Characters / And Then There Were None
These are the main characters of And Then There Were None
Dr. Edward George Armstrong
A successful Harley Street surgeon and also a recovering alcoholic at the beginning of the novel. He is accused of killing a patient, Louisa Mary Clees, while operating on her drunk.
- Acquitted Too Late: He became he prime suspect after the fifth death, until Vera and Philip found his body washed up in the shore after they discovered Blore's murder.
- The Atoner: He is very repentant of his crime and did give up drinking in order to do no more harm to patients.
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: He studies treatments for nervousness, yet is the most fidgety and fearful of all the guests.
- In the 2015 BBC version, he claims to specialize in 'female disorders', yet as soon as it's established there's a murderer among them, he immediately fixates on the only young, attractive woman among the guests as the prime suspect. And he's not too fond of the older woman remaining, either...
- Large Ham: In the 2015 BBC version, is prone to shrill flippancy and rashness, especially in one scene where he discovers a body.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His nervousness and abstinence from drinking are in response to his guilt over causing the death of a patient.
- Recovered Addict: A recovering alcoholic.
- Red Herring Mole: As the novel goes on, the remaining characters begin to suspect he is the killer after his mysterious disappereance, only for it to turn out that he became an unwitting accomplice in the judge's plan and ended up getting murdered by the judge himself.
- The Teetotaler: Since he's a recovering alcoholic.
- Unwitting Pawn: If only he knew whom he was trusting...
William Henry Blore
A former policeman who tends to be a bit too bold for his own good. He is accused of being on a crime syndicate's payroll and causing the death of an innocent man named James Landor by planting false evidence and landing him in prison, which caused him to die of untreated tuberculosis in jail. In the game, this is anted up to give him a more personal connection to the character the player controls when it's revealed that he also framed the character's brother to take the heat off himself.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the 2015 version he comes to show genuine guilt over what he did, culminating in a teary confession, while in the novel he mostly regrets not getting proper compensation for framing Landor.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the BBC miniseries, he's portrayed by Burn Gorman, who is younger and leaner than his heavyset, middle-aged novel counterpart. It also applies in the Soviet version, where Aleksei Zharkov, the actor portraying him, was barely in his forties.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the 2015 version, he is shown beating a young man, arrested for cottaging, gorily to death in a police cell for no other reason but homophobia.
- In the game he also framed the protagonist's brother when people began to suspect him of being an inside man for the Purcell gang.
- Catch Phrase: "I get it!" in the 1945 film version. And when it seems as though he really does get it, he gets it — on the head from a marble clock.
- Character Exaggeration: The Hollywood adaptations tend to take his basic characteristic of being too bold for his own good and make him Too Dumb to Live.
- Dirty Cop: "A bad hat", as Assistant Commissioner Legge puts it. The 1989 adaptation takes this to a whole new level — not only is he Too Dumb to Live, he is also paranoid bordering on Ax-Crazy. After discovering the body of the General, he actually tries to shoot Lombard.
- Dumb Muscle: It's frequently mentioned how he lacks imagination and gets nervous at the face of abstract, unseen threats such as U.N. Owen, but is fearless and determined when faced with concrete, visible problems. He's also described as being equally physically strong as Lombard, making them foils.
- Enemy Mine: Reluctantly works with Patrick in the game in order to save their lives.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In to 2015 version, his guilt and fear eventually induces in him a complete emotional breakdown.
- In-Series Nickname: Lombard calls him "Tubs" in the 2015 version, to his constant annoyance.
- Old-Fashioned Copper: He predates the milieu associated with the trope (Britain in the 1970s), but he could be considered a precursor of it.
- Precision F-Strike: In the BBC miniseries, he's quite prone to this, much to Emily Brent's dismay.
Emily Caroline Brent
A staunchly religious spinster who takes a cold, unforgiving attitude towards anyone who, in her eyes, is a sinner. She is accused of driving her pregnant servant girl, Beatrice Taylor, to suicide after throwing her out of her household.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the 2015 adaptation, she's more upset than in the book, being the one who finds the general's corpse and worrying much more when one of her wool balls are stolen.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the game, she is the murderer — Gabrielle Steele, who killed the real Emily Brent.
- Dead Person Impersonation: In the game, Gabrielle Steele killed the real Emily Brent and impersonates her on the island.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- In one instance, she voices a sentiment of racial equality, taking issue with downplaying Lombard's evil deed because his victims were "natives".
- In the game, Gabrielle Steele expresses particular disdain for Brent, calling her a "hateful old hag.
- Evil Counterpart: Not to another guest, but still to another Christie's character — Miss Marple. Both are elderly spinsters who like to knit, but Miss Marple is compassionate and never lets religion hinder her empathy, while Emily Brent is devoted to her principles to the point that she feels no sympathy for anyone who doesn't live up to her standards. Also, Miss Marple is always caring with her maids, while Miss Brent's harshness eventually led her maid to suicide.
- Evil Redhead: In the BBC miniseries.
- Gambit Roulette: She attempts this in the game and fails, thanks to one, tiny event she did not foresee: Patrick Narracott being stranded on the island.
- Holier Than Thou: She looks down on anyone that doesn't meet her insanely strict religious standards.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: At the end of the game. To explain it would be a bit...complex...
- Irony: In the novel, she is being psychologically tortured by Wargrave, as are the rest of the guests. In the game, she's doing this to Wargrave, flipping the tables entirely.
- Love Makes You Evil: A trope used in some adaptations, notably the game, where she's the murderer with her motive being to torture Wargrave by making him watch others die and being powerless to stop it because he sentenced her lover to death, and the BBC miniseries, where she's implied to have had feelings for her maid and to have thrown her out due to jealousy.
- Obliviously Evil: At least in the book, where her judgment is so clouded by her principles that she is unable to understand why U.N. Owen should punish her as well.
- Pet the Dog: In the 2015 adaptation, she extends some sympathy towards Mrs. Rogers, although this is mainly due to the latter's ability as a cook.
- Principles Zealot: To the point she didn't feel remorse or sadness when Beatrice Taylor killed herself since the latter was, in Miss Brent's eyes, guilty of two sins.
- Psycho Lesbian: In the 1989 adapation, and implied in the 2015 BBC miniseries.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She hates, hates bees and wasps (in adaptations — in the novel she mentions quite enjoying honey and never brings up bees). And of course, U.N. Owen uses it to his advantage.
- In the game, she states she's allergic to bees.
Vera Elizabeth Claythorne
A young former governess, now gym teacher and secretary. She is accused of causing the death of her young charge, Cyril Hamilton, by allowing him to swim out to sea and drown, which she vehemently denies.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the 1945 movie, the play and the game. In the first two her sister was the one who did it, and in the game HUGO was the one who set Cyril up to die and Vera lied to protect him.
- Ax-Crazy: What she eventually becomes by the end.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Vera is perceived by the other guests to be very sweet, but she ends up snapping in one of the worst ways possible at the end.
- Break the Cutie: So very much. This becomes even worse in the Russian film adaptation as in addition to the mental rape she undergoes, she is also actually raped by Lombard.
- Cute and Psycho: A gentle, sweet, naive girl who caused the death of her lover's nephew, who was her charge, by letting him drown in the sea so her lover could inherit the family state and marry her. She only gets crazier as the story goes on.
- Dirty Coward: In the BBC version, she pathetically begs the Wargrave for her life and tries to bargain with him any way she can to convince him to spare her. It doesn't work.
- Driven to Suicide: Vera finally reaches the breaking point at the end, where she is faced with the choice to hang herself and does so.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: In the two faithful adaptations.
- Even Evil Has Standards: When Emily Brent gloats about how she drove her "sinful" maid to kill herself, Vera is very unnerved.
- Final Girl: Subverted. She's the last victim left standing, but is Driven to Suicide anyway. In the play, however, she's rescued just in time.
- Arguably, she's the Trope Maker. Lampshaded by the murderer in the play. "It's always more fun if the last victim is a girl!"
- In many ways she's the worst out of all of them
- Haunted Heroine: Former governess, apparently a normal, sweet young woman, whose neuroses bubble up to the surface as uncanny events pop up. But subverted in that she did deliberately cause the death of her charge, and she ends up snapping completely in the end.
- Though part of her 'haunting' may be the fact that killing Cyril ended up being all for nothing when Hugo realised what she had done and dumped her.
- Ironic Name: Vera can mean "truth" in Latin. Vera, as it turns out, is one of the most duplicitous characters in the story.
- Love Hurts: She caused the death of her pupil Cyril so his uncle/her lover could inherit the family fortune, which drove said lover into alcoholism. Vera is constantly tormented by memories of the ordeal.
- Love Makes You Evil: She allowed a child in her care to swim out to sea and drown so her lover, who also happened to be the child's uncle, could inherit his estate and marry Vera for love, something unlikely when he doesn't have a penny.
- Ms. Fanservice: Because Vera is the youngest (hence most attractive) guest, she gets subjected to Fanservice quite a lot in the Harry Alan Towers adaptations. And then this is deconstructed in the Russian film version...
- Naïve Everygirl: Very much so in the play, viciously deconstructed in the novel.
- The Ophelia: As time passes.
- Proper Lady: Mercilessly deconstructed.
- Sanity Slippage: In the book and in the faithful adaptations, she progressively becomes more paranoid and nervous, which culminates in her breaking down at the sight of the noose in her room and hanging herself.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Deconstructed in that the killer exploits this as part of their end game.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Play and Hollywood adaptations. Depending on what you do in the last chapter of the game, you can either play this straight, or subvert it.
- Unwitting Pawn: After finding Armstrong's dead body, she shoots Lombard, believing him to be Owen and her to be the only guest left alive. As it turns out, Owen had staged the showdown so that she would get rid of Lombard.
- Villain Protagonist: In all fairness, she is the closest thing to a main character we have as she outlives all the other guests, except for U.N. Owen. She's far from heroic, though.
- Would Hurt a Child: She's accused of letting a child drown so that his uncle could become rich and marry her.
- Yandere: In the book, turns out that she did cause Cyril Hamilton's death so his uncle Hugo, who was her lover, could inherit the child's estate. Not quite as much in the Russian film adaptation, but a single flashback showing her coldly watching Cyril die after Hugo explains why he can't marry her is all it takes to seal it.
A cool-headed and intelligent man, once a mercenary having seen various parts of the world. He is accused of leaving twenty-one men from an African tribe to starve and freely admits to it.
General John Macarthur
A retired World War I general. He is accused of causing the death of Arthur Richmond, his wife Leslie's lover by sending him on a mission that guarantees him dead.
- Adaptation Name Change: His surname is sometimes changed in post-WWII versions, to avoid Name's the Same confusion with the real General Douglas MacArthur.
- All for Nothing: His wife died shortly after the war, making his crime entirely fruitless.
- Anti-Villain: He committed a crime of passion and was never the same again. Especially after his wife's death he felt himself dead on the inside.
- Cassandra Truth: He predicts none of the guests will be leaving the island alive, but his ranting is first dismissed to him just being older and thus, more likely to be off his rocker.
- Death Seeker: Because of his deep guilt over his actions, he takes on a fatalistic attitude toward the certainty of the guests being killed and seems to welcome death. In a later Canadian novel adaptation, he was spared because of this. He then admits to the police that he killed the other nine people so they can hang him, but he can't explain the story.
- Despair Event Horizon: He's already riddled with guilt at the start of the novel, but he basically gives up soon after it becomes clear there's a murderer on the island, taking to long walks by himself where he ends up staring into the distance by the ocean waiting for death.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He did commit one of the nastiest military crimes, but even then he was genuinely disgusted with Lombard's acts, abandoning his own men to their deaths, which implies that he believed in some level in the responsibility of a commander towards his underlings.
- Genre Savvy: He's the first to realise exactly what kind of story they're all in and resigns himself to his fate much sooner than everyone else.
- May–December Romance: Implied among him and Leslie, which explains why she ultimately turned to a much younger man.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He couldn't bear to hear any reminders of what he did.
- Not Afraid to Die: He's so consumed by guilt that he actually welcomes his impending fate. Owen rewards him with a quick and painless death.
- Sanity Slippage: After his past is brought up, he falls into a deep depression and isolates himself from the other guests.
- Uriah Gambit: His method of doing away with his wife's lover, in a neat inversion. He stays away from church whenever the passage about David and Uriah is to be read.
Anthony James Marston
A spoiled, vain youth with little concern for others. He is accused of causing the death of two young children, John and Lucy Combes, by accidentally running them over.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the 1945 film, to Nikita "Nicky" Starloff.
- Brainless Beauty: He's very handsome, and is described in the novel as being godlike in his beauty, but he's also vain, vapid, and only interested in partying.
- Drives Like Crazy: He's a very reckless driver, and has accidentally killed two children with his careless driving. At the start of the story, he almost drove Armstrong into a ditch when he was speeding on the road he shared with the doctor.
- It's All About Me: The only thing that he worries about running over two young children is that he had his license taken away for six months.
- Lack of Empathy: He regards running over two kids as unlucky for him, because his license was suspended, and feels no guilt about it. U.N. Owen characterizes him as essentially an animal and kills him first since he has no morals or empathy to speak of, he's the most "innocent". Owen can't terrorize him or make him face his guilt; he opts to put him down quickly instead.
- Large Ham: Every actor who has portrayed his equivalent in the Hollywood adaptations. They all make sure his death scene is the most exciting thing to watch in the whole film.
- Pretty Boy: Tall, young and attractive. The only exception is the 1945 film, where his character is changed quite radically.
- Ship Tease: In the Russian adaptation, he flirts and dances with Vera and stares at her at dinner. Considering that the actor specialized in Prince Charming parts, many viewers unfamiliar with canon got the wrong idea of what the plot would be like.
- Spoiled Brat: A rich asshole who doesn't give a rat's ass for anyone else's life.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: When Owen's message was first played, Marston gladly embraces the mystery, believing this to be an amusing game that would bring live to the otherwise dull party. He is almost immediately killed afterwards.
Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Ethel Rogers
The butler and maid who accomodate the other guests. They are accused of causing the death of their former employer, a rich spinster named Jennifer Brady, by withholding a vital drug so she'd die and they could inherit her money.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the BBC miniseries, Rogers smothers Ms. Brady with a pillow.
- The Butler Did It: Lampshaded in the game: "Will it ring true this time? Did the butler do it?" In both game and book, he didn't. Unless you count the backstory, where he did do it.
- Domestic Abuse: Rogers mentally dominated his wife Ethel and essentially forced her into causing the death of Ms. Brady.
- Fainting: Mrs. Rogers' reaction when "The Voice" reveals all of the crimes.
- Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Mrs. Rogers mostly acted under the influence of and out of fear of her husband.
- Shrinking Violet: Mrs. Rogers, sorta. Especially after their crime is revealed; ever since then, she seems to be always at the verge of a breakdown. Which is mentioned as one of the reasons why she was killed before her husband and given a more or less peaceful death: being poisoned while in her sleep.
- Slain in Their Sleep: Mrs. Rogers died in her sleep from an overdose of chloral hydrate.
- Stiff Upper Lip: Mr. Rogers continues to do his job even as the corpses start piling up.
Judge Lawrence Wargrave
A retired hanging judge with a no-nonsense attitude. He is accused of deliberately sentencing an innocent man, Edward Seton, to hang.
- Acquitted Too Late: Trope Namer. Deliberately invoked by him as part of his plan. He keeps saying, "Acquitted too late!" every time someone dies, reinforcing in the others' minds the obvious idea that once someone dies, they're no longer a suspect. So when he later fakes his own death, the remaining survivors no longer suspect him.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the 1945 film, to Francis Quinncannon.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the game, where he's NOT the murderer and really did want Armstrong to help him catch the killer
- Adaptational Villainy: In the 2015 adaptation, he's much more interested in creating a perfect crime, to the point he doesn't leave a written confession.
- Affably Evil: Especially in the film adaptations, where he's more polite than his stern book counterpart, despite his alleged crime and the fact that he's U.N. Owen, of course. In the Alan Towers adaptations, he's quite avuncular to Vera as he explains his plan to her, and even recommends her to hang herself as she's alone, since public executions are rather humiliating.
- Ambiguously Evil: Even without considering the crime he's accused of, he's an infamous black cap judge. However, it turns out that Seton was guilty. Then again, if fighting evil with evil doesn't qualify for ambiguous it is hard to think what it does.
- Ax-Crazy: Lampshaded by himself in the final note.
- Black Cap Of Death: He has gained a Hanging Judge fame, so this trope is mentioned. In the BBC miniseries, we see him wearing one in a flashback about Edward Seton's process.
- Creepy Child: He refers to himself as such in the final note, as he was fascinated with death and murder ever since he was a kid.
- The Chessmaster: He organises the death of nine others, using a precise method and order to correspond to a poem. In doing so he deliberately creates an unsolvable mystery, which is only illuminated with his confession.
- Devil in Plain Sight: The most obvious clue that he is Owen is that the latter is motivated by a twisted form of justice, which matches well with a judge. All the murders by the other characters were due to greed, spite or carelessness.
- Driven to Suicide: At the end, he commits suicide in such a way as to match the details of his 'murder'.
- Faking the Dead: He appears to be the fifth victim, but his first death was faked. He did, however, commit suicide after everything was done, and the police wound up finding 10 dead bodies on the island.
- Gambit Roulette: Works ridiculously well in the book, but fails in the Hollywood adaptations.
- Hanging Judge: He is infamous for being a "hanging judge" for his frequent death sentencing. However, he only convicts those who really are guilty, as he couldn't bring himself to murder innocents due to his strong sense of justice.
- Kick the Dog: He's not the only unrepentant one on the island, but one of his viewpoint passages shows him outright gleefully reminiscing about turning the jury against Seton. Subverted when it turns out that Seton did do it and the judge was the only one who saw through his facade.
- Knight Templar: In the book, he never yields about Seton's guilt and upholds his stern vision of justice, which is the motive behind the murders on the island.
- Mask of Sanity: A calm rational person in public, but an Ax-Crazy Large Ham once he arrives to kill the last victim.
- Meaningful Name: A surname composed of "war" and "grave" really suits a Hanging Judge. It still applies with the Adaptation Name Change, since the surname is changed to Cannon (or Quinncannon), which is very similar to "canon" (or "Queen's canon").
- Obfuscating Disability: Not in canon, but a popular trope for productions of the play is to have him introduced either using a wheelchair or walking with a cane. And then turns out he doesn't need them.
- Only Sane Man: Subverted. He is the most level-headed out of all the characters, aside from possibly Lombard, but he's pretty insane.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Has a very strong sense of justice, which drove him to his liberal use of the death sentence to people he believes is guilty.
- Pet the Dog: In the BBC adaptation, he's very sympathetic to Vera and even talks her out of trying to leave the island by swimming, which would surely result in her drowning. Subverted in that he deeply despises her for her crime.
- He gives Mrs. Rogers and General Armstrong quick painless deaths on the grounds they suffered enough.
- Poetic Serial Killer: He invited nine people who had committed some offense to an isolated island and killed them in order of least guilty to most guilty.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Subverted. He comes across as being an intelligent, cultured man, until you learned he sentenced an innocent man to die. Double Subverted, when it turns he was a actually a very fair judge, who always wanted to be sure he was punishing guilty people. Considering his murderous insanity, this is more shocking.
- Serial-Killer Killer: He's essentially a proto-Dexter- a guy who realizes he's a psycho and chooses to restrict his victims to those who truly deserve it.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Utterly unflappable on the outside, the killer's inner monologues reveal him to be basically a giggling maniac.
- Thanatos Gambit: The very last victim... himself, since he's fatally ill and wants to leave the world of living right after the last victim dies.
- Theme Serial Killer: The deaths of his victims were patterned after the "Ten Little Indians" rhyme.
- Vigilante Man: Although he lacks the physical prowess typical of the trope, the idea is the same: kill people who have escaped legal justice.
- Walking Spoiler: Because he's the killer.
- Your Days Are Numbered: He's terminally ill and decides to leave the world taking some unpunished criminals with him.
Fred and Patrick Narracott
Fred is the man who brings the victims to the island in the novel, and who later returns and finds the bodies. It is mentioned in the novel that he has a brother, and, as Patrick, the brother has a major role in the game.
- Ascended Extra: Patrick is only mentioned in the novel, but has a much larger role in the game.
- Captain Obvious: If you click on certain items, Patrick will comment on them by stating the obvious: "It's a painting of an albatross" says he of... a painting of an albatross.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In the epilogue, it's mentioned that Fred came back to the island when he realized something's wrong. In the game Patrick gets stranded on the island as well.
- Clear Their Name: Patrick is attempting to clear his brother's name by exposing Blore's lies and landing him in prison. Of course, he never gets the chance to do so because Blore gets killed anyway. Though if you save either Lombard or Vera, they corroborate Blore's earlier confession
- Rivals Team Up: But this doesn't stop them from occasionally teaming up or confiding clues to one another.
- Strong Family Resemblance: In the game, Blore initially believes that Patrick is Fred because of how similar they look.
- Unwitting Pawn: He isn't on Wargrave's plan.