded the Earth symbol onto one of four Cardinals and murdered him through oxygen deprivation because of the Hassassin lodging dirt into the Cardinal's throat. The Cardinal was murdered at the first altar of science which was Chigi Chapel at the Santa Maria del Popolo. The second Cardinal was branded with the Air symbol and had his lungs punctured and asphysiated. Still alive, the cardinal (in the disguise of a tramp) was escorted to the second altar of science and left to die as Langdon and Vittoria arrived to the altar at the West Ponente of Saint Peter's Square. This death was seen in public and caused a frenzy with media networks beginning coverage about the death and possible speculations of other kidnappings.
The third Cardinal was branded with the Fire symbol and was burned alive at the third altar of science which was the Ecstasy of St Theresa at the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria. Unlike the other Cardinals, the Hassassin decided to leave this Cardinal alive in order for him to witness his own death. Langdon, Vittoria and Olivetti intercepted the situation at the church but failed to save the cardinal; after finding Olivetti's body in a manner similar to her own father's death, Vittoria is subdued and kidnapped by the Hassassin, after forcing Robert was to hide inside a sarcophagus, where he just escaped death by asphyxiation.
The Hassassin takes Vittoria to the Church Of Illumination, which he is using as his base of operations, and leaves her bound and gagged before he leaves with the fourth and final Cardinal. He confronts Langdon at a fountain, where he drowns the Cardinal and battles Langdon. He thinks Langdon is dead after their confrontation (unknown to him that he used an underwater air hose to stay alive) and returns to the church, greatly anticipating what he is intending to do to Vittoria.
As the Hassassin undresses to rape Vittoria, Langdon manages to find the church and confronts him with a large, metal pole. Langdon, however, is no match for the highly trained killer and forced out onto a balcony. As the Hassassin moves to finish Langdon, the yoga-trained Vittoria, who manages to escape her bonds by nearly dislocating her shoulders, attacks the Hassassin with a torch, burning his back and drawing his attention away from Langdon. With the Hassassin distracted, Langdon and Vittoria manage to push him over the side of the balcony, sending him plunging onto a pile of cannonballs below, breaking his spinal cord.
In the film adaptation (portrayed by Nikolaj Lie Kaas), the Hassassin, now renamed Assassin, is portrayed as an assassin with an unknown nationality and motivation, other than monetary gain. His history is not mentioned, apart from a brief moment where he, in pain from a bullet wound, states "[the Church] made me a sinner". He retains a skill with weapons that suggests he has had military training. Unlike the sadistic and misogynic alter ego of the book, the movie character retains a few scruples, not kidnapping Vittoria and showing reluctance to drown the fourth cardinal at Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers, which fails as Langdon and a number of bystanders manage to save him just in time.
The Assassin chooses not to kill Langdon and Vittoria at the Church of Illumination, claiming he'd be "wasting bullets, since I wasn't paid to finish the both of you off". Instead of being killed by Langdon, the Assassin is killed when he climbs into a getaway car set up for him by the Illuminati master, with the pay-off for his work inside and attempts to drive off. The Assassin is double-crossed as there is a bomb in the car, which goes off when he turns on the ignition.
Maximilian Kohler is the paralytic executive director of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland and one of the most respected and feared people at CERN. People working at CERN called him König because he seemed to be like a king sitting on an electronic wheelchair.
In the novel, Kohler is well known for his wheelchair filled with different electronic gadgets such as computer, telephone, and pager. One of his armrest contains a hidden miniature video camera that allows him to record videos secretly during meetings. His wheelchair also hides a gun, as he is a good marksman and known to practice shooting during his free time.
Kohler is also known for his staunch atheism and hate for religion. He blames religion for his disability and inability to live a normal life. Ironically, his best friend, Leonardo Vetra, is a priest, and he has a great respect for him.
He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, as a child of a prosperous Christian family. A childhood illness left him using a wheelchair because he was denied treatment by his extremely religious parents who believed the disease a test from God. Kohler survived only because a doctor treated him without his parents' knowledge. As a result, Kohler developed a fanatical hatred of religion and a fanatical love of science. He has become a world-renowned physicist as part of a crusade to use science to disprove all religion.
At the beginning of the story, Kohler finds Leonardo Vetra's body when Vetra did not show up for a meeting. Kohler went to his apartment and saw him dead. He freezes the body to preserve it and contacts Robert Langdon via his personal website which supposedly contained contact details, but Langdon in Boston, Massachusetts dismisses Kohler as prank caller as his website gives no contact details. Kohler eventually convinces Langdon of his sincerity by faxing him a picture of Leonardo's dead body, which is branded with an ambigrammatic Illuminati logo; Kohler contacted Langdon as the most academically qualified expert on the Illuminati he could find.
Langdon agrees to investigate and Kohler sends his jet to take Langdon to CERN's headquarters where they are met by Leonardo's daughter Vittoria Vetra who believes that her father was murdered to facilitate the theft of his work - a large sample of antimatter in Vetra's underground laboratory. When Kohler returns to the main lobby he receives a phone call from Vatican City about the missing antimatter. He starts to feel ill, so he persuades Langdon and Vittoria to go in his place.
Within hours, he recovered and went to Vetra's study where he found a diary locked in Vetra's desk. After reading his diary, he was able to find out the other person who knows Vetra's research and flies to the Vatican. With the help of Captain Rocher, whom he contacted earlier and revealing to him the real identity of Janus, he interrogates the Camerlengo and proves his guess is correct - the Camerlengo is Janus. With Kohler pointing his gun at the Camerlengo, he manages to extract the confession from the young priest who was unknowingly being recorded by Kohler in his video cam. The Camerlengo, not wanting Kohler to succeed, brands himself with an ambrigrammic Illuminati iron and cries out for help. Langdon, Vittoria and the Swiss guards, already suspicious that Kohler might be Janus, charge into the room and shoot Kohler.
As Kohler lies dying, he passes the recording to Langdon instructing him to give it to the media. Langdon thought it was an Illuminati speech at first until he was reminded of the tape by a nurse while in hospital. Langdon played the video in front of the Cardinals and exposed the Camerlengo.
By the end of the novel, Gunther Glick reported that Kohler died, due to his long-time illness, as he tried to offer help with the crisis.
The character is omitted in the film adaptation, but rather is partially merged with Commander Olivetti and Captain Rocher of the novel into Commander Maximilian Richter (played by Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård), Head of the Swiss Guard in the film.
Commander Olivetti is the commander of the Swiss Guard in Vatican City. He is described as slightly flamboyant, wearing a red beret in addition to his Swiss Guard uniform: "barrel-chested man with soft putty-like features". During the papal conclave in Vatican City, Olivetti is in charge of protecting the Cardinals during the traditional services. When a security camera goes missing in the Vatican, Olivetti is determined to find out its location, as the camera is still producing a strong signal. When Robert Langdon and Vittoria Vetra arrive in Rome to explain the harsh reality of the crisis, Vittoria explains that her father Leonardo Vetra was murdered and his invention (a large quantity of antimatter) has gone missing from the CERN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Vittoria explains the reactivity of antimatter to him and urges that he conducts an immediate search or else Vatican City will be wiped out.
Initially, Olivetti disagrees to follow such a dramatic step and locks up Vittoria and Langdon in his office in order to prevent such news from reaching Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca. Using Olivetti's office phone, Vittoria manages to contact Carlo Ventresca and briefly explain the situation to the Camerlengo. Olivetti is consequently ordered to bring both Langdon and Vittoria to speak with the Camerlengo. Ventresca then tasks him with conducting a search for the antimatter canister. This responsibility is later bestowed upon Captain Rocher by Olivetti, and the commander aids Langdon and Vittoria in their hunt for The Hassassin.
After discovering the third Cardinal at the fire altar of science, which was in fact the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Olivetti is killed by The Hassassin. His neck is severely damaged, an identical fate to that of Leonardo Vetra. His body is discovered by Vittoria after she hears his phone going off behind several pews, which distracts her just enough to allow The Hassassin to subdue her with a strike from his elbow.
In the film adaptation, his complete name is stated as Ernesto Olivetti and instead of being the commander of the Swiss Guard, Olivetti (portrayed by Pierfrancesco Favino) is the rather sympathetic Head of the Vatican Police. He opts to trust in Langdon and Vittoria even after their slip-up at the Pantheon. He dies a hero's death at Santa Maria della Vittoria, trying to save the third cardinal, after he enters close combat with the assassin. His throat is slit by his opponent as the rescue party is ambushed inside the Basilica.
Captain Rocher is a captain within the Swiss Guard who is tasked by Olivetti to search for the missing antimatter canister. His search is unsuccessful, however, because he insists on only searching the public access areas which he calls the "White Zones". He strongly believes that the individual who has hidden the antimatter must be an outsider since he believes the Swiss Guard to be incorruptible. When the 11th hour Samaritan arrives, Rocher is suspected of being an Illuminatus since he insists Maximilian Kohler is allowed in for a private meeting with the Camerlengo without a Guard present.
After a scream is heard during Maximilian Kohler's talk with the Camerlengo the Swiss Guards led by Lieutenant Chartrand burst through the door and shoot Kohler. The Camerlengo then points at Rocher and screams the word "Illuminatus", prompting Rocher to become enraged and approach him. Chartrand steps back and reacts immediately, mortally wounding Rocher with a shot to the back. It turns out Rocher appeared to have suspected the Camerlengo after a prior engagement with Kohler. Chartrand noticed that the captain had been acting unusually much earlier in the novel but determines that his involvement with Kohler must have been the cause. It is later revealed that Kohler was not the mysterious Janus but that it was in fact the Camerlengo and that Rocher had not been an Illuminatus after all.
In the film adaptation, the character was replaced with Father Simeon, portrayed by Cosimo Fusco, with his name rather inspiring that of Commander Richter. In the film, when the Camerlengo screams Illuminatus at Simeon, he was shot by the cops along with Commander Richter. Langdon and Vetra learned the Camerlengo's true identity by watching on Richter's video recordings.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca (named Patrick McKenna in the film adaptation) a.k.a. Janus is the main antagonist of Angels & Demons. Carlo Ventresca is the Camerlengo and faithful servant to the Roman Catholic Church during the papal conclave in the Vatican City. In the film adaptation, to accommodate Scottish actor Ewan McGregor who plays him, Ventresca's name is changed and he is from Northern Ireland instead of Italy.
He was raised by his mother Maria, whom he used to call Maria Benedetta (the blessed Mary). To the questions about his father, she would always reply that he had died before Carlo was born and that now God was his father. She raised him a strict Catholic by bringing him to Mass every day.
During a vacation on Sicily, the church they visited came under attack by the Red Brigades and Carlo was the sole survivor. In the film, the story was altered so that the attack occurred in Northern Ireland and the attackers were the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Later he would say that God had saved him by leading him into a safe corner.
A bishop from Palermo then took him in and Carlo lived and learned under monks. But at the age of 16 he was conscripted into the Italian army. There he refused to fire a weapon, so the army taught him to fly a helicopter and to parachute. After serving two years, he entered a seminary. When the bishop was elected Pope, he named Carlo his Camerlengo.
Before the initial events occurred within the novel, Carlo had been sent, by the Vatican, to CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) to meet with scientist Leonardo Vetra. This was to investigate claims that a discovery of profound religious significance had occurred. Here, he was shown the procedure to create antimatter. Carlo was ethically disturbed by this discovery, and reported his findings to the Pope, which was met with a positive response. The Pope claimed that he owed a great debt to science, and he agreed with Leonardo Vetra that the discovery held profound religious significance. Carlo was saddened to hear this from the Pope, so the Pope explained that he had fathered a child, so he owed a deep debt to science. Shocked and disappointed about this betrayal to God and the church, Carlo abandoned the Pope before the situation was explained. Carlo found himself on St. Peter's tomb where he believed he received instructions from God.
Carlo carried out this believed instruction by poisoning the Pope with lethal dose of Heparin (which the pope required for his illness). Due to his role as the Camerlengo, he took the authority of the Holy See while a new Pope was elected (although without most of the Pope' prerogatives). During this time period, he hired an assassin to kill the four Cardinals held in the highest regard by the college, papabili or preferiti),thus ensuring a confusion in the Conclave as to who should be elected to the papacy.
He covered up many of these actions by assuming an alias as the leader of the Illuminati, known as Janus.
The novel then begins with the antimatter having been stolen from CERN and hidden in the Vatican, and used as a terrorist threat against the church. This is known to have been engineered by the Illuminati, which Carlo is claiming to be the leader of. The Illuminati claims that they wish to destroy the Vatican as vengeance for the murder and repression of science before the Age of Enlightenment.
During the novel, with one hour before the antimatter is due to destroy the Vatican, Maximilian Kohler claims to have information regarding the location of the antimatter, and reports to the Vatican to help. It then turns out that Kohler knew about the plans of the Camerlengo, and intended to unmask him. When he was confronted, he branded himself with the Illuminati diamond, claimed that Kohler was an Illuminatus and had him shot. During this time, Kohler has recorded the meeting on hidden camera.
Being carried outside to St Peter's Square due to his injuries, he suddenly awoke and jumped up, presenting the brand to the masses. Then he pretended to receive a heavenly message revealing the position of the antimatter, with only 30 minutes until its destruction. He and Langdon used a helicopter to try to get the antimatter away. Carlo took the sole parachute and landed safely in the Vatican Gardens (without the knowledge of the media or the devout in St Peter's Square). He then climbed up to the Basilica and presented himself a perfect miracle to the cheering masses.
Meanwhile, Langdon had listened to Kohler's video tape, which was handed to him as Kohler died, on which Carlo confessed that he had killed the Pope and that he was responsible for the terrorist threat and the murder of the Cardinals. In front of the horrified College of Cardinals, he tried to justify his actions, gathering only comprehension. Then, Saverio Mortati, the Cardinal Dean told him the truth about the Pope; that he had fallen in love with a nun called Maria, that their child had been fathered through artificial insemination and he therefore broke no vow. Mortati also told him the child's identity: Carlo Ventresca.
Shortly thereafter, it becomes clear that Ventresca was elected Pope by a method called Acclamation by Adoration, which is when all the Cardinals freely chant one clergyman's name, which they did before Carlo lit himself on fire. He reigned for under 17 minutes, and therefore his burial next to his father's tomb in the Vatican grottoes was appropriate.
From early on in the story, the Camerlengo is revealed as extremely modern compared to other clergy. This is especially revealed when Lieutenant Chartrand remembers a conversation with the Camerlengo in which he asks about how God can be both omnipotent and benevolent. When he mentions children skateboarding, however, Chartrand understands that he is very "up with the times", so to speak.
Leonardo Vetra was a scientist that was working at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland. Before joining CERN, Leonardo was a priest and often attended Vittoria's orphanage. Leonardo was obsessed with Galileo Galilei's work and decided to join CERN in order to merge both religion and science together. When Leonardo got a request to work at CERN, he adopted Vittoria and both of them moved to Geneva, Switzerland.
Both Leonardo and Vittoria became physicists and were often involved in each other's work. Vittoria and Leonardo created the substance antimatter from nothing and Leonardo achieved what he set out to do by proving that something can be created from nothing. Leonardo took this new invention and method seriously and upgraded security into the lab by adding retina scanners for Vittoria and himself. Leonardo and Vittoria secretly mass-produced a large amount of antimatter and kept every CERN employee in the dark. When Leonardo was murdered by the Hassassin, he cut out Leonardo's eye and used it to steal the antimatter.
His character is replaced in the film adaptation with that of Silvano Bentivoglio, an elder and supposedly fatherly colleague to Vittoria, portrayed by Carmen Argenziano. He is seen wearing a reverend's collar during the process in which the antimatter is extracted, implying he is deeply religious, and is subsequently killed by shooting and having his eye cut out to access the antimatter.
Vittoria was an orphan who was described as being extremely curious. She became mutually attached to Leonardo Vetra when he visited her orphanage, as he would teach her things (like why rain fell) and she could make him laugh. When Leonardo announced his departure to work for CERN, he offered to adopt Vittoria so that they could stay together. Vittoria agreed to come with him and became a marine biologist and a physicist. Vittoria later gave an idea to her father to create antimatter. She's fluent in English, French, Italian, and Latin.
She features prominently in Angels & Demons as Robert Langdon's sidekick. Vittoria helps Robert locate kidnapped Cardinals throughout the course of the book. She is kidnapped by the Hassasin when they try to get to Cardinal Guidera, and the Hassasin brings her to his Illuminati hideout where he plans to rape her. She is brought to Castle Saint'Angelo by the Hassasin, but Robert finds her bound to a divan and gagged and the Hassasin with his knife to her navel when he appears to rescue her. Vittoria somehow manages to free herself from the ropes and uses a torch to burn one eye of the Hassasin, who falls from the balcony and dies. When Robert miraculously returns to Vatican City after the Antimatter detonation, she is overjoyed and they kiss passionately. At the end of the book Vittoria and Robert have intimate relations, but no details are given. In The Da Vinci Code, it is mentioned that Robert and Vittoria had planned to meet each other at a different romantic location every six months, but that Robert had not seen her since they departed from Rome. It is implied that the relationship did not last very long.
Ayelet Zurer portrays Vittoria in the film adaptation, where Vittoria's relationship with her father, as well as Leonardo himself, are omitted. She is busy at the Vatican undercroft examining the body of the deceased pope as Langdon and Olivetti rushes off to the Santa Maria della Vittoria and is subsequently not present, nor kidnapped, as in the novel. Her romantic relationship with Robert Langdon that follows the plot is purposely omitted as well, with the movie closing as Langdon and Vittoria are greeted by Cardinal Baggia, now elected Pope Luke I, thanking them for their services.