!Central Characters

[[folder:Sadako Yamamura]]
!!Sadako Yamamura
The central character, BigBad, and definitive StringyHairedGhostGirl. Sadako was a teenage girl with PsychicPowers, had a pretty miserable childhood, and was then chucked down a well to her death. Years on, her spirit [[HauntedTechnology haunts a videotape]] which contains a [[BrownNote curse that will kill whoever watches it within seven days]] unless they copy it and show it to someone else. Sadako's character, backstory, and powers vary between each different continuity, but all maintain her desire to get revenge on the world through the videotape, and by other means.
* AchillesHeel: Sadako's tape is both her strength and weakness. Her curse can only spread if someone copies the tape and shows it to someone else, though the deaths of those who do watch it may inspire others to investigate the tape - and that actually happens.
* AndIMustScream: We learn that Sadako survived in the well for seven days before dying. [[spoiler: In ''Ring 2'', Sadako is revealed to have survived in the well for a good three decades by sheer will, and only died a short time before Reiko found the tape.]]
* AlasPoorVillain: Usually invoked once per film, but most notably in ''Ring'', ''Ring 0'' and ''Sadako 3D''.
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:Sadako's entire plan was to be reborn, since she had a premonition of her return before she died and made the cursed videotape and subsequent Ring Virus to achieve her goal. She succeeds and proceeds to spread her curse through Asakawa's journal as a published novel, and then through a film adaptation.]]
** [[spoiler:Tries to achieve this in ''Sadako 3D 2'', impregnating Akane after invading her body, but Akane keeps Sadako at bay, allowing her child Nagi to be born. Takanori has to keep mother and daughter apart otherwise Sadako could escape.]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Sadako was a sweet girl and very kind when she was alive. Subverted in ''Ring 0'', [[spoiler: where Sadako had split into two girls due to her powers, one being innocent and kind but had no control of her powers, and a SuperpoweredEvilSide.]]
* BigBad: Causes the conflict with her cursed video tape.
* BlessedWithSuck: Her powers brought Sadako and her loved ones a lot of grief.
* BreakTheCutie: By the end of ''Ring 0'', she is well and truly broken.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: In the scariest way possible.
* BrownNote: The videotape, and later, the suicide online video introduced in ''Sadako 3D''.
* TheChessmaster: With her plan to spread the tape, and even further with her plan to resurrect herself in the novels and television series.
* CreepyChild: Sadako as a child in the film series. [[spoiler: Not to mention Sadako's evil twin in ''Ring 0''.]]
* DeathGlare: A literal one; it's how she kills her victims in the films.
* DivineParentage: In the films, it is heavily implied that Sadako's father is some kind of water deity, who gave Shizuko her psychic powers.
* DoomedByCanon: ''Ring 0'' from beginning to end is this for Sadako.
* DrivenToSuicide: Throws herself off a building in the ''Rasen'' television series after growing tired of being used by humanity.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Sadako's TV incarnation tries to get Mitsuo Ando's wife to stab him to death for causing their son's own demise, but it ends up leading to the couple to make peace when Ando apologises. Sadako is so shocked that she can't understand why they cast aside their hatred.
* {{Expy}}: Sadako is based on one Sadako Takahashi, a Japanese woman said to have developed psychic powers and was a test subject for Dr. Tomokichi Fukurai, who Dr. Ikuma is based on.
* TheFaceless: We never see Sadako's post-dead face. It is covered in hair most of the time and the only glimpse we get is a psychotic-looking eye, which is enough to kill her victims. In ''Ring 2'', Sadako's face is reconstructed and her ghost appears with the clay head sculpture for a face, and even then it looks like a deformed skull.
* FetusTerrible: [[spoiler: In ''Coffin the Sky'', Mai unwillingly gives birth to a reborn Sadako who grows at a phenomenal rate and can escape a roof ventilation shaft like an adult.]]
* {{Fingore}}: Sadako broke off her fingernails and tips while trying to get out of the well, so we always see her with nail-less fingers.
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: In-universe example. Sadako's iconic crawl out of the television to kill Ryuji. Apparently, some Japanese audiences were so terrified that they did not turn on their [=TV=]s for weeks.
* HauntedTechnology: Her cursed videotape.
** A recorded piece of audio acts as a precursor to the videotape in ''Lemonheart'' and ''Ring 0''.
** The ''Rasen'' television series put the video onto a CD.
** ''Sadako 3D'' saw the creation of a new suicide video that was online. Computers, laptops and phones were haunted in the sequel.
* HealingFactor: Shown to heal an old man's disability in ''Ring 0''. Sadly this is the only good thing she does with her powers.
* {{Hermaphrodite}}: Sadako is a hermaphrodite, meaning she is a woman but is genetically male and has a man's privates. She also has Androgen insensitivity syndrome, an intersex condition that means she cannot give birth. This revelation tragically leads her plunge down the well in the novels. In ''Spiral'', [[spoiler: the reborn Sadako gains the ability to give birth, making her, as she puts it, "A complete hermaphrodite."]]
* HopeSpot / YankTheDogsChain: [[spoiler: The ending of ''Ring 0'' - Sadako is thrown down the well by her dad, but suddenly awakens in a bed with her boyfriend Toyama standing over her, telling her its all a dream. Sadako reaches for him, then we jump cut to Sadako back in the well. Sadako realises what is going on and can only scream in despair as Dr. Ikuma seals her in.]]
* IAmAMonster: Pre-death in the film series.
** Becomes this in the television series.
* KillEmAll: One part of Sadako's vendetta against the world.
* LoveTriangle: Gets in one with Hiroshi Toyama and his girlfriend Etsuko in ''Ring 0''.
* MarionetteMotion: Walks in a pretty freaky manner as a ghost. Her unnatural style was performed by Sadako's first actress, kabuki star Rie Inou who walked backwards with the scene then reversed.
* MindRape: Does this a lot to others.
* NightmareFace: We only see a glimpse of her ghostly face in ''Ring'' but it is enough to kill someone.
** In ''Ring 2'', forensic specialists rebuild Sadako's face using a clay model for her burial. When they take photos of it, the flash produces a brief inhuman appearance. Sadako's ghost then appears with her clay head in the film's finale.
* ParentalAbandonment: Sadako's mother Shizuko commits suicide from depression.
* PrehensileHair: In ''Sadako 3D'', Sadako takes a page out of [[Film/TheGrudge Kayako's ]] book and uses her hair to attack others.
* PsychicPowers: Sadako pretty much has displayed the entire variety of powers listed on the trope's page. Her most notably power is psychography (or "nensha") which she used to create the videotape. [[spoiler: In the novels, she is able to alter the genetics of human biology, and mutate a smallpox strand with her DNA into a virus able to cause tumours, heart attacks, and impregnate women with said DNA to ensure that she can be resurrected, as well as create clones of the dead.]]
* RapeAsBackstory: In the novels, and all television adaptations. Sadako is sexually assaulted by Dr. Nagao, who discovers she is a hermaphrodite and chucks her down the well.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: [[spoiler: After fusing with her evil twin in ''Ring 0'', Sadako goes on a silent walk of death through the woods, killing all of her tormentors.]]
* ShesAManInJapan: See the hermaphrodite section above.
* SpookyPhotographs: A side-effect of watching the tape, victims have blurred faces.
* SealedEvilInACan: Thrown down a well to die, leading to her rise as a vengeful ghost.
* ShrinkingViolet: In ''Ring 0'', she is very shy and quiet, and only opens up to Toyama.
* StarCrossedLovers: Sadako and Toyama. Sadly DoomedByCanon.
* StartOfDarkness: Thrown down a well leads to her becoming a vengeful ghost.
* StringyHairedGhostGirl: TropeCodifier.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: [[spoiler: In the films, Sadako split into identical twins after murdering a man. One remained the size of a child and displays malicious or at least mischievous intent. They fuse into one by the end of ''Ring 0''.]]
* ThrownDownAWell: The best known example.
* TraumaCongaLine: Where to begin? In the novels, her mother loses her second child to illness, becomes depressed and eventually commits suicide, Sadako joins an acting troupe and finds love but a recording of Sadako and her boyfriend Toyama having sex kills six people, her father develops tuberculosis, and then she is raped by Jotaro Nagao who discovers she is a hermaphrodite and chucks her down a well to her death.
** In the films, she is abandoned at birth, kills a journalist, her mother commits suicide, her out-of-control powers lead to several deaths and she is the victim of a WitchHunt, murders all of her tormentors including her harmless boyfriend, is thrown down a well by her father, [[spoiler: and survives down there for thirty years]].
* TheVirus: The Ring Virus in the novels, a mutated strand of smallpox which can lead to heart attacks or impregnation in female victims (but only if they have sex while infected). The cursed videotape is intended to spread like a virus, being copied and passed onto another person to escape death.
* WindowLove: Confesses to Toyama through one in one of the loveliest moments of the film series.
* WomanInWhite: Commonly wears a white dress in most incarnations of the story.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Given enough reason too.
* XanatosGambit: Sadako's plan in the novels goes pretty much as she hoped, also backed up by the visions she had of the successful outcome.

[[folder:Kazuyuki Asakawa]]
!!Kazuyuki Asakawa
The protagonist of the first novel and ''Ring: The Final Chapter''. Kazuyuki is a Tokyo-based journalist who investigates the death of his niece Tomoko and three other teenagers, discovering the cursed videotape's existence and seeks to end its curse. At first he is a workaholic but when his wife and daughter watch the tape, he is determined to move mountains to save them. In ''The Final Chapter'', he is Yoichi's father.
* AdultFear: Kazuyuki is disturbed by the though of dying still presses on. It is when his wife and one-year old daughter watch the tape that he really freaks out.
* AuthorAppeal: One of the driving forces behind Asakawa's character in the novel is his relationship with his daughter. The author is a leading advocate of stronger father/daughter relationships in Japanese society.
* BadassNormal: Very determined to solve the mystery of the videotape, particularly when his wife and daughter watch it.
* ChekhovsGun: The copy of the tape Kazuyuki made for Ryuji. He tries to use it to save his family.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: In ''The Final Chapter''.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler: After his family watch the tape, Ryuji dies and realising the enormity of the virus' power, and when Sadako manipulates him into writing the journal to spread the virus.]]
* IntrepidReporter: Goes to great lengths to uncover the truth behind the videotape.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler: Kazuyuki finds Sadako's body and it gives it to her family and everything looks fine. That is until Ryuji dies of a heart attack, revealing the Ring Virus is still active and can only be stopped by copying the tape. In ''Spiral'', it is revealed Kazuyuki wrote a journal on his investigation, thought manipulated by Sadako into doing, thus having a secondary container to spread the virus with. By the end of the novel, it has been adapted into a novel by Kazuyuki's brother, and an eventual film.]]
* PapaWolf: Comes off as a bit of a reluctant parent, finding his daughter Yoko's constant crying to be a bother. However, as soon as he learns his family have voiced the videotape, his true devotion to his daughter comes out.
** Also a good single parent to Yoichi in the TV series.
* {{Salaryman}}: A bit focused on his work and dislikes certain aspects of being a father.
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: [[spoiler: Kazuyuki and his family are abruptly caught in a car crash a few days after the events of the first novel. His wife and daughter die, though it is later revealed they may have died before the crash. Kazuyuki ends up in a coma for a month and eventually dies himself.]]
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: As part of Sadako's plan to spread the tape.

[[folder:Ryuji Takayama]]
!!Ryuji Takayama
An associate of Kazuyuki. A mathematician, philosophy university teacher, and former medical student, Ryuji is an eccentric but intelligent man who aids Kazuyuki in investigating the origins of the cursed videotape. His character alters between different continuities. In the film series, he is Reiko Asakawa's ex-husband and Yoichi's father, being calm, thoughtful but just as cognitive as his novel counterpart, and has PsychicPowers. In ''Ring: The Final Chapter'', he is a calm but creepy individual who has to care for his half-sister Mai Takano.
* TheAce: Very smart and a genius in intuition, mathematics, and medicine.
* AxCrazy: His TV counterpart is, particularly if anyone messes with Mai.
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler: After dying, Ryuji is resurrected by Sadako and reappears as his adult self a few months after Ando makes his deal with Sadako. In ''Loop'', it is revealed protagonist Kaoru Futami is the resurrected Ryuji. Extracted from the Loop computer system as a baby, he was raised as a normal person until the Metastatic Human Cancer infects his father, prompting him to return to Loop to counterattact the Ring Virus, the cancer's real form.]]
* BadassBeard: Sports one in the films.
* BatDeduction: Realises the tape must be copied to escape the curse.
* CelibateEccentricGenius: To an extent. Ryuji has a relationship of sorts with his assistant/student Mai, and claims to have raped three women, though he has no proof of it other than stories.
* CoolTeacher: Mai is affectionate towards him because of his kindness and encouragement.
* CloudCuckoolander: His novel counterpart is pretty nuts.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: Dies of a heart attack in ''Ring'' after failing to copy the tape. Also dies in all other incarnations of the story, most iconically in the film where Sadako crawls out of his TV and kills him via a DeathGlare.]]
* LegacyCharacter: [[spoiler: In the TV series, Ryuji is Sadako's child and is meant to spread her virus.]]
* MentorOccupationalHazard: [[spoiler: Meets his end at the end of the novel by the virus, though in the film it is directly by Sadako's hand.]]
* PapaWolf: To Yoichi, films only.
* ThePhilosopher: Prone to philosophising about life in the novels, along with his own apparent crimes as a rapist.
* PsychicLink: His TV incarnation has one with Mai. Kind of. [[spoiler: He carries Sadako's virus, and Mai is the key to unleashing it, and she will always know where he is.]]
* PsychicPowers: Has a form of ESP in the films, able to sense spirits or bad omens.
* PunchClockHero: Claims to have raped several girls in the books.
* SacrificialLion: Killed by the curse to prove it hasn't stopped.
* TheStoic: Very calm and focused in the films and only gets riled up if things get desperate. His counterpart is the ''Ring'' television series is pretty stoic too, albeit in a creepy term.
* StrawNihilist: Makes quips about wanting the world to end. [[spoiler: Ends up playing a part in its "evolution" by helping spread Sadako's virus.]]
* WorkingWithTheEx: He works with his ex-wife Reiko in the film to solve the videotape's mystery. They get on very well, using honorifics, with plenty of ShipTease accompanying them.

[[folder:Mai Takano]]
!!Mai Takano
Ryuji's student and possible girlfriend. She has a major expansion in ''Spiral'', being an emotional woman but very fond of Ryuji. Experiences a pretty horrible AndIMustScream moment in the novels. She is the main protagonist of ''Ring 2''. In ''Ring: The Final Chapter'', she is a troubled girl who is Ryuji's half-sister.
* ADeathInTheLimelight: The jist of ''Coffin in the Sky''.
* AndIMustScream: [[spoiler: Used by Sadako as an incubator for her resurrection. She is trapped in the ventilation shaft on her apartment roof, unable to move as Sadako gives birth to herself and leaves Mai to die.]]
* AscendedExtra: Has a relatively minor role in the first novel and film, but gets a major boost to a protagonist in the sequels.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler: After finding Ryuji's corpse.]]
* LivingMacGuffin: [[spoiler: In ''Ring: The Final Chapter'', Mai carries both the cure for the curse in her blood but also the trigger that activates it.]]
* MysteriousInformant: Mai becomes this in the ''Rasen'' TV series.
* MysticalPregnancy: [[spoiler: Sadako impregnates her with herself.]]
* PromotionToParent: [[spoiler: Becomes Yoichi's guardian in ''Ring 2'' after his parents both die.]]
* PsychicLink: Shares one with Ryuji in ''Ring: The Final Chapter''.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Survives the film series.

[[folder:Mitsuo Ando]]
!!Mitsuo Ando
The protagonist of ''Spiral'' (referred to as ''Rasen'' in adaptations), Mitsuo Ando is a lonely man grieving his son's death, traumatized by the accident and blaming himself for it and for his wife's emotional condition. Because of that he lost the desire to live, he has suicidal tendencies, but is not brave enough to commit suicide. He is also very intelligent and curious, and a very good person who wants to do the right thing, but is easily tempted by beautiful women.
* AdultFear: The death of his son.
* ClassicalAntiHero: Ando works as a pathologist, his son drowned, and hates himself for not minding Takanori properly.
* CoolTeacher: His counterpart in the ''Rasen'' series.
* TheCoroner: Performs the autopsy on Ryuji's corpse, kicking off ''Spiral'''s story.
* DealWithTheDevil: [[spoiler: Ando agrees to spread Sadako's virus in exchange for resurrecting Takanori. He rejects the offer twice in the TV series, leading Takanori's death a second time, and then his own.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: Tried this but was too afraid to.
* GuiltComplex: For Takanori's death. Explored on a deeper level in the TV series, including the relationship with his hosptialised wife.
* KilledOffForReal: TV only. [[spoiler: Performs a HeroicSacrifice to prevent the spreading of the cursed video. However, he is revived by his loved ones as a clone, but expires quickly after due to the short lifespan of Sadako's clones without medication.]]
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: [[spoiler: Has sex with Mai, leading to the resurrection of Sadako, who kills Mai while being reborn.]]

[[folder:Kaoru Futami]]
!!Kaoru Futami
A 20-year old medical student, Kaoru is protagonist of ''Loop''. An intelligent man, Kaoru strives to find a cure for the Metastatic Human Virus that has plagued humanity for twenty years, including his father. His investigation into the cancer leads to him to the Loop computer project, discovering much about the virus and his own existence.
* AmateurSleuth: Has no background as a detective, but is bright enough to investigate the M.H.V.
* CloneJesus: [[spoiler: The resurrected Ryuji Takayama. As a baby, he was extracted form the Loop program and raised in the real world, but brought the Ring Virus with him, where it mutated into the Metastatic Human Virus cancer.]]
* TheHero: Of ''Loop''.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Willingly dies to stop the Metastatic Human Virus in the real world and is reborn in the Loop world as the revived Ryuji.]]
* TheMedic: Works as a medical student.
* ThePhilosopher: Enjoys philosphising. It makes a lot of sense [[spoiler: considering he is revealed to be the reborn Ryuji.]]

!Supporting Characters
[[folder:Kenzo Yoshino]]
!!Kenzo Yoshino
A journalist friend of Kazuyuki, Yoshino could be considered the tritagonist of the first novel. Working in the Yokosuka city hall press club, Yoshino performs secondary tasks for Kazuyuki to find information of Sadako's past. In ''Ring: The Final Chapter'', Yoshino becomes Akiko Yoshino, Kazuyuki's subordinate, a ShrinkingViolet but very loyal to her superior.
* ADayInTheLimelight: Has his own chapters in ''Ring'' and is a supporting player in ''Lemonheart''.
* CuriosityIsACrapshoot: Very wary around urban legends but investigates Sadako's past on Kazuyuki's request, but is kept in the dark about some of the more darker elements of his friend's investigation. Ends up being one of the few characters to escape Sadako's wrath in one piece.
* DemotedToExtra: Has one scene cameo in the 1998 film, but gained a supporting role in the retconned ''Rasen'' film.
* FireForgedFriends: With Kazuyuki.
* GenderFlip: In ''Ring: The Final Chapter''.
* TheHeart: Akiko for Kazuyuki.
* IntrepidReporter: Goes to great lengths to help Kazuyuki learn of Sadako's fate.
* ShipTease: Akiko and Kazuyuki. Akiko often serves as a motherly figure for Yoichi.
* ShrinkingViolet: Akiko, though she becomes more confident and open.

A supporting character in ''Spiral''. Miyashita is Mitsuo Ando's co-worker at the pathology department and also his friend. He is a smart person, down to Earth, scientifically oriented and disbelieves in the paranormal. In the TV series, Miyashita is replaced by a female character Rieko Miyashita. Rieko is a very hardworking microbiologist, scientifically oriented, and a loyal friend to Asakawa.
* AgentScully: Disbelieves in the curse and the paranormal until he is dragged into it himself.
* TheCoroner: Works as a coroner alongside Ando.
* GenderFlip: In the TV series.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Ando.
* TheMedic: Rieko is a microbiologist but knows how to treat people too.
* NecessaryEvil: [[spoiler: Aids Ando is spreading the Ring Virus in order to save his friend and himself after handling Asakawa's cursed journal.]]

[[folder:Tomoko Oishi & Her Friends]]
!!Tomoko Oishi, Shuichi Iwata, Haruko Tsuji, and Takehiko Nomi
Four high school students who go on a trip to the Izu Pacific Land Resort. There, they stumble across Sadako's curse, which is recorded onto a videotape and they watch it. A week later, the four all die of heart attacks, kicking off Asakawa's investigation.
* CameBackWrong: In the film, Tomoko comes back as an unseen ghost and allegedly told Yoichi to watch the cursed videotape. Ryuji theorises she became Sadako's minion ("She isn't Tomoko anymore.")
* DecoyProtagonist: Tomoko is the focus of ''Ring'''s first chapter.
* DontGoInTheWoods: Subverted. Tomoko and friends go to a relatively popular camp ground. It is inside their cabin where they find terror.
* InnocentBystander: Find and watch the videotape by happenstance and die unaware of the rules to escape death.
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: All four of them.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: In the film, Tomoko's ghost is manipulated by Sadako into convincing Yoichi to watch the tape. As Ryuji puts it, "She isn't Tomoko anymore."
* OutWithABang: Tsuji and Nomi were parking when they both died.
* PeekABooCorpse: In the film, Tomoko's mother Yoshimi found her body in her bedroom corpse, her face frozen in a scream. Tsuji's corpse also springs out of a locked car when police try to get her out.
* SacrificialLamb: Killed off to kick off the plot.
* TheirFirstTime: Tomoko and Iwata.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: They record the cursed videotape and are Sadako's first victims.
* VictimOfTheWeek: A fitting trope, since they die a week after watching the tape.

[[folder:Shizuko Yamamura]]
!!Shizuko Yamamura
Sadako's mother. Gaining PsychicPowers via supernatural means, Shizuko had an affair with Heihachiro Ikuma and gave birth to Sadako. After a botched public demonstration of her powers, Shizuko became depressed and eventually was DrivenToSuicide.
* BlessedWithSuck: Her powers gave her severe headaches, couldn't be proven to exist in front of a crowd of skeptical reporters and ultimately led to her lover's career being ruined and Shizuko left to return to her home with their daughter.
* BrokenBird: Didn't have the easiest of lives. Dead son, superpowered daughter, and humiliated by the press lead to her suicide. Implied in ''Ring 0'' that she also went nuts because her daughter's powers exceeded her own.
* DisastrousDemonstration: Her attempt to display her powers to the public and the press failed. Made worse in the films, where a journalist accused her of faking her powers, only to be killed by an angry Sadako. This has severe consequences for Sadako in ''Ring 0''.
* DrivenToSuicide: Grew depressed and threw herself into a volcano. In the novels, it was due to the botched public demonstration of her powers and the loss of her second child. [[spoiler: The films had her go mad after Sadako killed a man by sheer will and then split into two twins.]]
* {{Expy}}: Shizuko is based on Chizuko Mifune, a woman who claimed to have foresight. Dr. Tomokichi Fukurai, a university psychology professor, studied her and exposed her to the public. She was branded a fraud, which shook Chizuko so much that she committed suicide via poison.
* KarmicDeath: Shizuko predicts that Mount Mihara will erupt on a specific date. She jumps in into the volcano on the day it erupts.
* MirrorScare: The film's cursed videotape has Shizuko brushing her hair in front of a mirror, which Sadako telekinetically moves around as a prank. In ''Ring 2'', Mai witnesses a live demonstration of this, before Shizuko acknowledges her presence and gives her a haunting DeathGlare before the mirror explodes.
* MissingMom: For Sadako after her suicide.
* ParentalAbandonment: Kills herself and abandons Sadako in the process.
* PosthumousCharacter: Been dead for at least thirty years by the time the story kicks off. [[spoiler: Averted in the TV series.]]
* PsychicPowers: Gains the power of foresight after picking up a statue of Japanese figure of folklore En no Ozuno. In the films, it is implied Shizuko had her powers at birth, but gave birth to Sadako through paranormal means.
* SanitySlippage: Spends hours attending to her hair in front of a mirror, looking quite mad.

[[folder:Doctor Heihachiro Ikuma]]
!!Heihachiro Ikuma
Sadako's father. He was a psychology professor at Tokyo University, having an affair with Shizuko after learning of her powers and eventually fathered Sadako. In the films, he is ultimately responsible for chucking Sadako down the well.
* DeadlyDoctor: Subverted. [[spoiler: In ''Ring 0'', he cared for the Sadako twins, but drugged the evil one and kept her locked away. The good twin was allowed to live a normal life but her powers caused her to be the victim of a WitchHunt. After the twins reunite and kill numerous people, Dr. Ikuma realises he must protect the world from Sadako and throws her down a well, much to his regret.]]
* DisastrousDemonstration: Arranged Shizuko's public demonstration of her powers. It didn't go very well, leading to her suicide.
* {{Expy}}: Dr. Ikuma is based on Dr. Fukurai, a real life DeadlyDoctor, who tried to prove the existence of psychic powers. It took the deaths of two women for him to call it quits.
* MeditatingUnderAWaterfall: Sat under waterfalls to try to gain psychic powers but it only gave him tuberculosis.
* NecessaryEvil: Threw Sadako down the well in the film canon to prevent her from killing others.
* OffingTheOfspring: With great reluctance, he threw his own daughter down the family well to stop her evil from hurting others.
* PapaWolf: To Sadako, but tragically subverted in ''Ring 0''.
* PosthumousCharacter: Died of tuberculosis in the novels, and is confirmed dead in the films.
* TheProfessor: Was a professor in Tokyo University.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: His choice in casting Sadako down the well.
* YourCheatingHeart: Had an affair with Shizuko behind his wife's back. Shizuko ended the affair to avert scandal, but Ikuma divorced his wife anyway.

[[folder:Takashi Yamamura]]
!!Takashi Yamamura
Shizuko's cousin and Sadako's uncle. A fisherman and inkeeper living on Oshima, Takashi has a minor role in the novels. In the films, he was the instigator of Sadako's doom, and became a bitter, guilt-ridden man in his later years.
* AscendedExtra: Films only. In the novel, he has a minor role and cared for Sadako. In the films, he is a bitter old man who describes her as the devil, when it was his opportunistic nature that damned his family.
* TheAtoner: Expresses great regret for what happened to Shizuko and Sadako, sending the latter's body out to sea in an attempt to appease her spirit.
* CharacterDevelopment: Takashi is haunted by the memory of Sadako, but also has great guilt for playing a part in the fates of her and Shizuko. Upon being forced to admit Sadako existed, he ends up taking Reiko and Ryuji to the mainland to appease Sadako. In the second film, when he learns Sadako was alive in the well for years, he takes possession of her body and performs a burial at sea.
* DrivenToSuicide: Drowns himself in ''Ring 2'' to try to stop Sadako.
** Commits suicide in ''Ring: The Final Chapter'' or at least implied when Kazuyuki finds a letter from him stating he has taken Shizuko's body to the volcano and won't be seen again.
* GrumpyBear: Not the most approachable person, but with good reason.
* EvilUncle: By no means evil, but he thought Sadako was a monster.
* HeroicSacrifice: Takashi sacrifices himself to Sadako to end her rage, drowning in a swimming pool.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Attempts to stop his niece's wrath by sacrificing himself for causing her such pain.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Pretends not to know Sadako, mainly because of how horrifying she was to Takashi.
* TearsOfRemorse: In ''Ring: Kanzenban'', Takashi cries when Kazuyuki hands him Sadako's corpse.
* TraumaInn: His home has seen a lot of drama over the years like Shizuko's breakdown, and ''Ring 2'''s third act takes place there.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Films only. Takashi suggested putting Shizuko on display to the press, kicking off the chain of events that led to Sadako's imprisonment in the well.

!Characters Introduced in the "Ring Trilogy"
[[folder:Reiko Asakawa]]
!!Reiko Asakawa
The female equivalent for Kazuyuki, Reiko fulfils the same role as he does in ''Ring'', investigating rumours of a cursed videotape following the death of her niece Tomoko. A modern Japanese career woman, she often leaves her son Yoichi home alone, and is Ryuji's ex-wife.
* AdultFear: When Yoichi watches the tape, causing Reiko's true MamaBear to emerge, and she grows increasingly determined and desperate to find a way to save him.
* AwesomenessByAnalysis: Very obsverant and notices small details in things, which helps in her job as a journalist and investigating the cursed videotape.
* BadassNormal: Willing to go to great lengths to protect her son.
* BrokenBird: By the second film, three dead family members and her son's powers boosted by Sadako has made her a very different woman then she was in the first.
* ChekhovsGun: The copy of the tape she makes for Ryuji.
* GenderFlip: The female equivalent of Kazuyuki.
* HeroicBSOD: In an ongoing state of this trope in ''Ring 2'' following the deaths of Ryuji and her father.
* HotScoop: Reiko's actress Nanako Matsushima is quite the looker.
* IntrepidReporter: Pursues the rumours of a cursed videotape at first as a simple news piece, but it becomes personal when Reiko finds a connection to Tomoko's death.
* LuridTalesOfDoom: The rumours of the cursed videotape are this to Reiko but she still handles it in a professional manner. Turns out the rumours are real.
* MamaBear: Cares very deeply for Yoichi, and also shows motherly concern towards Sadako.
* MarriedToTheJob: Type 1. Reiko is very focused on her job, often leaving Yoichi alone to fend for herself. It has shades of parental neglect at times. In one scene, Reiko answers a call from Yoichi while researching newspapers with Ryuji and tells Yoichi he will be fine alone for a little while longer before hanging up. Ryuji, who has no role in his son's life, looks visibly uncomfortable with his ex's actions. He promptly tells her to spend some time with Yoichi whilst she can.
* NecessaryEvil: Forced to ask her father to watch the tape in order to save Yoichi's life.
* TheStoic: Becomes this in ''Ring 2'', completely altering her appearance too, going from lively and curious to reserved and grouchy.
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: [[spoiler: Killed in both sequels. In the retconned ''Rasen'', she dies off-screen in a car crash. In ''Ring 2'', Reiko is hit by a truck.]]
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: As part of Sadako's plan to spread the tape.
* WorkingWithTheEx: Teams up with Ryuji to investigate the videotape. Both have a very good relationship despite being divorced, and there is still some love between them. Reiko even tells a policeman that she is Ryuji's wife, though that was to get into his apartment.

[[folder:Yoichi Asakawa]]
!!Yoichi Asakawa
Son of Reiko and Ryuji, Yoichi is young and innocent but experiences a lot of hardships in his life. He possesses PsychicPowers and comes off as a little creepy.
* BreakTheCutie: Suffers quite a lot, losing four family members to Sadako's wrath, but comes out of it surprisingly well.
* CannotTellALie: Is very honest and always tells the truth, even if he is cryptic about it. He knows falling into the well will lead to his and Mai's escape from Sadako.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Definitely the most purehearted of characters in the film series until Nagi comes along.
* CreepyChild: Yoichi is innocent through and through, but there something a little creepy about him and how he silently reacts to everything even when his own family members are dying.
* CuteMute: Doesn't talk much but is quite adorable.
* DemonicPossession: Subverted. Implied to be haunted by Sadako's anger, boosting his powers,
* PsychicPowers: Presumably inherited from his father, Yoichi is able to sense supernatural auras and talk to ghosts. In ''Ring 2'', his powers are boosted by Sadako, allowing him to project his voice through other people, astral projection, telepathy, and even pull a PsychicStrangle on a police officer. The condition of his powers are unknown after Ryuji's ghost absorbs his anger and grief.
* TranquilFury: Expresses this [[spoiler: after Reiko is killed by a truck, taking his fury out on the police officer who played a hand in her death but is calmed down by Mai.]]

[[folder:Koichi Asakawa]]
!!Koichi Asakawa
Reiko's elderly father who has a close relationship with his grandson Yoichi.
* BadassGrandpa: Agrees to watch the cursed videotape to save Yoichi and performs a HeroicSacrifice to ensure Sadako can no longer harm others.
* CoolOldGuy: Very spry for his age and very selfless.
* FishingForSole: Has trouble catching fish when Yoichi and Reiko visit him.
* HeroicSacrifice: Does not copy the video but instead destroyed it to stop Sadako. Becomes a SenselessSacrifice when Koichi's ghost tells Reiko that Yoichi has been possessed by Sadako.
* JacobMarleyApparel: Wearing the clothes he died in.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Appears as a ghost when Reiko dies, trapped in a monochromatic version of a Tokyo street alongside Sadako's other victims.
* PapaWolf: To his children and grandchildren, even willing to give his life for Yoichi.

[[folder:Masami Kurahashi]]
!!Masami Kurahashi
Tomoko's best friend who tells her the rumours of the cursed videotape. It turns out to be true and Masami witnesses Tomoko's death, driving her mad and being institutionalised.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Tomoko.
* InnocentBystander / MauveShirt: Merely a witness to Sadako's first kill, Masami is influenced by her powers and develops thoughtography powers. She plays a supporting role in ''Ring 2'', being used as a mouthpiece by Yoichi to contact Mai.
* PlayingWithSyringes: Masami is used as a test subject by Dr. Kawajiri to remove Sadako's psychic energy and transfer it to a blank videotape. It works at first only for Masami to drop dead suddenly.
* ThePollyanna: Comes off as this in the first film until Tomoko's death. Then she becomes a BrokenBird.
* PsychicPowers: Develops thoughtography which causes trouble for her and others. Dr. Kawajiri attempts to exorcise her powers but it leads to her death.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: When Masami approaches a television in the hospital, it nearly summons Sadako, causing all of the mental patients present to freak out.

An intern working alongside Reiko. He has a minor role in the first film but becomes an AscendedExtra in the sequel, teaming up with Mai to find Reiko, but his own curiosity about the videotape leads him to AFateWorseThanDeath.
* AFateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler: Ends up in psychiatric care with Kanae's laughing ghost tormenting him.]]
* AscendedExtra: Only has two scenes in ''Ring'', but becomes a supporting protagonist for the first half of the sequel.
* AssholeVictim: His actions make him this.
* DirtyCoward: In ''Ring 2'', he agrees to watch the videotape to save Kanae's life but turns coward and locks his copy in his draw. This comes back to bite him in the rear.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Okazaki's cowardice proves to be his undoing when he fails to keep his promise and watch the tape. Kanae comes back from the dead as a ghost to torment him forever.]]
* IGaveMyWord: Promised Kanae he would watch the videotape for her sake. He doesn't.
* IntrepidReporter: A milder version than Reiko, and when it gets too much for him, he chickens out.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Chickening out of watching a copy of the videotape leads to Kanae's death. [[spoiler:He is then haunted by her ghost and is institutionalised.]]
* SequelHook: His copy of tape is still locked in his office desk.

!!Kanae Sawaguchi
A teenage student who is curious about the cursed videotape, meeting Okazaki and obtains a copy for him, [[CuriosityKilledTheCast only to watch it first]].
* CameBackWrong: [[spoiler: Kanae dies by Sadako's hand, but her wrath against Okazaki causes her to return as a laughing StringyHairedGhostGirl to torment Okazaki.]]
* CuriosityKilledTheCast: Kanae's curiosity gets the better of her and she watches the videotape. Okazaki promises to watch the copy, only to chicken out, leading to Kanae's death.
* InnocentBystander: The most blatant example in the series alongside Tomoko and Yoichi.
* NightmareFace: Her face after she dies. [[spoiler: And her face as a ghost.]]
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Of high school age, but foolish enough to watch the cursed videotape.
* RedShirt: Just another victim of the tape. [[spoiler: Though in this case, she comes back as a vengeful ghost.]]

[[folder:Dr. Kawajiri]]
!!Ishi Kawajiri
A parapsychologist treating Masami after her hospitalisation, Dr. Kawajiri believes the psychic energy created from the videotape can be neutralised via an energy transfer and would like to prove his theories. He is old friends with Ryuji.
* AgentScully: Refuses to believe in the existence of ghosts or the afterlife, despite overwhelming evidence they exist. Ironically, when they do show up, he goes crazy and commits suicide.
* EnergyAbsorption: The intended purpose of his experiments, to absorb psychic energy and make it harmless by exposing it to a neutralising component.
* LabcoatOfScienceAndMedicine: He wears it throughout the film.
* MadScientist: Believed to be this by his colleagues at the university. Turns out he might be judging by his arrogant need to prove his theories work.
* PlayingWithSyringes: His methods to remove the psychic energy from Masami and Yoichi falls into this trope even though Kawajiri's intentions are good. Both are [[StrappedToAnOperatingTable strapped to chairs]] and asked to feed their energy through a monitor into a secondary container (i.e. a blank videotape and swimming pool). Masami's test ends with her death, so Dr. Kawajiri introduces water as a neutralising factor for Sadako's energy. That doesn't go very well either.
* PsychoPsychologist: Becomes this in his second experiment, driven mad by what he sees and commits suicide by leaping into a swimming pool with electrical equipment.

[[folder:Keiji Omuta]]
!!Keiji Omuta
A police officer investigating the deaths of Ryuji and Reiko's father.
* AgentScully: He has a hard time believing in the powers of Shizuko and Sadako, and calls Yoichi a monster after being struck by a psychic attack.
* ByTheBookCop: Just an ordinary cop who is horrified by the supernatural horrors around him.
* HelloAgainOfficer: A subverted non-funny one where Mai meets Omuta at the hospital after his previous visit to her apartment to discuss Ryuji's death.
* TheInspector: Investigating the mysterious deaths of Ryuji and Reiko's father, leading him into the plot of ''Ring 2''.
* PsychicStrangle: Choked telepathically by Yoichi after [[spoiler: Reiko is hit by a truck.]]
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: A relatively fair cop but he has his limits, forcing Mai to reveal where Reiko and Yoichi are hiding when Kanae turns up dead. He also separates Reiko and Yoichi to interview the former, only to invoke Yoichi's psychic wrath.
* YouMonster: Subverted. Omuta calls Yoichi a monster after witnessing his psychic powers. Reiko, realising Yoichi could end up like Sadako, flees with him.

[[folder:Akiko Miyaji]]
!!Akiko Miyaji
The antagonist of ''Ring 0'', Akiko is a journalist tracking down Sadako to avenge her husband, the journalist who Sadako murdered during her mother's fateful press demonstration.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Acts polite and friendly but just BeneathTheMask is her true determined, manipulation self. She has traits of a WellIntentionedExtremist, believing Sadako is a monster who should be destroyed.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Her desire to avenge her dead husband is her driving motivation and nothing will stop her.
* DrivenToSuicide: Shoots herself rather than be killed by Sadako.
* IntrepidReporter: Uses this is a guise to shroud her intent of revenge.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Unintentionally reunites the twin Sadakos, who become one, and go on their own RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* OhCrap: Has one when she realises she has united the two Sadakos as one and coming for her.
* TheStoic: Remains calm and controlled when manipulating others and watching Sadako suffer. When Sadako is beaten to death, she calmly retorts "I wanted to do that."
* WitchHunt: Invokes one after the theatre troupe beats the good Sadako to death, and leads them to Dr. Ikuma's house to kill the evil twin.

[[folder:The Towel Man]]
!!Towel Man
An engimatic character who appears on the cursed videotape, Towel Man wears a cloth over his face and points enigmatically offscreen. He materialises during ''Ring'', pointing out things of significance to Reiko.
* EnigmaticMinion: His purpose seems to be foreshadowing or pointing out things to those who have watched the tape. He alerts Reiko to Yoichi watching the tape, and then again to Ryuji's copy.
* TheFaceless: Wears a cloth or towel, hiding his face. There is speculation he is either Ryuji Takayama (since he wears Ryuji's clothes) or Hiroshi Toyama, considering Sadako enslaves the ghosts of her victims.
* RuleOfSymbolism: Believed to represent Sadako's biological father when he appears in ''Ring 0''.

!Characters Introduced in ''Sadako 3D''
[[folder:Akane Ayukawa]]
!!Akane Ayukawa
The protagonist of ''Sadako 3D'', a teacher who possesses PsychicPowers, Akane encounters Sadako after hearing of a video online that drives viewers to commit suicide.
* CoolTeacher: Very popular among her students and motherly towards them.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: As a child, she saved fellow students from a knife-wielding psychopath with her powers but she was [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer ousted by the others]] as a result. She contemplated suicide until saved by Takanori, the only person grateful for saving him.
* DemonicPossession: Becomes a target for Sadako to possess.
* DrivenToSuicide: Nearly throws herself off as a roof as a child, but is convinced by Takanori to keep living.
* {{Expy}}: Of Reiko in terms of character role, but also of Sadako had she been loved rather than hated.
* HotTeacher: Satomi Ishihara, Akane's actress, is quite pretty.
* MakeMeWannaShout: The basis of her PsychicPowers, Akane can release a sonic scream when terrified that is able to repel Sadako.
* MamaBear: Towards her students and her own daughter Nagi.
* NotSoDifferent: Sadako believes she and Akane are very similar due to their powers and being rejected from society. Akane denies this, having never used her powers to harm others or get revenge on the world. Not that this stops Sadako from possessing her.
* PosthumousCharacter: [[spoiler: Takanori claims she died giving birth to Nagi. This is a lie, Akane is actually in a comatose state beneath a hospital, forced into this to prevent Sadako from escaping her body.]]
* ScreamingWoman: Does a lot of screaming in the movie, though it helps she has a sonic scream as a psychic ability.
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: [[spoiler: Said to have died during childbirth but actually alive. Akane is then actually killed by a crazed policeman.]]

[[folder:Takanori Ando]]
!!Takanori Ando
Akane's boyfriend who is a graphics designer. He is the protagonist of the fifth novel ''S'', and is the son of Mitsuo Ando.
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler: In the books, he is the resurrected child of Mitsuo Ando from ''Spiral''.]]
* BadassNormal: Stops Akane from killing herself as a child, rescues her from Sadako, and takes a severe beating in ''Sadako 3D 2'' to protect his daughter Nagi.
* DisappearedDad: To Nagi in ''Sadako 3D 2''. The film makes it look like he resents her for Akane's "death", though it turns out to be quite the opposite.
* DistressedDude: Taken prisoner by Sadako to lure Akane.
* PapaWolf: Becomes this for Nagi.
* UnderstandingBoyfriend: Completely okay with Akane's powers. As a child, she rescued fellow students from a psychopath but he was the only one who was grateful, stopping Akane from commiting suicide. He becomes her SecretKeeper.

[[folder:Fuko Ando]]
!!Fuko Ando
The protagonist of ''Sadako 3D 2''. Takanori's younger sister who becomes the guardian of his daughter Nagi.
* BadassNormal: Risks life and limb to protect Nagi.
* BathSuicide: Her mother died from this.
* BreakTheCutie: A bit of a fragile flower, which stems from witnessing her body committing a BathSuicide. She goes through a lot of trauma in the film but all to protect Nagi.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler: When Akane is shot dead before Nagi's eyes.]]
* MamaBear: Perhaps the best motherly character in the entire franchise. She is extremely dedicated to caring for Nagi despite her niece's grumpy attitude and anti-social demeanour. While she is admittedly afraid of Nagi, she still sticks by her.
* ParentalSubstitute: To Nagi.
* ThePowerOfLove: Rescues Nagi from Sadako using this trope.
* PromotedToParent: She is the parental guardian of Nagi since her brother doesn't want to care for her.

[[folder:Nagi Ando]]
!!Nagi Ando
The daughter of Akane and Takanori introduced in ''Sadako 3D 2''. She comes off as a quiet CreepyChild who always seems to be around when someone dies. Meant to serve as a host for Sadako to be reborn in, but her parents had other ideas.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Nagi is actually innocent, never killing anyone, and is sad that everyone is scared of her.
* CreepyChild: Nagi is very quiet and stares a lot. She resembles a young Sadako.
* DemonicPossession: Meant to be a host for a reborn Sadako, but her mother averted that.
* EnfanteTerrible: Believed to be by those around her since she is always around people who die or commit suicide. Turns out she is guiltless in the whole thing.
* FourIsDeath: Nagi is around four to five years old, and can see how people will die.
* NightmareFuelColoringBook: Nagi draws nightmarish drawings of those she sees will die, usually on black card with very sharp pens.
* PsychicPowers: Presumably inherited from Akane and possible Sadako, Nagi is able to see how a person will die.

[[folder:Seiji Kashiwada]]
!!Seiji Kashiwada
The main antagonist of ''Sadako 3D''. An internet artist who posts a video online showing his suicide. He is actually in league with Sadako, intending to resurrect her and get his own personal revenge on the world. In the novel ''S'', Kashiwada is another alias for Ryuji Takayama.
* AffablyEvil: Very charismatic and polite to Fuko when she visits him in prison.
* BrownNote: His suicide video.
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler: He is hung at the end of ''Sadako 3D 2''.]]
* TheChessmaster: His goal is to resurrect Sadako, spreading his cursed suicide video online to find a host for his undead friend. The plan expands to resurrecting her anew as a baby, which was Nagi's purpose until Akane intervened. [[spoiler: However, it seems Kashiwada left other roads for Sadako to return as implied at the end of ''Sadako 3D 2'', with other girls being possessed or actually being Sadako.]]
* TheDragon: To Sadako.
* DrivenToSuicide: He records his apparent suicide live, but it turns out to be fake, actually a new weapon for Sadako to use for her resurrection.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Of the Japanese male variety.
* FreudianExcuse: His career as an artist was destroyed by plagarism accusations. This was enough for him to team up with Sadako.
* LackOfEmpathy: Shows not a twinge of guilt for killing his victims.
* MadArtist: As evidenced by what hides behind his apartment's wallpaper.
* ManInWhite: Wears a distinctive white suit in his suicide video.
* PsychoSupporter: His desire for revenge led him to team up with Sadako, though he seems to be pretty nutty and fanboyish to support her regardless.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: His apartment seems normal until Detective Koiso discovers the wallpaper is made of sleeping moths, and the walls are covered in drawings and scribbles about Sadako's resurrection.
* SerialKiller: Murdered several woman and dressed them up to resemble Sadako, before chucking them down the well as offerings and potential hosts to Sadako.
* SmallRoleBigImpact: His "suicide" kicks off the events of ''Sadako 3D'' and its sequel.
* StalkerWithACrush: Subverted. Kashiwada sends letters to Nagi, but Takanori hid them from her. Kashiwada tells Fuko that he is a "fan" of Nagi.

!American Films

[[folder:Rachel Keller]]
!!Rachel Keller
The main protagonist of the series. A hardworking journalist from Seattle who investigates her niece's mysterious death and connections to an alleged cursed videotape. Upon watching the tape, Rachel discovers the rumours are true and teams up with her ex-boyfriend Noah to find its origins before they and their son Aidan are killed within seven days.
* ActionMom: Will go to the ends of the earth to protect her son Aidan, even tangling with Samara at her scariest.
* {{Expy}}: Of Reiko Asakawa.
* FalseReassurance: She tells Aidan that they did nothing wrong when they sent Samara's tape out into the public.
* [[GoodParents Good Parent]]: To Aidan, yes. To Samara, no.
* HeroicBSOD: When she finds [[spoiler: Noah's corpse.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: In the second film, Rachel allows Samara to drag her into the tape's monochromatic world to protect Aidan. She escapes though after sealing Samara in the well.
* IntrepidReporter: Very persistent and at times pushy when it coms to investigative journalism. This includes breaking into a house and sending her ex-boyfriend off to steal Samara's medical files.
* MamaBear: Perhaps her defining trope, Rachel is very protective of Aidan even if she doesn't always understand him. Exemplified the most in ''The Ring Two'' with her acts of NecessaryEvil to free Aidan from Samara's control.
* NecessarilyEvil: In ''The Ring Two'', [[spoiler:when Samara has fully taken over Aidan's body, the only way to subdue her and drive her out of her son is by nearly killing him]]. Which Rachel accomplishes by taking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and [[spoiler:lacing it with enough pills to horrify the audience]].
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** Rachel unleashes the tape onto an unsuspecting world, causing the events in the ''Rings'' short film, and then the 2017 sequel of the same name.
** And again in the ''The Ring Two'' when she seals Samara in the well.
* ParentalAbandonment: It's strongly hinted that Rachel's focus on her career takes her away from Aidan, resulting in her being in the dark about his anxieties (if not outright dismissive) and going to parent-teacher meetings only out of obligation. This changes A LOT by the second film, specifically seeking out a smaller newspaper so she can spend more time with her son.
* PoorCommunicationKills: Granted, the Curse is hardly believable as it is, but she only has herself to blame when the lack of reasonable explanation for her actions in the second film gets Child Protection Services on her head.
* WhatTheHellHero: Aidan calls her out when she reveals she freed Samara's body from the well.
* WorkingWithTheEx: With Noah, who was her boyfriend for a time until they had Aidan.

[[folder:Noah Clay]]
!!Noah Clay
Rachel's ex-boyfriend and a media analyst, Noah is enlisted by Rachel to discover the origins of the cursed videotape. He is Aidan's father but doubts he would ever be a good father due to his own being a disappointment.
* IndyPloy: He's very resourceful at getting what he wants.
* LighterAndSofter: He couldn't be more different from Ryuji if he tried. Unfortunately, this also extends to his investigative skills.
* PapaWolf: Though estranged from Aidan, he does care for him. His anxiety to be a parent or not stems from the fact that his own was never around. He comes through in the end though.
* SacrificialLion: He's killed so that Rachel knows the curse isn't over.
* TechnoWizard: A media analyst and video editor, giving him fair knowledge on technology, particularly videotapes.
* WorkingWithTheEx: Noah works with Rachel. They seem to rekindle their old flame in the process.
* YankTheDogsChain: Just when it looks like he is going to get back with Rachel and Aidan get a happy family, Samara pays Noah an unfortunate visit.

[[folder:Aidan Keller]]
!!Aidan Keller
Rachel and Noah's young son who possesses a degree of psychic powers.
* CreepyChild: On par with Samara, and it becomes worse when she possesses him.
* DemonicPossession: At the hands of Samara, who appears behind him in ''The Ring Two'' in a public bathroom and approaches him with each photo he takes of himself in a mirror.
* {{Expy}}: Of Yoichi Asakawa.
* NightmareFuelColoringBook: He drew many unsettling sketches of his cousin Katie buried deep underground (or even underwater) in the run up to her death. After watching the tape, his artistic focus changes to Samara's house, the inside of the well, and progressively obsessive drawings of circles.
* PromotionToParent: Rachel's parenting and Noah's absence have forced him to take this role.
* PsychicPowers: Possesses some degree of extrasensory ability to sense things and communicate with ghosts.
* PoorCommunicationKills: He never volunteers any information on his visions, it has to be Rachel who asks him about them after his behavior or drawings tip her off. It's only after Rachel frees Samara from the well that he tells her she will continue to kill people.

[[folder:Samara Morgan]]
!!Samara Morgan
The antagonist of the series and the American version of Sadako Yamamura. An eight year old who was tossed down a well by her adoptive mother Anna, Samara created the cursed videotape to get attention and possible revenge on the world.
* AbusiveParents: Richard Morgan banished her to the ranch barn. Her biological and adoptive mother tried to drown her. [[spoiler: Her father, on the other hand, is a PedophilePriest.]]
* AffablyEvil: This is debatable, even though she is an eight-year old girl with immense psychic powers and a hatred for humanity.
* ArtifactOfDoom: Her version of the cursed videotape which is as twice as long as Sadako's and twice as terrifying.
* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:Come ''Rings'', she's succeeded in escaping her corpse to possess [[UnwittingPawn Julia]] and spread her tape to the Internet, where it becomes an InstantWebHit.]]
* BreakTheCutie: It doesn't appear to take long. She makes verbal threats about her future rage against the world.
* CreepyChild: Samara never cries, rarely talks or expresses emotion, and doesn't act very childlike. Rachel watches surveillance footage of Samara's time in hospital, discovering all she does is stare into space for hours on end.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Samara was nearly drowned by her birth mother Evelyn, and then received even more misery at the Morgan Ranch thanks to her uncontrolled powers. She was locked in the barn by her father, and took her frustration out on her mother's beloved horses by driving them to suicide. She was eventually tossed down a well by Anna. ''Rings'' revealed she was born of rape and is a bastard, and even her corpse was not given peace by her crazy father.
* DemonicPossession: [[spoiler: Aidan and fails to act like him when in Rachel's company. Also Julia, [[TheBadGuyWins more successfully]]]]
* EvilAllAlong: Played with. ''The Ring'' reveals she is hellbent on revenge against her AbusiveParents and wants the world to know of her suffering. Come ''Rings'', Samara appears to have delved straight into ForTheEvulz.
* {{Expy}}: Obviously based on Sadako, but also on her evil twin from ''Ring 0''.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Half human, half [[EldritchAbomination something else]], according to her birth mother. {{Retcon}}ned in ''Film/{{Rings}}'', though from Evelyn's point of view, Samara's dad might as well be a monster.
* HumanoidAbomination: see HalfHumanHybrid. Aside from that she's got PsychicPowers that are borderline RealityWarper in scale. The power she possesses is so intense that she can MindRape people just by being in proximity to her.
* IronicEcho: Rachel watches an interview from the mental institution. Doubles as OnceMoreWithClarity.
-->'''Psychiatrist''': You don't want to hurt anyone.\\
'''Samara''': [[PowerIncontinence But I do]] [hurt people], and I'm ''sorry''...it won't stop.\\
Later, Rachel remembers the video with a slight change in tone, which is repeated again in ''Rings'':
-->'''Psychiatrist''': You don't want to hurt anyone.\\
'''Samara''': But I ''[[ForTheEvulz do]]'' [want to]...and I'm sorry...it ''won't stop''.
* IronicNurseryTune: "[[{{Leitmotif}} Here we go, the world is spinning, when it stops, it's just beginning. Sun goes up, we live and we cry, Sun goes down, and then we all die.]]"
* MadnessMantra: [[VoiceOfTheLegion "Mommy!"]]
* MakingASplash: Samara is so terrified of water, she can subconsciously use her powers to repel it high into the air --only for it to come splashing down when her focus is removed.
* NightmareFace: Has a pretty gnarly face glimpsed when she comes for Noah.
* NightmareFuelColoringBook: Unwittingly made on X-ray plaques with her PsychicPowers. Like any other child, she likes images of horsies and trees, but the images themselves are horrifying.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: The ghost of an eight-year old girl chucked down a well by her mother, and wants revenge against all of humanity.
* PowerIncontinence: Even before birth, she possessed PsychicPowers that exceeded her ability to control them. Anyone who came close to her, man or beast, suffered horrendous hallucinations just from her being there.
* PsychicPowers: Samara has uncontrollably nensha powers, which allow her to burn images onto surfaces and into people's minds.
* SealedEvilInACan: Trapped in a well by Anna Morgan. Suffered the same fate as a ghost in ''The Ring Two''.
* StringyHairedGhostGirl: Just like Sadako, she is an ''onyro''.
* TragicVillain: Heavily hinted that the relationship between Samara and her foster parents was anything but a loving one. [[TheDogBitesBack She repaid the favor]] [[MindRape by making their]] [[EnfanteTerrible lives a living hell]].
* WomanInWhite: Sports a white dress in all her scenes.
* {{Yandere}}: A non-romantic example in ''The Ring Two''. Samara considers Rachel to be a surrogate mother [[BecauseYouWereNiceToMe because she was nice to her in the first movie]], and [[DemonicPossession nothing is going]] [[MurderTheHypotenuse to stop them from]] [[IfICantHaveYou being a happy family]].
* YankTheDogsChain: Samara possesses Aidan and finally has her wish granted, to be loved by a mother, in this case Rachel. That is until Rachel drugs her and then exorcises her from her son in a bath, before sealing her again in the well.

[[folder:Anna and Richard Morgan]]
!!Anna and Richard Morgan
Samara's foster parents. Anna and Richard Morgan ran a family horse ranch on Moesko Island and were renowned horse trainers in the local area. After adopting Samara, Anna suffered from horrible visions caused by Samara's powers, causing Richard to banish the girl to the barn. In revenge, Samara tortured the ranch horses into suicide by jumping off cliffs. Anna eventually kills Samara by pushing her down a well, before committing suicide herself by leaping off a cliff.
* AbusiveParents: Richard in particular, forcing Samara to live in the barn and prefers the horses to her.
* BathSuicide: Richard kills himself via electrocution in a bath. It's not a pretty sight.
* [[CoolHorse Cool Horses]]: The Morgans' famous racing horses made them famous. Then they killed themselves, making them even more famous.
* DownOnTheFarm: Make that horse ranch.
* DrivenToSuicide: Pretty much everyone in the family save Samara. Anna leapt off a cliff, Richard electrocuted himself in a bathtub, and the family horses leapt off cliffs thanks to Samara.
* ElectrifiedBathtub: How Richard dies.
* {{Expy}}: Anna is the equivalent of Shizuko Yamamura, and Richard is the equivalent of Takashi Yamamura.
* FalseReassurance: Richard tries to pull this on Rachel when she asks about the existence of Samara and the tape.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: As soon as Rachel reveals she's made a copy of the tape, Richard realizes that killing her right then and there with a hook won't keep the curse from spreading.
* IronicEcho: When Richard refers to all reporters (and Rachel in particular) as unable to leave well enough alone, "spreading the sickness" via their investigations. Which is exactly what Rachel did with Samara's curse.
* LivingRelic: Richard after losing his family and quitting his business.
* MirrorScare: A scene on the tape depicts Anna brushing her hair and the mirror is moved about telekinetically by Samara, lifted straight out of the Japanese films.
* RedHerring: That Richard killed Samara, when in fact Anna did. In-universe example: Rachel believes Anna may have made the cursed video, when it was actually created by Samara.
* VillainousBreakdown: Richard ("MY WIFE WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE A CHILD!")

Samara's birth mother. Mentally unstable after trying to drown her child, she was placed in an institute.
* BedlamHouse: Sent to one after nearly drowning Samara as a baby.
* MadnessMantra: The melody she hums to herself, which is [[{{Leitmotif}} the American series' theme tune]].
* ParentalAbandonment: The first of many, though this one was unintentional, since she was separated from Samara after trying to drown her.
* PassingTheTorch: Evelyn asks Rachel to out away her child since she failed to in the past.
* PatronSaint: According to an orderly at the asylum, Evelyn is visited by young mothers for guidance.
* RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler: ''Rings'' revealed Evelyn's backstory, explaining she was raped and imprisoned by the local priest Burke.]]
* SanitySlippage: A bit nutty by the time Rachel meets her, though trying to drown her child, and being raped and imprisoned may be factors in her descent into madness.

[[folder:Katie Embry and Becca Kohtler]]
!!Katie Embry and Becca Kohtler
Best friends who discuss the rumours of the cursed videotape. Katie is Rachel's 16-year old niece and close to her and Aidan. Katie reveals to Becca that she and three other students, Josh, Stacey and Scott, went to Shelter Mountain where they became the first viewers of the tape. Minutes later, Katie is killed by Samara. Her death leads to the events of the film. Becca witnessed her friend's death and was institutionalised, possibly gaining psychic powers in the process.
* BedlamHouse: Poor Becca ends up in one after seeing Samara kill Katie, and has a fear of televisions.
* HauntedTechnology: Katie has to deal with a TV that turns itself on, and the fridge door which opens by itself too.
* NightmareFuelColoringBook: Katie draws sketches of images in her head in her work book, eventually writing "Why is this in my head!?"
** She also scribbled "hair" over the faces in a fashion magazine, making all the models look like Samara.
* PeekABooCorpse: Perhaps one of the [[NightmareFuel scariest images of the film]] is when Kaite's mum Ruth opens a closet and finds Katie's body with a deformed face. The fright is not from the corpse but from the sudden appearance of the imagery.
** Katie's facial fate is hinted at in the final frames of the opening scene when the camera zooms at her face - it distorts.
* PowerBornOfMadness: Becca appears to gain some form of PsychicPowers, predicting the number of days Rachel has to live.
* VictimOfTheWeek: Katie fills this along with three others, or four if you count Becca as witnessing her death.