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Characters: High Plains Drifter

The Stranger/ Marshal Jim Duncan

The main protagonist of the movie. No one knows who he is but can guess why he is here till they are blue in the mouth. He has no trouble turning the townsfolk against each other to achieve his revenge.

  • Ironic Hell: Throughout the entire movie, key characters are punished in ways similar to their own crimes. It even goes as far as turning the town into hell. There was a goldmine in Lago that the US government didn't know about. The marshal was gonna rat the town out, but got whipped to death by the Big Bad and his henchmen, hired by the townspeople. The townspeople were punished by having all their resources wasted by The Stranger taking advantage of the offer given to him of having anything he wanted. This in turn turned the townspeople against one another. The Big Bad's gang was punished by the Stranger himself: the first guy got whipped to death, while the second was hanged, saving the Big Bad for last.
  • No Name Given: Though it is hinted at the end, he never really gave out his name.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: It has been hinted that He is the ghost of the dead marshal. If he is a ghost, he has a solid enough physical body to attack people, but is immune to gunfire.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: You'll say this a lot even for an Eastwood film. The title character has no problem committing various disturbing acts, such as murder, rape and extortion.
  • Who Are You?: Though only the Big Bad says it out loud many of the townspeople (and to an extent the audience) don't know who he is.

Mordecai

  • Badass Normal: A dwarf, all he's ever done in his life was wash laundry and run hot baths for people. But make him sheriff/mayor and put a gun in his hand, and he will save your life in the end as he did The Stranger.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: The Stranger and Mordecai fit this trope respectively.
    The Stranger: What took her this long to get mad?
    Mordecai: Maybe because she wanted more.
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite most of Lago being scared of The Stranger, Mordecai is the only one to be willing to help him out without showing some fear. It could be his attempt to atone for not helping the marshal out when he was being whipped to death. Plus he is the only one that knew The Stranger's true identity in the end.

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