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Protagonists and MI 6 Members
- Anti-Hero: Type I --> Type II or III.
- Brown Eyes: Described as having "serious, dark brown eyes".
- Deadpan Snarker: Even in the face of terrible events.
- Expy: The author wrote him as a teenage James Bond. He even gets unfavourably compared to him a few times by his detractors In-Universe.
- On the other hand, he can also be the end result of imagining Shinji Ikari as a spy.
- Gallows Humor: All the time. It would be easier to count the times where he hasn't cracked a joke in the face of terrible events.
- Good Is Not Soft
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: He defects to Scorpia in the novel of the same name, but eventually stays a "Face" after learning the truth about what they really have planned.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Described as a spy wanting to be a schoolboy.
- Heroic Blue Screen of Death: Suffers one when Jack is killed.
- In the Blood: His father, his uncle and his godfather were all spies before him.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Most people that die at his hand have it coming.
- Knight In Sour Armour: He hates going into duty, but conscience ultimately forces him to go into it. Well, that and Blunt often making it impossible to say no.
- Kung-Fu Kid: One of his ways of getting by, since he almost never has a gun.
- Master of Disguise: One reason he blends in so well to backgrounds.
- Mister Fanservice: Discounting Stormbreaker and it's graphic novel, Alex has appeared shirtless at least once in every novel and graphic novel.
- My God, What Have I Done?: A possible interpretation of his Heroic Blue Screen of Death at the end of Skeleton Key
- Pretty Boy: Thanks to the manga atheistic of the graphic novels.Not that he's any different in the novels.
- Punch Clock Hero: He admits as such in Scorpia, but this had been clear from Stormbreaker.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: In Eagle Strike.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Losing all of his family and then having the only real adult he can trust killed really takes his toll on him by the end.
- Shirtless Scene: In all novels and graphic novels except Stormbreaker.
- Technical Pacifist: He doesn't enjoy fighting.
- Teen Super Spy: A deconstruction.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted. He is often responsible for the deaths of a Big Bad or their lieutenants at least once in each novel.
- Trauma Conga Line: This is his life in a nutshell.
Mrs. Tulip Jones
- Adaptational Attractiveness: It is outright stated in Snakehead that Mrs Jones is "not attractive". Compare her appearance in the movie and the graphic novels. Even in earlier novels she was described as "a head shaped like a potato".
- The Chess Master: Conducts an epic operation using John Rider to humiliate Scorpia and rescue an VIP hostage
- Defrosting Ice Queen: As time goes on, she becomes more warm.
- Embarrassing First Name: "It made sense. He wouldn't have used that name either."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's slightly abrasive but genuinely wants the best for Britain, and eventually for Alex too.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Shares this with Smithers. Both want the best for Alex and by the end of the series are strongly advocating for him to be let free from Mi6's employment.
- The Unreveal: What did happen to her husband and children?
- Cool Old Guy: Until the end of the last book.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Uses this trope as an excuse for his general stoic attitude and his actions in Scorpia Rising. He even quotes the trope naming line itself.
- Jerkass: Rather rude, needless to say.
- Karma Houdini: And how. For arranging a school shooting and taking Alex to Egypt for another mission, he gets a knighthood and to retire and take a vacation with his wife.
- Meaningful Name: Alan Blunt, to match his abrasive attitude.
- Out-Gambitted: Despite believing himself to be one step ahead of Scorpia in Scorpia Rising, he is in fact walking into their trap.
- Pet the Dog: He shows a surprising amount of concern for Alex in the meeting with the Prime Minister in Crocodile Tears.
- The Spymaster: Head of MI6.
- The Stoic: He's often described as seeming completely emotionless.
- Not So Stoic: On the rare occasions he does show emotion, you know it's serious. When he's telling Alex the truth about how his parents really died in Scorpia, there's "a little pain" in his voice.
- Would Hurt a Child: Arranges a school shooting to force Alex to work for him again.
- Big Fun: He's slightly fat, but he's a very enjoyable guy.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: You think his weight problems hinder him? You'd be right, but he's surprisingly effective at getting rid of the Scorpia team that come his way. And then he's revealed to not even be fat.
- Dark Secret: To be revealed in Scorpia Rising as per Word of God, it's that Smithers is actually a thin man wearing a special suit that only makes him look fat.
- Fake Brit: In-universe example, as after removing his Fat Suit it turns out the "real" Smithers is Irish, rather than the "public school" accent he affects.
- Fat Suit
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Gadget Watch: He gives Alex one in Snakehead that can send out a distress signal.
- Nice Guy: Extremely caring for Alex and often holds reservations about putting him in danger, so for that reason he does his best to make sure he's well protected. In Scorpia Rising, he even agrees to go along with Alex's plan to
- Pun: A lot of his gadget names, including the 'fan club' and the 'Chamber of Secrets'. This therefore makes him a Pungeon Master.
- Sacrificial Lion: Subverted. He's set up to die, but manages to dispose of most of the Scorpia agents sent after him and escapes.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: shares this with Mrs Jones in Mi6, by the end of the series he's arguing with Alan Blunt on letting Alex go from employment with Mi6
- Shoe Phone: Every single one of his gadgets. He never actually invented a shoe that works as a phone, though.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome / Demoted to Extra: He disappears after Skeleton Key. He shows up very briefly in Ark Angel and Crocodile Tears, but in both cases he does very little (his involvement in the latter is about half a page that could have been served by another generic MI6 character).
- A Father to His Men: And even to members of other intelligence services. This is made prominent in Scorpia Rising when he's utterly horrified about the psychological damage Alex has gone through over the course of the book.
- Big Good: While Blunt may be head of MI6, Byrne's a million times more altruistic than he is.
- CIA: The head of them in this universe.
- Nice Guy: As much as the setting allows at least.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's a much more pleasant boss than Alan Blunt ever was when he runs Alex and he gets incredibly pissed off when he finds his officers have forcibly abducted Alex and have subjected him to a Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique to put it mildly giving said officers an epic What the Hell, Hero? speech.
- Secret Keeper: For the most part, although he does casually blurt out that Alex is a spy to his older brother. His older brother doesn't particularly care, so it's mercifully not damaging.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He's heard from only once after he's shot in Scorpia Rising, and it's a passing mention. The final chapter never bothers to mention if Alex ever talks to him once he returns from Cairo or meets him ever again, despite Alex having agonised over leaving him to go to America in an earlier chapter.
Antagonists (Big Bads and Dragons)
- Accidental Misnaming: His name is really Yasha. Sharkovsky misheard it as Yassen, since Yasha had just been beaten up by Sharkovsky's two bodyguards and his face was still swollen. After escaping, Scorpia ran with it.
- Affably Evil
- All a Part of the Job
- Doomed Hometown: His home village was contaminated with an artificial strain of anthrax, and later destroyed by the Russian government as part of their quarantine/coverup.
- Fate Worse Than Death: He spent three years working as a virtual slave for Vladimir Sharkovsky.
- Foregone Conclusion: Of course he, Julia Rothman and John Rider will survive Russian Roulette.
- Ideal Illness Immunity: Yassen has never been ill once in his life. He attributes this to his parents giving him an antidote to a powerful strain of anthrax when he was a kid.
- It's Personal: For Alex, since Yassen killed his uncle.
- Made a Slave: For three years following a burgulary gone wrong, after he was caught by the rich man he tried to rob.
- Professional Killer: He's an assassin.
- Punch Clock Villain: In it for the money, and nothing else.
- Redemption Equals Death: He may have not liked John Rider trying to turn him away from being a assassin but when push comes to shove, he won't lay a finger on Alex and is willing to die instead.
- Russian Roulette: Sharkovsky makes him, as a fourteen-year-old, play it after he is captured. At the end of the book, he returns to Sharkovsky's mansion and plays it again - but this time with five bullets instead of one. He survives, and kills Sharkovsky and his son.
- Street Urchin: While he was a kid, he lived as one in Moscow.
- Unperson: Because of certain events in his childhood, there are no records of his existence anywhere in the world. It's this trait which makes him good at his job, since it's much harder to track him down.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He has no qualms about working for an employer intending to kill millions of children, but objects to directly killing Alex and Sabina. Though this may be because Yassen worked with Alex's dad.
- You Are Not Ready: Scorpia sent him out to assassinate a New York lawyer. He had doubts; a Scorpia sniper killed her anyway. Scorpia knew that this was the case, so he wasn't killed like Grant was.
General Alexei Sarov
- Badass: One of Scorpia's top agents.
- Death by Irony: He has a fear of heights, and ends up being knocked off a hot air balloon from a height of 100 metres. To add insult to injury, he gets knocked off by a fireball that Alex sets off by severing the balloon's propane burner. How did he do that? By cutting through it with a sword Nile had thrown at him.
- Master Swordsman: They're his Weapon of Choice, though he's not above using other things available.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: When he kills a researcher, though Averted Trope when he later tries to kill Alex because he was crippled by his fear of heights. Though these are swords that are meant to be thrown, not normal swords.
- Eye Scream: The result of his Pillow Pistol.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Managed to do this to himself before we first see him. He lived through it, though.
- Pillow Pistol: Until it goes off.
- Too Dumb to Live: Pulls a gun on Zeljan of all people and gets assassinated for his trouble.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He's Genre Savvy in the sense that he knows retiring from Scorpia just leads to early death. Unfortunately, he misinterprets a comment from Razim as a suggestion that they should kill him, and ends up giving them reason to. Probably what Razim had intended, of course.
- Colony Drop: He plans on blowing up Ark Angel and having it collide with Washington D.C., destroying the Pentagon's evidence regarding his illegal activities.
- Insurance Fraud: Ark Angel was going massively over budget, so Drevin also planned on destroying it to get the insurance.
- Faux Affably Evil: Tries to be polite but cracks of his true personality show over time.
- Man Behind the Man: For the first half of Ark Angel, Kaspar is made out to be the Big Bad. Guess who it really is?
- The New Russia: Became a billionaire after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: This Russian oligarch who happens to own a Premier League side is certainly not Roman Abramovich.
- Villainous Breakdown: After his son is shot. (He lives, though.)
- Would Hurt a Child: He arranged for his own son to be kidnapped as a Force Three stunt, and even arranged for them to cut his finger off just so the threat would seem credible. He shoots him later, but that is an accident (he's aiming for Alex). Still doesn't change anything, though.
- You Have Failed Me: After Stratford East's star striker, Adam Wright, misses a penalty against Chelsea, Drevin has him killed by Force Three.
- Bigger Bad: To Yu and Razim.
- Crazy-Prepared: He's fully aware that one of his fellow board members might be considering avoiding the usual punishment for retirement by gunning them down when Scorpia begins to hit rock bottom, so he has snipers placed on the root of the Scorpia riverboat to take them out. This is how Kroll dies.
- Karma Houdini: Mercifully averted.
- Man Behind the Man: In Snakehead and Scorpia Rising, for Winston and Razim respectively. He comes up with plans, the other Scorpia executives carry them out.
Major Winston Yu.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: After she died, he pretty much went off the rails.
- Death by Irony/Hoist by His Own Petard: He's killed by the bomb that he would have destroyed Reef Island with.
- Foil: To Herod Sayle, in that both are foreigners who came from dirt-poor families but, because of extraordinary circumstances, ended up receiving a top-rate education in Britain. While Herod's experiences led to him despising the Brits however, Yu became a huge fan of British culture.
- In the Blood: His mother was a professional killer in the snakeheads.
- Immigrant Patriotism: Served with distinction in Northern Ireland but when he was consigned to a desk job at Mi6, this went out the window. Still loves Britain however.
- Smug Snake: He's too confident for his own good.
- Wicked Cultured: He has a very aristocratic behaviour.
- Big Bad Friend: He murders his best friend, to whose son he is godfather, along with his wife, to prove he's loyal to Scorpia. He goes on to more or less ensure his godson will be killed by telling Major Yu about ASIS' plot and removing the battery from the homing device MI6 gives him.
- Co-Dragons: Him and Bill to Winston. Ash plays a much larger role, however.
- Expy: In many ways, he's a lot like Peter Pettigrew.
- Evil Cripple: After Yassen stabbed him in Malta 14 years ago, he is missing half of his stomach.
- Evil Uncle: To Alex.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Alex's reaction.
- The Mole: For Yu.
- The Resenter: An interpretation of why he defected to Scorpia, he may have just hated how John Rider never helped him out after Malta (albeit, that was due to his own mistake which got several MI6 agents killed or wounded).
- Only Known by Their Nickname: "Ash" are his initials, his full name being Anthony Sean Howell.
Dr. Bill Tanner
- Co-Dragons: See above.
- Driven to Suicide: Possibly; it's known that he kills himself, but why he does is never explained (it's suggested that he was following orders from Yu after Alex escaped, which given the fate of de Wynter earlier seems likely).
- Faux Affably Evil: Remains polite even after threatening Alex with a slow and painful death.
- Mad Scientist: Dissects people to give their organs away.
- Smug Snake: He has to brag about how Alex "can't escape" and gives away how he can escape.
- Bald of Evil: Described as very notable.
- Foil: To Damien Cray, in that both are British celebrities heavily involved in charity work. But while Cray does want to make a positive difference in the world, Desmond only cares about his own wealth.
- Heel-Faith Turn: But it was all a ruse.
- Line-of-Sight Name: His name comes from the bag of oven chips he was found wrapped in as an abandoned baby.
- Scary Black Man: When he drops the act of politeness.
- We Care: His charity exists purely to gain whatever profit it can from the disasters by keeping as much of the donation money as it can. Perhaps taken to its extreme when he starts engineering disasters to get people to donate.
- Alliterative Name: His real name is Abdul-Aziz Al-Rahim.
- The Chessmaster: He plays Alan Blunt like a chump.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Doesn't tell anybody else what his plans are beyond what they need to know (though unfortunately Gunther gives most of it away anyway), and has several backups in place for his plans to achieve the result closest to what he needs if something goes horribly wrong.
- Disproportionate Retribution: As a child, he stabbed his nanny in the leg when she told him off for teasing his sister.
- Faux Affably Evil: Always goes with a polite and stoic demeanour, but it's entirely fake and just serves to make him even worse.
- For Science!: Takes no pleasure in his experiments. Supposedly
- Karmic Death: Yes.
- Kick the Dog: Or rather, strangle the dog.
- Kids Are Cruel: He was this as a child, strangling his dog and ratting out his parents to Saddam Hussein alongside his sister. Then he wanted to join the police force and start killing. The officer who was doing the whole "you did the right thing" talk to him wanted to gun him down there and then.
- Knight of Cerebus: The series was never light to begin with, but Razim takes it into its darkest moments pretty much single handedly.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: We're told his real name at one point, but he doesn't use it once.
- Self-Made Orphan: Indirectly; he rats his parents out to Hussein, but doesn't do anything to them himself.
- Spanner in the Works: He expects Jack to steal a knife when she and Alex are dining with him, as it's part of his plan to cause Alex emotional pain. Alex stealing a cigarette packet at the same meal is not part of his plan.
- The Sociopath: He is characterized by a complete lack of emotions or empathy.
- The Unsmile: At the end when he's fallen into the pile of salt and is pleading with Alex to throw him a rope. It's described as looking more like a hideous grimace than anything.
- Failed a Spot Check: Alex's plan to escape would have failed if he hadn't noticed the cigarette packet hadn't been there before Alex got into the van.
- Fallen Hero: It is suspected that this happened after leaving his hospital treatment. The suspicions are true.
- Smug Snake: He tells Alex more or less the whole plan.
- Bad Boss: To Yassen, and he happily admits it. He forces the kid to taste his meals for poison, treats him like a slave and happily lets his son abuse him.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: An immensely wealthy businessman who has contacts with the mafia, politicians and the police, and has apparently killed who knows how many people to get to his current position. He also cuts corners at a certain pesticide factory, indirectly causing the events of Russian Roulette.
- Evil Cripple: Becomes one after surviving an attempt on his life, suffering a broken neck in the process.
- Get It Over With: After seeing Yassen apparently preparing to force him to play russian roulette, Sharkovsky flat out refuses to co-operate, telling Yassen that he can kill him if he wants, but he won't play along with him.
- Karmic Death: Gets shot by the kid he kept as a slave for three years, who also happens to be the last survivor of the town that was ultimately destroyed thanks to Sharkovsky's earlier actions.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Is implied to be a Nazi or at the very least a sympathizer, having both a nazi tattoo and an anti-jewish one.
- Would Hurt a Child: Specifically, would hit a child, throw him off a bridge and into a river, make him play russian roulette, use him as a food taster if he survives, and have him beaten up by his henchmen when he tries to escape.