Characters / For Whom the Bell Tolls

Robert Jordan

Hero of the story, a young demolitions expert who is having his idealism rubbed off by the war.


Leader of the band of guerillas, once a legend, now gone to seed.


Rescued by the guerillas in a train attack before the book's action starts.


The real leader of the guerillas and, nominally, Pablo's woman.

  • Ambiguously Gypsy: She has deep knowledge of Gypsy legends and superstitions, but she is not described as a Gypsy.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: In the book she carries big heavy loads through the woods and easily carries Maria on her shoulder after she is saved from a blown up convict train.
  • Genius Bonus: The back story of the matador Finito, the man who fought bulls while having a lifelong terror of them. The real enemy in properly staged corridas is not the bull itself, which can be killed relatively easily by a skilled man. The bullfighter has to perform instead all the complex dance-like actions inches away from the horns, without giving up to his own fear even for a second. The real enemy which he has to conquer each time, for years to come, is fear itself. Hemingway had fought bulls himself in the 1920s and had seen plenty of bullfights. He knew what less informed people, who treat the fight just as a contest between man and beast, used to ignore.
  • Irony: Her speech to Pablo in front of the entire band, saying that between foul people, the drunkard is the foulest, as the thief, robber or killer still have by necessity times when they don't rob or kill and above all they don't practice their vices in their own homes. Coming from an author whose love for alcohol is legendary...
  • Ugly Cute: She complains how ugly she is, and most of the band agree, while she has had a rich love life with matadors in the past and Robert subconsciously finds her strangely attractive.
  • Whatevermancy: In this case Palmistry, which she seems to believe wholeheartedly. Robert Jordan not so much. Probably.

Anselmo (The Old Man)

First of the guerillas Robert Jordan meets and his closest ally.

  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: A pacifist, he is averse to killing, but proves himself a valuable asset all the same.
  • Badass Grandpa: Had been a skilled mountain guide and big game hunter before the war and he can hold his own in a fight.


The joker amongst the guerillas


The big quiet guy in the guerillas